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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

There’s nothing better than the smell of cookies baking in your kitchen. Even though it’s been pretty warm recently and turning on the oven isn’t that appealing right now, it’s worth it to smell cookies! I love white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Though I’m not a huge sweets person, I can make an exception for cookies.

I decided to bake cookies last weekend to bring to work and share with my coworkers. The key to baking sweets is getting them out of the house as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the hubs and I will eat them all and they will be gone in minutes… The white chocolate macadamia nut cookies were a hit at the office and at the end of the day, there were no cookies left to bring home! Success!

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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat melted butter, brown sugar, white sugar, egg, and egg yolk. Gradually add in flour mixture to the sugar mixture until just combined. Stir in the chopped macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips by hand.

On a parchament-lined cooking sheet, drop dough by the spoonful, an inch apart. Place cookie sheet in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes until cookies are slightly golden.

Allow cookies to rest on the cookie sheet for about four minutes, then place cookies on a wire rack to continue cooling.

Source: For the Love of Cooking

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Posted by on June 21, 2013 in Dessert

 

Warm Quinoa Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Chickpeas, and Cranberries

The hubs and I just returned home from a quick weekend trip to New Orleans.  Before moving to Denver, I was a NOLA girl and am still very much a Louisiana girl at heart.  A visit to the south in springtime really does wonders for the soul.  Even though it was pretty humid this trip, we spent a lot of time outside…walking through the quarter, Audubon Park, up and down Magazine Street, and we spent some quality time people watching on a balcony in the FQ.  Good friends, good food, and good drinks made it a wonderful weekend.  And, spending time with my brother and his pup is always lovely.

French Quarter Festival was going on, so we got to sample some of NOLA’s finest from the various food tents at the festival, including one of my favorite festival foods—crawfish and goat cheese crepes. And, I had to eat at all of my favorite restaurants.  I think I came back a good five pounds heavier.  Well worth it.

Now we are back in Colorado (and winter decided to show up again…in the middle of April) and it’s time for a bit of a food cleanse…at least for a day or so.  One of the best ways to eat healthy and still get a delicious meal is quinoa.  It is high in fiber and protein and so very versatile.  Making a quinoa salad is one of our go-to side dishes or lunchtime meals, but quinoa stuffed peppers and quinoa burgers are great ways to incorporate quinoa into your meals.

But, this warm quinoa salad with brussels sprouts, chickpeas, and cranberries is definitely one of our favorite meals.  It is perfect to bring for lunch throughout the week and is very filling.

Qunioa

  • 1-1/4 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1-1/2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed

For the Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • Pinch of sugar

Preheat oven to 475°F.  Toss brussels sprouts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast in oven for 20-25 minutes, until browned and tender, tossing once.

While brussels sprouts are roasting, cook quinoa. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to simmer.  Let quinoa simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit an additional 5-10 minutes, covered.  Uncover and fluff quinoa with a fork.  The quinoa should have absorbed all the water.

In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, oil, salt, pepper, and sugar.  Taste and adjust depending on preference.  Don’t be afraid to use more maple syrup. J

Toss the quinoa, brussels sprouts, walnuts, cranberries, chickpeas, and dressing together in a large bowl.  Serve warm.

Source: Vegetarian Times via Once Upon a Cutting Board

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Lunch, Side Dish

 

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Chili’s Copycat Salsa

I have a food problem.  It’s more of an addiction.  I am addicted to chips and salsa.  Throw in queso and I really cannot control myself at all.  Some of my favorite memories from college and then life post-college in New Orleans involve me and my favorite girlfriends getting together and eating chips and salsa.  When the hubs and I first started dating, one of our initial connections (in all seriousness) was over our mutual love for chips and salsa.

And, yet, I’ve never once made homemade salsa.

I realized recently that had to change.  Instead of buying salsa at the store or sending the hubs out to pick up chips and salsa from Chili’s (confession—guilty pleasure), I knew it was time to make salsa at home.

