It’s cookie time!

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Christmas break this year was an all-out cookie extravaganza. Here are the winners:

  1. http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-the-worlds-easiest-cookies-just-happen-to-be-paleo-vegan-and-gluten-free-230608
    • These taste like pancakes, and I’m entirely unsure why I haven’t made a blueberry variety yet.
  2. http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes/how-to-make/almond-chocolate-chip-cookies/
    • These might be my favorite chocolate chip cookies I’ve made! I didn’t use almonds or almond extract, and I used a whole egg instead of the two egg whites. I don’t believe in egg whites. I might use fewer chocolate chips next time, and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Note that they don’t flatten in the oven.
  3. http://bakeat350.blogspot.com/2013/12/perfect-every-time-cut-out-cookies.html
    • These make such pretty cut-outs! My favorite decor was to press them into sanding sugar/sprinkles before baking, but I also like dipping them in glaze.
  4. http://bakeat350.blogspot.com/2012/12/simple-decorated-gingerbread-cookies.html
    • Also pretty cut-outs!
  5. http://www.tessadomesticdiva.com/2011/07/hail-merry-lemon-tart-knock-off.html
    • Not exactly a cookie, but SO. GOOD.

And one reject:

I wish I had more pictures of the cookies I made! But you got to see most of them. This is the only one I took:

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Go-to snack bar

http://www.bowlofdelicious.com/2015/02/16/5-ingredient-peanut-butter-and-banana-energy-bars/

These are so easy and delicious!

I didn’t add the cup of nuts/seeds, and my bananas weren’t ripe, so I roasted them on a baking sheet at 400 for about 15-20 minutes (until they’re black). Worked like a charm! To bake them I used a half sheet pan and my silpat and just spread them evenly in a big square.

I think I would halve the recipe next time, it makes a lot!

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Go-to Cornbread

http://www.thehealthymaven.com/2013/11/pumpkin-cornbread-gluten-free-vegan.html

Mike and I both loved this!

I did the applesauce substitute because I didn’t have pumpkin. I also subbed gum arabic for the xanthan gum, and I have no idea what difference it makes? I randomly have a bottle of gum arabic from a primate project I did in college, and after a cursory google and deciding that the word “gum” = similar enough, just went for it. I baked for 40 min, but would probably leave it in an extra 5 minutes next time.

[picture from my very ambitious gingerbread girl project]

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Beef Burgundy that will make you cry

This is a one pot wonder that is going to make you so happy. Its a lot of prep work and you need to be home for a few hours for it to cook, so its best done on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It makes a ton so be prepared to eat it for a week or freeze some. It lasts about 2 days in our house, but as I said, Ace is obsessed with it so it goes fast.

Ingredients

2.5 lbs beef chuck beef – cut into cubes

12 oz(ish) of bacon- chopped

2 yellow onions – diced

5 cloves of garlic- diced

1-1.5 lbs of chopped carrots (I add a lot bc this is Cora’s favorite part)

4-6 cups of broth (beef is the obvious choice but I use whatever I have)

1 bottle of red wine

1 tbs tomato paste

Thyme

Salt & Pepper

Butter/Flour

 

I like to start by prepping all of the veggies and meat first. A note on the chuck beef: some people cut the fat off but I don’t. Its tedious and also I think its a sin. Would our ancestors have cut the fat off?? Heck no- leave that stuff on. But, since you are my sister, if you do cut it off I will only judge you a little bit.

Heat the oven to 350. Heat a dutch oven on medium heat on the stove (I use my big daddy- I think its about 9 quarts). Brown the  bacon then scoop it out onto a plate, leaving the grease in there.

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Generously salt and pepper the beef, then add it in layers to the dutch oven and brown on all sides. Put it on the same plate as the bacon, leaving all the grease in the bottom.

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Add the onions, garlic, carrots, 1 tbs salt and 2 tsps pepper to the dutch oven and stir around until they are soft and smell amazing- about 10-15 minutes.

