Dang Good Oatmeal Choco Chip Corn Nut Cookies

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“Hmmm…” Thought I.  “I bet these corn nuts (maize tostada) would taste good in a dessert.”

“And…”  Thought I, “those chocolate chip cookies with the pumpkin seeds (semi di zucca)  were really good.  I wonder how they made them?”

“Oh look!”  Thought I with an exclamation point! “Oat flour!”

And that is how these dang good cookies came to be.

My husband likes them with a caffè (coffee) for dessert or a snack, and with tea (tè) for breakfast.  I like them Americana style with a glass of cold, raw milk on the side.

This recipe makes 18 cookies as measured out with an ice cream scoop.  Make sure to leave some space between them so each cookie has some room to spread.

*note* I used 1 tsp Lievito Pane Degli Angeli as a substitute for 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 t vanilla extract because I couldn’t find any regular baking powder.  I like the rising power of the Paneangeli, but I don’t really care for the artificial vanilla taste it has.

Dang Good Oatmeal Choco Chip Corn Nut Cookies

1/2 C (113 g) butter, room temp

1/2 C brown raw sugar (can substitute regular light brown sugar, packed)

1/2 C raw sugar (can use regular sugar)

1 large pasture egg, room temp

3/4 C white flour

1/2 C oat flour

1 t lievito pane degli angeli

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 C rolled or quick cooking oats

1/4 C pumpkin seeds

1/4 C chopped corn nuts

1/4 C chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla extract (if using) and cream again.

In separate bowl whisk the flours, lievito pane degli angeli, and baking soda.

Add about 1/2 the flour mixture, mix well, and then add the remaining dry flour mixture, mixing well, and scraping the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.

Add the oats, pumpkin seeds, corn nuts and chocolate chips.  Mix well with a wooden spoon.

Put into refrigerator and chill while you preheat the oven to 325 F.  Line a baking sheet with oven paper.  Once the oven has reached temperature, take out the cookie dough and measure out each cookie with an ice cream scoop.  Gently flatten the top of each cookie but don’t worry about a perfect shape.  The nooks and crannies help it to cook into crispy edges.

Cook for 10-12 minutes or until they are lightly browned.  Remove from oven and let cool down on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling grate.

IF, and I’m not saying you will, but IF you decide that you absolutely must have just a little taste after it comes out of the oven, you will notice that the cookie is ALMOST completely cooked in the inside, but not all the way.  That is perfectly okay.  The cookies will continue to finish cooking on the pan and as they cool down.

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Fresh Zucchini and Rucola Salad

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This beautiful, end of summer salad is just what you were looking for.

It’s simple – ingredients can be swapped out.

It’s malleable – side dish or a veggie main course.

It also counts as a pantry raid recipe because it was prepared with several ingredients that would have gone bad if we didn’t eat them NOW.

The potatoes, for example, were carried home from a meal I couldn’t finish at a restaurant.  The rucola, not rotten, was pretty wilted and dry.

The red onion was the last and smallest little guy, and the tomato had just a few slices taken off of it for a sandwich the previous day.

Tonight we are having a grilled sumac chicken, and this fresh salad is going to be superb.  There is a bit of heat on the chicken, and the char from the barbeque will pair for well with this fresh and light side.

Zucchini and Rucola Salad

1 C zucchini, chopped

1 small can sweet corn

1 clove garlic, minced

1 medium red tomato, chopped

handful rucola

1 C roasted potato, chopped

fresh squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, Maldon salt, fresh ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl.  Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top and drizzle olive oil.

Stir.

Add salt and pepper, stir, Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Carrot and Chickpea Soup

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Proud of this one.

Satisfying and easy to digest at the same time?  Check.

Nutritious?  Check.

Tastes really good so you don’t have to tell anyone it’s vegan, dairy free, or gluten free?  Check.

Plus, you can reduce the amount of broth to make it a puree to place underneath a charred cauliflower steak.

This recipe is for 2, when the only thing you are having is soup for supper.

Carrot and Chickpea Soup

6 good sized carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces, drizzled with olive oil and salt, and roasted for about an hour – I think this is about 1/2 kilo, or about an American pound

2 1/2 C vegetable stock

1/2 yellow onion minced

1 clove roasted garlic minced

2 medium tomato chopped

1 1/2 T Curry seasoning

Pinches of salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.

1 1/2 T curry seasoning

Rinse and drain a can of chickpeas.  Put on music, and take the membrane off the chickpea.  Put chickpeas in food processor.

Drizzle carrots with olive oil and salt,roast, and let cool.  I never peel them if I’m roasting.

In a small saucepan, with low heat, toast the curry seasoning. Add chopped onion and garlic clove with olive oil and cook on low heat until the onion is translucent but getting to be a bit brown but juicy.

Let everything cool, and then stick it in the processor with the beans.

Now you have chickpeas, carrots, onions, and garlic in olive oil, and the vegetable broth.

You need to do the chickpeas first, because they can get nice and fluffy, and that makes a difference.  Whir them up with some broth (better if the broth is COLD) and the oil of the carrot and garlic.  Add the carrots and the rest of the cooked items.  Put the oil from the carrot cooking in first, then do the cold broth.

