Tabbouleh & Hummus

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Okay, snickerdoodles not what you wanted to start your 2013 resolutions off properly?

Well, don’t worry! I’ve got healthy stuff too!! Delicious, healthy stuff.

I grew up eating Lebanese food on special occasions. Mostly family gatherings, especially Easter. Grandma prepared most of it when I was younger. My cousins and I would sneak into the fridge at night during family reunions to steal the fatayers! We’d sneak a few, thinking we’d be satisfied, and then go back for secret seconds. I loved almost everything grandma made, but tabbouleh was never my favorite. Probably because it’s chock full of parsley and I’m not really a huge fan. But it’s been growing on me in the last few years and now I love it. Well curly leaf more than flat. Especially drenched in lemon juice. Probably thanks to Stephen… who adores Middle Eastern & Mediterranean cuisines. He loves when we make tabbouleh, hummus, pita, grape leaves, or fatayer. And any chance we get to eat it somewhere else. He once “confessed” he loved me because I could make such good Lebanese food. I was flattered!

Tabbouleh & Hummus are an especially great combination. They’re both quick & simple and require no cooking (if using canned beans). They’re also an extremely healthy combo. Chickpeas are full of protein, fiber, Manganese and Iron. While parsley is an excellent source of antioxidants as well as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Calcium, Folate, Potassium and even Iron. Most importantly, they’re delicious together – the flavors and textures are perfectly complementary.

So go ahead, indulge. In fresh, wonderful food that you can feel good about.

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Tabbouleh

2 bunches curly leaf parsley
1/2 cup bulgur
1 large cucumber
1/2 small red onion
juice of 2 lemons
several tablespoons olive oil
1/4 tsp cinnamon
salt, to taste
chopped mint, optional

Chop parsley finely. Chop mint finely if using (between a couple tablespoons & 1/4 cup).
You can use the food processor if you want, but that’s one more thing to clean!
Peel cucumber, seed & dice. Finely dice red onion.
Add the bulgur wheat to a small saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, stir & remove from heat. Let sit for at least 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.
Combine the parsley, bulgur, cucumber, and onion.
Pour olive oil & lemon juice on top & stir thoroughly.
Refrigerate & nom!

Hummus

1 can chickpeas
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1/2 a lemon (or more)
1/4 tsp salt

This one is easy. Add all ingredients to food processor & blend until completely smooth!
Top with paprika, sumac, or zaatar, and olive oil. Or nothing. However you like it.
Many of my family members prefer it drenched in olive oil.
Refrigerate & nom!

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Snickerdoodles!!

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Happy New Year, everyone!

I know the new year’s resolutions usually dictate getting fitter, healthier, eating fewer sweets, etc.
Which especially makes sense after the holidays…
but I feel it has been long enough since Christmas to indulge in a little 2013 treat.
And one of my mom’s coworkers demanded 3 dozen snickerdoodles! Lol.
And apparently Snickerdoodles are Stephen’s favorite cookie. Which I guess I should have known since he loves cinnamon :)

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Snickerdoodles:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp AP flour
2 tsp angel cream (or cream of tartar)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

combine & roll in:
1 tbsp cinnamon
3 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Use center rack in oven.

Beat butter & shortening on medium until light, creamy & fluffy. Add sugar and beat thoroughly. Add eggs & vanilla and beat until all of the ingredients are incorporated and everything is still light & fluffy. Begin adding the dry ingredients and mix slooowly. Increase the speed until mixture is consistent.

Flour flying out of the bowl is the worst.

Combine extra sugar & cinnamon in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Making tablespoon sized balls of dough, gently roll them in the cinnamon-sugar to coat. Place on baking sheet.

Bake each batch for about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on drying rack.

Indulge.

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These cookies are especially good with a steaming cup of coffee.

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Or all by themselves.

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After dinner. For a nice & simple dessert.

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Even for a lovely, cinnamony breakfast ; )

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They’re light. And crispy. And they melt in your mouth.

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They’re probably delicious dipped in a cold glass of milk (cow OR almond).

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Or 10 at a time.

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Or just one bite.

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Enjoy!!!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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So I lied. I said this post wouldn’t have chocolate in it. Are you really upset about that? Didn’t think so.

Thanksgiving is over. And so is Black Friday (which I maintain is only for the insane). Which means one thing: It’s time for Christmas cookies!!!!!

I’ve been dying to find a chocolate chip cookie recipe that doesn’t use butter but still tastes as good as Tollhouse. Because everyone knows Tollhouse is the ultimate in traditional chocolate chip cookies. Your grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe? Tollhouse. Don’t let her lie. She can’t fool you. It’s right off the back of that bright yellow chocolate chip package.

Well these aren’t the Tollhouse recipe, but they are damn good. Just as good. Promise. They’re adapted from a recipe out of my mom’s old faithful Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. And they have a slight taste of peanut butter that isn’t overwhelming but adds that butteriness that really makes the chocolate pop.

I thought the cookbook was much older but there are some images of ladies that look like they’re hanging out in the 80s.

Couldn’t find a copyright year.

Moment of truth: These cookies are DELICIOUS. Definitely Christmas worthy.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book
(it’s pretty old)
Make 4 Dozen

2 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Cup + 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Shortening
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup White Sugar
2 Eggs (regular, flax, or Ener-G)
2 Tsp Vanilla
9oz (1 1/2 Cups) Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Beat peanut butter & shortening on medium high until well-creamed and fluffy. Add sugar, beating well after each to maintain the fluffy quality. Add eggs & vanilla and beat for a couple more minutes. You’re essentially whipping the mixture – adding plenty of air.

Add sugar, baking soda, and salt. And beat on low until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. I used only 9oz and trust me, there were chocolate chips falling to the bottom of the mixing bowl & a ton in each cookie.

Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough out of the bowl placing about a dozen mounds on each baking sheet.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes. 8 minutes for soft & chewy cookies, 12 for golden & crispy cookies.

Let them cool. Or don’t. Choice is yours. I definitely don’t recommend burning your tongue though – because then the rest of the cookies won’t taste nearly as good. But who doesn’t want to eat warm cookies right out of the oven?

Now hide them away in a cookie tin or they’ll all be gone in approximately 2, possibly 3, days.

OR

You can just dive in & stuff your face with delicious cookies. Grab a glass a milk. Or not.

Om nom nom nom nom nom nom.