Red Pear, Goat Cheese, and Candied Pecan Salad {with Raspberry Vinaigrette}

easy button pear salad 2ed 600We could also call this “The Best Ever ‘Easy Button’ Salad” too.

Because it is.

My friend Lara said to me once, “I totally pressed the Easy Button today and bought a rotisserie chicken for dinner”, and that got me thinking. . . . Yes. Easy button foods are good. Especially for this time of year.

So, we’re pressing the Easy Button here, because when we press it, it’s like a big breath of stressed air gushes out and relief replaces it.

I’m serious about this salad. Add it to your holiday dinner menu.

Continue reading

Pumpkin Spice Muesli

Pumpkin Spice Muesli|Home is Where The Cookies Are

I am a middle child.

According to the experts, this makes me a peacemaker.

And so I am.

This is my gift to all those out there who are both angered and tempted by pumpkin spiced food offerings in the sweltering hot days of September. (If you live – blessedly – in a climate that’s affording you a cozy long-sleeved shirt at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, carry on with steaming hot lattes, my friends. Enjoy one for me.)

Living where we do, in sub-tropical suburbia, leaves my sentimental soul wanting during the “seasons”; which means I’m usually trying to comfort my heart’s desire for smoky bon fires, crunchy fallen leaves, and apple harvests with some serious head fakes.

I actually tried it, you know. Drinking a hot pumpkin spice latte. (So sue me.)

It just felt wrong –  to sit sipping a burning hot spiced latte while I sweated through my tank top, mopped my brow, and tried to pretend fall was in the midst.

The air doesn’t even smell like autumn yet – and it does sometimes, even here – because leaves do eventually fall (I’ve heard this is more because of the photosynthesis cycle and the shorter days than the actually temperature).

But as far as feeling like fall has arrived?

That’s the full-on head fake.

And that’s where pumpkin spiced muesli comes in.

Pumpkin Spice Muesli, Dry Ingredients|Home is Where The Cookies Are

I will admit unabashedly that I am a newbie to muesli.

It’s always sounded bizarre to me. And I have yet to try any version made with fruit juice instead of milk. I’m not ruling anything out for my future self though – weirder things have happened.

I met muesli face to face about a month ago, here.

It was crazy good. Then all of a sudden – it was supposed to be autumn, I felt the need to dive into the annual head fake, and voila.

Pumpkin Spice Muesli, Wet Ingredients|Home is Where The Cookies Are

Pumpkin Spice Muesli.

Fall flavor. Cold breakfast. Whole goodness.

I’ve eaten it, with gusto, at least 9 mornings out of the last 14.

And guess what?

It’s starting to feel a lot like fall.

Pumpkin Spice Muesli|Home is Where The Cookies Are

Pumpkin Spice Muesli

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Pumpkin Spice Muesli

The perfect breakfast for hot fall days!

Ingredients

    For the dry ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (I used Bob's Redmill Extra Thick)
  • 1/4 cup chopped, raw pecans
  • 2 tablespoons almond slices
  • 2 tablespoons raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 2 medjool dates, small diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced candied ginger
  • For the wet ingredients:
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cup(s) reduced fat milk
  • 1 (5.3 oz.) container plain, fat-free, Greek yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

Directions

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well with clean hands, working the pieces of dried fruit apart.

Combine wet ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

To serve, add about a half cup or so of dry ingredients to a bowl and top with wet ingredients (enough to cover dry ingredients - or more. It's up to you). Stir to combine. If desired, allow to sit for a while. If you want, you can put it in the fridge and allow it to soak overnight. Or, you can eat it right away, no soaking required.

To store - keep dry ingredients in an airtight container for several days. For the wet ingredients, transfer to a jar with a lid, and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Shake well before using.

Source

Sara | Home is Where The Cookies Are

http://www.wherethecookiesare.com/2014/09/19/pumpkin-spice-muesli/

Farro and Herb Roasted Mushroom Salad Bowl

Farro and Herb Roasted Mushroom Salad Bowl

The September edition of BH&G came in the mail the other day.

It’s the Stylemaker issue.

