Sunday, April 14, 2013

National Pecan Day

Today is National Pecan Day! As a Georgian, I sure do love my pecans. (Almost as much as peaches.) You cannot find any cheap pecans up here, but when we go down to Georgia it's like they grow on trees. (Oh wait, they do.) We always bring home huge bags of them freshly picked from one of my relatives' pecan trees. Then we freeze them so we can have yummy (and economical) pecans all year long. Here are some yummy recipes to celebrate yummy pecans on National Pecan Day.
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Butter Pecan Smoothie
1 frozen banana
2 tbsp pecan butter
1 c. milk
½ c. vanilla yogurt
1/4 tsp butter extract (optional)
Break up the frozen banana, toss everything into the blender, and blend until creamy.
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Chocolate Pecan Bites
makes 10 (I ate one before taking the picture.)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup milk
1 tbsp chia seeds
½ cup pecans
¼ tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350. Toast the pecans for 5 minutes, making sure not to burn them. Meanwhile, blend the chia seeds. Mix the chia seeds with the milk. Set aside. When the pecans are done, blend them until there are no chunks. Mix the pecans with the cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add this mixture to the chia seeds and milk. Stir well, and scoop one tbsp at a time into a mini muffin pan. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Let them cool and store in the fridge before eating.

This salad is my mom's very favorite. (It's definitely because I gave her the recipe.) Isn't it beautiful? I'm not a huge fan of it, but everyone else who tries it loves it. I just eat the pecans off of it. (Spinach isn't my thing unless it's in a smoothie.)
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Cranberry and Pecan Spinach  Salad
For the salad:
1 package baby spinach
3/4 cup toasted pecans
2 apples
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Core and cube the apple. Toss all the ingredients together and top with the following dressing.

For the dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl with a lid. Use immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator until needed. After it has sat for a while, you will need to stir it up again because the oil will separate out. 
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Here is yet another graduation card. Trust me, you will be seeing a lot of these in the coming days. I have 45 kids in my class who will be graduating this year plus friends from outside of school. This graduation card was kind of interesting to make because I used a new technique. I used a nice piece of colorful, but elegant, patterned paper and framed it with a darker piece. Then I used a circle cutter to make a black circle. Then I matched the edges to my card and cut off the excess parts of the circle to create the look that the circle is coming out of the bottom of the card. Finally, I added some stickers to finish it off. What do you think?

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