When I was initially approached about doing a post on California walnuts I
wondered if it was a good fit. After all, the proposed idea was that I make a
walnut recipe and write about that. Those that know me are fully aware
that I am quite possibly the world’s worst cook and that Shawn is the one who
makes most of our meals. When I mentioned it to him his reaction was simple –
‘Go ahead, as long as YOU make this recipe.’ So I confirmed that they didn’t
mind that I wanted to do my post as a wine and walnut pairing and decided to
take the plunge.
Walnuts are a staple in our kitchen, so I figured this was a
good fit for our family. They’re a nutrition powerhouse and they’re super tasty, so
it’s a win-win. Shawn uses them in our salads all the time and they make a great quick and easy snack.
When I received the recipes to choose
from, I was relieved to see that many of them looked super easy. I decided to
make the Cajun-Spiced California Walnuts
(click the link for the recipe)
and the Maple Candied Walnuts
They seemed like good, healthy snack options and I figured if they turned out
well I could whip up a batch for our New Year’s Eve party.
So what was the result? Well, turns out that both recipes
were actually as easy as they look – I managed to make both batches in less
than an hour and the results were tasty! These are both recipes that I would
make again and that I’d happily serve at our holiday party. These could even
make a fun and affordable homemade gift if you created some pretty packaging.
Now, for the wine pairings! As most of my readers know, I’m
a confirmed wine newbie. I don’t claim to have any expertise with wine. And other than a growing passion for all things vino and a desire to learn
everything I can, I’m still finding my way. That said, I’m really excited to try
to pick some pairing options and I hope you don’t hold it against me if they aren’t perfect – I bet there are many actual experts who would be
happy to help if these ones don’t work out. In fact, I know John Szabo’s Pairing Food and Wine for Dummies
available in bookstores now for just that purpose.
So here are my picks:
I’d love it if you’d share your own thoughts on what to pair
with these snacks – I know there are some of you who are food and wine pairing
For more great holiday recipe ideas using California walnuts you can visit.
Some photos of my cooking adventure:
|Mixing the spices |
|Adding in the California walnuts|
|Starting to look pretty good|
|Ready for the oven|
|The finished Cajun-Spice Walnuts|
|California Walnuts just waiting to be candied|
|Stirring in the maple syrup|
|Adding the sesame seeds|
|Ready for the oven|
|Maple Candied Walnuts finished|
The fine print: California Walnuts provided me with the walnuts, the recipes and a gift card with
which to purchase the needed ingredients to make these recipes. All wine referenced is wine that I purchased and none of the
wineries I’ve mentioned are affiliated with California Walnuts – I just think
they’d taste good together. All opinions are 100% my own.