Saturday, August 23, 2014

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Michael and I were with a friend today and we stopped in a really cool European/Middle Market to get some baklava. They had a great display of all kinds of nuts, which reminded us that we had been talking about making white chocolate macadamia nut cookies sometime soon. We had some white chocolate chips leftover from making carrot cake bites so we bought some macadamia nuts and started looking for recipes. I quickly found a recipe that was rated well and had several great reviews with different tips and tricks. The cookies turned out perfectly. This will definitely be a repeat recipe.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup macadamia nuts (if they are whole you might want to chop them up into smaller pieces, depending on how large of chunks you would like in your cookies)
1 cup white chocolate chips

In a large bowl mix the butter, shortening, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla extract. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. While mixing the wet mixture, gradually add in the flour mixture.

Fold in the macadamia nuts and white chocolate.

Form the dough into tablespoon sized balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with tinfoil.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the cookies begin to turn a golden brown.


{Vitamix} Chocolate Cashew Ice Cream

About a year and a half ago we went to a coffee and tea festival here in New York City. One of the first booths we came upon was a Vitamix booth where they were demoing different recipes. The sales rep made a healthy chocolate ice cream from cashews, ice, cocoa powder, and agave. It was amazingly delicious. From that point on I knew eventually I had to have a Vitamix. Michael and I decided whenever we moved to a new apartment that would be one of the first things we would get.

Flash forward and we are now in a new apartment with a new Vitamix. The first recipe we made was none other than the chocolate ice cream. This recipe makes plenty of enough for the two of us and is one that will likely be in our regular rotation of daily desserts.

1 cup of cashews (we used roasted, unsalted)
1 small tray of ice (we have the IKEA ice trays which are a bit smaller than a normal tray of ice)
about 2 to 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
about 4 tablespoons of agave nectar (can be substituted with maple syrup or honey and at some point we are planning to try dates as a substitute)

Load the ingredients into the Vitamix in the following order: cashews, cocoa powder, agave, and ice. Using the tamper stick and a high speed blend the ingredients for about a minute or until it has a creamy consistency. You made need to stop halfway through the minute to scrape the sides so everything gets mixed in well. It is now ready to serve. Feel free to garnish with some fruit or ice cream toppings.


Ground Turkey and Beans Bowl

2 cloves of garlic
2 slices of onions
1 package of ground turkey
1 can of beans (we used White Northern beans, but any kind will work)
a few handfuls of spinach (this really cooks down so you may want to use more than you would think you want)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Italian seasoning
hot sauce (optional)
goat cheese (optional)

Chop up the onion slices and mince the garlic. While you heat up the olive oil in a pan on a medium-to-high setting on the stove.

Once the olive oil has had a chance to heat up, toss in the onion and garlic. Saute until the onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes or so.

Next, add in the turkey. Once it has been added to the pan, season it with the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and oregano.

Once the turkey is close to being done, add in the beans and spinach

As the spinach begins to cook down, add the hot sauce to taste.

Finally, serve in a bowl and top with goat cheese.


Healthy Carrot Cake Bites

One of our favorite friends sent me a link to an article with a bunch of no bake dessert recipes. I immediately started going through the list and choosing which ones I wanted to make first. These carrot cake bites really stood out and I already had most of the ingredients around so I thought I would give them a shot. They are no match for the true carrot cake but if you want a healthier and bake-free alternative these are pretty good!

1/2 cup pitted dates, packed
1/2 cup golden raisins, packed
1 cup warm water
1 cup roasted cashews
1/4 cup roasted carrots, sliced or cubed
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of sea salt
1/8 cup white chocolate chips
2 teaspoons coconut oil

In a small bowl, soak the raisins and dates for about 5 minutes and pat dry. If the raisins and dates are already soft you can skip this step.

In a food processor, blend the carrots and the cashews until they are broken up into pieces.

Next, add the shredded coconut, two tablespoons of the white chocolate, the cinnamon and nutmeg, and the salt. Process the ingredients until it turns into a dough-like consistency. 

Rough the dough into balls and put in the freezer for at least 5 or 10 minutes. As the balls are in the freezer, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in the microwave.

Once the balls are taken out of the freezer, drizzle the melted chocolate on top. You can serve as is, but likely you will want to put back in the freezer or refrigeration so the chocolate can harden before serving.