Cheers To The New Year

Father time is waiting in the wings to remind us that a new year is on the way. With that in mind, I’m here to say “Cheers To The New Year“. As we count down the hours until the arrival of 2014, I though I would pour two flutes of champagne to celebrate the approaching new year. Of course, a little nibble to go along with the bubbly is always nice and I thought some spicy roasted mixed nuts would be appropriate for the occasion.

Cheers To The New Year
Cheers To The New Year

Whether you are having a sophisticated black tie affair with passed canapés, jammed into Time Square to watch the ball drop or are staying home to watch fireworks where you live, one thing that is hard to resist is a handful of nuts to nibble during the celebrations.

Spicy Roasted Mixed Nuts
Spicy Roasted Mixed Nuts

Spiced Roasted Mixed Nuts

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees

  • 2 1/2 lb. fancy mixed nuts (about 8 cups, mine were salted)
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 8 tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. cumin

Combine the brown sugar and spices together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust the spices   to your liking. (If the nuts you bought were unsalted, add about 1 tsp. salt.) In a large bowl whip the egg white and water until frothy. Add the nuts and toss until they are completely covered. Sprinkle in the sugar and spice mixture and mix until well coated. Spread out on two Silpat or parchment lined baking sheets in a thin layer and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, stir once, until nuts are golden…watching so they don’t burn.


As this year comes to a close, I want to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to all the readers who have visited my blog this year. Whether you are a regular or have just stopped by occasionally, I have appreciated your kind words about my recipes, my travels along the back roads of Europe and New England and our homes and gardens. I look forward to the new year and I hope you will continue to follow along. Let’s celebrate the passing of 2013 and welcome 2014 with eager anticipation. I hope that all your dreams will turn into realities in the coming year so let’s say “Cheers To The New Year”.

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

272 thoughts on “Cheers To The New Year

  1. What a terrific idea! My dad and I were going over the New Year’s post meal snacks and nuts are on the menu! Will send him this and see if he gets as inspired as I am!
    And of course, Happy New Year to you. I wish you happy travels and safe journeys….

    1. Hi Natalia, spiced nuts are always nice to put out whether for a celebration or just to enjoy while watching TV. Thank you for your wish, I looking forward to the New Year and am already planning our first trip. Happy New Year.

  2. Merry Christmas! Those are some extremely tasty looking nuts. I had no idea egg white was the magic ingredient for glossy nuts. Love the dash of cayenne for a touch of bite. Yum! Definitely pinning this to try later.

    1. Hi Saskia, We had a very nice Christmas…thank you. Egg whites are the best way to keep with spices and sugar on the nuts and does make them glossy. I hope you will enjoy the recipe. Happy New Year.

  3. I love these nuts. My recipe’s spice mix is just a bit different but I can’t leave them alone. I think New Year’s Eve would be the perfect time to try your recipe. No calories on New Year’s Eve I’ve been told. 🙂

    Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Maureen, I’m glad you like the nuts…the spices are a little different. Of course we never count calories on New Year’s eve, it would take all the fun out of it. After all, we all resolve to loose a little weight after the first of the year. 🙂 Happy New Year.

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment, Kay. I’m happy that you enjoyed my posts this year. I’m already planning our first adventure for 2014 and hope you will like where we are going. Happy New Year.

    1. Thank you Norma, for your kind words. I’m happy to know that you have enjoyed my posts and are looking forward to those coming up in the New Year. You know there will be more traveling involved. 🙂 Happy New Year.

  4. Oh yum, spiced nuts – my favorite. I must try your recipe. I’ve never used cinnamon or ginger and they both sound like a welcome addition. Cheers and Happy New Year to you too Karen. I have enjoyed your travels and fabulous tips and I look forward to more in the coming year.

    1. Hi Sam, I like the flavors that the cinnamon and ginger add to the nuts…especially at this time of the year. I’m happy that you have enjoyed my posts this year. I’m already planning a new trip…heading down your way to get out of the snow for a week or so in a couple of months. I hope you and Meakin have a Happy New Year.

  5. I love spiced nuts! As a matter of fact of loved nuts coated in pretty much any spice blend, sweet or savory. They just say party to me. These look wonderful. I hope you have had a wonderful holiday season and 2014 brings you wonderful things.

    1. Hi Monique, I do enjoy my Father Time…I got him for the Millennium New Year as it was such an important celebration that year. Thank you for your wish, I hope you have a wonderful New Year as well.

