Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cooking with Blue Diamond: Blueberry and Salted Caramel Almonds (sponsored)

Earlier this month I got the opportunity to participate in another project with Blue Diamonds Tastemakers. I was sent two kinds of almonds for testing and review purposes-Blueberry and Salted Caramel. We decided to use them in our favorite granola recipe. They worked well in the granola and add a nice flavor and crunch to it. Here's the original recipe from Alton Brown with the changes we made on this batch noted.

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almond (we used 1 cup of chopped blueberry almonds)
1 cup cashews (we used 1 cup of chopped salted caramel almonds)
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins (we didn't use any)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.  In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color. Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.

We made parfaits with the granola, blueberries, nectarines, and vanilla yogurt. They were pretty tasty.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Blue Diamond Artisan Nut Thins Review and Pairings (Sponsored)

Recently I was given the opportunity to try a couple new varieties of Blue Diamond Nut Thins. This time from their new artisan nut thins line-one with flax seeds and a multi-seed one too. Even though I was sent two boxes of nut thins to test and review for free threw Blue Diamond Tastemakers-the following review is my own honest thoughts about the products.

As I mentioned previously these are a great cracker for people who can't tolerate wheat and/or gluten in their diet. They have a nice crispy texture to them and I enjoyed the addition of seeds. I like both the flax seed and multi seed crackers. They both have a nice overall flavor to them. And they pair well with a variety of cheeses, meats, dips, ect.

One dip that pairs well with the Artisan Nut Thins is this pan fried onion dip I found on The Brown-eyed Baker's blog. I did modify it a little because I didn't have all the ingredients on hand and don't like cayenne pepper. I think I will try it sometime as written and use garlic instead of cayenne. I also really liked these crackers with chocolate fondue and cookie butter.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Blue Diamond Nut Thins Review and Pairings (Sponsored)

Recently I got the opportunity to try Blue Diamonds Nut Thins since I am a Blue Diamond Taste Maker I was sent two boxes of Nut Thins for free for testing and review purposes. The following review is my own honest thoughts. I decided it would also be great to share a couple pairings.

I like the crispy texture of these crackers and the slightly nutty taste. They are made with nuts and rice and they are gluten free. So, they are great for anyone with a gluten allergy. I also like that they don't contain anything artificial. 16 crackers contain 130 calories. I would definitely recommend them. While they are tasty straight out of the box, they also tasty nice paired with a variety of other foods. I thought I would share two pairings with you- one sweet and one savory.

Nut Thins with Strawberries, Cream Cheese, and Honey

Nut Thins with Blue Cheese, Baby Arugula, and Balsamic Glaze