Veggie Balls


Although the photo doesn’t do it justice, this is one of my new favorite recipes. Because my husband and I were the only ones in the family to eat these, and the recipe makes a generous quantity, we ate them for several days in a row and I didn’t get sick of them at all. They are incredibly delicious! You can use any kind of sauce on them (pesto, tomato, lemon tahini, etc.) I doused mine in Rao’s marinara sauce and they were unbelievable. They’d also make a great meatball hero.

I will tell anyone who asks that I don’t like mushrooms. Raisins aren’t my favorite either, but I had read a lot of great reviews about these veggie balls and decided to try the recipe as written, mushrooms and all. Since I never cook with them, I had to do a little reading about how to slice mushrooms, if you wash them or not, etc. I can’t say that I tasted them in the recipe. There are so many other ingredients that the mushroom flavor is not prominent at all. I bought a 12-oz box of button mushrooms and used my scale to measure 8 ounces as called for in the recipe. Next time I’m going to use all 12-ounces.

The one word of warning I have about this recipe is that it takes time. This isn’t something you can throw together an hour before dinner unless you’re planning to serve a midnight buffet. After the boys went to school one morning, I started cooking the lentils. While they were cooking, I chopped and sauteed the vegetables. I did this while listening to a podcast called S Town. The podcast was very interesting, so it seemed like the prep work took no time at all. Once the veggie mixture was made, it had to chill. I let mine chill for several hours, until I was ready to form and bake the veggie balls. Next time I make these, I might try to chop some of the veggies in the food processor to speed things up. I’ll let you know how that works.

These meatballs are apparently a staff favorite at The Meatball Shop here in Manhattan, and I can see why.


Veggie Balls
Recipe from the NY Times

2 cups lentils
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons tomato paste
8 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
3 large eggs
1/2 cup grated rennet-free Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Combine the lentils and 2 quarts water in a medium stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are soft but not falling apart, about 25 minutes. Drain the lentils and allow to cool.

Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil to a large frying pan and sauté the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme and salt over medium- high heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown. Add the tomato paste and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 15 more minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. When cool, add the lentils to the vegetable mixture.

Add the eggs, Parmesan, bread crumbs, parsley and walnuts to the cooled vegetables and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated. Place in the refrigerator for 25 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil into a half sheet pan (using a little more if necessary) and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.

Roll the mixture into round, golf ball–size meatballs (about 1 1/2 inches), making sure to pack the vegetable mixture firmly. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet, allowing 1/4-inch of space between the balls and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. Depending on the size of your veggie balls, they may not fill the entire sheet pan. This is ok.

Roast for 30 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish before serving.

Yield: ~30 veggie balls that were slightly larger than golf balls

One year ago: Grapefruit Yogurt Cake
Two years ago: Secretly Healthy Fudge Balls
Three years ago: Brigadeiros (Brazilian Fudge Balls)
Four years ago: Braised Coconut Spinach and Chickpeas with Lemon
Five years ago: Peanut Butter Cup Blondies
Six years ago: Caramels
Seven years ago: Yucatán Pork Tenderloin
Eight years ago: Carole’s Country Style Spare Ribs
Nine years ago: Buttermilk Bran Muffins

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Lemon White Chocolate Bars


My lemon-loving son saw a picture of these bars on my computer – I think I had a Pinterest page open – and he begged me to make them. He is a lemon fanatic as long as there is no pulp anywhere to be found in the recipe. When he saw that this was made from a cake mix, he was thrilled, knowing that there wouldn’t be any pulp or zest in the mix. Most of the lemon recipes that I make are loaded with pulp and zest, two things he hates to find when he bites into something

I was skeptical about these bars, knowing that they started with a cake mix. I couldn’t imagine that they’d be great, but I was very much mistaken. The bars disappeared in no time and received rave reviews from everyone who tried them. My husband commented that he likes these more than the regular lemon bars that I make (an Ina Garten recipe!) They’re a perfect dessert for this season because the weather has finally warmed up in NY and spring has finally sprung.

You can’t tell from the photo, but these bars have the consistency of a chewy brownie or blondie.

When you make these, definitely line your pan with parchment paper. If you don’t the sweetened condensed milk will stick to the side of your pan and make the bars difficult to remove. For some reason, the milk doesn’t stick to parchment that’s lightly sprayed with cooking oil.

These are a prefect spring or Easter treat!


Lemon White Chocolate Bars
Recipe from Crazy for Crust

1 box lemon cake mix
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 egg
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper (make sure all four sides of the pan are covered – I use two rectangular pieces of parchment allowing each piece to have some some overhang) and spray with cooking spray.

