Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Zen Found in a Cookie

Can zen be found in a cookie? After tasting these delightful Ginger-Cinnamon cookies from a recipe posted over at the Tao Bums, I say (with an enthusiastic YES!) zen can most definitely be found in a cookie. These delicious and very quick and easy to bake cookies, posted by Karen from guideforselfhealing.com, are free from both grains and refined sugar. For those of us who are attempting to maintain an anti-fungal diet, these cookies provide another snack food option, in addition to the raw almonds, walnuts, berries, green apples, and grapefruit. Sometimes finding that perfect moment of bliss is as simple as eating a cookie.

(recipe posted with permission from Karen)

4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp salt (I used a little less than 1/8 tsp.)
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups almond flour (I used 1 3/4 c. + 1/4 c. soy flour)
1/2 cup grated coconut (optional) (I did not use coconut)

Preheat oven to 300F.Place butter in mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients, stirring flour in last. Form dough into 1-inch diameter balls and place on a buttered cookie sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until done. Watch that they don't burn around the edges. You can adjust the spices to taste, or add others like nutmeg, cloves, etc.

(I also added extra nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon, to taste.)

Until we meet again,

Friday, October 5, 2007


Yes, yes, I realize that I haven't posted any new recipes in a very, very long time. And yes, I know I promised to do some new entries to coincide with my new healthier lifestyle, but...life happens (I've moved twice this year and have a new job, but I will eventually get back to the recipe posting soon). Despite my lack of blogosphere activity, I have managed to maintain the new healthier lifestyle, with only a couple of falling down and eating junk moments, which immediately resulted in an even more intense appreciation of healthier cooking, baking, and eating. Avoiding refined sugars, grains, inorganic and processed foods has simply changed my life--for the best! I'm much, much leaner and my overall health (physically and mentally) is better than it was ten years ago. I personally recommend that everyone strive for a healthier diet, sans refined sugars, chemicals, and mycotoxins.

With all of that said, my newest healthy foodie obsession: LARABARSLaraBars come in a multitude of yummy, tummy flavors with happy, colorful packaging and they are simply wonderful. These bars are made from pure, raw food and are truly delicious!!!

Lara's right, you will be humming happily while eating LaraBars!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Knowing the Causes...

Despite my prolonged absence from the blogosphere, my love for the kitchen has not ceased. However, since I last posted, my dietary lifestyle has been dramatically impacted by Doug Kaufmann. While Doug has been around for years preaching the gospel of good nutrition and warning society of the dangers of toxins in our food and drink, thanks to modern technology, I've recently rediscovered his teachings.
I've also found myself revisiting my former days of frequenting natural healthfoods stores and attempting to be more environmentally responsible on the whole. I'm attempting to live a simpler, greener personal existence. While I'm not going to pretend that I have completely transformed into a eco-activist, I am simply changing some wasteful habits, buying organic--foods, personal, and household--and making more of an effort to, 'reduce, reuse, and recycle.' This simpler lifestyle complements my attempts to live healthier without the toxins.
My apologies to former fans, but no more will I post recipes laden with refined sugars, chemicals, starches, and yeasts. The Suburban Apron Company is detoxing; future posts will be dedicated to non-toxic treats and healthier living.
Knowing the cause of so many ills, I will strive to remedy them, one meal and dietary supplement at a time. Thanks, Doug!

Until we meet again,

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Goodbye Girl

This will not be unexpected news to anyone, but unfortunately, I am finally going to bid my farewells to the blogosphere. I have become increasingly involved with volunteer work for my church and its academy. It has basically become a full-time endeavor, leaving me little time for blogging. I had hoped to be able to find a balance between the dual pursuits, but as I tend to do things in an all-or-nothing manner, this simply cannot be.
I apologize for this seeming careless abandonment of my blog, but this is what I must do. I have and willcontinue to truly miss you all.

Thoughts and prayers (with coffee),

Sunday, October 1, 2006

This is not goodbye...

