Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kale Walnut Pesto Pasta

I saved the best two for last! (or at least my most successful two. ps. Sorry I didn't blog for like a month. I went through this time where almost everything I made was not good. Seriously. Ask Mark... it was rough.)

Ok, who doesn't love pesto???? It's divine. I came across this in a search for something interesting and new to do with my kale. To me, this recipe is a miracle, because 1. I seriously would never have thought to assemble these ingredients to make pesto by myself. 2. It's soooo my kind of pasta! It just one of those things that will always be a mystery of why I like it so much, and I will never try to figure it out so I can keep the "magic" real. Whoa that was cheesey. But seriously. Kale walnut pesto is too good for me. I am not worthy enough.

Kale Walnut Pesto Pasta

Serves 4

  • 1/2 bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound pasta (I used Whole Wheat mini shells)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional), plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a large pot of salted water, cook the kale until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the kale to a colander and rinse with cold water. Add the pasta to the pot and cook until al dente, and drain. Return the pasta to the pot.

Meanwhile, squeeze the kale to remove the excess water. In a food processor, combine the kale, walnuts, garlic and parmesan until almost smooth; season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. With the machine running, add the olive oil.

Add the pesto to the pasta. If you need to, add a little bit of pasta water. Allow the parmesan to melt into the hot pasta. Sprinkle with more parmesan top with walnuts.

My Crunchy Granola

I finally have a sweet granola recipe of my own! This stuff is good because 1. It has tons of nuts (A must for me) 2. It's super cinnamon-y with a hint of apple 3. It's crunchy 4. It doesn't have to be "cooked" in a dehydrator... you bake it in the oven!! I didn't think granola was possible without a dehydrator for a long time. But now my possibilities are endless!

Send me your favorite granola recipe! I want to try some more kinds and I want to know what everyone makes for their granola. :)

Crunchy granola :)

  • 3 heaping C Rolled Oats (Old fashion)
  • 1 C Chopped Nuts (sliced, slivered, and chopped almonds and walnuts)
  • 1/2 C dried fruit
  • 2 heaping T ground flax
  • 2 heaping T milled wheat germ

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

  • ¾ C Applesauce
  • ½ C Honey or Agave
  • 1 T Butter
  • 2 t Vanilla extract
  • 2 T Brown Sugar
  • 2 T Cinnamon
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1-2 T Orange or Lemon zest (optional, but your taste buds will say thank you if you do!)
  • a dash of nutmeg

Mix the wet ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until butter is melted. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix. It will be kind of "wet". Spread over a baking sheet and bake at 275 or something for 50 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes. Don’t overcook!!! Store in an airtight container/put in the freezer. When you eat it, sprinkle a good healthy tablespoon of toasted coconut on top and PLEASE use silk milk… it really enhances the cinnamon flavor!

Carrot Cashew Ginger Pate

This stuff is GREAT! It's a staple for me. I've always got some on hand. It's great for a party, or taking to dinner as an app when someone invites you for dinner. This is the halved recipe, because one person can only eat so much of it in 2 days. Maren and I actually got this recipe from a free sample stand at Whole Foods one time. Ever since, I'm absolutely addicted to the unique, bold, flavor and texture of this, and so is Shantelle. (Holler!) I wish I had a high quality blender/food processor though so I could make it more smooth. My little mini food processor ALMOST does a good job ;)

Carrot Cashew Ginger Pate

· 2 medium carrots

· ½ cup cashews

· 1 t fresh ginger

· 1 t minced garlic

· 2 ½ t lemon juice

· 1 t soy sauce/tamari

· 2 t EVOO

· Sea Salt

Blend all ingredients in a blender/food processor until a smooth paste forms. Dip baby carrots/wheat thins/pita chips/whatever in the pate and then EAT IT!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread

Easier than cinnamon rolls, just as great. Please slather this loaf with icing, because it makes it 100x more delicious.

It's a very photogenic bread.