I’m pretty sure this is supposed to excite and giddify me. I’m probably supposed to be eagerly anticipating the next great inspiration for the mantle I don’t have.

I think “they” expect that I’ll be all amped up and ready to do something great and colorful to my “space” with paint, because it’s the easiest and cheapest way to do any and all things wonderful to said space.

But I was born with a decorating defect, because all it did was make me feel like hyperventilating and scavenging for chocolate covered espresso beans.

Oh. And screaming too. It made me do lots of internal screaming as my blood pressure blew past the stratosphere.

I kept flipping pages faster and faster, frantically hoping to find other things. Food things. “Dear God, where is the flipping food?! Where are the recipes?!”

Lawd help me.

I am not a de-coh-rah-toor.

This is so much more my speed (If you ♥ Anthropologie and a good snort-laugh, this is a must-read. Be forewarned though – there’s an eensie bit of swearing that takes place.) because I am a Boho gal at heart. It must be because I’m totes ok with throwing a bunch of nonsense together and calling it good.

We’ve lived in our house for 12+ years. . . .

I’ve re-arranged the furniture . . . once.

Basically, I’ve thrown it together and called it good for one big, fat, swollen decade.

I’ve been thinking about making changes. Things I’d like to do. It’s just that actually doing them. Well, now. That takes thought. And know-how. And work.

Oh. And money. It takes money.

And what’s that other thing it requires? Ooooooh. Yeah. Time.

It takes time. Which I obviously have, because I’m wisely stewarding my spare minutes reading magazines that make me hyperventilate (sarcasm intended).

And then, I started reading this. Because I quickly skim Nesting Place on a fairly regular basis.

Mostly I look at the pictures, and read if something captures my attention.

I’ve noticed she has a book out now though, and I’ve been curious about it, just not $18-ship-it-to-my-door curious. (Reminder: the prospect of interior-design, by me, for my own home, plagues me with nervous sprints to the bathroom.)

BUT, and mine’s a big one, Amazon was running a crazy-good special on the Kindle version, and all of a sudden, it sounded fun (like bungee jumping or sky-diving fun, which, c’mon – can’t really be fun, but it’s a challenge and when you’re done, if you’re not dead, you can be like, HEEEEY!!! I JUST SKY DIVED AND DIDN’T DIE! I’M AWESOME!! . . . AND ALSO, I’M NOT DEAD!!)

So I jumped.

Or dove.

Whatever.

And I now  ♥ her book and her style.

Let me show you why:

“Imperfection is a sign of maturity.” (Hallelujah! I’m a Golden Girl in that case!!)

“Housekeeping done incorrectly still blesses the family.” (quote via The Fly Lady, Marla Cilley in her book, Sink Reflections) Oh, yes! I am a blessing fiend!!

“At times, good enough and done is a smarter choice than perfect. . . ” (Amen, Sister.)

“. . . if a neighbor walked in and saw a trail of mud, I wouldn’t need to be embarrassed. It’s just proof of lives being lived, and houses are for living. My home is a reflection of our life, and life’s messes can be gloriously beautiful.” (Ahhhh. I’m breathing without a bag.)

 

The amazing thing, Friends, is that it’s awakened my dormant and gun-shy decorating bug – with a tickle of excitement instead of a looming cloud of doom.

I’m debating.

I’m debating about showing you my “space”.

Maybe a before and after.

And the budget.

But this is a food blog – (well, sometimes other stuff too, but mostly food) –  and is that cool, or annoying?

Hmmm. Tell me, do. (Then hand me a brown paper bag!!)

Baby steps, Folks. Baby steps.Farro and Herb Roasted Mushroom Salad Bowl 2 550 b

And food.

Back to food, because, like I said *ahem*, this blog is mostly about food.

So, we have a salad bowl today.

A salad to bring us back to our senses and balance out the decorating-panic-induced chocolate covered espresso bean binge.

We have farro, which might be my new whole grain bestie.

Why did it take me so long to try you, Farro? You’re so good, it’s like you could be Egyptian royalty or something. Wait a minute. . . .

We have crisp-edged, oven roasted, thyme and oregano mushrooms snuggied up with red onions (which turn so crispy and delicious they might give bacon a run for their money. #forreals.)

