Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

This is a recipe I adapted from an oatmeal cookie recipe on Weightwatchers.com.  Instead of the suggested raisins, I added dried cranberries and some orange zest.  They come together really fast and are easy to make  The best part is that you can eat two of them and only cost yourself 4 points!

NOTE: The recipe calls for softened butter.  If you’re like me the cookie-making urge strikes with little warning — certainly less than would be required for softening butter.  If you find yourself in this position, don’t melt the butter, it’ll completely change your cookies.  Just stick it in the microwave in a ramekin for about 15 seconds.

INGREDIENTS

  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked quick oats
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ cut butter, softened
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ tbsp fresh orange zest

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a medium bowl. Place butter in a large bowl or in the bowl of a mixer and beat butter for a few seconds. Gradually add sugars and beat to combine.
  3. Add egg white to butter mixture and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients and beat to combine.
  4. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto 2 ungreased cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between each cookie. Bake until set and golden, about 11 to 14 minutes. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool. Yields 2 cookies per serving.
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Masala Fried Shrimp and Chilled Zucchini Soup

Sticking with the summer theme of light fresh flavors, these two back-to-back recipes from the July issue of Food & Wine seemed like they’d go well together.  Made for a lovely evening of food and wine and the company of one of our favorite people in the world.

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Masala Fried Shrimp

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 1 serrano chile, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, serrano, garam masala, cayenne, turmeric, mustard powder and coriander. Add the shrimp and toss to coat.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until deeply golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shrimp, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until curled and white throughout, about 2 minutes. Stir in the scallions and cilantro. Transfer the shrimp to plates and serve with lemon wedges.

Just a note, I got a particularly hot serrano at the store so I cut the amount by half.  I also mixed some fat-free Greek yogurt with Vindaloo spices, some lemon juice and salt and pepper and served it on the side.

Chilled Zucchini Soup

Chilled Zucchini Soup

Chilled Zucchini Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2/3 cup vegetable stock or low-sodium broth
  • Julienned raw zucchini, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a simmer; cook until the zucchini is very soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Working in 2 batches, puree the soup in a blender until it’s silky-smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Serve it either hot or chilled, garnished with julienned zucchini.
MAKE AHEAD The soup can be refrigerated overnight.
As recommended by Food & Wine, the whole dinner works really nicely with a Sauvignon Blanc.
Open-Faced Caprese Sandwich

Open-Faced Caprese Sandwich

Open-Faced Caprese Sandwich

Open-Faced Caprese Sandwich

Sometimes simple is just better.  This is a riff on the traditional Caprese salad.  Contrary to many snobby online foodies, I think a drizzle of balsamic takes this to new and fantastic places.  Then again, I’m using a much more modest grade of olive oil than pretension would dictate.  As with nearly everything, it’s best to omit the sour grapes.

All that aside, this is a super fast, super easy, super cheap way to have a healthy weeknight dinner.  Make more than you think you’ll need.  Everyone goes back for seconds.

Caprese Ingredients

Caprese Ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 good-sized heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ bunch of fresh basil, whole leaves and chopped
  • Fresh mozzarella, sliced  (it comes in all shapes and sizes,  — just eyeball the amount that looks right to you.)
  • fresh baguette (I used sourdough, this is SF after all, but French would work just as well)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Italian spices
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Slice baguette lengthwise and then cut each piece in half (so you have 4).  Arrange bread cut-side up on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (think subtle flavoring not saturation).  Sprinkle with minced garlic, Italian spices, and salt and pepper.
  3. Place single basil leaves side by side to cover each piece of bread.  Place tomato slices in a single layer on top of basil and sprinkle with salt.  Top tomatoes with a slices of fresh mozzarella.  Lightly drizzle top with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  4. Bake in over on middle rack for 15 minutes (or until mozzarella starts to slightly melt).
  5. Remove pan from oven, top with remaining chopped basil and serve immediately with your favorite wine.

Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad

Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad

Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad

Here’s yet another entry from  Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.  This is one of my favorite salads ever.  It pairs very nicely with spicy middle eastern dishes but we’ve also loaded up our plates and eaten it as an entree all by itself.  The flavor combination works so well and were (for me at least) so unexpected that I just keep making it over and over because I can’t believe how good it is.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets (1½ lb / 660 g in total)
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large celery stalk, cut on an angle into ¼-inch / 0.5cm slices (⅔ cup / 70 g in total)
  • 5 tbsp / 30 g hazelnuts, with skins
  • ⅓ cup / 10 g small flat-leaf parsley leaves, picked
  • ⅓ cup / 50 g pomegranate seeds (from about ½ medium pomegranate)
  • generous ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • generous ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1½ tsp maple syrup
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F / 220°C.
  2. Mix the cauliflower with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and some black pepper. Spread out in a roasting pan and roast on the top oven rack for 25 to 35 minutes, until the cauliflower is crisp and parts of it have turned golden brown. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool down.
  3. Decrease the oven temperature to 325°F / 170°C. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 17 minutes.
  4. Allow the nuts to cool a little, then coarsely chop them and add to the cauliflower, along with the remaining oil and the rest of the along with the remaining oil and the rest of the ingredients. Stir, taste, and season with salt and pepper accordingly. Serve at room temperature.

Excerpt From: Yotam Ottolenghi. “Jerusalem.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=73B4A2C6DD0765AE672353A0B1C549F9