Posts tagged ‘cookies!’

Coincidence? Yeah, probably…

Two things about me: I love reading, and books of all kinds. And I love cooking and food (hopefully obviously). So imagine how excited I was when I learned that the theme of this year’s Kerrytown BookFest in Ann Arbor is Culinary Michigan. What could be more perfect, right?

A little more information: Kerrytown (ie Ann Arbor’s “historic market district”) is a small district of Ann Arbor that is home to the Farmer’s Market, Kerrytown Market, the local Co-op, and Zingerman’s Delicatessen (which hopefully I’ll review more extensively tomorrow). Needless to say, Kerrytown is so far my absolute favorite part of Ann Arbor. For the seventh year in a row, a festival is put on in the Farmers Market celebrating local literature and “book arts”, including binding, engraving, calligraphy, etc…This year, in honor of the theme, there’s even going to be an “edible book” competition!

In perusing the website of the Ann Arbor District Library (a library card is of utmost importance to me), I noticed that there would be a reception held at the library this evening to officially open the festival and an exhibit put on by the library, featuring local cookbooks.

The speaker was Raquel Agranoff, who has published three cookbooks, including one featuring the food of the Farmers Market. She spoke about her culinary history, as well as about Roy Andries de Groot, author of Auberge of the Flowering Hearth. A cookbook about two women living Savoy, France who relied only on seasonal, local ingredients (way before that was popular!) to cook, I’m extremely interested in finding it now! De Groot was also a wine and food critic, which is perhaps odd as he went blind after the Blitz in London. Agranoff spoke about how he would have chefs arrange food according to the face of the clock, so he would know where everything was placed, and he would have his dining guests describe the scenery of the restaurant and the appearance of the food to him.

The reception was so nice – it was the perfect opening to what I hope is an exciting event. There was quite the spread of food, too, but I only snagged a small dessert – chocolate mousse in a chocolate shell.

Otherwise, my eats today were all over the place. Breakfast and lunch were pretty boring – a green monster and kale salad respectively.

After lunch though, I made what are possibly my favorite homemade “healthy” cookies in the entire world, Dreena’s Super-Charge Me Cookies. I think I’ve made these probably 5 times this summer – every time I finish a batch, I make more! I made a few substitutions to the recipe:

  • 1 cup quick oats (I used regular oats – I don’t think there is any difference…)
  • 2/3 cup spelt flour (I used 1/3 white and 1/3 wheat)
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I used a rounded 1/4 ts)
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4-1/3 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit (I used a rounded 1/4 c dried cranberries)
  • 3-4 tablespoons carob or chocolate chips (I used 2 squares dark Ghirardelli baking chocolate, chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup flax meal
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I used 1/4 c maple syrup, 1/4 c agave)
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter (I used crunchy peanut butter)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

I’ll copy her directions exactly, as I didn’t change much there – “Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In a bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, coconut, raisins, and carob or chocolate chips, sift in baking powder, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine flax meal, syrup, almond butter, and vanilla and stir until well combined. Stir in oil. Add wet mixture to dry, and stir until just well combined (do not overmix). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon batter onto baking sheet evenly space apart, and lightly flatten. Bake for 13 minutes (no longer, or they will dry out). Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 1 minute (no longer), then transfer to a cooling rack.”

Do you like my improvisational kitchen table? It’s the dresser-turned-cupboard, now turned table :) Rally Al, the Red Wings mascot, was helping me cook…

I did not use parchment paper (because I don’t have any), and, because it was my first time using my oven for baking, the cookies burned a bit :( Oh well, they’re still delicious (I know, because I’ve had two).

I also do not have what I like to call a “cookie-drying-rack” (or a cooling rack, to those of you who are not as creative…), so I improvised…

Yes, that would be my strainer supported by three cans. Who says I’m not creative?

For dinner, I made the simplest, most delicious meal ever. I started by making Near East Couscous with Toasted Pine Nuts. I’ve made this before, and quite honestly, it’s awesome.

All you do it boil some water, the flavor pack, and olive oil (I might have used two tablespoons instead of two teaspoons…more healthy fats for me!), add the couscous and then let it sit. Then you “fluff with a fork”, which I think is the greatest recipe direction ever.

I was planning on making Kath’s Lemon Dijon Green Beans with my Farmers Market beans I got oh so long ago, but while the beans were sautéing in the pan, I realized I didn’t have a lemon! Instead, I threw in some tahini, garlic powder, dill and toasted almonds. Served alongside (and mixed in with) the couscous, this was an amazing dinner – I might have gone back for seconds!

I have leftover green beans and more couscous – I might have to make this again :)

September 9, 2009 at 9:11 pm 3 comments


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