You may be asking why this blog is called "The Lunchbox Tree." I was raised by a family whose memories were made in the kitchen and at the table. One of my favorite stories came from "Ozma of Oz," by L. Frank Baum:
"...the little girl came upon two trees that promised to furnish her with plenty of food. One was quite full of square paper boxes, which grew in clusters on all the limbs, and upon the biggest and ripest boxes the word 'Lunch' could be read, in neat raised letters.... Inside she found, nicely wrapped in white papers, a ham sandwich, a piece of sponge-cake, a pickle, slice of new cheese and an apple."
This scene inspired me to begin a lifetime affair with all things food; and I hope that my recipes inspire you to enjoy making and eating all sorts of delightful things.
Tweets from The Lunchbox Tree
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Chili-Orange Spiced Walnuts
With Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all quickly approaching - and the gatherings that come with them - I'm always on the lookout for tasty snacks that can be prepared in advance and kept on hand in case of unexpected visitors. Here's one that I whipped up this afternoon on a whim: It's based on the classic recipe of an egg white and sugar coating walnuts or pecans, but with a spicy kick. A touch of orange juice and extract combined with a fair amount of black pepper and chili powder make this recipe suitable for hungry cooks and cocktail parties alike. This recipe also takes well to doubling - and if you've got a big crowd, these sweet-spicy nibbles will go quickly!
4 cups walnut halves (pecans can also be substituted)
1 egg white
1 t. orange juice
1/2 t. orange extract (or 1 t. finely minced orange zest)
1/2 c. sugar
2 t. chili powder
1/2. t. chipotle powder (or substitute 1/2 t. chili powder with a dash of cayenne)
1 1/4 t. salt
3/4 t. black pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a large cookie sheet, and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine sugar, chili powder, chipotle powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. In a 2 quart bowl, whisk egg white with orange juice and orange extract (or orange zest, if using). Add walnuts, and toss to coat; then add in sugar mixture and toss again until all nuts are coated evenly. Spread walnuts onto buttered cookie sheet, and bake for 20-22 minutes, until coating has hardened.
Transfer walnuts to waxed paper or parchment paper to cool completely. Walnuts keep in an airtight container for up to a week.