The Eli Cookie: Oatmeal White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Anyone watch the Bachelorette?  I cringe with embarrassment to admit that I occasionally catch an episode, but I do.  Usually, I think the show is utterly ridiculous, and I laugh the whole way through, but this last episode, Emily totally stole one of my dating techniques!  Cookie making!  I make killer chocolate chip cookies. So, once a guy has tried them and gotten hooked, I (if interested) casually invite him to make cookies with me if he wants the recipe.  Then, I can evaluate if he is kitchen-competent, able to follow instruction, and simply if he's fun to be with.  It's a perfect scenario.  Except then a certain boy came along, experienced my chocolate chip cookies, and instead of deciding they were the greatest cookie ever and wanting the recipe, he brought up these cookies his mom used to make.  And what did I do?  Get offended  I made those cookies for him.  ALL BY MYSELF.  I now coin them "The Eli Cookie", because never before have I baked a boy one of his family recipes.  I knew there was something different about this boy.

Orange & Black Sesame Cookies

Don't tell my ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I think I have a new favorite cookie.  I realize putting sesame seeds in a cookie sounds, well, strange, but just try it!  (Plus, black sesame seeds are sweeter and lack much of the bitterness found in white sesame seeds.)  These cookies have just the right level of sweetness, crumble, and texture.  Divine, that's a good word to describe them.  And if exquisite taste isn't enough to sell you, the sesame seeds add protein and fiber to this cookie :)


Cranberry Chipotle Turkey Sliders

Everyone loves Thanksgiving, right?  It's the one holiday a year where gluttony is encouraged, your plate couldn't be large enough, and there are at least four courses of dessert.  And you know what else everyone loves?  Tacos.  (You wanna have fun?  Wanna go to Taco Bell?) Therefore, Mexi-Pilgrim fusion is a spectacular idea.  While I did have the ingredients on hand to make turkey cranberry tacos, that didn't sound like the greatest idea, so instead cranberry chipotle turkey burgers.  The sweet tang of traditional cranberry sauce mingles with spicy, smoky chipotle to contribute to the Mexi-Pilgrim dynamic, more subtly than say... cranberry tacos. 

Vegan Gooey Butter Cookies

When I google a vegan recipe, and find unsatisfactory results I have an inexplicable urge to fix it.  I'm not even a vegan... I guess I just like fixing things or I have a bunch of coconut oil and Tofutti cream cheese I need to use before I move.  Plus there are all those poor vegans in the world unfortunate enough to have never experienced the unique St. Louis offering of gooey butter anything.  So, animal-friendly folks: gooey butter cookies!  Ta-dah!

Gooey Butter Cookies

So, I'm on this St. Louis pride kick.  Maybe it's the fact that I'm realizing I will never permanently live there again and I am subconsciously devastated about it. Hahaha.  Or maybe it's that I am procrastinating packing up the entire contents of my apartment, and cooking distinctive foods that I grew up with for the sir in my life seems a reasonable distraction.  I'm guessing the latter.  Definitely the latter.  Plus, after looking up a recipe for gooey butter cookies and seeing how simple they are, I couldn't not make them.  These gooey little cookies really do possess everything so awesomely divine about the cake version, that chewy golden crust, a sticky sweet center, and the crackle dusted with powdered sugar all so synonymous with the real thing.  So, try them at least once and make another St. Louisan proud ;)

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

I have finally conquered the spelling of vinaigrette, if only now I could spell pomegranite   pomagranate   pomghsdhgoaj   pomegranate right the first time.  Seriously, spelling the name of this recipe is substantially more challenging than making it.  Therefore, you should make it.  Then put it on a lovely bed of lettuce with apples, walnuts, and blue cheese.  Because it rocks.  Go prove wrong whoever said salad was gross and boring!


Salty Medjool Caramel Dip

I've been mildly obsessed with dates lately.  It all started in April with the vegan caramels I whipped up--they were delicious.  Heavens, dates alone are delicious, I eat them like candy.  So when I saw the photograph and recipe at V.K. Rees Photography of salty date caramel, I had to give it a go.  You should too :)  The dip is rich and creamy, and the salt rounds out the flavor exquisitely. 

Baked Donuts with Chocolate Glaze

I went to bed last night resolved to wake up and go running.  I made donuts instead.  Fail.  Well, the run was a fail, the donuts were definitely a success--cakey, subtly sweet, and absolutely delicious.  Rich, chocolate glaze only sweetened the deal, literally.  Plus, they weren't that unhealthy... they use coconut oil instead of butter or vegetable oil, the vegan glaze has no added sugar, and they are dairy free.  So it's okay to skip my morning run to make donuts since they are kinda-sorta-remotely healthy... right?


Toasted Ravioli

I loved growing up in St. Louis-- It was a very pleasant place (minus the sauna-hot, sweaty, nasty summers...) but by no means am I itching to go back.  One of the very few things that gets me nostalgic for home is the thought of toasted ravioli.  Yup, that crunchy, greasy, delicious bar food found only in St. Louis.  T-ravs (as my highschool buddies used to call them at hot lunch) fall far outside of the realm of food I normally prepare for myself, but when I realized the sir in my life had been deprived the opportunity of ever tasting the delicacy, they were added to my kitchen docket, stat.  Upon heading to the store for a couple ingredients I didn't have on hand, I discovered the Walmart in Indiana actually stocks frozen toasted ravioli-What?!!.  I was set on making my own T-ravs although I was seriously tempted to pick up a box of frozen ones in case I managed to mess my own up... frying food isn't exactly my specialty.  I'm glad I saved the three dollars, aside from frying my candy thermometer in the process, my raviolis far exceeded the freezer section variety, and as far as fried, greasy bar food goes I consider them exceptional :)  If you are familiar with T-ravs, this recipe is as classic as it gets, and if you're not familiar- try them at least once and make a St. Louisan proud.

Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette

I feel like some recipes need no introduction, nor sales pitch or hook.  This recipe falls under that category.  It's a simple, delicious dressing that takes seconds to make--and you really don't even have to measure, shhhh!!

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground mustard (or a squeeze of the fresh stuff)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • honey to taste (I like sweet dressings and use about a Tbs)


Rolo Cookies

These cookies take 4 ingredients, it's awesome.  What's even better is that they seem far more gourmet than four simple ingredients.  The only downside is that you can eat like 5 without even realizing it... so uh make them small or something.  


Honey Tahini Dressing

I'm currently facing a dilemma--an utterly disastrous dilemma.  I have no bread. [Unless you count the soft pretzels I made on Sunday as bread... but let's face it I can't really make a PB&J with a soft pretzel...]  I also don't have much other food, since my time in Bloomington is coming to an end I'm trying to let my pantry dwindle (and it's taking a serious amount of self-control at the grocery).  I do have lettuce, lots of freezer food, and some incredibly stale pita bread, which lent itself perfectly to a deconstructed felafel salad :)  This creamy dressing tied it all together, the rich tahini harmonizes perfectly with the sweet honey and acidic lemon striking a refreshingly satisfying balance.  I found myself scraping the left over salad dressing off my plate with the pita chips and tomatoes--it was that good.


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