Sunday, November 15, 2015

Apricot Granola

Sweet and salty and crunchy make the perfect snack. Plus dried apricots are just the best. 

This also makes are really great present wrapped up in a jar. 

"Tutti Fruitti" Little Richard 

Adapted from One Girl Cookies


  • 4 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the oats out on two baking sheets, and toast them in the oven for 14 minutes. Then transfer them to a very large bowl and let them cool.
On a baking sheet, toast each of the following ingredients separately: the almonds for 10 minutes, the sunflower seeds for 8 minutes, and the coconut for just 1 minute. Add the toasted nuts and coconut to the oats, and stir. Reduce the oven temperature to 225 degrees.
Add the salt, honey, oil, and vanilla to the mixture in the bowl, and mix thoroughly. Divide the mixture between the two baking sheets, and bake for 2 hours. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the granola cool for 20 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the apricots with the baked ingredients. Allow the granola to cool to room temperature. The granola will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Butterbeer Hot Chocolate

We had no classes on Wednesday for Veteran's Day/Armistice Day, and so for the first time this semester I had enough time and will to go out and buy a broom and go to a quidditch game. And I am totally regretting that I didn't go until now. So much fun! If you're in college and you haven't played or if your area has an adult league, highly recommend it. Seriously, running around with a broom between your legs is ten times more fun than any other sport could ever hope to be. It's like soccer, dodgeball, and football combined.

And on that related note, it was also freezing cold and raining and the miserable, slow descent into winter with the so cold but just above freezing rain and sleet is continuing here, so it's time to bring out the hot chocolate. And what better way than with butterbeer?

If you make the original recipe (linked below), it'll taste a lot like the Butterbeer Cupcakes I made a few weeks ago. And I did try it with the pumpkin, but I couldn't get past the grainy texture, so I revised it a bit and eliminated the pumpkin and cut back on the cinnamon.

Still delicious :)  

"You and I" Ingrid Michaelson

(I'm going to visit a friend this weekend and this song always makes me think of her.)

Adapted from Half-Baked Harvest


  • 4 1/2 cups whole milk or unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup butterscotch sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (optional) (consider it your very own firewhiskey ;) )
  • For Butterscotch Cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons butterscotch sauce (homemade recipe below)
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds removed or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For Butterscotch Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)


Add the milk to a large heavy bottomed pot. Add the cocoa powder, cinnamon, milk chocolate, butterscotch sauce, vanilla, butter and bourbon (if using). Place the pot over medium low heat until the milk is scalding, but not boiling. Be sure to stir the pot often to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom and burning.
Meanwhile, make the butterscotch whipped cream. Add the cream to a large mixing bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Add the vanilla bean and whip until combined. Stir in the butterscotch, leaving streaks in the whipped cream. Keep in the fridge until read to serve.
Once the hot chocolate is steaming, ladle into mugs and dollop with cream. 
!For Butterscotch Sauce
Melt the butter in a small sauce pot. Add the brown sugar, heavy cream and salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and bourbon, if using.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Spicy Meatballs Baked in Sauce

I have to admit that I had some doubts that this recipe could be as good as my other recipe for meatballs, but let me say that these most definitely made par.
They are also much easier than the others. No sautéing veggies. No waiting for ingredients. No baking meatballs separately. This one is almost a one pot meal (three dishes is pretty much just as easy), which as someone who hates doing dishes, is definitely a plus.

These came out moist and cooked to perfection. I didn't miss the veggies one bit.
But if you do, it's easy enough to fit some veggies into the sauce before you bake it.


I also made some cheese-less and meat-less ones with tofu.
They didn't come out as well, but I'm not too big on tofu.
And the sauce was just as delicious baking with the tofu instead. 

Adapted from Half-Baked Harvest


  • 1 pound ground beef (or sausage)
  • 2 thick slices soft whole grain or white bread
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup fresh oregano, chopped OR 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (may use regular molasses)
  • 1 tablespoon Gochujang (Korean chile paste) (optional)* (here's a substitute recipe if you have sweet rice flour)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 (28 ounce) can san marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 2 tablespoons harissa (optional) (can sub in chili powder, cumin, coriander, and paprika) 
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 4 ounce provolone, shredded
  • fresh oregano, for serving
  • pasta, for serving


