Gluten free chocolate chip cookies

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I made these for Miriam. They were so good, she made me tell her the recipe, so she could make them, too. I asked her to be my scribe  and put the recipe into her phone, then email it to me. I’m so high tech! These are so yummy, you don’t need to be on a gf diet to love them. They taste sort of healthy in an evil way.

 

1/2 cup cold butter, cut into half-inch pieces

3/4 cup gluten free oats

1/2 cup whole raw almonds

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

3/4 cup raw, cane, or coconut sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 pkg bittersweet or milk chocolate chips (about 1 cup)

Pulse all dry ingredients in a food processor until finely ground.
Add butter, pulse until fully incorporated.
Add egg and vanilla, process until combined.
Dump into bowl and mix in chips by hand.
Drop by generous tablespoons.
Bake at 375° for 15-18 min, let cool for 5 min before devouring.

Gruyere, Leek, Shiitake, and Artichoke Tart

 

This tart is really more like a savory cheesecake (which sounds weird, but is, in fact, delicious) than a quiche. It is yummy and filling and good for a brunch, lunch, supper, or snack. Leftovers are good cold, at room temp or reheated. And you could vary the veggies or the type of mushroom. Like, for example, asparagus would be great in place of the artichokes.

You’ll need a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom for this tart. You could probably use another pan, but the amounts could be off  if the dimensions are different. You also need a food processor.

I’m not specifying organic ingredients in the recipe, but I recommend using them if you can get them.

Crust

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup raw almonds

1/2 tsp salt 1 tbs raw or cane sugar

6 tbs walnut or olive oil 2 tbs ice water

1/4 grated parmesan (use the real thing, reggiano, it matters)

Filling  

2 tbs butter, coconut or walnut oil

2 leeks, sliced, washed carefully, and dried

1 package shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1 package frozen baby artichoke hearts

1/2 cup cottage cheese (lowfat is fine, don’t use fat free)

2 eggs (try to get free range, local eggs, they really are better)

1/2 cup grated, aged gruyere cheese

Make the crust

Put the almonds in a food processor and pulverize them until they are a fine powder. Add flours, salt and sugar and pulse to combine. Add oil and pulse until oil is fairly evenly distributed. Add water with machine running and let it run for a couple of seconds. You are not looking for it to form a solid mass, but when you squeeze a handful, it should kind of stick together. But not too important because you don’t have to roll out this crust!!! Being careful of the blade, put half of the crust mixture into the tart pan and begin to press it up the sides, using one hand to press and the other to even off the rim. Try to shoot for a little less than 1/4 inch thickness. When you have the sides and border done, add the rest of the mixture and fill in the center. Now, handling the pan carefully (if you push on the removable bottom, you  will mess up all your nice work), put it on a plate and into the freezer.   Preheat the oven to 375° and keep the tart in the freezer for 30 minutes while the oven heats up. Spray a nice square piece of foil with cooking spray or brush with oil. Put it into the pan oiled side down and fill the pan with pie weights or beans or rice. Put the pan on a sheet tray or cookie sheet and into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights and sprinkle the parm over the crust. Return to oven for 5 minutes. Let it cool and turn the temp of the oven down to 325° while you make the filling.

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Make the filling

Saute’ the leeks in the butter or oil over medium-high heat until they begin to be translucent. Add the shiitakes and cook for a minute or two, and then add the artichokes. When the artichokes are thawed and starting to sizzle a bit, turn off the heat. Let veggies cool while you prepare the dairy part.

Buzz the cottage cheese in the food processor until smooth. Add the eggs and buzz ’til mixed, then add the cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Now mix the dairy stuff and the cooled veggies together and put everything into the crust; arrange everything prettily, like a painting. Keep the tart on the sheet tray and pop into the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the eggs are set. Remove from oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes. Remove the ring. The best way to do this is by putting the tart on an inverted bowl and the sides will drop away. Then put the tart on a flat plate or board to cut and serve.

This makes a great meal with a nice salad.

 

 

 

Kale Chips

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Go to a farm market or supermarket and buy a bunch of curly kale. I also really like a kind of kale called black, lacinato or dinosaur which is not curly, but I’ve never tried making chips with it.

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IMG_4026When you’re ready to make chips, preheat the oven to 425°. Now, stem and wash the kale. The best way to stem it is simply to pull the leafy parts off the stem. It’s fine if it breaks into small pieces because you really want the chips to fit in your mouth. Now fill a big pot, bowl, or pail with cold water and give the pieces of kale a swim. Get a big towel and spread it out on the counter. Pull the kale out of the water and drain it in a colander. This is the best way to wash any greens. You don’t want to pour the water like you would with pasta because if there’s dirt or sand, it will stay on top of the greens. If you pull the greens out, you leave dirt, sand or bugs in the water.

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Now, spread the clean kale out on the towel. Roll up the towel. You could store it that way for a while if you want. If you are going to store it more than a few hours, put the whole rolled up towel/kale bundle in a big plastic bag in the fridge. This is also a great way to store other greens, like salad greens. They stay fresh a long time this way.

