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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

No Bake Banana Nut Balls

Whenever you have a party, or around the Holidays, these little balls will catch your guests attention. They taste great and are not hard to make. It will be a crowd favorite.

  • 1 med banana
  • 3.5 oz butter (100 g)
  • 2T orange juice (30 ml)
  • 9.5 oz Woven Wheats Baked Cracker (Box)
  • 5.5 oz coconut flakes (150 g)
  • 3.5 oz powdered sugar (100 g)
  • 3.5 oz brown sugar (100 g)
  • 2 oz almonds, chopped very fine
  • 4 oz pecans, chopped very fine
  • 2 oz walnuts, chopped very fine

  1. Mash the banana.  
  2. In separate bowl, mix the powdered sugar and butter until smooth and fluffy. 
  3. Add mashed banana and orange juice. 
  4. Make sure all the nuts are finely chopped. I used a food processor and pulsed it until the nuts were chopped enough.
  5. Crumble wheat crackers. I used a big zip lock bag and smashed them inside it. It should resemble the nut mixture.
  6. Blend 2/3 of the brown sugar, almonds, pecans and all of fine crumbled baked crackers into the bowl with the wet ingredients. The mixture needs to be workable with your hands. 
  7. Now make the dry mix from the rest of the brown sugar, almonds, pecans and all of the walnuts.
  8. Make little balls (about 20g) with the wet mix and then roll them into the dry mixture to coat. It should make around 48 to 50 balls.
  9. Put the balls on parchment paper and cool in the fridge before serving. 
  10. No bake!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Light Egg Salad

You want the sandwich, but don't want all the calories! Here is the solution. If you'd like it even lighter than this, omit half of the yolk, the mayo, and instead of buttermilk, substitute Greek yogurt. I usually like to add a leaf of lettuce (iceberg) and a couple of thin slices of tomato.

4 Servings
  • 8 egg
  • 1/3 cup 2% buttermilk
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 5 baby carrots, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 t sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 1/4 t parsley, finely chopped, garnish

  1. Arrange eggs in a single layer in a large pot and fill with cold water until covered by 1-2 inches of water.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat off and let sit for 15 min.
  3. Run eggs under cold water to stop them from cooking further.
  4. Peel eggs and cut in half.
  5. Finely dice eggs (you can use less yolk if you want it lighter), and place in a medium bowl.
  6. Add celery, carrots, buttermilk, mustard, mayonnaise, parsley, salt and pepper, and mix well until everything is combined. Set aside.
  7. Turn over broiler on low and place bread slices on a baking tray.
  8. Use bread of your choice. I like nine grain bread.
  9. Optional: place a layer of spinach and slices of tomatoes on the bread before spreading on egg salad.
  10. Garnish with chives and parsley, and serve immediately.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Balsamic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Image adopted from

Roasting isn't usually the first cooking method you think of for cauliflower but the results are quite delicious. The florets are cut into thick slices and tossed with extra-virgin olive oil and herbs. Wherever the flat surfaces come into contact with the hot roasting pan, a deep browning occurs that results in a sweet, nutty flavor. This is our favorite.

4 Servings

  • 10 oz cauliflower
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil  
  • 1 t dried thyme and marjoram
  • 1/4 t salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste  
  •  2 T balsamic vinegar  
  • 1/2 C finely shredded Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F
  2. Toss cauliflower, oil, marjoram, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl. 
  3. Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until starting to soften and brown on the bottom, 15 to 20 minutes. 
  4. Toss the cauliflower with vinegar and sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Return to the oven and roast until the cheese is melted and any moisture has evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Stollen Loaf

This recipe is for those who like to bake and don't have the grocery store Aldi nearby.

4 Servings
  • 3-4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, for dusting
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup almonds, sliced
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger
  • 1/2 cup orange liqueur or warm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoon orange zest, grated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • vegetable oil, for greasing the bowl

  1. Soak raisins, ginger and almonds in orange liqueur in a medium bowl for at least 30 minutes (up to 8 hours) and set aside.
  2. Warm milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until just about to boil. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup butter and salt.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm, then transfer to a large bowl or mixer.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar until liquid. Add to the milk, butter & sugar mixture. Stir well.
  5. Add eggs one at a time to mixture, then vanilla extract, and beat well.
  6. Mix in orange zest, cardamom and nutmeg, then add 2 cups flour and mix until dough begins to come together.
  7. Continue adding flour until dough ball forms. Knead dough until smooth and elastic. 
  8. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean towel and place in a warm, draft-free place for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  9. Punch down dough and add raisin nut mixture. Knead until completely incorporated and smooth.
  10. Lightly grease a baking tray and shape dough into desired amount of loaves. Cover again with a clean towel, transfer to a warm, draft-free place and let rise for 1 hour.
  11. Press loaves down in center and fold over lengthwise.
  12. Place in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes (for smaller loaves) to 50-55 minutes (large loaves).
  13. Remove from oven, melt remaining 3/4 cup butter and brush it onto loaves, and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.
    Optional: wrap loaves tightly in plastic wrap and let sit for 1 day before serving to maximize flavor.

Recipe adapted from Slate