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with olive oil.
Add the ground beef to a mixing bowl. Take the bread and run it under water until dampened, but not soaked. Gently squeeze the excess water out of the the bread and then crumble the dampened bread into pieces and add to the bowl with the sausage. To the bowl, add the egg, oregano, cumin, molasses and Gochujang. Coat your hands with a bit of olive oil, and roll the meat into 2 tablespoon size balls (will make 10-12 meatballs. I make mine a bit big so I got 10). Place the meat balls in the prepared baking dish and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are crisp on the outside, but not yet cooked through on the inside.
While the meatballs are baking, combine the olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, harissa (if using) and a pinch of salt + pepper in a bowl. Once the meatballs are ready, pour the sauce over them. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 25 minutes longer or until the meatballs are cooked through. Remove the foil and add the cheese. Place back in the oven until the mozzarella and provolone cheese are melted and golden, about 10 minutes. Serve with fresh oregano and your favorite pasta.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thai Pumpkin Laksa with Roasted Chickpeas

And the pumpkin craze continues. (On a related note, if you haven't seen Alton Brown's Good Eat's pumpkin episode it is definitely worth watching)

This soup really brings out the pumpkin flavor in a unique way. (And let's be honest, I'm a sucker for broccoli and soy sauce in any form)

"Young Blood" The Naked and Famous

Taken from Half-Baked Harvest

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 red fresno pepper, seeds removed + chopped (may use a jalapeno if needed)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 small pumpkin, peeled + cut into cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 1 rounded tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 (13 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 large bunch broccolini, stems trimmed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • arils from 1 pomegranate
  • For the Roasted Chickpeas
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained + rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • salt + pepper, to taste


Heat a large soup pot over medium heat and add the sesame oil. Once hot, add the garlic, ginger, fresno pepper and green onions. Cook 30 seconds to 1 minute or until soft + fragrant.
Slowly stir in the chicken or vegetable both and then add the cubed pumpkin. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkin is fork tender. Add around half to 3/4 of the soup to a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. Return the soup to the pot.
Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, fish sauce and coconut milk, stirring to combine. Add the broccoli and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the rice noodles according to package directions.
Once the broccoli is tender, remove it from the heat and stir in the cilantro + mint. Ladle the soup into bowls and add a big handful of rice noodles. Top with crunchy chickpeas (recipe below) and pomegranate arils. 

For the Roasted Chickpeas

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Spread the chickpeas out on a towel and dry them completely. Add the chickpeas to a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, cinnamon, brown sugar, salt + pepper. Toss well to evenly coat. Roast for 20 minutes and then stir the chickpeas around and roast another 20 minutes or until the chickpeas are browned and crunchy. Remove from the oven and serve warm atop the soup. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Creamy Avocado Spinach Pesto

Last weekend, temperatures here took a dive from the slightly chilly to the waking up with a frost warning. A dive that was accompanied by pumpkin cravings. Lots of pumpkin cravings. 
Cravings only to be satisfied by pumpkin gnocchi, right?

Also, I've been eyeing this pesto for awhile. Had the recipe open on my computer for month. Eyed it when I'm feeling unhealthy and pushing it aside for later.

I'm glad I didn't try it sooner because the pairing of this with the pumpkin gnocchi is so good and turns this very spring thing in an honorary fall meal.

Rusted Root - "Send Me On My Way"

Adapted from The Iron You and The Skinny Fork

Ingredients for Pesto

1 avocado, halved and pitted
3 cups baby spinach
2 tbsps almonds (or your favorite pesto nut) 
2 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 lime
½ tsp fine grain sea salt
Red pepper flakes, optional but tasty ;)
2 tbsps olive oil

Ingredients for Gnocchi

1 C. 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree (Not pie filling!)
1 1/2 C. Whole Wheat White Flour
1 Large Egg
1/8 Tsp. Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Directions for Pesto

Add the flesh of the avocado, spinach, almonds, garlic, lime juice, sea salt, and red pepper flakes (if using) to a food processor. Process for 2-3 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides as needed, or until smooth and creamy.
If it’s too thick add more water, one tablespoon at a time. 
Take a taste and adjust seasoning. Add olive oil and set aside.

Directions for Gnocchi

Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Dough should be slightly sticky. Add more flour if needed. Divide dough into four sections. Roll on a lightly floured surface until 1/2" thick. Cut into 1" pieces. Boil a pot of water and add gnocchi. Cook until they start to rise to the surface (about 5 or so minutes). Drain and let cool slightly.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Butterbeer Cupcakes with Treacle Frosting

I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, like to the point when it annoys me when people don't know really minute details of the wizarding world and don't have their house sorting exactly figured out.

 Do people really exist that don't know their Hogwarts house?

