Cookie Monster Cooking http://cookiemonstercooking.com Healthy. Indulgent. Delicious. Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:00:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Raspberry Coconut Tart Popsicles http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/09/02/raspberry-coconut-tart-popsicles/ http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/09/02/raspberry-coconut-tart-popsicles/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:00:33 +0000 http://cookiemonstercooking.com/?p=4912 So you know how everyone (myself included) is talking about how summer is winding down? Because if you are like me, you are super pumped and jumping up and down for Fall. I mean, boots, scarves, soups, football, pretty leaves. It’s all just amazing and all I can think about. And then mother nature slaps…

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Raspberry Coconut Tart Popsicles | cookiemonstercooking.com

So you know how everyone (myself included) is talking about how summer is winding down? Because if you are like me, you are super pumped and jumping up and down for Fall. I mean, boots, scarves, soups, football, pretty leaves. It’s all just amazing and all I can think about.

And then mother nature slaps me back to reality. With the most awful humidity and temperatures that feel like they are in the 100s. It is soooo hot here. I’m crying inside. Well and outside too since I’m telling you about my hot weather woes.

Which actually seems appropriate since I have one last popsicle recipe to share with you. I’m squeezing it in before the weather finally gets all nice and crisp and cool. Whenever that may be. Soon? Maybe? Please!?

Raspberry Coconut Tart Popsicles | cookiemonstercooking.com

And on the topic of squeezing. I have a few extra posts for you this week because there are just too many things I want to share with you right now. So prepare. I’m sorry, but not sorry. You’re going to love them all.

But let’s refocus on these raspberry coconut tart popsicles for a second. The idea for this flavor came back when I was home in New Jersey earlier this summer. We went to my all-time favorite local italian ice place and I ordered this creamy dreamy flavor. Coconut with little bits of raspberry and graham cracker crumbly crust. As I inhaled the cup, I kept saying to my husband over and over how I needed to make this at home. He kept telling me to slow down so I wouldn’t choke.

Fair point.

Since I have a massive love of popsicles, it seemed only right to turn that italian ice flavor into this fun portable form. That way I can grab one from the freezer whenever I’m sweaty and mad at the heat. Which is fairly often.

And one last thing – if you don’t like coconut or the texture of coconut, don’t make these. Coconut lovers only please! Not that I don’t like you if you hate coconut, I just don’t want you to be disappointed.

Raspberry Coconut Tart Popsicles | cookiemonstercooking.com

So has cooler weather started to arrive where you live? On second thought, don’t tell me. I’ll just be mad jealous.

Raspberry Coconut Tart Popsicles

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: about 6 to 7 popsicles, depending on the size of your molds

Raspberry Coconut Tart Popsicles

Ingredients

    For the crumble:
  • ½ cup crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely processed unsweetened coconut flakes*
  • 1 ½ tablespoons melted coconut oil**    
  • For the popsicles:
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup raspberry preserves   
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract

Instructions

  1. To make the crumble - add the graham cracker crumbs and coconut flakes to a small bowl. Mix to combine. Pour in the coconut oil and mix until evenly moistened. Set aside.
  2. To make the popsicles - add the coconut milk, sugar and preserves to a small saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved, the coconut milk is smooth and the preserves are distributed throughout (this should only take a minute or so). Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and coconut extracts.
  3. Add some of the graham cracker mixture to each popsicle mold, then pour in the coconut milk mixture to fill. Freeze according to the manufacturer's directions.

Notes

*Add coconut flakes to a food processor and process until finely ground. Measure out the correct amount. You can also just buy finely shredded coconut!

**Melt the coconut oil first then measure out the correct amount, otherwise you may use too much!

The yield will depend on the size of your molds. These molds (<--- affiliate link!) are the ones that I have, love and use.

