It has felt like home to me since the first time I saw this house and now it is starting to look like it too. It's been a lot of work with a lot more to come...a new deck to be built in a few short weeks and a new fence in the Spring, not to mention the painting but we're getting there.
A few weekends ago, my cousins Marjory and Tom came over for the afternoon for the official tour and nibbles and drinks. I didn't feel like making anything too fussy - instead something we could graze on while we chatted in the living room. Had we had the deck built, it would have been a whole different story!
I was up and out early the day before their visit and heading down to Scheffler's Deli at the St. Lawrence Market. As you know, it's a favourite haunt of mine - Ody, the owner, has helped me on quite a few occasions to choose the perfect cheese and meats to pair together. It is a bit of a trek since our recent move, but it is always worth getting up early for. So with his suggestions and a few bottles of nice wine, I put together this beautiful cheese board.
5 Spice Pecans
4 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp brown sugar
4 tsp water
1 1/2 tsp five-spice powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups pecan halves
1/4 tsp salt
Heat oven to 350°.
In a medium saucepan, warm the vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar, water, and five-spice powder, ground cumin and freshly ground black pepper. Stir until the sugar dissolves and mixture bubbles. Add the pecan halves and stir until the pecans are cooked and evenly coated, about 3 minutes.
Spread evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with salt. Bake until fragrant and crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely. Once cooled, break apart.