Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

It’s beginning to look decidedly like Christmas…
The tree is trimmed and our favorite carols have been playing on repeat for almost a week now.

We baked the first batch of Christmas cookies this weekend; we’re officially in the season.

Although I’m not a huge cookie person,I never pass up an opportunity to bake cookies at Christmas time.
Having cookies at my grandmother’s is enfolded in some of my happiest memories of Christmas.

I usually start out with these thumbprint cookies, they’re fun, easy to make, I think they capture the cheerfulness of the season; everyone loves them and you get to fill them with your favourite jams or preserves.

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies
Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Our last thumbprint cookies were made with oat flour and a combination of ground almonds and pistachios, and they were spectacular hit.

These cashew and oat thumbprint cookies use nutty fine-textured cashew meal for buttery, melt-in-your-mouth-good cookies with a delicate crumbly texture.

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies
Deliciously festive cookies, vegan, gluten-free and filled with your lovely jams and preserves
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INGREDIENTS
  1. 2 cups ground oats (oat flour)
  2. 2 cups ground cashew (cashew meal/flour)
  3. 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  4. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  6. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  7. 1/2 cup safflower oil (or a neutral flavoured oil)
  8. 1/2 cup maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. Your favorite jam or preserve
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Mix oat flour, ground cashew, cardamom, cloves and salt in a large bowl with a wooden spoon
  3. Add safflower oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract, mix until well combined
  4. Form the dough into rounded tablespoon-sized balls and space them evenly on to the baking sheet
  5. Using your index finger or the end of a wooden spoon, make an indentation into the center of each bowl
  6. Fill the center of each cookie-dough with a small amount of jam or preserve
  7. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until cookies are evenly browned
  8. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring them onto a cooling rack
  9. Enjoy!
NOTES
  1. You can make oat flour by grinding rolled oats in a food processor, grinder or a powerful blender
  2. One cup of rolled oats will make about a cup of oat flour
  3. I get cashew meal from the store (Trader Joe's or some natural food store) but you can easily grind whole cashews to make flour too.
the Whinery http://elsbro.com/blog/
Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine

Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine

I must admit, and maybe it’s the clean crisp autumn air and foliage, but it takes me a while to get into the swing of seasonal cooking in the fall, all I really want to do is to go for long walks and sleep when the cold weather hits.

Sure, I’ll manage to scrounge up something every once in a while and scrape by, but I can’t seem to get excited about squash and pumpkins, probably because I’m not quite over summer’s colourful produce. Like I said, it takes me a while.

In the meantime I tend to fall back on quick meals with simple flavours. I love pasta! It’s easy and versatile enough not to get boring.

Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine
Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine

This orecchiette with capers and white wine wasn’t planned; it’s one of those meals that come together naturally from riffling through the pantry.

It’s modest – pasta, olive oil, capers and a splash of white wine to boost the flavour.
The sauce sticks generously to the pasta thanks to its distinct domed shape making every bite delightfully tasty.

It goes splendidly well with a heaping of a quick-tossed salad for an easy weeknight meal.

Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine

Orecchiette with Capers and White Wine

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

One of the things I love about staying in an apartment while on vacation is having access to a kitchen.

It’s particularly wonderful if you love to cook, and are in a city like Paris where colourful markets are filled with stalls of tempting produce, cheeses, breads, specialty foods and other sundry goods.

We didn’t cook much on this trip; the few meals we prepared were fast and simple like this herbed garlic butter pasta.

From the market, we got garlic and fragrant dried herbs; I should mention here that a mix of freshly chopped spinach, basil and parsley would work superbly in this pasta, we just went with dried herbs for the sake of ease.

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

I make little dietary exceptions when I’m on vacation… creamy delicate Échiré butter, smooth and luxurious Beurre Bordier, and pastries are some of my indulgences when I’m in Paris.

What we have with this pasta is the ultimate holiday comfort meal, pasta tossed in an aromatic herby garlic butter sauce, it’s rich and deeply satisfying, a simple indulgence.

It boasts a handful of ingredients only and it comes together quickly, this is particularly important when you’re on vacation, the last thing you want is to be standing over a stove.

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

On this particular day we spent the day exploring Jardin des Plantes and the Grande Mosquée where we drank mint tea, we roamed Rue Mouffetard and when it started raining we picked up fluffy angel cakes from Patisserie Ciel on Rue Monge for later.

We ate this pasta watching the rain fall down those iconic rooftops; rain is always a good reason to have pasta.

And now that I’m home and it’s raining… I want to make this pasta again on a soggy lazy evening; perhaps with fresh basil and Herbes de Provence with my favourite dairy-free butter and a ton of garlic.

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Spiced Rice and Beans

Spiced Rice and Beans

I’ve probably made about a million variations of rice and beans, it’s an easy meal to throw together at a moment’s notice, especially if you have some plain rice and beans cooked already.

I thought about this spiced rice and beans on a long exhausting ride home on one of those activity-filled unending summer days, we had nothing home except for leftover rice and a jar of black beans that was to go into a salad.

I’m particularly drawn to this kind of food whenever I’m little stressed or fatigued, perhaps it’s the turmeric, or maybe it’s because it’s filling and sates my hunger.

Spiced Rice and Beans Spiced Rice and Beans
Spiced Rice and Beans

I swear I think up the most scrumptious meals when I’m tired and hungry, on that journey I craved a simple and tasty dish that would also be satisfying and nourishing.

A modest of rice and beans enlivened with a melange of flavours and unique spices – rustic mustard seeds, fragrant coriander, warm and nutty cumin and earthy turmeric.

I tossed in a few vegetables and finished off with zesty lemon and cilantro.

Spiced Rice and Beans

Spiced Rice and Beans

It’s a great lunch or quick weeknight meals, or an awesome contribution to a potluck picnic, like the one I’m going to this long weekend, it makes a wonderful side-dish at summer barbeques.

There are a few ways to prepare it; when I have time to spare, I brown the rice with the sautéed spices and vegetables and cook it in vegetable broth, it takes more time but it’s so flavourful!

This is my ultimate comfort food!

Spiced Rice and Beans

Spiced Rice and Beans

Spiced Quinoa and Lentils

Spiced Quinoa and Lentils

I’ve been neglecting this space lately, not giving it the attention it so deserves. The funny thing is, I’ve been cooking and rediscovering food and photography with renewed fervency, I just can’t seem to translate the passion on to this spot.

I have so many stories and discoveries to share – it’s a little overwhelming and I probably need to figure out how to take it one step at a time, just like the way I’ve learned with cooking… one ingredient at a time

Spiced Quinoa and Lentils Spiced Quinoa and Lentils

I put off finishing this post and spent the last few days in New York – eating and exploring, it’s a city that never fails to thrill, and I always come back inspired and rejuvenated, albeit with deep longing to remain there.

Then I got home and returned to this meal, this old thing that I’ve made about million times, and suddenly it looks fresher, like I could make it a million more times and it’ll be different each time.

I’ve been exploring spices lately; in this spiced quinoa and lentils, I tried pungent mustard seeds and warming cumin and coriander seeds with lots of red onions and finished it off with cooling mint.

Spiced Quinoa and Lentils Spiced Quinoa and Lentils

I make this quinoa and lentil combination quite often, variations of it, usually when I don’t have time for a proper meal, it’s an easy, one-pot dish, nutritionally dense and filling, I love the earthy and nutty flavours and quinoa is such a great substitute for rice.

It’s a protein, fiber and whole grain powerhouse and it’s comforting.

The mustard, coriander and cumin seeds are at their best here; they enrich the warm savoury flavours of the lentils and quinoa, and something magical happens when you combine lentils and onions in olive oil – it’s beyond delicious

This is an easy favourite, very satisfying with plenty of leftovers to come home to.

Spiced Quinoa and Lentils
Spiced Quinoa and Lentils

Spiced Quinoa and Lentils


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