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/09/02/raspberry-coconut-tart-popsicles/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

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The Little Things – August 2014 http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/09/01/little-things-august-2014/ http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/09/01/little-things-august-2014/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 10:00:02 +0000 http://cookiemonstercooking.com/?p=4897 Guess what time it is? Little things time! I’m hoping maybe you have the day off today and are in need of a little entertainment. Beagle style. Don’t worry, I don’t have all pictures of Emma for you. There are some other things too. My life doesn’t totally revolve around my dog. Oh wait, it…

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The Little Things - August 2014 | cookiemonstercooking.com

Guess what time it is? Little things time!

I’m hoping maybe you have the day off today and are in need of a little entertainment. Beagle style. Don’t worry, I don’t have all pictures of Emma for you. There are some other things too. My life doesn’t totally revolve around my dog.

Oh wait, it does.

{In case you are new and curious, you can refer to my first little things post to see why I started the series – it involves a story about me yelling at cars. It’s good stuff, I tell you.}

So let’s talk about the good stuff. And the stuff that I pretend is obnoxious (like turning 30), that really isn’t all that bad and that I just kinda like to complain about. In a non-serious sort of way.

The Little Things - August 2014 | cookiemonstercooking.com

So first up, my pretend 30th birthday! That was a surprise! My parents are super sweet and put together a little thing when we took a quick trip home to New Jersey early in the month. There were balloons and presents! Which included new potholders that I am so so pumped about. Is it weird that I get that excited over potholders?

The Little Things - August 2014 | cookiemonstercooking.com

There was also an ice cream cake from the local ice cream shop that is all sorts of amazing. And then we amused ourselves by holding up the dog behind the cake. Which we found incredibly hysterical. Like I said, my life revolves around my beagle.

The Little Things - August 2014 | cookiemonstercooking.com

Puppies!! Well, my cousin’s puppy that I got to meet. Can you say puppy fever? Want to try to help me convince my husband that we need another dog? A beagle, obviously.

The Little Things - August 2014 | cookiemonstercooking.com

The bestest friends in the whole wide world. Who surprised me with another 30th birthday party at one of our 15 million potlucks. There was another amazing cake, with peanut butter, chocolate and ganache. Enough said.

The Little Things - August 2014 | cookiemonstercooking.com

My first food blogging conference! In Asheville and at the Biltmore. More on this later but suffice it to say it was a great time. And gorgeous surroundings. I mean look at that one picture… I mean shut up, right?

The Little Things - August 2014 | cookiemonstercooking.com

A birthday trip with the husband (and beagle!) in Asheville right after the conference. Which involved a cute little cabin with a back porch with rocking chairs. More on this later too.

The Little Things - August 2014 | cookiemonstercooking.com

Just pure prettiness. I love me some summer heirloom tomatoes.

The Little Things - August 2014 | cookiemonstercooking.com

Draft day! And I made soft pretzel bites! So yeah, I’m playing in a fantasy football league this year and the most I know about football is what I learned from watching The League. Thankfully it’s all girls and I’m not alone in my lack of knowledge. But game on.

So tell me about your month! Share please!! And tell me your secrets about how to win at fantasy football, yes?

 

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Coconut Oil Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cookies http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/29/coconut-oil-dark-chocolate-zucchini-cookies/ http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/29/coconut-oil-dark-chocolate-zucchini-cookies/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 10:00:16 +0000 http://cookiemonstercooking.com/?p=4881 It’s Friday and I brought cookies to the party. With coconut oil! How many different ways do you think I can use coconut oil? Guesses? Let’s take bets. We’re all friends here and I’m pretty sure you already know how obsessed I am with this stuff. We also know that I easily get on kicks…

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Coconut Oil Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cookies | cookiemonstercooking.com

It’s Friday and I brought cookies to the party. With coconut oil!

How many different ways do you think I can use coconut oil? Guesses? Let’s take bets.

We’re all friends here and I’m pretty sure you already know how obsessed I am with this stuff. We also know that I easily get on kicks that can go strong for months. And I’m right in the thick of this one.

So clearly after I made biscuits with coconut oil, naturally the next step would be to use it for cookies. Naturally.

I also just really wanted some cookies.

