I found a great new product I want to share with you. It is called Mrs. Mays Fruit and Nut Toppers. I found this at Costco today and I give it five stars.

This is a blend of blueberry, almond and cranberries. Bite size morsels of roasted almond and chewy cranberry. Very good sprinkled on dry cereal or granola. Also a good topping for yogurt or ice cream.

The bag is 16 oz. and resealable. Look for a green metallic zip lock bag at Costco. It is near the nuts. Nowadays when a three pound bag of walnuts costs $16.99, and a three pound bag of almonds is $9.99, this goodie is around $6. I don’t think you need much product to give a nice crunch to your yogurt.

By the way, almonds are a good buy and very good for you. The almonds at Costco are plain and not roasted or salted. I found a way to greatly improve on their flavor and texture.

Put a slicing disc on your Cuisinart food processor and pour some of the almonds into the intake tube.. Now, toss with a little olive oil, a grind of sea salt and spread in a roasting pan. Bake at 250 for about three or four fifteen minute sessions. Stir in between. You will have a nice big supply of sliced almonds.

Keep a zip lock bag of these to toss on salads, on veggies or add to cereal.

Now for a different taste and texture. Simply pour some of these almonds into the bowl of your Cuisinart or food processor and with the blade, pulse a few times. You will have chopped almonds. Do the olive oil, baking thing and you will have a nice supply of chopped almonds.

One little bag of sliced almonds costs about $2 and usually you get about four ounces.  You can easily make two one pound bags of sliced and chopped almonds and still have a pound left over.

If you like your almonds skinless, you can boil some water and throw in some almonds. The skin will slide off. Then you can chop them up to use sprinkled on vegetables. Roast in the oven with a little oil so they get dry.

Now if all of this sounds like too much trouble, there is a very good product called Almond Accents. These are in the produce section of most markets. I like the original plain roasted sliced almonds, but there are lots of variations.

These are very handy to have on hand. And for you readers who are thinking, ‘Who would go to all that trouble’?, here you are.

Amazing what you can do with some finely chopped almonds. Today I made a strawberry pie. This involved baking a pie crust first. I put the following into my Cuisinart. One stick of butter, one cup of flour and three ounces of cream cheese. Pulse till this forms a ball. Roll in almond crumbs, pat into a ball and put in refrigerator for an hour or more.

Now spray a pie pan with non stick and just press the dough into the pan and up the sides. No rolling necessary. Prick all over with a fork. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 for fifteen to twenty minutes. It should be pale golden. (the finely chopped almonds give it a nice flavor and slight crunch)

This is a really good crust. It would be perfect for lemon meringue or a chocolate pie. Coconut cream or banana cream. Or, as I did, a fresh strawberry pie.

If you haven’t made one of these it is pretty easy and looks great. First you will need two cartons of strawberries. Rinse and cut ends off. Save the biggest most beautiful ones to arrange all over the crust. After rinsing the berries, stand them on a paper towel to dry. Use one carton of berries for the strawberry topping.

Put these in a Cuisinart or food processor and mash them up. In a saucepan put one cup of sugar, three tablespoons of cornstarch and dash of salt. Add the crushed berries and stir over a medium heat until the mixture boils and is thickened.

Immediately add one teaspoon of lemon juice and if you like it redder, four drops of red food coloring. Cool for about ten minutes.

Meanwhile arrange the rest of the strawberries on the crust, Best if they are touching each other with the pointy sides up. Now pour the topping all over the berries and Voila.

Chill for at least two hours and serve with whipped cream which has been whipped with a spoonful of powdered sugar, or Cool Whip or Cool Whip Lite, which is what I use.

Or for an alternate choice, you can just mix the whole berries in with the topping sauce, pour the mixture into the crust and when it is cool, spread whipped cream or Cool Whip all over the top. Chill till firm.