On our trip to NYC a few years ago, one of the things I enjoyed the most was going to Central Park, stopping by a street vendor and walking through the park with a hand full of roasted almonds. Since then, I’ve attempted to find a home-made version for these sweet morsels of roasted goodness. Thanks to Pinterest, I found an easy roasted almond recipe that has revolutionized our lives. The best part about this treat is that they’re made in a crock pot which limits your oven use and slowly fills your home with the lovely aroma of cinnamon and brown sugar. I’ve tweaked the original recipe and found that this is what works for our crockpot and taste buds!
1 1/2 Cups of sugar
1 1/2 Cups of brown sugar
3 Tbsp. Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Salt
2 Egg whites
2 tsp. vanilla
5 Cups of raw almonds
1/4 Cup of water
Turn the crock pot on high (aside- my crackpot heats up very slowly but once it’s on high it stays really hot) Mix the white and brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and set aside. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy. After they’re frothy whisk in the vanilla. Add the almonds and completely coat them with the egg white. Then add the cinnamon mixture to the egg mixture and toss the almonds. (Cooking time varies depending on your crockpot and it’s cooking temperature) Add cooking spray to the pot and add the almonds. Cook with the lid on on high for 2 hours and stir them every 20-25 minutes. Turn the temperature to low, add the water and cook for another hour with the lid off. Continue to stir them every 20 minutes. Line a baking sheet or kitchen counter with parchment paper and spread the almond mixture to cool. Store them in a zip bag in the refrigerator. It took about an hour for the almonds to cool completely. Enjoy!!
During our winter family vacation, this florida family took a drive up to Lake Lure, NC and spent a few days bundled up in the mountains far away from the hustle and bustle of South FL. On one of our adventure filled days, we visited Chimney Rock State Park and since driving up the mountain is not adventurous enough for us, we decided to hike to the top! We took the Four Seasons Trail up the mountain and although the picture on the park website shows a little boy staring at a great big rock, it was quite the hike (not to mention 37 degree weather, windchill and a strapped on sleeping baby). No regrets! The view was well worth the climb!
I’ve never lost someone dear to me and I can’t imagine what that feels like. I guess it’s like losing a little piece of who you are without the strength or ability to put yourself back together.
Tonight, my heart grieves for the families who recently lost little souls. For the parents who lost a piece of who they were and who are mustering every bit of strength to try and piece themselves together.
My heart is heavy this evening thinking about the past week and about the recent events that have taken place close to home. They have shaken me up inside and have made me feel like something in me is missing.
And although my grieve wont bring anyone back, it instills in me a greater desire to embrace my baby girl, to love my husband deeply and to pray for my family near and far. It gives me a sense of gratitude for my parent’s courage, my husband’s humility and the ability my brothers have to strengthen others while being in need themselves.
We are blessed beyond belief. We have each other. No matter the distance or circumstance. We have each other.
Every year, around the fall season, we slow down a bit (or at least try to) and welcome the new season with the traditional pumpkin roll, apple cider, caramel apple and annual trip to the local pumpkin patch. We live in Florida and our fall season is just an extension of our summer. For the past few years, our adventurers at the patch revolved around picking out the biggest pumpkins and putting our carving skills to the test. This year however, we decided to enjoy an old tradition in a new way. Here is to “Falling in love with our little Pumpkin.”