Home baked cookies are a Christmas tradition for our family. We typically use recipes that have been passed down from my husband’s family but this year I’ve been tempted to try something new. Cookies are a great project to bring the whole family together and you can make a day (or two) of it by baking several different types of cookies. We plan on giving them to our neighbors, friends, and sharing some with the local fire fighters down the street (those guys deserve cookies from all of us!).
Now here at the Women’s Suite test kitchen, we’ve been busy trying recipes for Christmas cookies to share with you! We’ve had a blast (and gained a few pounds) baking cookies from around the web and have found several that we think are keepers! We’re not done yet, as there are still several cookies on our list. We hope to test these recipes and share them with you in the coming weeks. Hopefully, you will enjoy these recipes and use the “work” as an opportunity to spend time with friends and family.
For pictures of our adventures in the kitchen, click here: Cookies!
Siobhan’s Thumbprint Cookies recipe | Epicurious.com.
If you went to your farmers market over the weekend and came home with a beautiful bunch of carrots with their tops still attached, then this soup is for you. From root to stem, carrots are the main ingredient here along with a few staples that you likely already have in your kitchen.
I’m really excited about this one in case you couldn’t tell – it’s so simple and delicious with no cream, no cashew cream, and no coconut cream (ok just a tad for garnish, but it’s really not necessary). The creamy base of the soup comes purely from the pureed carrots.
via Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Pesto Recipe – Love and Lemons.
With the changing seasons, our salads also change. While many lettuces are available year round, if you grow your own, you know Kale fares well in all but the coldest of climates! Here's a salad that incorporates some of the best that the fall garden has to offer! A delicious Quinoa Kale and Sweet Potato salad! Click the link below to be taken to the full recipe at CookieandKate.com
This recipe jumped out to me since savory sweet potatoes, kale, quinoa and pesto are a few of my favorite ingredients. It also seemed like a salad that would pack well for yesterday’s flights, and it did. I feel so accomplished when I arrive at the airport with a healthy meal in tow. Which, to be clear, is almost never. It’s a miracle when I remember to bring socks!
via Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potato and Kale – Cookie and Kate.
Baking with coconut flour
Have you decided (or has it been decided for you) to try going gluten-free? If so, then you've probably been looking for flour substitutes.They do exist, and I've tried a few. I'd like to share with you what I learned about baking with coconut flour:
It's not a one-for-one substitution for flour. You can't just straight-up replace regular flour with coconut flour. A little coconut flour goes a long way. I used only 1/3 cup of coconut flour to make 10 cookies.
Lots of hydration is needed. Coconut flour absorbs lots of moisture, so you'll need way more eggs or other forms of moisture than normal to hydrate coconut flour.
Coconut flour doesn't spread. Once I scooped the cookie dough onto the baking sheet, I gently spread the mounds out into the thickness and size of the cookie I wanted since the mixture doesn't spread during baking.
Thoroughly mix coconut flour. To make sure the end product is evenly textured, really hydrate and mix the coconut flour together well with the other ingredients. Since there's no gluten, you don't have to worry about the final product being tough.
via Coconut Flour in Gluten-Free Baking: What You Should Know — Let's Try Something New | The Kitchn.
Vegan Coconut Ice Cream – Guilt Free!
This Vegan Coconut Ice Cream recipe from MindBodyGreen.com seems to have everything going for it. It's simple, vegan, gluten and refined sugar free plus it manages to be sweet enough to still feel like an indulgence. This recipe shapes up in no time and can easily be taken on an afternoon family project. We hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as we did!
It seems like chocolate and vanilla always take the spotlight when it comes to desserts. But when there's an option for coconut desserts that have just the right amount of tropical flavor, nothing else compares.Coconut dessert recipes offer a different kind of sweetness, with a flavor that's just right during the summer.
2 cans of organic full-fat coconut milk
4 large dates, pitted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
1. Chill the coconut milk cans in the fridge overnight.
2. Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth.
