Friday, December 24, 2010

Lime Pistachio Cookies

All my gifts are wrapped. My holiday baking is complete. Cards have been delivered and I've decided to let go of any hope of completing my remaining Christmas crafts until next year. My only remaining task is to pack everything into our vehicle so we can share the holiday with my family up island.

I decided to throw in a few non-traditional cookies into my cookie boxes this year. This particular recipe was one of them that went over very well. I have made many a different citrus cookies but this one with the pistachio's is by far my favorite.

The nice thing about making refrigerator cookies is that you can whip up the dough and chill for up to 3 days before baking. Since I stuck to making mostly refrigerator cookies this year I was able to make quite a variety by having 4 different base doughs in my fridge. This concept was outlined in the 2010 December issue of Martha Stewart Living. Once you make up the doughs (vanilla, chocolate, citrus and spice) you divide up the doughs and add ingredients like cherries and pistachios to make "Chocolate Cherry Pistachio" cookies or "Vanilla Chocolate Marble with Crushed Peppermint". There are so many different flavor combination's that I advise you stick to just a few otherwise you will become overwhelmed and find yourself in over your head, which is what you are trying to avoid!

A Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday's to you all! Remember, calories don't count in December!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chile Cornmeal Crusted Tofu and Mexi Rice

December is a chaotic month. It feels like no matter how soon I start my Christmas shopping, crafting and baking, I am always running behind. Every year I am in this big scramble the week before Christmas and every year I vow to start earlier next year! I don’t know why we do this to ourselves! It’s kind of like we all have this need or desire to create the perfect holiday. From home baking and decorating, to the holiday feast and outdoor lights, we only have one chance every year to wrap up December with a big, beautiful bow and call it Christmas.

So although I continue to cook on a weekly basis, I have been finding it difficult to find the time to photograph and document new recipes. I am being very choosy with the recipes I share with you. This particular dish has the perfect balance of spice paired with a zingy lime flavor. The tofu portion of this recipe is from the Veganomicon cookbook and I still can't believe how well the cornmeal crust turned out. I opted to serve the tofu with a rice dish I created to mirror the flavors of the Veganomicon recipe. You can bump up the spice with a pinch of cayenne or you can leave out the jalapeno pepper if you prefer to keep the spice mild.

Mexi Rice
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a wok or large frying pan, saute onion and green bell pepper in a few tablespoons of grapeseed oil until onion turns translucent. Add garlic and jalapeno and fry for another minute.
  2. Stir in chili powder, cumin, tomato paste, black beans, rice and salsa. Heat through.
  3. Before serving, stir in cilantro, lime juice and season with salt and pepper.