Coconut Oil Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cookies | cookiemonstercooking.com

I also meant to share these with you a few weeks ago but I have a slightly obsessive / perfectionist personality and kept making these over and over. And over. Trying to decide which version I liked best.

So let’s discuss the version I landed on. They are so perfectly fudgy and slightly chewy and filled with lots of chocolate. And some shredded zucchini so that totally means you can eat more. Or at least that’s what I told myself. I am by no means calling these health food, but they do have coconut oil, zucchini and oats! So there’s that!

And now a few tips for when you are making these:

  1. Really really squeeze the zucchini dry. Throw it between some paper towels and squeeze it out over the sink. You don’t want soggy cookies from excess moisture. Got it? Good.
  2. Don’t open the refrigerator a bazillion times when chilling the dough. And don’t skip chilling the dough either. The cookies will spread more if you do this. And be flat little messes. Tasty messes, but really difficult to pick up and take a bite. I know from experience.
  3. If you want really thick and puffy cookies, add 1 additional tablespoon all-purpose flour and 1 additional tablespoon of the cocoa powder. There was a debate in our house over which version was better. My choice is written below in the recipe but well, this way is pretty darn good too.

Coconut Oil Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cookies | cookiemonstercooking.com

Now tell me about your weekend plans. Do you see cookies in your future? I think you just might.

Coconut Oil Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cookies

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: about 16 to 18 cookies

Coconut Oil Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cookies

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil, cooled to room temperature**
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup shredded zucchini, squeezed dry
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cooled coconut oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until blended. Add in the egg and vanilla. Beat again on medium until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the zucchini, chocolate chips and oats. Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for 35 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. When the dough is done chilling, scoop about 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of dough (I used my larger cookie scoop) and drop onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 to 3 inches apart. Sprinkle the tops lightly with some of the sea salt.
  5. Bake for about 9 to 10 minutes, until the cookies are set (they may not look completely done but will continue to cook when you take them out). Let the cookies cool directly on the baking sheet.

Notes

*I like to use a blend of natural and dutch-process cocoa in this recipe. This is what I use: Special Dark Cocoa Powder (<--- affiliate link!).

**Melt the coconut oil first then measure out the correct amount, otherwise you may use too much.

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/29/coconut-oil-dark-chocolate-zucchini-cookies/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

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Fresh Herb White Bean and Avocado Sandwich http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/27/fresh-herb-white-bean-avocado-sandwich/ http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/27/fresh-herb-white-bean-avocado-sandwich/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:00:15 +0000 http://cookiemonstercooking.com/?p=4872 Let’s talk about lunch, part two! And how well I am doing about making lunches. Like not leftover lunches but actually thought about it and made something specifically for lunch. Although if we’re being honest I was doing really well with this before I left for vacation. Since I returned my only thoughts have been…

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Fresh Herb White Bean and Avocado Sandwich | cookiemonstercooking.com

Let’s talk about lunch, part two!

And how well I am doing about making lunches. Like not leftover lunches but actually thought about it and made something specifically for lunch. Although if we’re being honest I was doing really well with this before I left for vacation. Since I returned my only thoughts have been holy-cow-how-do-I-have-this-many-emails-and-how-long-is-it-going-to-take-me-to-get-through-them!?

Don’t you wish there was a magical way to make all emails stop when you’re on vacation? That way you can come back and just kind of pick up where you were beforehand. No catching up.

Someone get on this. Please? Pretty please?

Fresh Herb White Bean and Avocado Sandwich | cookiemonstercooking.com

So in the midst of all my complaining about digging out of emails, I really should just stop and make these sandwiches again. We ate them for probably about two weeks straight while I was testing and tweaking them to share with you. And they seriously never got old.

And the best part? You can just make the white bean spread and honey mustard ahead of time so all you really need to do is assemble a sandwich when you are ready to shove one in your face. That’s my kind of lunch.

So let’s discuss the individual components here.

