Monday, April 26, 2010

Elizabeth's Fabulous Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Years ago, we made peanut butter cookies using a New York Times recipe. I don’t remember much about the recipe, but the cookies were certainly memorable. They were dry and bland and so disappointingly icky that they discouraged any future attempts at homemade peanut butter cookies…until I tried these.

My friend Elizabeth made me these cookies for my birthday. They’re the best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever had. They’re crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside and loaded with peanut buttery goodness.

And this is quite possibly the easiest cookie recipe ever:

1 cup natural peanut butter

1 cup natural sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1. Place baking stone in oven and preheat to 400°.

2. Mix all ingredients together.

3. Using a spoon or an ice cream scoop, drop dough onto the baking stone. Gently smush each dough blob with a fork to give it that classic peanut butter cookie look.

4. Bake 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are just beginning to brown.

5. Allow cookies to cool on the baking stone for a couple minutes and then move them to a cooling rack.

*Note: Keep an eye on the cookies while they bake. The baking stone will get hotter the longer it stays in the oven so later batches will cook faster.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Chocolate Fondue

Chocolate fondue is an essential part of—well, it’s just essential.

Here’s one of our favorite recipes:

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (or a mixture of semi-sweet and bittersweet)

¾ cup whipping cream

3 tsp brandy

1. Combine all ingredients in a microwaveable bowl and zap for 30-60 seconds.

2. Transfer chocolate mixture to a fondue pot over medium heat and stir until sufficiently smooth.

3. Dip yummy stuff (fresh pineapple, strawberries, banana slices, gluten-free pretzel sticks, etc.) in the chocolate and eat!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Creamy Polenta with Asparagus, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

Before we made this recipe, we didn’t understand the appeal of polenta. It’s corn slop. It looks like corn slop, smells like corn slop and tastes like corn slop. Or it did—until we made this polenta. It turns out that if you add enough butter and cheese to polenta and top it with delicious vegetables and such, it loses its corn slop-iness and becomes a wonderful, warm, delicate, flavorful comfort food.

(Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

7 ½ cups water

pinch baking soda

1 ½ cups cornmeal

2 tbsp unsalted butter

4 oz. grated parmesan cheese

3 tbsp EVOO

6 garlic cloves, minced

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

½ cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed

¼ cup chicken broth

3 tbsp. pine nuts, toasted

1. Bring water to boil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir in baking soda.

2. Pour cornmeal into water in a steady stream, stirring constantly while you pour.

3. Keep on stirring until the mixture comes to a boil and then reduce heat to low and cover for 5 minutes.

4. Uncover. Scrape down the sides and stir until the polenta is smooth. Cover it up again and cook for 25 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, heat EVOO, garlic, red pepper flakes and sun-dried tomatoes in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Stir frequently and cook until garlic is fragrant and slightly browned, 1 ½ minutes.

6. Add asparagus and chicken broth to the sun-dried tomato mixture. Cover and cook until the asparagus turns bright green, about 2 minutes.

7. Uncover the asparagus mixture and cook, stirring, until most of the broth has evaporated and the asparagus is tender, but firm (2-3 minutes).

8. Remove the polenta from the heat and stir in butter and parmesan. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

9. Spoon polenta into bowls and top each serving with the asparagus and sun-dried tomato mixture. Sprinkle each serving with toasted pine nuts.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Beef and Edamame Enchiladas

Yup. They sound weird and look kinda ugly, but they’re delicious, nutritious and fast!

(Adapted from Clean Eating)

½ small onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup frozen shelled edamame

1 tsp chili powder

2 tsp lime juice

1 ½ tsp olive oil

8 oz. grass-fed sirloin beef, thinly sliced

1 cup corn

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 cups baby spinach

1 ½ cups tomato sauce

½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

brown rice tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add onion, 2 cloves of garlic (minced) and edamame and return to a boil. Cook for 4 minutes.

3. Reserve ¼ of the cooking water and then drain the edamame mixture.

4. In a food processor, combine the edamame mixture, ¼ cup cooking water, chili powder and lime juice. Puree. Set aside.

5. Combine ½ tsp olive oil, 1 clove of garlic (minced) and the beef. Mix well to coat the beef.

6. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.

7. Add beef to the skillet and sauté for 1 minute, until beef is lightly browned.

8. Add corn, red pepper, spinach and ¼ cup tomato sauce to the skillet. Cook, stirring to combine, for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.

9. Coat the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish with ½ cup tomato sauce.

10. Spread 2-3 tbsp of edamame mush onto each tortilla. Top with beef mixture. Roll each tortilla tightly and flip it over so the opening is face-down. Top the enchiladas with the rest of the tomato sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 8 minutes, until cheese melts.