Garden Fresh

Summer's end is bittersweet to say the least.  I dearly love the fruits of the garden and its slow fade to brown in the colder months builds both sorrow and anticipation.

So while they last I will enjoy the beauty of garden edibles.

Bartlett Pear
Bartlett Pear

Cherokee Tomato


Peanut Butter Almond Cookies with Chocolate Chunks

Ever in the mood for making cookies but have no thawed butter and no mixer either?  Peanut butter cookies are the most delicious solution to this baking conundrum.  No butter, flour or mixers required.

This variation has a little almond paste which could be swapped for just peanut butter.

Also, these little guys are gluten free.


3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup almond paste (could use almond butter)
pinch salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl with a spatula or a wooden spoon until smooth.

2. Roll dough into uniform balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Smoosh with a fork.  Bake for 7-10 minutes at 325F (depending on size).  Cookies should still be soft to the touch.  Cool on baking sheet.

I formed mine into 10g pieces.



Sometimes, I take a photograph that I really like.  Usually of a single ingredient.  In this case: almonds.

Almonds are a star ingredient in many classic pastries.  Whole, toasted, sliced, chopped, ground into flour, and pastes, almonds are a veritable workhorse in the pastry kitchen.  Happily, almonds are a healthy snack that will fill you up and give you lasting energy.  

The Perks

1 ounce of almonds has about 6 grams of protein.  By comparison, milk has about 1 gram of protein per ounce.  Protein helps you build muscle, feel full and keep your energy up.  

Almonds contain high amounts of hard to get minerals like manganese, magnesium and iron.  For all the ladies trying to keep their bones healthy, look to almonds for iron and calcium.

Low in Sugar, High in Flavor
These beauties taste sweet without much natural sugar.  But steer clear of "honey-roasted" nuts that have oodles of added corn syrup and sugar.  Appreciate the natural flavor of a raw almond.


Immersion Blender 30 Second Mayonnaise

The handheld immersion blender is a kitchen tool that I most strongly recommend keeping around.  This power-tool of sorts emulsifies ingredients beautifully and easily, making dressings, milkshakes, ganache, and sauces easy as can be.

If you've ever made mayonnaise by hand you probably know 2 things.
1. it takes forever if you use a whisk
2. it tastes so much better than store bought mayo

The stick blender changes thing one without compromising taste.

Here's how it's done.

30 Second Mayonnaise


-1 egg
-3/4 cup oil (I use walnut)
-1/8 tsp sea salt
-pinch of ground black pepper
-1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
-1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1. Place all ingredients in a glass jar or bowl and immerse the immersion blender.  Blend until completely emulsified, about 30 seconds.

Easy, right?  Plus the stuff will keep at least a week in the fridge.


Crab Cake Bliss

Nothing gives you a better taste of the beach than homemade crab cakes.  When you make them at home they can be everything you dream of.  No filler, no over-mixed starchy batter, just melt-away crab goodness.

Anna's Crab Cakes


-3 large picked blue crabs (about 4 oz. blue crab meat)
-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
-1/8 tsp sea salt
-1/8 tsp ground black pepper
-1/4 tsp ground ginger
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1/8 tsp ground cumin
-1/2 tsp lime juice
-1 egg
-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
-1 T parsley, chopped
-1 oz whole wheat bread, torn in small pieces
-2 1/2 T whole milk

1. In a small bowl, mix together the milk and bread.  Let sit for about a minute.

2. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl , minus the crab meat.  Mix together well wit a fork.  Add crab meat and mix until coated.

3. Heat a medium sized pan over medium heat with 2 T olive oil and 1 T butter.  Using a spoon, dollop mixture into hot pan, piling high rather than spreading thin.  Crab cakes are easiest to handle at about 2 inches wide.

4. Turn with a metal spatula after 1-2 minutes and cook 1 more minute.


Beach Food

I'm back from a much needed beach break in North Carolina.  I haven't made any recipes lately, but here are some pictures of our beach food.

Here is delicious Mr. Flounder, caught in the shallow waters near a serene North Carolina barrier island.

Does it get any more beach than watermelon?

Feisty Blue Crab, this photo includes his only claw.  

Fish taco fixins and what remains of Feisty Blue Crab.