Mix butter with a stand mixer until smooth. Mix in cake mix and egg; beat until combined. Batter will be thick like cookie dough.

Press 2/3 of the mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle white chocolate chips over the top and drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the top of the chocolate. Break up the remaining dough and crumble it over the top of the bars. Press lightly to seal (mine didn’t seal completely.)

Bake for 28-33 minutes, until slightly browned. Remove from oven. Cool completely before cutting.

Yield: 9 – 12 bars

One year ago: Oatmeal Scotchies
Two years ago: Coconut Chocolate Chip Magic Granola Bars
Three years ago: Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup
Four years ago: Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Five years ago: Chipotle Quinoa with Corn and Black Beans
Six years ago: Oatmeal, Cranberry and Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Seven years ago: Crisp Roasted Potatoes
Eight years ago: Dinner Spanakopita
Nine years ago: Grandma Sachs’ Crumb Cake

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Sweet, Salty, Spicy Party Nuts


This is a basic spiced nuts recipe that you can modify to your heart’s content. You can mix up the spices as well as the kinds of nuts that you use. I didn’t have any walnuts, so I made mine without. I made sure I added extra cashews, pecans and almonds so the total quantity was 4 cups. I also used salted cashews (the recipe calls for unsalted), because that’s what I had on hand.

Around the holidays, I make lots of these spiced nuts, which are incredibly delicious and make your house smell like Christmas when you’re baking them. I love them, but they’re a sweet, spiced nut. When I found this recipe, I was looking for a more savory spiced nut to serve at a dinner party. These nuts fit the bill perfectly. They have a nice combination of savory spices with a hint of sweetness that’s not overwhelming. I tossed in a couple of shakes of smoked paprika because I enjoy that smoky flavor. You can play with the spices and add whatever you want. If you like things a little spicier, add more cayenne. I liked the sheen that these nuts get when they’re tossed and cooked with the melted sugar.

These nuts are perfect for a dinner party or for just snacking. It’s hard to eat just one.

Sweet, Salty, Spicy Party Nuts
Recipe from Chef John at Food.Com

1 cup walnut halves
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup unsalted almonds
1 cup unsalted, dry roasted cashews
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with a Silpat liner, or parchment paper. If you use parchment, spray it lightly with cooking spray.

Combine all of the nuts in a large bowl. Add salt, black pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper; toss to coat.

Heat sugar, water, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted. Cook for 1 minute and remove from heat. Slowly pour butter mixture over the bowl of nuts and stir to coat.

Transfer nuts to the prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer.

Bake nuts in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Stir nuts until the warm syrup coats every nut. Spread into a single layer, return to the oven, and bake until nuts are sticky and roasted, about 6 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

Yield: 4 cups of spiced nuts

One year ago: Oatmeal Scotchies
Two years ago: Lemon Herb Quinoa with Spring Peas and Basil
Three years ago: Cinnamon Streusel Baked French Toast Sticks
Four years ago: Coconut Bread
Five years ago: Salted Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars
Six years ago: Spanakopita Lasagna
Seven years ago: Chocolate Chip Waffles
Eight years ago: Chive Risotto Cakes
Nine years ago: Cheddar Corn Chowder

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Chocolate Ganache Cake


I made this cake for a dinner party we were supposed to have on Saturday night. I made the cake itself on Friday, wrapped it tightly in plastic wrap and stored it in the refrigerator. Unfortunately the dinner party didn’t happen because one of my dear friends, and one of our guests that night, had an accident and nearly cut her finger off on Friday night. She ended up in the hospital for several days following microsurgery to reattach it. She’s now at home recuperating.

I frosted the cake on Sunday, and we ate some of it on Sunday night and found it to be delicious, incredibly rich and very moist. I gave a couple of slices to my parents and they ate it today (Tuesday) and still found it to be incredibly moist. This is a great cake to bring to a celebration or to serve at a dinner party because the chevron frosting makes it look like it’s from a bakery. This cake is very easy to make and stays fresh for a number of days.

The original recipe suggests an 8″ cake pan. I didn’t have one, so I used a 9″ pan and it worked perfectly. The recipe suggests that you place the cake upside down on a rack. I flipped mine over so it wasn’t upside down because my cake was ever so slightly domed and when it was flipped upside down, the edges didn’t sit flush with the rack.

I poured the ganache all around the top of the cake, and as the recipe suggests, tilted the rack to get the ganache to spread smoothly over the cake. Once the cake was completely frosted and decorated, I used three spatulas (you’ll need a second pers
on to help you with this) to move the cake onto a serving plate.

