Not Without Salt » Snack “Where would we be without salt?” - James Beard Thu, 21 May 2015 10:00:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sweet & Spicy Peanuts Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:07:18 +0000 Read more »]]> IMG_6619

I’m always late to the holiday game on the blog. While others have been posting pumpkin recipes since August and give you recipes for a dozen ways with turkey I’m still putting the finishing touches on the menu for our actual Thanksgiving. Yes, like tomorrow.

I can now say that this Turkey Roulade is happening again. Along with the Pumpkin and White Bean Gratin (you can find the recipe here) and the Winter White Salad from my book (don’t forget about the pre-order bonus). The salad is a fresh mix of raw apple, leeks, fennel, and celeriac and then is topped with pomegranate, olive oil and lemon juice. It is the sort of thing needed when the rest of the table is covered with cream and cheese (not that I have a problem with that).

Sweet & Spicy Peanuts // Not Without Salt Sweet & Spicy Peanuts // Not Without Salt Sweet & Spicy Peanuts // Not Without Salt

Luckily, however, there is still time for these peanuts because every big meal needs a little something to start it off. These little somethings are addictingly sweet and with enough spice that it fills your mouth with a soft warmth that builds over time. The heat comes from Tabasco so there is a subtle vinegar bite as well. Fresh thyme reinforces their savory side just until the warmth of freshly grated nutmeg urges them back to the sweet side.

While I may not be here in time to tell you all about impossibly smooth mashed potatoes, or gush about my cranberry relish, I do think I’m just in time for these peanuts to grace your holiday table. Or maybe I’m in time for next year. Oh well, Happy Thanksgiving!

Sweet & Spicy Peanuts // Not Without Salt

*This post was sponsored by TABASCO but these peanuts are all mine.

Sweet & Spicy Peanuts

Makes 2 cups

4 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 tablespoons tabasco

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

2 cups raw peanuts


Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper then set aside.

Combine the butter, sugar, tabasco, thyme, salt, and nutmeg in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil stirring well. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes or until the mixture is slightly thickened.

Turn off the heat and stir in the peanuts until evenly coated.

Pour the peanuts on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes (watch closely), until fragrant and golden. Let cool on the tray.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

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Creme Fraiche Doughnuts + Vermont Creamery Giveaway Sun, 16 Nov 2014 19:26:00 +0000 Read more »]]> Creme Fraiche Doughnuts // Not Without Salt

Before we can begin to talk about doughnuts I have to tell you all something: It’s 1/2 cup flour.

For many of you that makes absolutely no sense, for those who preordered the book and attempted to make the Gougeres, I am so sorry.

Yes, I forgot to include the flour amount in a recipe for the Holi-date PDF. This is why the book has a fabulous editor (hi, Kristen!). There’s a new, updated PDF. I’ll be sending the link out to those who have already signed up very shortly. If you haven’t preordered and have no idea what I’m talking about, check out this post. If you do preorder and download the PDF you’ll indeed have the amount of flour needed to make all the recipes! How novel.

Again, sorry about the mistake. But a real, hearty bear-hug thanks to all of you who have preordered. You put me at #3 in the Seasonal Cookbooks on Amazon for a brief moment and that moment made me sob on my computer. There’s still time to preorder! Remember, five bonus recipes (with photos!) if you do!!

Last time we talked about the book I told you about my nightmares of beige on beige. Guess what guys, no more nightmares! I have the book in my hands and it’s the stuff of dreams. Want to have a quick peak?

I’m going to assume you all said a resounding, YES!

Date Night In // Not Without Salt Date Night In // Not Without Salt Date Night In // Not Without Salt Date Night In // Not Without Salt Date Night In // Not Without Salt

I’m real happy with it. Like giddy, it hasn’t left my side, “is this real?!”, happy.

I’m also happy with doughnuts (I could host the Today show with a segue like that).

Vermont Creamery gave me the task of using crème fraîche in a recipe. This was a simple task for me since crème fraîche is a very regular member of my fridge family.

It wasn’t shortly after I got the assignment that my mind went to doughnuts because, well, my mind often goes to doughnuts (remember these?).

Creme Fraiche Doughnuts // Not Without Salt Creme Fraiche Doughnuts // Not Without Salt

The recipe was adapted from one I found on I went into this particular recipe expecting more of a cake doughnut but what came from the fryer was very much an old fashioned; craggy top, deep crevices, crisp dark golden exterior with a tender and sweet interior. To that I add a browned butter glaze that is sweet, nutty and a touch salty.

