Thursday, September 27, 2012

Apple Brownies

Fall. I am a coming at ya. Here I am, Full of kids birthdays, fall leaves, and football. Need I say more? Love. All things apple and cinnamon make me sing.  Fall, I love you mucho... gracias. 
Now, about them apples... Put them in a brownie or  blondie form. Do it! Love it...sing it out! 
Apples, walnuts, butter and sugar. Serious business. Get it going. 
Ready to bake. 
Lovely and golden brown. Just like home. Apple fall brownie bars. Delish.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Brussel sprout chips

Thinking of fall and all I can think of is crunchy. Fall leaves crunching underfoot, crunchy conversations about the holidays and turkey, the popcorn's crunch while watching a football game. Fall also gets me going on all things food. I love this time of year. I love thinking about warm pumpkin quick breads with cinnamon. I also love the fact that the good old sprout from Brussels gets put in the spotlight.
Sadly, the outer leaves of the Brussel sprout usually are trimmed off to allow the more delicate tender leaves of the sprout to brown or braise. Well, what to do with all those extra leaves? Roast the heck out of them. Yes, turn them into chips. Roasted in the oven until golden brown, crispy and of course crunchy.
Get your crunch on. You can use any spices to liven up the party. 

Trim the stems off of the sprout and then pull off the outer leaves. Spread them evenly on a baking sheet.
Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then add whatever spices you want. I used a two small pinches of ground ginger and a sprinkle of black sesame seeds. Toss all together and roast in a medium hot oven until the leaves turn golden brown and are crisp.
Remove, and let cool. See how golden they are. You can just pop them in your mouth.  
Use them like you would a garnish. You could sprinkle them over the top of another sprout dish to liven it up.  Or, add to the top of a fall pasta dish to it give some added nutty texture. Even place over a salad to seriously "crunch it up." Kinda like a green crouton.

Thinly sliced apples, chopped toasted almonds, chopped baby spinach, Cheddar cheese, top a handful of Brussel sprout chips. Go ahead add that crunch. Hmmm...I think I have something here. Enjoy!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Gluten Free Toasted Coconut, Almond Biscuits

There are those days and then there are those days. You know your late for work, alas, no gas. Ooops, coffee all over your new purple sweater. Sucks. It could also be your kid coming down with a case of the "I don't nap at pre-school, blues." This song is on the top 40 charts at our house, along with, "oh, that teething baby."

The most recent song that has been running through my head has been a mash-up called,"what else can I make gluten free".  Seriously, I made galette out of the cup4cup gluten free flour, and this month I received more of the good stuff from my Lost Crates gift box. Oh, the world of possiblities...
Toasted coconut flakes, chopped almonds, chopped chocolate chunks. I tried to keep them all pretty chunky to give it texture. Snacking on the coconut was a must.
I did not have buttermilk on hand, but thanks to Joy, I was able to make it myself. There is some pretty cool info on her blog. Plus she likes bikes. 
Shaggy dough mix together with the toasted coconuts, chopped almonds and chocolate. Ready to be cut into biscuits.
Biscuits be cutting
More buttermilk and a sprinkle of sugar to make their tops crunchy and golden brown. Oh sweet sugar.
Speaking of sugar and bikes... Here is Calvin getting his rad on. Enjoy the biscuits they are awesome gluten free or not. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chocolate Chunk Coffee Coconut Cookies

Our family enjoys bikes. Lately, weekends have been all about those two wheeled machines. And for some reason these cookies remind me of bikes. The letter "C" action coming at you. Chocolate chips, coconut and coffee all in one big cookie bite. Go for it. Get on it. Then ride your bike and keep riding until the porch light comes on. (or something like that. )
Lets get this bike party started. Shall we?
 Secret power shot. Espresso powder. Totally worth the jolt. 
 Brown that butter up. 
 Chocolate chunks, coconut, coffee. Need I say more?
 Enjoy with a cup of Joe.  Then snuggle on someone you love. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Roasted Spiced Chickpeas

So, yeah... a post on little brown beans...nuts?  I kno... but, these chickpeas are like no other chickpea in town. They are roasted, crunchy and spicy. Kind of like me when I don't get enough sleep and the darn dogs bark at 3 am.  Roasted, spiced and crunchy, but in a totally better way. I made these for the first time this past week and they are good. I think next time I will add more spice and roast them a little longer. They are super fun to make, eat and pretty healthy. Healthier for you than a corn nut. Although, lets face it corn nuts are just a delight! Boom. 
 Lots and lots of spices. You really can tailor this to what ever type of flavors you enjoy. Indian flavors, Asian? (Add some soy sauce or wasabi powder.) You could even roast with some olive oil, rosemary and thyme. Go bonkers banana pants with the flavors.  Throw in some roasted bacon and some sage and totally go nuts. Do it!!!
Roasted golden good.
Enjoy with some sparkling soda and lime or just a good old cold beer. New action on a cocktail nut.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cranberry, Almond, Granola Bars

