Monday, December 29, 2014

Rosemary Cashews and Black-Eyed Peas to Welcome 2015

Today is Monday, December 29th.  My address is......yes, it has been that sort of week or so around here.  Last Tuesday I timed my errands to coincide with listening to "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" on NPR.  When it didn't come on, I wondered what was going on.  It took a few minutes for me to realize that it was actually Tuesday.  "Wait, Wait...." is on Saturday!!  Just as I'm comfortable with writing 2014 on letters, checks, etc., it will be 2015.  All this should be no surprise.  Much is crowded into end of the year festivities around here.  Our wedding anniversary is on December 23 followed by Christmas, New Year's and then my birthday.  Happens every year!!  We had a nice dinner out to celebrate our 40th.  Next up was Christmas.  With the children spending the holiday at their respective homes this year, we were trying to come up with our own cheer.  

The two couples, dear friends, with whom we have spent major holidays since moving here, would see us through.  Well, we'd all see each other through just not all at once.  Jane and Jim traveled to Texas to spend Christmas with their granddaughter--her first!   They'll be back in time for our New Year's Eve celebration.

So, it was four of us at brunch on Christmas eve.  The morning was gray, overcast and drippy as we headed south to the farm.  The corn and soybean fields were brown stubble.  The trees leafless.  A little snow would have been nice (we haven't had a flake so far).  Soon enough, the farmhouse came into view.  The warm glow of lamplight illuminated every window, welcoming us.  We settled in for a fireside chat while sipping a tasty moscato.  The menu starred a delicious strata that wasn't actually a strata.  It was cheesy and tasty and contained no bread.  I'm going to ask if I may share the recipe with you.  It was accompanied by a fruit-filled coffee cake and a citrus mimosa.

After we had stuffed ourselves had partaken of that delicious meal, we decorated gingerbread cookies.  

One of these is my work.
The other is The Baker's.
Can you pick out which one is mine?  His?

Here are two last recipes for you this year.  The rosemary cashews have been favorites of ours for several years now.  As you can see, this is a recipe that I've been able to trace the "provenance" back a bit.  

Rosemary Cashews with thanks to Sue S., Ina Garten and Union Square Cafe

1 1/4 pounds whole cashews
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

1.  Preheat oven to 375.  Spread the cashews out on a half-sheet pan.  Roast for ten minutes.
2.  In a large bowl, mix the rosemary, cayenne and brown sugar with warm melted butter.
3.  Pour the hot cashews into the bowl and mix well.  Let stand for ten minutes and mix well again.  Repeat once more.
4.  Best served still warm but can be saved in an air-tight container in a cool place for a week.

And, to begin your new year, have a helping of black-eyed peas.  Legend is, if you do, you will have a prosperous new year.  I'm sending our New Year's Eve guests home with a serving of these just to be sure!!

Wishing all of you a happy and healthy 2015!

Black-Eyed Peas in a slow cooker (serves 10)

6 cups chicken stock
16 ounce can diced tomatoes 
1 pound black-eyed peas (looked over and rinsed)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red pepper. chopped
1 jalapeno, finely diced
8 ounces diced ham
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients into a slow cooker.  Start on high for 30 minutes.  Turn to low and simmer for 6 to 8 hours. 



  1. I love the cookies look soo cute Bonnie!
    Happy New year!:)

  2. i just came from Denise who also reminded me i have NO BLACK EYES.. forgot them, i did not shop this past week end, now a trip to the store. just for the peas... we did not eat them last year and boy did we have a lot of money related disasters... the cookies are cute and funny.... happy 40th anniversary a few days late.

  3. Same as us..40:)You do have a busy month..:)
    I can't pick who did what Bonnie:) I am guessing you did the left and he did the right:)

    1. He did the fancy one on the left. I, of very little patience, did the one on the right.

  4. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas Bonnie. I look forward to what 2015 brings.

  5. Yours is the cookie of a woman with a youthful heart :-) I think it's beautiful. Here's to the NewYear.....Mary

  6. I would have thought the cookies the opposite of what you said above! But after all, he is the "baker." I never knew the story behind black eyed peas on new year's. I've always thought of it as a southern tradition. Wishing you all the best in the new year.

  7. Happy Anniversary, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Upcoming Birthday, Bonnie..... I would love the cashews ---but would probably eat WAY too many of them!!!! ha....

    I'll fix our traditional Hoppin John for New Year's --and hope that the black-eyed peas will give us lots of good luck.


  8. I am thinking your husband's is the fancy one all dressed in white, since he is a baker, after all! What a lovely day you had! And how is Oliver? How on earth did he get chapped paw, and stranger still, how were you able to diagnose it? Happy New YEAR!!!!

  9. December is crazy with birthdays in our family. It use to be June was the nightmare, but now December joins the nightmare month with just too much going on!!! Oh well, now we can all breath, as it winding down for a bit. I told my daughters to please plan on not having children in December or June hahahaha. I still have New Years Eve to cook for and some family coming on the 4th, so I'm not done yet. Happy anniversary and birthday to you!!!

  10. I've always wanted to try the nuts, rosemary is one of my favorite herbs, good to know you like them! Happy Anny/B-Day and New Year-enjoy:@)

  11. It sounds like you have a lot going on at this busy time of year- it's no wonder that you don't know what day it is! Black eyed peas are a "must" for New Year's Day- those look good! Happy New Year! :)

  12. Sounds like you had a great Christmas. We always eat black-eyed peas for luck too. Happy New Year.

  13. What a busy month of celebrations, Bonnie! Hasn't this month been dreary? The newspaper said 6th lowest all-time snow fall in December here. That plus the many cloudy days made us happy to have the Christmas lights each night. Love the cookies!

  14. The cashews and black-eyed peas are great.
    Wishing you a Happy and Blessed New Year. xo Catherine

  15. I have my peas all ready to load in the morning... as we rarely ever see midnight anymore. The Little Men and Co. have hit the road to Roanoke... It is SOOO quiet in here. =( Bonnie, just want to wish you and Andrew a belated Merry Christmas (Happy Anniversary, Happy Birthday to you) and all the very best 2015 has to offer in the coming year!! blessings ~ tanna
    ps the beautiful old building is the Children's Museum in Lynchburg... You would love to see it. ;)

  16. Wishing you, The Baker and Oliver
    a very Happy New Year!

    M : )

  17. I'm cooking black-eyed peas today as usual but I think I'll swap out and prepare your version. All the best for the New Year.


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