Cookies from the Toaster Oven

My little toaster oven does a great job baking eight or 10 cookies, uses very little electricity itself, doesn’t heat up the kitchen, and saves the air conditioning. The variety is endless — see some flavor ideas below. Start with the basic dough and add to it, such as for these Toasted Almond Cookies. They’re buttery, tender, melt-in-your-mouth cookies.

Using Soap Nuts as a Chemical-Free Cleaning Solution

Technically a berry, soap nuts are considered to be an environmentally conscious alternative to chemical detergents and soaps. The berries come from a prolific tree that grows well in degraded environments where little else can grow. They are safe for allergies, free from any additives, and can be used to clean just about anything.

3 Artisan Sweet Breakfast Breads

Bake some delicious rustic breads — Cranberry-Pecan, Apple, and White Chocolate Apricot — and stock the freezer for special breakfasts and “high tea.” All the fruits in these breads give the loaves a craggy surface that’s wonderfully crunchy. These all keep for months wrapped well in the freezer. If you get them out the night before, they’ll be ready to slice for breakfast, toasted or not.

Kentucky Bourbon Balls Recipe

Back in the early 1950s, my family moved to northern Kentucky. We had the great fortune to live just down the street from Louella Schierland, one of the contributing authors of the iconic Joy of Cooking. Mrs. Schierland gave my mother this recipe and I remember that these bourbon balls were stored in a coffee can in the refrigerator. I’ve made some changes to the original to avoid today’s GMOs. Makes about 40 treats.

Bake Chewy, Gluten-Free Almond Cookies

I found a recipe in the King Arthur Cookie Companion that I developed a little so that I can now gift my gluten-intolerant friends with delicious cookies. Homemade almond paste is best here, but store-bought will do. Freshly made, these cookies have chewy texture; after a few days, they become airy and crunchy. Just as delicious either way. This recipe makes about 30 two-inch cookies.

Make Your Own Almond Paste

It’s easy and very economical to make your own almond paste. You’ll use this to fill pastries, cakes and your special Christmas Stollen. This makes 2 pounds, 2 ounces — as much as six of those pricey little cans — and you control the quality.

The Chestnut Harvest

September brought a huge chestnut harvest that I delight in gathering and eating.

Foraging for Ginkgo Nuts

Hidden inside the stinky orange pulp of the fruits of the ginkgo tree is a delicious, pistachio colored edible seed. Here's how to identify and prepare ginkgo (without the stinky parts) by foraging for ginkgo nuts!

Do Not Overlook Nuts

My nutty endeavors have reaped nutty - and delicious and healthful - rewards.

How to Make Nut Butter Recipe

Learn how to make nut butter, an easy-to-make, healthy ingredient with numerous uses. Roasting nuts lends a deeper flavor to the nut butter, and grinding nut pieces instead of whole nuts is a good way to save some money.

How to Roast Nuts Recipe

Learn how to roast nuts, and you’ll improve nearly every recipe that calls for nuts. Luckily, roasting nuts is easy and may boost their antioxidant levels. You can make these with or without oil, salt and honey.

Doughnuts, Part 2

If you want a superior doughnut (or any product), start with the best.

Master Nut Cracker

If you have black walnuts to shell, you need a heavy duty nutcracker. The Master Nut Cracker will do the job.

Growing Protein

Learn which crops you can grow in your garden to provide protein in your diet.

Addictive Peanut Sauce Recipe

This creamy peanut sauce is a snap to make (no cooking required), and makes a great dip for raw veggies, lettuce wraps, Thai satays and other Asian snacks.

Weed Watch: How to Kill Nutsedge

Learn how to kill nutsedge, both yellow (Cyperus esculentus) and purple (Cyperus rotundus), and remove it from your garden. Pine bark mulch may be one effective way to kill nutlets from yellow nutsedge.

Can You Compost Black Walnut Hulls?

Organic farming research has found that you can compost black walnut hulls successfully, despite the fact that they contain the toxic juglone compound.