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Add the meat and bacon back in- make sure to get all the drippings off of the plate and into the dutch oven! Take a swig of wine then add the rest of the bottle into the dutch oven (thats right, all of it). Cover everything with broth until it fills up to about 2 inches below the top – if there is any left, save it in case you need to thin it out when having it as leftovers. Add 1 tbs tomato paste and 1 tsp of thyme (or oregano, etc – whatever you have) then bring to a simmer. Put the lid on the dutch oven and put in the oven for 2 hours. Your apartment will smell amazing soon! Once its done, return it to the stove. Stir together 3 tbs of butter and 3 tbs of flour- add it to the stew to thicken it. Bring it to a boil then simmer and add seasonings to taste. Serve with delicious sourdough bread made by sally!

I took a picture of the final product but for some reason it won’t upload- Ill try again later!

Freestyle Black Bean Soup

I entirely made this up, and was skeptical for the first 20 or so minutes, but it turned out really good! Odd quantities are because I mostly used what I had on hand.

Black Bean Soup

Time: approx 45 minutes

Tools: one medium sized pot, blendy

Ingredients:

1 can no salt added black beans (I would add another can)

1 box vegetable broth

1.5 chicken sausages, sliced and browned (I love True Story brand, and would add a whole or half package next time)

1 onion

3 bell peppers (this was a lot, you could do less)

4 cloves garlic

1 very small kabocha squash

1 box baby tomatoes

2 tbs masa harina (for thickening and deliciousness)

1.5 tbs cumin (approx)

1 tsp paprika (also approx)

A few confident dashes of cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Wow that looks like a lot of ingredients. Chop all the vegetables, duh. Not the baby tomatoes, because those are fruits (I just put them in whole because I hate slicing them.) Sauté the onion and garlic in coconut oil, add the bell peppers and spices and sauté a bit more. Add the broth, black beans, sausage, and box of tomatoes. Bring it to a boil and let it boil pretty raucously for a while to reduce a bit. When it looks like everything is ready to go (maybe 25 minutes?) take out about a cup of the soup (just avoiding the sausage) and blend it with the masa harina until very smooth. Pour that back in, mix it around and voila!

I topped mine with a little balsamic vinegar and horsetooth hot sauce and had brussels sprouts on the side. YUM.

No photo because it’s just not a stunner.

 

 

 

Dinner Pie

This is an oldie but a goodie- I forgot about it for about 2 years but made it again tonight. Ace loves it and the ingredients are easy to change. Im going to show you what I used today but I change it just based on what I have- plus it would be easy to make this vegetarian.

1 lb of chicken (anything- breast, thighs, whatever) – diced

1 bell pepper

1 big sweet potato – diced 

1-2 handfuls of already shredded carrots

1 chopped yellow onion

3 cloves of garlic

2 pie crusts

Goat cheese

Saute the onion and garlic in your cast iron skillet that still has bacon grease from the morning. Once soft, add the chicken and sprinkle seasoned salt on. Let the chicken cook almost all the way through. Add the veggies and sprinkle dill seasoning and more seasoned salt all. Stir around for awhile then cover with a lid for about 10 minutes. Heat the oven to 350. Lay out one pie crust on one side of a baking sheet and scoop in half of the chicken mixture. Cover with goat cheese the squeeze the sides of the crust around like a pie. Repeat with the other crust and the rest of the chicken mixture. (Pro tip- if there is extra chicken mix, just put it in the fridge and eat it in a bowl the next day- delish!) Cook for about 30 minutes or until pie crust is brown and beautiful. Enjoy!

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Pineapple Beef, Cauliflower Rice, and Tahini Pesto with Cilantro in a bowl

All good things.

