Monthly Archives: April 2009

coconut almond macaroons

Almond Coconut Macaroons: So Good You Might Cry.

to-do-list

I just wanted you to know that I’m having trouble picking a topic.  The list that you see above?  Yeah…so all of those orange folders contain pictures of things that I need to tell you about.  This is sort of my “to do” list of blogs.  Clearly, I’m not really making a very good dent in the “to do” list.  That’s kind of my M.O.

However, I am going to mark one thing off of my list today.  It’s not necessarily the oldest thing on the list, but it’s the one that I want to talk the most about.  So, that’s what I’ll do.  Because I am one of those people who do the fun things first, and save the not-so-fun things for later.  Not that all of the stuff I want to tell you about isn’t fun, but this is probably the most fun.

Well.  I think so.

And it’s my blog.

And you’ll be so happy that it is.  And that I made this decision.

See, here’s the thing.  I bought an Excalibur Food Dehydrator.

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The reason why I bought the Excalibur Food Dehydrator?  Well, because I wanted to make macaroons.  It was power of suggestion, really.  I’ve seen too many of those dehydrator macaroons floating around the Blogiverse lately, and I needed to make some of my own.  I’m so easy.  I’m proof that viral marketing really does work.

That was ok with me.  I got a great deal on a ‘blemished’ Excalibur (although I cannot find a blemish on the thing), and I happily gave up most of my counter space for this appliance.

Everything was all find and good until I realized one thing.  I did not have a freaking recipe for the macaroons.  I searched high and low, near and far.  None of the recipes I came across were what I really wanted, and it seems that the Queen of Macaroons was not giving up her recipe!  The world is just not fair.

In the meantime, Calib, as he is now known, was just begging me to use him.  I’m not kidding.

So, I made up my own recipe.  And, since I refuse to have secrets between us, I am giving it to you.  I learned how to share.  Me and sharing…we go way back.  Don’t be thwarted by the “dehydrator” thing.  You can make these in a regular old oven, you just have to set it as low as possible, and you can even leave the door open.  It’ll still work.  I promise.  But start saving your money for a Excalibur.  It’s worth it.  I promise.

Trust me, you want to make these.

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This is just before they were dehydrated.  Aren’t they cute?  You don’t have to make them this round though–I scooped them out with a tablespoon and plopped them onto the trays, but you can just scoop them out with a spoon and plop them on if you’d like.  My Gazelle says they look like balls of rice.

I say they look like balls of heaven.

You can make them with raw cocoa

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Or without

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I couldn’t make up my mind.  So I made both.

Ok, here we go!

Almond Coconut Macaroons (So Good You Might Cry)

Buy It:

2 Cups Raw Almonds, ground (flour-style)
2 Cups Raw Ground Coconut
2 Medjool Dates, spun in food processor
¼ Cup Agave Nectar
½ Cup Honey
1-2 Tablespoons Almond Extract
¼ Cup Raw Cocoa Powder (optional)

Do It:

Combine all ingredients.  You’ll know it’s perfect when everything sticks together easily.  Add more coconut if things look too gooey, and add more honey/agave if it’s not sticking together well.  Try not to eat all of the batter.

Form batter into round balls (or any other shape you’d like), and place on food dehydrator trays(1).  Dehydrate at 105 degrees for 6-8 hours(2).

(1) If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can also make these in your oven.  Set your oven on the lowest temperature possible, and you can even leave the door open.  Allow to stay in oven for 2-4 hours, or until macaroons are firm to the touch.

(2) I dehydrated mine for 7 hours.

Here’s a printable version of my almond-coconut-macaroons!

Please make them and tell me how much you love them.  It will make me smile.

And now, I can take “macaroons” off of the to do list.  And wasn’t that fun?

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greens-n-beans

Italy, Meet Poland

I bought something new at the grocery store over the weekend.

Big surprise, right?

I decided to try Kasia’s Deli Sauerkraut Pierogies.

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I like sauerkraut. I like pierogies. I have to like sauerkraut pierogies.

Right?

Wrong!

This is what they looked like shortly after I tried my first bite…

pierogi-fail

I swear, I really wanted to like them. Things just didn’t work out between us. Luckily, it was a clean break.

It’s not you, Kasia’s Sauerkraut Pierogies. It’s me. All me.

However, I made the most delicious vegetarian Italian beans and greens! Please ignore the ugly, gross pierogies residing on the other side of the plate. I was going to crop them because I hated them too much, but I didn’t want to ruin the picture of my beautiful beans and greens.

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These are so good. You have to make them.

Vegetarian Italian Beans & Greens

Buy It:
8 cloves of garlic (more or less depending on preference. I love garlic)
1 large onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large bunches swiss chard, collard, or mustard greens (or your favorite green)
1 bunch of kale
2 cups No Chicken broth (or veggie broth of choice)
4 veggie Italian “sausage” links
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (I used canned, unsalted)
1 can butter beans (or white beans of choice)
1 tsp chili powder (or more if you are feeling the heat)
Salt & pepper to taste

Prep It:
1) Peel and finely dice the garlic cloves. In case you haven’t learned from PW the easiest way to accomplish this, here goes. Take each garlic clove, and smash it with the bottom of a can (ie…the butter bean can). After you have smashed the clove, your can will look like this:

garlic-smasher-can

p.s…Now that you are aware of this trick, all of your cans are going to look like this going forward. I’m sorry. That’s just how it must be.

So, after you’ve smashed all of the cloves, the outside “skin” peels off easily. After peeling off the “skin”, slice all of the cloves lengthwise. After slicing them lengthwise, turn the slices sideways, and then slice them the opposite way. From there, just chop the daylights out of them until the garlic is finely chopped. Piece of cake.

2) After smashing and chopping the garlic, roughly chop the onion (to your preference).

3) Chop all of the greens into strips, cutting against the direction of the center vein.

Cook It:
1) Heat up the olive oil, and cook half of the garlic and all of the onion until the onions are just barely soft.

2) Add all of the greens on top of the onions and garlic, and pour in the broth. Cover, and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, or until the greens wilt and begin to cook down. Stir once half way through to combine everything.

3) Add the remaining garlic, veggie sausage, tomatoes and chili powder.

4) Cover, and continue cooking on medium heat for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the can of beans.

Enjoy.

And please eat all of them if you’re hungry. They’re good for you.

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