Chocolate Ganache Cake
Recipe from Barefoot Contessa

1/4 pound butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 3/4 cup Hershey’s chocolate syrup
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the Ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 teaspoon instant coffee granules

For the chevron stripes (optional):
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1-2 Tablespoons milk
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the chocolate syrup and vanilla. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Don’t overbeat, or the cake will be tough.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until just set in the middle. Don’t overbake! Let cool thoroughly in the pan.

For the ganache, cook the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and instant coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.

Place the cake upside down on a wire rack on top of a cookies sheet (to catch the drips) and pour the glaze evenly over the top, making sure to cover the entire cake and sides. You can tilt the rack/cookie sheet combo to smooth the glaze.

In a bowl, mix the confectioners sugar, 1 Tablespoon of milk and vanilla extract using a fork. Add more milk until you get to the consistency that will pipe onto the cake nicely without running. Place the glaze into a piping bag with a small round-tipped hole. Pipe stripes onto the cake, spaced by about an inch and a half. Once all of the stripes are on the cake, run a knife lightly through the stripes in alternating directions. Do not refrigerate the cake.

Yield: ~12 servings

One year ago: Oatmeal Scotchies
Two years ago: Surprise Cookies
Three years ago: Orange-Glazed Shrimp
Four years ago: Macaroni and Cheese with Black Beans and Chipotle
Five years ago: Oreo Rice Krispie Treats
Six years ago: Homemade Cheez-It Crackers
Seven years ago: Breakfast Tart with Pancetta and Green Onions
Eight years ago: Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Nine years ago: Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies



Easter Egg Cookie Dough Truffles


One of my sons made these the other day. He’s a huge cookie dough fan. We actually went downtown a couple of weekends ago to a shop called . All they sell is cookie dough. It’s served like ice cream and it’s such a phenomenon in NYC that it’s almost impossible to get in. We went on a Saturday afternoon and the line snaked down the block and across the street. We were told the wait time was 2.5 hours! There were people attempting to pay huge premiums to the folks at the front of the line to buy them some. The few folks we saw asked, declined. I think I probably would have declined too. Who knew a shop selling cookie dough would be so insanely successful? It’s crazy.

I have read a number of articles recently about raw flour potentially containing e-coli, so whenever I am making a dessert with raw flour, I make sure that I cook it first to kill any potential bacteria. 5 minutes in a 350F oven does the trick.

We keep these truffles in the freezer. At a minimum they should be kept in the refrigerator until you serve them. Given the chance, the boys (well, at least three of them – you can actually make that four if you count my husband) would inhale the whole tray. I wish they got as excited about eating their vegetables.

These are a perfect dessert for Easter!


Easter Egg Cookie Dough Truffles
Recipe from Wine and Glue

1/2 cup of butter, softened
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
i can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup mini chocolate chips
colored candy melts

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread the flour onto a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Let cool.

In the bowl of a large stand mixer, cream the butter and the brown sugar until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Mix in the vanilla. Slowly add the flour, scraping down the sides as necessary.
With the mixer still running, slowly add in the sweetened condensed milk. If there is some that is left lining the sides and bottom of the can, leave it. There’s no need to scrape every last bit out of the can, or the dough will be too soft. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Form the dough into one inch balls, and then shape into eggs. Place on a parchment paper-lined pan and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Put them into the freezer for about an hour or until quite firm.

Melt the candy melts according to the directions on the bag. Dip the truffles in the candy melts one at a time with a fork. Gently let any excess chocolate drip off, and place them back onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Let the chocolate dry. Keep refrigerated.

Yield: ~ 40 or so truffles

One year ago: Cabbage and Potato Gratin
Two years ago: Lemon Fusilli with Arugula
Three years ago: Broccoli, Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole
Four years ago: Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cornflake Crunch Cookies
Five years ago: Soft Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting
Six years ago: Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes
Seven years ago: Tofu and Onions in Caramel Sauce
Eight years ago: Cinnamon Sugar Rattle Snacks
Nine years ago: Braised Pork Chops

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Maple Cinnamon Biscuits


If you’re looking for something different to make for breakfast or brunch, try these biscuits. They’re wonderful hot out of the oven with butter.

The original recipe calls for adding 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans. I left them out because the boys don’t love nuts in things, but I personally think they’d be a great addition. If you want to try adding pecans, they get folded in once the dough comes together.

Biscuits are not difficult to make, and it’s nice that they only use one bowl. The next time you have overnight guests, give these a try.

