Eating In: Kahlo (Mexican Chocolate) Cookies

I received Libbie Summers’s Sweet & Vicious: Baking with Attitude for Christmas, and it didn’t take me long to find an occasion to test it out – a friend’s birthday. I wanted something that was easy to pack and go, so I went with cookies – “Kahlo Cookies,” to be exact. These spiced Mexican chocolate cookies seemed like the perfect balance of interesting and crowd-pleasing – and also, not too difficult (I wasn’t really trying to get into a four layer cake or anything).

Kahlo (Mexican chocolate) Cookies

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Eating In: Turkey-Veggie Meatloaf

And NOW to those healthy recipes I’ve been promising! The Boy saw something about Whole 30, decided that was healthy (no argument there), and put us on it until he realized we couldn’t have any dairy and hence couldn’t have our usual glasses of milk to drink…so a modified Whole-30-ish healthy route was laid out instead. We were delighted to discover a meal plan on The Nourishing Home, and selected a few recipes to kick off the New Year right.

Turkey-Veggie Meatloaf & Green Beans

First up – this turkey-veggie meatloaf. I haven’t made meatloaf in a long time, if ever, and of course it does have a bit of a…reputation. Still, the recipe was pretty straightforward, and we were trying to be healthy, so… Continue reading

Eating In: Potatoes with Soft Eggs and Bacon Vinaigrette

Ok, this is not a “New Year” recipe. We’ve got some of those coming. But this IS a delicious, cook-with-what-you’ve-got-on-hand, I-need-comfort-food-fast recipe. And to that I say: yes, please.

Potatoes with Soft Eggs and Bacon Viniagrette

A recipe from the infallible Deb Perelman of the amazing blog Smitten Kitchen, it is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – Potatoes with Soft Eggs and Bacon Vinaigrette. Continue reading

Eating In: Salted Brûléed Apple Tart

Yes, I know it’s January, and we’re supposed to be all resolutions and salad, but I made pies over the holidays and I was too busy to post them and so, you’re getting them now. And heck, at least one of you out there made the resolution to bake more, right? Just nod.

Anyway, this brings me to the Salted Brûléed Apple Tart from Kelly Jaggers’s Not-So-Humble Pies: An Iconic Dessert, All Dressed Up.

Salted Brûléed Apple Tart

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Eating In: Portobello Steaks with Avocado Chimichurri

Well, you can definitely tell we’ve hit the holiday season by how sporadic these blog posts are getting…I’m doing my best! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving (hope you did too) and I’ll be back with some holiday desserts soon. In the meantime, here’s another healthy, veggie-centric meal to help balance out all those holiday treats.

Portobello Steaks with Avocado Chimichurri

All credit goes to Dana Shultz of Minimalist Baker for the recipe (my second one in a row – apparently you’d all better stop reading this blog and go read that one) – Portobello Steaks with Avocado Chimichurri. Continue reading

Eating In: Roasted Broccoli, Sweet Potato, & Chickpea Salad

And suddenly we’re in November, and the madness of the holidays  is upon us! There are already far too many events and parties piling up on the calendar, not to mention the sweets and drinks and all kinds of delicious temptations that go along with them. As a result, we’re trying to really stay on the quick-and-healthy track when we cook at home (easier said than done).

Which brings me to this “salad” from Minimalist Baker – warm, simple, healthy, and delicious. Oh, and quick. Weeknights, it’s gotta be quick.

Roasted Broccoli, Sweet Potato, & Chickpea Salad

The main players are broccoli, sweet potato, and chickpeas. Red peppers were optional in Dana’s recipe, but the Boy is not a fan so I subbed in some shiitake mushrooms we happened to have on hand. The veggies get chopped and the chickpeas get tossed in oil and a myriad of spices.

The veggies go into the oven to roast, and meanwhile you whip up an easy and very yummy sauce that involves garlic, dill, and hummus.

Garlic Dill Sauce

Ingredients for Roasted Broccoli, Sweet Potato, & Chickpea Salad

The veggies come out toasty and golden, and get piled artistically (or not, whatever, you’re just gonna eat it) on a plate and drizzled with dressing. Salad? Sure-ish. It’s a mess of vegetables, but it’s warm and hearty and roasty, not like a lot of salads I’ve known. And I have to say, I like it all the better for it.

