Marinated Cauliflower Salad

Marinated Cauliflower Salad.

Looking for a unique healthy, yummy, fresh, light summer salad?

Especially after all those cookies recipes last week! 

This one was a crowd pleaser with my family at the function I recently made it for.  It’s a great different way to serve cauliflower, which we eat at least once a week in our house.

Hope you will give it a try and let me know.  Here is how I made it.

Marinated Cauliflower Salad*

Ingredients:

Marinade

  • 6 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. olive oil

Salad

  • 4-5 cups bite-sized cauliflower florets (approx. 2 small heads cauliflower)
  • 2 cups diced red bell pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Whisk marinade ingredients together in a small bowl.  Add to cauliflower in a large glass or plastic bowl and marinade in refrigerator for 4-8 hours or overnight.

Stir bell pepper and parsley into marinated cauliflower when ready to serve.  Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with shaved Parmesan.  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Original recipe from Vegetarian Times powered by Clean Eating

Classic Oatmeal Scotchie Cookies

Classic Oatmeal Scotchie Cookies.

Cookie week continues!

I have been making these classic oldie-but-goodie cookies quite a bit lately and realized I have never shared the recipe here.  Not that you couldn’t likely find it elsewhere or directly on the Quaker Oats website, but I wanted to document it here as one of the classics I make and also highly recommend it to those who may have never heard of or haven’t thought about in a while.

They might seem a bit ordinary after the past two recipes this week (Toffee Coffee Oatmeal Cookies and Macadamia Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies), but I promise they are (still) an amazing cookie!

These are one of hubby’s faves.  A chewy oatmeal cookie bursting with bits of butterscotch yumminess.

Do you have a classic cookie recipe that takes you back to a place and time?  Takes you back to a great childhood feeling?  To me, these are that kind of “feel good” cookie.  They are simple, but delicious, and a sure crowd pleaser!

Hope you will give them a try…. or a try again!

Here is how I make them.

Classic Oatmeal Scotchies*

  • Servings: 3 dozen large cookies
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Pound (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 Cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-1/4 Cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 Cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1 package (11 oz.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Butterscotch Chips

Directions:

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add baking soda, salt and flour; mix well. Add oats and butterscotch morsels; mix well. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto baking stone or ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely.

These cookies freeze well. I simply store in the freezer in Ziploc Freezer Bags.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Macadamia Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Macadamia Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Can you EVEN????

OH is this a GOOOOOD one!!!!

Toasted coconut, salty crunchy macadamia nuts, and semi-sweet gooey bits of chocolate in one cookie!

This one is rich, so when you are really in the mood, a bite into this cookie is going to be an experience you will not soon forget!

Here is how I made them.

Macadamia Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies*

  • Servings: 5 doz large cookies
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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 Tbsp. milk
  • 4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups shredded coconut (toasted**)
  • 1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Directions:

Beat melted butter and sugars with electric mixer until creamy, then add eggs and egg yolks and beat until well combined.  Add milk and vanilla and beat until well combined.  Then add salt, baking soda and flour mixing just until incorporated.  Remove bowl from electric mixer stand and stir in chocolate, then toasted coconut, and macadamia nuts with a wooden spoon until evenly distributed through the dough.

Place cookie dough in refrigerator for several hours or overnight to chill completely.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Scoop dough out and roll into golf-ball sized balls.  Place on cookie sheet or baking stone and bake for 10 minutes.  Rotate baking stone/cookie sheet and bake for 2 more minutes.  Let cool 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.  These freeze beautifully.

**To toast coconut, spread the coconut flakes out on a sheet pan or stoneware bar pan in a thin layer. Bake at 375 degrees F. Check the coconut every 5 minutes and stir until the coconut is your desired color. It takes about 10-15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Recipe adapted from Mrs. Fields

Toffee Coffee Oatmeal Cookies

Toffee Coffee Oatmeal Cookies.

It’s been a little while since I posted a cookie recipe here at The Creative Life in Between. 

I tried to focus on watercolor painting for most of July in honor of #WorldWatercolorMonth – being an Ambassador and all.   < curtsy bows 😉 >

But those that know me well know that I almost always have some kind of fresh baked cookies in the house – for “just in case!

In fact…. I’m kinda known  – – in some very small, insignificant circles – –  for my creative culinary cookie craftiness.

This and my fluent grasp of the Ubby Dubby language are the talents I always say I would use if I were in the Miss America Pageant – HA!!!!

Well – I’ve been saving up and have a couple really good recipes to share!  So this week is going to be cookie recipe week.

I made this cookie recipe for a recent party at my house, and they were a huge hit!

This cookie is a wonderful chewy, but crisp on the edges dream of milk chocolate, toffee, oatmeal, and a hint of coffee for good measure!  O….  M….  G….  !!!

Get ready for a new addiction!  This is one I have trouble passing up and is dangerous to keep in my house!  Bake them if you dare!