I'm not a huge butterscotch person, but I had to try these! And I'm glad I did. They are the epitome of fall in a cupcake, and are like biting into instant comfort (like butterbeer should be).

This one I'm not copying over (though I have to say go with the pumpkin beer instead of cream soda if you can! It's so good!) 

Check them out at Half-Baked Harvest!

And to listen to while baking, to get you in the Harry Potter mood:

"Hedwig's Theme"

and once you've listened to that twenty times (or more) google "wrock" and laugh at the clever lyrics.

Peach and Blueberry Pie

The days are growing colder and it's fall, but there's at least one more peach pie left in this year. 
Midterms are approaching and fall break is here, so I've got a bit more time for cooking and baking.

The year is going well. A bit too fast, but well, all the same.
Everyone in my major can feel a sense of impending work though. Just on the other side of fall break, but likely, it's not here yet and there's plenty of time for the last peach pie of the year.

Loverboy - "Working for the Weekend"

Adapted from Joy the Baker


For the crust:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk
For the filling:
  • about 3 lbs ripe peaches (about 6 or 7)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 to2/3 cups granulated sugar (check with sweetness of the peaches)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
  • 2 tbsp sugar for topping crust before baking if desired


    In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture. Some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes; some will be the size of peas. Create a well in the mixture and pour in the egg yolk and cold buttermilk. Use a fork to bring the dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It should be moist Divide the dough in two and gently knead into two cohesive disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator will help rechill the butter and distribute the moisture.

To make the filling, wash and slice peaches. In a medium bowl, combine peach slices and blueberries. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, spices, flour, and cornstarch. Pour the sugar mixture over the fruit, and gently toss together with a wooden spoon. Stir in the lemon juice. Place bowl of fruit in the fridge to rest while you roll the crust out.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a rack in the center of the oven, and place a baking sheet on the lower rack, just below where you’re going to place the pie. This will catch any pie drippings without making a mess of your oven.

Remove one of the pie dough disks from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into about a 13-inch round. The dough may be a bit crumbly, so be sure to knead it well before rolling. Roll the dough a few strokes, then use your fingers to move the emerging circle around the floured surface. This ensures that the dough isn’t sticking to the work surface. The circle won’t be perfect, that’s ok. Try not to get any tears in the rolled out dough, but if you do, they can be patched together with extra dough. Gently lift the 13-inch round from the floured surface and center in the 9-inch baking dish. Place in the fridge while you roll out the top crust.

Roll out the top crust just as you did the bottom crust, moving the dough across the floured surface every once in a while, and creating a roughly 13-inch circle. Remove the bottom crust and fruit filling from the fridge. Gently pour the fruit filling into the pie dish. Carefully remove the top crust from the work surface and drape over the fruit in the pie dish. With a small knife, trim the crust, leaving about 3/4-inch overhang. With your fingers press the top and bottom crusts together and fold under. Use a fork or your fingers to crimp the edges of the dough. Cut five small slits in the top of the crust so the juices and steam can vent.
   Brush lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
Place pie in the oven and bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. 

Reduce the oven heat to 375 and bake for 45 more minutes. Remove from the oven when crust is browned and golden, and the juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2 hours before serving. Place covered in the fridge to store. Pie lasts up to 3 or 4 days.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Coconut-Pecan Encrusted Baked Salmon

Now, marinating fish in milk may sound like a weird thing, but trust me on this. The milk adds a creaminess and a richness that is hard to find any other way. 
This is based off a salmon I had one time visiting my brother in Ithaca. I didn't quite get the creaminess of their salmon the first time but a few more hours marinating did the trick.
The toasted nuts and coconut add a crisp contrast to the creaminess of the salmon creating a wholly unique taste and texture.
Also, it's a great simple recipe for the first weeks of school.
I'm not quite loving all my classes yet, but I'm getting there :) and college has definitely been easier than my last few years of high school. Thank God!

"40 Day Dream" Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros


  • 1 lb of salmon
  • 1 cup of pecans, coarsely chopped (can substitute walnuts)
  • 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut 
  • 2 cups of coconut milk (can substitute cow's milk)


Cut salmon into individual servings and place in container to marinate. Pour the coconut milk over the top and cover the salmon completely. Marinate overnight or at least for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pecans over a baking sheet. Toast for 20 minutes.  Spread shredded coconut over a baking sheet. Toast for 10 minutes or until lightly gold.

