1 biscotti 2 biscotti

I love biscotti. There is something so unique about the idea. Is it a cookie? Is it really socially acceptable to eat these before 9am? Thank heavens the answer is yes. Not too sweet and iconically shaped, biscotti are ridiculous dipped in a cup of coffee and the variations are endless. I debated about dipping them in chocolate (okay, so the debate was very very short) and decided that as long as I was bringing them to church bright and early and sat them next to the eggs and sausage, I could stick them on ice cream and drizzle them with chocolate syrup and they’d count as breakfast. But seriously, they aren’t too sweet and the chocolate adds a touch of glamour and melts perfectly with a hot drink on a cold day. I did this recipe two ways—white chocolate cranberry pistachio and dark chocolate cherry almond. They are from the same basic recipe which allows the imagination to take over for future delectable combinations. Both turned out crisp but not too crumbly, perfect in my book (I got a lot of “did you really MAKE these??”). And it was a fun experience learning how to get that biscotti shape and crunch (warning: you do have to bake them several times so be patient, it’s not that bad).

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’tis tea time

A cookie by any other name would taste as sweet—or something like that, right? These cookies have so many names and boy did I hear them all when I had them at work and then requested the recipe, made them myself, and dragged them 5 hours and through 1 time zone for a very merry family Christmas celebration. Tea time or wedding time, whatever you choose, these cookies are good. I’ve seen a similar variation in a cashew nouget, which I hope to try very soon. This is a favorite cookie of mine, crumbly and nutty and delicious. Messy in the way only a cookie covered in powdered sugar can be. But don’t worry, the cookies themselves aren’t very sweet so the flavor comes together in a wonderful balance. Possibly a new addition to your Christmas cookie list? Thanks to Peggy for the recipe.

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chili with a twist

I was so pumped when I found another way to eat quinoa. It’s delicious and packed with so many good things (see my post ‘whoa quinoa’). And it adds a great texture to chili, making it wonderfully thick and hearty. There is nothing bad about this recipe—its got quinoa, lean ground beef, and an assortment of veggies. Use ground turkey if you like for an even healthier option. And my husband and I got a week’s worth of dinner out of this meal, a side of yummy honey cornbread. It is a filling and inexpensive meal, simple to make, and a great addition to your New Year’s resolution to eat awesome¬†healthier food.

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the most in your roast

I don’t know how I did it, but until recently I had never made pot roast. I have eaten it plenty, it’s always the dish of choice when we are invited over to eat at someone’s house and it’s always well loved for it’s ease and almost foolproof assembly. Whether you add a little or a lot, it will always be good. And boy is it the perfect meal for a chilly day. I love coming home after work to find that those slow cooker fairies have done it again—filled my home with a wonderful, savory smell and prepared a delicious meal that I’m sure I couldn’t have made on my own. This version is my own mix and match from several different recipes and friends. It packs a lot of flavor easily with a few packets from the condiment aisle—-it really makes a difference for bringing it up a notch from a traditional style. Throw it all together in the morning and by the end of a long work day you have yourself a wonderful, welcoming meal that is served best with a blanket and a good movie. This will stay on our favorites list for a long time, I just wish we had chillier weather to enjoy it with more frequently.

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honey lime, anytime!

Enchiladas are always good. But with most things, I almost always enjoy a white sauce version over red. So the classic enchilada you will not find here on my blog, but a few variations are quickly becoming favorites (see white chicken enchiladas—yum!). This is a sweet version that is a great twist with delicious chicken marinated in a sweet lime sauce. So cheesy and, as with most hispanic foods, gets better as leftovers which is great since this was almost a whole week worth of dinners for my hubby and me. Serve with some yellow rice and a dollop of sour cream. Sweet with a little kick.

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nobody better lay a finger on my butterfinger

The classic combo—salty and sweet—come together again. And how better than in cheesecake form! I have recently been enjoying trying out all the wonderful ways to put a twist on traditional cheesecake. Cream cheese is becoming a consistent stock item in our apartment—in icings and cheesecakes, on crackers and in casseroles. And we love neufch√Ętel cheese, as it tastes the same and has 1/3 the fat. And this recipe is no bake, no stress. Try it out and you’ll find out just how delicious this new twist on an old favorite really can be.

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