Cooking with friends hasn’t always been something I would have thought of as fun, but as I’m getting more familiar with the whole “cooking” thing, cooking with friends is probably one of my favorite activities. You can learn a lot about people when you get them into a kitchen! Large knives, wine, fresh ingredients, and a touch of nuts. No, the people aren’t the nuts, we’re talking about actual nuts. Wonderful Pistachios, of course!
Cooking with friends with Wonderful Pistachios
Cooking has never been a way I love to spend my time. It always seems like such a hassle. Growing up, it was never a fun activity. Mom was always between her two jobs, trying to throw something in the oven, and food wasn’t what she thought of something to savor and enjoy. It was something that we had to eat, so we could survive. The meals that were the best were on the weekends, because both parents had time to prepare meals. As for baking? Well, that didn’t happen all that often in our house, until I was a bit older and learned how to in high school.
Around the holidays, we learned how to make a couple of different kinds of cookies during one of our classes in Home Economics. It became my thing to bake these different cookies each holiday season, but of course, I lost interest after I left high school and the whole cooking in the kitchen thing was not something I kept up with. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I truly started to enjoy cooking. I had to do it for some kind of job related thing, and the kids got involved. We had fun, laughed and produced a meal we could actually eat. Slowly, since that afternoon, we’ve been doing a bit more cooking in the kitchen together.
Adding friends to the kitchen
However, I’ve never brought together friends to enjoy a night out of cooking. When provided the opportunity with Momtrends and Wonderful Pistachios to do it at My Cooking Party in New York City, I couldn’t say no! I’d get to cook with friends, in a killer kitchen, without having to clean up anything afterwards, and just eat amazing food sprinkled with one of my favorite nuts, Pistachios? Momtrends didn’t have to ask me twice. I was all in!
I learned our fearless leader, Nicole of Momtrends, loves to use her veggie peeler to peel everything from sweet potatoes, to pears. Looking around, I saw just how many people had no idea how to use a chef’s knife, and surprisingly, I could! I chopped an entire bowl of parsley without any blood being shed!
Anyway, I also learned one of my favorite people is an all-star baker, and I loved helping Brooklyn Active Mama with the most delicious Wonderful Pistachios Chocolate Brownie Cookies. Seriously, I wanted to eat all of them. Sharing them pained me. I considered telling everyone I licked my fingers while putting the batter onto the baking sheets, but I didn’t. Sharing is caring, right?
What can you make with Wonderful Pistachios
Besides the cookies, which honestly, I would have been happy with just those for dinner. Heck, breakfast and lunch, too. The combination of chocolate, and pistachios, was perfection. However, everyone else insisted we make all the different dishes incorporating Wonderful Pistachios into the recipes. I relented, and once the cooking started, realized it was going to be an amazing night of food, friends, and fun! Salad, sweet potatoes, turkey, and more! Every last dish had Wonderful Pistachios, and there wasn’t a bad dish in the bunch.
Heck, the sweet potatoes had GOAT CHEESE on them. My knees go weak for goat cheese, but now that I’ve had it with pistachios, too, this may become one dish I make for Thanksgiving next year! I’ll also be sure to make dozens of the chocolate brownie cookies. I’m not making any promises they’ll make it to the dessert table!
Have you ever thought of adding Wonderful Pistachios to your dishes? Not interested in creating your own amazing pistachio inspired meals, not to worry. I’m going to hook you all up right about now! I’m good like that.
Wonderful Pistachios recipes
Check out some of the recipes my friends, and I, cooked up! I bet you’ll find at least one you’d love to try out! I recommend, SHOCKINGLY, the Wonderful Pistachios Chocolate Brownie Cookies, along with the roasted sweet potato wedges, too. PS – the Wonderful Pistachio holiday palettes delicious, and fairly easy to make.
Wonderful Pistachios, Peach and Barley Salad
A fresh summer salad with the crunch of Wonderful Pistachios and delicious peaches.
Prep: 15 minutes / Time to Table: 1 hour a 5 minutes / Serves: 4
⅔ cup pearled barley
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 cups trimmed green beans
¼ cup pistachio oil, or olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 cups baby arugula
2 ripe peaches, sliced ¼-inch thick
⅓ cup crumbled ricotta salata
⅓ cup shelled Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted, roughly chopped
1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in barley, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook about 45 minutes, until barley is tender and water is absorbed. Remove from heat, and set aside 10 minutes. Add parsley, fluff barley with a fork and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in another saucepan; boil string beans about 5 minutes, until crisp and tender. Blanch in ice water and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk pistachio oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; toss with arugula, string beans, and half the sliced peaches.