Because my volunteer work has very nearly become a full time endeavor, and also because I will be out of town for part of November and all of December, I am suspending The Suburban Apron Company (at least temporarily). Sporadic entries and/or entries without 100% dedication are unfair to everyone involved, therefore, suspending this blog is the only fair and reasonable option to consider.

You've all been great and I hope to be back sooner, rather than later. Thanks for everything!

Until we meet again for coffee,

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Prayer and Farming in the Kitchen

Another week has passed without any particularly extraordinary or significant personal contribution to the various causes of the world. I realize that a certain patience is required; that I cannot individually change the present condition of humanity. Instead, I must do what I can, when I can. By starting small and starting local, I can offer personal aid and assistance, little by little, to those around me. And so, today's prayer is for serenity, courage, and wisdom:

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference." ~Reinhold Niebuhr

Still, in a place far, far away from Illinois, somewhere close to the equator, there is a small family-owned cocoa farm, where the harvest remains shade grown and its crop is used to make rich, delicious chocolate bars. Shade grown farms promote a harmonious balance within the sustainable forest environment, where plants and animals indigenous to this natural habitat remain supported and protected. Despite the trend toward mass production of cocoa beans in larger, open sun grown farms, there are some smaller farms that still practice shade grown cocoa harvesting. Endangered Species Chocolate concerns itself with organic, fair traded products, supporting global efforts to ensure environmental protection, enable sustainable natural habitats, and empower the farming populations of these habitats. And somewhere else far, far away, on another small self-sufficient farm, fair wages are being paid for a modest coffee bean harvest, because of the efforts of Seattle's Best Coffee.

Having chocolate and coffee, I decided to bake. To bake and offer help globally, in a very, very, very small way, by incorporating ingredients which support the labors of small, self-reliant family owned farms and promote fair wages paid, in places far, far away from Illinois. And so I baked a batch of mocha tartlets, using an Endangered Species Dark Chocolate Bar with Espresso Beans. This chocolate is especially rich and creamy, making the tartlets that much more delicious than ordinary baking chocolate. And instead of using the liqueur included in the recipe ingredients, I chose to use Seattle's Best Fair-Trade Certified Organic French Roast. Since the chocolate bar already contained espresso beans, this rich coffee was the perfect complement and worked beautifully for these tartlets.

More small steps...

(recipe courtesy www.epicurious.com)

For mocha custard:
2 large egg yolks
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup whole milk
2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon Tía Maria or other coffee liqueur
(I used brewed Seattle's Best Fair Trade Organic French Roast Coffee, instead of a liqueur)
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon instant-espresso powder
(omitted since chocolate bar was heavy with espresso beans)

For butter cookie dough:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Make custard: Beat together yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt in a bowl with an electric mixer until thick and pale, about 1 minute. Heat milk in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not boiling. Add one third of hot milk to yolk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour remainder of milk into yolk mixture, whisking, then transfer to saucepan. Simmer, whisking constantly, until very thick, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add chocolate, liqueur, butter, and espresso powder. Let stand until chocolate is melted, about 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Force custard through a fine sieve into a bowl. Cover surface of custard with wax paper and chill until cold, at least 4 hours.
Make tartlet shells while custard chills: Pulse together flour, sugar, salt, butter, egg, and vanilla in a food processor until dough is smooth and begins to form a ball (it will be soft, like cookie dough). Turn out dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and gather into a ball. Flatten dough into a disk and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours (overnight).
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Break off 1-teaspoon pieces of dough and press evenly into molds with floured fingers to form shells about 1/16 inch thick, pinching off excess from rim and making bottoms slightly thinner than sides. Arrange molds 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan and chill until dough is firm again, about 30 minutes.
Bake in middle of oven, rotating pan halfway through baking, until pale golden, 12 to 15 minutes total. Transfer molds to a rack to cool, then carefully remove shells from molds. Make more tartlet shells in same manner if desired.
Assemble tartlets: Fill pastry bag with custard and pipe decoratively into shells. Makes 24 tartlets.

Until we meet for coffee,