Mom’s Peanut Butter Cookies

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Tre(e)mendous Love

The secret lives of trees. I read this really charming article that I can’t seem to get out of my mind, it talked about tress care for each other. I know, how can I say that and not expect you to flashback to Avatar? No harm in that. That’s certainly what I thought about when I read the adapted piece, which was authored by Melissa Bryer of Treehugger.com.

“ They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network know as the ‘wood wide web’; and keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots,” reveals Peter Wohllenben, A German forest ranger and author of “The Hidden Lives of Trees; What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World” which was released in September.

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To understand the deep connection trees have with each other was mindboggling. In many ways it seems like the perfect message for this post – EVERYTHING cares and often times we just don’t understand how or speak the language of other living things. >Too touchy feely? I get that sometimes when I say things like, “ I don’t want to perpetuate any more negative energy.” But this is really thinking beyond the branches, right?<

To enlighten you further, the research that Wohllenben conducted revealed that artificially spacing out trees to allow for more light and growth was counter productive as trees exist less like individuals and more as communal beings. By working together and sharing resources, via their root network, their resistance is increased against damaging influences. Much like humans throughout time, it was the family structure and sense of community that has often kept mankind afloat. And to bring this concept into the home, it is a sense of family and dining around the table sharing food, that personally gives me the connection to my family on a daily basis. Cooking helps ground me, it helps me find my roots when things get stressful and it also provides me a great amount of entertainment. I can appreciate trees finding their strength as communal beings – for as much as I like to be an individual these past few years have taught me just how important my family and community can be when life becomes scary.

This gluten free recipe is the first one I’ve developed when my mom was diagnosed with diabetes a number of years ago. She really didn’t eat many desserts but she always loved peanut butter cookies. The look on her face when I baked up the first batch of these was sheer happiness. I’d like to believe that it took a little of the edge off of her diagnosis. It was my way of saying that we’d find a way to get around it. That’s just what family does.

The cookie recipe is quite simple. Five ingredients, a bowl, spoon cookie sheet and 12 minutes in the oven will do. The crunchy peanut flavor and consistency is really spot on. It is exactly what a peanut butter cookie should be; crunchy, super soft, and chewy. Added perks- it is gluten fee, lactose free and refined sugar free. You’ll be amazed at how something so ‘free’ of the bad ingredients is so very good! After sinking your teeth into one of the gems you just might have your new favorite dessert.

moms cookies 1.2

Ingredients

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

2 TBS maple syrup

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsps unsalted peanuts, rough chopped

sea salt, sprinkle (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a spoon mix all ingredients until well blended. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Drop by teaspoonful onto a cookie sheet. Use fork to make a crisscross design. If using sea salt, sprinkle on top before baking.

Bake for 12 minutes and let cool. Store cookies in an airtight container.

Merry Matcha Christmas Holiday Breakfast Bowl

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The holiday blur hit and was wonderfully relentless. It seemed as if the days melted by with to-do lists longer than one could imagine – I struggled to find time to share my new cooking/baking creations. And yet my thoughts continued to come back here, to find you.

Continue reading ‘Merry Matcha Christmas Holiday Breakfast Bowl’

Fire Sugar Cubes – Not Your Granny’s Sugar Cubes

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The holidays have arrived. Seasonal music floods retail stores and becomes all too common on radio stations; while on TV there is a seemingly unending stream of commercials touting the Christmas theme. As we check Thanksgiving off of our culinary and social list my mind instantly turns towards gift giving. Making a homemade gift is always nice and while cookies are a delicious way to go, I wanted to find that perfect gift to give that is a bit unusual. This concept takes hardly any time to make and will certainly be memorable.

Continue reading ‘Fire Sugar Cubes – Not Your Granny’s Sugar Cubes’

#thanks #giving

Photo Courtesy: IKEA

Photo Courtesy: IKEA

It’s easy to get caught up in the food festivities that surround the holidays. Traditional fare, too much of it, and an opportunity to hang out with ‘those’ relatives that often times create that intense and highly entertaining family drama you’ll eagerly recap at the water cooler at work come Monday. BUT what’s lost in this satirical depiction of Thanksgiving is that there are many families that can barely scrape by enough to provide this celebratory meal. Hunger in the United States is a reality that is not talked about often enough.

