Candied Walnuts & tips of hosting a successful party

Today is the start of making the appetizers for the New Years Party.

I had to figure what had to be served fresh and what the shelf life is for everything. Being that the party is in 3 days, I really have to plan this perfectly. And the worst part is, I can’t find some of the ingredients which means substituting. I went to two stores for the coconut milk and gave up at the second store only to be reminded that I could probably find it in the Asian area. Where has all the coconut milk gone is my question. The meat raviolis are nonexistent at this point.

I have literally planned how much people may eat. Can’t have too much or too little food. It either makes or breaks a successful party.

Originally I was like I can do this but that was back when the head count was potentially 9. My friend might be bringing a couple that has a potential to become a friend. I’m fine with that. Finding other couples are hard enough as is. Especially when you try to make a group of them. It can also be disastrous. And we have been discussing this idea since July.

Its ballooned up to potentially 15 thanks to Bryan inviting his sister who has to have the whole family there. And of course the nephews want to bring their girlfriend. Which, don’t get me wrong, I understand. His sister was talking about bringing people but I’ve already decided I’m not procuring food for them. I’m going to sound snobbish but they aren’t exactly the people I would want at my house ever. And on top of that, why would you bring up inviting people to a party you’re not throwing. Yes, I’ve met them but I don’t like them. They leave a gritty taste in my mouth. And of course, they have to bring their 12 year old. I’m not happy about this because, well, this is an adult party. Its full of alcohol. But at the same time, it would be mean to invite his older brothers and not him. Then she says, “as long as there is junk food, he will be fine.”

Um, no. There will be no junk food. Why? Because its an ADULT PARTY!!! We are having modernly elegant food because its New Years and its a great way to start a new year right. Why would the first piece of food in my mouth for 2014 be horrendous junk food? Besides, I don’t even eat junk food. I eat pear applesauce, granola bars dipped in almond butter, fruit, and sweet potato chips as snacks. Why would I have junk food in my house?!?!! I’m bloody diabetic and not the good kind!

So now I’m incredibly stressed over this gathering. The only time I get a little OCD is when I’m planning parties. Everything must be perfect or as perfect as possible. Not to mention I have standards. Its the Brit in me.

Today might be a little easy. I’m making the candied walnuts. I’m going to see how much a 4 cup bag makes and go from there.

And I’m making the coquito. Everyone gets a shot of it when they walk into the house. There’s traditions in this household.

candied walnuts

Candied Walnuts

4 cups walnuts, halves
3/4 cup brown sugar


On a lined baking sheet, toast walnuts for about 5 minutes at 350. Do not over toast.

In a thick bottomed pot, melt the brown sugar over medium heat.

When the sugar becomes the color of dark amber, add the walnuts and coat them in the sugar using a wooden spoon.

Dump the pot onto the lined baking sheet and using forks break apart the walnuts.

Let cool and eat.

makes 14. They are 1/2 cup servings. Calories: 253, Carbohydrates: 12 grams, Sugar: Fiber: 2 grams, Protein: 5 grams.

I had a lot of problems with this recipe.

First I had to figure out – white or brown sugar. When it came down to it, which one had less carbs and sugar. Brown sugar. Then brown sugar it is.

The first time I made these, the directions were to put everything in a pot and mix it over medium heat. When the sugar melts pour it into a lined baking sheet and separate with two forks. Um, yeah. That is soo not the way to do it. I ended up toasting the walnuts in the oven hoping the sugar would melt a little more.

The second time I decided to toast them first. Then melt the sugar as I had read on 15 other blogs, and then add the walnuts. Disaster adverted. For the most part.

Both versions taste yummy, but I’m not sure brown sugar is the way to go on the candied front. Next time I’ll try white sugar.

Also, these are based on 1/2 cup as a serving. If you eat half of a half a cup (which you won’t, these are highly addicting. I think I ate 1/4 cup while making them) then half everything nutritional wise. Or you can lie to yourself, claim you are 1/4 of a cup and claim they are 127 calories, 6 grams of carbs and 4 grams of sugar. Technically one serving is 2 tablespoons, but I highly doubt anyone in their right mind could just eat 2 tablespoons. So, I decided to head down the reality train instead.

I think 1/2 cup is enough for the guests at the party.

That and I thought walnuts are supposed to be like amazeballs for you. All I hear is walnut walnut walnut. And only 5 measely grams of protein in 1/2 a cup. The way people talk about them, one would think there would be 20 grams of protein or something in them. Oh right, the mega-o 3 thing. Gotcha.




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