We have feta cheese.

And we have avocado. What I really wanted to call this dish was, “Farro and Herb Roasted Mushroom Salad Bowl Plus Avocado Because Always and Everywhere All Things Are Better with Avocado”.

But I thought that title was too wordy.

Opinions?

I made this with a creamy avocado dressing too, which – don’t get me wrong – kind of made my eyes roll as far back as they could reach with yum!!, but it’s totally not a deal breaker if you don’t have time. I’d say a splash of good olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, plus a crack of pepper and pinch of salt would be just as good to top this bowl off.

And bonus – these components, stored separately, keep really well for multiple lunches later in the week. Like 3 days in a row. Because you won’t get tired of this and you’ll be counting down the minutes till lunch time.

My friend said to me one time, “What do vegetarians even eat?!”

This. They eat stuff like this. And then they high-five each other for mushrooms well roasted.

Who needs meat when you have exciting little salad bowls parked and waiting in your fridge for you at 11:59 AM?

Farro and Herb Roasted Mushroom Salad Bowl

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 salads

Farro and Herb Roasted Mushroom Salad Bowl

This salad is full of pleasing flavors and textures. I've written the recipe to serve 4 - so share it with your family and friends, or save it for lunches throughout the week. With a glass of wine, it'd make for a nice light dinner to come home to after a busy day as well. Keep leftovers as separate components in sealed containers, and refrigerate for up to three days.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup dry Farro
  • For the Mushrooms:
  • 1 8oz package sliced button or baby portabello mushrooms
  • 1/3 medium red onion, sliced thin (vertically)
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • Splash of dry white wine (optional)
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1/4 of a fresh, soft Hass avocado
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about 1/2 a lime)
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano
  • pinch of fresh thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Fresh cracked pepper (to taste)
  • 2-4 teaspoons water (as much as you want to thin dressing to desired consistency)
  • Additional ingredients for the Salad
  • about 8 cups Arugula or other salad greens
  • 3/4 avocado, sliced thinly, lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup Feta cheese crumbles

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or a silpat mat (silpat will give you crispier edges on your mushrooms).

Prepare the Farro according to package directions.

Meanwhile, For the Mushrooms:

In a large bowl, toss the sliced mushrooms and onions with the olive oil. Use enough oil so the mushrooms are evenly coated. Add in fresh herbs, salt, and wine. Toss again. Spread mushrooms and onions out evenly over parchment-lined (or silpat-lined) baking sheet. (Make sure there is room between your veggies - space is what allows them to crisp as they roast, instead of steam to soft oblivion.) Bake mushrooms for 20-30 minutes. If necessary, remove onions first, so they don't burn. Set aside until ready to assemble salad.

For the Dressing:

To a small food processor, (I used a Magic Bullet), add all ingredients except the water. Blend for about 30 seconds. Check for consistency, add desired amount of water. Blend again. Check for taste and adjust accordingly. (If you don't have a small food processor or Magic Bullet, I'm guessing you could use a sumbersion blender here, or just mash the avocado as finely as possible, then whisk the ingredients together with lots of elbow grease!)

To Assemble the Salad:

Place 2 cups of arugula on each of 4 plates.

Divide farro, mushrooms, and avocado evenly among the 4 plates.

Add 2 tablespoons of crumbled Feta cheese to each plate.

Drizzle with avocado dressing and serve.

Source

Sara| Home is Where the Cookies Are

http://www.wherethecookiesare.com/2014/09/08/farro-and-herb-roasted-mushroom-salad-bowl/

Stacked Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pistachio Balsamic Vinaigrette

Stacked Heirloom Tomato Salad With Pistachio Balsamic Vinaigrette

Let me tell you what not to do.

Don’t let yourself erase any photographs you ever use on your blog. Ever.

Because then probably, by some yet-to-be discovered law of the internet, the one set of photos you can’t find from April 2012 will attract the attention of a buyer – a real flesh-and-blood breathing person who wants to pay you cold hard cash for the rights to use them in an online promotion this October.