Maple Cinnamon Biscuits

Recipe adapted ever so slightly from Taste of Home

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar**, divided
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons milk

**Cinnamon Sugar – mix 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400° F.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, 3 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter (I used a pastry blender to do it) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk and maple syrup just until moistened.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead 8-10 times. Roll out to 1/2-in. thickness; cut with a floured 2-1/2-in. biscuit cutter.

Place 2 in. apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with milk; sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar.

Bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Yield: ~12 biscuits

One year ago: Cabbage and Potato Gratin
Two years ago: Lemon Fusilli with Arugula
Three years ago: Broccoli, Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole
Four years ago: Couscous with Peas and Mint
Five years ago: Soft Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting
Six years ago: Orange Pound Cake
Seven years ago: Nonna’s Lemon Ricotta Biscuits
Eight years ago: Baked Sweet Potato “Fries”
Nine years ago: Braised Pork Chops


Chopped Veggie Salad


Spring is finally in the air in NYC, and this is a perfect salad for the season. It’s full of lots of fresh, raw vegetables. It reminds me a bit of a cole slaw, in chopped form. The original recipe called for 6 slices of bacon, chopped and stirred into the salad. I left that out, hoping that my vegetarian son might enjoy this, but no such luck. Although everything is better with bacon, I didn’t mind this salad without it. I will make this again using vegetarian bacon strips, and encourage my son to try it again.

The trick to making this salad come together in no time flat, is to live near a Trader Joe’s. They sell bags of riced broccoli and riced cauliflower. The recipe calls for 3 cups of finely chopped broccoli. The TJs bag has slightly more than 3 cups, but I dumped the whole bag in anyway. Same for the cauliflower. I didn’t want to have little bits of vegetables left in my refrigerator. In order to speed up the chopping of the carrots, I bought a bag of slivered carrots, and took a big knife to them to cut them in smaller pieces. The celery was the only vegetable that I had to spend a few minutes chopping.

The original recipe called for peanuts, but I prefer sliced almonds, so I used them. Delicious!

Be warned, this recipe makes enough to feed an army. My husband and I have been eating it for several days now, and we still haven’t finished it, AND I gave some away to a girlfriend knowing that we would never finish it. She and her family are now eating it for days too.

I think this would be delicious at a summer picnic, or a summer barbecue.


Chopped Veggie Salad
Recipe modified from Taste of Home

3 cups finely chopped fresh broccoli
3 cups finely chopped cauliflower
1.5 cups finely chopped celery
1.5 cups finely chopped carrots
2 cups frozen peas (about 8 ounces), thawed
1-1/3 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sliced almonds

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, sugar, cheese, vinegar and salt until blended. Add to salad and toss to coat. Stir in almonds. Refrigerate leftovers.

Yield: ~12 servings


One year ago: Chocolate Babka
Two years ago: Lemon Fusilli with Arugula
Three years ago: Broccoli, Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole
Four years ago: Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Muffins
Five years ago: Soft Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting
Six years ago: Black Bean Soup with Sherry
Seven years ago: Baked Tortilla Chips
Eight years ago: Brazilian-Style Collard Greens
Nine years ago: Wheatberry Salad

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Cheesecake Swirled Brownies


How many of my boys eat these? 2/4, only 50%. Two of them claim they don’t like cheese, so they won’t go near them. I tried to explain that these don’t taste like the cheese that they claim they don’t like, but they weren’t buying it. I say, more for the rest of us!

These brownies are a nice combination of cheesecake and chocolate brownie. Two of the boys really love these. They’re both cheesecake fans, and who doesn’t like chocolate, so the combination for them is one of their favorites.

These are best served cold from the refrigerator. We like ours straight from the freezer as well. If you chill them before you cut them, you’ll get much neater squares.


Cheesecake-Swirled Brownies
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Brownie batter
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Cheesecake batter
8 ounces cream cheese, well softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Make brownie batter:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Heat butter and chocolate in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, whisking occasionally, just until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until well combined. Whisk in flour until just combined and spread in baking pan.

Make cheesecake batter:
Whisk together cheesecake batter ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Dollop over brownie batter, then swirl in with a knife or spatula.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over cheesecake/brownie batter swirl.

Bake brownies:
Bake until edges are slightly puffed and center is just set, about 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Slicing tip: Chill brownies until they’re almost frozen before cutting them. It makes it much easier to get a clean slice.

