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March 2013

Simple Grain-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

    Peanut cookie

    So my new addiction is grain-free peanut butter cookies! There is no flour in them at all and they are incredibly easy to make. The recipe has been around for a long time but I cut the amount of sugar down and used coconut sugar, although any sugar will work. Basically these are dump, mix and bake cookie. Perfect for a busy day!!

    PS. In the picture I have made mini ice cream sandwiches with two peanut butter cookies and a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was heavenly xox

PSS. Isn't the sweet nest made by Vintage Rabbit Acres lovely? I met Joy my last trip to CA and we became fast friends!!

Peanut cookie1

Simple Grain-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Make a dozen cookies

1 cup creamy peanut butter (I found chunky does bind as well)*

3/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar or whatever you eat (but I would not use a liquid sweetener like honey or maple)

1 egg

salt, a pinch to a tsp. depending how much salt you like

1 tsp vanilla extract


Pre-heat oven 350˚F

In a mixer with a paddle (or you can use a food processor) add all ingredients. Mix about a minute until it comes together, kind of like play dough. Roll or gently squeeze dough into small balls, set on a cookies sheet lined with parchment paper. Press down center of dough with thumb. Bake 12 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

*A note about the consistency. Since I know all you readers are amazing cooks, you know nut butters variety in constancy. Some are very oily and some are very dry. I have used both and both made a yummy cookie but each with a different texture. I would not worry too much about an oily butter but if you are using a crumbly, dry butter you might want to add a TBL or so of a mild flavored olive oil to the dough. The perfect consistency would be a soft play dough but do not worry about it too much. As long as you can gently roll/squeeze the dough into a ball.

Smoked Kale Pasta

Smoked kale pasta

    This is a family favorite. The sweet caramelized tomatoes go well with the biting taste of the kale and the smokey flavor from the mozzarella and paprika round it out. Not all smoked paprika's are the same. If you can get your hands on El Rey, please do! It is the only one I will use. If I know I am going to have a busy day, I will do the roasted tomatoes a few days ahead. The rest of the dish is easy to finish off. Really having roasted tomatoes on-hand, is a yummy idea!!


Smoked Kale Pasta

Oven roasted tomatoes and onions*

Sauteed Kale**

Smoked mozzarella, cubed

1 tsp. of each salt, pepper and smoked paprika

Cooked pasta, one pound or so.

Toss all together, taste and add more spices if needed. If pasta seems a little dry, add a bit more olive oil. To gild the lily serve with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese.


*Oven roasted tomatoes and onions

Roast tomatoes 2 hours before cooking the pasta or several days before.

12 or so small tomatoes or 20 cherry tomato cut in half, length wise

1 small onion peeled and thinly sliced

Preheat oven 300˚F (if in a rush you can roast at 400˚F for 1/2 hour but the tomatoes will not caramelize much)

In a wide, shallow baking pan with sides (like a jelly roll) add veggies and toss in a bit of olive oil. Spread out so everything so the veggies have room. Make sure tomatoes are sitting cut side up. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and sugar over the top. Roast anywhere from 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour depending on how crispy you like your veggies. Scrap veggies and juices into a bowl.

**Sauteed Kale

Use kale that is either baby kale or striped of its stem. You want the kale to cook fast. You can do the kale while the pasta is cooking

Heat large frying pan over medium/high heat. Add a nice gloop of olive oil, as much kale that can fit in the pan or you want to eat and a generous sprinkling of salt. Saute kale for 2-3 minutes until it has wilted. Add to mozzarella and tomatoes.



  As you read this post I am off in CA soaking the sun and probably enjoying some good red wine (and my fathers hot tub)!! But I wanted to share this amazing book I read, Amarcord by Marcella Hazen. Well actually I listened to the audio version but it was unabridged and I loved every minute of it. I dragged my laptop around the house, even into the bathroom while I was taking my afternoon bath so I did not miss one minute of the book, I enjoyed Marcella's life story so much. I know her work well. She is the Julia Child of Italian cooking but I did not know the story of her life.


    I treasure my very worn copy of The Classic Italian Cookbook, as well as her other books. Amarcord is not a cookbook, although you will learn lots of tips about cooking but it is the story of a women who followed her passions. Marcella's story from living in Italy during W11 to moving to New York without knowing any English to her creating a cooking school fascinated me. As someone who has self-published hearing about her trials and triumphs in the publishing world was eye opening. Of course food is the running thread through out the whole book and a subject I can never get enough of. I know my library has Amarcord, check it out when you get a chance. You will love it! Also here is her recipe for bolognese sauce. This is why I love Marcella, so ofen I see bolognese sauce without milk. Without milk it is meat sauce, NOT bolognese! This is a pet peeve of mine! Lastly an interview of Marcella.

    Eat good food while I am gone xox

Free Book


    Well spring is just around the corner. I can smell that fresh dirt smell in the air and love it. I have decided to make my Egg book free. It was 6 years ago when I wrote it and have learned so much since then. At that time the idea of a digital mag from a blogger was so new. Now look at all the on-line mags! It is amazing to see how far blogging has come since I first started. Well enjoy my egg issue xox