Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Gotta Love It!!!

Imagine my house is a cabin deep in a forest somewhere, and a forest fire is blazing toward me. I have only minutes to snatch a few of my favorite, most cherished things. What would I take?

Along with my Bibles, kids’ baby books, pictures (while we’re imagining, pretend I have a dump truck to load it all in) my laptop, old things handed down to me from G-Man’s family and mine (and it’s a slow moving forest fire) the one thing I couldn’t leave without is this–

This is a cookbook my friend, Marilyn Pappano, gave me a few years ago. One day, she mentioned she was making one for her son for Christmas. I immediately started jumping up and down like a demented bunny rabbit, waving my hands like a traffic cop at the Indy 500 and screaming, “Me, too! Me, too! I want one of those.”

Okay, maybe I wasn’t quite that animated, but I would have been if the situation had required it. 🙂

Marilyn just smiled her sweet smile and remembered. By the time Christmas rolled around, I’d put the cookbook out of my mind (hey, that’s a lot of work!) but Miss M hadn’t. 

Thank you again, M! This is the gift that keeps on giving and never wears out. (The pages are in page protectors so if I get food or oil on them, they can be wiped right off.)  

Marilyn is one of the very best cooks (my fam excluded, of course) I’ve ever known in my life. She’s lived all over the south and collected the absolute b-e-s-t recipes I’ve ever begged for.

Just a taste of her Jambalaya will make your tongue lap your brains out. (That’s a saying my granddad passed down to my dad, who passed it to me. It means it’s good stuff.)  

I’ve already shared at least one of her recipes. Remember Ummm–Babyback Ribs? That’s a Marilyn recipe. (I fixed it just this week. So good!)

This week, I’m sharing a snack with you. Marilyn took these to our Christmas party one year. They’re a great, delicious snack and not (very) unhealthy!

I’m not sure who Regina Hicks is, but the woman knows what tastes good.

Here’s how you do it–

Put the spices and oil in a shaker jar and the pretzels in a container such as a plastic bag or Tupperware container with a tight fitting lid. Pour the spicy oil over the pretzels, close the container and shake it up.

Every 15 minutes for two hours, shake it up again. And, just like magic, the pretzels are ready.

I poured them out on a paper towel covered cookie sheet, but there wasn’t any oil to absorb. The pretzels had soaked up every bit of the oil and spices. And when you eat them, they don’t have an oily taste or touch.

I don’t know where it all goes, but those pretzels are addictive. (I didn’t have cayenne pepper, so I used chipotle pepper and tossed in 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.) They were still yummy good, but I think I’ll add more spices next time–or maybe I’ll buy some cayenne and do it right. 😉

 I’m telling you, this is good stuff!