May 9, 2013

Barbecue Roasted Mixed Nuts {& the story of a photo shoot}

Barbecue Roasted Mixed Nuts ~ chock full of spicy-sweet barbecue flavor.  You'll want a handful!

Barbecue Roasted Mixed Nuts

Okay, these Barbecue Roasted Mixed Nuts ROCK!  I absolutely love barbecue potato chips.  I mean, like could totally lick the inside of the chip bag kind of love ... but, I can't be left alone with a bag of chips.  It's detrimental ... to both me and the chips.  Well, I've discovered with these Barbecue Roasted Mixed Nuts, you can get that same great barbecue flavor without the potato chip guilt.  Mmmmmmm ~ potato chips step aside ... I've got a new love.

Now, the photo shoot for these ROCKIN' barbecue nuts did NOT rock.

Photography is the part of blogging that is just.  so.   hard.   for me.  Food styling, camera angles, lighting, aperture settings ... absolutely none of it comes naturally to me.  Which typically leads to a very long process for me before I achieve a result I'm happy with.

And this was especially the case for this Barbecue Roasted Mixed Nuts photo shoot.

So I thought it would be kinda fun to give you a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes evolution of my Barbecue Roasted Mixed Nuts photo shoot ... a.k.a. ~ the story of how I changed my mind about 32 million times while taking these photos.

Ready?  Here goes!

My initial set-up was red patterned backgrounds ... thinking red background would 'speak' barbecue.  Not such terrible thinking, right?

Result? Ummmm, not sure what it's speaking, but certainly not the barbecue-y feel I had in mind. ... I hated the red gingham in the background ...

... so I took it out.

Better.  But now I thought the background looked super empty, like a big ol' void back there.  So ...

... I folded up the gingham cloth, like a folded napkin, and stuck it in the background.  Hmmmm, still not lovin' it for some reason that I couldn't quite pinpoint.  So I decided to change the dish the nuts were in, thinking it was the sharp angles of the squared dish that weren't sitting well with me.  So I grabbed my favorite handy-dandy ...

... smooth-edged rounded-with-little-handles dish.  {Seriously, I use these little dishes so much I've thought about hosting some sort of scavenger hunt or contest to see if readers could find all the posts they've appeared in!  Like here in sweet potato hummus ... and here in lemon-poppy seed dip... and here in Boursin-style cheese spread.}   

As for the picture ... better ...

... and even a teeny-tiny-tad-bit better vertical.  But still a no-go.  Nope.  Not really liking it.  at.  all.  So ...

... I decided to lose the dish altogether, poured the nuts out onto the white napkin layer, and tried a top-view angle.  Ugh.  Still no good.  So ...

... How about an eye-level angle shot? {usually one of my favorite angles}.  Well ... this time?  Not so much.

So I walked away.  Yup, just stopped taking picts for a bit ... sometimes that's best!  

When I came back about 30 minutes later, I scrapped almost everything I had been working with, grabbed a  cutting board background, and went 'natural.'

Ahhhh, finally ... a result I could be okay with.

Barbecue Roasted Mixed Nuts

 And now as a reward, I think I'll go lick the barbecue spice mixing bowl.

Barbecue Roasted Mixed Nuts
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Barbecue Roasted Mixed Nuts

  • 3 c. mixed nuts (I used almonds, cashews, & walnuts)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  1. In a small bowl, combine the kosher salt, brown sugar, paprika, granulated sugar, garlic powder, dry mustard, ground cumin, and ground ginger. Set aside
  2. Whisk egg white in a mixing bowl until foamy. Add mixed nuts and toss to coat the nuts with the egg white. Sprinkle spice mixture over the nuts and toss to coat.
  3. Spread nuts out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (I line my baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil and very lightly spray it with non-stick cooking spray). Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cool on a wire rack for about an hour. Store in an airtight container for up to about a week.


  1. Tracey, I got a charge out of your blog about "staging" because, I struggle to get across the idea of what I am trying to relay. I have to say that every one of the photos looked great to me and they all made me want to grab a big handful of those nuts!

    1. You're so sweet, Lynn. Food photography is hard, isn't it? Much harder than I ever anticipated!

  2. Love these! The T2 women are hosting a brand new link-up party TODAY at and we would love for you to come over and link up with us!

  3. The nuts sound great! I've bookmarked the recipe to try-thanks:@)

  4. WOW! The nuts look tasteeeeeeee & the photos look fabulous! I wish mine looked half as beautiful as yours....Thanks so much for sharing at Weekend Potluck.

  5. These sound really good! I think the pictures are great!

  6. I love nuts... these sound delicious! Thank you for coming to share at Super Saturday Show & Tell last week.. stop on by and share again today! I hope you have wonderful weekend! xoxo~ Ruthie

  7. The nuts look delicious!

    Is there a substitute of some sorts for the egg white?
    I'd love to serve these to guests but some of my friends are vegan...

    Thank you!

  8. Food and Wine: I don't use eggs either and I think some flax goo (flaxseed mixed with water and let sit for 5-10 minutes until gooey) should do the trick.

  9. Gonna try these with my own BBQ sauce! Thanks!


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