And then you’ll start to daydream about all the things you could pay for with cold hard photograph cash. Then boom! You’ll shed a tear or two because somehow. SOMEHOW those are the only missing photos from the last 800 or so days of your life.

It just doesn’t seem fair.

And I’m sure there is a lesson in here somewhere, I’m just trying to figure out which one it is. Because so far, I’ve thought of about 16.

Just sayin.

The other thing you shouldn’t do? Binge on pizza and chocolate chip cookies this weekend after you’ve been religiously working out for like, a whole 5 days.

6 Week 6 Pack, yo.

Here I come.

The thing Jeezy MicCheezy doesn’t tell you though, is that your six-pack will be buried under that floppy layer of skin left behind from that time you grew a human in your belly. Times four. *sigh*.

My belly tells my story. Of love and wholeness and 4 fantastic little shorties I’d never trade for rock hard abs. That would only be a 4 pack anyway. Which would be totally weird and incomplete.

Something else one must never do – experiment with super short razor lengths when cutting one’s husband’s hair.

You might get a good chuckle out of it.

He will not.

The fourth thing you must not ever do – we’re going with a double negative here: You must never not make this dressing.

Serious.

If you are a balsamic vinegar lover, consider making it, like – this exact moment.

Unlike most vinaigrettes, it’s thick and dipable (Ranch replacement anyone??).

It’s lighter, healthier, and cram packed with lightning bolts of flavor.

Pistachios.

??

Pistachios are the magic ingredient.

They are the thickener that is not mayonnaise and the super subtle smoky salty flavor that is not bacon.

Why not just go with bacon?

Well, that is an excellent question, since bacon is probably the best food ever known to man.

(On an off-note here, we had breakfast this spring with a man who said he never eats bacon. Ever. It’s like death fried as a stick – that as a child his mother always preached the horrors of bacon. He just cannot fathom putting it in his body. . . . This, he told us as we brunched with bacon infused Bloody Marys in our hands – garnished with gigantic, thick slices of crispy bacon. . . .*Ahem*.)

The most truthful answer is fourfold: 1. Let’s go meatless, and 2. Let’s not dirty more dishes frying bacon, 3. Let’s be healthy, 4. Let’s be speedy.

Done, done, done, and done.

Actually, I guess it’s fivefold: 5. Let’s make it so delicious you want to lick your plate clean.

Done.

Stacked Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pistachio Balsamic Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: about 3/4 cup

about 2 tablespoons (but you'll want more!)

This dressing is lick-your-plate good. Typically, a serving size of dressing is 2 tablespoons. You certainly could abide by that here - it's packed with flavor. However, it's also very light, so if you feel like you want to pile on a little more? Go ahead - without the guilt!

Ingredients

    For the Salad:
  • 2-4 large Heirloom tomatoes (consider 1 whole tomato per person)
  • Parsley and fresh ground black pepper for garnish
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 cup dry roasted, salted, (shelled) pistachios
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 3 large, fresh basil leaves, washed, dried, and torn
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions

For the salad: Wash tomatoes. Slice them into rounds a little thicker than 1/4". Stack them, varying colors, and garnish with parsley. Sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper.

For the dressing: In a small food processor, blender, or Magic Bullet, add the vinegar and pistachios. Blend until pureed and smooth. Add in smashed garlic, and torn basil. Whir again until smooth. Add in olive oil and whir until thickened. Taste, and add in desired salt and pepper.

Serve right away, drizzled over stacked tomatoes, or refrigerate for later.

Source

Sara| Home is Where The Cookies Are

http://www.wherethecookiesare.com/2014/05/27/stacked-heirloom-tomato-salad-with-pistachio-balsamic-vinaigrette/

Shaved Broccoli and Parmesan Crostini

Shaved Broccoli and Parmesan Crostini

I feel like my food tastes are a little bit messy. A little indefinite. A little. . .  uncommitted.

I am seemingly fully committed though, to traipsing all over the food map, to trying a little of this and a little of that, to one day be a vegetarian then another day be a meatatarian, to then another day eat nothing but banana cake and pepperoni slices straight from the package.

