Rosemary Spiced Mixed Nuts 2014

Let’s remix this business.

Rosemary Spiced Mixed Nuts I first featured Rosemary Spiced Mixed Nuts back in 2010.  2010??  Sometimes it still shocks me that I’ve been blogging for over 4 years!  Anyway, despite the fact that I made these nuts a long time ago, they’re still a staple at my house.  I serve Rosemary Spiced Mixed Nuts each year at my Thanksgiving extravaganza, and I also like to prepare them occasionally as a travel snack.  The 2010 nuts are tasty, easy to prepare and completely addicting.  So, why would I update the recipe?

To be honest, I’m just switching things up a bit.  I love the flavor profile of the original recipe, so I’ve kept most of the flavors in this recipe similar.  Brown sugar, rosemary, cayenne pepper and sea salt work harmoniously together with notes of caramel, grassy wood and a faint heat that provides just enough intrigue.  I’ve also added some maple syrup for good measure.  The notable difference in my 2014 recipe is in the process.  Here, I toss a mix of cashews, almonds and walnuts with butter, maple syrup and flavorings, then bake until the nuts become golden, fragrant and slightly sticky.  I then sprinkle over additional sea salt and chopped rosemary once the nuts come out of the oven.  This process helps to really infuse the nut mix with all those tasty flavors.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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The Patio’s Plumosa

Jorge and I had a suuuuper tasty brunch at The Patio on Goldfinch recently.  I’ve got highlights from our meal below along with a recipe for their mezcal-based Plumosa cocktail.

Plumosa Cocktail Let me start by saying that The Patio on Goldfinch is one gorgeous restaurant.  Lush living walls.  Reclaimed wood accents.  Marble counter tops in hues of red, gray and deep green.  The space is luxurious yet still comfortable and approachable.  Led by executive chef John Medall, The Patio on Goldfinch is the sister restaurant of The Patio on Lamont in Pacific Beach.  Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner (and everything in between), The Patio has an eclectic, modern menu and a killer cocktail list.  Oh, and they’ve also got an entire room dedicated to cheese called The Cheese Cave.  That’s right, a cave of cheese.

Jorge and I sat in the back area surrounded by natural light flooding in through the massive skylights above.  Behind us was a towering wall of cascading ferns and philodendron.  My eyes danced about the space, taking in all of the thoughtful details.  Overall, A+ for atmosphere.  Now, let’s get to the food.

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Avocado Toast 5 Ways

If you enjoy avocado as much as I do, then you’re going to love today’s article.  I’ve got 5 fresh avocado recipes for you below!

Avocado Toast 5 Ways In particular, Avocado Toast.  The concept is fairly simple.  Mash up half an avocado with salt, pepper and some sort of acid (lemon or lime juice) to taste.  The flavors should be bright without covering up the cool grassiness of the avocado.  Spread this mash over a lightly toasted piece of bread, and you have Avocado Toast.  It’s that easy!  I like to use whole wheat bread here, but sourdough or country bread would also work well.

Avocado Toast can be enjoyed for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.  Avocado is packed with healthy fat and nutrients, so I find that just 1 slice can keep me full and satisfied until my mid-morning meal.  I’ve also served these luscious green beauties as an appetizer (on thin slices of seedy baguette).

To take things up a notch, here are 4 variations on the basic Avocado Toast:

  • Egg + Bacon + Chive.  A dressed up version perfect for Saturday breakfast.
  • Frisée + Bacon + Lemon.   Similar to one of my favorite sandwiches (minus the tomato).
  • Tomato + Basil + Balsamic.  Italian flavors that pair well with avocado.  Serve as an afternoon snack or a simple appetizer before dinner.
  • Corn + Chile + Lime.  My Mexican spin on Avocado Toast.  Big, bold flavors.

The recipes below are more like loose guidelines.  I barely included exact measurements, because most of the toppings are to taste.  Don’t like red onion?  Leave it out.  Love bacon (like me), add more.  A scatter of this.  A sprinkle of that.  Just know that the flavors in each recipe work well together.  Quantities of toppings are up to you.  Also, each recipe uses just 1/2 an avocado.  If you don’t plan on using the other half immediately, sprinkle the cut side with acid (lemon or lime juice), press plastic wrap directly against the flesh of the avocado, and store in the refrigerator.  Continue reading for the recipes.

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Maple Bacon Cookies

Maple Bacon Cookies Candied Bacon Cookie Ingredients Cookie Dough Maple Bacon Cookies start with a brown sugar-sweetened dough spiked with pure maple syrup, vanilla extract and maple extract. Tiny bits of maple-caramelized bacon are then folded in, providing a salty counter to the sweet dough.  These cookies are like a warm blanket wrapped around you on a cool autumn evening.  So so comforting.

Although bacon desserts are fairly widespread nowadays, I still encounter people who raise a skeptical eye at the idea.  If you are one of those people, just think of these cookies as a plate of pancakes and bacon, but in cookie-form.  They are so damn tasty, and completely addicting.

Be sure to use good quality maple syrup here (not maple-flavored syrup).  Maple extract can be found at any regular grocery store.  Finally, this dough requires a 1-hour chill, so plan accordingly.

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Charred Onion and Bacon Dip [Giveaway]

Remember when I told you how much I enjoy Game Day grub?  Well here’s another recipe I love to eat while pretending to watch the game: Charred Onion and Bacon Dip.  Also, I’m giving away a $100 gift card!

