Almond Meal Cookies

Friday, August 30, 2013

Oh, heyyy delicious almond cookies. Would you believe that I took these pictures and totally forgot about them? I'm pretty sure it's called photographer amnesia. I made these cookies in July, took pictures and completely forgot--all while feeling like I should really take the time to put together a new post. I've never been one to make things easier for myself so why start now?

Anywho, these cookies are bomb. They don't look like much and they don't call for many ingredients, but they are super tasty. Also, no raw egg so feel free to eat the dough, though it's no chocolate chip cookie dough. The recipe is from The Sprouted Kitchen's cookbook, which you should really have. Like get it now and thank me later. You're welcome.

What really makes these cookies is the crustiness on the bottom, so make sure you let them get nice and brown on the bottom. I used mini chocolate chips because I didn't have cocoa nibs so I'm sure that you could use chopped whatever kind of chocolate you want or have on hand. Now that I have some cocoa nibs I think I'm going to try them out here, you know, for the sake of science.

With wedding season winding down a bit, I look forward to sharing more here. I'm so inspired by other people's blogs and photography that sometimes I think the world doesn't really need another food blog. Then, at some point, I get the inspiration to make a new recipe, take pictures before chowing down and write a post and I remember how much fun it is. I just have to figure out what to try next...

Edamame Dumplings

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It's been a while. I've been it a bit of a food rut and haven't felt like taking the time and energy to create posts for this space. Food ruts are cyclical for me. It's not that I don't eat, that is never really my problem. The problem is that nothing sounds good and I end up lacking the desire or creativity to make anything I'm excited about. And the few times I have made something worth blogging about, I really just wanted to eat and relax.

The other reason I have avoided this area for the last couple weeks is that it has felt like just another thing I have put on my plate. Since the wedding photography conference I attended in March I have had my head down working on my business. Spending nearly every waking moment consumed with how to move in the right direction. And in that time I don't think there was any extra room left in my brain to dream about other things.

So in order to make this a place I can enjoy rather than another responsibility, I'm going to loosen up a bit and think of this more as a journal with an emphasis on food. I may even share some iphone photos here and there, just for the sake of sharing. Sharing over perfection.

Oh, you likely want to know about the food since you're here. This recipe is from The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook, which is packed with so many delicious, healthy and creative dishes. I have post-its on a ridiculous number of recipes, like I probably should have just skipped them because I practically marked the whole book.

I thought it would be fun to show the steps for this one to show how easy it is to make dumplings. It wasn't my first time making dumplings as I made pot stickers with my cousins once when I was younger, but they did all the work and it has been quite a long time.

 Plop some filling in the middle of the wrapper.

 Use your fingertip to glide some water along the edges.

 Then use your fingertips to press down.

 And you probably don't need this much flour.

 Prepped for steaming in batches.

I had to steam them in 3 batches to make sure they had enough room in the pan with the lemongrass broth. Yeah, lemongrass broth. You should make these. They are surprisingly filling as well.

Spicy Chicken Shawarma

Thursday, March 21, 2013

This recipe from Cooking Light is one of my favorite recipes for a weeknight dinner. It was such a big hit from the first taste that Stephen and I made it over and over until we completely burnt ourselves out on it for a good while. We made it for his parents and my grandparents, though we had to eliminate the spicy factor on both occasions.

Not that it's very spicy to anyone who remotely enjoys spice, but you can easily spice it up or down by adding chili flakes to your desire. This time I actually kept it pretty mild since I have not being enjoying spiciness too much lately.

The yogurt marinade makes the chicken super moist and flavorful. I often buy a bit more chicken than the recipe calls for and add generous amounts of ingredients to the marinade and it turns out just fine.

The best way to go about this is to make the marinade first and let the chicken hang out in there while you prep everything else. That way as soon as the chicken is done you can start serving and enjoy it hot. It's also best to warm up the pita so they are more flexible and don't explode.

You can find the recipe here.

Sweet & Salty Homemade Granola

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I have no idea why it took me so long to make my own granola, but I'm glad I decided to try my hand at it because it is so easy! I always compare granola at the store and am surprised at just how much sugar they pack into this should-be-healthy food, so it's a huge plus to actually know how much sugar is involved. This sweetness in this recipe comes from maple syrup, so make sure to get some good stuff. You could also use part maple and part honey, but I was out of honey and on a roll in the kitchen so I went with what I had.

I knew I wanted to try a new recipe, or rather to incorporate all the tastes I wanted, but after a major fail at trying to make up my own recipe before I was a bit scared. Luckily, last week Elizabeth posted a recipe where you can add in what you want. Bingo! I knew I would be able to safely make all the substitutions I wanted. If you haven't tried to make your own granola yet, I dare you--it's super simple. And it makes your place smell so sweet.

Pack it up and enjoy over the week. I eat mine on yogurt or with milk for a snack.

Nutty Granola with Cherries and Golden Rasins
Adopted from Elizabeth Rider's Easy Healthy Homemade Granola Recipe

2 cups whole rolled oats (not instant)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons grade b maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 pinch of kosher salt

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Mix the oats, nuts and seeds. Drizzle on the maple syrup and almond extract and throw in a pinch of salt. Toss that around.

