Tag Archives: Christmas

Chocolate Peanut Protein Cookies


        2011, here I come! I’m back from my Christmas hiatus and blogging is a top priority for this year. There are so many recipes I can’t wait to share and so many dishes I want to try! The highlight, I think, will be taking my culinary and other adventures to the Caribbean. Warm water, tropical fruit, and new cultures are on the horizon and I’m anxious to experience everything!


Double chocolate fig from Fran’s Chocolates in Seattle.

        On to the food. It’s not like I wasn’t cooking over the holidays. I took advantage of my mom’s kitchen in all it’s spacious glory. We baked Christmas cookies (decorated cut-outs like we always do), put together quite a spread for Christmas dinner, and enjoyed several family favorites.
        Eating Light and Crisp Waffles, one of my mom’s standard breakfast treats, for dinner on Christmas eve was perfect. I am very sentimental about those crispy, tangy waffles and they made a satisfying dinner on a winter evening.
        Our meals out were as memorable as the one’s we prepared at home. My mom’s new neighborhood boasts fabulous restaurants like the vegetarian delight, Cafe Flora.
        We even had a little dinner party with a few Seattle friends, an occasion when it helps to have two cooks in the kitchen!

        I was sad to leave Seattle on New Year’s eve, but Lee and I had to get back to the boat in Charleston and keep moving south. I managed to pull together black-eyed peas and slang jang on New Year’s day. My grandmother would be so proud. Yesterday I was back to my old baking tricks and I’m proud of my first treat for 2011!
        These cookies are appropriate for resolution season, although that was not my intention when I came up with them. Brainstorming recipes while I run frequently produces interesting results. This time it was super-sized cookies with bonus protein!
        I wanted to use up the last of some Trader Joe’s chocolate hemp protein powder. I put the last few scoops in these cookies and now I wish I had more! I think I like it much better with peanut flour and oats in a cookie than I do in a smoothie!
        These big, cake-like cookies are chocolate peanut butter heaven. I’ve been munching them happily with the knowledge that I’m fueling up with protein, fiber, and healthful fats.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cookies
(Makes 7-8 large cookies)

1/2 cup peanut flour
1 cup regular oats
1/2 cup chocolate hemp protein powder (may substitute with another chocolate protein powder or 1/4 cup cocoa powder + 1/4 cup flax seed meal)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup prune puree (1 prune baby food container) or applesauce
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine flour, oats, protein powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat together egg, sugar, prune puree, and yogurt. Stir in vanilla.
Add wet mixture to dry ingredients, stirring till fully combined.
Spoon onto prepared baking sheet (lined with parchment, silicone mat, or cooking spray), leaving 2 inches between each cookie. I made mine quite large and ended up with 7 cookies.
Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes. Try one while it’s warm and gooey!


Filed under desserts, other goodies

As happy as a kid on Christmas morning!


        I may have had too much going on to blog for the weak leading up to Christmas. Really though, that’s not the case. I could have posted about the cookies my mom and I baked or our fabulous dinner last night. I even made English muffins (my best batch yet) and didn’t snap a single picture. Why?
        Taking pictures of beautiful food I was really proud of got to be too depressing. Our little video camera just doesn’t take good close-up pictures. I was sick of blurry images and dishes so distant you couldn’t tell what I had baked.
        Maybe the holiday frenzy did play a bit of a role in keeping me away from the blog. Lee and I flew to Seattle to visit my mom in her new house for Christmas. We’ve been exploring the city, helping around the house, and running in the Arboretum. My mom and I have been cooking up a storm. Seattle has some fabulous food and it’s so nice to have a Trader Joe’s right down the street!

        Now I’m back and there will be no more blurry food pictures! My parents got me a Nikon D5000 for Christmas! I am so, so, so excited! This might just be the best Christmas present ever. The camera was a little intimidating at first. All I did was fondle it until last night, when I finally managed to take some pictures. They didn’t turn out so great but the ones I took this morning are much better!



Tomorrow I’m going to get baking so there will be more to come soon!


Filed under inspiration and musings

Figgy Whole Grain Gingerbread


        This didn’t start out as gingerbread. The Buckwheat Apricot Cake I adapted slightly for this loaf is a favorite that I’ve been meaning to make. I just couldn’t stand the thought of missing gingerbread season. While it is unfair to relegate this spicy confection to winter holidays, it’s only natural to crave gingerbread this time of year.
        I hesitated to call my bread whole grain for fear of scaring off gingerbread purists. While I don’t think those purists would be disappointed in this recipe, they probably wouldn’t call it gingerbread. It’s no butter and sugar-laden loaf but the flavor is there and the texture is dreamy as far as I’m concerned. Sit down in front of your Christmas tree and try a hunk of this gingerbread with a cold glass of milk or a cup of tea.
        The bulgar provides chewy heft without sacrificing moistness. The sweet, crunchy figs and crystalized ginger go so well with the deep molasses flavor. I only substituted molasses for half the honey from the original recipe but feel free to play around with that proportion depending on how sweet you like things. Don’t be afraid of the prune baby food. I know it may seem weird at first but prune puree (aka. baby food!) is a great substitute for oil. That’s right, there’s no oil in this recipe and I dare anyone to notice!


Even from this far away, you can see the chewy bulgar grains.

Figgy Whole Grain Gingerbread
Adapted from The Mayo Clinic Williams-Sonoma Cookbook: Simple Solutions for Eating Well

1/3 cup bulgar wheat
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
2 tablespoons agave syrup or honey
1 egg
1/4 cup prune baby food
1/2 cup (or more) dried figs, chopped
1/4 cup crystalized ginger, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Stir bulgar, water, and figs together in a large bowl and let stand for 15 minutes.
Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
Add buttermilk, molasses, agave, egg, and crystalized ginger to the bulgar concoction.
Stir dry ingredients into wet.
Pour into lightly greased 8×4 inch loaf pan.
Bake for 35 minutes at 375 F.
Cool in the pan for a few minutes before serving, then turn out of pan and cool on wire rack.


Filed under desserts, other goodies