Tag Archives: holidays

Gluten-Free Snacks

Holiday Spiced Pecans

I first tried these Spiced Pecans when my mom made them a few years ago. She got the recipe from our favorite cookbook: America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. My family swears by the America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks and recipes — they’re foolproof! In fact, if you’re looking for a good holiday gift for the foodie or cook in your life, I highly recommend their Family Cookbook or New Best Recipe Cookbook. I’ve used both extensively over the last six years and honestly love every recipe!

These Holiday Spiced Pecans are a delicious snack for guests to munch on before dinner! Or put some in a baggie and tie it up with ribbon to give as a gift. They're vegetarian, gluten-free and refined sugar free. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

For these Spiced Pecans, I used the original ATK recipe as inspiration and made a few tweaks to make them a bit healthier. Most importantly, I used unrefined coconut sugar in place of refined white sugar. As a reminder, refined sugar has no nutritional value and is very processed (think regular old white sugar you put in coffee), while unrefined sugar retains much more of sugar’s natural nutrients such as calcium and iron. I love baking with coconut sugar because it’s unrefined and it tastes just like regular ol’ sugar. You can find coconut sugar in most grocery stores, and usually you can get it inexpensively from places like Costco or Amazon. These pecans work best with superfine sugar, so I’d recommend pulsing the coconut sugar in the food processor for 10-15 seconds until it becomes fine.

These Holiday Spiced Pecans are a delicious snack for guests to munch on before dinner! Or put some in a baggie and tie it up with ribbon to give as a gift. They're vegetarian, gluten-free and refined sugar free. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

These Spiced Pecans scream holiday season to me! They’re an easy snack to munch on at a holiday event with a festive drink in your other hand. I also think they’d be a fun holiday gift to give to neighbors or coworkers. Just place about one heaping cup of spiced pecan halves in a clear treat bag (like these) and tie it up with a colorful ribbon.

These Holiday Spiced Pecans are a delicious snack for guests to munch on before dinner! Or put some in a baggie and tie it up with ribbon to give as a gift. They're vegetarian, gluten-free and refined sugar free. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

But honestly, I won’t blame you if you save them all for yourself. One pound of pecans may seem like a lot, but you’ll be shocked by how quickly they go! In case you’re a bargain hunter like I am, I recommend buying a two pound bag of pecan halves from Costco for this recipe. Nuts can be expensive, but Costco always has them for reasonable prices (and FYI — they’re less expensive in store than they are online.)

These Holiday Spiced Pecans are a delicious snack for guests to munch on before dinner! Or put some in a baggie and tie it up with ribbon to give as a gift. They're vegetarian, gluten-free and refined sugar free. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Happy holiday season to you and your family!

 

Holiday Spiced Pecans
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 1 lb. nuts
Ingredients
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound pecan halves, raw and unsalted
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (regular, not smoked)
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg white, water, and salt. Add the pecans and toss in the egg white mixture to coat. Drain the nuts in a colander for five minutes and wipe out the bowl with a paper towel. Return the nuts to the large bowl.
  3. Place the coconut sugar in a mini blender and blend for 10-15 seconds, until the sugar is very fine. Mix the blended coconut sugar in a small bowl with the cumin, paprika, and cayenne. Add the spice mixture to the large bowl with the nuts and toss to coat thoroughly. Spread the nuts onto the parchment-lined baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 50 minutes, stirring the nuts and rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the nuts to cool completely on the baking sheet, 20-25 minutes. Break apart and store in an airtight container.
Notes
*Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen.
 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase one of these product I may earn a small commission. That money goes directly towards new recipe and blog post development. Thank you for your support!

Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide for Cooks & Bakers

Hello and good morning!

As the holiday season is in full swing, I wanted to share some of my favorite kitchen items with you guys. All of these items are great gifts for friends and family who love to cook and/or bake.