Since coconut oil is solid at room temperature and I didn't want any chunks, I measured it out and then used the warmth of my hands to gently melt it. I held the oil in my palms until is began to soften and then tossed everything together by hand, making sure there were no chunks. Note: melting something so easily using just your hands kind of feels like a super power. Totally worth sticky fingers.

Spread evenly on a baking sheet, I used parchment paper but you don't have to. Bake for about 10 minutes. Make sure to let it completely cool before you pack it up air tight. Enjoy!

Banana Oat Bread

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hello, folks. I can't believe we're already halfway through February, I feel like the year just started. I have been working a lot on my business and there just aren't enough hours in the day to brainstorm, visualize and execute all the ideas in my head, let alone figure out how the hell taxes work. I digress...

I decided to make this banana bread when I found these sad looking bananas on the counter and didn't feel like throwing them out as I did the ones that came before them. Anyone else getting stuck with crappy bananas lately? I didn't realize purchasing bananas could be such a gamble.

I used a recipe from Cooking Light's Way to Cook for banana bread as a jumping off point for this one. I changed out the regular all-purpose flour for a combination of white whole wheat, unbleached all-purpose and ground oats, used muscavado sugar because I had some I had been wanting to try and used almond milk because that's what I had. And, I added nuts on top for some crunch. I will say, it is a bit dense. I'm not sure if it's because of my experimental substitutions or because I over mixed it. It is tasty and moist, so it was perfectly fine to me.

Oh, yeah. Happy Valentines Day!

Ricotta Gnudi

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hiya, folks. I really hope your weekend went better than mine. With the exception of a beautiful wedding on Saturday, I spent the weekend in bed with a hellish cold. I'm still getting my voice back, so even though I feel much better I still sound like a hot, contagious mess. Now that that I have your appetite going, let me tell you about this recipe.

Italian food is my absolute favorite and has been for as long as I can remember. Cheese, pasta, and tomatoes are my favorite foods so it's hard to wrong. Well, imagine my excitement when I received this month's Bon Appetit in the mail chock full of pasta recipes! This one caught my eye immediately so I looked at the ingredients to see it was doable. I had everything except that pasta and there are few enough steps--check. It wasn't until later that I realized that this isn't really pasta, but a dumpling. Meh, who cares? Dumplings were a first for me so I can still consider it an accomplishment of sorts.

I found the recipe for you on their website. As usual, I used Heidi's recipe for tomato sauce (minus the chili flakes) because I pretty much have it down to a science and I don't like to mess with a good thing. Bon Appetit's sauce is similar, minus the lemon and chili flakes and with the addition of a bit of sugar. If you have a tomato sauce you prefer, go for it. They also suggested serving the dumplings with brown butter and sage, which would also be a win in my book.

Bon Appetit Magazine, February 2013
Ricotta Gnudi with Pomodoro Sauce

Simple Roasted Cauliflower

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

This is hardly a recipe at all, but I'm sharing it because it takes minimal effort for an inversely delicious result. Also, you could do the same thing with broccoli, so that improves the usefulness of this non-recipe.

Simple yet satisfying food is what made me realize I was perfectly capable of cooking after spending my entire life avoiding the kitchen during any and all family gatherings. I preferred to be outside, hanging out with the dogs or just being lazy. Taking in the smells in from the other room and sneaking in for a nibble when I heard things come out of the oven. You know, to make sure no one would be poisoned.

One of the first things I mastered  was cappellini. Which I would make pretty much every week. Sometimes more than once. Once I started following food blogs I became much more curious and adventurous about new recipes. I'm always happily surprised when something I make turns out; for some reason it's engrained in us that cooking is some sort of elusive skill that can only be mastered by the chosen ones.

While there are definitely some who are more gifted than others, that is hardly applicable to this here recipe. If you are a chronic veggie steamer, I implore you to give this a try. You will get much better flavor with hardly any additional effort. Trust me--and you're welcome.

Simple Roasted Cauliflower

(simple ingredient list)
1 head cauliflower
Cayenne pepper or chili flakes
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Juice from half a lemon

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut off the florets and try to get them all about the same size for even cooking, transfer to a casserole dish
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, shake on some salt and crack some fresh pepper
  4. Add cayenne pepper or chili flakes to taste; I prefer cayenne but used to use the flakes
  5. Toss with your hands to spread everything evenly
  6. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye out during the last few minutes and pull out a piece to taste if you can't tell by sight that they are done (or you are just too hungry)
  7. Take them out and let them cool just a couple minutes. Squeeze on the lemon juice and give another toss
  8. Add more salt and pepper if you like, or some Parmesan-- that never hurts
I'm not sure how I made that into eight steps, but thank you for indulging me.

By the way, if you were subscribed by email I switched over to mailchimp, so please sign up again up top. If you aren't subscribed by email, I would love it if  you were. Subtlety rules.

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