Recipe– Sesame Coconut Cookies

We have been working on a bunch of cooking projects lately––  writing, developing recipes, testing and editing.  This recipe is a new favorite:

Sesame Coconut Cookies 

16 cookies, Prep Time: 5 minutes, Total Time: 20 minutes

1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 cup coconut flakes, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoon tahini, dash salt

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, coconut, sesame seeds, baking powder and baking soda.  Mix in the oil, tahini, salt and 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water.  Combine thoroughly using your fingers.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Divide the cookie batter into 16 parts.  Wet your hands and roll each portion into a ball.  Place cookies on the parchment paper and gently flatten with the palm of your hand.
  3. Bake until cookies just start to turn golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  4. Enjoy warm or room temperature.sesamecookie

Sweet Potato and Apple Crumble at Big Bear Cafe

John is spending his days and nights cooking lunch and dinner over at Big Bear Cafe, delicious!  A couple days ago he asked for help coming up with a new dessert recipe using Path Valley Orange Heirloom Sweet Potatoes.

This is what we came up with–

Sweet Potato, Apple Crumble FILLING– 6 cups sweet potatoes sliced thin (about 1/8 inch) 6 cups apples sliced (about 1/4 inch) – we used a variety of just harvested heirloom apples from Reid's Orchard 1 cup brown sugarmix thoroughly and place in a baking dish (approximately 9" x 13") or individual ramekinsTOPPING- 1 1/2 c oatmeal 3/4 cup ground walnut 3/4 cup chopped walnuts 3/4 cup coconut flakes 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon soy or almond milk 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil 1 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh ginger 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 1/2 tablespoons honey 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar 3/4 teaspoon salt

mix thoroughly and top the apples and sweet potatoes

bake in 350 degree oven for 50 minutes, or until golden brown and sides are caramelized

Serve with creme fraiche and some slices of fresh apples

Coconut Black Walnut Crumble at Big Bear Cafe

Prompted by a Paleolithic dinner,  hosted at Big Bear Cafe,  John and I came up with a new fruit crumble topping recipe.  We both ended up liking it so much it made it onto our master recipe list and onto the Big Bear dinner menu for the time being.
This topping would pair well with most fruits I can think of but it is particularly delicious at the moment with the fruit John is using, Reid's Red Gooseberries and Path Valley's White Donut Peaches.
Coconut Black Walnut Crumble Topping
2 1/2 cups coconut flakes (larger than shredded sometimes called chips)
3/4 cup black walnuts (ours are from Path Valley but link is to a very good source)
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons coconut butter 
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Place the coconut flakes, black walnuts, maple syrup, coconut butter and salt in a mixer and process until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.
Crumble topping over berries or sliced fruit and cook until top is browned and fruit is softened

My Flowers and Food, Here and There...

Fun to look back at one of my favorite weddings of last year on a recent Snippet & Ink Post– Ritzy Bee coordinated, Kate Headley photos–














Today Kate Headley posted photos from a recent bread making class at 1508.

Earlier this week Washington Bride and Groom blog featured a fall wedding coordinated by Amber Karson Events and photographs by Alexandra Friendly.

Coconut Butter

Artisana Coconut Butter is a staple in our kitchen.  It is made from the pureed flesh of raw mature coconuts unlike coconut oil which is the pure oil extracted from the coconut meat.  The butter is an essential ingredient in our non-dairy ice creams, we used a little in a savory curry, whisking it in a sauce the way one would traditionally use butter.  I also use it in Macaroons... Coconut Macaroons

6 cups tightly packed coconut flakes 3 cups almond flour or other nut flour such as pistachio, macadamia nut, walnut 1 3/4 cup maple syrup 2/3 cup coconut butter 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon sea salt
Thoroughly combine all ingredients, shape into small balls about 3/4 inches in diameter.  Place in a 100-120 degree oven and cook until crisp on the outside and soft in the middle, about 6-8 hours.

Holiday Cooking Class, Bread Sticks

Someone from last weeks cooking class organized a group for a cooking class yesterday which included both adults and off from school kids...  We are having fun with these classes and are open to doing more of them in the future. We baked bread, made spreads and then enjoyed eating our labors... Special requests included bread sticks and chocolate bread.  Below is a bread stick recipe, we made them a little too thick yesterday I think the key is to roll them as thin as a pencil.

