Citrus Kale Salad with Hamilton Ranches Pecans

Citrus Kale Salad with Hamilton Ranches Pecans

I love The Holidays and all the eating that comes along with it. Being pregnant makes everything taste better, therefore I found myself devouring more delicious food over The Holidays than usual. But even with the excuse of “eating for two”, I found myself needing to eat something clean and light. So, this week I decided to try this Pioneer Woman recipe because it sounded fresh. And with the jalapeno it adds warmth that I need to get me through the winter. Of course, because I am a pecan businesswoman I added our pecans as a salad topper. My husband and I were very thrilled with this salad and will be making it many times as the weather gets warmer.


  • 1 bunch kale, leaves torn off the stalks
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, seeded and sliced very thin (I roasted mine over an open flame on my stove to cut the heat and add more depth to the flavor)
  • 3 whole tangerines or clementines (or 1 Orange), Peeled And Cut Into Chunks
  • Fresh blueberries 
  • 4 ounces, weight goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (I used fresh squeezed)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or grated
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) sour cream
  • 1 Cup of Hamilton Ranches raw or roasted salted pecans (chopped)



Grab bunches of the kale leaves and use a sharp knife to thinly slice them. Keep going until you have a big pile of finely shredded kale. 

To make the dressing, combine the orange juice, olive oil, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in a small mason jar. Shake vigorously until all combined, then add the sour cream and shake again until it's nice and creamy.

Toss the kale in half the dressing for a minute or so, then add the jalapeno slices and citrus pieces. Toss again until combined. Add a little more dressing if it needs it (extra dressing can be stored in the fridge and used for any salad.)

At the last minute, break the goat cheese into chunks with a fork and add the pecans; toss it into the salad. Serve!

(Note: because the kale holds up well, the salad can be tossed 15 minutes before serving.)

For more amazing recipes by the Pioneer Woman visit

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Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake

There is something about the aroma of warm pumpkin spice filling up your house on a rainy fall day. I happened to make this recipe on that kind of day, and basically my senses were very happy. I had never made a coffee cake before, so I had no idea the effort it takes to make one. I now have a different respect for coffee cake. It was fun watching the faces and hearing the expressions of my family and friends when they were relishing in this fine dessert. I heard, “Oh, this is absolutely perfect!”, “This has got to be my favorite dessert of all time.”, “The pecans are such a nice surprise!”, and “I’m speechless.” And I saw eyes rolling in the back of heads, smiles on faces, and mouths filled with big bites of this delicious cake. These comments and expressions pretty much confirmed that I did something right when making my first coffee cake.

This isn’t just any coffee cake either, this is a Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake! It literally screams fall. The only change I made to the original recipe is added chopped pecans to the streusel mixture. It was a fabulous addition! Now all I have to say is, Happy Fall!


For the streusel:

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon

1 cup butter, melted

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 ½ cups chopped Hamilton Ranches

For the cake:

3 cups all purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 cup butter, room temperature

2 eggs

2 (15 ounce) cans of pumpkin puree

For the glaze:

½ cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk


  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. To prepare the streusel, stir together the sugars, cinnamon, salt, and melted butter in a medium mixing bowl until well combined. Stir in pecans.
  3. Stir in the flour. Set aside while you prepare the cake batter.
  4. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the sugars and butter to a medium mixing bowl and beat with a mixer until light and fluffy.
  6. Beat in the eggs and pumpkin until combined.
  7. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  8. Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Take the streusel topping in your hands and press together to form large crumbs. Top the cake with the streusel. Cover the entire cake and use all the streusel. Trust me, use all the streusel for the most delicious outcome.
  10. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the middle of the cake is done. Use a toothpick to check the center of the cake. If the toothpick come out clean, the cake is done.
  11. Cool completely.
  12. Whisk together the powdered sugar and milk to make the glaze. Drizzle of the top before serving.
  13. Enjoy!

*Thank you for this amazing winner of a recipe!!


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Caramel Pecan Brownies

Caramel Pecan Brownies

I love caramel and my husband loves brownies. We both love pecans of course. So, I was on a mission to find a delicious recipe that combined all three. I accidentally stumbled across this recipe on the back of the KRAFT caramels I bought. And am I glad for delicious accidents! These brownies are by far the best I’ve ever had. Period. I urge you to make them and enjoy every scrumptious bite.


4 oz BAKER’S Unsweetened Chocolate

¾ cup butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 cup flour

1 package (11 oz) KRAFT Caramels

1/3 whipping cream

1 - 1 ½ cup Hamilton Ranches pecans, chopped


Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Makes: 16 brownies

Skill level: medium



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 13x9 inch pan with foil, leaving ends of foil extending over the sides. Spray with cooking spray.
  3. Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwaveable bowl for two minutes, or until the chocolate is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
  4. Add sugar and eggs to the chocolate mixture; mix well.
  5. Stir in flour until blended.
  6. Pour half the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  7. Bake 25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Watch this step carefully, as you don’t want to overcook or burn the brownies.
  8. Remove the brownies and melt the caramel and whipping cream in the microwave for 2 minutes. Stir until caramel is completely melted.
  9. Stir in most of the pecans to the caramel mixture, save some pecans for later.
  10. Spray the foil that is exposed and spread the caramel mixture over brownie layer in the pan.
  11. Cover with the remaining brownie mixture. It’s okay if some of the caramel mixture peeks through.
  12. Sprinkle with remaining pecans.
  13. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until top is firm to the touch.
  14. Allow the brownies to cool completely. Use the foil handles to remove the brownies and gently pull foil from the edges of the brownies.
  15. Cut into equal pieces and serve.

