Sweet-Spicy Harissa Roasted Almonds

Aida Mollenkamp Healthy Easy Snack Recipe Roasted Harissa Almonds

I need a “pause” button for life. Last week, in 48 hours time, I flew from Los Angeles to New York to Los Angeles and finally to Hawaii, where I arrived beyond jet lagged. You’re probably thinking, “Hawaii, huh? Quit your complaining!” But, the reality is that I have a few more weeks of work ahead of me before I can really take a break. In the five days since I arrived on island, I’ve spent every waking moment indoors going line-by-line through the galley version of my cookbook. It’s an exhausting but necessary process that will bring the book one step closer to completion.

Needless to say, I’ve been in need of brain-food to keep me uber-focused and that where this recipe fits in. I wanted a roasted almond snack that’s a bit more exciting than almonds straight from the bag but quick enough to fit in my schedule. The result are these super low-fuss, but flavor-packed roasted nuts. They’d probably work fabulously as part of cocktail party or as a holiday gift, but, I won’t be thinking about those things for at least another 5 days. And, at the pace I’m going, that might as well be light-years away.


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Pomegranate-Vanilla Sparkler

Aida Mollenkamp Easy Recipe Pomegranate Vanilla Sparkler

One of the questions I’m asked most often is where I get inspiration for recipes. It’s a hard question to answer because most the time I know I’m inspired though I can’t really pinpoint why. Was it that trip I just took? That art show I just saw? The album I was just listening to? Or that hike I took the other day? Sometimes though I can pinpoint precisely where and when I got inspired, like with this non-alcoholic pomegranate-vanilla cocktail.

I worked with OpenSky to add these upcycled tumblers to my store because I’ve been giving them as gifts for my eco-conscious friends for the past few years and they’ve always been well received. When asked what I’d put in them, something bubbly and colorful came to mind and, in an effort to play up the festive nature of the green glass, I came up with this red-hued pomegranate soda.

For a homemade gift, you could gift the syrup in a large canning jar — perhaps even with a recipe for the drink and a few of the Bottlehood tumblers. If you’re feeling adventurous (and have a lot of spices on hand), go ahead and add a few cardamom cloves, or a star anise piece with the vanilla. And, if you haven’t yet had your fill of libations, feel free to spike it with a shot of your favorite booze — it’s safe to say either rum or bourbon would work especially well.


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Hot Mexican Pickles

Delilah Snell Easy Hot Mexican Pickle Recipe

If you caught yesterday’s TasteMakers interview with Delilah Snell, then you’re likely as convinced of her awesomeness as I am. She’s a rare breed as she’s one of a handful of Master Food Preservers in the nation and spreads the good word about preserving via her numerous endeavors from her store and blog to her line of preserves. Needless to say, when we met, it was quite clear Delilah and I were equally food obsessed and we have quickly become friends.

A few weeks ago I attended one of her pickling classes, which was a whirlwind of a day in which we made everything from kimchi and sauerkraut to preserved limes and spicy green beans. Of them all, this recipe for Mexican-style pickled carrots was a crowd favorite so Delilah is sharing the recipe here.


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Going on Record

Moleskine Recipe Journal

The type A, organizational angels are smiling on me because my all-time favorite notebook company, Moleskine, has released a recipe journal. As a part of the creative process that is recipe development, I accumulate stacks upon stacks and scribble after scribble of starter food ideas that eventually bake their way into a dish. While most…
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