earl grey fig newtons

Not the easiest cookie to make, but certainly the most rewarding, and an excellent alternative to Christmas cutout cookies. I wrapped up bundles of 3 cookies in wax paper and string and gave them as little holiday gifts. The recipe is an amalgamation of this recipeSarah Britton’s beautiful fig newton interpretation, and a cookie recipe I’ve had “brewing” in my head for sometime (bad pun). The best part is that you can almost justify eating these any time of day!

{ Bon Appétiting, Katie }


Makes 16 cookies

1 cup dried figs, chopped

3 bags earl grey tea

orange zest

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons earl grey tea (reserved from figs)

1. To prepare the filling, bring two cups of water to a simmer, steeping the tea bags and figs for 10 minutes until the figs are softened.Drain the figs, reserving two TBS of the liquid.

2. In a small ball whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and the loose tea from one tea bag. In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugar together. Add the egg, vanilla, and reserved tea. wrap the dough and allow to cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

3. While the dough is in the fridge, put the figs in the food processor with zest of half an orange and puree until smooth. Add some flour if it is too thin.

3. Roll dough out on a floured surface into a 8”x14” rectangle about ¼” thick. Cut rectangle in half lengthwise. Spread fig paste onto half of each rectangle, lengthwise. Fold dough in half lengthwise to cover fig paste and pinch edges to seal. Cut each log in half and transfer onto a greased baking sheet.

4. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees until crust begins to brown. Slice into cookie-sized segments and cool.



I’ve been buying a lot of spaghetti squash at the farmer’s market as a healthy, gluten-free substitute for pasta in various dishes, like spaghetti Bolognese. One spaghetti squash provides a TON of “spaghetti”, so I decided to turn some of the leftovers into fritters by combining it with some grated zucchini. The fritters came out great (no pun intended…) and created a fun and filling lunch.

{ Lovin’ from the oven, Chelsea }

Makes about 12 two-inch fritters

3 cups cooked spaghetti squash (directions follow)

3 cups grated zucchini

1 tsp salt, plus extra to taste

3 tsp garlic, minced

¼ cup yellow onion, minced

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup almond flour

½ tsp baking powder

Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying


½ cup crème fraiche

Juice of half a lemon

1 small minced or crushed clove of garlic

Pinches of salt

Freshly ground pepper

Prepare spaghetti squash (directions below), preferably the day before.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Trim ends off zucchini and grate them on the large holes of a box grater. 

In a large bowl, toss spaghetti squash and zucchini with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and set aside for 10 minutes. While the squash and zucchini shreds are resting, sauté garlic and onion in an oiled pan for about 5 minutes or until cooked. Set aside.

Wring out the squash and zucchini in one of the following ways: pressing it against the holes of a colander with a wooden spoon to extract the water, squeezing out small handfuls at a time, or wrapping it up in a clean dishtowel or piece of cheese cloth and wringing away. (This is an important step because it will prevent the fritters from being too soggy!)

Return squash and zucchini shreds to bowl. Taste; add more salt if needed. Stir in cooked garlic and onions, egg and some freshly ground black pepper. In a tiny dish, stir together almond flour and baking powder, then stir the mixture into the zucchini batter.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet, only a few at a time, so they don’t become crowded and lightly nudge them flatter with the back of your spatula. Cook fritters over moderately high heat until the edges underneath are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. If you find this happening too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Flip the fritters and fry them on the other side until browned underneath again, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain briefly on paper towels then transfer to baking sheet and then into the warm oven until ready to serve. Repeat process with remaining batter, keeping the pan well-oiled.

For the topping, if using, stir together the crème fraiche, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and adjust the flavors to your taste. Dollop on each fritter before serving.

* Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

HOW TO COOK SPAGHETTI SQUASH: Cut squash in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Scoop out seeds and save for another use (I strongly recommend roasting them with some salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme!). Place squash halves cut side up on a heavy-bottomed roasting pan. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 375F for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a fork punctures the flesh of the squash easily. If the squash seems to be drying out while baking, brush with an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Remove squash from the oven and allow it to cool just enough so you can handle it, about 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape flesh from squash into wonderful, stringy “noodles” with a sturdy fork and place in a small serving bowl. If some of the strands clump or gather together, simply separate them using your hands.

Kale Cobb Salad with Beet Hummus* + Creamy Tahini Dressing

Cobb salad minus the bacon might sound offensive to some, but topped alternatively with a bright beet hummus and a creamy tahini dressing makes for a sophisticated twist on a classic. A simple kale salad topped with an assortment of ingredients is easy to do with a little preparation, and certainly worth the effort, plus you’ll make all the other kids at the office jealous come lunchtime. 

[ Bon Appétiting, Katie ]

Bright Beet Hummus, adapted from Food52

Serves 1

1 pound cooked beets (I roast mine), quartered

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon tahini

1/2  teaspoon ground cumin

1 garlic clove

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. To roast the beets, wrap in foil and bake at 400 F for up to an hour until tender. Allow them to cool before pureeing.

2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until relatively smooth.

Tahini Lemon Dressing

1 TBS tahini

1/2 lemon, squeezed

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp honey

black pepper

1. Whisk all ingredients together, add a little water if the dressing is too thick.

2. Toss finely chopped raw kale with the dressing, top with hummus, avocado, almonds, or whatever toppings suit you! 

Note: on how to boil an egg, see tahini egg salad

MORNING GLORY MUFFINS* [Paleo + Gluten-Free]

This is my ideal muffin: dense, sweet, and nutty. The sweet potato, carrot, and raw honey add a natural sweetness that combines perfectly with the cinnamon and hearty texture of the almond flour and chopped nuts. It’s wonderful that a muffin can be made from such clean ingredients AND taste so good. You won’t miss the regular flour or refined sugar one bit.

As a side note, I’ve found the world’s best “Miel de Montagne” (mountain honey) here in Gap, France. It’s sold by the cutest little French beekeeper at the bi-weekly farmers’ market. He goes on and on in French (even if he knows you only speak English), refuses to let you buy any of his products without trying a sample first, and won’t let you leave without a little honey candy – or two. It’s the greatest.

{ Lovin’ from the oven, Chelsea }

Makes 6 muffins

¾ cup almond flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

½ cup sweet potato, mashed

1/8 cup carrot, shredded

½ cup walnuts, chopped

½ cup shredded coconut

½ cup raisins

2 eggs

¼ cup raw honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350*F.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and blend well with a wooden spoon.

Coat muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray (or use paper liners) and divide batter among six cups.

Bake for 28-30 minutes or until muffins are cooked all the way through. Keep a close eye on the muffins towards the end of the cooking time and be careful not to over-bake them. (I prefer to take them out slightly under-baked, just as the tops are getting golden, to ensure that they’re not too dry.)

Allow to cool before serving.

*As seen on Carrots ‘N’ Cake

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