With his sister Hero (star of the snack cake episode), Poet is the other half of my dynamic local lemonade stand duo that serves up some of the most reliably delicious street treats you will find. Poet is largely responsible for ringing the “lemonade gong” which announces when their stand is open for business. Luckily, he agreed to stop ringing it one recent weekend morning after I invited him and his sister to share their recipes on video, which worked out really well for all of us!
Poet says the secret to crafting really good rice krispie treats is to make sure you get your marshmallows nice and completely melty, but to be careful not to burn them. I also learned that if you coat your spatula in a little bit of vegetable oil, it makes all the difference when you’re pressing the finished gooey puffed rice ball into your greased pan. No sticking bits! But I have to say that eating these fresh out of the pan reminded me how wonderfully simple a great dessert treat can be.
Poet’s Rice Krispie treats:
Rice Krispie Treats Recipe:
3 Tbs. butter
4 Cups mini marshmallows (or 1 package of regular marshmallows)
6 Cups Rice Krispies
buttered 9×13 pan
Who can resist a tantalizing bowl of spicy nuts? Barring any severe nut allergies, I’d wager the answer is that nobody can resist spicy nuts! Especially these magical nuts spiced by my men’s group friend, Alex. Alex has been doing all kinds of nut spicing over the years, and I think he’s come up with a winning recipe. It’s simple, not too fussy, and goes great with a little bit of bourbon or other evening beverage. My wife Kendra can’t get enough of these nuts.
The secret to this recipe, I think, is to get your nuts nice and toasted in the oven before anything else. When your house starts to smell like nuts, you know you’re on the right track. Don’t burn them though! That would be the wrong track. Once the nuts emerge from the oven, Alex tosses them in a pan with spices and bourbon mixed with sugar and vanilla which helps give the whole mixture a delicious sweet & spicy combo. You’re going to love Alex’s nuts!
Here’s Alex showing how it’s done:
Spicy Nuts Recipe:
1.5 Cups raw pecans
2 Tbs. Macadamia nut oil. (or peanut or vegetable will do in a pinch)
Splash of sesame oil
1/4 Cup Bourbon
2 Tbs Sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
One thing about serving nuts is that you really need the right dish. Kendra and I got this monkey nut dish as a gift once, and we just love the way the monkeys lord over the nuts in the bowl below.
A lovely nut dish, with monkeys.
You can also use the bowl for fruit if you’d like, but really, it’s about spicy nuts!
One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is to head to the swap meet in the parking lot of my local High School. Under the watchful stare of the Foothill Falcon, people sell all sorts of wares and treasures displayed in cases, boxes, and plastic tarps. While browsing a box of rare Betty Crocker cookbooks, I was offered a delicious cookie by the stand’s proprietor, Jon. We got to talking and it turns out Jon is quite the baker! So, I purchased that box of cookbooks for my shop, and then arranged with Jon to share the secrets of his lacy oatmeal cookie recipe.
And these really are delicious. Flat, crispy, rich with butter and oats — they’re perfect for snacking or even indulging as part of an outstanding ice creamed sandwich! Jon is a big fan of his Kitchenaid Mixer, but you can do this by hand with a spoon if you want. Just don’t forget to use the proper “drop” technique!
Here’s Jon’s cookie wizardry in action:
The Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Recipe:
1 Cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 Cup brown sugar
1 Cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 Cups rolled oats
1.5 Cups dark and white chocolate chips
1 Cup Rasins & crazins
For many, many years I was not a big coffee drinker. I instead enjoyed an afternoon PG Tips tea with a spot of milk and honey with the occasional thin biscuit on the side. Then I met our real estate agent Mara. During our open house tours, Mara got me completely hooked on her delicious cold brewed coffee which was rich and smooth and unlike any coffee I had yet encountered. I’ve since completely reworked my approach to an afternoon beverage and I’m now one of the coldest brewers out there!
I think what gives Mara’s coffee a little something special is the addition of a few raw cocoa nibs to the brew. It gives the whole beverage a luscious texture that is at least three degrees beyond the usual levels of delicious. Another tip is that you want to do your brew in a glass container, and use freshly ground coffee for the snappiest results. I really like this drink served over a few ice cubes with a splash of cream. It’s just like drinking coffee ice cream!
Here’s how simple it is to make:
Cold Brewed Coffee Ingredients:
4 Cups filtered water
1.5 Cups coarsely ground coffee
2 Tbs. raw cocoa nibs
(Optional: Star anise, cinnamon stick, nutmeg)
If you need to get yourself a good brewing vessel to fit all these ingredients, these nice big Bormioli Canning Jars are pretty great. You can also use them to make iced tea, which is also pretty darned refreshing!