Yield: 16 2″x2″ brownies

One year ago: Butterscotch-Bourbon Blondies
Two years ago: Lemon Fusilli with Arugula
Three years ago: Broccoli, Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole
Four years ago: Butterscotch-Bourbon Blondies
Five years ago: Soft Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting
Six years ago: Chicken and Rice Stoup
Seven years ago: Sugar-Crusted Popovers
Eight years ago: Whoopie Pies!
Nine years ago: Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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Spicy Carrot-Coconut Soup


During the boys’ winter break, we went to Disney World with family and had a wonderful time. We were a group of 15 in total. We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and ate at their restaurant called Boma – Flavors of Africa twice during our stay. My favorite part of the meal at Boma was the selection of delicious soups they served each night. I’m now on a soup kick.

According to my husband, this is the best soup I have ever made. It’s creamy without the addition of dairy, and it’s nice and spicy from the hot chili sauce. It’s so simple to make and doesn’t have a long list of complicated ingredients. Sometimes the best recipes are made with a very short list of ingredients. The one ingredient that is a little atypical, unless you make a lot of Asian food, is the Thai-style chili sauce. I didn’t have this exactly, but guess where I found a perfect substitute. Trader Joe’s. They sell Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce, which is perfect for this recipe. If you don’t have it, or can’t easily purchase it, Sriracha sauce is a good substitute. Trader Joe’s sells that too. Two tablespoons of the chili garlic sauce gave the soup some noticeably, nice heat. If you don’t like your dishes as spicy, I’d start with one tablespoon, taste for heat, and work up from there. My husband is already asking for another batch of this soup and for me, this recipe rivals any of the soups served at Boma, and their soups were delicious.

When I pureed my soup, it was on the thick side, which we like. If you find the soup is too thick, you can think it with more broth or water. The original recipe called for chicken broth, but I wanted to make the soup vegetarian, so I used vegetable broth. For most recipes, I interchange the two.


Spicy Carrot-Coconut Soup
Recipe from Bon Appétit

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 pound carrots, peeled, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
13.5-oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons Thai-style chili sauce plus more for serving
Fresh cilantro leaves (for serving)

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until carrots are softened, 15–20 minutes. Stir in broth, coconut milk, and 2 Tbsp. chili sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very soft and liquid is slightly reduced, 40–45 minutes.

Let soup cool slightly, then purée in a blender until smooth. Reheat in a clean saucepan, thinning with water to desired consistency; season with salt and pepper.

Divide soup among bowls, drizzle with chili sauce, and top with cilantro.

Yield: 4 servings

One year ago: Roasted Red Pepper and Ricotta Soup
Two years ago: Mini Churros
Three years ago: Broccoli, Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole
Four years ago: Meyer Lemon Gelato
Five years ago: Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
Six years ago: Alfajores
Seven years ago: Pineapple and Meyer Lemon Sorbet
Eight years ago: Peanut Butter Cookies
Nine years ago: Smashed Sweet Potatoes

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Dark Chocolate Chia Granola


I do like a good granola mixed into my yogurt in the morning or as an afternoon snack, and this granola is perfect for that. It gives the yogurt a nice crunch. My boys will eat this granola by the handful. At least one of them will mix it into yogurt too.

The granola doesn’t form big clumps as some other granola does, but it’s a very tasty snack. I love that it has healthy chia seeds in it. One of the things I really like about granola recipes is that you can customize them to suit your tastes. This granola would be great with chopped nuts. You could also add a little cinnamon for a slightly different flavor. I chose to omit the chocolate chips, but if you’re in the mood for something a little sweeter, add the mini chocolate chips that are called for in the recipe.


Dark Chocolate Chia Granola
Recipe from Natural Chow

2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark mini chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 300° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

In a large bowl, combine the old-fashioned oats, coconut shreds, chia seeds, and cocoa powder. Stir to combine. (You may want to sift the cocoa powder if it’s clumpy.)

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir until the coconut oil is melted. Remove the pan from heat and pour the mixture over the dry ingredients. Stir to combine.

Pour the granola onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer.

Bake for 45 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes to keep the granola from clumping too much. Take out of the oven and let cool. The cold air will help the granola to become crunchy. Once completely cooled, stir in the chocolate chips, if using. Store the granola in an air-tight container. It will keep for 2-3 weeks if it lasts that long.

Yield: ~ 6 servings

One year ago: Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
Two years ago: Nonna Luna’s Rice
Three years ago: Chocolate Nudges
Four years ago: Sugar Saucers
Five years ago: Banana Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Six years ago: Jerk Shrimp Mini Pies
Seven years ago: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
Eight years ago: Black and White Cookies
Nine years ago: Lasagna with Pink Sauce, Leeks and Sausage

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