Bacon Onion Dip Thick slices of sweet red onion are cooked in bacon fat AND butter until melting and blackened around the edges.  Honey, garlic and white wine are added to boost sweet and savory flavors.  After a quick chop, this charred onion flavor bomb is mixed into a rich blend of cream cheese and sour cream.  The dip is finished with chopped bacon, chives, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and lemon juice.  Pair this big, bold dip with some all-star accompaniments: crisp potato chips, sweet carrot sticks and fresh sliced celery.  I’ve served my Charred Onion and Bacon Dip at a number of parties, and it’s always a friend favorite!

This onion dip is another recipe I put together in partnership with Jimbo’s… Naturally! at Westfield Horton Plaza.  Almost all ingredients used in this recipe were organic, and I’ll have to tell you, I’m really learning to love organic products.  I can truly taste a difference between organic and regular.  Especially with produce!  Check out some of my other Jimbo’s… Naturally! recipes:

In addition to this tasty onion dip recipe, you’ll also find information below on a $100 Jimbo’s… Naturally! Gift Card giveaway!!  You’ll definitely want to continue reading…

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Fig Cakes with Vanilla Glaze

Figs are a seasonal favorite of mine.

Fig Cakes with Vanilla Glaze So when I got a basket of them in my Specialty Produce Farmer’s Market Box (FMB) a few weeks ago, I just knew I had to come up with a fresh, new recipe with figs as the main focus.  In particular, Fig Cakes with Vanilla Glaze.  Flavored with cinnamon, almond and vanilla, these cakelettes are studded with purple-hued bits of earthy, sweet fig.  A simple vanilla glaze is added to echo flavors inside the cake, and toasted almonds are sprinkled on top for crunch and contrast.  I enjoyed these cakes with vanilla ice cream for dessert, and with coffee for breakfast.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Beer Can Chicken

I’m not a big sports fan, but I sure do love game day/tailgating eats.

Half Beer Can Chicken Like this Beer Can Chicken.  Kosher salt, brown sugar, paprika, cayenne and black pepper get rubbed on first.  Then, the chicken takes a seat on a can filled with light beer, onion, garlic, lemon zest and thyme.  Cooked upright on the grill, this brazen bird gets infused with flavor from the inside out.  I like to serve simply with  lemon wedges.  And beer of course ;)

If you’d like to take this recipe on the go (to your next tailgating party), prep everything in advance for easy game day execution.  The bulk dry rub can be made a week in advance, and stored at room temperature.  Give your bird a rubdown at least one hour in advance, allowing the flavors to get into the meat.  The thyme, onion and garlic can be prepped and stored together; however, don’t zest the lemon in advance.  If not used immediately, the flavor of the lemon oils will diminish quickly after zesting.  Finally, when transporting chicken, make sure it’s well-wrapped in plastic and well-chilled on ice.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Romesco’s Cucumber Martini

It’s about to get all sorts of tasty up in here.

Cucumber Martini Several weeks ago, I had an outstanding meal at Romesco in San Diego with my boyfriend Jorge.  David Nelson, a friend and food writer extraordinaire, also joined us for the afternoon.  Romesco, known for its upscale Mexican-Mediterranean cuisine, is a must-visit restaurant by Chef Javier Plascencia.  Jorge and I had a fantastic experience at Misión 19, another Chef Plascencia hotspot, just months earlier in Tijuana, so I had a feeling that Romesco would be a treat.  And let me tell you.  It was.  Continue reading for highlights from our meal at Romesco, plus a recipe for their super tasty Cucumber Martini.

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Yogurt Panna Cotta with Easy Plum Compote

I’m not ready to give up summer just yet.

Yogurt Panna Cotta with Plum Compote Apples, pears, quince and pumpkins will all have their turn.  But for now, I’m holding on to summer with this Yogurt Panna Cotta with Plum Compote.  Panna cotta is a favorite dessert of mine, because the process is easy, and the results are spectacular.  Typically made with heavy cream, panna cotta is custard-like dessert that is thickened with gelatin instead of eggs.  The texture is smooth, rich and silky.  In this recipe, tangy whole-milk yogurt is flavored with sugar, citrus zest and an entire vanilla bean, then firmed up with powdered gelatin.  After an overnight chill, the panna cotta is topped with a sweet-tart Plum Compote (made with 3-ingredients!), and fresh, fragrant mint leaves.  So simple.  So delicious.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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What I Drink: Old Fashioned Cocktail

Old Fashioned Cocktail If you’ve been reading Kitchen Konfidence for a little while, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I love a good drink.  Sometimes I like to go all out, and make cocktails like: Summer Crush, El Comediante, or Strawberry Letter 22.  They’re a bit more involved to prepare, but they taste damn good once everything comes together.  Usually however, you can find me drinking an almost-classic Old Fashioned Cocktail.  It’s my go-to.  My standard.  My after-work drink.  It’s a cocktail I know I can always prepare with ingredients from my pantry/liquor cabinet.  And today, I’m going to share with you my Old Fashioned Cocktail recipe.

But first, a little back story.  Several months ago, I tweeted this photo of Black Walnut Bitters that sparked up a conversation with some of my fellow booze-loving, foodie friends (boozie friends?).  In particular, Vijay from Noshon.It and Brian from A Thought For Food.  We started chatting about our favorite go-to libations, and shortly after, the What I Drink mini-series was born.  So today, the three of us are sharing some of our favorite cocktail recipes along with short interviews.  Continue reading for my recipe plus links to Vijay’s and Brian’s!

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