Paleo? Sure, I’ll try it. Vegetarian? Yup, that too. Vegan? Eh, I guess – I’m sure it can be delicious, but really, could I ever give up dairy forever?? I think not. Continue reading

Pure, Unadulturated Homemade Cashew Butter

Pure, Homemade Cashew Butter

I think I might be allergic to sugar. Homemade cashew butter, step 1

I know. I’m having heart palpitations too.

Thank you for your sympathetic panic.

And by allergic, I mostly mean it makes me angry.

I think.

It was either the sugar, or the sulfur dioxide in the half bag of dried mangoes I chowed the other day. cashew butter step 2

It made me want to punch something.

Or it could have been lack of sleep.

Or I was hungry.

OK. So it might not have been the sugar.

PH the hew. (that’s “phew” to those who need interpretation. . .).Homemade cashew butter, step 3

Because all I’m going to say is you need to make this cashew butter.

Not just for the cashew butter itself, but because soon, I’m going to bust out a recipe for a chocolate loaf that’s going to make you sing like Stephen Tyler.

No, seriously.

Even if you’re not a Paleo eater or a caveman,Homemade Cashew Butter, step 4 you are going to love this loaf.

Promise.

So get your cashews and your food processor, and get prepared.

It’s a top-notch day when baking chocolate bread is on the to-do list.

Oh, and a shout out to my boys – “Hey Boys!!” – Homemade Cashew Butter, step 5who chuckled themselves silly last night as we browsed my favorite food blogs together and they pointed out how every last little crumb was staged.

Oh yeah.

I staged ’em boys.

Those cashews are meticulously placed.

All you’re going to need in order to make this Homemade Cashew Butter, Step 6cashew butter happen, is raw cashews and a food processor.

A heavy-duty blender does the trick nicely too.

And all you have to do to make it happen, is add the cashews to the bowl, (it doesn’t even matter how much you use. Randomly choose if you’re feeling edgy. I went with 3 cups of raw nuts),  then whir, whir, scrape, whir, scrape again, whir some more, scrape, and whiiiiiiirrrrrrr.

Done.

Recipe? We don’t need no stinkin’ recipe.

Homemade Ketchup: Regular or Buffalo?

Homemade Ketchup - regular or buffalo? No added sugars, Paleo and Whole30 compliant

I didn’t intend to post this all by itself.

It’s actually part of a recipe combo that includes those other savouries up there too: slow cooker pulled pork and red cabbage tacos with quick-pickled cucumbers and peppers.

They all go together, but they can be separated too. And probably, on occasion, should be.

Kind of like siblings.

Poor little Buffalo Ketchup was feeling a little lost and alone amidst those other delicious edibles.

(Speaking of siblings. . . Buffalo Ketchup. Possible fifth child name??)

He needed a spotlight on his little ol’ self.

So, there he is, in a poorly composed photo because I just didn’t think it through ahead of time.

Aaaaaaaaaand, I’m lazy.

There’s no way I’m shooting it again.

So Kiddo, here you go:

Happy Buffalo Ketchup

See how we did that?

We just made his day.

You can decide what road you want to travel down with this ketchup.

You can stop pre-buffalo and you’ll have a nice, traditional, homemade ketchup.

BUT, if you’re feeling fiery, or you’re craving a change, or you think it’s time for you to switch up your ketchup game (because I know you have one), then by all means – go the buffalo route and don’t turn back.

Either way you do it, we’ve pulled it together with no added sugars. We use those trusty dates for sweetness instead.

Me and B.K. will be back again later to tell you all about the tacos and pork.

For now? You may just want to start carving out a little fridge space fo your happy ketchup’s home.

He told me he prefers front row door space.

Apparently, it’s the prime vantage point from which to gape at you through those sweet aviators.

Oh, and TOTALLY off-topic, but I was just sitting here with my gal plugging words into Google Translate, and, because I am super mature and totally grown up, we put in words like “poop” and “smelly cat”.

She and her littlest big bro however, have a language all their own – in which, “Wackadoodle everherd” is a real-deal phrase.

Just for kicks, plug it into Google Translate and listen to the robot voice struggle to say that one in Spanish.

I dare you not to at least giggle.

Homemade Ketchup: Regular or Buffalo?

