Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Macadamia Butter Cookies with Dried Cranberries

We love these thick, satisfying cookies as humble as peanut butter cookies but not as crumbly. Dried cranberries provide a slightly tart counterpoint to the macadamia nuts' richness. The dough is somewhat sticky; chilling it briefly makes handling easier.

Yield: 30 servings (serving size: 1 cookie)
2/3 cup macadamia nuts
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 375°.

Place nuts in a food processor; process until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping sides of bowl once. Combine macadamia butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add vanilla and egg; beat well.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and ground nutmeg, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until combined (mixture will be very thick). Stir in chopped cranberries. Chill 10 minutes.

Divide chilled dough into 30 equal portions; roll each portion into a ball. Place 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in a small bowl. Lightly press each ball into sugar; place each ball, sugar side up, on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

Gently press the top of each cookie with a fork. Dip the fork in water; gently press the top of each cookie again to form a crisscross pattern. Place 15 cookies on each of 2 baking sheets.

Bake cookies, 1 baking sheet at a time, at 375° for 9 minutes or until golden. Remove cookies from pan; cool on a wire rack. Repeat procedure with remaining cookies.

Nutritional Information
76 (30% from fat)
2.5g (sat 0.4g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.1g)

Broccoli and Gruyere Au Gratin~Lisa Esplin fr. 'Real Simple'

Serves 8
Hands-On Time: 15m
Total Time: 1hr 00m
2 large bunches broccoli, roughly chopped (about 12 cups)
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups grated Gruyere (8 ounces)
kosher salt and black pepper
Heat oven to 375° F. Fill a large saucepan with 1 inch of water and fit with a steamer basket (or fill a large pot with ½ inch of water). Bring to a simmer. Place the broccoli in the steamer basket, cover, and steam until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes; transfer to a large bowl.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes (do not let it darken). Whisk in the milk and simmer until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheese, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Toss with the broccoli.
Transfer the broccoli mixture to a shallow 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cup of cheese. Bake until bubbling and golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
By Kate Merker, November 2009

Fish Tacos with Lime Cilantro Crema

Cumin, coriander, and paprika lend these fish tacos a delightfully warm, smoky flavor. They're the perfect foundation for the zippy sour cream sauce. For an appealing variation, substitute peeled medium shrimp for the snapper or romaine in place of cabbage.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 tacos)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds red snapper fillets
Cooking spray
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cabbage
Preheat oven to 425°.

To prepare crema, combine the first 8 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

To prepare tacos, combine cumin and next 5 ingredients (through garlic powder) in a small bowl; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over both sides of fish. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 9 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Place fish in a bowl; break into pieces with a fork. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide fish evenly among tortillas; top each with 1/4 cup cabbage and 1 tablespoon crema.

Nutritional Information
394 (14% from fat)
6.3g (sat 1.5g,mono 1.5g,poly 1.5g)
Lisa Bell, Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2006

Coconut Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream Frosting

Find potato starch in the supermarket baking aisle. Use lemon rind and fresh lemon juice in place of the lime for a variation.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 cupcake)
Cooking spray
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons potato starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2/3 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
4.75 ounces powdered sugar, sifted (about 1 1/3 cups)
1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare cupcakes, place 2 muffin cup liners in each of 12 muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray.

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.

4. Combine 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended (mixture will be the consistency of damp sand). Add egg and egg white, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to egg mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in coconut and vanilla.

5. Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when touched lightly in the center. Cool in pan 2 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

6. To prepare frosting, combine 3 tablespoons butter and next 3 ingredients (through juice) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating just until smooth. Spread about 2 1/2 teaspoons frosting onto each cupcake.

Nutritional Information
5.6g (sat 3.4g,mono 1.4g,poly 0.3g)
Kathleen Kanen, Cooking Light, MAY 2009

Coconut Lemon Snowballs~MyRecipes.Com

Lemon and coconut add a new twist to the traditional wedding cookie. Don't be shy when rolling these in powdered sugar--the more powdered sugar, the bigger the snowball!

