the endless summer

Summer isn’t my favorite season; it’s actually my least favorite season. Sun is the worst. THE WORST. Give me a cold, grey, rainy day over sunshine any day. (I may be a native Texan, but my blood is half-Yankee.)

That being said, Katie Lee’s Endless Summer Cookbook is one of the most beloved cookbooks in my kitchen. As soon as it gets warm (which is like, ten months out of the year here in Austin), our weekly menu is dominated by a perky West Virginian with impossibly glossy hair. The cookbook is inspired by the flavors of the Hamptons, where Katie’s made her home; it reminds me of living in New York, hanging out by the water, and my Connecticut dad’s cooking.

Tonight, we whipped up a riff on her Salmon Salad with Lemon Dijon Caper Vinaigrette, one of our staples. We were out of capers and chives (argh) and plentiful with avocados (eh, alright), so we put the salmon over butter lettuce as the recipe calls for, then added cherry tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, and diced avocado. Super good and filled with healthy fats, but the lemon-Dijon caper vinaigrette really drives it home.

Also on the menu this week: Grilled Chicken Paillard with Arugula and Shaved Pecorino and Fish Tacos with Creamy Chipotle Sauce and Pico de Gallo.

Seriously, everything in here is phenomenal, but my other faves include:

  • Grilled Doughnuts with Ricotta and Honey
  • Triple Coconut Waffles (try with whipped coconut cream and bananas)
  • Kale Caesar Salad
  • Lentil Salad (spicy and served with baguette!)
  • Lobster Reubens
  • Italian Sausage and Pepper Burgers
  • Grilled Pizza
  • Frozen Blueberry Daiquiris
  • Watermelon-Rum Punch
  • Black Bean and Peach Salsa Scoops
  • Fresh Pineapple-Coconut Martinis
  • Corn Fritters
  • Tuna with Romesco Sauce
  • Middle Eastern Spiced Spatchcocked Chicken with Harissa Yogurt
  • Zucchini and Squash Bake
  • Great-Grandmother Pearl’s Angel Food Cake with Peaches and Cream
  • Corn Ice Pops

Seriously, get this book, cook every recipe in it, be happier.

Fin.

homemade karlie’s kookies (made even healthier)

Hello hello! I recently remembered that not only does Karlie kode, but Karlie kooks… kookies. (Work with me here.)

Karlie Kloss kollaborated (not sorry) with Milk Bar back in 2015 on Karlie’s Kookies, now known as Milk Bar Perfect 10 cookies.

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These vegan, gluten-free cookies are filled with healthy ingredients – and a shit ton of olive oil. Perfectly fine when you’re a gorgeous, lanky 6’2″ supermodel, less fine when you’re a chubby 5’7″ suburban office-working mom.

The recipe for these came courtesy of an American Express promotion a while back – check out the original Karlie’s Kookies recipe here. While I could order these from Milk Bar directly, I wanted to see if I could make these bad boys a little healthier, and hallelujah, it worked!

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These healthier Karlie’s Kookies are an excellent little finisher when you just want a little something sweet for a snack, for breakfast, or after dinner. Keep in mind: These are just slightly sweet, thanks to the agave nectar. I’m trying to cut way back on refined sugar, and these hit the spot perfectly.

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I can’t promise they’ll make you look like a supermodel, but they’ll make you feel pretty great.

Homemade Healthier Milk Bar Perfect 10 Cookies
I got 43 cookies out of these; I purposely made them slightly bigger than a silver dollar, and they’re 73 calories each. If you hate raisins (rude), sub 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips.

You’ll need:

  • 16 ounces Bob’s Red Mill finely milled almond flour (one bag)
  • 13 ounces unsweetened applesauce (I used four of the little squeezy pouches my kid takes for lunch
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1.5 t cornstarch (I only had potato starch and that worked fine)
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1T vanilla (you could do 1.5 t. I like my baked good vanilla-y.)
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Mix your dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a second bowl, mix your wet ingredients.
  3. Make a well in your dry ingredients and pour your wet ingredients there. Mix with your Kitchen Aid paddle, a wooden spoon, or your (clean) hands. If you find that this is a little too dry, add two more tablespoons of applesauce, but this will be a thick dough.
  4. Scoop onto a baking sheet and press down on each cookie lightly; they don’t spread, so you’ll want to make sure to press them down so they bake.
  5. Bake for 17-20 minutes until golden brown on the edges, and hard but not crumbling. Let cool on a wire rack before stuffing into your face.