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These are my new favorite cookie. Ever. Chewy, sweet, nutty, they are not what I was expecting them to be when I first saw the recipe. Even after I mixed up the dough, it seemed oily and gritty. I just knew I had wasted a bag of almonds. What a surprise when I bit into one! I love them with a cup of tea or coffee after dinner, though I confess, I might have had one BEFORE dinner as well. ūüėČ

Almond Cookies

from The Nourishing Gourmet

2 cups ground almonds ( grind in food processor, and measure after grinding)

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coconut oil(original recipe says softened, but mine was definitely melted)

1/2 cup sucanat (or other unprocessed sugar)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all ingredients. Scoop rounded spoonfuls, roll into balls and place on baking sheet with an inch of space between. Press cookies down slightly using a fork. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just starting to brown.

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Real Cheese Dip

I love cheese dip. Who doesn’t? But I don’t love Velveeta. Well,¬†I at least don’t like the idea of it. Finding this recipe online¬†was a revelation to me. Yes, you can make a creamy cheese dip out of real cheese. The basic idea is to create a thickener out of cornstarch or arrowroot powder which will thicken the milk and bind the cheese to keep it from separating. Like a cheese sauce.

I dedicate this to anyone who has ever tried microwaving cheddar cheese and salsa and ended up with a gooey glopey mess.

Real Cheese Dip

1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder, available at The Granary (cornstarch can be used, but doesn’t give quite as fine a result)

1 egg yolk

1 Tablespoon milk

1 cup milk

1 cup cream(I always use half ‘n half since that’s what I keep on hand)

8 oz. cheddar cheese, grated

salt

Rotel tomatoes, salsa, or chipotle sauce to taste

Begin by stirring first three ingredients together in small bowl until smooth to create thickener. Set aside

Carefully heat milk and cream in saucepan over medium low heat until warm, add thickener. Stir until thickened, add grated cheese, and continue to stir until smooth.

Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and your choice of Rotel tomatoes, salsa or chipotle sauce. Serve with corn chips.

Chunks of chicken in a creamy, garlic and sundried¬†tomato sauce. I’ve served it over brown rice or whole wheat couscous(available at The Granary), which we prefered. This recipe probably serves 4 nicely, though I double the sauce to stretch it for my family of 6. Covers the couscous nicely, and leaves plenty of sauce to clean up with ciabatta. Yum!

This yummy recipe is from our friend Cindy. Thanks for sharing!

Chicken and Sundried Tomatoes

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces

1 small onion, cut in half and thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup chicken broth

1/4- 1/2 cup thinly sliced sundried tomatoes

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

cooked couscous, brown rice, or egg noodles

fresh basil, and romano cheese to garnish

1. heat olive oil in skillet, and brown chicken pieces on both sides. Do this in small batches if necessary to achieve good color and flavor. Remove from pan.

2. add more olive oil to same skillet and cook onions for until slighty soft. Add garlic. Cook until garlic is golden.

3. add sour cream, broth, and vinegar, and sliced tomatoes to pan with onions and garlic. Heat over medium low heat, stirring, until well combined.

4. add chicken. simmer sauce for a few more minutes until chicken is cooked through.

5. serve over brown rice, couscous, or egg noodle (we like whole wheat couscous best). Top with romano cheese and basil.

*Note: When I doubled the sauce, I did thicken it at the last minute with a little flour and water, but I suspect this would not be necessary with the regular amount of sauce.

Apple Dip- Perfect for Fall!

Fall is here! Finally cooler temperatures. I think I can officially handle cooking fall dishes now. First things first(I’m not ready to jump into pumpkin bread yet!), I had all the ingredients on hand for this dip, ready to whip up into a scrumptious autumn snack. Grab a container of Skor bits next time you are¬†in The Granary.

Apple Skor Dip

4 oz softened cream cheese

2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. sucanat(add more if you want it sweeter)

1/2. tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp. skor bits

Apples to dip

Mix the cream cheese, sucanat, and vanilla until sucanat is disolved and mixture is smooth. If doing this by hand, it may take a couple of minutes of stirring. Taste and add more sucanat until desired sweetness. Spoon into serving bowl. Sprinkle with skor bits just before serving.

New Favorite Salad Dressing

I mixed up this honey mustard dressing yesterday to top off a salad of mixed greens, bacon, hard boiled egg, and bbq chicken. It tastes divine. So good I might try marinading chicken in it next time, though it worked splendidly on the salad.

Honey Mustard Dressing 

from Tammy’s Recipes

1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
dash of black pepper

Place all ingredients in a mason jar with tight lid, or small blender and mix until well blended.

Rich Whole Wheat Crackers

Store bought crackers are expensive, especially those tasty wheat ones that make all the claims about being natural and good for you. I set out on an adventure to find an easy and healthy cracker recipe that would produce flavorful, tender, crisp crackers. Not an easy task. My first try wasn’t exactly a failure, but they weren’t as tasty as these.

This recipe had a distinctive cheese flavor to it, though it doesn’t have any cheese in it. Must be the yogurt. As much as I like them plain, these are just pleading for variation as well. The parmesan variation was well received, while the black pepper and onion powder flavor was not. Have fun experimenting!

A few tips to make them more like “real crackers”. Roll them out thinly. This isn’t hard to do, and if you make them a little pudgier, they will stay soft and not get crisp.¬† Try baking them a little longer than you think you should. Stop before they are dark, but golden it good. Also, look on the underside to see if it has some color. Try baking them in the upper half of your oven. That gave me the best results.

 

Rich Whole Wheat Crackers

adapted from the Nourishing Gourmet

Mix in a large bowl: 1 cup yogurt

                                         1 cup softened butter

                                         3 1/2 cups hard white wheat flour

                                          2 tsp. salt

If dough if too stiff to stir, slowly add a tablespoon or two of water until it can be stirred well.

Now, if desired, cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to sit on counter overnight(this is considered “soaking” and is done by some to reduce phytic acid present in flour). Or, proceed with next steps.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Divide dough into 4 parts and roll out, one at a time on lightly floured surface. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into squares or desired shapes and prick surface with fork. Lay out on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 8 minutes. If they aren’t done keep checking them every two minutes or so. Top and bottom should be golden. Cool on a cooling rack.

My mom grew up eating Mexican Sundaes and has passed her love for them on to us. Simply vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and spanish peanuts, think homemade peanut buster parfait(DQ, anyone?). The real magic is in the homemade chocolate sauce– it’s incredibly easy. Try it!

Spanish peanuts(available at The Granary) are deliciously sweet and nutty.

Chocolate Sauce

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup whole milk

1-2 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon butter

4 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the cream, milk, sugar and butter in a heavy saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat immediately. Add the chocolate, let stand for one minute, then whisk until smooth. Add vanilla.

The bittersweet chocolate from The Granary is divine and works beautifully in this sauce, but it will be very, very, VERY rich. For a tamer sauce, try the semisweet.