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Secret Recipe Club
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Green Goddess Dip


Joel is in the market for a new camera, but before making a big commitment like that, he decided to try a few out by renting first. We had one last weekend, so we used it as an excuse to take family photos. We took some with my family a few years ago, but never got around to having them done with his family. It was a beautiful day, so after photos, his family came over for dinner, where I made a Low Country Boil. It was just as fun as it was easy. While dinner was cooking, we set up a few appetizers, including this delicious dip, made up of a few ingredients from my garden! I served it with some sliced peppers, as shown, but it would have been just as delicious with any other vegetable, sliced baguette, or grilled chicken or fish.

1/2 cup Basil Leaves
2 cups Parsley
4 Scallions, chopped
1/3 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
2 tablespoons White Vinegar

Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until all of the herbs are small and a thick paste has formed. Serve as a dip with vegetables, as a salad dressing, or as a topping for grilled meat or seafood. 

SOURCE: Real Housemoms


Lemon & Goat Cheese Ravioli

First of all, I apologize for the lack of photo. We did take one, and it looked nice, but then we rented a camera and the memory card was formatted for that camera and all of the photos already on the memory card disappeared. Secondly, today is a bittersweet day. It is my last Secret Recipe Club reveal day. I began participating with the club back in October 2011, and throughout the last few years, I have enjoyed getting to know so many bloggers and eating so much delicious food. I truly have enjoyed my time. However, life has a habit of getting in the way sometimes. I've become increasingly more busy, often times waiting until the last minute to make a recipe, and that isn't the way I wanted to participate. Also, in the next few weeks, we are working on changing things up around the blog. So, when things have settled down and my schedule has cleared up, I hope to be back. In the meantime, please keep in touch. I love to hear from all of you! And with all that out of the way, onto the food...

I truly lucked out when I was assigned to Sue's blog, Couscous & Consciousness, for this month's Secret Recipe Club reveal day! I get so excited when I am paired with people so far from my home. In fact, Sue is half a world away from me, all the way in New Zealand! Sue is also a yoga instructor, which is something I admire, as I've been getting back into my yoga practice this past year. Sue states in her bio that her yoga practice has led her to a growing awareness of the need to live and eat more mindfully and consciously. I absolutely love that. I aspire to do that, as well. Making the conscious effort to buy locally sourced ingredients that have been humanely and ethically treated not only helps your community, but also makes you feel better mentally and physically. Sue has been sharing so many amazing recipes since 2009, many of which are made of just a few simple ingredients. I'm sure you can understand how difficult it was to pare them down! I decided on this ravioli because I had just purchased a log of herbed goat cheese from a local vendor at our farmers' market and was wondering what to do with it. It most definitely made a delicious filling for this ravioli. I had borrowed my mom's pasta machine, but on the day that I made this dish, I wasn't feeling particularly interested in reading the directions to figure out how it worked, so I opted to roll out the dough by hand. It was a little thicker than it probably should have been, but it was very easy to work with! We had an unexpected friend pop in for dinner that night and everybody enjoyed the ravioli so much! Thank you for the recipe, Sue, and for the reminder to live a little more consciously!  

For the Pasta Dough
3 1/2 cups Flour, plus more for kneading and rolling
5 Eggs 
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
Zest of 3 Lemons

Mix the flour, turmeric, and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, Lightly whisk together the eggs in a separate small bowl, then slowly add them to the flour as the processor/mixer is running. Mix until the dough forms a ball (*I had to add about 1 tablespoon of water in order for my dough to come together). Remove the ball from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured counter. Knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes, dusting with extra flour as necessary. The dough will be elastic and silky. Wrap the dough in plastic and rest it at room temperature for 30 minutes.

For the Filling
11 ounces Goat Cheese
Sea Salt
Pinch of Chili Flakes
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients together, adding additional salt, pepper, or chili flakes to your tastes.

For Assembly
2 teaspoons Pink Peppercorns, lightly crushed
Fresh Tarragon, roughly chopped (I omitted)
1 Lemon, juiced and zested
Olive Oil 

When the dough has rested, divide it into 6 pieces. Using either a pasta machine or rolling pin, roll out the dough as thin as you can. Lay out one strip of pasta dough flat, then place teaspoons of the filling about 1 inch apart on one side of the strip. Brush the long edge, as well as between each spoonful of filling, with water, then fold the other side of the dough over the top. Lightly press against the edges of the dough and cut between each to make individual ravioli. Leave the ravioli to dry on a cloth that has been lightly dusted with flour for about 10-15 minutes, while making the remaining ravioli. At this point, you can freeze the ravioli. To cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain the ravioli and arrange on a serving plate. Sprinkle with the lemon zest, tarragon, and peppercorns. Drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice and serve. 