4. Place greens mixture on individual plates. Top with a scoop of barley, remaining peaches, ricotta salata and pistachios. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
Wonderful Pistachio Chocolate Brownie Cookies
These easy-to-make cookies pack a ton of chocolate punch with gorgeous green Wonderful Pistachios to make them festive.
Prep: 20 minutes / Time to Table: 40 minutes / Makes: 4 dozen
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
16 ounces chopped dark chocolate (about 2¾ cups)
¼ cup unsalted butter (4 tablespoons)
3 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 cups, shelled Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted, roughly chopped
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (about ⅓ cup)
2 teaspoons flaked sea salt
1. Heat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt; set aside.
3. Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave until just hot and butter is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and stir mixture, until completely melted; set aside to cool.
4. Beat eggs and both sugars in an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, at medium speed, about 5 minutes, until thickened and light. Pour cooled chocolate mixture in two batches, mixing after each addition. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in 1½ cups Wonderful Pistachios by hand.
5. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough, about 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets. Bake about 10 minutes, alternating pans half-way through, until cookies are puffed and cracked on top. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.
6. Meanwhile, chop remaining Wonderful Pistachios finely. Melt bittersweet chocolate. Place wire rack with cookies on baking sheet. Drizzle chocolate over cookies and sprinkle with remaining finely chopped Wonderful Pistachios and flaked sea salt.
Turkey Roulade with Wonderful Pistachio Pesto
Pistachios, apples and onions are stuffed in this impressive, but easy main course. A nutty Wonderful Pistachio pesto is the perfect accompaniment.
Prep: 1 hour 15 minutes / Time to Table: 2 hours 30 minutes / Serves: 6 to 8
Wonderful Pistachio Pesto:
1½ cups baby spinach (about 2½ ounces)
1 cup shelled Wonderful Pistachios
2 large cloves garlic
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¾ cup olive oil
½ cup dried cranberries
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, diced into ¼-inch pieces (about 1½ cups)
1 granny smith apple, cored, and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1 2/3 cups)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 teaspoons fresh thyme
5 teaspoons fresh rosemary
¾ teaspoon salt, divided
½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
3 ounces day- old french bread, cut or torn into 1-inch pieces (about 1¾ cups)
¾ cup shelled Wonderful Pistachios, toasted, and roughly chopped
1 skinless, boneless, turkey breast half, butterflied (about 2½ lbs)
3 small red onions, cut into wedges
1. To make the pesto, place spinach, pistachios, garlic, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Slowly pour in oil, while machine is running, about 20 seconds. Pulse to completely combine. Set aside in the refrigerator, up to one day ahead.
2. To make turkey roulade, position oven rack in the center and heat oven to 375°F. Place cranberries in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 5 minutes until softened. Drain and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet on medium heat. Add onion and cook 5 to 7 minutes until softened. Add apple; continue to cook, 5 to 7 minutes, until onion and apples are golden. Add ½ cup chicken broth, thyme, rosemary, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoons pepper, and simmer. Stirring occasionally and scraping up any bits that stick to the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes, until broth is absorbed and apples are softened. Transfer to a large bowl.
4. Add bread and cranberries to apples and stir to combine. Pour in ⅓ cup chicken broth and stir to combine. Add additional 2 tablespoons chicken broth, as needed, until bread is moist, but not wet. Stir in pistachios and set aside to cool.
5. Place turkey between sheets of plastic wrap, and pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin, to about ½-inch thick. Season each side with remaining ¼ teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoons pepper. Place turkey, skinned side down on working surface. Spread stuffing over turkey leaving a border uncovered, about 1½-inches all around. Roll up and secure tightly with kitchen twine.
6. Heat a roasting pan (or large skillet), with 2 tablespoons olive oil, on medium to medium-high heat. Brown turkey roulade on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside on a plate. Add wire rack to roasting pan and place turkey on rack. Combine onion wedges in a bowl with 1 tablespoons oil and place in roasting pan alongside turkey. Add ½ cup chicken broth to roasting pan and place in oven.
7. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until turkey temperature reaches 165°F. Remove from oven, transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil. Allow to rest 10 to 15 minutes, until juices have had time to absorb, before cutting into 6 to 8 slices.
8. Meanwhile, add remaining chicken broth (about ½ cup) to roasting pan, and scrape up any bits with a wooden spoon. Serve pan drippings alongside turkey with pistachio pesto.
