This post was originally published here on January 12, 2015. I’ve since updated the photographs and text. I hope you try it out!
Hi Friends! I’m going to keep things short and sweet today (and a little spicy, too!). Because there needs to be as little as possible standing between you and this snack mix. It’s one of my favorite recipes to whip up for parties, game day gatherings, gift giving, etc. So I figured with Halloween on the horizon, today would be the perfect opportunity to re-visit this post and give it a little bit of a facelift. If you need a last minute recipe for tomorrow night, seriously consider giving this Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix with Beer a try. No tricks. Just treats. I promise.
The very first time I made this recipe I went all out and put in a full teaspoon of cayenne pepper. And hot damn, that was a painful mistake that I won’t ever be making again. I was literally sweating while eating that inaugural batch. And I think at one point, I even got momentarily light headed. So word of caution: go easy on the spice. A 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper will provide you with a nice amount of heat, while still being relatively comfortable. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can certainly try adding more. But just don’t say I didn’t warn you.
For beers, I’ve made this recipe with both Wicked Weed Dark Age and Lagunitas Brewing Company Brown Shugga’. I’m sure other beers would also be excellent. My suggestion is to stick with something with “warm” flavor tones.
A couple of other notes on the actual recipe that I think are worth mentioning. First, I always use unsalted nuts and salted pretzels (mostly because I can never find unsalted pretzels). If you only have salted nuts, you might want to cut down on the amount of extra salt added in the recipe. Second, the snack mix will look wet initially, but it will dry as it sits and cools. So don’t panic if it doesn’t look dry enough at first. And third, depending on the beer you use, some parts of the snack mix might get pretty dark. It’s OK! Just check on the snack mix closely as it’s baking to make sure nothing is actually burning.
I hope you all have a safe and fun Halloween! Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Food52
Pumpkin mania. It’s a thing. And it’s a thing that seems to start happening earlier and earlier every single year.
And while I don’t personally subscribe to the pumpkin mania that descends upon us during those last long hot weeks of Summer, I can certainly get down with some pumpkin recipes in a seasonally appropriate time frame. Like during the months of October and November. That’s is.
Sorry folks. But I draw the line at pumpkin-flavored bullshit in August. If you’ve been following along here for a while now, then this isn’t news to you. I make my pumpkin shaming well known.
BUT! Since it’s nearing the end of October, and today is the much anticipated annual Virtual Pumpkin Party, it seems like an appropriate time to share the recipe for this Easy Blender Pumpkin Chocolate Pudding. So let’s do this!
Today marks the third year of Sara’s #virtualpumpkinparty. Which if you’re not familiar with what that is, let me sum it up for you: it’s a day when a bunch of food bloggers flood the internet with new pumpkin recipes. That’s it. This year, there are over 80 food bloggers participating (you can find all the recipes linked HERE). So if you’re a pumpkin lover, today is like your Birthday X 1,000.
The first year Sara hosted her Virtual Pumpkin Party, I made this Pumpkin Beertail with Tequila and Spiced Rum. And last year, I cooked up this cozy Chicken and Pumpkin Chili. So this year, I figured it was about time I tried my hand at making a pumpkin-themed dessert.
This Easy Blender Pumpkin Chocolate Pudding is aptly named. Because it’s EASY. And because you make the whole damn thing in the blender. Just dump and whirl. No cooking. No stirring. No anything.
And dare I even say it’s healthy-ish. I only used dates for sweetness. I also made my own homemade pumpkin purée. And I found that using creamy, protein-packed Greek yogurt allowed me to omit the need for any and all eggs, milk, cornstarch, etc.
See! Healthy-ish! I told you so!
I used my friend Traci’s instructions for making homemade pumpkin purée. And let me tell you, it’s seriously life changing. Homemade pumpkin purée has a much fresher taste and a nicer consistency than the canned stuff. And it’s so freaking easy to do. Seriously. I’ll never need my can opener again.
Depending on your mood (and hunger level), you can make either two generous servings or four smaller servings. I used crushed gingersnap cookies as a topping, but any crunchy cookie would be delicious (graham crackers, amaretto cookies, chocolate wafers, etc.). I also kept with the Greek yogurt theme and just used a dollop of that for finishing these parfaits. But you could certainly whip up some heavy cream, if you prefer. A drizzle of caramel sauce might be nice, too. Just saying.