I would like to present you with the opportunity to change that reality. To give and provide something for others to eat. It takes but a moment and actually, if someone or a family is in need of a meal, they might very well be in need of more than just a Thanksgiving meal.

Annually I make this plight- I stop the foodie talk in hopes of opening up a very important dialogue. I am a supporter of No Kid Hungry. And as I sit down tomorrow I hope that my donation will allow others to sit around their table with family and friends enjoying some good food. It’s not that I have an abundance of cash lying around, it’s about making choices, and I’ll happily scale back on luxurious coffee drinks for a few weeks and share those funds where I can make a difference- giving to others. The impact $10 = 100 meals. Imagine what I can do in just a few weeks time.

And in light of all of the things I am thankful for today, I raise my glass to all of you – thank you for being my supportive blog family. You make the difference to me by feeding my soul.

Spicy Tahini Squash Bisque

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All I want right now is comfort food, a cozy blanket and a few hours to Netflix binge on some new popular show that I haven’t had time to see. >Okay, and if I am being honest then maybe I’d like to add a swanky cocktail to this fantasy.< It makes sense I suppose, animals hibernate in the winter and store their fat, why should we miss out on all that fun? We are meant to slow down and take it easy. Continue reading ‘Spicy Tahini Squash Bisque’

Warm Chai Coconut Koloa Coffee Rum Mylk

chai mylk down shot

There is some sort of strange energy that prevails once the end of the year hits. It’s as if we think we have to somehow squeeze everything into those remaining months. It feels like a continuous time crunch with no apparent end in sight. Yet, somehow I am happy to have this experience this year. I’ll take every last bit of it. I don’t want to miss a beat. Last year I could only wish to be going to parties and seeing family and friends, so I am reminded to manage the swells of activity that exist and to find the fun in the little moments. Continue reading ‘Warm Chai Coconut Koloa Coffee Rum Mylk’

Island Guacamole

top down island guac

This island has a way of enveloping all of your senses; it is a slice of magic on the map. From the wafting sweet floral and fruity fragrances to the contrasting aroma of its salty ocean water Kaua’i captured my heart from the first moment I laid eyes on it some eight years ago. I wish I could claim that I lived here – we visit as often as is possible, as soon as we save up enough for our airplane tickets, we return with smiles on our faces.

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Unusual Pumpkin Recipes & Reflections

Spoiler alert: this is not really a food post, it is a reflection on life and relationships. I know, just when you thought I might throw another pumpkin something your way I head the other direction.

Since I am reflecting, let’s compromise and I’ll share my recipe reflections on some of my favorite, not so usual, pumpkin recipes:

Cheesy Pumpkin Kale Lasagna

Quinoa Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin Ginger Semi-Freddo Ice Cream

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Continue reading ‘Unusual Pumpkin Recipes & Reflections’

Pumpkin Chestnut Cornbread

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I really have no excuses. I tried to come up with one, however there is just no point. In the vein of transparency I will stick to the truth. Sometimes, despite how very well I am doing health wise, day-to-day life becomes all too consuming and I can’t pull out from under it. For me writing and recipe development is like an old friend. It is what nourishes my soul and satisfies my creativity; yet in the throws of a busy life filled with activities and obligations things can really become borderline >if not completely< overwhelming. So here I am, hat in hand, asking you to accept that I am doing the best I can to stay connected to you. Continue reading ‘Pumpkin Chestnut Cornbread’

Mt. Shasta Watermelon Refresher

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I originally posted this recipe last year. It is one of my daughter’s favorites, as she will often ask me to make this ‘vacation drink in a bowl’ nearly every week during the summer.

When I think of watermelon I can’t help but think of her and about the Mt. Shasta Blackberry Festival. For the last 8 years we have attended the Blackberry Festival, which always falls on Labor Day weekend. Continue reading ‘Mt. Shasta Watermelon Refresher’