Cranberry Walnut Bars
This is my favorite dessert going right now, and that's saying something. It's not even chocolate!
1 ½ sticks butter, cut into pieces
2 cups flour
½ cup packed brown sugar (I always use dark brown)
½ tsp salt
1 stick butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup (use good stuff)
2 cups walnuts
1 cup cranberries, rinsed and sorted (I use frozen)
To make the shortbread:
In a medium bowl, toss together the 1 ½ stick butter pieces, flout, ½ cup brown sugar, and salt, cutting the butter into the sugar with a pastry knife until it reaches the consistency of small peas. Place into a 9 x 13 ungreased baking pan and pat down with your hands or a spatula to make a firm base. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
To make the topping:
While the crust is baking, in a heavy saucepan set over medium low heat, cook together 1 stick butter, 1 cup brown sugar and maple syrup, and simmer for about 1 minute. Stir in the walnuts and cranberries. Pour this over the baked shortbread crust and spread evenly.
Put bake into the oven and bake until bubbling, about 20-25 minutes. Remove and cool completely in the pan before cutting into bars.
Here is a tasty, healthy, quick meal. I served it with buttermilk biscuits. In full disclosure, my teenagers ate it, but didn't rave about it. We had the neighbors over for dinner, and one of their teenagers had seconds. You never know.
Quinoa Vegetable Stew
½ cup. quinoa, rinsed well
2 Tb oil (I use coconut oil)
1 medium onion, chopped
½ tsp salt
1 large carrot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 14.5 oz can tomatoes (I used diced)
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 can black beans (garbanzo beans would work, too)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small zucchini, cubed
½ cup corn, frozen or fresh
½ cup peas, frozen or fresh
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp chili powder
pinch cayenne pepper
1 Tb fresh lemon juice
Fresh ground pepper
Grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
Chopped cilantro (optional)
Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to very low, cover, and simmer until the water is completely absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and salt and saute’, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the carrot and garlic, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the carrot is crisp-tender, about 6 minutes more.
Add the tomatoes, and their juice, vegetable stock, bell pepper, zucchini, corn, peas and seasonings. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the vegetables are cooked to the desired doneness, 10-20 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, garnished with the cheese and/or cilantro, if desired.
Make ahead tip: you could chop all of the vegetables the night before and store in the frig.
From 3 Bowls: Vegetarian Recipes from an American Zen Buddhist Monastery, by Seppo Ed Farrey
This is an easy, tasty snack that will make your house smell amazing! Caution: They are deadly good. You can make half a batch in case you don't want too many around the house. They make a great gift, too, but you won't want to share them.
2 lbs. pecans
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon water
Mix together in a small bowl: (you can play with the spices – add more or less to taste)
1 c. sugar
1 tsp+ cinnamon
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp cardamom
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 stick butter
In a large bowl, beat egg whites and water with a whisk until frothy. Add nuts & stir. Add sugar & spice mixture & stir.
Pour on to one or two parchment lined cookie sheets. Divide the butter into tiny pieces & put over nuts. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool. Devour.
I love sharing what I've learned, improving things, food, books and being a mom.