Maple Spiced Nuts

Bring out the fingerless gloves and throw some pumpkin spice in the air, because autumn is here!

For those with their glass of apple cider half-empty, they see the days getting shorter, the plants dying, bipolar weather, dry skin, catching colds, and they complain about people who won’t shut up about fall, while they themselves won’t stop complaining about how much they hate it. That is a very sad life.

I like to see my glass half-full, so for all of those with the autumn blues, here are some reasons why fall is the best season of the year.

Fashion

  1. Jackets – Whether they are wool, denim, or leather, they keep you warm while looking chic. Enjoy them before you need to unpack those unflattering winter coats.
  2. Scarves – This is the best time of year to can match a scarf with an outfit. In summer or spring, it’s to hot, and in the winter, the coat covers everything.
  3. Booties – Just like the jackets, booties are trendy, sleek, and elegant. Unlike winter boots… (I’m not a huge fan of winter clothes, can’t you tell?)
  4. Uggs – Forgive me for sounding basic, but they are so soft and warm! For Canadians, fall may be the only time to relish them because they are ruined by snow
  5. Sweaters and sweatshirts – Getting dressed just got a lot easier. Plus they are comfy. And we wear them all the time anyway… Well, at least I do. Anyone else? Anyone? …Alright, onto the next topic!

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Back to School

Yes, I am listing back to school as one of the things to love about fall. Let’s face it: School is going to happen whether you like it or not. Spending the time crying for summer is not going to help. Imagine the board of directors saying, “Oh man, the students want more vacation. Welp, gotta cancel all the classes now.”

Instead focus on the positive, small pleasures of September:

  1. New notebooks – The feeling of opening a crisp, new notebook and writing on the first page… It’s a beautiful moment.
  2. Teachers are still trying to impress their students.
  3. Students are still trying to impress their teachers.
  4. In some classes, they will review in the beginning of the year, meaning you have a better chance of understanding what is going on.
  5. The get-to-know-you games – They are very awkward but enjoy the teacher’s initiative to waste class time.
  6. Your locker and desk are neat and organized. This will not last.
  7. Starting anew. This will be the year you get good grades, give in the homework on time, and study for tests in advance! Fall is the only time you can believe that will happen without putting in any effort to do them.

Weather

The air can be brisk, but decked out in scarves, boots, and sweaters, that should not bother you. Brace yourself, go outside, and breath. Even in the city, autumn has the crispest air from all the seasons. If there was a scented candle that smells like fall, I will buy a stash and light them all year. There’s something about the dry leaves, the damp weather, and apple season that is so rejuvenating. No wonder fall is the season of fresh starts. The air itself is enough to motivate someone to begin something amazing.

While you are outside, be sure to crunch through every stack of leaves by the curb. I don’t know why, but that sensation is joyous.

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Food

To me, fall has the best seasonal food trends. Here are some highlights:

  1. Apples
  2. Pumpkin
  3. Cinnamon
  4. Pears
  5. Squash
  6. Sweet potatoes

Only those glass half-empty complainers would say that autumn is the time of greasy starches. These ingredients have the potential for a happy medium of health, deliciousness, and versatility in autumn-themed dishes

You might see a lot of nuts becoming popular now, and I speculate this is because of their complementariness to the seasonal foods. I’ve been wanting make spiced nuts for a long time, but I couldn’t decide what to pair them with, baked apples, sprinkled over sweet potato pie, or glazed pumpkin.  Then came the epiphany: why not all?

These Maple Spiced Nuts are a tasty and addictive snack on their own, but try them over other dishes, from desserts to main courses. They are best served with a glass of apple cider, poured half-full.

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Maple Spiced Nuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 cups pecans
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 tbsp maple syrups
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Toss the nuts with the maple syrup until well coated.
  3. Add the spices and mix well.
  4. Spread the nuts evenly onto a greased baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until slightly toasted and the nuts are not sticky to touch.

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