Here we go here we go again.. it is almost fall.  New schools, new scarfs, new skinny cords, and new cheese? Ok... I have no clue why cheese just came to mind. Seriously, I just want to eat it while typing this post. 
But, school lunches are the real new thing up in this mug and granola bars are huge. Thank you, for all things granola, and almond with a bit of vanilla and cinnamon. Seriously, please and thank you...mucho! With a side of cheese please!. 
Mug this party up!!! Shred it and add some almonds and crans. Just do it! Do it good.
Food process it all together. Gonna have to. Gonna.  
Mash in pan. Mash it! This is WAY too easy.
 Lovely loves of baked golden granola in bar form. Bits of love in your lunch box, or brown bag or compostable container. Whatever. Eat it up. Enjoy and take that crayon and color your heart out. Please!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Black Pepper Tomato Jam

What? Extra tomatoes you say? Hmmm. Sometimes I have no clue what to do with all this bounty, by the way I love the word bounty... just saying. OK, lets get back on track. What to do with all those lovely, sweet, tomatoes before they leave us for another nine months. Yes, the answer is jam!! You so have to jam on it. Just jam on it. Please?
Early girl tomatoes dry farmed. Gotta get it. You gotta. Skins off via a quick blanche and peel. Nope not a new facial.
                                 Boiling up with sugar and black pepper. Simple easy. Lovely.
Simmer and sugar, lots of both. It would not be a jam without. Extra lemon to add a bright blast. I added more cracked black pepper and next time might add even more. Yes, yes... I have a problem.
Add to flatbread with some cheese please. Or just spoon it in your mouth. I sooooo will not judge. (Real talk.) You could also make some crazy-pants black pepper waffles, melt some cheese and then spoon this over for a delish brunch, or just to impress the pants off of anyone. Pants off, cry or otherwise!!! Seriously, just jam on it. Jam on it. Tomato style. Please.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chocolate Dipped Macaroon Cookies

Growing up I my mom used to tell me her favorite cookie was Macaroons. As a little kid I could not wrap my head around this idea. I mean...come on "everyone's" favorite cookie HAD to be Oreos, just like me...Right? Well as I have gotten older these cookies are also one of my favorites. The sweet golden coconut toasted to perfection along with the soft center of the cookie. To celebrate my mom's birthday we had to have a few of her favorite cookies. I even took them to a new level by dipping the bottoms in dark chocolate. It really does take a favorite to a whole new level. 
The beginnings of a lovely marriage of coconut, chocolate, sugar and vanilla. Seriously what could be better?
Making little mounds of love. I tried to keep these on the smaller side. You know so you can justify eating more.
Toasted and golden ready for a chocolate dip.
Dipped in melted dark chocolate. I used a double boiler, but you could also melt the chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave. Your preference.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Avocado, Arugula, and Grapefruit Salad

A whirlwind of activities have been going on in these here parts of Santa Cruz. New schools, new schedules, new hobbies, and new milestones. Due to all this "newness" there has also been lot of craziness and not a lot of down time. Cue the dialogue; "What do you want to do for dinner?" Matt, "I don't know, we don't have any food." Me, "Lets just have popcorn again and watch Season Four of Breaking Bad on Netflix." Matt, "Sounds like a nice night to me." So, as you can tell easy dinners or lunch ideas are all up in this house... and this salad is right on it! Simple, fresh and flavorful. Have it for a light dinner and you can totally shove a bowl of popcorn in your face, while watching Breaking Bad...Yo.
Let's get this simple salad started. Arugula, grapefruit and radishes add a bold amount of pepper, while the avocado mellows out the flavors to bring a sweet creamy bite.
Makes sure to section off the grapefruit to remove the bitter membrane.
Radishes sliced paper thin. You could use a mandolin or a sharp knife. Just be careful.

Peppery, with sweetness from the grapefruit and olive oil dressing along with the large chucks of avocado. You could make this ahead of time and then assemble and serve chilled. A new addition to our salad family. Now back for another bowl of popcorn.