rose meringue swirl cookies

This past week I attempted to make jam swirled meringue but something went wrong and I ended up with sticky meringue cookies.

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It might be something to do with the humidity level in the kitchen, that same day my oven was turned on for 2 hours before I baked the cookies.  Anyhow,  next day, I skipped the jam and just made simple meringue cookies, because my little boys were really looking forward to the “pink cookies”.

I find meringue to be on very sweet side, so I bake them once in a blue moon.  My husband totally loved these, he couldn’t stop eating them.   He takes 2-4 tsp of sugar in his tea, so that totally makes sense.    Maybe all that sugar is what makes him overly sweet?  He-he.

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The recipe is so simple, I wasnt even sure I should share it, but I’m sure you guys don’t mind, eh?

You will need:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • few drops of red gel color

Preheat oven to 200 F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.  On high-speed, add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Add vanilla and color.  Keep beating until glossy stiff peaks form.   Rub a little of the meringue between your thumb and index finger.  If it feels gritty the sugar has not dissolved, keep beating until it feels smoother between your fingers.

Using 1M tip, pipe the swirls on prepared baking sheets.  Alternatively, spoon mounds of meringue, using two spoons, onto the baking sheets.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours, rotating sheets half way through, for even baking.   Meringues are done when they are crispy and release easily from the parchment paper.    Turn off the heat, leave the sheets in the oven, open the door little bit, and let the meringue finish drying completely for a couple of hours.

Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

Source: joy of baking (slightly altered by me)  

avocado-lime chicken burgers

Worried your child isn’t eating enough vegetables? Try sneaking some into the food they love !

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These burgers are a prime example of slipping some veggies into your child’s food.  My kids ate this without complaining.  They had no idea that there was an avocado and red pepper in it.  Mission-accomplished.

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I used homemade buns for these burgers.  As I already mentioned, I don’t like store-bought bread, buns, etc.  Freshly baked buns + avocado lime chicken patties = party in my mouth.   Totally loving the “fiesta in a burger.”

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You will need:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 Thai Green Chili, finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste

To assemble:

  • homemade or store-bought burger buns
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes

Chop onion, red pepper, and garlic in a food processor.

Heat oil in a pan, saute the onions, pepper, and garlic until the onions are slightly brown.

In a large bowl add the chopped avocado, lime juice, ground chicken, onions, pepper, garlic, chopped cilantro, chopped chili, cumin powder, black pepper, and salt.   Mix well and form patties.

Place the patties on preheated grill and cook for 4 mins on each side or until done.  Alternatively, you can pan-fry the patties.

coconut snowballs

Coconut lovers, these are for you…

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I love these coconut cookies, because they are quick and amazing.  You just have to cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla.  Add flour and shredded coconut.  Roll the balls and bake for 15 mins. These cookies are finished with a coating of powdered sugar to complete a delicious winter dessert.  Isn’t that so freakin’ easy?

Goes perfect with a cuppa joe or tea!

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Here’s a tip: If you are not a fan of coconut, then replace it with coarse almond and add some almond extract.

You will need: 

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded coconut (I used half sweetened and other half unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil, optional

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

In a bowl of your stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla.  On low speed, add flour and shredded coconut.  If the mixture seems too dry add a tbsp of coconut oil.

Make small balls (around 24) and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 mins until the bottom is slightly golden.

Remove from the oven and let it cool for couple mins.   Put powdered sugar into a bowl and add warm cookies, gently toss them until coated.  Put them back on the sheet.   After 10 mins, return to the bowl with sugar and coat again.  Cool completely before eating.

Cookies will remain fresh if kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

oregano-lime grilled lamb chops with vegetable couscous

Flu finally caught up with me and asthma seems to love me too much.  I can’t complain though since the kids are feeling little better, so its not as bad as I expected. And these little trials in life make me realize how blessed my family and I are to be free of major sickness.  Alhamdulillah! (All praise is due to God).

I’m making very simple things at home to keep us going.  Food is not that appealing when we are sick, right?  Sense of taste is another thing we should be thankful for…!!

Moving on…doesn’t this look so mouth-watering??

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These ridiculously easy lamb chops are marinated in oregano, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  This is one of those dishes, if you cook it once you would want to cook it over and over again, trust me so scrumptious!

I like my chops well done, so I grilled it 5-6 mins per side.   If you like it medium rare, then I would recommend grilling 3 mins on each side.

I really don’t measure how much salt I put in these, but taste the oregano-lime mixture before you mix it with the chops.

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I served the chops with veggie couscous, which is another easy peasy dish to make, especially if you have vegetable broth handy.   Lamb chops have sufficient flavor to stand up to this light and fluffy couscous.

For the lamb chops you will need:

  • 2 lbs lamb chops (around 8 pieces)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes
  • 3 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste

In a small bowl mix olive oil, lime juice, dried oregano, grated garlic, black pepper, and salt.  Pour the mixture over the lamb chops. Marinate the meat for couple of hours or overnight.

Grill on high heat for 3 1/2 mins/side for medium rare, at least 5-6 mins/side for well done.

For the vegetable couscous you will need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup spinach leaves, packed
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth/stock
  • 1 1/4 cup couscous

Heat oil in a pot on medium-low heat.  Add grape tomatoes and spinach saute for a min.  Pour in vegetable broth, bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low.  Stir in couscous and cook covered for 5 mins.  Remove from the heat and fluff couscous with a fork.

baked salmon with lemon and mustard

We try to eat salmon about once a week in our house.  Its my absolute favorite fish.  It’s something all my kids love too. Finding something everyone loves is not easy, especially with toddlers.

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I like how remarkably easy it is to prep this dish, resulting in a perfectly cooked fish with barely any effort. It’s seriously so flaky, light, and healthy.  Mustard and lemon gives the salmon fillets such an amazing flavor.

We recently had this two days in a row, so yummmy!

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I love to serve this fish alongside steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes, and sometimes with fluffy cilantro lime rice. Try not to over bake these or else you will end up with dry texture.

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You will need:

  • 1.5 lb salmon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 heaping tsp mustard
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 cup chopped cilantro, packed
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 F. In a small bowl combine all the ingredients except salt and pepper. Place the salmon fillets on baking tray and generously season with salt and black pepper. Brush the mustard lemon mixture on each fillet. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 15 mins or until done.