  6. And a happy New Year to you to Karen! Those nuts look great but I really love your Father Time. New Year’s Eve has been a very quiet one for me for years since my husband is a controller for a large company in the area & has to be there at midnight at closing to shut the books. Some years he makes it home before midnight, sometimes not but it’s sort of a cozy night for me with a fire & a good book. Cheers!

    1. Thank you Diane, for your compliment and wish. Our New Year’s eve is always quiet too. Never knowing what the weather will be like, we enjoy staying home and cook a nice dinner…always better than what we can get at the restaurants in our area. 🙂 I hope you and your family have a great 2014.

      1. I agree completely – my days of elbowing through crowds of people are long gone. And next year, if all goes according to plan, my husband will be retied & we’ll spend New Year’s eve together for the first time in over a decade. Now, that will be memorable.

  7. Happy New Year to you both, Karen! The nuts look perfect, and not too sweet – the perfect pairing with champagne! I am looking forward to seeing life through your back roads travels this year.

    1. Thank you David, for your nice wish and compliment. You are right, these nuts are not too sweet and do go nicely with champagne. I’m happy that we met in the blogworld and that you have enjoyed the back roads that I travel. Happy New Year.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Richard. I’m happy that you enjoyed the photo and recipe. I do like my Father Time…I got him for the Millennium New Year’s celebrations. I hope you have a great New Year.

    1. Thank you Anna, I’m glad you like the spiced nuts. They would make a perfect hostess gift, a little “thank you” gift or for any occasion, actually. Happy New Year.

  8. And wishing you a wonderous New Year filled with delights and fantastic discoveries. You friend Tin Man has been stricken with the H1N1 Flu and for a week now has been lying in bed oiling his squeaking joints. I shall rise up on the eve of the New Year for a toast of bubbly…….not to worry.

    1. Hi Tin Man, I’m so sorry to learn that you have the flu, that is terrible. I wish I could send you some nourishing soup to make you feel better. Absolutely, get those joints oiled and have a little bubbly. Champagne may not cure you but it will lift your spirits for a little while. Here is to a healthy and happy New Year, my good friend. 🙂

    1. Thank you Nazneen, for your nice wish and lovely compliment. I’m glad that you like the spiced nuts…they are really good. Wishing you a healthy and Happy New Year.

    1. Hi Boleyn, I’m happy to know that you like the spicy nuts, they do go very well with champagne. Here is a toast to your friendship…I hope you have a wonderful New Year.

  9. Cheers to you 2 … I wish you a fantastic ending followed by a gentle beginning. Thank you so much for this beautiful and great idea …. Karen, a hearty thanks for your friendship during 2013!!!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Viveka. I have appreciated your friendship and compliments over the year. Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year. 🙂

    1. Hi Mary Ann, A girl after my own heart. I used to live in Texas and we had lots of pecan trees on our property. They are my favorite nut and I put lots of them in this recipe. Their grooves hold all the spices really well…I hope you will enjoy the recipe. Happy New Year.

    1. Hi Darryl, I’m glad you like the looks of the spiced nuts…thank you. I’ve never seen smoked salted pecans here but they must be incredibly good.

  10. I love spicy roast nuts! I make a similar recipe, and love them. I should try yours sometime. I hope you have a wonderful New Year!

    1. Thank you for your wish, John. Spiced nuts are so easy to make…the nicest thing is you can use your favorite spices to suit your own tastes.

  11. I’ve loved being able to see the lovely places you’ve visited this year, especially Bavaria. The spices you’ve chosen for the roasted nuts.sound like a tasty mix, I’ll have to try those.. I send my very best wishes to you and your family for the new year 2014. and look forward to sharing your next travels.

  12. Thank you for your good wishes, Karen, and the same to you! Your recipe for spiced nuts looks like just the perfect thing to go with champagne and an evening before the fire (yep, that’s us!). Thank you for the recipe! 🙂


    1. Hi Jane, I’m glad to know that you like the recipe…the nuts do go very well with champagne. Hope you are feeling better soon…wishing you a healthy and happy New Year. 🙂

    1. Ciao Trina, I’m happy that you like the recipe. I’ll try and get that button up on my blog. Wishing you and your family all the best for the New Year.