Whip until fluffy and transfer to a pot..  Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for only about 30 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quinoa – when you don’t like it

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Nope, don’t like quinoa that much.  Just think it’s important to have a varied diet.  Everytime I make quinoa I make it when others will eat it, and they say “this is really good.  It’s the best quinoa salad I ever had”.

There are many many recipes for salads with quinoa out here on the internet, but so far, none of them do the very simple thing that I truly think makes a difference.

When you cook the quinoa, use some bouillon in the cooking water.

This is a cold salad with fresh vegetables, canned chickpeas, and vegetables agrodolce.  Extremely nice, healthy, and…the quinoa was made with a vegetable bouillon.

Enjoy!

Melon and Crispy Prosciutto Salad

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Summertime Summertime Summertime.  Farmers markets, fresh, sun kissed foods that are best eaten simply without a lot of adornment.  It’s picnics and barbecues, beaches, and if you’re lucky some time on a boat.

This salad is so easy that it doesn’t need a recipe, but it hits all the right points for a hot summer day.  With only 5 ingredients – prosciutto, melon, green onion, black pepper, and tuna, the only time it takes is cutting the melon and doing a bit of crisping for the prosciutto.  I made up the tuna part.  It’s ONLY 4 INGREDIENTS.  No tuna.

A little bit of research showed that certain foods can actually help protect you from hot sun and sunburn, as well as keeping you hydrated.  Melon is one of those things!  If you don’t eat prosciutto or bacon, add a little bit of salt.  Regardless of whether you have the prosciutto or opt out, put almonds in a small dish on the side – it tastes amazing together and increases the sun protection factor.

Melon and Crispy Prosciutto Salad

Cut up melon

Thin sliced green onion, white and green parts

Cracked black pepper

Quick and crispy proscuitto

Cut the melon.  Use any kind, but make sure to have watermelon as the base melon.  Add the green onion and black pepper.  Quickly fry the prosciutto and keep separate. Serve!

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Some food pics from a brief trip to Denmark

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The picture above shows smoked herring (who would have thought I would like it ALOT), and one of the best fish cakes I ever tasted in my life.

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This fish sandwich came topped with asparagus, small shrimp, lettuce, and a remoulade.

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These are truly happy cows.

I love, love, love to travel.  The world is magnificent and awe inspiring.  Every time I go some place new, there are a few things I do.  One, is that I check out the local food scene.  Pick out a restaurant or two, see what’s a popular food in an area.  I’m like a food scout.  But I’m not just looking for food, I’m looking for heart.

I don’t know if there is a word or phrase that I know of that actually describes what it is.   Authenticity maybe?

In a world of artifice, facade, fake facts, and propaganda, there lies an undercurrent of “something”.  A basic good will that still flows.  Sometimes I find it, sometimes, I don’t, but more often than not I find it.

Which brings me to the recent death of Anthony Bourdain.  I liked his shows because he would sit down with people over great food and hear their stories.  So I got to hear the stories too.  He took me to places that I had never been to, and might never go, and it was a wondrous world of…well, life.

That being said, I already know that I am a deep well, but it doesn’t mean I want to swim in it.  IF I am a deep well, I prefer that it be a spring of fresh water, bubbling up and watering the ground of my own soul and the souls I come in contact with.

So I’m going to stop being sad for a moment, and instead draw from the undercurrent of basic good will.

I look forward to a continued life of meeting everyone, sharing their recipes, and hearing their stories!

And you know what?  I got married.

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Balsamic Roasted Chicken Breast

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I’m not joking, this was a 1.19 pound chicken breast.  That’s HUGE.  That’s a little over 1/2 kilo.

I used to make this fairly often several years ago, and it’s a great marinade!  If you can get your hands on a whole, cut up chicken, it makes a beautiful meal for a family and looks really stunning on a platter.  Add some mashed cauliflower to soak up the sauce, and a nice, simple salad of greens and tomato, and you’ll have a dish that “probably” won’t have any leftovers.  But if you DO have some leftover chicken, it makes an awesome topping for a salad the next day.

*tip – when using balsamic vinegar as a marinade, you do not need to use your most expensive bottle.  Save that for use as a salad dressing or drizzled over vegetables.*

Balsamic Marinade

1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar

2 T olive oil

2 T Dijon Mustard

2 T lemon juice

1 t minced garlic

1 t minced onion

1 t dried rosemary

1 t honey

pinch salt, pinch pepper, pinch hot pepper, pinch beet powder

After it cooks:  1/4 C hot chicken broth with splash of lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 F

Whisk the marinade together and pour over the chicken breast.  I like to use a resealable kitchen storage bag, which I wash and reuse.  Marinate for at least an hour, but it’s even nicer to do it overnight.  Remove from bag and let excess marinade drip off.  Place the chicken breast, skin side up on a rack over a roasting pan.  Cook for approximately 35 minutes, brushing once during the cooking with the reserved marinade.  Remove from oven and put on a dish under a tent of aluminum foil while you prepare the sauce.

Put the roasting pan on top of the burner (make sure you are using a pan that is both oven and stove top safe!) Turn the burner to medium and pour the chicken broth into the pan.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all of the drippings from the pan.  Cook over medium heat until reduced by about 1/3.  Add a splash of lemon juice.  Remove from burner, pour over the chicken and serve!  This is an excellent marinade for a whole chicken as well!  Increase the cooking times by 5 minutes for the rest of the chicken (thighs, wings, legs, etc).