We are so excited to participate again in #margaritaweek organized by Kate Ramos of @holajalapeno. Last year, we did a strawberry margarita cookie which proved to be a delicious surprise, so we thought, hey, let's try to bake something else! While we do love a great margarita, they aren't in heavy rotation here as Mom is a vodka lady and I truly am a beer girl at heart. But, we both love a good cookie. This is a riff on the classic gluten-free coconut macaroon. We've added lime and tequila so you can imagine you are drinking your favorite Mexican cocktail while you scarf down a few cookies. They are not the prettiest cookie on the block, but they are chewy, sweet and have just a hint of citrus tang. Try them and dream of your next beach vacation! Be sure to check out the hashtag and Kate's website, for over a hundred recipes all through the week! Check them out here!
Put the Lime in the Coconut Margarita Macaroons
Makes about 18-20 cookies
14 oz. sweetened shredded coconut (one package)
14 oz. condensed milk (one can)
2 egg whites
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. lime juice
Zest of 1 lime
Preheat oven to 325
Stir together the coconut, condensed milk, lime zest, lime juice, and tequila until incorporated.
In a mixer, beat the egg whites and the salt until you have stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture. (If you loosen the mixture with a little egg white first, then add the rest you maintain more loft.)
On a parchment lined baking sheet, drop 1 tablespoon of mixture, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
Cool completely on tray.
Yes, it even gets cold in Los Angeles and lately, its been downright chilly! It felt right to create some new soup recipes and this one was inspired by the husbands. Both scoff at soup most of the time, deeming it an appetizer or side dish, and always asking after where was dinner, but both love this soup. By adding the pancetta the soup takes on a heartier flavor, imparting that meatiness they love. The paprika and Zaatar take the soup out of the deli and their basic version, and elevate the soup with depth of flavor and smokiness. One child rejected the soup outright, and the other scarfed it down. Perhaps, he will follow in his Dad's footsteps and embrace the pea.... soup that it is! Serve it with a crusty baguette and everyone will feel satiated.
Yellow Split Pea Soup with Pancetta
2 cups yellow split peas (use green if you want)
4 cups chicken stock (can sub veggie stock)
3-4 cups water
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 stalks of celery, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
4 ounces of Pancetta, chopped into small pieces or use pre-cubed
1 tablespoon Zaatar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
In a large soup pot, brown the pancetta over medium high heat. You can use a dry pan, as meat will give off its own fat. When the meat is almost crisp, remove from pot and set aside. Add olive oil to the drippings and then the onions and teaspoon of salt. Cook the onions over medium heat until they begin to soften, and then add the carrots, garlic and celery. Stir and cook for a few minutes, letting some bits begin to brown. Add in your spices and stir. Cook for one minute then add the peas. After another minute or two add in your liquids and stir. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about forty minutes, until peas and veggies are soft.
In a blender, blend the soup and return it to the pot. Stir in the reserved pancetta and serve the soup with crusty bread!
We haven't made banana bread for awhile, so when we spotted some brown bananas in the fruit bowl, it was time to revisit the trusty favorite. However, then we realized while we had the right bananas we had no flour, too much pie and bread making going on! We did have a bag of gluten-free flour on hand from out gluten-free pie dough experimenting, so we thought we would give it a try. As we were experimenting anyway, we tried adding in some tahini and flax to play with texture and flavor. There have been a lot of recipes we have read lately using tahini is sweets, and we are digging the nutty sesame flavor it imparts. So far, as the loaf is half-way gone, no one has even suspected it is gluten-free, and the tahini gives it this unexpected buttery flavor. Looks like a win all the way around!!!
Gluten-Free Tahini Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips
makes one loaf
1 1/3 cups gluten-free flour (we use Cup4Cup)
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup chocolate chips or you can omit chocolate and add ½ cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 6-cup loaf pan, or line with parchment.
Whisk all dry ingredients together in medium bowl. In a stand mixer or using a large bowl and a hand-held mixer, beat on high speed the butter and the sugars until lightened in color and fluffy. Add Tahini and mix well. Add the dry ingredients and beat until the mixture resembles sand, making sure to scrape down the sides.
Slowly add in the beaten egg, a little at a time, and then add vanilla. When combined, carefully fold in banana and chocolate chips (or nuts). Scrape into prepared pan and bake about 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool entirely before unmolding.
If you omit the chocolate chips bump sugar up to ½ cup sugar, and ½ cup brown sugar.
Also, if the bread is browning too quickly, cover with tinfoil and continue baking
This carrot salad is a healthier version of the classic carrot and raisin salad. We switched out the mayo and used the greek yoghurt instead. You get the same creamy consistency without some of the fat. You can use whatever carrots you have on hand, but we have a fondness for the the rainbow ones as the kids love eating the rainbow! We made the recipe with this lovely JUST DATE SYRUP we got in the mail, which is just that, date syrup, an alternative sweetener that is a healthier low-glycemic index sweetener. Certainly worth a try, however, use whatever you have on hand. Agave and maple syrup will do. The salad gets better over time, so be sure to let it sit for the 3 hours in the fridge.
Rainbow Carrot Raisin Salad
makes about 3 cups
3 cups shredded carrots, about 6 large carrots
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp. of Greek Yoghurt
½ cup raisins
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon date syrup, agave, or maple syrup
Place raisins in hot water to rehydrate, drain. Mix lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, greek yoghurt, salt and sweetener in a medium bowl. Add shredded carrots and raisins and stir. Refrigerate 2-3 hours prior to serving.
We are a pesto loving family. Growing up, Mom never really made a classic tomato sauce as she hates the flavor of cooked tomatoes, so pesto was our go to pasta sauce. We have kept the tradition alive with the new generation, and the kids will all eat heaping servings of pesto whenever served. The irony is that the smallest child hates all vegetables (cucumbers and avocado aside), but will gleefully dive into this without even hesitating. Little does he know on most occasions he is eating kale or chard or spinach!!! This combo was conceived out of a need for a nut-free pesto the kids could take to their nut-free schools. The pepitas are a nice change from the usual pine nut or almond and still offer a fair amount of protein. Try it!
Baby Kale and Basil Pesto with Pepitas
Makes about 2 cups
2 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup fresh Basil
2 cups baby Kale
½ cup raw Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
½ tsp. of salt
¾ cup Olive Oil (plus a little more to cover)
Place garlic and pepitas in food processor and pulse until combined. Add cheese and pulse. Then, add basil and kale. Pulse until it all resembles a thick paste. Add salt and stream in olive oil while processor is going. Let mixture blend until smooth.
*To store in refrigerator, place in container with a thin layer of olive oil on top.
Serve with pasta or smeared on a bagel.
A square meal is satisfying, nourishing, complete.
A round table includes all.