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a contest from California Walnuts, Iron Chef-style

September 24, 2010
You know who I love? California Walnuts. Is it possible to love a brand? Well, I just did it, so yes.

And you’re going to love them, too.

The fine folks at California Walnuts are running a recipe contest. Just for us. Just for the people of this horribly sad gathering of Pity Partiers.

When was the last time someone offered you a special contest for doing nothing except feeling bad about yourself? Exactly.

See, you totally love California Walnuts now, don’t you?

what’s the deal?

Do you have a great recipe featuring walnuts? Well, here’s your chance to share it and win!

Just post the recipe in the comments below (link to an existing post is preferable though not required)  for your chance to win. Sweet, savory, hot, or cold. We’ll take it all.

This is a completely subjective contest. It’s a beauty pageant of recipes, which is hard for Pity Partiers, I know. But your food is totally pretty. Beautiful, even.

So share your recipe and see if it captures the imagination of our very own robynski, Sarah Matthews who represents California Walnuts, and a yet to be named judge. We’ll update this post when we have that person named.

what do you win?

The winner of this “Iron Chef-ish” contest wins a box of the fresh crop of California Walnuts, AND your recipe will be added to the site in the recipe section AND it will be featured on the California Walnuts Facebook page AND you will win the incredible Mollie Katzen’s book, The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without, which is a wonderful, wonderful book. Mollie K and California Walnuts have teamed together, and it’s a pretty great match. Also, Mollie tweeted our hashtag, #BHF10PP, which makes her awesome.

See, you love California Walnuts even more, don’t you?

Special thanks to robynski for arranging the fun. We love her, too.

the rules

  • All entries must be submitted by 8 October by noon Eastern/9:00 a.m. Pacific.
  • The winner will be announced on 9 October.
  • All entries must use California Walnuts in the recipe.
  • Another hint: including any nut other than California Walnuts is going to make it tough for you to win. Not that we don’t love other nuts. But we really love California Walnuts.
  • If your recipe is someone else’s, inspired by someone else, adapted, etc., please state it in your submission. That won’t count against you at all, but we need to give proper attribution.
  • Photos are nice to include. Very helpful, actually.
  • You should go follow California Walnuts on Twitter. Not required, but that’s very nice of you to do it.
  • If you have any problems with posting or have questions, email me at cmthornton at gmail(dot)com.

Thank you, California Walnuts for joining this Pity Party. You have no idea how nice that is of you.


(Picturing myself hugging a walnut. Gladly.)

Disclaimer: We (the couple at are accepting nothing from California Walnuts for this great contest. We just like them. The winner gets everything.


From → the prizes

  1. These are my family’s Banana Chocolate Chip & Walnut Muffins. Generations love them and fight over them. This is one of my older posts–from about a month after I started blogging–so be nice!

  2. You like me, you really like me! said in my best Sally Field voice and grin! This is a fabulous contest! Think outside the box folks! Let’s see what great things we can do with a little walnut.

    I have to be a judge, and not a contestant, because I’ve used CA Walnuts to develop an All California Dessert for an employer a couple of years back. I feel it gives me an edge because I gush so about these incredible little nuts. They’re one of the best foods you can include in your daily eating plan!

    I have not been paid by the CA Walnut Organization to endorse their product!

  3. Here is one of my classic breakfast waffles recipes. Just love the whole grain, gluten free goodness and the combination of bananas, brown sugar and walnuts is breakfast heaven.
    I have been known to top the waffle with a smear of cream cheese and more California walnut pieces so the kiddos can run out the door with breakfast in hand.

  4. How fun! But…walnuts?? I’m in Texas. TEXAS. What is the state tree of Texas? What is the state nut? It’s not walnuts people. It’s pecans. Sigh… What’s a good Texas girl to do?? But, it’s all in the name of a good pity party, right? I mean, can I really cheat on my beloved pecans just this once and it’ll be okay? 🙂 Sorry, I couldn’t help myself there. LOL. And my hubby wonders where the kiddo gets his dramatic tendencies…

    Seriously though, yet another very awesome thing about the bhf10pp. Thank you!!

    • from a former Texan, the pecans will understand. But just this once! ;o)

  5. Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) permalink

    Okay, I’m in! Here’s my recipe for Paklava – and no, that’s not a typo. Paklava is the Armenian word for the treat the Greeks call Baklava.

  6. Can we enter more than one recipe? How about a savory one to start with – muhummara – a delicious red pepper walnut dip, done the gluten-free way, of course!

    • No limit to the number you enter. (Though more than five might be excessive, let’s say.)

  7. OOh here’s my recipe for banana bread with walnuts… I just made it for the 100th time and it’s the BEST!! Of course it’s based on a Martha Stewart recipe so I can’t take all the credit 🙂

  8. My first walnut post in support of the IRON Chef Competition:

  9. How about a Cinnamon Walnut Butter?

    And yes, it’s as good as it sounds.

  10. My Layered Pumpkin Walnut Cake with Caramel & Chocolate Frostings is the clear winner, especially for this Pity Party. Comfort food anyone?

    Oh, and I’m dying to go to BlogHerFood 2011! I WILL MAKE IT!