Have you browned butter before? If you’ve been here long you probably have because I’m a big fan (see also the brownies in my book). You melt the butter in a pan until the milk solids separate and caramelize on the bottom of the pan. The butter is sufficiently browned when you get a waft of a deep nuttiness and when you gently swirl the butter you can see the color change of the milk solids. If you simply used melted butter in this glaze the magic would be lost.

Creme Fraiche Doughnuts // Not Without Salt Creme Fraiche Doughnuts // Not Without Salt

To celebrate crème fraîche, Vermont Creamery is hosting a pretty fabulous giveaway. Check out their site to find out more, enter and click around on some of the other recipes from fellow bloggers, like this Kobocha, sage and crème fraîche pappardelle from Two Red Bowls.

*This post was sponsored by Vermont Creamery but the recipe, photos, and love of crème fraîche are all mine.


Crème Fraîche Doughnuts with Salted Browned Butter Glaze

adapted from


3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled briefly

1 cup/ 8 ounces crème fraîche


4 ounces/1 stick butter

3 cups powdered sugar

pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4-5 tablespoons warm milk

flake salt

For the doughnuts: Whisk the first 5 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in large bowl until very thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla. Gradually beat in butter; beat in crème fraîche in 2 additions. Gently fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions (dough will be slightly sticky). Cover; set aside 1 hour.

Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour. Press out the dough on lightly floured surface to 2/3-inch thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Arrange on floured sheets. Repeat with remaining dough in 2 more batches. Gather all dough scraps. Press out dough; cut out more dough rounds until all dough is used.

Using 1-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes.

Set wire racks over two baking sheets. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 1/2 inches. Heat oil to 365°F to 370°F. Fry doughnut holes in 2 batches until deep brown, turning once, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to wire racks. Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to wire racks.

For the glaze: Add the butter to a small skillet set over medium heat. Bring the butter to a boil, watching it very closely. Swirl the skillet carefully, if you see golden bits at the bottom of the pan you are done browning the butter. It will smell nutty too. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Add the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract to a medium bowl. Slowly pour in the browned butter while whisking. Add enough milk to make a pourable glaze.

Spoon the glaze over the doughnuts while they are still just warm. Finish with flake salt.

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Chile Lime Shrimp with Roasted Poblano Cream Wed, 04 Sep 2013 21:28:41 +0000 Read more »]]> Chile Lime Shrimp with Roasted Poblano Cream // Not Without Salt

Chile Lime Shrimp with Roasted Poblano Cream // Not Without Salt

I want to tell you all about this recipe. I would like to sit down with you and urge you to get some shrimp marinating immediately because the sooner you do the quicker you’ll be to putting one of these tangy, slightly spicy shrimp into your mouth. I would also encourage heavy dipping into the smoky and rich sauce. But I’m running out of time so I’ll just have to trust the images will be enticing enough.

As it is I’m late to pick up my boy from his first day of all day school, lunch is still sitting on the table from three hours ago, dishes are in the sink (that’s nothing new) and the other two kids have been watching a movie for the last hour while I try and tackle my growing to do list. So, as I said, I wish I had more time to urge you to make this recipe. You’ll just have to trust me and get on it.

Chile Lime Shrimp with Roasted Poblano Cream // Not Without Salt

As a contributor for S.Pellegrino’s Practice the Art of Fine Food program I created this recipe and post along with many others that can be found on their Facebook page here.

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Pumpkin Graham Bread Sun, 04 Nov 2012 23:48:31 +0000 Read more »]]>

It seems we’ve begun a new tradition in our family. That is, if you consider two weeks of loaf cakes on Sunday a tradition. I certainly do and it’s one that I don’t intend to quit.

It’s these loaves that mix up in minutes, spend an hour in the oven (giving the right amount of time to sit with my coffee then cook up a few eggs to add more substance to our Sunday breakfast) and taste more complex than their recipe asks, that have us deeming it a new tradition.

There’s another, far more selfish reason for the Sunday loaf: It’s Monday when the cake is best and in a moment of settled quiet I enjoy another slice. With an overnight rest the flavor both richens and mellows and the texture settles into itself. With most cakes I’ve found this to be true. The second day cake is tender and springy. In this particular loaf the spices weave their way into the loaf and boost the pumpkin flavor while the texture relaxes and easily submits.

