Pistachio & Cranberry Cookies

You probably have figured out that I don’t bake that often, but when I do, I like to make something special.  I am not the best at following directions, which is why I tend to stick with cooking and winging my own thing.  I have been trying to bake a little bit more which has been so fun!  In trying to find the perfect recipe for the cookie swap last month, I stumbled upon this adorable semi-homemade recipe from one of my favorite blogs, The Girl Who Ate Everything.  I ended up choosing the Peppermint Pattie Cookies for the cookie swap, but still HAD to make these! Continue reading

Walnut Red Pepper Dip

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Is it me, or sometimes do you just make a recipe that you just know you can always get along with?  Like… you make it and eat it and just think that you can have this every day forever and not get sick of it?!

Maybe it’s me, but if you don’t know what this feels like, well you just haven’t tried this recipe yet.  I’ve already made it twice this month and I’m making it again this weekend.  It’s that good.

This Dip was something I wanted to try as a “healthy” option for a few things i made for our NYE party this year.  It was the first thing to go… it is SO SO yummy.  I’ll be making it again for the Puppy Bowl Superbowl and think you should too!

Here’s the recipe for all of my friends who have been bugging me all month 🙂

Walnut Red Pepper Dip

Ingredients:
2 cups Raw Walnuts (pieces or whatever is cheaper)
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
1 jar (12 oz.) Roasted Red Peppers, rinsed and drained
1 Garlic Clove, minced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Lemon Juice

Directions:
1. Pulse walnuts, cumin, sugar, and salt in a food processor until walnuts are finely ground.
2. Add peppers, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, process until smooth.
3. Serve with veggies, crackers, chips, or even slices of crusty bread.

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Cooking Light 

Crush those nuts! :)

Crush those nuts! 🙂

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This dip has been delicious on just about everything I’ve put it on!  I have been buying the walnuts from Trader Joe’s, which the only options are for raw walnuts, but it would be just as good if you have roasted walnuts.  Also, since you’re pulverizing the nuts, don’t spend extra money on getting the whole ones either.

ENJOY!

Roasted Pineapple with Honey & Cashews

It has been so ridiculously cold this winter, I cannot stand it!  It’s Wednesday night and all anyone can talk about is the upcoming snow storm we’re expecting.  It’s supposed to last all night and into tomorrow, ending in the evening on Thursday.  I’m just over it!  It’s all over the news, twitter and facebook… shut up people!  Let’s talk about how the Phillies started Spring Training today!!

Snoop can show you exactly how I feel!

Snoop can show you exactly how I feel!

All I keep thinking about is how badly I wish I had another pineapple to make this dessert again.  But I don’t have one… and it’s already snowing.  BOO!

Stelly loves the snow!  The doggies are so excited.

Stelly loves the snow! The doggies are so excited.

Roasted Pineapple with Honey & Cashews

Ingredients:

1/2 cup packed Dark Brown Sugar

1/2 cup Orange Juice (I used Trader Joe’s fresh Tangerine Juice)

3 Tablespoons Honey

1 ripe Pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise into 8 wedges

1/4 cup Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt

1/3 cup Raw Cashews, coarsely chopped

2 Tablespoons torn Fresh Mint Leaves

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 450.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.*  Stir the brown sugar, OJ, and honey in a large bowl until sugar dissolves.  Add pineapple and carefully toss to coat in the mixture.  Let marinate, tossing occasionally for about 10 minutes.  Place pineapple on the prepared sheet and reserve the marinade.

2.  Roast the pineapple for 15 minutes.  Turn, brush with marinade, and roast until tender and caramelized (10-15 minutes longer)  Drizzle remaining marinade over the pineapple and let cool slightly.

3.  Divide pinapple among bowls (Dave and I ate the entire thing ourselves!!).  Spoon greek yogurt alongside.  Garnish with cashews and mint.  

Slighty adapted from:  Bon Appetit

*Make sure to line the entire pan!  The marinade is very liquidy and mine leaked all over the pan- it was a tough one to scrub off when I was finished.