I split the items into two categories: under $25 and under $100, depending on your budget. All of these tools and appliances are ones that I use and love. Some of them were gifted to me in recent years and many of them I have purchased for others as well. If you have any questions about any of these, feel free to post a question in the comments below or email me.

Happy gifting!

Little Chef Big Appetite Holiday Gift Guide - Under $25

1. Cuisipro Herb Saver

I’ve talked about this one before and I still LOVE it!

2. Bobble Water Bottle

This baby is like a Brita on the go – filtered water all the time!

3. Lodge Square Cast-Iron Grill Pan

4. Rabbit Wine Aerator

5. Magic Touches Digital Meat Thermometer

6. Cooper-Atkins Stainless-Steel Oven Thermometer

This is a really inexpensive thermometer, but it’s a game changer for baking! It helped me discover that my oven was off by 75 degrees!!!

7. America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

Every single one of these recipes turns out flawlessly. ATK seriously is the best.

8. Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Blender

This is the perfect blender for post-workout smoothies and any time you don’t want to clean the big blender. The cups also fit in your car’s cup holders!

 

Little Chef Big Appetite Holiday Gift Guide - Under $100

9. Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Slow Cooker

I received mine for Hanukkah a few years ago from my brother and sister-in-law and it’s the best slow cooker ever. Period.

10. Silpat Baking Mat

Buy two of these for anyone who know who loves to bake. They’re amazing at preventing cookies from sticking to the pan.

11. All Clad Stainless Steel 12 inch Frying Pan

12. Weber 3-Piece Stainless Steel Tool Set

We love these grill tools!

13. Breville Nonstick Panini Press

I got this for my dad years ago and his is still going strong. It’s a great way to up your sandwich game!

14. Bean Box Coffee Subscriptions

I love my coffee subscription and we just got one for Travis’s sister, who is a big coffee lover also! It’s a fun way to try new brews without buying a one-pound bag of beans.

15. Hamilton Beach 7-cup Food Processor

 

Disclaimer: None of the items featured this LCBA gift guide are sponsored. I only recommend products that I personally use and love. Some affiliate links may be included and, as always, I truly appreciate your support.

Gluten-Free Snacks

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

I love eating tapas-style because that way I get to try small bites of many different things. More and more restaurants are offering shared small plates instead of larger dishes, and it is always my preference to order this way, as opposed to getting my own entree. This is probably why I always look forward to snacking at the appetizer table during the holiday season – lots and lots of delicious nibbles to try. Although, I will admit, it is very hard for me to exercise self-control with such a variety in front of me, and I often fill up before the main meal. Oops.

Unfortunately, we all know that a delicious spread of cheeses, breads, crackers, and other bite-sized goodies can often be our winter-diet downfall. So many of these appetizers are calorie-heavy and high in fat. Sure, they taste mighty good, but they aren’t the healthiest option.

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip Recipe

So when Chobani contacted me about creating a recipe for their #MadeWithChobani campaign, I knew right away I wanted to create a healthy appetizer for the holiday season. I cook and bake with greek yogurt a lot. I especially love using yogurt as a substitute for mayonnaise and sour cream in dips. You get that creamy, tangy taste without all of the unnecessary fat and calories. Plus, when you add greek yogurt to any recipe, you give it a great boost in protein!

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip Recipe

If you like sun-dried tomatoes, you are going to love this dip. I had all the ingredients in my fridge and chances are you do, too! This recipe requires only four ingredients and comes together in under five minutes, so it is perfect if you are pinched for time!

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip Recipe

We chowed down on this dip with baked pita chips and carrots sticks. It would also be delicious with sliced bell peppers and warm whole wheat pita. Bring this to your next holiday gathering and people will be begging you for the recipe.

 

I was asked by Chobani to participate in their #MadeWithChobani campaign. This recipe as well as all opinions stated are my own. 

 

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
  • 1 cup Chobani nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil (drained)
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl mash the feta crumbles. Stir in the greek yogurt, olive oil, and sun-dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with pita chips, veggie crudites, or warm pita bread.