SOURCE: Couscous & Consciousness


Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Granola


Being home in the summer has it's perks, like sleeping in, playing with the puppy all day, and watching the Today Show and Let's Make a Deal, to name a few. However, having complete access to all of the food in the house (assuming we have anything good) can sometimes be a little rough, especially for a grazer like me. To combat that issue, I try to make sure I have some sort of healthy food that is easy to grab and snack on throughout the day. My fridge is currently stocked with cherries and raspberries from the market, and I have a large container full of this granola on the counter, so I think I'm off to a good start. Let's just ignore the giant container of dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's that may or may not be currently in my pantry...But anyway, let's talk more about this granola. It's very quick cooking, which is a huge plus. It was also insanely difficult to keep myself from picking at it as I stirred the mixture together, particularly the peanut butter/maple syrup mixture, which I could have eaten by the spoonful! The granola was great on top of yogurt for breakfast, but let's be honest, the majority of this batch has been and will continue to be eaten by the handful! 

2 cups Oats
1/2 cup Almond Meal
1/2 cup Pecans, chopped
1/2 cup Dried Cherries
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
2 tablespoons Butter, melted
1 teaspoon Vanilla

In a large bowl, combine the oats, almond meal, pecans, cherries, cinnamon, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, syrup, butter, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients over to the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes, then remove the pan, stir the granola, and turn the oven temperature down to 300 degrees. Return the granola to the oven and bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the baking sheet in the oven for 30 minutes, until the granola is crisp. Remove the granola from the oven and cool completely before storing. 

SOURCE: The Fitnessista


Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Stuffed Cookies


How was your Fourth of July? We spent the afternoon at Joel's aunt and uncle's cottage on the beach. We brought Willow, thinking that she'd have a blast with the other family dogs. Being the nervous dog mom that I am, I was a tad apprehensive about taking her off the leash in an unfamiliar place. I shouldn't have been though, because she was great. She had a fun chasing the other dogs, being fed extra hot dogs off the grill by my father-in-law and dog cookies by my mother-in-law, and weaving in and out of all of the chairs in the yard. We took the dogs all down to the beach to play, and while all of the others were splashing in the lake to retrieve their beach toys, Willow revealed that she is afraid of the water! She was quite content hiding behind a giant log on the beach as the other dogs played. After several hours, she was clearly starting to tire, and so were we, so we packed up and hit the road, before it was even dark enough for fireworks to begin.

When we got home, I decided to whip up these cookies that I had started a few days before in a "classic me" move, start something but leave it half way done. Since the filling was already frozen, and the butter was already softened, it didn't take too long to put these cookies together. I couldn't resist grabbing one (ok, maybe 2) hot out of the oven. I enjoyed it with a glass of wine on our upstairs patio while trying to see the distant fireworks display through the trees. 

For the Filling
1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter 
1/4 cup Powdered Sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/8 teaspoon Salt

In a bowl, mix together all of the ingredients until a smooth paste is formed. Roll into 24 balls, each consisting of about a teaspoon worth of the paste. Place the balls onto a foil/parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for at least 30 minutes, or until firm enough to handle. 

For the Cookies
1 3/4 cup Flour
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder, sifted
3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 stick Butter, room temperature
1 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugars together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop the dough using a medium cookie scoop, about 2 tablespoons. Split the dough ball in half and slightly flatten one half with the palm of your hand. Place a frozen filling ball into the center of the dough and top with the other half, making sure that it is sealed. Roll the filled dough into a smooth ball and place it on a cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 11-12 minutes, or until the centers are just set. Remove from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Yields 2 dozen cookies.

SOURCE: Love and Olive Oil


Roasted Garlic Butter Bucatini with Burst Tomatoes


Unless it is pasta salad, I don't typically think of hot pasta dishes during the summer. However, on an unseasonably cool night this past week, we decided to take a break from grilling to give this a try. What a great choice that was! As the garlic was roasting in the oven, the house smelled absolutely amazing. The garlic butter was so delicious, that I almost want to make some to keep it in my fridge for everything I can possibly use it for. While the tomatoes we used were store bought this time, I can't wait to give this another try once we have homegrown cherry tomatoes from our garden! Aside from the time that it took for the garlic to roast, which can be done well enough in advance, this meal comes togehter within a half hour. Once again, a great weeknight meal! 

For the Garlic Butter
1 Head Garlic
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 cup Butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt

Slice the top portion of the garlic head to reveal the cloves. Pour olive oil over the top of the bulb, then wrap it tightly in foil and roast at 350 degrees for about 45-60 minutes. Let the garlic cool slightly, then squeeze the cloves into a bowl, add the salt, and mash with a fork. Add the butter and stir together until the garlic is evenly distributed. Place the butter in a piece of plastic wrap, shape it into a log, and place it in the fridge to firm up. 

For the Pasta
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
16 ounces Cherry Tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
1/2 pound Bucatini Pasta
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated or shredded
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 cup Fresh Basil, chiffonade

Toss the tomatoes with the olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them on a bakking sheet at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until they are bursting. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. When the pasta is cooked and drained, toss it with 1-2 tablespoons of the garlic butter (I may have used the entire log...). Toss with the freshly grated cheese, red pepper flakes, and tomatoes. Top with the basil chiffonade and serve.

SOURCE: How Sweet It Is