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Monday
Sep222014

Applesauce Oatmeal Bars

Applesauce oatmeal bars

It’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! This month, I was assigned to Christie’s blog, A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. Throughout the month, I’ve enjoyed looking through all 7 years of Christie’s archives! There were several recipes that I wanted to try, such as Coq au Vin, Blistered Tomato Salad with Scallops, Panna Cotta, and a slew of Macaron cookies. I will most definitely be revisiting those recipes soon, but ultimately baked oatmeal won this month. Now that fall is here, I need to switch up my cold overnight oats breakfast routine and this baked oatmeal recipe is the perfect way to do just that. Reheating a square of these bars each morning makes for a quick, easy, and filling breakfast that keeps me full until lunch. The flavors of fall are an added bonus, too. Thanks for the great recipe Christie!

3 cups Applesauce, drained
2 cups Old-Fashioned Oats
1 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 cup Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon Ground Allspice
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped (I used pecans because that is what I had)

Line a strainer with paper towels or cheesecloth. Pour the applesauce into the strainer and drain for 20 minutes (Don’t skip this step like I almost did. It’s amazing how much liquid drains out of the applesauce). In a large bowl, combine the oats, both flours, butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, baking soda, and salt. Using a pastry blender (or your fingers), combine until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Press 2/3 of the mixture into a 9x13 baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the nuts over the oats and spread the applesauce over the top. Top with the remaining oat mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. 

SOURCE: A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Sunday
Sep072014

Greek Cucumber Noodles

Cucumber noodles

I don’t have a spiralizer. While I think they are cool, I also feel like they are a fad. Plus, I don’t need another unitasker to clutter my already full cabinets. Besides, my mandoline slicer has attachments that will julienne any vegetable, which gives just about the same result that a spiralizer would. A quick pass through the mandoline produced the perfect bed of cucumber “noodles” for this summer salad, which made for a delicious dinner and a quick lunch, too. Do yourself a favor and make this before the bounty of fresh summer produce withers away. You will not be disappointed! 

2 Seedless Cucumbers
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 Red Onion, thinly sliced (I omitted)
4 tablespoons Hummus
1/2 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Julienne the cucumbers using a mandoline slicer or a spiralizer. Divide the cucumber onto plates and top with the tomatoes, olives, and onion. Spoon hummus onto the center of the noodles and sprinkle the top with feta. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

SOURCE: Two Peas & Their Pod

Thursday
Aug282014

Funfetti Pudding Mix Cookies

Funfetti cookies

When it comes to cookies, I typically prefer them to be of the chocolate chip variety. However, I had some pudding mix in the cabinet that I wanted to use and when I searched for recipes, I loved with how colorful these funfetti cookies were and couldn’t wait to give them a try. Sprinkles or jimmies? Which do you prefer? I’ve always grown up calling them jimmies, but just last week, somehow that word was brought up and Joel said he had never heard of them being referred to as that before. I found it odd, because that is just what I’ve always called them. So I’m curious, what do you call them? Whatever it is, give these cookies a try. With school starting up next week, they will be sure to brighten up any lunch box!

2 1/4 cups Flour
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Butter, softened
1 1/4 cups Sugar
1 Egg
1 Egg Yolk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3/4 teaspoon Almond Extract 
1 package (3.4 ounces) Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
2/3 cup Rainbow Jimmies/Sprinkles

In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the egg and yolk and both extracts, then add the pudding mix. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the jimmies/sprinkles. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop the dough out and drop them onto parchment paper lined baking sheets 2-inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Cool on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 2.5 dozen.

SOURCE: Cooking Classy

Monday
Aug252014

Chicken Orzo Artichoke Salad

Chicken orzo salad

Summer is just about done, which makes me sad. But today is Secret Recipe Club reveal day, and that makes me happy. This month, I was assigned to Dorothy’s blog, Shockingly Delicious. Dorothy has a great philosophy when it comes to cooking. She likes to keep her meals on the cost conscious side, which is a plus in my book too! But no matter what, it always has to be “crazy good” or “shockingly delicious”, which is how she came up with her blog name. As per usual, I had a difficult time choosing a recipe, because so many of Dorothy’s recipes look amazing! I had it pared down to a handful, and I was sure that cheesecake would be the winner, but after a week of vacation eating, I thought it would be best to put the cheesecake on the back burner and have something a little more healthy. This pasta salad was absolutely perfect! We ate it warm, but it was even better cold the next day for lunch. Dorothy, it was so nice to get to know you this month. Thanks for the great recipe!!

For the Salad
3 cups Diced Cooked Chicken
1/2 cup Orzo Pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
3 Scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Italian Parsley, chopped
1 jar (6 ounces) Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained and chopped

For the Dressing
6 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper, to taste

For Serving (Optional)
Fresh Spinach (I used arugula, because that is what I had)
Kalamata Olives, halved
Grated Parmesan Cheese (I used feta)
Fresh Basil, shredded 

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until well combined; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, orzo, tomatoes, scallions, parsley, and artichokes. Toss with the dressing to combine. Serve salad over a bed of spinach, and add the olives, cheese, and basil to garnish, if desired.

SOURCE: Shockingly Delicious

Saturday
Aug022014

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa

Cauliflower tacos

Here’s another Mexican meal for you. We’ve had tacos with all kinds of meat, fish, lentils, and beans as the main filling, but one thing I never would have thought to replace those fillings with is cauliflower. I came across this recipe and was intrigued enough to give it a try. When I told Joel what we were having, he was a little apprehensive and asked if it was going to be good, which is usually what he asks when a meal sounds questionable and ends up being relatively inedible, forcing us to get take out (it unfortunately happens more than I’d like to admit). But, despite his skepticism, I went ahead and made these tacos for dinner last night. Imagine my surprise when Joel ate them up and declared them delicious! Sometimes, you just have to give those odd sounding recipes a try. They might end up surprising you in the best, and most delicious, way possible! 

For the Mango Salsa
1 Mango, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 Red Onion, finely diced (about 1/4 cup)
1 Jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 Lime, juiced
1/2 cup Cilantro, coarsely chopped (I omitted because my plant died)
 Salt and Pepper, to taste

Combine the mango, onion, jalapeño, and garlic in a bowl. Toss with lime juice and fold in cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and set aside.

For the Crispy Cauliflower
1/3 cup Olive Oil, divided
1 head Cauliflower, cut into small florets
6 tablespoons Panko Breadcrumbs, divided
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Working in batches, heat half of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 7-10 minutes. Toss with half of the panko and cook until the breadcrumbs have become golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove the cauliflower from the skillet into a bowl and repeat with the remaining oil, cauliflower, and panko.

For the Tacos
8-10 Small Tortillas (I used Trader Joe’s Corn & Wheat)
1 Avocado
1/2 Lime, juiced
1 cup Shredded Cabbage (I used green but red would be great too)
Sour Cream

To assemble tacos, mash the avocado with the lime juice. Spread some avocado onto a tortilla and top with cabbage, cauliflower, salsa, and sour cream. This recipe makes enough for 4 servings of 2 tacos each.

SOURCE: Love and Olive Oil