Toffee Coffee Oatmeal Cookies*

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee (cooled)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups Quaker oatmeal (either quick or old-fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 8-oz. packages milk chocolate toffee bits
  • 1 cup coarsely crumbled sugar ice cream cones (about 5 cones)

Directions:

In large bowl with electric mixer, beat sugar and butter until creamy.  Add egg; beat well.  Beat in coffee and vanilla.  Add salt, baking soda, and flour until combined.  Remove from electric mixer and stir in 3 cups oatmeal with wooden spoon.  Stir in toffee bits and crumbled sugar cones just until well incorporated.  Refrigerate dough for several hours or overnight to chill.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Roll tablespoons full of dough into round balls (golf ball sized) and place on baking stone or parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake 12-14 minutes just until golden brown.  Allow to cool on baking stone for additional 5-10 minutes.  Transfer to cooling wire racks to cool completely.  Freeze well.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*slightly adapted straight from the Quaker Oats recipe!

Cauliflower Crust Spinach & Feta White Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Spinach & Feta White Pizza.

I love pizza!

But I’ve been trying to avoid it in an attempt to lose some weight.

I also adore cauliflower, so I finally jumped on the cauliflower crust bandwagon, and O M Geee!  It is awesome!

Have you tried yet?

I did some reading on it before trying and found an important tip that causes many people to be unsuccessful and create a soggy crust…   It is super important to squeeze the water out of the cauliflower rice.  I got almost a whole cup of water out of my large head of cauliflower rice, and the crust turned out so nice and so delish!

I made this last weekend when the family came over for Father’s Day brunch.  It is quite healthy and low fat/calorie.  I used fat-free mozzarella cheese, fresh sauteed spinach and crumbled feta for my toppings.  YUM!

Here is how I made it.  Would love to hear your thoughts if you try it and/or your tips if you’ve made it other ways.

I loved it hot and also loved it cold the next day for lunch at work.  (Though I am one of those crazy peeps who loves everything cold as well!)

Cauliflower Crust Spinach & Feta White Pizza

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Topping:

  • 1 lb fresh baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
  • 6 oz. feta cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut cauliflower into florets and “rice” in food processor in batches.  Place in microwave-safe glass bowl with lid and cook for 8 minutes on high.  Allow to cool slightly and place cooked riced cauliflower in 3-4 even batches at a time in a dry tea-towel.  Roll up and squeeze water out of the riced cauliflower.  Squeeze hard and get as much out as you can.  This is an important step in creating a crust that will not be soggy.  You may get up to a total of a cup of liquid out.

Add eggs, cheese and seasonings to cauliflower and blend well using your hands.  Place on a parchment-lined baking stone, and pat into a crust.  Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.

While crust is baking, saute minced garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil until soft and fragrant.  Add fresh baby spinach and cook until just wilted.  It only takes a minute or two.  Remove from heat and set aside..

When crust comes out of the oven, top it with the shredded mozzarella followed by sauteed spinach and then topped evenly with crumbled feta and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Place back in oven for about 10 more minutes.  Tastes wonderful hot (and cold!)

You can also add other favorite toppings like sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, grilled chicken – the possibilities are as endless as your personal palate!  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Iced Orange Cookies

Iced Orange Cookies.

Summer baking calls for bright, citrusy flavors; and ever since painting my lemons last week, I have had citrus on the brain!

I found a great old-fashioned cookie recipe for these cakey iced orange cookies from Taste of Home.   I had just bought a bag of clementines, so I knew they would work great for this.

I gave some to my Dad for Father’s Day and served some to our kiddos at our Father’s Day brunch for Hubby.

Be sure to use freshly squeezed orange juice and zest for the best flavor.  These cookies freeze well and taste amazing right out of the freezer on a hot summer day!

Iced Orange Cookies

  • Servings: 2 1/2 dozen
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Butter Crisco shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp freshly-grated orange zest
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Icing
    • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
    • 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
    • 2 Tbsp butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In an electric mixer, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in orange juice and zest.  Add baking powder, salt and then flour to creamed mixture until well combined.

Drop by tablespoon or cookie scoop onto baking stone or ungreased cookie sheet about two inches apart.   Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until edges just begin to brown.  Cool on wire racks.

In a small bowl, combine icing ingredients until smooth.  Drizzle generously over cooled cookies.

TIP:  I refrigerated the cookie dough for a couple hours making it easier to work with and hold its shape.  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Lemon Love

Lemon Love.

When life gives you lemons,
paint them!

I don’t know why lemons get such a bad wrap.
(you know – the old, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”)

I guess because they are sour,
but there is so much to LOVE about them!

This year, they are all the rage in summer decor.
I even bought a few faux lemon trees to decorate with.

And then there are ALL the wonderful
things you can bake and make with them!

Give me Lemon Crinkle Cookies
or Fresh Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Cake.

Give me Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Cake
or Lemon Lavender Loaf.

I’ll take Lemon Butter Scallops
or Pan Seared Lemon and Garlic Mahi Mahi.

Give me Lemon Butter Chicken
or Lemon Garlic Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin.

I’ll take it with a crisp, lemony Chardonnay
or Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy!

But for today,
I’ll just paint lemons!

Bright, summery,
happy, sunshiny lemons!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS.  Don’t they look fun on these pillows?

