Friday, April 24, 2015

Coconut Lime Cookies

Shredded coconut, fresh lime juice and lime zest bring a sunny tropical flavor to these white chip cookies.

This blog is where I share recipes that help me feed my family from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. Typically, I'm trying to find ways to deal with a glut of kohlrabi or turnips, tomatoes or greens. Each December I am voluntarily overwhelmed with oranges because I love my kid and he loves marching band and the band sells Florida citrus as a fundraiser.

And now, limes.

Why am I overwhelmed with limes? In a word-Corona. We hit Costco for a sled hockey team dinner during a tournament and picked up a bag of limes to go with the adult beverages. As we divided up the remnants, I offered to take the excess limes. There I was--overwhelmed with limes and not a beer in sight.

I had 2 sweet ideas for these limes--cookies and cupcakes. Later this summer you'll see my Zucchini Lime cupcakes, but for now, since I think they are seasonal for a Cinco de Mayo dessert, please enjoy these Coconut, Lime & White Chip Cookies.
Assembly line: salt, lime zest, cookie dough, cookie sheet, dog.
Since I had all these limes, I wanted to make a cookie that actually used the juice of a lime in the batter. Easier said than done! I looked on the internet but ended up adapting the recipe on the back of the white chip bag for my first attempt. The flavor was fine--but there were too many chips and the cookie was too flat. I opted to base off of my Sunflower Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookie and use a bit of shortening to make a cakier cookie. I also dropped the amount of chips down and boosted the coconut up. I like the result, so I'm sharing that recipe.

These are not piña colada cookies--there's no rum [why is all the rum gone?]--but the flavors are tropical. The white chips I used were not white chocolate chips. Not entirely sure what flavor "white" is, but they worked well in this cookie. I forgot to take a full on ingredient photo--but I used Nestle White Baking Chips in these cookies.

If you want a coconut lime cookie with actual lime juice and lime zest, here's your recipe!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Avocado Queso Dip

Avocado blended with queso and salsa verde for a creamy smooth dip. An excellent base for another layered vegetable appetizer.

This is not a sponsored post, though it probably reads like it. It's just on my mind, coming through the pen, and eventually through the screen. There is nothing to disclose.

In anticipation of Earth Day my family spent Saturday morning at our community park. We dug out muck from a drainage ditch, spread mulch across a playground, and enjoyed the pleasant feeling of being tired from physical work. That sounds so snooty, but our workdays are not spent shoveling, raking, and hauling wheelbarrows. It's a nice change to work at something physically and have immediate gratification. We went home and kept on going. Spending a weekend doing yard work is very fulfilling for me, though I understand I'm in the minority. I can deal with that.

See, I've got a secret: I've got good tools.

Just like how sharp knives and pizza stones make my days successful in the kitchen, the right tools make working in the garden a dream. I've mentioned my daughter's peach trees before, but what I haven't said was that the semi-dwarf variety was sneaking up to the power lines. My spouse fretted, then researched and bought a pruner stick. This tool is amazing. After he lopped off the offending branches, my daughter took charge and completed her annual pruning with ease. She's taller than I am, true--but her success comes from this tool. [It's her tree, she's in charge, we just advise and assist as needed.] One success led to another and I decided to do something about the bush that was trying to take over the driveway.

Last year a rogue branch dove down and took root in the mulch, starting a new colony right next to the asphalt and that just wouldn't do. I grabbed a trimmer but got stuck on the whole 'T Rex arm lack of upper body strength' thing. My spouse suggested I try the pruner. Holy cow! That thing cuts through thick branches like butter! After I brushed off some dirt from the blade it went in my finger like butter, too. Don't be like me, treat this tool with respect. [I still have 10 fingertips, I'm healing fine.] I extricated dead shrubs with this workhorse before switching to a smaller tool to remove the spent raspberry canes and transplant some new starts to make a second raspberry bed. On a roll, I fed the strawberry patch a Spring breakfast of coffee grounds and leaf mulch, then decided to feed the rest of the garden beds as well. The kids mowed after I picked violets to make my next Wild Violet treats, and my spouse de-dandilioned the yard with his favorite Japanese tool before spreading mulch on the dogs' race track, re-banking Dead Man's Curve.

We're greening up our little part of the world. Here's a green appetizer for you.

For other recipes using avocados, please see my Avocado Recipe Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For other Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks, please check out my Pinterest board of the same name.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dark Chocolate Cherry Trail Mix Muffins {Monday Muffins}

Sweet with a crunch, these little gems are a satisfying snack of dried cherries, dark chocolate, and almonds. Inspired by the samples at Costco. What, is it just me who loves to sample?

Please tell me I'm not the only one delighted to eat my way through Costco on a Saturday afternoon.

I don't try every last sample [ewww protein drinks] but I can't help but give many of them a go. When my spouse was buying new glasses we were at Costco several Saturdays in a row. [Shopping, ordering, receiving, clicking, double clicking, returning for replacement, picking up replacement . . . great customer service in the Optical department.] One two of those trips I sampled some dark chocolate cherry trail mix. Crunchy-sweet-awesome! After the second sample I decided I wanted to make it into a muffin, and this is the result.

I got my start making muffins using the recipes from Muffins: A Cookbook (Amazon Affiliate link) written by a couple of classmates of my mom, Joan Bidinosti and Marilyn Wearring. Over the years and the pans of muffins I've become comfortable with the muffin formula to branch out on my own. I like to make a not-so-sweet muffin--¼ cup of sugar in a batch of muffins is fine by me! Due to the added fruit and chocolate this is an extra sweet (by my standards) muffin, but it's still got whole oats and I'd serve it for brunch or an after school snack.

In fact, these muffins went to the Fisher House for a brunch.

For other recipes using dried cherries, please see my Cherry Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient.