Friday, August 24, 2012

Cashew Cookie Bars

       There are several reasons why I like these: one, they're 100% healthy, two, there's hardly 4 ingredients, three, they're ridiculously fast to make, four, they're tasty! To be honest, I was very skeptical at first when my sister had me make these for a road trip we took this summer. I thought I didn't like dates and, consequently, I wouldn't like these Cashew Cookie Bars. I thought wrong. They're sweet, they're nutty (in the way only cashews can provide), and they actually fill you up (or at least curb your appetite for quite a while). They taste as though they should be so bad for you, but they're so not bad at all. Complete health. And energy. And no more growling midday stomachs. A not-so-guilty guilty snack. If you don't think you like dates I say heck, give 'em a try anyway. This recipe only makes two small bars anyway (unless you double/triple/quadruple) so what could it hurt?

Cashew Cookie Bars
recipe from

Yield: Two 2-ish inch long bars

  • 1/4 cup cashews (if you use the salted, you probably won't need any additional salt)
  • 2/3 cup dates
  • tiny pinch of salt
  • Optional: a drop or two of pure vanilla extract (about 1/8 teaspoon)

--Dump all the ingredients in a food processor and blend them all together.

*I like mine a tad bit coarser so they resemble fruit and nut bars, but you can keep processing until your desired texture.

--Form the mixture into squares, rectangles, or balls, then wrap them in plastic wrap for storage.

--Simple as that! Enjoy =)

Happy Baking!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fried Cabbage

Fried Cabbage

If you grew up in or around the South or with Southern people, you have known of the deliciousness of fried cabbage your whole life.  If you are a Northern, Scandinavian girl like myself, you probably have either never had it or just recently happened upon the mouthwatering dish. It is probably the easiest dish you could ever make, not to mention the cheapest and fastest and dare I say healthiest.  Now some may argue after reading the ingredients that a tablespoon of butter or bacon grease does not categorize this recipe as healthy or low cal, but bear with me as I explain the logic and necessity of the fat. 

1) Fat makes food taste better.  Fact.  But in that making it taste better, it also makes it easier for your body to absorb certain vitamins and minerals that could not be assimilated by your body were it not for these little fat heroes. 

2) It matters what kind of fat you use.  Slather on some REAL butter, drizzle on some extra virgin olive oil, or saute in some left over bacon grease and you are *ahem* "cooking with Crisco". These are what I like to call "Old Fashioned Fats" because they are what your great-grandmother would have used and therefore not loaded with chemicals and dangerous particles that lurk in margaine, vegetable oil, and *ahem again* Crisco. Stick to the good stuff, in moderation, and your veggies and body will thank me. 

A whole head of cabbage, even sauteed in a tablespoon of fat contains only 290 calories.  The WHOLE thing! That is still less than a plain ol' cheeseburger from McDonalds. So go ahead and eat the whole pan in one sitting. No shame or feeling bad about yourself later. Just a satisfied stomach and content body.


1 T. butter, bacon grease, or half butter/half olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 head green cabbage, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste (or Tony Chacheres)

Shred the cabbage and thinly slice the onion.  Heat a large cast iron skillet (best results with one of these baby's) over medium heat and drop in your desired fat to melt and heat up, about 1-2 minutes. Add the onion and saute until translucent and soft, 5-7 minutes.  Next add all of the cabbage.  It will seem like it will overflow the pan, but it will cook down considerably. Let it sit on top of the onion for about a minute and then, taking some tongs, flip the cabbage from bottom to top occasionally for the next 10 minutes or so, depending on the texture you want your cabbage to have. I like mine mostly soft with a slight crunch so 10 minutes is perfect for me.  Now you season it up, don't be shy, cabbage likes salt and pepper.

Plate and serve.  That's it. Yes, really. 

Serve it with a roasted chicken or throw in some bacon (oh yeah, I went there!). Add some chickpeas and fresh corn off the cob, and you have a great little meal for lunch the next day.  Possibilities are endless and so are the flavoring combinations. Go crazy!

Because isn't that what cooking is all about?

Life is better homemade my friends!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

       Wow it's been a busy summer! Clearly, since we haven't posted in a while . . . again. C'est la vie, though, isn't it? It's not that my sister and I haven't been making things-- on the contrary we've been cooking and baking a lot! The problem has been getting pictures of the things we make. =) But no fear, I have finally taken a picture of deliciousness. Today, in fact. Above you see a picture of one of the non-banana-bread recipes I enjoy when using up extra overripe bananas. Although it's no secret I love banana bread, I also love cookies. So this combination works well for me, see?
       These cookies taste just like banana bread but are jam-packed with nuts, unlike the banana bread I usually eat is. The only reason I added in the almond slivers is because there was a little baggie of them floating around in my cupboard that I wanted to use up. I decided I liked the uniqueness of the walnut/almond combination so much though that I should keep the almonds in the recipe, so I did. I may add more than a half cup in the future, but for now I liked it that way. Also something I did that I normally don't was chopping up chocolate bars and sticking them in the batter instead of chocolate chips which I was fresh out of. And you know what? I loved the chunkiness of them! The randomness of the chocolate sizes make for fun eating. Another FYI: the cookies are relatively moist when first baked, but I believe they become even more moist after being stored. Hope you like them too!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies
recipe slightly adapted from tasteofhome


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mashed overripe bananas (about 3)
  • 1-3/4 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

  • Directions
    --Preheat the oven to 375°F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

    --In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

    --Stir in the softened butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

    --Mix in the egg and mashed bananas, then add the oats. Mix until thoroughly combined.

    --Add the chocolate chips/chunks, walnuts, and almonds and stir until everything is evenly distributed.

    --Using a cookie scoop, drop the cookie dough on the parchment lined cookie sheets about 1-1/2 inches apart.

    --Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

    --Cool them on a wire rack, eat a few, and store the rest in a Tupperware container =)

    Happy Baking!