1. White bean spread – Creamy, dreamy, full of fresh herbs.
2. Honey mustard – With two kinds of mustard! And honey. Duh.
3. Sliced avocado – Do I really need to say anything?
4. Some other fun toppings – You can find the nitty gritty down in the recipe below.
5. Bread – go for the good stuff. And something fun … like this marbled loaf.

Have I convinced you to make these yet?

Fresh Herb White Bean and Avocado Sandwich | cookiemonstercooking.com

Sandwich ♥ right there.

Fresh Herb White Bean and Avocado Sandwich

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: white bean spread & mustard for 4 to 6 sandwiches

Fresh Herb White Bean and Avocado Sandwich

Ingredients

    For the white bean spread:
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • about 1 tablespoon of water, if needed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • salt / pepper, to taste
  • For the honey mustard:
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • For the sandwiches:
  • slices of your favorite bread, toasted
  • sliced fresh tomato
  • thinly sliced red onion
  • sliced avocado
  • alfalfa sprouts

Instructions

  1. To make the white bean spread - add the beans, olive oil and garlic to the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. If it won’t smooth out, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches a smooth consistency (I usually add 1 tablespoon). Add in the basil, chives and rosemary and pulse until combined. Taste and season with salt / pepper to your liking.
  2. To make the honey mustard - add both kinds of mustard and the honey to a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  3. To assemble - smear the desired amount of white bean spread on one piece of the bread. Top with some sliced tomato, red onion, avocado and sprouts. Spread a little of the honey mustard on the second piece of bread. Place on top and serve!
http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/27/fresh-herb-white-bean-avocado-sandwich/

Source:
Inspired by a sandwich from an adorable little local shop called Parker and Otis.

If you’re ever in Durham, go. And then you can also buy one of those fun little happy happy postcards I hung up in my foyer (along with their iced coffee). Really, you’ll want to buy a lot of things. And this isn’t sponsored. I just completely heart the place.

 

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Pesto Bean Salad with Almonds and Cranberries http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/26/pesto-bean-salad-almonds-cranberries/ http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/26/pesto-bean-salad-almonds-cranberries/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:00:47 +0000 http://cookiemonstercooking.com/?p=4861 And I’m back! Well back to the usual grind after a really awesome conference and a little vacation in Asheville, North Carolina for my birthday. More on Asheville at a later date but let’s just say that I’m in love. Complete and utter love. But. I’m also incredibly happy to be home. Particularly for my…

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Pesto Bean Salad with Almonds and Cranberries | cookiemonstercooking.com

And I’m back! Well back to the usual grind after a really awesome conference and a little vacation in Asheville, North Carolina for my birthday. More on Asheville at a later date but let’s just say that I’m in love. Complete and utter love.

But. I’m also incredibly happy to be home. Particularly for my bed. Because oh goodness gracious did I miss it. The only problem is that I don’t want to get out of it. Instead I just want to hibernate under my soft blankets and on my awesome mattress because after a few days on a lumpy uncomfortable one (although in a super adorable little cabin) … well, it’s just pure bliss. As well as lay on top of my two pillows (because sleeping on one is just no fun). Happiness. Pillow happiness.

And now it’s time to get back to the food, which is the most important matter at hand.

Pesto Bean Salad with Almonds and Cranberries | cookiemonstercooking.com

So with it being back to school time and all that jazz, I thought it would be fun to talk about a few lunch ideas. This coming from the lady without kids.

But, us adults need fun and new lunch ideas too. I’m more of a whatever leftovers I had from dinner last night become my lunch type person, but I decided I should try to think about lunch a tad bit more. Give it the attention it deserves.

And so I give you pesto bean salad with almonds and cranberries. A super super easy meal that you can throw together in 20 minutes or less. And then it’s ready to go for lunches all week! Lunch is served! Especially with lots of crunchy pita chips – my fave.

And the bean salad? It’s filled with three … count em’ three! … kinds of beans, a hint of red onion, some crunchy almonds and dried cranberries for little bursts of sweetness. And we’ll toss it all in a spinach-based pesto and then finish it with a sprinkle of fresh chives. Really you can use any kind of pesto that you like … my poor basil plants are dead so spinach it was. Who manages to kill basil?? This girl does. Sigh.

