Friday, November 28, 2014

Leftover Cranberry Sauce? Make Post-Thanksgiving Cookies.

Post-Thanksgiving cookies - use up the extra cranberry sauce

Of course you have leftover cranberry sauce. It's virtually impossible to finish a whole batch in a meal. But then what the hell do you do with it after Thanksgiving? Let it fester in the back of the fridge? 


No way. It's time to make cookies. Here's a fave recipe of mine from the Easy Peasy Organic archives - just use cranberry sauce instead of jam! 

And I know you're still full from all those mashed potatoes and stuffing and cornbread and turkey and whatever you ate all day yesterday… I am too. But hey, we don't want to waste the stuff, right?

So make these. Tuck your turkeyed self up in a comfy chair with a great book and a hot tea and these chocolate cookies. And have a great weekend! Remorse can wait.

Jam-Choc Cookies
Makes about 24

Adapted from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook and originally posted here

1/2 c cranberry sauce or jam (your favourite flavour)
1 c raw sugar or coconut sugar
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil)
1/2 c + 2 Tbs raw cocoa powder
1 1/2 c unbleached plain or spelt flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 160C, 325F.

1. Mix the cranberry sauce or jam, sugar, oil and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until well-combined. Add all the dry ingredients and mix.

2. The texture of your cookie dough will be a little strange, but don't worry. Once it's all mixed well, pick up a Tablespoon-sized glob of dough in your hand, roll it around to make a ball, and then smush it flat between your palms.

3. Put the cookies onto a greased or baking-paper-lined tray. I like to make little forkprints in the top (like what you do in traditional American peanut butter cookies), but that's not necessary.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 min. Don't leave them too long or they'll dry out and lose their chewiness. Take them out and cool on a rack. They'll feel a bit floppy, but they'll solidify a bit as they cool.

5. Enjoy hot, cold, with icing sugar sprinkled over them, whatever your heart desires. Store them in an airtight container and they'll keep for a week or so (if you can resist)

*Photo by Dylan of SBM Photography 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

How She Sees Things

I'm here, I'm not here. 
There's nothing that I know for sure.
                   - Julia Stone, 2012

Loch Lomond, Scotland 

I went to Scotland as a scientist, but had to bring the writer along. She doesn't stay behind anymore, and though it's a difficult combination for me - the basis of persistent anxiety and existential dread - in the end I do like having her there. I like how she sees things.

I wrote more about my first night in Glasgow here

Amanda xx

Friday, November 7, 2014

Amazingly Easy Fig and Chevre (and Bresaola) starters

sweet fig and creamy chèvre 

When's the last time you had a dinner party? Forget the mess, it doesn't matter. Forget the complicated stuff - all you need is some good cheese and fruit, fresh steamed or grilled veggies, crispy chewy bread, quality olive oil and flaked sea salt. Add some meat if you like. 

Forget that you don't have time, because this is about making time. Are you going to remember that Sunday afternoon you cleaned out the pool, or the afternoon you had everyone over for an impromptu long lunch?

Thought so. 

chèvre and fig starter with bresaola

This may be the easiest, most delicious dinner-starter you've ever put out there on a wooden board. You do nothing, really, but sit back and sip your wine and watch your party guests self-assemble and devour the food - tart and creamy chèvre, sweet chewy figs. It's my kind of appetiser for my kind of dinner party, the one where everything is so simple that you actually get to enjoy hanging out. 

All you need for this is chèvre - plain, herbed or ashed is fine - and quality dried figs, halved. (And by "quality", I mean dried but not tough). Go organic if you can, it does make a difference. Add strips of salty bresaola or prosciutto and wrap! Cheese on fig or cheese on fig wrapped in meat, depending on how you like it. 

It's all about time, really. And you have it.
Amanda xx