*Update: Even after spraying the exposing foil before adding the caramel mixture and second brownie layer, I still had a hard time with the caramel sticking to the foil. I chose to cut around the edges of the brownies to remove them from the foil. If you have advice on how to get around this, I’d love to know! Thank you!

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Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

I was craving the taste of a warm chocolate chip cookie, but I wanted to add some pizazz to it.  So, what better solution than the addition of Hamilton Ranches pecans? The end result was a sensational, chocolatey, cookie with the perfect amount of crunch. The chopped pecans were a nice way to jazz up a traditional chocolate chip cookie. If your husband is the cookie monster like mine is, these cookies won’t last too long. In fact, my husband told me that I needed to hide the next batch from him. You must try the recipe for yourself, enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from the Original NESTLE Tollhouse Chocolate Chip cookie recipe.


Prep time: 15 minutes

Bake time: 9-11 minutes (depending on your oven)

Skill level: Easy


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (I used butter flavored Crisco to change things up)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I always add a half tsp for more vanilla flavor)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped Hamilton Ranches raw pecan halves


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in one small bowl. Meanwhile, in a separate larger bowl, beat the butter, both sugars, and vanilla until creamed. Next, add the eggs one at a time, being sure to mix well after each addition. Gradually incorporate the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Now add the chocolate chips and pecans to the dough, mixing by hand. Refrigerate dough for at least an hour.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet (I like to use a silicone baking mat for ease). Place in the oven and bake for 9-11 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for a couple minutes, as they will continue baking on the sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire cooking rack to cool completely.

Eat up and enjoy!

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Rosemary Chicken Salad with Pecans and Cranberries

Rosemary Chicken Salad with Pecans and Cranberries

While trying to survive the harsh heat that comes with California summer days I decided to forgo a hot dish, and try this chilled chicken salad instead. I love the bread-free option, but you can certainly use your favorite bread as a substitute. If it were Autumn, I’d put this yummy chicken salad on a buttery croissant. Yum!

I encourage you to have fun with food and recipes, and adjust the ingredients to suit your own taste buds. But of course, in this recipe you must keep the pecans, they’re the best part! The crunch of the pecan is a nice surprise in every bite! Enjoy!

Skill level: easy

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes


1 lb. Cooked chicken breast, boneless and skinless

1/3 cup Hamilton Ranches pecans, chopped

1/3 cup Dried cranberries or seedless grapes

1 ¼ cup Apples (I used a mix of Golden Delicious and Fuji)

1 tsp Dijon mustard (add more if you prefer a stronger mustard flavor)

½ tsp-1 tsp Honey

2 tbsp. Mayonnaise

1 cup Greek yogurt, plain

1 tbsp. Red wine vinegar

½ tsp Onion power

2 ½ tsp Fresh rosemary (or less if you don’t want a strong rosemary flavor)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 head of romaine lettuce


  1. Season the chicken breast (I used Himalayan pink salt, freshly ground pepper, garlic powder, and paprika) and bake or grill until fully cooked. Place in refrigerator until chilled. This step can be done ahead of time.
  2. Cube the apples and roughly chop the pecans and cranberries.
  3. Cube chicken and add to the cranberry, pecan, and apple mixture in one bowl.
  4. Making the dressing: in another bowl add yogurt, mayo, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, onion powder, fresh rosemary (chopped), salt and pepper. Hand mix until well combined. Taste it and make necessary adjustments to suit your taste buds.
  5. Add the dressing to the pecans, cranberries, apples, and chicken. Use a wooden spoon to gently combine the dry and wet mixtures. If your salad is too dry, add more mayo or yogurt. If it’s too wet add more chicken.
  6. Wash and dry the individual romaine leafs. Scoop the chicken salad into each lettuce leaf.
  7. Optional: garnish with more chopped pecans

**This recipe was adapted from**

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Buttery Pecan Cookies


    •    1 and 1/2 cups Hamilton Ranches chopped pecans
    •    1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
    •    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    •    1 cup packed light brown sugar (or dark brown)
    •    2 large eggs, room temperature preferred
    •    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    •    2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    •    1 teaspoon cornstarch
    •    1 teaspoon baking soda
    •    1/2 teaspoon salt

    •    1/3 cup granulated sugar, for rolling
    •    sea salt, for sprinkling

    1.    In a 300F degree oven, toast the chopped pecans on a large parchment paper or silicone mat-lined baking sheet for 15 minutes. Stir twice during this time. Turn oven off and set pecans aside.

    2.    In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in eggs and vanilla on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

    3.    In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt together until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick. Add the toasted chopped pecans, mix on low for about 5-10 seconds until evenly disbursed. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough.

    4.    Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes– if the cookie dough chilled longer than 3 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.

    5.    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

    6.    Once chilled, the dough might be slightly crumbly, but will come together if you work the dough with your hands as you roll into individual balls. Scoop and roll balls of dough, about 1 Tablespoon of dough each, into balls. You may roll the cookie dough balls into the 1/3 cup of granulated sugar listed under the “optional” ingredients. It’s optional because I merely did this for looks– the sugar gives them a pretty sparkle. Or you can bake the cookies without the sugar rolling and sprinkle with a little sea salt when they come out of the oven. If you love salty/sweet, do the sea salt.

    7.    Bake the cookies for 10 minutes (11 minutes for crispier cookies), until slightly golden brown around the edges. Be sure to rotate the pan once during bake time. The baked cookies will look extremely soft in the centers when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. If the cookies are too puffy, try gently pressing down on them with the back of a spoon. They will slightly deflate as you let them cool. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
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Butter Pecan Fudge

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins

Ready to serve in 24 hours


½ cup butter
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup heavy whipping cream
Dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup Fresh Hamilton Ranches Pecans


  1. To toast the pecans – place in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until you can smell the pecans. You can also toast them in a pan over medium heat on the stove top. 
  2. Measure out powdered sugar into a medium bowl and set aside. Grease an 8 x 8 baking pan with butter and set aside.
  3. Combine butter, white sugar, brown sugar, whipping cream and salt in a medium sized pot. Heat the mixture over medium heat until it begins to boil and the bubbles do not disappear when you mix them. It will only take a few minutes to come to a full boil. Set a timer for 5 minutes and stir the mixture constantly while it boils. Once the 5 minutes are up, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in pecans.
  4. Pour the fudge in to your prepared pan. Allow fudge to cool until room temperature before cutting, but preferably 24 hours.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

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Pecan Pie Cookies


Follow Spend With Pennies on Pinterest for more great recipes!

1 prepared single pie crust (homemade using Hamilton Ranches Pecan Mill or purchased.)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup Hamilton Ranches pecans, chopped
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup corn syrup
2 eggs
⅛ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large non-stick pan, combine butter, pecans, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt and eggs. Cook on the stove top over medium-low heat just until thickened. (You don’t want it dry, just slightly thickened, about the consistency of pudding). Remove from heat and set aside.
Unroll dough and using a 3″ cookie cutter, cut out circles. Gently fold about ⅛-1/4″ up on the edges.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of the pecan mixture into each circle.
Place on a parchment lined pan (it’s important to line it) and bake 8 minutes or until filling is just set. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Place chocolate chips in a small Ziploc bag. Microwave about 15 seconds or until mostly melted. Snip off a tiny corner of the baggie and drizzle chocolate over the cookies. Cool until set.
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Chocolate Caramel & Pecan Turtle Clusters

Time: 40 min hands on + 20 min to cool and set
Yield: about 40 clusters

2 1/2 C Hamilton Ranches pecans

1/2 C butter (salted)

1 C brown sugar

1/2 C light corn syrup

7 ounces sweetened condensed milk (1/2 of a 14 ounce can)

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 (12 ounce) package milk chocolate chips

1/2 tsp shortening

1. Toss 2 1/2 cups of Hamilton Ranches pecans into a large skillet. Toast them over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until they have darkened just a bit and smell fragrant and wonderful. Should only take a few minutes.

2. Find yourself 2 large cookie sheets. Line them with parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray. Arrange your pecans into clusters, three to a group works well. You want to leave some space (about an inch) between each cluster.

3. Make your caramel... Place 1/2 C butter into a medium-sized sauce pan. Melt it over medium high heat. Add 1 C brown sugar, 1/2 C light corn syrup and 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk to the pan. Increase the heat just a bit and stir it continually. Cook and stir until it reaches 235-240 degrees. I generally remove it from the heat when it reaches about 234 degrees. It will continue to rise in temperature just a bit even without the direct heat, making the caramel just the right texture.

4. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla to the caramel after it has been cooked. 

5. Carefully drizzle about 1 1/2 teaspoons of caramel over each nut cluster. You’ll want to work quickly, as the caramel will begin to set up. Be sure there is caramel touching all of the nuts in your cluster. The caramel works like glue, sticking the nuts together.

6. In a microwave safe bowl pour 12 ounces of milk chocolate chips. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each cooking interval until the chocolate is completely melted. 

7. Add 1/2 teaspoon of shortening to the melted chocolate. Allow it to sit for a minute or two (so it can melt and make the chocolate chips more spreadable). Stir it all together.

8. Spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons of melted chocolate over the top of the caramel and nuts. Swirl it around along the top making a pretty swoop with your spoon.

9. Allow the chocolate to set up. Once it has hardened and cooled you can serve them immediately, or transfer them to an air tight container.

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