  13. Cheers to you and your family for a happy and prosperous new year! Mixed nuts and bubbly…I’ll be right over! Should I park on the left or right side of the drive?

    1. Hi David, You are welcome anytime. The driveway is all plowed so you can park anywhere you want. I’ll pop the cork on another bottle of bubbly.

    1. Cheers to you too Cathy. I’m happy to know that you have enjoyed following along on the back roads with me. No partying, just a quite evening at home with my sweet husband, a little champagne and some good food. 🙂

    1. Thank you Lizzy, for your kind words…I welcome your visits and have enjoyed your friendship over the last year. Hopefully I’ll some recipes that will tempt you in the new year. 🙂

    1. Hi Seana, I’m glad you enjoyed the nut recipe with Father Time looking on. I have had him since the Millennium New Year celebration. I appreciate you sweet comment and wish. Happy New Year to you.

    1. Hi Jovina, I hope you will enjoy the nuts…they are nice little nibble with a glass of wine or champagne when having a gathering of friends. Everyone seems to enjoy them.

  14. Well, Down Under we are less than 11 hours away from writing down 2014 . . . may it be a good one for you and me and all those on the page – may each of us reach for what we need or want and hopefully achieve that. Thanks you for all the wonderful posts thru’ which I have learned much more than how to cook certain dishes fabulously well 🙂 ! Oh, love your nuts – have never gone to quite so much ‘trouble’ – methinks well worth it 🙂 ! Happy New Year, Karen!!

    1. Hi Linda, Yes, the year has passed so quickly with the new one arriving in a few hours. All the best to you and Phil. You are right…the nuts would go well with Phil’s martini. 🙂

  15. Cheers to you and a very Happy New Year ahead! I love spiced nuts to go with drinks and to have around for a party. And it is definitely party time!

    1. Hi Allison, I know what you mean…this year seems to have flown by. Guests seem to always enjoy munching on nuts even when you have more substantial offerings. Happy New Year.

  16. Will definitely raise my chamomile tea to your bubbly and clink in the New Year! And will definitely be trying these spiced nuts. Can’t get enough of them, in differing ways, at this time of year. Wish you, and yours, well for ’14!

    1. Hi Johnny, I’m glad you like the spiced nuts…they are such a nice little snack. Your chamomile tea will ensure a good night’s sleep and a fresh start for the New Year. Wishing you all the best in the new year.

  17. Hi Karen
    Hope you had a lovely Christmas. Thanks for visiting My Kitchen Stories in 2013. It was great to meet you. I hope you have a delightful new year nibbling on these tasty nuts. Best for 2014 Tania

  18. Those nuts look delicious Karen! I keep telling myself that I’ll make spiced nuts for Christmas but I’ve only done them once so far, a couple of years ago. Hm, maybe I should make some for new year’s tonight instead. Snack central! Hope that you have a brilliant celebration and a blessed start to the new year! xx

    1. Thank you Maria, for your nice wish and comment. I’ve appreciated your visits…I’m glad that you have enjoyed our travels and the recipes.

    1. Hi Becki, You are right, I heard about the health benefits of nuts as well. I like the little bit of spiciness and it can be adjusted to your own taste. Happy New Year.

  19. Happy New Year Karen. I am so happy to have found your blog this year. We are with friends in the Florida Panhandle for the New Year’s Celebration this year. I love exploring new places and Destin, Florida has a lot to offer. Your spiced nuts look divine.

    1. Hi Jeannee, First let me say that I like your resolution, I’ve missed your posts. 🙂 You are right about the spice mix, not too spicy or sweet but easily adapted to anyone’s taste.

    1. Hi Renee, I’m glad you like my Father Time…I’ve had him quite awhile. Thank you for your wish, I’m looking forward to more adventures this year.

  20. We honestly have still been debating whether to go out this evening (slim pickings on our little island but still a few) or stay in. The more blogs I read this morning the more I’m leaning towards staying in and enjoying easy yummy nibbles like these nuts and champagne.
    I look forward to many wonderful recipes and travel posts from you in 2014! Happy New Year Karen… x wendy

    1. Hi Wendy, I can certainly understand…there are very few restaurants where we live that serve a special meal tonight. We know if we stay at home that we will eat and drink well. With weather in the single digits, home seems like the best place to be. 🙂 Thank you for your kind words, I always appreciate your visits and you nice comments. Happy New Year.

