Fast Holiday Party Recipe: Spiced Cashews

It's holiday party season!  December means it's time to bust out your sparkliest dress or shiniest tie, eat some good food, and try not to get too drunk around your coworkers. 

Your new go-to holiday party snack: Spiced Cashews

If you are in need of something to bring along to a work party or gathering of friends, I've got you covered with this recipe for Indian Hot and Sour Cashews.  Simple but interesting spiced nuts are always a hit at gatherings; they are homemade and unique, yet really don't take much effort or ingredients to assemble.

Bonus? Consuming good fat before drinking helps prevent hangovers, so make sure you indulge a little in some fatty snacks and not just the typical carbalicious party food if you are having a couple of drinks. Cashews are high in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) that are good for heart health, can help regulate blood sugar and insulin, and are associated with lowered risk for weight gain. Plus cashews are the best tasting nut (objective truth).

Start by heating oil, adding spices and tossing in raw cashews, and then toasting the whole shebang in the oven for 10 minutes.  So fast and easy and they'll stay fresh for days.  I included some more unique Indian spices since my spice drawer is always packed with interesting stuff, but you'll still make a knockout party snack if you only use the red chili flake, cumin, turmeric and lime juice.  Get the full recipe here.

What are must-have dishes for a perfect holiday party?

If you are throwing your own holiday gathering and are wondering how to fill out the rest of the spread, I recommend always having at least 3 items as a go-to party formula.  1) What I call "crunchy handfuls"--something salty and snackable like spiced nuts, kettle corn, chips, or party mix. 2) A good dip and something to dip into it like hummus with pita, herby yogurt dip with carrot sticks, or black bean dip and tortilla chips and 3) Food food.  A.k.a. something more substantial that can fill up guests who might be arriving hungrier and don't want to be the jerk hovering over the guacamole bowl, grunting aggressively and intimidating the rest of your guests. Think a pasta salad, taco bar, homemade pizza, empanadas or a quinoa salad.

In summary: crunchy handfuls + dip & dippers + food food = party time!

Looking for more seasonal inspiration? Check out my party-ready recipes for Marinated Mixed Olives and Mushroom Walnut Pate.

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