Honey-Lemon Oatmeal Cookies with Ginger and Coconut

I am a cookie fanatic. I truly believe a good cookie can turn a sour day into a sweet one in so many ways. I love cookies with texture, which is why the oats and shredded coconut are so wonderful. Lemon, ginger and honey provide for a very adult-like cookie. Using fresh ginger is key! If you don’t have any, just omit. You could always add fresh lavender or rosemary for an equally sophisticated treat.

The recipe is adapted from Melissa d’Arabian’s “Ginger Lemon Oatmeal Cookies.” I just used less sugar, substituted the brown sugar with honey and added coconut and left out the nuts. If I do say so myself, these are delish!

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Miso-Marinated Flank Steak

For three years of my life, I was a “pescetarian,” a vegetarian who also ate fish and seafood. I realized during those years that eating that way wasn’t difficult, but the foodie in me didn’t like the restrictions. I’m glad I embarked on the culinary venture, but once and a while nothing sounds better than a little red meat!

I’ve been reading recipes from Bon Appetit’s “Food Lover’s Cleanse” and saw this one for Miso-Marinated Flank Steak. The recipe was the inspiration for my steak and Gordon Ramsay’s “How to Cook a Steak in a Pan” served as my guide for a cooking technique.

It turned out perfectly! I ate my steak sliced over a spinach salad. I plan to use the leftovers tomorrow night for steak tacos!

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Mushroom-Spinach Fusilli with Salty Sunflower Seeds

Caramelized Mushroom Spirals

You don’t always need to follow a recipe to make something turn out deliciously.

In my refrigerator, I had mushrooms and spinach that needed to be used, and I just purchased a new balsamic vinegar that I was eager to try. A number of potential dishes crossed through my mind—spinach mushroom risotto balls? a healthy spinach salad with caramelized onions and mushrooms? Balsamic chicken tacos? I decided to just start saute-ing and see what happened.

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Luscious Lemon-Cranberry Biscotti

Biscotti is one of my absolute favorite baked goods to make. It takes a while, which is one reason it’s satisfying: the best things in life are those you wait for, right? In Italian, biscotti translates to “twice baked.” Biscotti stores well, and the cookie is said to have come about during Columbus’s days of exploration. I lived in Florence, Italy for a while and would typically have almond biscotti with sweet wine after dinner.

I made this lemon-cranberry biscotti, adapted from this recipe which calls for white chocolate, not cranberries. I love the tartness of lemons and cranberries together and the subtle sweetness provided by the cup or so of sugar.

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Salmon with Raspberry-Balsamic Reduction

Raspberry balsamic reduction: 

1/3 c balsamic vinegar, 1/2 c raspberries (fresh or frozen), 1 T honey, salt, pepper

Place all ingredients in small sauce pan and let reduce. Should reduce to half of what you started with.

Salmon:

I used a fresh sockeye salmon. Full of healthy Omega 3 fatty acids and a beautiful pinky-red color.

Let the salmon sit out for 20 minutes or so to get to room temperature, salt with sea salt.

Once pan is hot, add olive oil, swirl around to coat evenly.

Add the salmon and let it sizzle! Oil may come flying toward you. Step away from the pan! Cook skin-side down first for about 4 minutes. Then flip and cook the other side for about 4 minutes, too. You may need more or less time depending on the thickness of the fish.

For dinner, I served my salmon on a bed of organic butter lettuce. I drizzled the raspberry-balsamic reduction, added some slivered almonds and a little olive oil on top.  A glass of either creamy chardonnay or a light pinot noir is perfect.

De-lish!

Homemade Creamy Nut Butter

I recently splurged, big time. I bought for myself a Vitamix Professional Series 300 blender. It’s a luxury, definitely. But after just a few weeks with it on my kitchen counter, I now cannot imagine my life without it. Every morning, I drink some variation of a green smoothie, made in my lovely Vitamix. I used to add into that smoothie some store-bought almond butter. Not anymore! Now, I add my own, homemade nut butter into my smoothies each morning. Later, I spread it on celery, on toast, or sneak over to my fridge with a spoon. Amazing!

When you buy a Vitamix, you get a big recipe book but most recipes are available online, too. I modeled mine after this recipe but the nuts I used are unsalted and not roasted. As you can see, I used a variety of nuts and ended up with a nutty, sweet blend.

I’ve also made pesto, homemade applesauce and salad dressings that knock my socks off! Who else is in love with a blender?