Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Almond Sugar Cookies With A Sweet Coconut Glaze

I adore coconut.  Put it in something sweet, savory... I just can't get enough!  This is my go-to recipe when I am craving it.  These cookies are fast and super easy to make.  And, because it's a vegan recipe, my husband, who's bachelor's degree was in microbiology, gave the go ahead to eat the dough!  Yum.

Almond Sugar Cookies

1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  Mix oil, almond milk, and both extracts in a bowl.
3.  Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
4.  Combine wet and dry mixtures.
5.  Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet.  You can use this dough for cookie cutters, but I prefer just making the balls.
6.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden.

Coconut Glaze

1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup powdered sugar

1.  Combine ingredients and beat well.  
2.  Place mixture in a small Ziploc bag and cut the tip of one of the corners to use as a piping bag.  
3.  Pipe the glaze over the cookies.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cranberry Orange Almond Muffins

Up in the beautiful Teton Valley, located in Idaho, my Great Uncle Del lived for most of his life. He was a retired Air Force pilot, who spent the last 30 years of his life farming the beautiful landscape which he and my Grandfather had grown up on. Every summer as a child, my family would go up to the valley to spend a month at our cabin which was next door to his farm. I would walk over with my dad and play with his kittens while he and my dad spent hours visiting. Flax seed was one of the things that he swore by. I remember him passionately telling my dad how amazing this plant food was. Now that I am grown, I share his enthusiasm. Filled with Omega 3's and fiber, it has a powerful punch! So, in honor of Uncle Del, here are some of my very favorite muffins with a little flax seed hidden within.

2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup almonds, slivered

1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.
2. In a medium bowl, combine orange juice, almond milk, flaxseed meal, applesauce, and vanilla.
3. Make a well in the bowl of dry ingredients and add liquid. Stir to combine.
4. Fold in cranberries and almonds.
5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, or spoon directly into greased muffin pan. Fill each cup 3/4 full.
6. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden. Allow muffins to cool before removing them from tin.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Chick'n", Spinach and Radicchio Salad with Roasted Garlic Lemon Vinaigrette

One of my dearest friends, Sandy inspired this now vegetarian dish when she made it for my family while our husbands were both attending professional school. Because we were both on a tight budget, we would cook for each other in place of going out to eat. We did it with two other friends who loved to cook, so three nights a week my family had gourmet meals that I didn't have to make, and the other night I would cook for their families. Quite a few of my favorite recipes came from doing our meal swap.

"Chick'n", Spinach and Radicchio Salad

8 ounces fresh spinach
3 ripe Roma tomatoes, diced
2-3 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
4 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
2-3 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup julienne-cut radicchio
2 cups orzo pasta, cooked and chilled
fresh cracked pepper to taste

1. Heat about 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a saute pan on medium high. Add the gardein chick'n and cook about 2-3 minutes on each side. Slice and set aside to cool.
2. In the order listed, place all ingredients, except the parmesan and the chick'n, in a chilled mixing bowl and toss.
3. Top with chick'n and vinaigrette.

Roasted Garlic Lemon Vinaigrette

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 whole garlic cloves, roasted (click here for easy directions for roasting garlic)
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced (no seeds)

1. Place vinegar, honey, salt and roasted garlic in a blender. Add olive oil and lemon juice and blend until smooth.
2. Serve over salad.