Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cookies, Cabbage, & Pears

It's been quite a busy time around here, between baking, lab work, and holiday events. I can't say I haven't indulged a bit too much, but at least I have been eating more than cookies ;) Speaking of cookies, I have a few more for you before we get to the main course.

A friend of mine recently had her gall bladder out, and to help her recovery amidst the holiday treats, I sent along some that she could enjoy. This meant no butter, chocolate or nuts to name the usual suspects. I found a few recipes to try including Gingersnaps, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, and Carrot Cake Cookies (these were her favorite of the bunch). Olive oil took the place of butter, and I used the white whole wheat flour already in my fridge.

(l to r) Gingersnaps, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, and Carrot Cake Cookies


In the midst of the sugar coma that's been the past few weeks, I've tried a few great recipes, and some others that won't be repeated. If you notice a common ingredient, it's because I got a little over-zealous when I saw cabbage for 50cents a head. I'd recommend not trying to buy the biggest head you can find, unless you're prepared to eat it every day for over a week ;)

I am a sucker for good salads with layers of flavor, and this Sugar-Crusted Fennel & Pear Salad was a certainly a winner. I have probably mentioned I don't like raw fennel before, but caramelize it and I just adore it! I used gorgonzola instead of fennel, and since I was eating it at work, dressed it with a Balsamic Vinaigrette already in the fridge. Delicious!

Sugar-Crusted Fennel & Pear Salad

It's snowy and blustery here, perfect for some soup! I've come to enjoy parsnips when their sweetness is brought out by roasting, or when paired with a fruit as in Ricki's Pear & Parsnip Soup. To accompany this soup, a ripe avocado came to the rescue in some Avocado Corn Muffins.



I tried out two cabbage salads-- a Cabbage, Pear & Pistachio Salad and Cabbage, Apple & Walnut Salad (not pictured, sorry!). In the former salad, I didn't have any salted pistachios, so I used pecans. In the latter recipe, I used greek yogurt instead of creme fraiche and gorgonzola instead of blue cheese. Both were tasty, and I was happy to mix it up :)

Cabbage, Pear & Pecan Salad


The last remarkable cabbage dish was this Kielbasa & Cabbage Skillet, made with a grainy dijon and turkey keilbasa. Although I grew up eating my kielbasa with ketchup, much to the chagrin of my grandfather, mustard is a more traditional pairing, and a combination I enjoy now :) I added more cabbage to the recipe, but I would easily double or triple the written out next time.

Kielbasa & Cabbage Skillet


I was also excited to (finally) try a couple of Molly's recipes on the heels of finishing A Homemade Life. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and was delighted by the recipe for Butternut Squash Soup with Pear, Cider & Vanilla Bean (not pictured, oops!). Another winner, which I've seen pop up various places is her Warm Butternut & Chickpea Salad w/Tahini Dressing. It combines two foods I can't get enough of- butternut squash and chickpeas, and made for a wonderful lunch! I'd recommend the book and these recipes :)


Butternut & Chickpea Salad w/Tahini Dressing

25 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Despite the busyness, you still have time to create delectable dishes - love it!!

Dawn said...

girl I have cabin fever! I am not ready for all this snow-crap! I was not able to leave my house today. I stayed home and ate! LOL
I do like those carrot cake cookies, will try those.
Did you get out today?

Erica said...

My goodness have you been busy in the kitchen! So sweet of you to make some treats for your friend. The carrot cake cookies sound fantastic! I love cabbage and the Cabbage, Pear & Pecan Salad sounds light and delicious! Hope you're keeping warm and out of all the snow!!

Lauren said...

So much great food! Love the sounds of it all =D.

Karine said...

Hahahaha I will listen to you on how no to buy the biggest cabbage I can find:)

I love the crusted fennel. I have started to cook with fennel since this fall and I am always looking on new ways to enjoy it :)

Elra said...

Beautiful and scrumptious meals Shannon. Merry christmas to you and yours.

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

Shannon
First thanks for the kind and lovely comments the past couple days...
Secondly..your food looks AMAZING! What I Wouldnt give for a carrot cake cookie! or a gingersnap cookie. Holy yummy in my tummy :)

Emily said...

I'm really excited about all the pear recipes because my family just got a huge box of pears from Harry & David, and I don't know what to do with them. Thanks for the great recipes!

Lauren said...

You're developing quite the repertoire... all of these dishes sound delicious!

♥peachkins♥ said...

WOW! these are healthy and delicious dishes!

sophia said...

You seriously take the BESt photos...and make the BESt dishes! OMG. Even those rustic, typically boring-looking drop cookies are elevated into food porn status!
I want that Kielbasa & Cabbage Skillet!!

ktbwood said...

WOW all of your eats are so fancy and delicious! i am lovin the looks of your salads!

Bridget said...

All those dishes look awesome!! Yum!! I want to try that salad!

Yes! I'd definitely be interested in a cookie swap :)

Ricki said...

So many amazing dishes! I can't believe how much you're able to cook up in a short time :) That squash/chickpea salad looks stellar, and I love the avo-corn muffin!

Maria said...

Love all of your creations!

5 Star Foodie said...

Wow, so many delicious dishes here! I love your salads, very creative!

Kelly said...

Wow...you've been busy! Those pictures looked amazing!! I am digging the keilbasa and cabbage idea...yum!

Adam said...

Wow, you've been up to a baking-fest for sure. Is that what happens when the snow covers up your door? J/k.

Gotta love anything with cabbage, it's what us Polish cats do best. Cabbage and noodles, cabbage and kielbasa, cabbage and potatoes, on and on.

And I'm glad you made the oatmeal cookies. I just went back and read what I wrote about a year ago. Do you ever do that? It's a real fun trip. I was like "wow, do I talk like that" :)

Lisa said...

Fennel and pears - what a great combination - the salad looks great!

Jess said...

I have baked and eaten so many cookies lately that I might have to take the month of January off.

Nicole Chow - HealthyChow.com said...

Shannon! You are so creative! I love how you adapted those recipes for your friend. They look amazing. I haven't had much cabbage lately, but I did have some brussels sprouts today (that counts, right?). Now, all I can think of is combining the rest of my brussels stash with kielbasa! Holy moly! Sorry I've been MIA lately :( I hope you have happy holidays. Have fun, my dear. See you on the 10th!

Esi said...

Wow, you've managed to create a quite a lot of yummy things while being so busy. I have been lazy lazy about cooking. Everything sounds wonderful.

Joanne said...

All of the food you made looks fantastic! Even I, someone who really is not a big fan of cabbage, think these dishes sound amazing.

Lab work is funny in that I feel like it comes in spurts. One week you'll have nothing to do and then the next you'll be in lab until 11 every night.

The carrot cake cookies sound fantastic!

Kerstin said...

Everything sounds so good! Especially the butternut squash and chickpea combo - yum!

Elina said...

Whoa, that's a whole lot of cooking, girl! I now want some avocado corn bread and cabbage, minus the kielbasa. I love cabbage (must be the Russian in me :) )

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