Snacks + Downton Abbey

The best takeaway from working at the farm this season (besides the amazing fruit and vegetables, obviously) is the friendships I’ve formed.  I’ve met some wonderfully interesting people who, aside from this common desire to eat locally and organically, may have never crossed my path.  The sharing of our stories have filled up countless hours of weighing and packing:

-an internet disc jockey

-a private school Spanish teacher who sports dreadlocks in the summer and is planning to make the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage next summer

-a rock climber

When I casually mentioned that I had been tossing about the idea of re-watching seasons 1 & 2 of “Downton Abbey” before season 3 starts in January, several of these lovely friends expressed interest in watching along.  One had seen only season 1, two friends hadn’t watched at all.

Oh!  This was going to be good, I thought…

We’ve been meeting on Tuesday evenings and, after an initial 20 minutes of chatting and drink pouring, we take our places on the sofa and partake of some good old British debauchery, wit, romance, and, of course, the Dowager Countess.

Snacks must be non-crunchy and never drippy.  Easy to balance on a cocktail plate and be eaten with dignity.

The date truffle recipe, although I have seen several recipes similar around the internet, belongs  entirely to Sprouted Kitchen.  I was so grateful to be able to use the remainder of the dates leftover from from this recipe.

The roasted chickpeas have a bit of a bite to them due to the cayenne pepper.  Make sure you don’t skip rubbing the skins off the chickpeas or they won’t crisp up in the oven.

I apologize for the quality of a few of the photos…they were taken with my phone.

date truffles with almonds

20 medjool dates, halved and pitted

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup creamy almond butter

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup almonds, toasted and chopped well

Put dates and vanilla in a food processor and pulse until a chunky paste.  Add almond butter and pulse a few more times.  Add cocoa powder, coconut, salt, and cinnamon and pulse again.  Mixture should be crumbly,but should stick together if pressed between thumb and finger.  If it seems too wet, add more coconut.  If too dry, add more almond butter or water one teaspoon at a time.

Roll a heaping Tablespoon of the mixture between your palms until you form a ball.  Do this with the rest of the mixture (should yield about 15-18).

Place toasted almonds on a plate and roll each ball in them, pressing down slightly to get them to stick.  Place truffles in the refrigerator at least an hour before serving.

spicy curry chickpeas

one 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place chickpeas on paper towels or a dish towel and gently rub each one to remove the outer skin.  This will take about 10-15 minutes, but as I said it’s necessary in order for them to crisp in the oven.

In a large bowl, stir together olive oil, curry, thyme, cayenne pepper, and ginger.  Add the chickpeas and fold gently to coat.  Spread chickpeas on rimmed cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake until light brown and crispy, about 45 minutes.  Turn them occasionally to cook evenly.

Remove from oven and sprinkle immediately with sea salt.



6 responses to “Snacks + Downton Abbey

  1. My other half loves TV and nibbles (although I do insist on Homeland if we have to watch Upstairs Downstairs)

  2. Wow, this looks amazing. I’m so sad I’m missing it 😦

    • Me too. This past week we had German themed goodies. Apple cake and some sort of hot mulled wine with an un-pronouncable name. You know…in honor of WWI starting in a few episodes.

  3. It’s called gluhwein.

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