Pineapple beef (except I used bison!!):

http://www.realfoodwholelife.com/blog/pineapple-beef-bowls-with-mango-avocado-salsa

Cauliflower rice:

Mexican Rice Bowls

Tahini pesto:

Fresh Herb and Tahini Pesto

Inspired by this recipe, but I sautéed the garlic in olive oil first (and used the big elephant garlic which was fun) and I don’t think I used mint…and I think I used a lot more tahini too. It’s a pretty flexible recipe I think.

Looking at the picture now I’m seeing Frontera salsa on the side which also likely made an appearance here…I’ll product review it. Love it.

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100 Days of Real Food Pumpkin Bread

Recipe: Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Bread

Pretty sure I followed this recipe exactly, and it was lovely! My house smelled SO GOOD.

Featuring TJ’s mini pumpkins and my favorite fall farm-themed napkin.

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Delicata Squash with Eggs

Delicata squash, as you know, is pretty much my favorite food. It’s delicious, I can put an egg in it, and I don’t have to peel it. The trifecta. In the image below I baked an egg in it, but I only did that once because I think it’s better with eggs made in a pan.

Delicata Squash with Eggs

Cook time: ~1 hour

Hands on time: ~20 minutes

Tools: Oven at 415, baking sheet, one skillet

Ingredients:

  • Delicata squash(es), cut in half and de-seeded
  • Side vegetable of choice to roast
  • Coconut oil
  • Eggs
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Horsetooth hot sauce if possible (product review on its way)

Prep your vegetables for roasting with coconut oil etc, then I put them and the squash on the same baking sheet. I don’t put anything on the squash prior to roasting. Cook for about 30-40 minutes (roughly?), it should all be done around the same time.

For baked eggs:

When everything in the oven is done, take out the pan and turn the heat up to 450. Smash sliced avocado in each squash half, crack an egg in and season it with S&P, and put the pan back in for about 12 minutes (remove the other vegetables first if necessary). Apply horsetooth hot sauce liberally.

Otherwise: smash avocado in each half, cook eggs however you want, and top the squash with them. Apply horsetooth hot sauce liberally.

Featuring pioneer woman plate and TJ’s mini pumpkins.

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Kabocha Squash Soup

Nobody can spell Kabocha correctly. Nobody but me. This soup is the best because it requires almost zero hands on time, you can jazz it up or down as time allows, and it doesn’t require looking up the recipe every time. I’m including the best-version recipe, but when I don’t feel like doing anything I just blend up the squash with a  can of coconut milk and top it with whatever is on hand. It can also be blended or topped with chickpeas for when you’re feeling vegetarian!

Kabocha Squash Soup

Cook time: ~1 hour

Hands on time: ~10 minutes

Tools: Oven at 400, one skillet, blender

Ingredients:

  • One Kabocha squash (image below)
    • Size according to how many people you’re feeding, but I always get a pretty big one since I only cook on Sundays, then it feeds me for the week.
  • One can coconut milk
    • I usually go with light, but whatever you like. And you can use one of those tiny cans of coconut milk or cream for more of a mashed potato-like situation
  • Bacon (i use one piece)
  • Onion
  • Seasonings to taste
    • Sometimes I’ll use creative things like turmeric and ginger and sometimes I’ll use just salt and pepper. Whatev.
  • Toppings: my go-to is roasted broccoli and True Story brand chicken sausage (product review to come) and a lot of pepper

Wash the squash (since you’ll not be peeling it) and put it on a baking sheet in the oven for about an hour. Check on it when it gets close to being done and poke a few holes. It’s done when it’s super soft and caramelly and your house smells amazing.

Meanwhile, cook however much bacon you want to use, then set it aside and sauté the onion in some of the bacon drippings. I learned the art of flavoring with bacon from you and am forever grateful.

When the squash is done, break it apart and scoop out the seeds and take off the hard stem pieces from the top and bottom and throw them away. Then throw the whole thing in the blender with the can of coconut milk, the bacon, and the onions. Blend until smooth. That’s it.

the humble kabocha squash:

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