Fig Cookies

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Fig newtons have never been a favorite of mine, but I do remember them frequently being in the house while I was growing up. Likewise, my father-in-law loves them (good training energy!) and there is always a box in their cupboard. I saw a recipe for homemade fig newtons several months ago and have been wanting to give it a try. The recipe is adapted from one of my favorite blogs, My New Roots. The cookies are delicious and not too sweet. I used earl grey tea because it is one of my favorites, but was sorry to see that the flavor did not come through very strongly. As with all of my recipes feel free to adapt and replace with whatever you have on hand. The flour, sweeteners, and fat can also be changed based on your preference. And maybe a different flavor of tea or a different dried fruit? 

Fig Cookies

Dough:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp earl grey tea
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling:

  • 1 cup dried figs 
  • 1/2 cup earl grey tea
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice (I substituted apple cider vinegar because I was out of lemons!)

Brew 3/4 cup of earl grey tea for 15-20 minutes. Put 3 tbsp of the tea into a separate bowl and add the chia seeds. Set aside and allow a gel to form. 

Pulse the oats in a food processor until it is flour texture. Add the brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and pulse to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until a ball forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour (up to one day). 

For the filling, roughly chop the figs and combine with the earl grey tea in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the figs break down and the mixture thickens. Add more water or tea if necessary (I had to add a couple more tbsp). Allow the filling mixture to cool and then process in a food processor until you reach desired consistency. 

Remove the dough from the fridge and place it unwrapped on a piece of parchment paper. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and roll out until it is approximately 4.5″x15″. Aim to shape the dough into a rectangle. Spoon the filling onto the middle of the dough. Fold in each side to the middle and pinch the ends together in order to seal. Cut into individual cookies and place on a baking sheet (on parchment paper or on a silpat). Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

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Two years

9.10.11 was exactly two years ago today. Marriage always has its ups and downs, but in the end we really feel closer and more in love than ever. This is a journey I feel so blessed to be on, and I am with a man who continues to surprise and amaze me everyday. Jordan, thank you for your strength and unconditional love. You are my best friend, my confidant, my kindred spirit, and the one with whom I want to spend the rest of my days. 

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Sore muscle smoothie

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I am fascinated with the function of food as medicine and I am always looking for a natural food or herb to solve my common ailments. I once attended a nutrition workshop and the registered dietician that was teaching explained that kitchen herbs and spices are like “free medicine”. They contain virtually zero calories for huge health benefits.

Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and the benefits seem to be endless! I love consuming this herb as often as possible because I swear it helps with sore muscles. Here is a credible site that explains a bit more about this herb: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric

And here is a recipe for an Indian yogurt-based drink called a lassi. This is my favorite turmeric recipe because you can really taste the flavor of the herb, which is subtle and usually lost in other savory dishes. I often change this recipe by adding whatever fruit or greens I have on hand. Occasionally I add too much turmeric or ginger and it needs a little sweetness, but I leave the honey out when possible (just taste the drink before adding honey). I followed this recipe the first time I made this drink and it was delicious. Now when I make it I just eyeball all of the ingredients and it still comes out well.

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Turmeric Lassi

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 inch cube fresh ginger (grated with microplane)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1-3 teaspoons turmeric
  • Splash of milk (I usually use almond or coconut)
  • Optional: honey (for sweetness), ice cubes, greens (spinach, kale, beet greens), fruit

Maui with the Greeks

We recently returned home from a family vacation/reunion in Maui. Almost all of the Greek side of the family was present, and it was a blast. Here are a few pictures of some highlights!

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Hanging out at a gorgeous beach on the North coast of Maui.

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Amazing sushi from Miso Phat.

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Swimming with sea turtles!

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Booze cruise!

Hello from Maui

 

Jordan and I are in Maui for the week. We are vacationing with his Dad’s entire side of the family, only missing three people! Highlights of our trip include a sunset cruise with our immediate family, a BBQ potluck with the whole gang, and swimming with sea turtles on a snorkel excursion.

The entire has been quite incredible and we are extremely thankful to be here!

church sunset

Zucchini bread

zucchini bread

As I mentioned the other day, we have been bombarded with fresh produce lately. I decided to make zucchini bread because we had a small baby sized zucchini in our fridge, and because I love baked goods. I adapted the recipe from this site. It turned out really well and I am planning on freezing anything that we cannot eat within a few days.

Zucchini bread

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (strained through a paper towel)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Combine all of the dry ingredients and blend well. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until there are no clumps. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the middle is set. Feel free to substitute the oil and honey with any other fat or sweetener. I also think grated carrots (or maybe beets?) would be great in here. Enjoy!

Rainbow chard and leek pie

Egg pie

This summer has been plentiful. Between our CSA box, a family friend’s generous garden share, and my in-laws’ new garden, we have greens coming out of our ears! Here is a recipe that utilized a couple of leeks and a bunch of rainbow chard. The recipe is adapted from Greenkitchenstories.com and I just used whatever was in the fridge.

If you are not sharing in this bounty, try going for a walk. There are so many fruits blossoming right now, you may be able to forage something fresh! Or I highly recommend Growing Washington’s Local Choice Food Box!

Yamas!

Rainbow Chard and Leek Pie

For the crust:

  • 1/3 heaping cup almond flour
  • 1/2 heaping cup spelt flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp ice water

For the filling:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • Dash of chili powder
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • Large bunch of rainbow chard
  • 2 small leeks
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

For the crust, mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the water and coconut oil and combine with hands. Gather into a ball and cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate for 30 mins.

While the dough chills, roughly chop the chard and leeks, sauté in olive oil for about 4 minutes or until soft. Salt and pepper the vegetables after they have softened. Mix the eggs with the cheese and seasoning. When the vegetables are done, add the vegetables to the egg mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, press the dough into a 9-inch tart pan. Prick the bottom with a fork and bake for 10 mins. Take the crust out and turn the oven down to 325 degrees F.

Add the egg and vegetable mixture to the crust and spread evenly. Place back into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until edges are golden brown and middle is set.

This recipe is very easy to modify. Any type of cheese or vegetable would be great, as well as changing the type of flour in the crust.