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pineapple

What’s so funny about this recipe is that I originally posted the Bon Appetit version on my facebook so I would remember to try it!  Dave’s Mom thought it was mine and re-posted on her own wall showing me off!  I was happy to have all the love but that was enough inspiration for me to make it myself.  It’s probably the best dessert I’ve ever had.  After the Banana Cream Pie at Chef Vola’s.  

The original recipe uses pistachios, but Dave loves cashews and I had ’em so i used those instead.  Also, you can swap out the greek yogurt for some creme fraiche if you’re feeling fancy.  Whatever you do- don’t skimp out on the fresh mint.  Seriously.  It’s like a dollar at the grocery store and you can use the rest in tea and in recipes like this (I made it last week and holy moly it’s amazing).  While every single part of this dessert has its own perks… the mint… oh my gosh…. the mint.  It just makes this dish.  I don’t know why but it just does and it’s SO GOOD.

Anyway, this is a super easy dessert that will seriously impress people, so give it a try.  I can’t wait to make it again!

Spiced Pumpkin Seed & Cashew Crunch : BA Cleanse 2014

The Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse is all about cooking healthy, whole foods, and trying new recipes to keep you excited about cooking.  For Dave and I, this has been the “reset” button we needed to hit after eating not so well during the holidays and to gear up for a year of lookin’ good for our wedding!

Before the first day of the cleanse, we had to make a few recipes that we used throughout the days to have on hand like salad dressing, herby tahini sauce, and this amazing Seed&Nut Crunch.  It was a lot of work the first day, but I loved having my own homemade ingredients throughout the week.

Bon Appetit's Crunch... wow!

Bon Appetit’s Crunch… wow!

This crunch has become my new guilty pleasure.  I guess if it’s part of the cleanse, I don’t even have to be that guilty!

The crunch is delightfully spiced with just a hint of sweetness and adds some really nice texture to so many of the recipes.  We even had to make a second batch because we liked it so much!

I really wanted to share this recipe with you because it’s so versatile.  We put the crunch on salads, on hot cereals, yogurt, and even on some of our side dishes.  The spices can be modified to fit your personal tastes too.  I think this is one recipe we’ll totally be taking with us as we finish the cleanse and continue on with our healthy living.  Love it!

Spiced Pumpkin Seed & Cashew Crunch

Ingredients:

Nonstick Spray
1 Large Egg White
1 teaspoon Light Agave Nectar 
½ teaspoon Garam Masala 
½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
⅛ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
¼ cup Raw Cashews, coarsely chopped
¼ cup shelled Raw Pumpkin Seeds (pepitas)
¼ cup shelled Raw Sunflower Seeds 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300°.

Coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk egg white, agave, garam masala, salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Add nuts and seeds and toss to coat.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer mixture to baking sheet, letting excess egg drip back into bowl. Bake, tossing once, until mixture is golden brown, 20–25 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet.

Recipe adapted from:  Bon Appetit

The crunch was the perfect texture to top this salad of roasted carrots and beets

The crunch was the perfect texture to top this salad of roasted carrots and beets

I also used the crunch in so many breakfasts.  This one I will share the recipe with you soon- SO GOOD!  Hot Multigrain Cereal w/ Pom and Crunch!

I also used the crunch in so many breakfasts. This one I will share the recipe with you soon- SO GOOD! Hot Multigrain Cereal w/ Pom and Crunch!

 

I totally recommend making double this batch right from the start.  If you’re going to even think about snacking on this… just do it.  It’s so good.

Keep an eye on the crunch while it’s baking, my oven tends to burn nuts and seeds when I try to “toast” them, so I like to have the light on and check every couple minutes or so.  The mixture might be a little soft when you take it out, so wait until it cools completely to try it for the best taste.

Check out these other recipes from the #BACleanse…

White Bean Salad w/ Parsley & Pom

White Bean Salad w/ Parsley & Pom

Also, follow me on Instagram (@GoodtobetheCook) to see other pics from our cleanse experience!  Many more recipes to come.