Homemade for the Holidays

When it comes to home cooking, I can't think of a better time of year. The holiday season brings with it family food traditions, classic recipes and the tastes and smells of those dishes that you look forward to. Cooking during these months almost seems to be therapeutic for me.

While there are many holiday dinners that are planned around this time of year, I also love to do a lot of impromptu cooking and baking. The most-successful way for me to do this is to keep my pantry well-stocked with ingredients that I know I'll reach for time and time again — whether the recipes are sweet or savory.

The one ingredient that I'm reaching for constantly these days is Diamond Nuts. I'm particularly smitten with walnuts right now, with their rich nutty flavor. Whether I'm incorporating them into baked breads or cakes, or tossing them with sauteed or roasted vegetables, the added crunch and flavor along with the nutrition are too good to pass up. We've been making my Pecan Crumble Cake for a last-minute family dessert and Walnut Banana Bread Pudding for special weekend breakfasts. When it comes to savory dishes, I'm addicted to making my Walnut Pesto right now. I'll make a big batch, then freeze the extras in ice cube trays for single servings of pesto that can be used for a last-minute weeknight meal or for a simple spread on crostini when hosting a party.

The added tasty flavor and texture that nuts bring your homemade cooking is unmatched. They're a pantry staple that makes a big difference in my recipes and is without a doubt made for homemade™!

--Kelsey Nixon

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