Monthly Archives: April 2011

Grain-free, gluten-free, peanut-butter cookies

Gluten-free and grain-free, and yummy!

I’ve been making these cookies for years now since I found out how easy they were. Recently, a friend told me her son is supposed to be completely grain free. Yowza! That sounds so difficult. At 5 years old, how do you tell him he can’t have a cookie anymore? So I remembered how easy these peanut-butter cookies were and promptly whipped up a batch. I added chocolate chips (Enjoy Life, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free chips) to 1/2 the batch, just for fun.

Add a few chips on top for fun

These are creamy, nutty and crumble just the right amount, just like a cookie. They are also amazingly easy and quick to make. You probably have everything already. That’s what I love about them, if all else fails…make some cookies in a jif (oops, peanut butter pun unintended!) This recipe is all over the web in a few different varieties. Some have more eggs, some have less sugar. It’s really up to your particular taste. Make them according to the directions the first time, then tweak them any way you like. I prefer to add a little crunchy peanut butter to get peanuts in there, some people prefer to make it all creamy. Your call…

Peanut-butter cookies
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (try to use the most natural kind as possible)
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar (plus about 3 TBS)
1 tsp baking powder
1 large egg

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Mix all ingredients except for the 3 Tbs reserved sugar. If you want chocolate chips in the cookies, add about 1/4 cup now.

3. Roll cookie mixture into small balls, using a little less than a tablespoon each time. Make sure they are all consistent in size to be sure they cook evenly.

4. Roll each cookie in the reserved sugar and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Using a fork, press down on each cookie to make the traditional hash marks.

5. If you’re using just a few chocolate chips, press them into the top now.

6. Bake for about 10 minutes. Let them cool for a few minutes, then remove and cool completely on a rack.

These are crunchy and oh so yummy. They are also great to bring to a party or cookie exchange, just remember to make sure the little ones don’t have peanut allergies, of course.

Enjoy!

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Beet greens and a pinch of smoked paprika

Beet greens with smoked paprika

I love finding beets at the farmers market and today was no different. I bought some lovely white beets today and couldn’t resist roasting them in the oven right away. But what to do with all those greens attached to the top of the beets? Normally, Daughter’s bearded dragon and our two dogs get the greens. Today, I decided to saute the greens and see how they were. I’ve never actually had beet greens before, but everyone assured me they were wonderful and you know what? They were right! They were not as bitter as I thought they would be. Instead, they were crunchy, mild, and bursting with fresh flavor. Something like a cross between collard greens and spinach is the best I can describe it.

I roasted the beets in a 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes with olive oil, salt and pepper. That’s it. Nothing fancy, but the sugars in the beets begins to caramelize and sweeten the beets until they are so yummy and buttery in flavor. The white beets are deceptive since they look just like a potato when cooked, but taste like a beet.

I sauteed the greens with just a touch of olive oil, salt, pepper and a pinch of smoked paprika. Oh my, what a flavor and kick. The paprika was given to me by a good friend in California and I’ve been using a little at a time with greens or beans. I knew the paprika would add just the right flavor and I was right. It gave it a smokey, earthy flavor. (Make sure to use just a pinch if you try this. A little too much and it’s very overpowering) I originally thought the greens would be more bitter and the paprika would mask it, but there was no need to worry. They were lovely, crunchy and perfect. Unfortunately there wasn’t more…

The moral of this story? Don’t be afraid to try something new. You never know. I’m hooked on beet greens now and can’t wait for Saturday’s market. I’m looking forward to candy cane, white and golden beets, as well as the load of greens they’ll provide.

Enjoy!

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