3. Run the mixture through an ice cream machine as per instructions. If you don’t have an ice cream machine, place in the freezer in a large container and freeze until firm (approximately 4 hours), removing every hour to whisk with a fork.
Source: Vegan Coconut Ice Cream – mindbodygreen.com
As much as I love barley, I've never considered it a breakfast food….until now! Once you try this recipe you will join the Barley for Breakfast Club! While the author uses mango and banana's, you could substitute any fruit you like. I think this would be especially yummy with warm cinnamony apples!
While I've been loving this breakfast in the warm, late summer mornings we've been having, I'm sure it's going to be a most welcome pop of color during the darker winter days. Regardless of season, I hope you like it as much as I do.
via Recipe: Breakfast Barley Bowl with Mango, Coconut, and Banana — Recipes from The Kitchn | The Kitchn.
There are so many special diets out there nowadays that staying aware of them all can make your head spin. There are also so many different reasons for each, but there’s one thing that all of these diets have in common: healthy eating habits.
My family and I don’t follow a special diet; we simply stay away from heavily processed foods and eat as fresh as possible. For us, this means being able to incorporate variety and, most importantly, venturing out to discover the best recipes from all types of diets – because the same-old stuff hitting the table is boring.
A year ago, I picked up a vegan cookbook to broaden our palates. Wholegrains, vegetables, beans, seeds, and nuts were all the things we loved, so we dived right in. Veggie stir-fries, quinoa cakes and nut bars were all delightful (except for the tofu, which did not fly with the kiddo) but there was one ingredient that stood out among the rest: chia seeds. An omega-3 rich seed, these little guys pack a nutritious punch and can be added to practically anything. I would have never known if it wasn’t for trying my hand at a new diet.
Read more at http://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-features/features/overnight-chia-seed-pudding/#y9iqzST6tfBTTIiT.99
Lemon Sugar Scrub
I’m all about using what you have, so when I found this Lemon Sugar Scrub DIY while searching the internet for recipes to use my plethora of lemons, I jumped right on it! All the recent rain in Northern California has given a boost to our fruit trees and we’re overflowing with lemons and oranges. While no one is complaining, (maybe just a little bit) there is only so much lemon-curd, lemonade and lemon bars that one family can handle.
Have you ever planted too many zucchini plants and then became that lady? That’s me right now with the lemons. People see me coming with a plastic grocery bag of lemons and suddenly become very interested in something on their shoe. Seriously, would it kill you to make eye-contact with me?
In this DIY from www.iheartnaptime.net, learn to make you very own Lemon Sugar Scrub. It’s a good idea to make a double batch, I’m willing to bet you will want to keep some for yourself.
Wishing for the perfect seared fish?
There is nothing quite so wonderful as a perfectly seared piece of fish: Crispy crust on one side, just-barely-done meat in the center. It is one of the great tastes of the world, and it is my go-to method for cooking most any fish.
I was primarily a seafood cook for 15 years before I ever touched a piece of wild game. Fishing is in my DNA, and I am proud to say my parents taught me well how to catch all sorts of sea creatures. I did not learn this technique from them, however. I learned how to sear a fish when I was a line cook years ago. Pan-searing is a classic restaurant method of cooking fish.
The technique works on any fillet or fish steak. I am using striped bass here, but most fish will do. The only fish that don’t respond well to searing are those with lots of bones, like shad or very small fish, like sardines. Even so, I’ve seared deboned sardines and it worked OK.
It is not hard to master this skill, but there are some tips and tricks you need to know.
A few things first. Most fish have very tasty skin if it is cooked properly. Some, like triggerfish or sturgeon or swordfish, have skin so thick or rubbery that it’s essentially leather. Others, like mackerel, have skin so thin you can’t get a decent crisp on it. But ye olde fish, such as bass, perch, salmon, flounder, snapper or rock cod, have excellent skin that crisps nicely. Be sure to scale the fish (or have your fishmonger do it), but leave the skin on the fillet.
Here’s how I sear fish: