Rosemary and Thyme Candied Pecans

This house is feeling rather jolly today. With Thanksgiving on the horizon and all the family and traditions in my sight I can't help but be grateful for this wonderful life I've been blessed with. I'm celebrating the “jollyness” by making these scrumptious Rosemary and Thyme Candied Pecans for Thanksgiving. My mother is my idol in the kitchen. She makes a version of these delicious nuts every holiday we get together. I finally decided to try my hand at them today and let me tell you, they are the easiest thing to make EVER. Why didn't I attempt these before? Now you must RUN to the nearest grocery store and pick up some pecans to try them for yourself. They are oh-so-simple and quick!


From my mother's recipe book,

What You'll Need:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 maple syrup
2 tablespoons demerara sugar (I used light brown sugar as a substitute)
3/4 teaspoon finely minced fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Scant 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 pound pecan halves
Fleur de sel or other sea salt, to finish (optional)

What You Do:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a standard half sheet pan with parchment paper.

Mince fresh herbs. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the maple syrup and sugar over medium heat. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the herbs, spices and salt.

Toss the pecans with the butter mixture in a large bowl, making sure to coat well. Spread nuts in a single layer on the prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven, turning occasionally, until the nuts are glazed and shiny with a deep golden color, around 15 minutes. Upon removing from the oven sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel and stir again.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Then, bask in the heavenly aroma of fresh herbs in a sweet, buttery syrup while enjoying a festive snack of candied pecans!

Happy Thanksgiving!

30 Before 30

Update: Here I am, 5 Months into my 29th year. I took a look at my 30 Before 30 List today to see how my progress is coming along and  although I am happy with my progress, I still have some work to do.

- I am currently enrolled in 6 units at Grossmont College. Gettin' my education on :)

- My BFF Bre, my father and I finished the San Diego Rock n' Roll 1/2 Marathon in June and it felt FABULOUS!

- I was able to make a delicious lunch salad with lettuce, green onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and strawberries from our garden.

- Thanks to my Silhouette I was able to make a few wooden signs as gifts.

- We love the La Jolla Open Aire Market. You must try Peggy's Pasta and Baba Food's Feta, Pesto and Sun Dried Tomato Dip!!! Oh and those yummy green drinks at the front of the market are delicious! YUUUUM! You'll just love everything :)

- Addie is in her second month at Elite Gymnastics. To be honest, it's been a rough start. 18 months old is very young to start gymnastics, but I already see her improving and I couldn't be more proud.

- Santee's Summer Concert in the Park series is such a good time. Good music and awesome food trucks. This is sure to be a family tradition for us.

- Thanks to my mother's thoughtful donation, I was able to donate to Kiva and that loan is already being paid back! Check out Kiva to see how you can help also create opportunity for someone.

- And, finally, I am on my way to being happy, healthy and fit. I found a routine that works for me and I look forward to the gym every day. Turbo Kickboxing, Yoga, Body Pump Strength Training, and most recently PiYo have been working wonders for this mommy body! On top of the physical and mental improvements I've also met some awesome people full of energy and positivity that hold me accountable. Bonus!

Ham, Cheddar & Quinoa Mini Cups

Thanks to Pinterest I ran across a great foodie blog called Iowa Girl Eats. Tonight I tried her Mini Ham & Cheese Quinoa Cups and boy oh boy did they deliver. I devoured them. Addie, not so much. She fell out of her “picky eater” stage and dove right in to her “super picky eater” stage. I think I'll make her a cape…

You HAVE to try these. I am especially excited about the ones I made since I was able to use the green onions from our very own garden!

What You Need:
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1 cup zucchini, shredded
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced ham
1/4 parsley, chopped
4 green onions, sliced
salt & pepper to taste
(The original recipe calls for 2 tblsp. parmesan, but I forgot to put the parm in mine. Oops!)

What You Do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook quinoa as directed on package. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Spray your mini muffin pan with non-stick spray (or coat with olive oil). Spoon mixture into muffin cups (I use a small ice cream scoop that makes it soooo easy). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes, then enjoy!

Promise me you will try these.

Zucchini Bites

Another “Picky Eater Approved” recipe! Our 1 1/2 year old is just so picky. It's difficult to get her to eat her fruits and veggies. This Zucchini Bite recipe is definitely one I can add to her menu and feel good about serving it to her.

Zucchini Bites (adapted from The Naptime Chef)

2 c. grated zucchini
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 yellow onion finely chopped
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter the 24 muffin cups in mini muffin pan generously. After grating the zucchini it's important to wring out the water otherwise you'll have a soggy mess when they come out of the oven. I placed the grated zucchini on a paper towel and rolled it up to squeeze any excess water out. Then, in a large bowl, beat 2 eggs then add the zucchini, onion, cheese, and panko bread crumbs mixing well. Using a small ice cream scoop or spoon, fill each muffin cup to the top. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until top is browned. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before enjoying.
I used muffin liners thinking it would save me from having to really scrub the pan. But the muffin liners stuck to the muffins. I would definitely butter the pan instead next time. I also didn't have any italian parsley on hand and I'm sure that would be the perfect touch to these bites. Besides that this recipe didn't give me any trouble. It was quick and simple. Just how momma likes it.

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