And these bar stools?

And make cute cards?  🙂

(click on the photos for information on how to purchase any of these and many other fun, lemony items in our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY and Society6 shop!)

Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Black Bean & Corn Salsa.

One of my favorite new healthy snacks is black bean and corn salsa.

It makes a wonderful “scoop” with tortilla chips.

It is also great all by itself as a salad or piled on top of a grilled chicken breast or fish.

It is light, healthy, crunchy, tangy, low-calorie, high-fiber, and absolutely DELISH too!

Here is how I make it, but you can surely tweak to your liking.  It would be great with a bit of fresh cilantro, which I didn’t have on hand when I made this batch on Sunday.  You could also switch it up with any other kind of bean you like or other veggies like cherry tomatoes or cucumbers.

Black Bean & Corn Salsa

  • Servings: approx. 3 cups
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Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or canned corn*
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar to taste (approx. 2 Tbsp)

Directions:

Combine all  vegetables in a bowl.  Stir to combine.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle with Balsamic vinegar to taste.

Serve as a salsa for tortilla chips, as a salad, or as a topping for grilled chicken or fish.

Store well in airtight refrigerator container for several days.

*TIP:  When we buy fresh corn on the cob in the summer, we always buy a full dozen, though we never eat all of that for the two of us.  We cut the leftover off the cob, throw it in a Ziploc freezer bag, and toss it in the freezer for the winter months or times when fresh corn is not available.  It is so much better than canned corn.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Fluff Thumbprint Cookies

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Fluff Thumbprint Cookies.

These cookies!
Ooooooh these cookies!

Imagine…. a peanut butter crinkle cookie loaded with a scoopful of sweet, heavenly, gooey, magical Marshmallow Fluff so that you taste it in every peanut-buttery bite.

When I saw these cookies featured on Cara Wong’s Instagram feed, I knew I had to make them.

Cara is a sweet lady who lives in McKinney, Texas with her comical, coffee-loving husband and best friend Joseph.  She loves to cook and bake almost as much as she loves her MeeMaw and Joseph.

I’ve become addicted to watching Cara’s daily adventures in search of the best coffee, burgers and meatloaf in town and daily experiments in baking and cooking.   The milkshake-sipping and singing visits with MeeMaw, Cara’s beloved grandma who played such an important role in raising Cara (much like my own Grandma) just warm my heart.  MeeMaw now lives in a memory care facility where Cara visits her regularly brightening both of their days almost as much as they do mine when they sing You are My Sunshine or Amazing Grace.

But I digress.

Back to these cookies…  these glorious nuggets of amazing deliciousness….

These may be my new personal favorite ever.

They are just such a unique combination that I cannot imagine anyone not liking.

Cara took MeeMaw’s old-fashioned peanut butter crinkle recipe and decided to try marshmallow filling.  She used Smuckers Marshmallow Topping (which I had never heard of).  I used a jar of Marshmallow Fluff, which I just happened to have on hand (who knows why?), and they turned out absolutely amazing!

Here is the recipe, shared by Cara, which I adjusted only by subbing Marshmallow Fluff for the Marshmallow topping.  I urge you to try these, and I can’t wait to hear what you think.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Fluff Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup additional granulated sugar for rolling balls in
  • 1 7.5 oz.  jar Marshmallow Fluff

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars until light and fluffy.  Scrape bowl.  Add egg and vanilla extract, baking soda and salt.  Mix until well combined.  Add flour, and stir until well combined.

Roll dough into 1″ balls.  Roll balls in granulated sugar to coat.  Place on baking stone or ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake for approximately 9 minutes, until just beginning to brown.  Remove from oven, and use your thumb or a utensil to indent a “crater” for filling.  Allow to cool.

Heat up Marshmallow Fluff 10 seconds at a time just until you can stir.  No more than 20-30 seconds total.  Fill centers with Marshmallow Fluff.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Brussels Slaw

Brussels Slaw.

Who is a Brussels Sprouts fan?

Yes?  No?  Not sure?  Maybe not?

I was chatting with a friend at work last week that said she doesn’t like Brussels Sprouts, but said she wondered how they would be raw in a coleslaw like salad.  She commented that she likes cabbage in coleslaw, but not cooked cabbage.

It got me thinking…..  I am a Brussels sprout fan…. adore them roasted….  but I, too, wondered how they would be shredded and served raw in a slaw-type salad.

Then the universe poked me with a nudge, when I saw bags of  Shaved Brussels at my local Whole Foods Market!  

I bought a bag for me and a bag for my friend.

Trying to eat healthier these days, I decided on a vinaigrette slaw.  My friend made a creamy version using Marzetti slaw dressing, and she and her family loved it.


Here is the recipe for how I made mine.  Hope you will give it a try!

Brussels Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 1 12oz bag Shaved Brussels Sprouts (or you can slice/shave your own)
  • 1/4 cup finely minced onion
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Sugar (or sweetener)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all together and let marinade in refrigerator for at least a half hour before serving.

You can change it up by adding sliced almonds or chopped apples or anything else you like.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi