A while back I was given a thank you gift that included a container of Herbed-Roasted Valencia almonds. They were incredible, and I badly needed more. When I searched online for the brand, I had sticker shock at the cost. So I decided to make my own. Costco sells Marcona almonds which is a Spanish variety and looks very similar, so I chose to give it a go. It turned out great. I found a remedy for mosquito and other bug bites that I have to share. Also words from a reader that made me smile.
Herbed & Roasted Marcona Almonds
This is an incredibly simple recipe, and as long as you store in an airtight container, you can keep for a bit. I have no idea how long they last because mine does not last but a few days before they are gone. I served last Thursday when a few friends came over for a pizza party, and the almonds were a huge hit.
Many herbs, both fresh and dried can be used. I use Herbs de Provence because the blend is so flavorful. The brand I use is a blend of basil, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, savory and lavender. You may find oregano in your blend. And you may not find lavender as some do not like the floral note. Gary and I love lavender, so ours always includes it.
8 oz. Marcona Almonds
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
2 teaspoons Herb de Provence, dried
Sea Salt, course
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the middle slot.
Place the almonds in a mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil then toss to coat. Make sure that all of the almonds have a consistent but thin coating. If needed, add a few drops more. Add one teaspoon dried herbs and toss. Add the second teaspoon of dried herbs and toss.
Place a layer of parchment paper on a sheet pan and around the almonds in a single layer.
Roast for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and gently toss/flip almonds. Put back in the oven for another 4-5 minutes. The nuts will burn so keep an eye out and do not overcook. Almonds should be a slightly darker color than when you started.
Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Toss and pour into a serving bowl until you are ready to serve. They are best if slightly warm to room temperature.
In addition to Costco, Nuts.com sells them but for about $5.00 more for a pound.
Download Recipe Here: Herbed Roasted Almonds
Bug Bites Really Bug Me!
Twelve years ago, I was working on an assignment for Charleston Magazine for the Spring 2006 issue. It was a photo essay focusing on close-up images of flowers of the Lowcountry. I shot every season for close to a year to collect the images. It was a fantastic experience that ended up being a 16-page essay and the cover, so I was quite pleased with the outcome. But I had a mishap while shooting that still affects me to this day.
I was always on the lookout for flowers growing anywhere, and my camera was always at the ready. I had only been living here for about a year when I started the project, so I had a lot to learn. Allow me to cut to the chase. One afternoon, as I was driving, I saw a beautiful bed of Crimson Clover on the side of the road. I spun around and parked and got some great images but my legs were starting to burn, and I had no idea why.
A Bugly Invasion
I was kneeling in a huge fire ant mount that was camouflaged by weeds. When I stood, both of my legs from my knees to my ankles (yes, I was wearing shorts) were solid black with thousands of ants biting my legs. Good thing I was not allergic as I could have died, but I also did not know what I should do in a situation like this, so I did nothing. No doctor, nothing. Just agony for days and cortisone cream to calm the itch.
The result of that attack is I am now hypersensitive to any bug bite, and one mosquito or one “no-see-um” can drive my skin crazy. I have bug spray in my car at all times as well as cortisone cream, but sometimes that is not enough, or not fast enough.
How did I NOT Know this
Then I learned that a very hot wet compress for a few seconds directly on the bite would calm the itch. I was skeptical until I tried it. Man, it works really well and faster than any other topical treatment. But be careful not to burn yourself. I would not use on kids as the water has to be around 120 to 130 degrees.
Take a very damp cloth and put in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Place on the bite for just 2-3 seconds. Be careful not to burn your skin.
The outdoors is my friend again, and my skin is no longer raw with scratch marks from the clawing of my skin.
A Reader Reached Out
This afternoon I read a comment on a post on my Facebook feed. A reader took my advice when ordering wine with dinner and said that he would likely repeat the process thanks to my suggestion. Bravo! I love it.
That is all for now.