Pesto Bean Salad with Almonds and Cranberries | cookiemonstercooking.com

And now I am cutting myself off from typing. I feel like I have so much to say and share after being away for a week. But for now … three cheers for lunch!!

Pesto Bean Salad with Almonds and Cranberries

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 5 to 6 servings

Pesto Bean Salad with Almonds and Cranberries

Ingredients

    For the pesto:
  • 4 cups packed baby spinach leaves
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup raw slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ tablespoon honey  
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • For the salad:
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • ½ cup raw slivered almonds
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives

Instructions

  1. To make the pesto - add the spinach, basil, almonds, parmesan, honey, garlic and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add in the olive oil and process until smooth. Set aside.
  2. To make the salad - add the chickpeas, pinto beans, kidney beans, red onion, almonds and cranberries to a large bowl. Toss to combine. Add in some of the pesto and mix until combined. Taste and add additional pesto to your liking (I use about ¾ to all of the pesto). Sprinkle on the fresh chives. Taste and season with additional salt if needed.

Notes

I love to serve this with something crunchy - like pita chips!

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/26/pesto-bean-salad-almonds-cranberries/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

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Fresh Corn and Zucchini Pizza with Gouda http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/22/fresh-corn-zucchini-pizza-gouda/ http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/22/fresh-corn-zucchini-pizza-gouda/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:00:26 +0000 http://cookiemonstercooking.com/?p=4834 It’s Friday and we’re celebrating with a ridiculously good pizza. And you know what it includes? A sauce made out of fresh corn! Corn sauce!! That’s a weird term that I’m not sure how I feel about. But the sauce itself? It’s pretty awesome. I typically don’t discriminate against any kind of pizza but I…

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Fresh Corn and Zucchini Pizza with Gouda | cookiemonstercooking.com

It’s Friday and we’re celebrating with a ridiculously good pizza.

And you know what it includes? A sauce made out of fresh corn! Corn sauce!! That’s a weird term that I’m not sure how I feel about. But the sauce itself? It’s pretty awesome.

I typically don’t discriminate against any kind of pizza but I do prefer something that’s not just plain tomato sauce. I actually would take no sauce and just a light brushing of olive oil over regular, boring old sauce. Can you tell I have a thing against boring?

Fresh Corn and Zucchini Pizza with Gouda | cookiemonstercooking.com

So we’re really jazzing it up today with this. Fresh corn kernels are pureed in a food processor with just a hint of garlic, salt and pepper. And that my friends will be the base of this pizza goodness. I got the idea after making a pot of my summery corn chowder with squash and zucchini.

And after I decided I must put corn in everything until it winds down for the season. Must.

Fresh Corn and Zucchini Pizza with Gouda | cookiemonstercooking.com

So after you make the awesome corn saucy base, the rest of this pizza comes together really quickly. You’ll top it with some gouda cheese (or feel free to use a different kind – you really can’t go wrong here – it is cheese after all!), some more fresh corn kernels, a smidge of red onion and some shaved zucchini.

Combining into one blissfully good pizza. Dare I say my new favorite combination? That could just be the fresh corn talking.

But seriously. It’s good.

Now excuse me while I go look at the 6 ears of corn I still have in my fridge and tell them how much I love them. Kidding, kidding, I don’t really talk to corn.

Fresh Corn and Zucchini Pizza with Gouda | cookiemonstercooking.com

If you didn’t already have weekend foodie plans … you do now. Go get your corn sauce on. Stat.