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Yield: one 9 x 5″ loaf Ingredients:
For the dough:
2¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
¼ cup granulated sugar
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
½ tsp. salt
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

For the filling:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Combine the butter and milk in a small saucepan and heat just until the butter is melted. Set aside and let cool briefly, until the mixture registers 115-125˚ F on an instant-read thermometer. Add the milk mixture, water, vanilla and eggs to the mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until a cohesive dough forms. Continue to knead until smooth and elastic, adding additional flour as needed 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and is tacky but not sticky. Knead about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and cover. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. (After the dough has doubled, it can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before proceeding.)

While the dough rises, add the butter to a small saucepan and melt until browned. Set aside. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and mix well.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate.

Roll into a ball, cover with a clean towel and let rest for 5 minutes.

Roll the dough out into an approximately 12 x 20-inch rectangle.

Brush the dough with the browned butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the dough in an even layer. (Yes, really, use all of it.)

Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Slice the dough vertically into 6 even strips.

Stack the strips on top of each other and again cut again into 6 equal slices.

Stack all the squares on top of each other and set into the prepared loaf pan. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place, 30-45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Transfer the loaf to the oven and bake 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown. (If the top seems to be browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil at the end of baking.) Remove from the oven and let rest in the pan 20-30 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen and carefully turn the loaf out, transferring to a serving plate. Serve warm.

The Cowboy Cookies

Would you like a recipe of my own? Ok, here they are. I credit my mother for the idea with the captain crunch. It's genius! So good!

Cowboy Cookies

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 egg
  • ½ C white sugar
  • ½ C brown sugar, packed
  • 2 t. vanilla
Cream these together in a bowl
  • 1 1/3 C white flour
  • ½ t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 C quick oats
  • ¼ t salt

Blend these together in another bowl. Combine the two until just combined.

Then add the “cowboys”… a total of about 2 cups of the following:

· Chopped nuts (walnuts are great)
· Coconut
· Chocolate chips
· Crushed cereal (Captain Crunch, slightly crushed =delish!!)

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes


I don't know why they're "Friday" falafels, but it makes the name unique, which I like. I love love love these! I make them to stick in pita bread, top on salads, or just sub it for chicken when I want to go meatless. Feel free to add more spices as you please, especially some extra SPICE! I add added garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, paprika, Old Bay seasoning... you know... basically the whole spice cabinet (this is pure evidence that I was raised by and grew up watching Steve Sumsion, my father, in the kitchen (Some successes, and some/many failures).

This picture includes the chicken I made with the falafels, because
I knew Mark wouldn't want a falafel pita. haha

My pita, stuffed with falafels and tons of veggies. YUM.

Friday Falafels
Serves: 2-3 (easily can be doubled)

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup dry Italian breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3-4 t minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 large egg
1 tablespoon olive oil (for frying)

Combine all ingredients, except olive oil, in a food processor and process until smooth. Now, form whatever sized patties you like. I usually get about eight out of this recipe. Heat tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat, and fry the patties.

Serve with lettuce, hummus and whatever other veggies you might like!

Dilly Cucumber Salad

I LOOOVE this dish! I make it about once a week. I really love the dill in it too.

Dilly Cucumber Salad

Makes 2 large servings or at least 4 small servings

  • 1 large long English Cucumber, cut into ribbons with a mandolin or vegetable peeler(or you can cut it into thin rounds)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp sugar or honey(to taste)
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh dill(or you can substitute 1+ tbsp of dried dill)

In a small bowl mix together the dressing ingredients and leave them while you cut your cucumber. Cut your cucumber however you like. This time I did long noodle like pieces, but the last time I made it I took a veggie peeler and sliced 2″ long “noodles” all the way around the cucumber till I got to the end. Or you can just slice the end to get thin rounds. Just before serving mix the cucumber with the dressing. If you can, try to drain the cucumber before adding the dressing as there’s a lot of juice in the bottom of the bowl usually and you don’t want it to be too watery.