Cumin-Cayenne Cashews,

Pine Nuts and Pistachios

Makes 2 cups

A handful of this buttery, spicy, peppery mix goes great with a beer and a football afternoon. Adapted from "Party Nuts!" by Sally Sampson (Harvard Common Press, 2002).

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cups mixed raw cashews, pine nuts and shelled pistachios*

2 teaspoons cumin seeds or

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Have ready a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels.

In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the nuts, stirring constantly until they turn reddish-brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cumin and cook until the nuts turn brown, about 30 seconds.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the nuts to the paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with the salt, cayenne and black pepper. Set aside to cool for 1 hour before storing.

*NOTE: Raw cashews and pistachios are available at Trader Joe's.

Per 1/4-cup serving: 206 calories, 6 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 19 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g saturated fat, 416 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Bonnie S. Benwick; e-mail questions to food@washpost.com

Creamy Dip

8 servings

To make this all-purpose recipe, combine 1 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tablespoon chopped chives, a dash of Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Per serving: 102 calories, 1 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat, 13 mg cholesterol, 4 g saturated fat, 86 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Lisa Cherkasky; e-mail questions to food@washpost.com