Roasted Shrimp with Agave-Ginger-Soy Marinade

_DSC0008Looking for an Asian inspired dish with a twist? Look no further. These roasted shrimp have the classic Asian flavors of soy and ginger with the unique addition of agave nectar. This is a fast and versatile seafood entrée – the shrimp can be roasted in the oven or grilled, with equally delicious results, and they are cooked to perfection in less than 10 minutes. Roasted Shrimp with Agave-Ginger-Soy Marinade has been in my cooking repertoire since I first saw the recipe in a 1998 issue of Fine Cooking magazine. The original recipe calls for honey instead of agave but several years back, when agave nectar was all the rage, I started substituting agave for honey and I have been making this dish that way ever since.

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Valentine Red Lentil, Beet, and Flax Crackers

Valentine Red Lentil, Beet, andFlaxValentine’s Day is coming up so I thought it would be fun to make gluten free heart-shaped crackers. Before making these crackers I had never used red lentils but I’d heard about them and thought they might produce a cracker in honor of Valentine’s Day that was some shade of red.  Well, it turns out red lentils are not red at all, but more orange in color.  I thought I could fix this by adding some beets and was encouraged when the dough mixed up to a beautiful deep, ruby-red color – perfect for Valentine’s Day.  Unfortunately the crackers lose that beautiful deep red color when baked.  I was going to rework the recipe to omit the beets but they give the crackers an earthy quality that would be lacking without them and, more importantly, everyone that tried the crackers said they were delicious as is and that I shouldn’t change a thing.

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Raspberry Filled Christmas Tree Cookies

DSC_0094_edited-5I love Christmas cookies decorated with royal icing but they’re an absolute pain to make.   You have to mix up several batches of icing for all the different colors you want, fit multiple pastry bags with tips, and then carefully fill each bag with icing.  All that before you even start decorating!  It’s very time consuming and the clean up is no fun either.  These stunning Christmas cookies are much less work but no less beautiful.  The idea for these cookies comes from the The New York Times. Their recipe calls for a linzer cookie dough but I opted for a classic sugar cookie dough because I thought the paler color of the dough would highlight the red raspberry jam better. Plus, I already had a batch of sugar cookie dough in my freezer just waiting to be transformed into Yuletide goodness! (more…)

1 Easy Cranberry Sauce

DSC_0074_edited-1The operative word here, or in this case number, is 1.  The recipe for 1 Easy Cranberry Sauce calls for 1 bag (12 oz.) of fresh cranberries, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of orange juice. That’s all it takes to make a delicious homemade cranberry sauce with the perfect balance of sweet and tart to complement your Thanksgiving turkey. If there was a contest for the simplest recipe ever this one would surely be in the running. Just put 3 ingredients into a slow cooker, turn it on high, and cook for 4 hours. (more…)

Thanksgiving Cookie Votives

cookie votivesWith Thanksgiving only a couple of weeks away, many of you who are hosting dinners have undoubtedly begun planning the meal. Getting as much done ahead of time will allow you to spend more time with family and friends. Things like pie crusts, cranberry sauce, and even gravy can be made weeks ahead of time and frozen.  You can also start thinking about your table decorations. Some people get so overwhelmed with the thought of preparing an entire Thanksgiving dinner that they put very little effort into decorating the table. I think this is such a shame! If you’re going to spend all that time cooking an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t it make sense to put some extra thought into the table decorations? After all, this is the stage for the beautiful meal you’ll spend hours preparing. Floral arrangements are lovely, but oh so boring. Why not create something truly unique and memorable – like Thanksgiving Cookie Votives! These charming cookie votives are a little labor intensive but so worth the effort. They’ll dress up your table and are sure to be a conversation starter. Plus, you can serve them for dessert. Below are some tips for making Thanksgiving Cookie Votives. For complete step by step instructions see the printable recipe at the end of this post. (more…)

Witches’ Fingers

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These witch’s finger Halloween cookies are SO creepy.  A shortbread type dough is molded into the shape of a finger and adorned with a blanched almond, painted red to look like a finger nail.  The end result is a cookie that looks amazingly realistic.  It’s fun to greet trick-or-treaters at the door with a tray of these cookies.  The reactions are priceless! (more…)

mr. Good(for you)bar – peanuts in healthier chocolate

mr. Good(for you)bar

Calling all chocoholics!  Peanuts in healthier chocolate couldn’t be more delicious! This is a chocolate bar you can feel a little less guilty about eating.  mr. Good(for you)bars are made with only five ingredients and unlike regular chocolate bars they contain no refined sugar, no artificial flavorings, and no emulsifiers or other food additives.  They’re a healthier alternative to store bought chocolate and are so simple to make.  Below are a few tips for making this chocolate.  For complete step by step instructions see the printable recipe at the end of this post. (more…)

Gluten Free Blueberry Cashew Oatmeal Cookies

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It’s the beginning of September and this time of year has me thinking about all the things school related. I’m pretty sure that’s what prompted me to make these cookies. Milk and cookies is the quintessential after school snack – the ideal kid comfort food. Even though I try to eat healthy most of the time I’ve never outgrown my love for cookies. Every now and then I crave a good cookie – one that is golden brown, a little crisp at the edges, and soft and chewy at the center. (more…)

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Toasted Coconut

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These Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Toasted Coconut are sweet, tart, creamy, and delicious – sounds more like a dessert, doesn’t it? Sweet potatoes are a great year round vegetable but I’ve always thought of them more as a fall/winter vegetable, that is, until I started making this recipe. Lime and coconut are classic tropical flavors and these two simple ingredients transform ordinary mashed sweet potatoes into a fantastic side dish that is not only healthy but simple to prepare.   (more…)

Gluten Free Raspberry Fudge Flowers

Post photo #11If you have a sweet tooth but are trying to cut down on your sugar intake, you will love these Gluten Free Raspberry Fudge Flowers.  While I adore chocolate I have always been put off by the intense sweetness of fudge. I know some people are crazy about fudge but I think the amount of sugar in most fudge recipes masks the depth of flavor for which chocolate is known. These pretty little dessert flowers have the consistency of fudge but without loads of added sugar, which, with the help of a couple of tablespoons of strong coffee, allows all of the chocolaty goodness to shine through. Except for 1 tablespoon of raspberry liqueur (which you can leave out if desired), there is no refined sugar in this recipe. All of the sweetness is derived from the natural sugars in the dates, which are combined with the other ingredient to create a healthier alternative to traditional fudge.  A 1.5 oz. piece of fudge has about 150 calories and somewhere around 29 grams of sugar. By comparison these Raspberry Fudge Flowers have 130 calories and a mere 7 grams of sugar. That is a huge difference in sugar content!  And, they are gluten free and require no cooking to boot!  This recipe was inspired by the popular Lara Bar recipes that are all over the food blogosphere. I experimented with peanuts, almonds, and walnuts (and various combinations thereof) but found that cashews produce a texture most similar to fudge – soft and chewy. Serve these with dollops of whipped cream and you will be in (a healthier) fudge heaven! (more…)

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