Cover baking sheet in aluminum foil. Place salmon on baking sheet and spread coconut-pecan mixture over the top of the salmon. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until salmon is cooked through.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Oven-Roasted Chickpeas

This simple snack is so good- it must come with a warning that you will eat the whole batch regardless of your initial intentions!

Also, you can make these to suit your needs. Sweet with cinnamon? Can do. Spicy with chili powder and cumin? Yes. Simple with just salt? You got it.

"California" Phantom Planet


  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Spices to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Combine chickpeas, olive oil, and desired spices on the baking sheet. Put baking sheet in oven for 40 minutes or until crisp, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent burning.

Soft Pretzels with Spinach Artichoke Dip

Pretzels and cheese has been my comfort food. The perfect combination of texture, your teeth sink into the soft cheese before getting the snap of the crisp pretzel.
I like to think of Spinach Artichoke Dip with Soft Pretzels as the more sophisticated cousin of pretzels and cheese. An adult version of that simple comfort snack.

We could kid ourselves that its a bit healthier, but really, does it matter?

Comfort food is comfort food. Regardless of health concerns. 

To spruce it up even more, feel free to put poppy seed and/or sesame seeds on the pretzels with the salt.

"Unbelievable" Owl City feat. Hanson
This song is seriously my jam right now. I'm in the phase of new favorite where I listen to it nonstop. Three days in and still not sick of it. Possibly true love?

Adapted from Half-Baked Harvest


Soft Beer Pretzels
  • 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup beer
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • Canola oil, to grease bowl
  • 3 quarts water, for boiling the pretzels
  • 2/3 cups baking soda, for boiling the pretzels
  • 1 egg, beaten, for brushing before baking
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Poppy and sesame seeds (optional)

  • Spinach and Artichoke Dip Filling

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%, but whatever you have will be fine)
  • 1 ounce cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt (I used 0%)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup (about 5 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 (6.7 ounce) jar grilled artichoke hearts or you can sub marinated artichokes, chopped


To make the pretzel dough, combine the water, brown sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Add the melted butter, beer, salt, all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour to the mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
Coat a large bowl with canola oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size. This will take about 1 hour.
About 10 minutes before you're ready to roll out the dough make the filling. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Whisk in flour until it makes a paste. Cook over medium-low heat for a minute or two, then pour in milk. Stir and cook one minute, if your paste gets too thick splash in more milk.
Add cream cheese, mozzarella, parmesan and pepper. Stir until cheeses are melted. Stir in the greek yogurt until smooth. Chop artichokes and spinach and add to the sauce. Add the bacon, stir to combine. Dip will be thick, just use some muscle and stir in those veggies!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Divide the pretzel dough into 8 equal balls and roll each out into a rectangle (about 11x3 inches). Roll the dough up into a log. Pinch the seams together and then very gently roll the dough with your hands to form an even cylinder.
Take the two ends of each filled cylinder and form into a circle that is overlapped by a couple of inches of dough on either side, twist the ends and lay over the opposite side to form a pretzel shape and press to seal. Slowly add the baking soda to the boiling water. Boil the pretzels in the water solution, 2 at a time for 30 seconds, splashing the tops with the warmed water using a spoon. Remove with a large flat slotted spatula or a spider. Place 4 pretzels on each baking sheet, brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with sea salt, poppy seeds, and/or sesame seeds. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until pretzels are golden brown.
Remove pretzels from oven and let cool five minutes. EAT!!
Or if needed you can reheat the pretzels at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Candied Ginger and Ginger Syrup

I'm not a ginger person, but my grandma loves it. When she was little, she lived on a farm and would have a lemonade-like drink with ginger instead of lemon. She swears that ginger can cure every type of upset stomach, indigestion, and even her arthritic pains. 
She's an amazing person. Always keeping busy and getting stuff done.
And enjoying the little things in life.

Seriously, she is so good at design and making things look good.
I wish I had her talent for composition.
Anyway, here is candied ginger (and ginger syrup)

This song (and singer) is also one of her favorites. 
Iz "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"


0.5 lb. ginger, chopped into small, thin slices
2 cups sugar, plus additional sugar for coating ginger if desired
2 cups water


Combine ingredients in sauce pan on medium high heat, until the water begins to simmer. Reduce to medium heat and leave simmering for 40 minutes or until syrup reaches consistency of thin honey. Remove from heat and allow to cool.  If desired, drain syrup while still hot and toss ginger in sugar leaving to dry. OR after cooling, store ginger in syrup.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Leftovers Club: Red, White, and Blue Biscotti

I made these for the Leftovers Club exchange this month. I sent these to Ginger. Be sure to check out her blog! It's fantastic! Also, check out the Leftovers Club. It's really fun. 