My Sunday slice is shared around the table with little fingers grabbing for crumbs and eager for seconds. Monday’s slice is savored slowly as the crisp sugary edges are eaten first, followed by the soft, spicy interior. Each bite is enjoyed in between pages of my book and sips of coffee. The kids have had their breakfast and are entertained with legos, coloring or Curious George while I sit on the couch with my pumpkin bread.

Around the table on Sunday I love the fluttering murmur of excitement around the still-warm loaf. I love the anticipation that builds when traditions are firmly established. But I also love having a bit of incentive to get out of bed early on a Monday morning and to start the week with a lovely loaf cake made the day before. Either way this tradition is destined to linger awhile.



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Pumpkin Graham Bread

Makes 1 loaf
This recipe pulls inspiration from a couple sources. From Grandma’s recipe box I decided to marry pumpkin with Graham flour as there are multiple versions of Graham bread scattered throughout. But since I was fresh out of “sour milk” I went with Elise’s recipe for pumpkin bread as the foundation.
Graham flour is essentially whole wheat flour with more texture. The parts of the wheat kernel are ground separately then joined together at the end of the milling process.
In order to ensure Sunday’s loaf leaves enough for Monday you may want to double this recipe to produce two loaves. You’ve been warned.

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup Graham flour (whole wheat flour could be substituted)
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch white pepper (optional)
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup olive oil (or other neutral oil)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup water
¼ cup seeds/nuts (I used sliced almonds and sunflower seeds but you could use anything really)

Preheat your oven to 350*F and butter a loaf pan.
In a bowl combine the flours, salt, brown sugar, baking soda and spices with a whisk.
In another bowl mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, honey and water. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir to combine.
Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and top with seeds, nuts and a sprinkling of turbinado sugar (regular sugar is fine). Bake about 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Turn out of the pan and let cool on a wire rack.

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Tomato Toast with Parmesan Tue, 04 Sep 2012 03:27:02 +0000 Read more »]]>


Like the last dregs of sweet ice cream dripping down the sides of a freshly pressed waffle cone we are lapping up every last bit of Summer. It’s true that nearly an entire month remains of the season but this week school starts and with the oldest darting off to Kindergarten this year, it suddenly feels like Fall is near. While I have no problem with the Fall, in fact it is my favorite season for eating, cooking and reliving childhood giddiness around holidays, Summer still remains and there is much more eating to do. Like those last few lingering tastes off the cone, these remaining days are often the sweetest.

There are birthday cakes to be made, parties to plan and pointy, poof topped hats to don. There are toes to be dipped in and cooled by the sea, sand to be rinsed off said toes, and bbq’s to be lit. There are more meals to be eaten outdoors and a few more strawberries to pluck from our few still-producing plants.

There are tomatoes.

These are the tomato days. When the curtain of summer just starts to draw. When the days are for sleeveless tops and the evenings require light sweaters. Tomatoes have graciously been working all season to provide us with a fruit so sweet, very little needs to be done in order to prepare them for dinner. Considering all the other activities that surround these tomato days this is indeed a gift.

In an evening when we lingered out in the sun well into the dinner hour I searched for something to make and quick (can you tell I’m not much of a planner?). I reached for a few slices of thick-cut bread, brushed them with olive oil and placed on the grill pan. While the bread was getting branded with deep, smokey grill marks I grated (yes, grated – as you would cheese) a large tomato right into a bowl.

When the bread was sufficiently crisped on the outside with a bit of tenderness still remaining I rubbed the rough outer crumb with a garlic clove, topped with a couple spoonfuls of the fresh, grated tomato and finished of with a few curls of Parmesan. Dinner was prepared, served and devoured with still enough time to linger in the last few drips of the sun.

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Tomato Toast with Parmesan

serves 2-4
4 slices thick cut bread

2 Tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove

1 medium tomato


Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Place on a hot grill pan (or an outdoor grill). Grill until dark char marks sear the bread while the inside still remains a bit soft. This should take about 3 minutes per side.

While the bread is still warm rub a garlic clove over the surface of both sides of the bread. Set aside.

Using the largest side on a box grater, grate the tomato into a bowl.

Spoon a hefty amount of the tomato onto each slice of the bread. The bread will soak up some of the juice - this is exactly what you want.

Finish with a few shavings of Parmesan. You can use a vegetable peeler to get long, beautiful strands of Parmesan.

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