IMG_4030Put the kale on a couple of big, rimmed cookie sheets. I like to line them with parchment for easy cleaning, but this is totally optional. Drizzle with nice XV olive oil, plenty of salt (I like sea salt, kosher is also good, regular table salt is fine), fresh pepper and/or red pepper flakes. You could also add other herbs or spices or parm. Chili powder or cumin is good, Curry might be interesting, if you like curry. Garlic or onion powder would work. Don’t use fresh garlic or onion, they’re too wet.

Toss everything really well and pop into preheated oven. Bake twenty minutes or so, tossing the kale around once or twice. You want them pretty crispy and dry. Munch as much as you want (I like them best right out of the oven) and store the rest in something airtight like a big zippy bag or rubbermaid container.

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Ramen!

photoBrian has, for some time now, been preoccupied with the idea of ramen with, among other things, corn. I have a long and complicated history with ramen, having eaten the crappy seasoning packet version just about every night during my first three years in college. And gained twenty pounds in the process!

So, I don’t advocate the seasoning packet. Or eating ramen as a snack every evening during unrestrained munchie attacks. But ramen made properly with good ingredients can be fast, easy, flexible, warming and nourishing as a meal. Or when you’re not feeling well.

So, I made Brian the deluxe corn version the other day and then he copied it and added a few extras. He was in ramen heaven.

My version started with sauteeing some sliced shallots in a bit of canola oil in a medium soup pot. Brian used onion. You could substitute or add garlic or scallions. Then I added a couple of cups of stock. The best stock on the market is Swanson’s Organic Chicken Stock. It comes in a quart size box. Pacific makes little boxes; the flavor is  not as good and you’d need more than one box for a batch of ramen, but you don’t have to worry about waste. Heat to boiling while prepping other stuff. I used some sliced snap peas. You could use grated carrot, frozen peas, canned, fresh, or frozen corn*, sliced mushrooms, baby spinach. Throw in veggies and the cake of ramen, being careful  not to let the offensive packet fall into the pot. Now, add whatever tasty additions: soy sauce, vinegar, sri racha or other hot sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, miso or wasabi are all great options.

*My little nasty secret: green giant shoepeg canned corn. I discovered it years ago when i went to a very fancy summer garden party given by the owner of a long-defunct warwick bookstore. This woman was incredibly pretentious and she served the most delicious summer corn salsa. I begged her for the recipe. She sheepishly admitted it was made with canned shoepeg corn! They are tiny little white kernels, sweet as sugar, and I use them secretly all year long. Sometimes I eat them with a spoon right out of the can. Don’t tell anyone!

Sam’s Snack Book

The other night, you, Brian, Harry, and Lucas were snacking on some kickass pickles when I heard you and came down to make a proper snack-flatbread pizzas. You asked me to put together some ideas and instructions for making easy, delicious, nourishing food for yourself. So, let’s start with the pizza and take it from there…

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You need some pita or naan or any kind of tortilla, some tomato sauce or sliced tomatoes, and some shredded mozzarella.  Olive oil, grated parm, and red pepper flakes are nice additions, as are mushrooms. Preheat an oven or toaster oven as hot as it will go while you put together the pizza. Spread sauce or tomatoes (add a bit of olive oil if you’re just using tomatoes), leaving a small border so everything stays put while you bake. Sprinkle with mozz and parm. If you prep the pizza on a little board, you can line it up with the rack of the oven and slide it over. Bake for just a few minutes, watching carefully, until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and pepper flakes and let it stand for a minute or two to calm down before you bit or cut into it.

Can you see? She's eating a pizza,

Can you see? She’s eating a pizza,

Variations:

Use homemade or prepared pesto instead of the tomato sauce.

After you take the pizza out of the oven, add some prosciutto. Or a pile of arugula and some extra parm and olive oil.

Use goat cheese instead of mozz with either tomato sauce or pesto.

Make a pizza with sliced baguette or rustic italian bread instead of flatbread.

Add mushrooms, peppers, cooked sausage, pepperoni or olives before baking.

To make tomato sauce in the microwave:

Chop a little garlic or onion and place in a medium bowl. Drizze with olive oil and a bit of salt. Nuke for 30 seconds until hot but not brown. Use your nose to tell you if it starts to brown. Add a can of crushed tomatoes (Muir Glenn are best, but any will do fine), and nuke for a couple of minutes until hot. Best to cover the bowl with a napkin or sauce will splatter everywhere!

Notes:

A good affordable olive oil is Colavita Extra Virgin or Fruttato.

Buy real parmesan reggiano. Some stores pregrate it, which is ok, but don’t get domestic or fake parm!

The pickles are Bubbe’s Bread and Butter Pickles. Bubbe means Grandma in Yiddish. I’ve never put them on a pizza, but there’s a first time for everything.

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Other things to do with your tomato sauce:

Serve it over plain cooked pasta or rice.

Cook some chicken in it. Serve with rice or bread and a little salad.

Put a shitload of baby spinach in a pan, add a few spoonsful of sauce, and place over a burner. The spinach will wilt down to nothing. Add a couple of eggs, cover the pan and cook over lowish heat until the eggs are cooked. Serve with a piece of nice bread. Very nourishing meal!