I found a recipe online for a copycat version of Chili’s salsa.  This version is spicier than Chili’s but the same consistency.  It turned out really good and very easy to put together.  Hopefully I can make fresh salsa this summer with tomatoes from my own garden, but for now, canned tomatoes work just fine.

Salsa

  • 1 (14 1/2) ounce can tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 (14 1/2) ounce can whole canned tomatoes (with the juice)
  • 4 teaspoons canned diced jalapenos 
  • ¼ cup diced yellow onion
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place the jalapenos and the onion into a food processor. Pulse for just a few seconds. Add the canned tomatoes and green chilies and the whole canned tomatoes. Add garlic salt, sugar, cumin, minced fresh garlic, lime juice, and cilantro. Process all of the ingredients until well blended but do not puree.

Pour salsa into a container, cover and place into the refrigerator. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Source: BlogChef.net

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2013 in Appetizer

 

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Quinoa Burgers (The Best Thing Ever)

It’s very rare that I make dinner and then exclaim, “this recipe has changed my life!” But, holy moly, let me introduce you to a little thing called quinoa burgers.  Do not be afraid.  Embrace this.

The hubs and I love quinoa.  After all, it is a super grain… But the way we eat quinoa is in salads and I have NEVER thought about making a quinoa burger… Because I spend much of my free time stalking food blogs across the blogosphere, I have hundreds, well, thousands of recipes bookmarked to make one day.  I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for well over a year. Thankfully, I was perusing FoodGawker this week and I stumbled upon the recipe again and thought, yeah, I can make this.

And, just like that, my world changed.

We didn’t actually make our dinner into burgers, just ate the patties as is, which is really all you need to do.  Add the ingredients to your grocery list and plan to make this tomorrow, or Sunday, but certainly don’t wait any longer.

Go! The quinoa is calling.

Side note—this dinner also made an otherwise unbearable Georgetown vs. Florida Gulf Coast basketball game bearable. March Madness bracket = busted.

Quinoa Burger

  • 2 rounded cups cooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed dry (use a clean dish towel to squeeze the zucchini)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 green onions, including white parts
  • 1/2 teaspoon Splenda or sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Olive oil for frying

Combine quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, zucchini, eggs, flour, green onions, sugar, black pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder in a bowl. Heat several teaspoons of olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop mixture into skillet. Using a spatula, flatten mixture into patties about 1/2 inch thick. Fry for about 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Makes approximately 10 patties.

Serve with tzatziki sauce for added deliciousness.

Source: Eating Well Living Thin

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Simple Sesame Noodles

The hubs and I are just about to celebrate four months of wedded bliss.  What has changed in the past few months since beginning our married life?  Not too much, actually.  My last name…and the fact that we’ve started budgeting.  We have entered into marriage with an attempt to curtail our spending a bit (or at least track what we are spending money on) and I have become the budget queen.  I love my Excel budget spreadsheet!

I am currently reading Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey.  Several of my friends have taken the Dave Ramsey course and I like a lot of his methods.  I would say we are somewhat following his teaching on budgeting.  It’s definitely a process but a great exercise for the hubs and I to go through together.

So, here we are at the end of the month, and we have spent all of our “food” category moolah.  Last night, I was starving and in a somewhat cranky mood that only food could make better.  I could have gone to the grocery store or we could have gone out to dinner, but that kind of would have defeated the purpose of the budget…so I tried to get creative with what we had on hand.

Enter the Pioneer Woman.  I had bookmarked her recipe for Simple Sesame Noodles and last night, as my stomach was growling, and I was trying to talk myself out of spending $5 on a foot long sub from Subway, I remembered the post.

And sure enough, I had everything I needed at home!  This meal was quick and easy, plus made plenty of leftovers for lunch today.  You could easily add a protein or some veggies to the meal, but I went just for the noodles this time around.  And, I recommend adding a tablespoon of peanut butter for even more deliciousness.

Simple Sesame Noodles

  • 12 ounces, fluid thin noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons pure sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 4 whole green onions, sliced thin

Whisk all ingredients (except noodles and green onions) together in a bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.  Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with green onions and serve.

Source: The Pioneer Woman

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Main Dish

 

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