April 26, 2010

Hazelnut Espresso Cookies

espresso hazelnut cookies

If the culprit for my college “Freshman 15”  had to be named, it would be ridiculous amount of hazelnut lattes I consumed. When I lost the extra weight, I lost the taste for hazelnut flavoring and hazelnuts in general. Many many MANY years later, I saw this recipe and thought it could be a good test to see if the adult Tracy still liked hazelnuts—in moderation of course!  And yes, thanks to this recipe, I still do. If I had to do college over again, I would have made these cookies weekly!  I also wouldn’t have lived with my roommate who was the mayor of PSYCHOVILLE  for over 2 years, but we’ll save that for another time.

deeee lish us

These cookies are everything I look for in a cookie. They’ve got crispy crunchy edges with a nice chewy center. Such a great bite!  No need to worry, the espresso flavor isn’t too bold. It’s like a light buttery hazelnut latte with a few crunchy toasted nuts every now and then. There’s also a subtle hint of malt flavoring in them. I don’t know where that came from, but I enjoyed it immensely.

A few more notes about these cookies-

-The description in the Everyday Food: Fresh Flavors Fast cookbook says that these cookies are more of an adult cookie. NOT TRUE. Eleven of the twelve cookies I gave to my neighbor were eaten by her children. Those kids saved ONE for their mom. How ROTTEN!  Tell your kids that there’s spinach in them. Get their paws away from your cookies. Eat them during their nap time or when they are down for the night. Hide them where you hide their Christmas presents!   Seems Coop wanted to get his little fingers on them too… NO WAY!

coop can haz cookie?

-The scent that will fill your kitchen when you bake these resembles the smell of hot buttery pancakes served with a freshly brewed pot of coffee. Close your eyes and meditate on that one. Is there anything more comforting than that?  NOPE.

-They aren’t ridiculously sweet. Which is great! And that’s probably one of the reasons they are considered an adult cookie. If you want something on the sweeter side and want to indulge yourself even more, add some chocolate chips. DO IT.  I will if you do!

-Roasting the hazelnuts wasn’t as hard and annoying as I thought it would be. The skins peel right off if you use the technique described in the recipe! The steaming in the dish towel trick is pretty cool.

April 24, 2010

Let’s get growing!

our herb garden

Last year I started my first little garden in our backyard. You can see the progress here here and here!  We had tomatoes in this trough last year, so when I read that you aren’t supposed to plant tomatoes in the same place the following year I decided to make this section into an herb garden. I am pretty excited about it. I have big plans for the rest of the yard because it’s totally easy for me to go overboard on this stuff. It’s soo gratifying to grow your own veggies & herbs and I want to plant MORE AND MORE!

Here’s an overview of what’s in the trough that we got a few years ago at a Feed store in Half Moon Bay.


April 21, 2010

Addictive Nutty Topping


Ellie Krieger gives fair warning in her latest cookbook that this topping is addictive. Don’t even think about second guessing her because she’s totally right! I can guarantee that my jar will be empty tomorrow because I want to eat it by the heaping spoonful and top it on EVERTHING. Yogurt, pancakes, rice pudding, fruit, ice cream, my toothbrush!! Here I come!

It reminds me of the Honey Nut Squares I made, but with a lot less fuss! It takes less than 10 minutes to make this sticky crunchy gooey treat. The toasted sesames are quite fun too!  There’s a subtle halvah taste to it. I think you’ll like it!

April 20, 2010

Garlic Butter Rolls

garlic bread rolls

For those of you who swoon over garlic twisty bread but can’t bring yourself to order whole pizza to make the delivery worthwhile, this one’s for you! They are scrumptious!  Dip some in marinara or serve them with a salad and pasta! You could also eat them alone, directly from your kitchen counter. No one will know. Promise.

To push them over the edge of deliciousness, I am going to tuck a little bit of Parmesan cheese in the middle of each roll before I form them into little dough balls next time!  This was a request from my husband who is a certified twisty bread lover. He wanted them cheesy with more of a garlic presence; so I will appease him next round! I suggest using a little cooking spray in the muffin tin because I had 3 of them stick! You’d better believe I chiseled them out with a knife and ate them! Wouldn’t want to let any dough go to waste now would we?

April 18, 2010

Simple Roasted Broccoli

roasted to perfection

I fell out of love with broccoli awhile back and recently rekindled our affair due to this recipe. We are like totally back together and now we’re holding hands when we walk down the street. I even introduced it to my parents and they approved!  You should see the cute heart shaped necklace I picked out for it!

Roasting broccoli is SOO the way to go if you want to try something different. The crunch is maintained and something new and delightful is added. Introducing new crunchy roasted charred edges!  It’s the kind of char you would get when you roast asparagus. They also have a deep nutty taste that you get from a Kale Chip!  Tasty!

I will now eat more broccoli. Promise.

April 10, 2010

Arugula Salad with Strawberries


A wonderfully balanced salad with peppery arugula, amazingly sweet strawberries, toasty crunchy pecans topped with creamy goat cheese crumbles. Do not want a salad that will require several grocery trips. Must be extremely easy to make and perfect paired with a glass of wine and a crusty baguette. Would love to eat you outside while wearing flip flops and a sundress. All inquiries must go directly in my mouth!

April 7, 2010

18 months


5 days ago Cooper hit the 18 month mark!!

For those of you who don’t speak in the “months” language, I’m sorry!  He’s a year and a half! I remember laughing at people who said their kid’s age in months. I thought it was quite irritating in fact!  My brother totally makes fun of me. “Why can’t you just say a year and a half?”  Now as a parent, I know there’s a huge difference between months. This is Cooper at 16 months. He has changed soo much!

Dozens of other moms have told me that this age is the best stage and currently I agree 100%. I feel like I now have a little buddy instead of a little baby. He actually listens and helps; which makes a gigantic difference! Don’t get me wrong-I do miss my little baby! But with this kid weighing almost 30lbs, it’s so nice to be able to hold his hand while walking down the street instead of carrying him!