Roasted Broccoli, Sweet Potato, & Chickpea Salad

Roasted Broccoli, Sweet Potato, & Chickpea Salad
Adapted slightly from Dana Schultz of Minimalist Baker

I imagine this is another adaptable recipe, since it’s essentially just a bunch of roasted veggies with an addicting creamy-yet-still-healthy sauce. After all, I did the easy peppers-to-mushrooms swap from the original, and I’d bet depending on the season you could get quite creative. Still, the chickpeas and the sweet potatoes lend a nice meatiness, so I’d try this version first.

Yield: 2 Servings
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes

1 large or two small sweet potatoes
1 head broccoli, torn, chopped into bite size pieces
1 cup mushrooms, chopped into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
Healthy pinch each salt and black pepper

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, dried
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon tandoori masala spice
1 teaspoon sugar
Healthy pinch sea salt
Pinch red pepper flakes

Garlic Dill Sauce
1/3 cup hummus
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried dill
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Water to thin

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Add rinsed dried chickpeas to a mixing bowl and season with oil, tandoori spice, sugar and salt. Toss to combine.

Add sweet potatoes and chickpeas to one sheet, and the broccoli to another. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper – toss to combine. Arrange in a single layer.

Bake both for a total of 20-25 minutes, rotating the pans once near the halfway point. You can flip the sweet potatoes over to encourage even baking, but it’s not necessary. You’ll know the broccoli is done when it’s golden brown, the sweet potatoes will be tender, and the chickpeas will begin firming up and taking on a slight crunch. Set aside.

While vegetables and chickpeas are baking, prepare dressing by adding hummus, garlic, dill and lemon juice to a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Then add only enough water to thin until pourable. Set aside.

To serve, divide vegetables and chickpeas between two serving plates and drizzle with dressing.

Eating In: Lettuce Wraps with Almond-Basil Chicken

We don’t eat a lot of meat when we cook – really just because it’s cheaper to cook vegetarian and it’s still delicious, but the environmental reasons are a definite plus. As a result, my most used cookbooks are those heavy on the vegetables (you’ll notice how often I use Erin Gleeson’s The Forest Feast – my Mom just got her new party book and I’m very jealous). One such (gorgeous) cookbook is Bountiful by Todd Porter and Diane Cu, which isn’t vegetarian but draws the main recipe inspiration from fruits and vegetables, then adds in meat where it makes sense. We spent a week cooking out of it with great success (go buy it and make the Basil Pesto Farro Salad immediately), including making these Lettuce Wraps with Almond-Basil Chicken one weeknight as a quick, healthy meal.

Lettuce Wraps with Almond-Basil Chicken

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Eating In: Carrot-Leek Soup with Quinoa

Sometimes I have a bit of an app problem. Yes, iPhone apps. Not as bad as some people, certainly, but I’m always reading about all these cool apps and then downloading them and then forgetting I have them and letting them just hang about cluttering up my phone. Some of them are even quite good! For instance, KptnCook (don’t ask me what the name means) offers up three recipes a day, generally of the healthy, under-30-minute variety. Of course, I miss a lot of the recipes due to the aforementioned forgetting about the app, but when I DO remember to use it, the recipes generally turn out rather well. Which brings me to this recipe, which is heavily based on one from KptnCook – carrot-leek soup with quinoa (and other things too!).

Carrot-Leek Soup with Quinoa

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No Recipe Required: Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

We went to a party recently where the potluck theme was “elevated food from childhood.” The Boy immediately decided he wanted to make elevated tuna salad (with homemade bread – delicious!) and we also brought along this cake, which may not be fully elevated but certainly makes use of one beloved childhood food – ice cream sandwiches!

Layering Ice Cream Sandwiches

This cake, courtesy of Katherine Sacks and Epicurious, turned out to be a brilliant choice because not only is it super easy to make, it gets made in advance! Pretty much all I want out of party food. The only tricky part was keeping it cold on the way to the party, but a few ice packs made pretty quick work of that. Continue reading

Eating In: Golden Butter Cake with Berries & Mascarpone Frosting

Summer is a wonderful time, as long as you live in a place with A/C and own a good quantity of sunscreen. It’s a time of parties – hell, all the patriotic holidays fall during summer, and even the least patriotic among us appreciate a day off of work and an outdoor BBQ. It’s also – in my opinion – a time for fruity, lighter desserts, which I appreciate as those tend to be my favorite variety (especially pie…but that’s another blog post).

Hence, as we leave Memorial Day behind and approach Labor Day, I was excited to try my hand at making Valerie Gordon‘s Golden Butter Cake with Berries and Mascarpone Frosting, which seemed like a beautiful combination of patriotic coloring and summer berry bounty.

Golden Butter Cake with Berries & Mascarpone Frosting

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