My partner this month is Ginger from Stark Raving Delicious. Definitely go check out her blog! (And make delicious lemon zingers)

If you, like me are going on a road trip this 4th of July, this biscotti is the perfect thing to munch on in the car. That sweet tooth that always seems to hit on long drives is perfectly satisfied with these.

And if your the type who tries to limit how much you eat out of sheer boredom in the car, these are also fantastic. You can limit yourself to a few or because let's be honest that's not going to happen  you can be comforted by the fact that you are at least eating dried fruit.

Or Option #3: accept that the foods that you eat only on road trips are worth overeating on road trips.

Willie Nelson "City of New Orleans"


  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries
  • 1 cups walnuts


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in the eggs. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. Mix in blueberries, cranberries, and nuts by hand.

Divide dough in half. Form two logs (12x2 inches) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Dough may be sticky; wet hands with cool water to handle dough more easily.

Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).

Cut logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry; cool.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Artichoke Tapenade

This is my new go to snack food. Seriously, olives and artichokes? What could go wrong?
This dip has the sharp tang of olives and garlic while keeping the mouthwatering, mild sweetness left by the artichoke. The best of both worlds.

"Comeback Kid" Brett Dennen


5 artichoke hearts
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1 cup pitted green or Spanish olives
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
2 to 3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp freshly grated lemon peel (optional)
3 to 4 tsp.
1/3 cup olive oil
cracked or ground black pepper to taste


In the bowl of a food processor whirl the artichoke hearts, walnuts, olives, garlic, parsley, and lemon peel for a few seconds until everything is uniformly minced. Scrape down the sides and add the lemon juice and olive oil, and process or a few more seconds until the mixture forms a rough paste. Season with pepper to taste. Tapenade can be stored, covered, and refrigerated for up to a week

Grilled Corn with Basil Butter

More summer grilling! This definitely spruces up your usual grilled corn.

I'm usually not too too much of a basil fan. The taste always has echoes of anise for me. Yuck!
But with the salt and butter and sweetness of the corn, it fits right in.

This recipe makes a bit of extra butter. The leftovers can be eaten on toast or other vegetables. 
So good!

"Blister in the Sun" Violent Femmes

From Food 52


8 ears of corn, shucked
Olive oil

For the butter:

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup basil, loosely packed
1 tablespoon sea salt


Preheat grill to medium hot. Roll corn in a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. When grill is hot, add corn and close the lid. Rotate the corn a few times, until some of the kernels are blistered and the rest a bright and shiny yellow. This shouldn't take longer than 8 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, or the corn will be dry. 

Meanwhile, add the butter, basil, and salt to a food processer and let it rip. You may need to scrape down the sides once or twice. When the basil is finely chopped and the butter has a light green tint, it's done.

When the corn comes off the grill, slather it with the basil butter. Sprinkle with a little more salt if desired. Eat immediately. 

Note: basil butter can be made ahead and extra basil butter will keep for about a week or two in the fridge. You can roll it into a log with plastic wrap and slice it off as you need it.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Spiced Fries

What goes better with the start of grill-out season than French fries?

But maybe this year, it's time to step up your French fry game with these.
Of course, I'm terrible at grilling, so I will be munching these with something simple like grilled corn or veggie burgers. There isn't so much finesse with those.

 Chili powder and cumin is my all time favorite spice combination, so of course, I loved these!
Seriously, the hotter spices with mellow potato is so good!

I changed these up a bit and baked them instead of frying them. They came out just as good and crisp.
But if you're set on frying them or you're just in a rush: use grapeseed oil heated to 350 degrees in a Dutch oven and cook them for 5-7 minutes.

Naked and Famous "Young Blood"


3 Idaho potatoes cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch sticks (about 2 pounds)
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mild chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup chickpea flour
4 cups vegetable oil
Spicy ketchup


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse and soak the potatoes under cold running water for 20 minutes. Strain and pat dry.

Toss together the parsley, salt, chili powder, and paprika in a small bowl. Set aside.

Combine the cornstarch and chickpea flour in a large bowl. Add the potatoes and toss to coat.

Spray a baking sheet with oil, and spread the fries evenly on the sheet. Spray with oil.

Cook in oven for 35 minutes, checking every 10-15 minutes to turn fries to prevent burning, or until crisp.

Remove from oven and toss with spice mix. Serve with ketchup.