Fresh Corn & Zucchini Pizza with Gouda

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 1 large pizza

Fresh Corn & Zucchini Pizza with Gouda

Ingredients

    For the sauce:
  • 1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • olive oil, if needed
  • For the pizza:
  • 1 ball pizza dough
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 cup freshly shredded gouda cheese
  • ½ cup fresh corn kernels
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 500ºF. Place a pizza stone in the oven and allow the stone to heat for at least 30 minutes.
  2. To make the sauce - add the corn kernels, garlic, salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. If it won’t get moving in the food processor, add about ½ to 1 teaspoon olive oil to get it going (I usually don’t need to add any). Set aside.
  3. To make the pizza - place the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface and allow the dough to relax for about 10 minutes (but no longer than 30). Roll out and shape the dough and then transfer to a piece of parchment the size of your pizza stone that has been lightly dusted with cornmeal.
  4. Cut off one end of the zucchini and then use a vegetable peeler to shave the zucchini into thin strips (using the non-cut end to hold it). You want about 1 heaping cup (any extra you can discard). Place the shaved zucchini between paper towels and press down to remove excess moisture. Add to a small bowl and toss with the 1 teaspoon olive oil. Set aside.
  5. Brush the edges of the pizza dough lightly with additional olive oil. Spread the corn “sauce” evenly on the dough. Top with the cheese, the ½ cup corn kernels, the red onion and finally the zucchini.
  6. Transfer to the oven (put the parchment paper with the pizza directly on the pizza stone). Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Slice and serve.

Notes

I use about 3 to 4 ears of corn for this recipe (depending on how big they are).

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/22/fresh-corn-zucchini-pizza-gouda/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

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Vegetarian Biscuits and Gravy http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/20/vegetarian-biscuits-gravy/ http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/20/vegetarian-biscuits-gravy/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:34:18 +0000 http://cookiemonstercooking.com/?p=4844 I’m so excited about today’s post! Because ooooo boy is it a good one! We’re talking classic, delicious biscuits and gravy … made vegetarian and lightened up a bit too. Without sacrificing any flavor. Now that’s a double whammy of goodness right there! Let’s first talk biscuits. Have I told you about my complete obsession…

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Vegetarian Biscuits and Gravy

I’m so excited about today’s post! Because ooooo boy is it a good one!

We’re talking classic, delicious biscuits and gravy … made vegetarian and lightened up a bit too. Without sacrificing any flavor. Now that’s a double whammy of goodness right there!

Let’s first talk biscuits. Have I told you about my complete obsession with coconut oil these days? I blow through jars like nobody’s business. So of course I had to go ahead and replace the butter in the biscuits with coconut oil. You guys – mind blown.

You’ll cut solid state coconut oil into the flour mixture just like you would butter. And then proceed like normal, stirring in some milk, forming a dough and cutting out rounds. They bake up into tender delicious biscuits, studded with fresh rosemary for some additional herby flavor. I didn’t even miss the butter – so that’s saying something right there.

Vegetarian Biscuits and Gravy

And now for the gravy. Replacing the traditional sausage is a mixture of onions, carrots and mushrooms, which all help bulk it up and add some oompf. We’ll also add in some more fresh rosemary and a little bit of vegan worcestershire to up the savoriness.

It will simmer for a few minutes, thicken up nicely … and then you’ll go ahead and spoon this creamy gravy right on over a biscuit.

I do believe that is one delicious special weekend breakfast. Especially with a good cup of coffee.

Vegetarian Biscuits and Gravy

My husband was a little skeptical of this meal at first – i.e. before he had tasted it. And once he did? He said the flavors were spot on to a normal biscuits and gravy and unless he was seriously thinking about it, he didn’t even notice a difference.

Winning at life.

So hop on over to Oh My Veggies, where I’m sharing the recipe! —> Vegetarian Biscuits and Gravy!

 

On an unrelated note – just a heads up that I’m taking a few days off (and will be away from my computer (which I am horribly attached to by the way)) to celebrate my birthday – the big 3-0. Eek! I have a recipe post scheduled for you on Friday but I appreciate your patience for responses to emails, comments, etc.! A girl turns 30 only once : )

 

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Individual Mediterranean Dips & A Summer Party! http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/18/individual-mediterranean-dips-summer-party/ http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/18/individual-mediterranean-dips-summer-party/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 10:00:29 +0000 http://cookiemonstercooking.com/?p=4803 This is a sponsored post in partnership with Pacific Foods. As always, all opinions and content are my own. It’s party time! And what a party this was. Remember when I told you about how our air conditioning broke right before we had friends over? Yup, that was this day. But see, no one looks…

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Individual Mediterranean Dips | cookiemonstercooking.com

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Pacific Foods. As always, all opinions and content are my own.

