The Union Square Cafe’s Bar Nuts

My Mom always hosts Thanksgiving so I bring some pickies to have before dinner.  This year, among others,  I made these nuts that I found in Nigella Lawson’s book Nigella Bites.   They are so good! They’re warm and crunchy and a bit spicy and a bit sweet and a touch salty. And they’re addictive! We loved them.


The Union Square Cafe’s Bar Nuts


  • 2-2&1/4 cups mixed nuts-unsalted
  • 1/2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp fleur de sel
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Place nuts onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Watch them carefully. Nuts go from golden and perfect to burned in a flash.
  3. In a large bowl combine the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Add the nuts to the butter and spice mixture and stir to evenly coat.
  5. Serve warm.

Slightly adapted from the cookbook recipe.


Salsa & Sour Cream Chicken-slow cooker

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything for quite a few weeks.  It’s been crazy crazy crazy since the weekend before Thanksgiving. We spent the first 2 weeks of December on vacation in Mexico (and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly) but the weeks before Thanksgiving turned into a ludacris crunch of putting up our Christmas tree, decorating the house, finishing all holiday cards, finishing shopping, getting ready for vacation etc.. By the time we arrived in Mexico I was really ready for a margarita.

But now that Christmas has come and gone it’s time to get back to normality.

After returning from Mexico we hoped to extend the fun and vacation feeling (even if it was just in our mouths) so I pulled out a recipe that I had pinned earlier in the year. Taco Chicken!! And it was delicious! The chicken was moist and just fell apart. The taste is very nice-it has a touch of heat but isn’t spicy and is just really flavorful. I added a bit of hot sauce to my tacos as I prefer them a bit spicier but even plain they were just delicious.


Salsa & Sour Cream Chicken-slow cooker


  • 1 & 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 16 oz jar mild salsa (I used Fairway’s brand)
  • 1 taco seasoning packet or homemade taco seasoning spice blend
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 cup fat free sour cream

  • 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • soft taco shells


  1. Pour 1/3 of the salsa into the bottom of the slow cooker then add the chicken. Pour the taco seasoning onto the chicken then top with the rest of the salsa (make sure it’s all over the chicken and seasoning).  Do not add the other ingredients at this time. They’re for later.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Shred the chicken and then add the rice, sour cream and black beans. Stir to combine then cook on low for 30 more minutes.
  4. Serve in warmed tortillas with grated cheese.

Adapted from