Rosemary Bread Sticks

2 teaspoons fresh compressed yeast

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup whole wheat flour (substituting this for 00 flour would result in a lighter breadstick but I like the whole wheat for both taste and nutrition reasons)

1 cup all purpose unbleached flour

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary, could substitute other herbs, seeds, minced garlic...

In a medium sized bowl combine the yeast, water and oil.  Mix in the flours, salt and rosemary and knead until dough is very smooth.

Prepare a baking pan by spraying with oil and sprinkling with cornmeal.  Roll out long thin bread sticks and cook in a 375 degree oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Eat hot or very crispy at room temperature.

Take Home Gift– chocolate, fig and walnut bread

I have always been a fan of both giving and receiving goodie bags.  When we do Home Restaurants we send guests home with something in hand, often warm bread just out of the oven– eaten by some on the way home from dinner and others for breakfast the following morning. My favorite take home gift of the moment is chocolate, dried fig and walnut bread.  The bonus is that we always make an extra loaf or two so we can enjoy it for breakfast the morning after we cook.

Carrot Muffins

Martin-Lane's favorite breakfast of the moment is a carrot muffin.  We make the dough in advance and bake the muffins while she is getting dressed in the morning. 1/2 cup pureed silken tofu, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons olive oil,  1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup coarse wheat bran, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 3 cups shredded carrot, 3/4 cup walnuts

Mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Cook in a 350 degree oven until a knife inserted in the middle tests clean, about 20 minutes.  Good hot or room temperature.   Makes 12 muffins, the rough nutritional analysis below is for an individual muffin.

Today's Bread Class















bread making photo by Erik Johnson from a sunny, it was dark and rainy– perfect bread making weather!

An enthusiastic group came to 1508 this morning for a bread class–  it was fun.

We all kneaded bread, talked about gluten, different types of flours and grains, how to comfortably fit bread making into everyday life...and we made a whole lot of bread.

The recipes–

48 Hour Farm Bread

1 tablespoon fresh compressed yeast

1 ½ cup water at room temperature

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 cups all purpose unbleached flour

2 teaspoon salt

1.Combine yeast and water in a large bowl.

2.Add additional ingredients and mix until incorporated.

3.Cover with plastic and let sit in a warm spot for 48 hours.

4.Lay a dish towel out on a flat surface and dust generously with flour.

5.Dump dough onto the towel and make into 10 inch square.

6.Fold square into thirds, dust top with flour, cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

7.Fold in thirds using short end.

8.Brush off excess flour and gently stretch top layer over the seams visible on 2 sides of the dough.

9.Cover ½ of a clean dish towel generously with flour and top with several tablespoons of wheat bran.

10.Place bread on part of towel covered with flour and sprinkle top with more flour and bran.

11.Cover with the remaining half of the towel and let rise for 2 hours.

12.After 1 hour of rising place a 2 quart casserole (I use a Le Cruset, enamel covered cast iron pan) with a cover in a 500 degree oven.

13.After an hour remove cover, place dough in the casserole and cover and bake for 30 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.

14.Remove bread from the casserole and let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Cracked Wheat Bread

*¼ cup cracked wheat, soaked for 24 hours in 1 cup water

1 ½ cups warm water

3 tablespoons fresh compressed yeast

¼ cup good quality olive oil

¼ cup molasses, maple syrup, honey or sorgum syrup

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup flax seeds roughly chopped

¼ cup chopped walnuts

4 cups plus stone ground whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon salt

1.In a large bowl combine yeast and water.

2.Add oil, molasses (or other), sunflower seeds, cracked wheat, 2 cups flour and salt.

3.Mix until thoroughly combined.

4.Add remaining flour and knead until smooth, add a little more flour if sticky.

5.Lightly coat a clean bowl with olive oil, place dough in bowl and cover with a damp cloth.

6.Let dough sit in a warm spot until doubled, about 40 minutes.

7.Divide into two, shape into loaves and place in oiled loaf pan.

8.Put in a warm place, cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

9.Bake in a 375 degree oven until top is browned and loaves sound hollow when tapped, about 30 minutes.


1 ½ tablespoon fresh compressed yeast

1 ½ cup stone ground whole wheat flour

1 ½ cup all purpose unbleached flour

2 heaping teaspoons of salt

about 2 tablesoons olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano, rosemary or thyme

¼ cup roughly chopped olives (optional)

1 teaspoon medium coarse sea salt

1.Combine 1 ½ cups of water and the yeast, mix until smooth.