It’s party time! And what a party this was. Remember when I told you about how our air conditioning broke right before we had friends over? Yup, that was this day. But see, no one looks too sweaty or anything! It was alllll good (well, other than me just complaining about the heat).

I really did learn to roll with the punches for this summer party. We were planning on having the whole thing outside, setting up some cornhole, you know. Outdoor fun. And then it decided to rain all. day. long. For several days straight. Inside it was!

Summer Entertaining | cookiemonstercooking.com

Build-Your-Own Sandwich Bar | cookiemonstercooking.com

Keep It Casual and Simple

As much as I love elaborate dinners and the like, when it comes to summer entertaining I want simple. Plain and simple. I’m funny, huh?

I picked as many things as possible that could be made ahead of time or required little prep work. A few easy appetizers and a build-your-own sandwich bar. So fun, right? Think mostly picnic-y foods. You’re going to want to eat it all – so good!

Summer Entertaining | cookiemonstercooking.com

Easy Appetizers

All the prep work for these dishes could be done a day or a few hours in advance. All I had to do was heat up the cheesy delicious dip and party!

- Individual mediterranean dips (recipe at the bottom of this post!) served with plenty of pita chips. Sort of along the lines of a mexican seven layer dip but with mediterranean flavors instead! Including yummy Pacific Foods’ hummus and greek salad-esq veggies and feta!

- Pacific Foods’ salsa con queso dip with bread cubes and sliced apples. Cheesy goodness combined with a little sweetness from the apples to get that sweet and savory thing going on. A must. The bread doesn’t hurt either. This platter was completely demolished in no time.

Individual Mediterranean Dips | cookiemonstercooking.com

Summer Entertaining | cookiemonstercooking.com

Build-Your-Own Sandwich Bar

Below is what I served, but this is something you could easily switch up to your own preferences. I tried to pick a variety of options with plenty of combinations – you could go mexican with some tortillas, refried beans and salsa. Or classic, with some chicken and cheese. Or mediterranean with hummus, roasted veggies and mustard! Or you could really go crazy and be adventurous and make the sandwich your own.

Breads:

marbled rye
multigrain
flour tortillas

Proteins:

hummus, such as Pacific Foods’ organic hummus
refried beans, such as Pacific Foods’ organic refried black beans
sliced roasted chicken

Toppings:

roasted summer veggies (eggplant, squash, onion)
mango salsa
alfalfa sprouts
thinly sliced red onion
cheese slices

Condiments:

honey mustard
pepper jelly
plain greek yogurt

Side Dish:

strawberry quinoa balsamic salad

Build-Your-Own Sandwich Bar | cookiemonstercooking.com

Relax and Enjoy

I set up a few printed signs that clearly labeled all the food, put out a disposable tablecloth and everything was good to go. None of the food was anything that had to be attended to during the party, so I could just sit back and relax.

Emma also had a grand ol’ time.

1. Calming observing all the food set up on the table.
2. The agitated “why are you not giving me any of this” look.
3. Please? Don’t you see how cute I am!?

Summer Entertaining | cookiemonstercooking.com

Summer Entertaining | cookiemonstercooking.com

Parting Words of Wisdom?

My advice for summer parties – keep everything as simple and easy as possible.

That way you can enjoy the company. Even if that means sitting inside on a rainy day in a super warm house. It will still be plenty of fun, I promise.

