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today’s occasion

November 24 2009 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Uncategorized » 40 comments


Today has been full of surprises.   I got home from work today (at 4:00! working from home tomorrow! five days away from the office! but, hey, who’s counting?!) and found a big cardboard box, criss-crossed with packing tape, waiting just inside the front door of our building.   My eyebrows, I’m sure, betrayed my confusion—first arching, then furrowing.  The return address revealed its sender (my grandparents), but that only stumped me more.  It’s my birthday on Friday, but my grandparents sent a gift a couple weeks ago (ever prepared).  After huffing-and-puffing my way up the four flights of stairs mulling over the box’s contents, I finally made it into our apartment, sliced through the tape and found big bags of my grandma’s caramel corn and my grandpa’s party mix (homemade Chex mix), both of which are holiday harbingers if ever my family had any.  My grandparents, it seems, figured that if I wouldn’t be joining them in Minnesota this Thursday, they’d send a little bit of our traditional Thanksgiving to me here in Chicago.


The package promptly delivered a spring to my step and had me practically sprinting into the kitchen to do the Thanksgiving baking and cooking I had on the agenda for the evening.  Elbow deep in flour, the oven throbbing with heat and a couple flames dancing on the range, I began cracking eggs for the chocolate pudding that will fill our Thanksgiving chocolate cream pie.  Two egg yolks in, I reached for a third egg, gave it a quick rap on the countertop and split it in half.  Inside the shell were two perfect yellow orbs: twin yolks!  I breathlessly showed the treasure(s) to Kevin, tweeted about the incident and then got back to the pie at hand.


But the real surprise of the day came earlier this afternoon at work when a funny thought leapt into my head.   I had been updating my calendar and something about the date led me to pause.  Didn’t I start blogging around this time of year?  Sure enough, I checked the archives, and two years ago to the day, this site was born.  Two!  Years! 


The realization stunned me and thrilled me and I felt I couldn’t let it pass without note here on the site itself.  The problem was that the only photos I had in the pipeline were the photos for these cashews.  Now, I love these cashews.  Love.  But when’s the last time you celebrated a milestone with, ah, nuts?  Even jacketed, as these cashews are, in savory-sweet-spiciness, cocktail nuts seem to fall a little short of the mark for such an occasion.


But, the more I think about it, these cashews are perfect.  They’re one of the few recipes that I safely counted as a stand-by before I launched this site.  Before I started writing with regularity; before I learned that I can do almost anything in that kitchen of mine (all it takes, it turns out, is a willingness to fail); before I fell in love with the things that I see through the lens of my camera; before my mild distrust for the Internet began to thaw; before I started to try any food, any restaurant, any recipe at least once; before I met most of you, a bunch that is inspirational and encouraging and funny—a bunch that I feel awfully lucky to call my friends.  It seems like another life, really: pre-blog.  But, when I think hard enough, I can remember it and, I assure you, these nuts were there even back then.


And they’re still here, post-blog (or during-blog?).   For years, I have relied on this recipe for nearly every party, turned to it for absolutely every holiday, and, often, let it serve as a small gift, poured into a glassine bag and tied with twine.  In other words, these cashews are generally around for the celebrations in my life (as they will be this Thursday, for our Thanksgiving).  So I suppose they’re just the thing for today’s occasion.  Happy birthday, blog.  And thank you, from the depths of me, to all of you for reading.

Rosemary Roasted Cashews
Adapted very slightly from Ina Garten

1 1/4 pounds cashew nuts
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the nuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until they are warmed through. Meanwhile, combine the rosemary, pepper, sugar, salt and butter in a large bowl. Toss the warm nuts with the rosemary mixture until the nuts are completely coated. Serve warm.  (If you make the nuts ahead of time, you can simply rewarm them briefly in a hot oven.)

40 comments so far. »
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  1. Ali says on November 24 2009 at 7:59 pm:

    Just like the lunches you used to make me, and the laps around school you used to accompany me on, you have always been there, and now the Kitchen Sink no matter the distance, always makes me feel that much closer to you! I’m one extremely proud (demanding at times) reader. XO

  2. GS says on November 24 2009 at 8:05 pm:

    Congratulations! Two years an still going strong. Thanks for all the great recipes; I can hardly wait to experiment with more of your excellent concoctions! BTW, I strongly suspect these cashews will be on my Xmas cooking list.

  3. Whitney says on November 24 2009 at 8:53 pm:

    A Happy 2 Years, a Happy Thanksgiving, a Happy Birthday, and a Happy 5 days away from the loop.

    So much to be Thankful for. I hope everything goes well with your Thanksgiving :)

  4. Tracey says on November 24 2009 at 9:12 pm:

    Congratulations on 2 years of blogging! I hope you’ll keep up the good work. I love stopping by your blog and seeing what you’re up to.

    Happy early Thanksgiving and Birthday! Good luck with the dinner – I’m sure it’ll go well.

  5. Half Assed Kitchen says on November 24 2009 at 10:33 pm:

    You’re so ambitious. I admire that.

  6. Caitlin says on November 25 2009 at 5:53 am:

    Happy 2 years, Happy Thanksgiving, and happy 5 days away from work! And Happy Birthday as well – wow, talk about a lot of good things coming all at once!

  7. Antonietta says on November 25 2009 at 7:42 am:

    Happy 2nd Birthday! And, Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Kevin says on November 25 2009 at 7:45 am:

    Great post! Thanks for cooking all this amazing food over the past 2 years. Can’t wait to eat tomorrow!

  9. Amy says on November 25 2009 at 8:17 am:

    Congrats on 2 years, Kristin! Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow and a very happy birthday Friday, too — so many things to celebrate this week! (The cashews look and sound delicious!!)

  10. Shannalee says on November 25 2009 at 8:18 am:

    I love that all these surprises are coming at such a wonderful, thankful time of year. Happy blog birthday, real birthday, Thanksgiving, work vacation and beautiful November. Glad to be reading.

  11. Phoo-D says on November 25 2009 at 8:21 am:

    Congratulations on two wonderful years! I love reading your posts and hope you continue for many years to come.

  12. Kelly says on November 25 2009 at 8:38 am:

    Kristin -
    Your grandparents sound like such gems. Maybe one day you can share the caramel corn recipe with us. Your blog is my favorite of all I read.

    Happy Thanksgiving! May Thursday bring you happiness and even a few unexpected but happy surprises for your birthday.

  13. radish says on November 25 2009 at 8:54 am:

    Happy 2 yr anniversary!! And happy Thanksgiving!

  14. Becky says on November 25 2009 at 8:59 am:

    Growing up, as a little girl, my maternal gramps, Joe, would take me for a few weeks every month in the summer. I would go from my home on the farm in Northern MN to Fridley in North Minneapolis. Every morning my grams would leave for work and then gramps and I would have eggs over easy and toast. It was during this time in my youth that he would tell me how special those double yolk eggs were. We were lucky to share many double yolk eggs from those farm fresh eggs together. Many year later, my gramps is no longer here, but when my young hens start laying in the fall there will be some double yolked eggs and I know in those moments he’s still with me. I now share those special eggs with my daughter in our tiny farm kitchen in NE Minnesota. Your post today reminded me of my gramps, of double yolk eggs together. For that I’m thankful. Happy Thanksgiving.

  15. Lizzy P. says on November 25 2009 at 9:38 am:

    Happy happy 2 year birthday! Just wanted to let you know that you’ve helped a lazy college student become more confident in my kitchen endeavors!

    I’m now in charge of mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving this year. Any suggestions for an interesting take on the traditional side dish? I couldn’t find them in your T-Giving menu.

    Thanks for all that you do!

  16. Brynn says on November 25 2009 at 9:39 am:

    Happy Birthdays! I must also say that these cashews are such an amazing go-to. You introduced them to me many years ago, and they have also become standards for my own holidays – as snacks as well as gifts. The recipe is always a crowd-pleaser. I’m sure your crowd will be thrilled with the feast you put together tomorrow. Can’t wait to hear about the remaining details.

  17. Jessica says on November 25 2009 at 10:36 am:

    What a fun week for you! Congratulations on 2 years of blogging…please keep it up. I love your blog. Have a fabulous birthday, and enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner with family tomorrow.

  18. Dawn in CA says on November 25 2009 at 11:25 am:

    Congratulations – 2 years! Time really flies when you’re having fun. Thanks for letting all of us glimpse into your kitchen, it’s as much (or more) fun for us as it is for you. Happy Thanksgiving!

  19. ingrid says on November 25 2009 at 12:23 pm:

    Happy Birthday The Kitchen Sink! Here’s hoping this next year is even yummier for you!

    Good luck with your Turkey day meal and hope it’s a blessed day!

  20. tara says on November 25 2009 at 12:40 pm:

    Happy anniversary! So happy to have you, and this site, around. Cannot wait to see what’s next.

    I adore that recipe from the Union Café; Nigella Lawson also did them on her Bites series years ago, and they’ve been a staple since. Her method is slightly different; you melt the butter with the spices in a warm pan, then toss the nuts into that mix, giving them another moment or two on the heat.

  21. Elizabeth says on November 25 2009 at 2:57 pm:

    Congratulations on two years! Your blog and cooking are wonderful, thank you for sharing all of your talents with us.

    These nuts look delicious, I’ll certainly be making them for my Thanksgiving appetizers.

  22. Polly Rice Sumner says on November 25 2009 at 4:19 pm:

    Happy BIrthdays! I love that your blogging experience has led you into adventurous territory in the kitchen (and beyond, I suspect). We your followers are thankful not only for your culinary expertise but your personal anecdotes as well. Go ahead, have a bit of champagne!

  23. Stephanie says on November 25 2009 at 11:28 pm:

    I just discovered your site tonight and had to ask, what kind of camera do you use for all your gorgeous pictures? I love them! I love the site too, I’m sure I will be a regular reader. Thanks!

  24. Emily says on November 26 2009 at 7:20 am:

    Congrats! I’ve enjoyed following every post, and I look forward for many more to come. Have an amazing holiday and birthday!

  25. tracieMoo says on November 26 2009 at 8:01 am:

    Happy anniversary! I guess looking back at the recipe index you’ve posted would content you as you’ve definitely done a great job on it. I love following your recipes, including this. Cashew nuts are one of my favorite snacks. I would love to give this a try!

  26. BigGirlPhoebz says on November 26 2009 at 8:22 am:

    Happy Turkey Day!

    I will actually be roasted very similar nuts today–Spiced Pecans to go on top of these Green Beans with Cider Vinaigrette. Thanks for the idea, maybe next year I will use cashews!

  27. Barbara says on November 27 2009 at 8:17 am:

    Happy Two Year Birthday!

    Love this recipe of Ina’s. I haven’t made it yet and must admit while I have done almonds- I never thought of using cashews!
    Your photos are making me hungry!

  28. Culinary Cory says on November 27 2009 at 10:23 am:

    I love this recipe. It’s such a simple appetizer that makes such a huge impact.

  29. diane says on November 28 2009 at 8:25 am:

    Congratulations on the anniversary, such a landmark event and I know how much it means to you. As in all you do I’m so proud of you and can’t wait to continue to share. Love,MOM

  30. Camilla says on November 28 2009 at 10:24 am:

    i actually make this with almonds instead of cashews! they’re really incredible.

  31. Appetite for Conversation says on November 29 2009 at 2:54 pm:

    You make these nuts look fabulous! Can’t wait to try them…

    And Happy (belated) Blog Birthday! As a new blogger, it’s so fun for me to hear about your landmark and how much it means to you. Wishing you many more years of cooking fun, beautiful photos, and endless inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Andrea [bella eats] says on November 30 2009 at 7:01 am:

    Happy Two Years, Kristin! I love you blog so much, it was one of the first to pull me towards the food blog world and away from the food diary world, and has become a staple when I am looking for the perfect recipe.

    I hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving!

  33. nicole says on November 30 2009 at 11:30 am:

    Happy blog-birthday! I am glad you are here. And, I’m dying to make these … I think they’ll make a perfect holiday gift! Hope your Thanksgiving was lovely -

  34. Mari says on December 01 2009 at 8:22 am:

    I made these as part of the trio of nibbles that I served with bourbon cocktails for my Thanksgiving dinner last weekend, and they were VERY popular! I even shared your recipe with one of the guests. Thanks for sharing and happy blog-a-versary!

  35. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on December 04 2009 at 4:48 am:

    Wow, everyone. Thanks for all the kinds words. See, this is what I’m talking about — I’m so glad I’ve met all of you. xo.

  36. Katie says on December 19 2009 at 11:28 pm:

    I made these today and what a perfect mix of seasonings. They are going to go fast tomorrow at my family Christmas party, everyone at home continued “just trying a few more” all day long. Thank you!

  37. bella terra: 2009 « bella eats says on December 31 2009 at 6:42 pm:

    [...] from the kitchen sink recipes [...]

  38. Little House. Big Heart. says on June 13 2012 at 8:49 am:

    [...] (via) [...]

  39. Shelly says on August 20 2012 at 10:59 am:

    These look great to have on hand for drop-in guests. How long do you think they will keep in the refrigerator? Can they be kept in the freezer or is that just wrong?

  40. Rosemary Roasted Cashews | says on November 23 2013 at 9:22 am:

    [...] (slightly) from Rosemary Roasted Cashews by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink, who adapted (very slightly) from Ina [...]

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