  11. As it happens, I have pounds of California Walnuts in the fridge, just waiting for me to play with them. 😀

  12. I think I’m in love too. Seriously, that prize pack is just beyond generous!

    For your consideration, I submit my Plum-Walnut Cake:

    It’s so delicious that it’s the reason why I don’t cry when fall comes along. Though I’ve got plenty of other reasons to cry, including the fact that I’m missing BlogHer Food. Boo hoo.

  13. Wowza, I had NO idea everyone would get so into it!! All of these recipes sound so fantastic – we’re excited to check all of them out. Thanks #bhf10pp!!!

  14. Here are inside out carrot cake cookies featuring California Walnuts (who also happened to be one of my IFBC sponsors!)

  15. What is sadly pathetic is that I have an idea, but just can’t get my act together to get it made. Oy.

  16. Here’s my walnut recipe! Ginger & Brown Sugar Glazed Walnuts.

    I hope to make it to any food blogger conference one day, but for now, happy to be part of the #BHF10PP 🙂

  17. I just posted my recipe for Zucchini Bread with Cinnamon, Cream Cheese and Brown Butter frosting this morning in honor of many things, including the pity party and this attendant contest. I do feel a confession of sorts is in order. I wasn’t feeling quite so sad when I ate this. Sorry.

  18. Here are my Pumpkin Rocky Road Brownies – California Walnuts in every bite! Pumpkin Rocky Road Brownies (in case I screwed up the link: Which, you know, is possible, since I’m so pitiful! 😦

    Thanks, California Walnuts (who I was following on Twitter before this contest was even announced)! Yes, I suck up with the best (or worst) of them! xoxox

  19. Or how about these classic Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from the urban legend recipe “Neiman Marcus” Chocolate Chip Cookies) – loaded with California Walnuts?

    This recipe just hit Number One of the all-time Top 5 blog posts viewed at Flamingo Musings!

  20. Okay a made a Pear and Blue Cheese salad (Pears poached in booze!) and featured loads of walnuts in it as well.

  21. This Gnocchi Verdi al Gorgonzola was inspired by the beautiful merlot-colored walnuts we found at our local Farmers’ Market – the colors in this dish are just beautiful!

  22. Well, I was feeling rather sad, and the only thing that cheers me up is cooking. This recipe has been buzzing around my brain for almost a week. So here it is… Greens with Sauteed Mushrooms, Walnuts and Gruyere Crisps – it’s so delicious it makes me want to cry!!!

  23. Ellen Fitz permalink

    Chocolate Walnut Torte

    This is a recipe for a gluten-free, sugar free chocolate walnut torte. We’re too sad a group to deserve baked goods made with flour that actually rises and we’re too sour a group to use something so sweet as sugar. We instead get our sweetness from a succulent more famous for making tequila. (How appropriate for this pity-party, right?) And then of course there’s chocolate. Bittersweet chocolate. (Wipe tears now.) The good news is, this sad, sad recipe is actually really, really good. Just don’t tell anybody.

    Chocolate Walnut Torte*

    • 5 eggs, separated
    • ½ cup agave nectar
    • ½ teaspoon sea salt (Celtic)
    • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (73% cacao)
    • 2 cups California walnuts

    1. In a food processor, pulse the chocolate until it becomes a coarse mixture, the consistency of gravel.

    2. Pulse in the walnuts, briefly, until they are coarsely chopped -bigger chunks than the chocolate.

    3. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until pale in color, then gradually beat in the agave nectar.

    4. In a separate large bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, then beat in the salt.

    5. Fold the chocolate-walnut mixture into the egg yolk mixture.

    6. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.

    7. Place in a well greased 9-inch springform pan.

    8. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave in for 10 more minutes, until firm to the touch and golden around the edges.

    9. Cool in the pan, then serve. (If consuming during the pity-party, just eat it all yourself directly out of the pan!)

    *This is a recipe by Elana Amersterdam based on a recipe she found on


  24. Ellen Fitz permalink

    Ooops. My cut and paste seems to have lost my imbeded links. Here you go:

    Link to Elana’s recipe:

    Link to Epicurean recipe:

  25. Deanna permalink

    You know, I’d completely forgotten about this recipe, but it definitely needs to be entered. How much more walnut-y can you get?

    Walnut squares:

  26. dovesandfigs permalink

    Perfect pity party toast, tea, and sympathy

    Cranberry Apple Walnut Conserve
    2 cups cranberries
    6 cups apples (peeled, cored, cut in 1/4 inch slices, then cut in half)
    1/2 cup orange juice
    3 cups sugar
    2/3 cup walnuts (rough chopped)
    1/2 cup golden raisins
    2 cinnamon sticks
    1 whole star anise
    2 tablespoons Contreau (optional)

    Heat oven to 350 degrees
    Place walnuts in single layer on cookie sheet
    Toast in oven until just slightly browned and fragrant
    Set nuts aside to cool
    Cook cranberries in orange juice and spices until they begin to soften slightly and pop (about 10 minutes)
    Add apples, raisins, and sugar
    Cook gently until apples soften and mixture begins to thicken
    Stir in remaining sugar and Contreau
    Boil until mixture gels (will be a softer spread than a traditional jam)
    Remove cinnamon sticks and star anise
    Stir in walnuts
    refrigerate, can, or freeze

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. the official baked good of the pity party? « #BHF10PP – The Pity Party for the sad people who can't attend BlogHer Food '10, 8-9 October
  2. Fear Not Phyllo – Redux « Bread & Putter

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