    1. Hi Angela, I’m glad that you like the nuts…I think they are a nice mix of sugar and spices. Thank you for your compliment and wish.

  21. Wonderfully spicy mix you have there. I do hope the personalities you meet this new year are equal to the exceptional variety this mix reveals. Have a great New Year and God bless you.

    1. Thank you Kerryman, for stopping by for a visit and liking my blog enough to follow. I appreciate your eloquent wish and look forward to your return. 🙂

    1. Thank you Susan, for your nice compliment. The nuts are indeed good and so easy to prepare. I appreciate your nice wish and hope this year will be a good one for you as well.

    1. Hi Liz, You are right…the nuts are easy to make and a nice little nibble. The cashews are my husband’s favorite and I’m partial to the pecans. 🙂

  22. I love your Father TIme centerpiece, Karen. He’s gorgeous! I am really delighted to have a good spiced nuts recipe. This is a recipe that would be enjoyed throughout the year. We have had so many guests throughout the holidays that I feel like I’ve indulged entirely too much and need to put a quick halt on the appetite! But it will return–probably too soon. LOL! Our NYE was very quiet. We went to the movies and that was it–I’m surprised we rallied to leave the house! And now the new year begins, and I send you a warm California wish for a happy and joy-filled new year. I love the first day of the new year. It always feels hopeful to me. Let’s see where it takes us. 🙂

    1. Hi Debra, I’m glad you like my Father Time, I got him for the Millennium New Year’s celebration. I think you would like the nuts. Stored in an airtight container, they will keep quite a long time. We could use some of your warm weather…tomorrow’s high is supposed to be 13 and we are going to get about a foot of snow. Thank you for your nice wish. 🙂

    1. Hi Lisa, It appears that there are a lot of us that have decided that the nicest way to ring in the New Year is at home. Wishing you all the best in this new year.

  23. Brilliant idea, Karen! Some snacks, good champagne or/and other wines… and there is no need for a “regular” dinner 😉 Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you Sissi, I’m glad you like the nut recipe. New Year’s eve was exactly that…a duck pate, triple cream cheese, nuts, crackers and a glass of champagne. Wishing you all the best this year.

  24. Happy New Year, Karen to you and all your family. I love the look of your spiced nuts and yes, they would go very well with a beautiful flute of champagne xx

  25. Thank you for your warm and wonderful posts, Karen. I have enjoyed your blog immensely and I am grateful you stopped over at my blog to introduce me to yours. Thank you for always sharing a little bit about yourself and your life along with your recipes and photos. Warmest wishes to you and yours for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! xo

    1. Thank you Stacy, for your kind words…I really do appreciate your lovely compliment. I hope this will be a wonderful year for you as well.

  26. Oh no Karen! That recipe looks really good – too good! I can see me eating tons of those nuts! 🙂 So lovely, I can’t wait to try it! Happy New Year to you and your husband. I’ve really enjoyed your blog and look forward to reading more. Best wishes, Dana

    1. Hi Dana, I’m glad you like the recipe…they really are good and keep well in an airtight container. Thank you for your lovely compliment and wish.

    1. Hi Amy, I’m glad you agree with me about this easy recipe. The nuts do make a nice gift as everyone does seem to love them. Thank you for your nice wish.

    1. Thank you Sandra, for your nice compliment and wish. I’m happy to know that you enjoy my blog and are looking forward to this year’s posts.

    1. Thank you Bobbie, for your wish and compliment. I’m glad you like my Father Time…I think he is nice. I’m sure the nuts would be very popular in your home, especially with your boys. 🙂

    1. Hi Lidia, I’m glad you like my Father Time, I’ve had him since the Millennium New Year’s celebration. The nuts are a nice mix of spice and sweet. I’m happy you like them, thank you.

  27. Hi Karen, Welcoming in the new year with a glass of bubbles is obligatory! I love that these snacks would equally suit a canape affair, a night out with pals or a night in with loved ones. A very happy New Year to you and your loved ones. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and enjoy my recipes and for your delightful thoughts & comments!

    1. Hi Alli, I agree with you about a glass of bubbly to celebrate the New Year. Yes, these nuts are very versatile…my husband is having some while watching football right now. I’ve always enjoyed the creativity on your blog. 🙂

    1. Hi TW, Spiced nuts are easy to make and everyone loves them. They make a perfect gift, not only for the holidays but as a “thank you” or hostess gift. Thank you for your wish, all the best to you as well.

