Saffron Couscous

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I love this recipe! The crisp green onions with the saffron and nutty pine nuts just makes me smile. Best of all it is super quick to whip up. It goes great with lamb or chicken.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 c chicken stock
2 tsp butter
1 tsp saffron threads
1 c couscous
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted

In a small pan, combine butter, stock and saffron. Bring to a boil, add couscous, cover and set aside for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, stir in onions and pine nuts.

Serves 4.

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Moroccan Stuffed Eggplant

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This dish was inspired by recipe I found in Food and Wine – it turned out amazing. The sweetness of the lamb with the exotics spices made this a winner! It takes a bit of time but it is mostly hands off. I made a saffron couscous to go with it – it was the perfect meal. And I hid the leftover so they are all mine.

Ingredients:
1 lb eggplant, sliced in half and scored with a X on the inside
1 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP cinnamon
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 onion, chopped
1/2 lb ground lamb
1/4 c pine nuts
1 TBSP tomato paste
1/4 c parsley, chopped
1 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP brown sugar
One cinnamon stick

Preheat oven to 425

Arrange eggplant in a baking dish, cut side up. Spray or brush with olive oil and salt and pepper Bake for 20 minutes until browned.

Combine cinnamon, cumin and paprika.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and 1/2 the spice mixture. Cook until softened. Add lamb and cook until browned, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Stir in pine nuts, tomato paste, parsley and salt an pepper. Remove from heat.

Combine 1/2 c water, lemon juice, sugar and remain spice mixture, stir util combined. Pour over eggplant. Spoon lamb mixture over eggplant as cover with foil.

Bake for 50 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and serve.

Serves 4.

The Liberation Cocktail

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It was one of those days and man oh man do I need a little liberation! Found this cocktail online, but added a bit more Violette liquor, just cos I felt like it. The results – liberation from my hectic day!

Ingredients
2 oz Gin
1 oz Elderflower liqueur, St. Germain
1⁄2 oz Lemon juice
1/4 oz Crème de Violette
1 lemon twist

Instructions:
Combine ingredients in a shaker. Shake and stain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Oaty Peanut Butter Cookies

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Coooooooookkiiiieees! At least that is how my youngest says it! These are a healthier version of peanut butter cookies that taste wonderful and how can you go wrong with chocolate chips?!?

Ingredients:
1 c peanut butter
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 c oats
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix peanut butter and brown sugar, mix in the rest of the ingredients one at a time until well incorporated.

Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment or silicon mats. Use a cookie scoop, place balls onto cookie sheets, flatten.

Bake 12 – 14 minutes.

Cheese, Artichoke & Tomato Pizza

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Pizza!!! Need I say more? I love it. I usually prepare a large batch of dough and freeze it for a quick pizza fix. This pizza is inspired my the plethora of tomatoes coming out of our garden.

Ingredients:
Pizza dough
1 – 2 TBSP olive oil
8 oz mozzerella balls, sliced thin
3 oz ricotta
4 small tomatoes, spiced thin
1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed and quartered
2 oz Proscuitto, ripped

Preheat oven with pizza stone inside for at least an hour as hot as your oven will go.

Roll out dough super thin. Top with olive oil, cheese, tomatoes, artichokes, and Proscuitto. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until cheese starts to brown and crust is crisp.

Serves 4.

Tomato and Crab Zuk Pasta

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My tomato plants are finally in full swing so that means every meal contains, you guessed it – tomatoes! Tonight I whipped up a little faux pasta with zucchini, crab, creme fraiche and tomatoes!

Ingredients:
2 tsp olive oil
6 medium zuks, julienned on mandoline
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
5 oz crab meat
8 oz creme fraiche
1 tsp espelette powder
1 tsp salt
Parmesan for sprinkling

In a large skillet warm olive oil over medium heat, add zucchini and cook for about 8 minutes until softened. Add tomatoes, cook for 5 minutes, stir in creme fraiche cook for 5 minutes until bubbly. Remove from heat add salt and pepper, sprinkle with parm.

Serves 2 – 4.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

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These are healthy cookies. Borrowed from several different places to be mashed up into these pumpkin oaty treats.

Ingredients:
1 can pumpkin purée (15 oz)
2 egg whites, whipped
1 c brown sugar
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp clove
3 c rolled oats
1 c raisins
1/2 c choc chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet and stir in the dry.

Using a cookie scoop place 1 TBSP balls onto a cookie sheet lined with a silicon matt or parchment paper.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until brown on the edges.

3 WW PP per cookie.

Parmesan Fish Sticks

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Our fresh fish of the week this week is rock cod. So I dig around the Internet and came up with this recipe for a baked fish stick – one word – AMAZING! I made the green goddess dip to go with it. Even my picky almost 4 year old gobbled these up.

Ingredients:
1 lb cod, skinned and boned
1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
2 egg whites, whipped
1 c Parmesan, grated
1 c panko
Olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 450.

Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil so well coated.

Cut fish to make 1/2 by 1/2 by 4 inch fillets.

Place flour, salt and paprika in a shallow dish, whisk together.

Place egg white in a separate shallow dish.

Combine panko and parmesan in another shallow bowl, whisk together.

Coat fish in flour, dip in egg and cover in parm/panko mixture, pressing into the fish then lay on pan. Spray with olive oil and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden.

Serves 4.

Green Goddess Dipping Sauce

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This is a great sauce I found in Ellie Krieger’s Comfort Food Fix. We used it with fish sticks, but it would be great with chicken or shrimp.

Ingredients:
1/2 ripe medium avocado
3 scallion, chopped
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/3 c buttermilk
1/4 c parsley leaves
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all in a food processor until smooth.

Serves 4.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

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This is my take on the classic. It is surprisingly quick to make, a bit healthier than the classic and just as tasty. I used coconut palm sugar instead of brown sugar, it gives it a nice nutty flavor.

Ingredients:
4 TBSP undated butter
1/2 c packed brown sugar
Pineapple chunks, 1/2 inch thick
2 c flour (3/4 whole wheat, 1 1/4 all purpose)
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 c buttermilk
1/3 c canola oil
2 large eggs
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350.

Put butter in a 10 inch nonstick cake pan. Melt in oven. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the bottom, then arrange pineapple in the bottom of the pan.

Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients, stir in dry and pour over pineapple. Bake 30 – 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool, then invert onto a plate.

Serves 10.