We really like almonds, in a great variety of ways, both in savory foods as well as sweets. Most often for sweets, I either buy blanched almonds (with there skins removed) or, if not available, I blanch them myself. Then almost always, I roast them to a very soft golden shade of white. Just a little salt added enhances the flavor too.

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Coconut, grated

Though I use coconut infrequently, it does add a wonderful depth of flavor and richness to certain baked items, such as Aunt Sally's Brownies.

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Peanut Butter

We're big peanut butter fans, used in a variety of ways. We most often opt for crunchy. Sometimes the creamy version works better for a particular recipe. For both taste and preparation, I believer the two, crunchy or creamy, are interchangeable.

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Each type of nut we use has its unique contribution and affinity for particular dishes. We use these both as a recipe ingredient, and also as a condiment with such dishes as rice pilaf, a wonderful combination.

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Pine Nuts

These delicious nuts are really the seeds of pine trees. These uniquely flavored morsels are particularly wonderful toasted to a rich golden brown. They add a slightly smoky taste when used as a condiment with certain pasta dishes.

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Though I've always like nuts, since becoming a vegetarian, I've begun to discover the tremendous variety available to us, their individual distinctness, and something about choosing just the right variety for a given dish. This is certainly true about walnuts. The recipe for "Butterscotch Brownies" calls for walnuts, and what an important ingredient the walnuts are, also in "Apple Salad."

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