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

If you don't have dates on hand or would just rather use sugar for this recipe, I'd suggest swapping out the dates for 1/4 cup light brown sugar. Then just continue on with the rest of the recipe as-is. This "sauce" arrose when we were eating Paleo on the Whole30 program, and I was craving a sauce. Who knew I would continue craving it to top everything from shredded pork tacos to spicy chicken sausages and hamburgers!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chopped Medjool dates (about 3 dates)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 26 ounce carton Pomi diced tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Gluten Free balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • pinch of ground allspice
  • scant pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce (Optional)

Directions

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the two tablespoons of water and the chopped dates. Allow them to simmer until dates appear softer and water is almost gone. Remove from heat and transfer dates to the bowl of a blender or food processor. Set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, heat oil and cook onions until they are translucent. Remove from heat and add them to the dates in the blender or food processor bowl.

Add Pomi tomatoes and tomato paste to onions and dates and puree until smooth.

Add puree back to the sauce pan. Add in vinegars and spices. Stir till well combined. Add in bay leaf. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours. Remove from heat. Remove Bay leaf.

This is where you stop if you don't want the Buffalo version.

If you're into the Buffalo flavor, now is the time to add the 1/2 cup of Frank's Red Hot sauce and stir until thoroughly combined.

Either way, allow sauce to cool completely.

If you'd like to put in some extra effort, you can strain the ketchup by pouring it into a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and gently pushing it through the strainer with a spatula. I found this step to feel somewhat wasteful, but if you are a texture person, or just want to work harder, go ahead and give it a shot. (And let me know if you found it beneficial).

Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Source

Sara | Home is Where The Cookies Are

http://www.wherethecookiesare.com/2013/11/12/homemade-ketchup-regular-or-buffalo/

Baba Ghanoush

Babaganoush, eggplant, appetizer, dip, humus, tahini

It’s soft. It’s creamy. It’s fluffy-ish.

It’s healthy, flavorful, vegetarian and vegan food.

And it’s a fantastic substitute for humus when you’re not into legumes for Paleo or Whole30 reasons.

Baba Ghanoush is what happens when garlic and tahini decide to take eggplant under thier wing and make it a superstar.

Kind of like what this football team did for their buddy Keith.

Click the pic and go see.

And get your hankie ready.

These boys?

Love them.  And Justice, the boy at the end? I love him too. I love that he allowed this one event to niggle down into his heart and change his entire outlook on life.

And speaking of hearts, Friends – can we keep the Philippines snuggled deep down in our own today? Still at the moment I write this, communications are cut off. No one knows yet the extent of the damage. 

I’m praying it’s not as bad as forecasters were fearing.

Baba Ghanoush

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: about 1.5 cups

Baba Ghanoush is remarkably similar in flavor to humus, but the texture is "fluffier" and smoother. It's a healthy, delcious, and it can be served cold - I found I enjoyed it more when it was warm. If you do too, feel free to prepare it ahead of time, then reheat when you're ready to serve. If you're feeling a little intimidated by working with eggplant and want to see more step by step instructions, pop on over to Carrot Bowl and take a look at Bonnie's super duper thorough post.

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Fresh herbs
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Peel the leaves off the eggplant and place it on an ungreased baking sheet. Pierce several times with a fork.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil, and let cool for 20 minutes.

Using your fingers, peel the skin off and cut off the end.

Slice the eggplant into 1-2 inch slices.

In a food processor, combine the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, black pepper. Blend together. Add cooked eggplant and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

Transfer mixture to serving dish. If desired, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with red pepper flakes, and garnish with fresh herbs.

Source

Adapted from Carrot Bowl

http://www.wherethecookiesare.com/2013/11/08/baba-ghanoush/

Apple Pie Cookie Bars

Apple Pie Cookie Bars - fall spices, shortbread, and caramel apple filling. Yum! Fingerfood dessert

Guys – things are getting a little crazy around here.

October 1st, I did something I never ever in a million years thought I would do.

I embarked on the Whole30 Program with my husband.

Yes, yes. After mocking super strict and wildly restrictive diets (from my perspective), I went and did it.

Just call me Home is Where the Hypocrites Are. . . . Continue reading