Individual Mediterranean Dips

Yield: about 9 individual cups

Individual Mediterranean Dips

Ingredients

  • 2 small cucumbers, peeled and diced
  • 2 small green peppers, diced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • ½ cup minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 9 (9 ounce) plastic cups
  • 2 (12 ounce) packages Pacific Foods’ roasted red pepper hummus
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • pita chips, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, add the cucumber, pepper, tomatoes, red onion, olive oil, vinegar, salt, oregano and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.
  2. To assemble, in each plastic cup, spoon in some of the hummus and smooth into an even layer. Using a slotted spoon to remove any excess moisture, spoon some of the veggie mixture on top of the hummus. Top with a sprinkle of the feta. Repeat this process to fill the cup. Sprinkle the top with a touch of lemon zest.
  3. Place one pita chip in the cup for garnish if desired. Serve with additional chips.

Notes

You can make the veggie mixture ahead of time. Then all you have to do is assemble!

Olives would also be a great addition - I’m just not a fan!

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Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

Looking for more party ideas? You can check out the Pacific Foods Pinterest board all about foodie parties!

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Pacific Foods. As always, all opinions and content are my own. Thank you for reading and letting me share companies that I love. These partnerships help support this blog and allow me to continue to create new recipes and content to share with you!

 

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Corn Fritters with Tomato Avocado Salsa http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/15/corn-fritters-tomato-avocado-salsa/ http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/08/15/corn-fritters-tomato-avocado-salsa/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 10:00:05 +0000 http://cookiemonstercooking.com/?p=4796 Corn, corn and more corn! I can’t get enough. We’ve discussed this previously but I feel the need to tell you again. Because I love it so. And I have one more recipe for you next week with this delicious vegetable … and it involves pizza. Get pumped! But let’s first get excited for these…

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Corn Fritters with Tomato Avocado Salsa | cookiemonstercooking.com

Corn, corn and more corn! I can’t get enough. We’ve discussed this previously but I feel the need to tell you again. Because I love it so.

And I have one more recipe for you next week with this delicious vegetable … and it involves pizza. Get pumped! But let’s first get excited for these corn fritters with tomato avocado salsa. Because it would be a shame to just blow over these and move right along to the pizza. Even though we all love pizza.

So. Corn fritters. This meal has made an appearance at our table quite a number of times this summer. It’s easy, uses such great seasonal produce and well, obviously it’s delicious or I wouldn’t be sharing with you!

Corn Fritters with Tomato Avocado Salsa | cookiemonstercooking.com

The batter for the fritters is pretty simple, packed with fresh corn kernels and a bit of green onions to give it a little more savory flavor. And the salsa, while nothing extravagant, is just the right topping to compliment the corn base. Tomatoes, cucumber, creamy dreamy avocado. You just can’t go wrong.

And then guess what we’ll drizzle over the top? Are you surprised that I used balsamic glaze again? I didn’t think so. It’s just so pretty and adds the perfect finishing touch … both in looks and taste.

Make a batch this weekend and eat eat eat! Drizzle drizzle drizzle!

Corn Fritters with Tomato Avocado Salsa | cookiemonstercooking.com

Somebody needs to come take away my balsamic glaze. I think I have a slight problem.

Corn Fritters with Tomato Avocado Salsa

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: about 4 to 5 servings

Corn Fritters with Tomato Avocado Salsa

Ingredients

    For the fritters:
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears corn)
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • For the salsa:
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • balsamic glaze, for drizzling

Instructions

  1. To make the fritters - add the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper to a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add in the egg, milk, corn kernels and green onions and mix until combined and a nice and thick batter forms.
  2. Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When hot, scoop about ¼ cup of the batter (I use my muffin-sized dough scoop) and drop into the pan (dropping in as many scoops as will fit). Use a spatula to flatten the tops slightly. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy on the outside. Remove the fritters from the skillet and place on a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and remaining batter (I get about 9 patties in total and do half in each batch in the skillet).
  3. To make the salsa - in a medium bowl, add the tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, green onions, olive oil, salt and lemon juice. Toss to combine.
  4. Spoon some of the salsa over a corn fritter and drizzle lightly with balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.
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Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

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