Prep: 25 min.; Cook: 20 min. per batch; Other: 35 min.

Gift idea; Make ahead

Yield: 2 dozen
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and extracts, beating well. Add flour, lemon rind, and salt, beating until combined. Stir in coconut. Cover and chill dough 30 minutes.

Shape dough into generous 1" balls; place 1" apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden on bottom, but pale on top. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool 5 minutes.

Place 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar in a bowl, and roll warm cookies in powdered sugar, coating well. Cool cookies completely on wire racks. Roll cooled cookies in powdered sugar again, coating well.

Christmas with Southern Living, Oxmoor House, DECEMBER 2007

Monday, December 7, 2009

Chicken Parmesan

I got this recipe here and every time we have it, we are like mmm, mmm, mmm! As she suggested, we tried it with Provolone, but actually preferred it when we tried mozzarella cheese.

7-8 garden tomatoes (if you don't have garden tomatoes, I would suggest using 1 large can of crushed tomatoes and 1-2 cans of diced tomatoes)
1/2 tsp salt
dash pepper
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 small can tomato sauce
3 chicken breasts
2 eggs, beaten
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 c. Panko bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. parsley
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
6 slices Provolone cheese (or mozzarella, but we had Provolone on hand so that's what we used and it was amazing!)
1 lb. spaghetti

If you are using fresh tomatoes, peel them and mash them with a potato masher in a medium-sized bowl. Add salt and pepper, set aside. Heat a little vegetable oil in a large skillet and saute onion and garlic. When onions are clear, add the smashed tomatoes. Add basil, oregano, parsley, sugar, salt and pepper and bring to a good rolling simmer. Add tomato sauce (to thicken it up a little bit). It still may seem a little watery, but trust me, it thickens up quite a bit after it simmers. Reduce heat a little and simmer uncovered for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

About 20 minutes prior to serving. Put chicken in a Ziploc bag and add beaten egg and garlic. Smash all the air out of the bag, seal tightly, then work the the chicken around a little bit so it is covered in egg.

On a plate or pie pan, combine bread crumbs, parsley, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Heat some oil on medium heat in another large skillet. Remove chicken from egg mixture and press into the bread crumbs. When covered in bread crumbs, add the chicken to the oil and cook for about 1 minute on each side. Place chicken on a greased cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 375-degrees for about 12 minutes or until no longer pink. In the meantime, cook spaghetti to al dente. Remove chicken from oven, add 2 slices of cheese per chicken breast, then return to the oven for about 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Layer spaghetti, sauce, and chicken on a plate, garnish with parsley, then serve!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I found both of these recipes in a Glamour magazine that someone so kindly left behind for me on the airplane coming home from Cali for Thanksgiving. My mother-in-law made a fantastic green bean and cashew recipe last year for Thanksgiving and I saw both these recipes and have a huge bag of potatoes for $1.99. So I cooked both last night and was supremely impressed that they were delicious and healthy! I paired them with the premarinated salmon from Sam's Club (love it).

Coconut Green Beans

  • 2 Tbs. Canola oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. cashew pieces
  • 4 whole dried red chilies (I only put three in and it wasn't in the least bit spicey, so next time I will try 4).
  • 1 1/2 lbs. green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Salt, to taste
Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add mustard seeds. When the seeds start to crackle, add cashews and chilies. Once the cashews are toasted, add green beans and stir. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add coconut and salt. Cook another 8 to 10 minutes while stirring. When green beans are cooked through but still crisp, remove from heat. Serves 4 to 6.

Roasted Potatoes
  • 1 1/2 lbs. small new potatoes (I used regular Idaho and it was still yummy.)
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary (I used 2/3 Tbsp. dried, still yummy.)
  • 1/8 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, ground (I used regular salt.)
In a deep sacepan, cover the potatoes with cold water, bring to a boil and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the potatoes and, as soon as you can handle them, cut them into quarters. Lay the potatoes in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. (I cut them before I cooked them so they would cook faster.)Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together oil, rosemary, balsamic and cayenne. Toss potatoes in dressing, gently so you don't break the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.