2.Add the flour and salt.

3.Knead this dough until thoroughly combined and then an additional 2 minutes.

4.Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

5.Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 30 minutes.

6.Take a large baking tray, and lightly cover it in olive oil. Spread the dough on the tray, and create little indents with your fingers for the oil to soak in.

7.Coat top with a thin layer of oil and top with oregano, sea salt, and olives (if using).

8.Cook for 8-10 minutes in the oven.

9.Cut as soon as you take the focaccia out of the oven.

Pizza Dough

1 cup all purpose unbleached flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cup 00 flour

2 tablespoons fresh compressed yeast

1 ½ cup lukewarm water

2 slightly heaping teaspoon of salt

1.Mix the flour and salt.

2.Dissolve yeast in the water and add to the flour mixture.

3.Knead this dough by hand until thoroughly incorporated and then continue kneading for 2-3 more minutes.

4.Cover with plastic and leave to sit at least 45 minutes or up to 24 hours.

5.Pat out dough by hand to desired thickness and cook in pizza oven or conventional oven at 450 on a stone.

No Recipe Bread (this is a rough recipe, start with this experiment and make it your own)

3 cups water

2 tablespoons fresh compressed yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons finely ground sea salt

4 cups spelt flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

3 1/2 cups organic all purpose unbleached flour (exact amount determined when making)

Olive oil or olive oil spray for pan

1.In a large bowl combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt . Mix until smooth. Gradually add flour, about 2 cups at a time, switching back and forth between the spelt, whole wheat and the all purpose unbleached. Knead in flour after each addition.

2.When the dough can stick together as a ball take the dough out of the bowl and place on a clean surface. Knead the dough adding more flower until it stops sticking to your hands. Knead dough vigorously for about 2 minutes.

3.Place bread in a clean bowl and let rise at room temperature or place in refrigerator to use later.

4.When ready to bake you can bake in a loaf, in a boule shape, as a a 375 degree oven until the bread sounds hollow when tapped.

5.Possible additions are wheatberries, rosemary, nuts, seeds, olives...

Pili Nuts?

Until very recently I had never heard of pili nuts...found them online at One Lucky Duck.  They are very rich and kind of buttery tasting– great for eating on their own, baking with or making into a smooth sauce.  I learned they are native of the Phillipines and grow in volcanic soil. They are healthy like most nuts but in addition contain a large amount of magnesium and Vitamin E as well as omegas and all essential amino acids.

Making Energy Bars

What to eat on the run, on a plane– what to send with your child as a school snack or to eat after school before an after school activity that burns lots of calories?

Power bars or energy bars are perfect, not too filling but filled with calories, easy to eat on the run, non perishable...Unfortunately many are filled with sugar and have a really long list of ingredients.  In addition I am not comfortable having a pre packaged food be a part of my daily diet.  As a result I started playing around with a recipe of my own.

Once I came up with a recipe that everyone liked I decided to analyze it nutritionally, it looked good when I compared it to other options you can purchase.  I asked Janis Jibrin the nutritionist that I work closely with on Bob Greene's Best Life Diet to take a look at the ingredients and the analysis.  She enthusiastically approved!

Every Day Energy Bars

Makes 26 bars

5 cup oatmeal

½ cup grapeseed oil

½ cup almond milk

1 cup peanut butter

¼ cup ground flax seeds

¼ cup sesame seeds

¾ cup chopped bittersweet chocolate

¼ cup maple syrup

½ teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a stand up mixer add all of the ingredients and mix everything is thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes.

3. Measure out 1/4 cup servings, you could bake them in cupcake molds, I baked them in silicone baking molds that accommodated 1/4 cup servings.

4. Bake for 15 minutes.  After cooling completely I wrap the bars individually in a small piece of parchment paper covered with tin foil.  I store these in the freezer and for me the recipe yields nearly a months supply.

Nutrition Information for One Bar–

calories: 205

protein: 6 g

carbohydrate: 18 g

fiber: 3 g

sugar: 3 g

total fat: 13 g

saturated fat: 2.6 g

monosaturated fat: 3.7 g

polysaturated fat: 5.4 g

cholesterol: 0 mg

calcium: 26 mg

potassium: 182 mg

sodium: 70 mg