Last Minute Gift Idea! From the Kitchen & From the Heart!!

I think everyone can be divided into one of the following two categories:  planner or procrastinator. There really is no in between, and if you are like me and still haven’t finished your Christmas shopping and the person already has more than they could ever want, why not give them something from your kitchen & from the heart.  There are so many wonderful homemade gifts you can make from candied pecans, to homemade peanut brittle, to my personal favorite Napa Valley almonds.  Put them in a mason jar, tie some twine around the top, and you can even make your own labels with a special Christmas message. Your special someone will not only be touched because you took the time to actually make them something, but you will save money in the process.  It’s a win win.  Happy holidays to all and I look forward to sharing my kitchen secrets with you in the new year! 

Napa Valley Almonds

  • One bag of whole raw almonds
  • 1 package of fresh rosemary
  • 2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt or Sea Salt

In a large pan bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  Add the almonds and blanch for about 1 minute.  You must be careful not to overcook because you want the almonds to remain crisp.  Remove the almonds, drain, and rinse in cold water.  Lay flat on a dry towel and then you will begin to peel off the outer skin of the almonds.  It should be fairly simple by rubbing your thumbs and middle finger together. Removing the skins will take a little time but you can do it sitting in front of the television watching your favorite Christmas special.  Note:  if the almonds start to dry it will be more difficult to peel, just rinse again under cold water, and start again until you have finished removing all the skins. 

 

Fine chop all of the rosemary.  Discard the stems.

In a large sauté pan, add the olive oil and bring to medium to high heat.  Once your oil is hot add in the almonds. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until a few almonds start to brown.  Now add the rosemary, season heavily with the salt.  I like to add in just a hint of cracked black pepper at the end.

 Fine chop all of the rosemary.  Discard the stems.

In a large sauté pan, add the olive oil and bring to medium to high heat.  Once your oil is hot add in the almonds. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until a few almonds start to brown.  Now add the rosemary, season heavily with the salt.  I like to add in just a hint of cracked black pepper at the end.

 

These almonds have always been a huge hit!!  Keep refrigerated & these will last well over two weeks.  Pair with a block of fine aged white cheddar, a bottle of wine, and some dark chocolate and you will be the new family favorite! 

 

Cheers!

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