Wonderful Pistachio Holiday Palettes
A chic version of chocolate bark! The french call these little treats Palettes and they are simply fine chocolate with artfully arranged nuts and fruit. Stick to Wonderful Pistachios and add some holiday sprinkles to make them your own.
Prep: 10 minutes / Time to Table: 1 hour / Makes: 12 palettes (6 semi-sweet, 6 white chocolate)
a ¾ cup good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips, or chocolate bar
¾ cup quality white chocolate chips
¼ cup shelled Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted
Dried fruit such as apricots, ginger, blueberries, bananas, plums, peaches, cranberries and cherries
Sprinkles and silver dragees
1. Melt chocolates in separate bowls. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Spoon 1 tablespoon chocolate onto baking sheet for each palette. Chocolate will settle into a circle.
2. Decorate each palette with Wonderful Pistachios, dried fruit and sprinkles, cutting fruit into slivers or pieces as needed. Chill palettes for 30 minutes. If packaging, package while cold. Serve.
Wonderful Pistachio and Cherry Popcorn Balls
Old fashioned popcorn balls sparkle with the tart addition of dried cherries and tasty Wonderful Pistachios, while the brown sugar gives them a caramel-y flavor. These are sure to be a hit at any holiday gathering.
Prep: 8 minutes / Time to Table: 18 minutes / Makes: 20 balls about 2 ½ inches in diameter
12 cups popcorn
1 cup shelled Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted, lightly chopped
1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
a ½ cup light corn syrup
¾ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large roasting pan combine popcorn, dried cherries and Wonderful Pistachios, mixing thoroughly.
3. In a medium saucepan combine syrup, sugar, butter and salt. Over medium heat bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue stirring and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda. Be careful as mixture will bubble up.
4. Pour syrup mixture over popcorn and stir to coat well. Popcorn will still be warm from the syrup. To keep your hands clean slip them into two plastic bags and coat bags with cooking spray or butter.
5. Working quickly, form popcorn mixture into balls about 2 ½ inches in diameter. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet to cool.
Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges with Wonderful Pistachios, Goat Cheese and Pomegranate Glaze
Sweet roasted potato wedges get the holiday treatment with crunchy Wonderful Pistachios, tangy goat cheese and a lovely pomegranate glaze.
Prep: 20 minutes / Time to Table: 45 minutes / Serves: 8 (about 4-5 wedges/person)
4 large sweet potatoes, well-scrubbed and cut into 1” thick wedges
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
4 ounces goat cheese
½ cup shelled Wonderful Pistachios, chopped
2 tablespoons POM Wonderful pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons honey
1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
2. Toss potato wedges with olive oil, salt and pepper, mixing thoroughly. Transfer the wedges to the baking sheets making sure they spaced evenly.
3. Bake for 15 minutes. Stir wedges and rotate pans. Bake another 10 minutes until cooked through and caramelized. Remove from the oven.
4. Combine the honey and the POM Wonderful pomegranate juice. Heat for 30 seconds in the microwave and stir. Arrange the sweet potatoes on a platter and scatter the Wonderful Pistachios and goat cheese over them. Drizzle the pomegranate glaze over all. Serve.
Spicy Roasted Squash with Wonderful Pistachios
Delicata and butternut squash are roasted together with warm spices along with a bit of cayenne to heat things up. Crunchy Wonderful Pistachios and maple syrup are just the right additions for texture and sweetness. Garnished with pomegranate arils this dish is a celebration of flavors.
Prep: 18 minutes / Time to Table: 38 minutes / Serves: 8 (about 10 pieces of squash/person; about a cup/person)
1 ½ pounds butternut squash (4 ½ cups prepped)
2 ½ pounds delicata squash
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup shelled Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted, chopped
2 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ cup POM Wonderful pomegranate arils
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. Heat oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
2. Peel and seed butternut squash. Cut in half lengthwise and slice into ½ inch thick pieces. Cut in half again for quarters.
3. Cut delicata in half lengthwise and seed. Cut into ½ inch thick slices. Combine all the squash in a large mixing bowl.
4. Sprinkle the cinnamon, allspice, cayenne and salt over the squash. Mix thoroughly.
5. Melt the butter and stir into the olive oil. Drizzle over the spiced squash and mix thoroughly.
6. Transfer the squash to the baking sheets, arranging in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes.
7. Stir and flip squash. Sprinkle with Wonderful Pistachios and drizzle with maple syrup. Bake another 5 to 7 minutes until pistachios are just toasted. Remove from the oven.
8. Arrange on a serving platter and sprinkle pomegranate arils over the squash. Garnish with chopped parsley.