    1. Thank you MJ, we have had a quiet but very nice start to the new year. I’m happy you like the spiced nuts…I think they are real good.

  28. Happy New Year Karen! Whenever I put out a bowl of freshly roasted and seasoned nuts they’re gone. If I put out the average store purchased variety, people pass them by. I’ll be saving this recipe for next year. Scratch that – this will go great for the Super Bowl!

    1. Thank you Kristi, for your wish and compliment. I totally agree with you, everyone loves roasted nuts. They will be great for the Super Bowl, my husband is actually enjoying some now while watching the playoff games. 🙂

    1. Hi Laura, I’m happy to know that you like the roasted nut recipe…they do have a nice blend of spices and sweetness. Thank you for your compliment and wish.

    1. Thank you for your wish, Velva. I’m happy to know you are looking forward to following along on my travels. I’m already in the planning stages of a trip to Florida. Getting out of the cold and snow will be a welcomed change next month. 🙂

  29. Happy New Year Karen!!! Thank you for taking us on all if your adventures. Here’s to a fabulous year ahead. Your nuts look scrumptious. We recently finished our batch of spiced nuts. They are great for holiday snacking!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Kristy. I’m happy that you have enjoyed by adventures and are looking forward to new ones. How about a trip out of the cold to sunny Florida next month. 🙂

  30. Karen, Happy New Year to you and your family. I have so enjoyed all your posts about food and travels this past year. Time certainly does fly does it not? Thanks for stopping by my blog so often and leaving such nice comments. We all have to support each other in this blogging world don’t we. Looking forward to your life in 2014!

    1. Hi Teresa, Years seem to be flying by…I wish I could slow time down some. I’m happy that you have enjoyed my posts and are looking forward to my adventures this year, thank you.

  31. Happy New Year Karen, in case I didn’t say it before!
    Love the look of the nuts – I didn’t think of making something like this before… great idea!

    1. Thank you for your wish, Charles. The spiced nuts are nice to put out when having a celebration. I’m sure you had so much delicious food during the holidays, perhaps you can make these next year when your family is visiting. 🙂

      1. Aah, “if” they visit… not sure they’ll be able to come every Christmas alas as they have other family members back in England who would like to see them I’m sure at Xmas, but perhaps in the summer!

      2. Actually Charles, they would probably love to come back to visit during the summer. That way you will be able to show them more of the new country you are now calling home. 🙂

    1. Thank you Nancy, for your lovely wish. I’m already working on a trip to sunny Florida to escape the cold and snow next month. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a couple of chefs to share some of their good recipes. 🙂

  32. Happy New Year Karen! I have never tasted spiced nuts with such lovely ingredients. May you be blessed with a wonderful 2014! With your lovely smile and passion, beautiful recipes and gorgeous pictures, I will certainly continue to follow along if you don’t mind 🙂 warmest, danny

    1. Thank you Danny, for your kind words…they are very much appreciated. I’m very happy that you will be following along this year. I think you would enjoy the nuts, I hope you get a chance to prepare them.

    1. Hi Marie, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice wish for the new year. I’m happy that you like the recipe for the nuts…they are as good as they look. I’m hoping that my husband and can return to Bruges in the near future, it is a wonderful city. 🙂

    1. Thank you Asmita, for your nice compliment…I think you would enjoy the nuts. I appreciate your nice wish, I hope you will have a great year as well.

  33. Just wanted to pop by to let you know i made these nuts last night for my family and it was a huge hit. A little spicy, sweet, salty…it had it all going on. Take Care, BAM

  34. Happy New Year!! Pretty picture – perfect for the occasion. Bubbly is always welcome in our house! Seems to create a party out of an everyday occasion around here. Why wait for a holiday, right? LOL!

    1. Hi Susan, Thank you for your wish and compliment. I totally agree about champagne turning an ordinary day into a special occasion. 🙂

  35. Happy 2014 to you, Karen! Wishing you a delicious, healthy, joyful new year. We inhale spiced nuts and yours look just wonderful. Your photos are stunning, too!

  36. I’ve obviously very late to comment here, but I hope your new year is starting off great, Karen! I love a good spiced nut mix 🙂

    1. Hi Amy, You are never too late as far as I am concerned. I appreciate your nice wish and that you took the time to read so many of my posts. Thank you very much.

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