Sweet and Smoky Mixed Holiday Nuts

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Welcome to the other side of the tunnel that is Thanksgiving weekend. 

Holy moly. I feel like I have developed eating as a hobby. Between my birthday (which was on Thanksgiving!) and actual Thanksgiving it has been one big eating celebration after the other. My whole body feels like a buttered roll. Really fluffy and full of fat. What a sight. Needless to say, I'll be drinking lots of green, murky things this week trying to get myself together. I really hope I'm not the only one feeling this way...

Besides eating way too many slices of apple pie, the whole weekend was wonderful. Very cozy and full of family time. We headed off to my parent's house for Thanksgiving with some immediate family and I spent the next few days hanging out with my dad and some other relatives that I hadn't seen in a while. My dad has been in construction since as long as I can remember and he helped me make some awesome new photo backgrounds. The base of the board is some thin drywall and on top are different topping textures. Way back when my Dad took a fancy faux finish class and I knew he would be the right person for the job.

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We made about six boards (one featured in this post!) and chatted about the new era of edgy Taylor Swift. It was a relaxing day to the least. On Saturday I deep cleaned the house and worked a little bit more on the kitchen makeover! But the icing on the weekend cake was pulling out all of the Christmas decor! I have most of it up now we are just missing the Christmas tree! The whole house smells like a vanilla butterscotch candle and there is twinkle lights everywhere. I am a happy camper. The house never feels this cozy, except around Christmas time. 

I have fallen into the Christmas mood pretty early this year and knew this would be a perfect segway into holiday recipes! 

The first holiday recipe of the season are these sweet and smoky mixed holiday nuts! Last week we had a super short Colorado getaway and stayed with our friends Katie & Ryan at Ryan's parents house. Ryan's mom is an incredible cook and was feeding us gourmet snacks left and right. I wasn't leaving her house until she gave me this mixed nut recipe! These sweet and smoky mixed holiday nuts are great for snacking around the house, sophisticated enough for parties and make like the most perfect homemade holiday gift. If you like to gift cookies and fudge for the holidays be sure to include these sweet and smoky nuts!

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I used a blend of different raw nuts from the bulk section at whole foods but you could totally break out a mixed unsalted tub from Costco (I won't tell anyone!). My favorite bite is the walnuts. Feel free to mix and match your favorites! I used a pretty well-rounded/crowd-pleasing blend. After the nuts, the main ingredients are simple spice medley and pure maple syrup. Be sure to use a nice maple syrup, not a cheapy alternative that you would use for frozen waffles (don't worry we have that kind in our pantry too). The cooking part is pretty easy but be sure to keep an eye on the nuts because they can burn very easily! 

Once they are finished be sure to transfer them over to some wax paper and break up any larger clusters. You can jar them up for holiday presents or keep them in the fridge to snack on during the week! They also make the best grab and go snack at your holiday cocktail parties. Enjoy!

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Sweet and Smoky Mixed Holiday Nuts

1 Cup of almonds
1 Cup of pecans
1 Cup of walnuts
1 Cup of cashews
1/3 Cup of pumpkin seeds
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/3 Cup of pure maple syrup
2 Teaspoons of crushed red pepper- more if you like it spicy!
1 1/2 Tablespoons of minced fresh rosemary
1 1/2 Teaspoons of smoked paprika
1 1/2 Teaspoon of Maldon sea salt (or kosher salt)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. In a large bowl toss all ingredients and spread a thin layer of nuts on baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing nuts every 5-10 minutes. Once golden brown, remove nuts and transfer onto parchment paper. Break up into larger clusters and cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. 

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