Add some cumin and chili powder, now it’s mexican! Drizzle it over a bowl of tortilla chips, add some grated cheddar or monterey jack cheese and nuke until the cheese melts. Nachos! Serve with sour cream.

Add some cream and a couple tablespoonsful of vodka, a few red pepper flakes, and cook for a few minutes on the stove or in the microwave. Cook up some penne pasta, serve with cheese for penne ala vodka!

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Some other things to do with flatbread/tortillas:

I like to cover one with grated cheese (our favorite is Cabot’s Seriously Sharp, which comes pre-grated and has Harry’s Serious Vermont Stamp of Approval) and pop it into the toaster oven. If you preheat the oven to “toast” while you prep, the cheese will melt really fast. When the cheese is bubbly and the tortilla or pita starting to toast, take it out. You can just fold or roll and eat, or add other stuff, like: arugula drizzles with a bit of olive oil, sliced tomatoes, some crispy bacon*, some cooked mushrooms**, sliced sun-dried tomatoes, leftover chicken or other meat, a slice of deli ham or prosciutto, or my favorite (don’t skip this until you try it)-peanut butter and honey!

*wrap a couple of slices of bacon in paper towls and nuke for a minute. Check. Nuke for 30 seconds at a time until crip

**slice a few mushrooms and place in a bowl. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Nuke for a minute, adding time as above, until they’re cooked. Drain before using.

OK, now for some general sandwich ideas: First, wraps, since we’ll talking tortillas. You can also experiment with naan, chapatis, lavash, whatever you can find. It’s helpful to heat flatbreads before using them to make them pliable. You can do that in an oven, toaster oven or microwave. If you have a gas burner, my favorite way to toast a flatbread is directly over the flame; use tongs, watch carefully, turning several times. Then lay your fillings on the part of the bread furthest from you. When full, roll up towards you. Then, if you’re going to take your wrap with you, roll in foil, sealing the sides midway, making it nice and tight.

Alternatively, get some good sliced bread, a bagel, toasted english muffin, or some good bread and slice yourself. Then make traditional sandwiches. You can use almost any bread with almost any filling, but it’s always nice to think about how the flavors will match.

Homemade bagels!

Homemade bagels!

Check out this beautiful list of bread on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_breads

Here are some fillings:

Ham and swiss with mustard and/or mayo. Lettuce and/or tomato optional. Pickles

Hummus and sliced cucumber. I like Cedar’s lemon hummus.

Peanut butter and banana

Peanut butter and nutella

Nutella, banana and crushed peanuts

BLT; use any kind of lettuce or arugula

More fillings:

Mix drained tuna (albacore) with some mayo; add lettuce and/or grated carrot

Tuna salad with hummus

Tuna with pickles

Deli turkey (smoked is nice), mayo, swiss, arugula

Turkey and fig jam. Cheese optional

Turkey, cheese, and sliced apple. honey optional

Swiss or cheddar with fig jam

Sliced mozzarella and tomato, a little olive oil and salt; pesto or basil

Mozzarella and prosciutto

Cream cheese and prosciutto

Cream cheese and smoked salmon, sliced cucumber optional

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Quesadillas:

You can turn just about any wrap into a quesadilla as long as it contains some cheese. Simply put all your fillings on one side. Fold it in half and place in a hot, nonstick pan with or without a bit of oil (oil will give the sandwich a sort of fried crust, which is nice). When the first side is browned, flip and cook until the second side is toasty.

Paninis:

You can make a wonderful panini without any special equipment except two pans. Take the larger of two pans, preheat with a little oil. Place in any sandwich containing cheese. Put a little oil on the bottom of the smaller pan (it needs to be big enough to cover the sandwich), and place this pan on top of the sandwich. You can put something else into the pan to weight it like an unopened can or a rock, it helps to press the sandwich. Cook until browned, flip and brown on the second side.

Deb's sourdough

Deb’s sourdough

Note: Pizzas, quesadillas, and paninis are best if you let them stand for a couple of minutes before cutting. Just let the cheese firm up ever so slightly so it doesn’t run right off and make a puddle instead of staying where you want it. And prevents those nasty burns on the roof of your mouth!

Potatoes:

Did you know you can made a baked potato really fast by cooking it most of the way in the microwave and then finishing in the oven or toaster oven? Wash a nice, big russet (idaho) spud and poke it a few times with a fork or knife. Nuke on high for 2 minutes, turn, nuke for 2 more. Then put it in a 400° oven for 10 minutes until it feels done when you squeeze. You can top this with sour cream, bacon, cheese, bits of ham, butter, leftover steak or meatloaf…the options are endless…and this makes a great, easy lunch or supper.\

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Other Snacks:

OK, a few more easy snack ideas for when you’re in a hurry: apple or banana with peanut butter; vanilla yogurt with a handful of raisins, nuts, and honey; yogurt with peanut butter and granola; Carr’s wheat crackers with nutella and/or peanut butter; Carr’s with cheese or cream cheese; pretzels with peanut butter, boca burger (nuke for 1 minute) on a bagel or english muffin.