Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Wow…November has been insane so far. I have been to a wedding, a play, and an opening ceremony at my favorite museum. Now it’s time to get back on track, and why not do that with some deliciously amazing cookies. Last week I ran into a food-block when it came time to pick a recipe, so I went to facebook for suggestions. It came down to Cranberry Oatmeal or Pumpkin, and just had no desire to roast a pumpkin to do the cookies. So Oatmeal Cranberry it was! I didn’t have a recipe for it so I decided to just start adding things to the bowl and see what happened. I knew I didn’t want hardcore oatmeal cookies, like a preacher cookie, but rather something more cake like. I then realized I was running drastically low on baking flour, but still had a brand new bag of whole wheat flour. Which resulted in some yummy “multi-grain” cookies, with cranberries added to them for good measure!
Ingredients:2/3 cup old fashioned oats1/2 cup whole wheat flour2/3 cup all-purpose flour1 tbsp baking powder1 stick unsalted margarine1/4 cup brown sugar1/4 cup white sugar1/4 cup cranberry juice (100% juice, no sugar added…the kind that makes your lips pucker)2/3 cup applesauce 1 cup dried cranberries
Directions:1. Preheat the oven to 3752. Cream the butter with the two types of sugar. Add the applesauce and baking powder and mix well. Slowly add the oats and flours and gently mix before adding the cranberry juice. Fold in the cranberries and place in fridge for 15minutes.3. Spoon the mixture onto cookie sheets with spacing in between. Bake for 11minutes.
I know adding juice sounds a little strange but it works. I picked the trick up from a cookie book I found in college, 1 dough 100 cookies. The original recipe was for an orange recipe, which is not such a good idea for me. However this works well for recipes that call for larger amounts of dry ingredients, such as oatmeal cookies. Keeps things nice and moist and delicious and cakey…which is exactly what I was looking for!
Eggplant with Peppers
I heard something scary the other day…there are people out there that don’t like eggplant. I can understand not liking broccoli or brussel sprouts (both of which I love) but eggplant? Eggplant is one of the most versatile vegetables out there, you can do pretty much everything with them. Fry them for some eggplant parmesan, bake them for rolletinis, saute them…cream them (hello baba ganoush)…the options are limitless. So I have to wonder if these people have been the unfortunate victims of bitter plant, which I have been guilty of doing. In fact the first thing I ever cooked for Joe included a few bites of this not so wonderful version eggplant. When eggplant is not properly prepped, or if it’s kept too long, it becomes a bitter cousin of its true self, and you can’t tell from looking at it. The trick: salt and press! Take the eggplant, cut it as desired, lightly coat in salt and then press it between two plates/cutting boards with paper towels to collect the liquid. After pressing for about 30minutes, rinse the eggplant and dry with paper towels. I would say this method works 98.9% of the time, because if the eggplant is old this won’t fix it. The downside of this is that one needs to know somewhat in advance if eggplant is on the menu. However taking out the risk of the bitter plant is well worth the extra time! This recipe is one that really showcases how amazing the eggplant is, taking center stage where it belongs.
2 tbsp EVOO
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb eggplant, cubed
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
2 cups mushrooms (shitake if available)
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup marsala
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste.
1. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and peppers. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
2. Add the eggplant and mushrooms, turn heat to medium high, and cook an additional 10 minutes until eggplant is tender. Stir in flour.
3. Add the water, marsala, and vinegar. Bring to boil. and then turn heat to low and simmer for 20minutes. Season to taste and serve over brown rice.
Did I mention this is a really simple recipe? Gotta love anything that was easy to prepare after classes. Typically I let this simmer while I did some minor cleaning/worked on homework. Now I let it simmer while I do some minor cleaning/take care of the furry children. This is also a very simple vegan recipe, which gives it bonus points in my book!
There has been a lot of action in the Casa de Dancing Veggies lately, lots of cooking and lots of recipe testing. In theory by the end of tonight I should have two more posts in addition to this one to celebrate two blog parties. One is the monthly International Incident Party hosted by Jeroxie and the other is a new one courtesy of RSVP Redux. Both pushed me to the edge and required me to use ingredients that I had either never used before or to use ingredients in a whole new way. I was also able to add a new cooking technique which is always a positive thing. Before I get ahead of myself though I figured I should share a recipe that is beyond basic beyond simple and also a great vegetarian dish to share with meat eating friends. When I went vegetarian over a decade ago I was really on my own when it came to cooking. I was inspired to go Veggie as a protest to my parents going on the Adkins diet (yuck) because I realized that all the delicious meals I enjoyed were no longer going to be a regular occurrence in the house. So I grabbed some of my mom’s cookbooks and started messing around in the kitchen…much to my dad’s “enjoyment”. Once I got to college I start finding recipes online and came across a recipe for lentil bolognese. At this time in my life I had only heard of lentils, normally in regards to various soups but had never really had them. This changed shortly thereafter when my dad took my sister and I to get Indian food and I had Dal for the first time. I decided I needed to revisit that strange bolognese recipe and see what it was all about. That first experiment was a crash and burn, with a very weak sauce that lacked the flavors I was expecting. This is when the experimenting really began, going from onions to leeks changing from garlic powder to roasted garlic to garlic cloves. Adding spices and subtracting spices…trying to get a taste that was more sauce and less soup. In the end this is what I had:
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 carrots, grated
1 red pepper, diced
1 leek, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
2/3 cup red lentils
14oz can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
1 1/4 cups veggie stock
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp basil
1/2 tbsp oregano
1. In a large saucepan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, pepper, carrots, and leeks and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Stir often
2. Add the lentil, tomatoes, stock, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, and then cover turning heat to low and simmer for 20minutes.
3. Serve over favorite pasta or over brown rice.
Told you it was a simple recipe. Once the cutting is done everything just gets tossed in together. This could also be done in a slow cooker starting from Step 2. Slow cookers are amazing inventions and I don’t know how I would have survived my first apartment without one!