My Top 10 Recipes of 2015

My top 10 favorite vegetarian recipes from 2015! cookieandkate.com

Every time I publish a new recipe, it’s my new favorite recipe. Honestly. I love them all, so it wasn’t easy to pick out my favorite recipes of the year. Below, you’ll find ten recipes that have gotten great feedback from you guys and deserve a little extra attention.

Which recipe was your favorite? While we’re at it, what have you been craving lately? What would you like to see more of on Cookie and Kate? Specific recipe ideas and more general requests are most welcome!

Twenty fifteen was a great year for Cookie and Kate, and I’m eager to come up with fresh recipes for you next year. I don’t have any new ones for you this week because I’ve been typing up pages upon pages for our upcoming cookbook. I can’t wait to share them with you! Click through to see my favorites.

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Your Top 10 Recipes from 2015

Top 10 favorite vegetarian recipes from 2015! cookieandkate.com

Where has the time gone? This year has been the fastest year of my life, and I’m excited to see what 2016 has in store. In 2015, I developed more recipes than ever—well over 100 for the blog and I’m working on another 100 for the cookbook. Sometimes I worry that I’m running out of ideas, but they always come. Your comments, Instagram posts and emails never cease to inspire.

It’s hard to beat the ten recipes below, which are the most viewed recipes of last year. What recipes would you like to see in 2016? Please let me know in the comments!

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Cinnamon Maple Whiskey Sour

How to make amazing, maple-sweetened whiskey sours at home - cookieandkate.com

When presented with a cocktail menu, I just can’t help but order a whiskey drink. Old fashioneds, manhattans, a well-made whiskey sour or any spin on the above. I’m a whiskey girl. Always have been, always will be.

Naturally, when I spied the cinnamon maple sour on the menu at Summit Bar and Grill the other day, I had to order it. Then, I liked it so much that I had to recreate it at home. This whiskey sour recipe is sweetened with maple syrup, which tastes so much more interesting than plain old simple syrup. It includes plenty of fresh lemon juice, too, and a hefty pinch of ground cinnamon, which tastes so right this time of year. You can skip it, though, if you want a more classic whiskey sour.

whiskey sour ingredients

This is my last post before I take off for the holidays. Be merry and be safe! I appreciate you all so much for hanging out with me here and cooking my recipes in your kitchens. xo.

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A Really Big THANK YOU!

Raw Blondies

Here we are at the end of the year and I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to you for reading Stonesoup this year. I really appreciate your time and attention!

And while I’ve got you I have a quick favour to ask….

I’m always looking for ways to make Stonesoup a better blog so I’d really love to get your feedback. In particular the answer to these two questions…

1. Why do you read Stonesoup?
2. What should I stop doing / start doing to make it better?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

And before I go I have a Christmas treat for you!

I’ve really been getting into baking (or in this case not-baking) with whole food ingredients and skipping the processed sugar and flour.

These blondies are one of my current favorites. Although I must say the chocolate ‘variation’ is also pretty addictive…

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Raw ‘Blondies’

These may not look the prettiest but believe me they’re super delicious. Especially if you’re a fan of caramel flavours. And the best part is there’s no need to bake.

makes enough for 6-8
takes: 15 minutes + 30 minutes cooling
100g (3.5oz) pitted dates
150g (3.5oz) almond meal
50g (1.75oz) melted butter or coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
2 tablespoons psyllium or oat bran (optional)

1. Place dates in a heat proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 5 minutes.

2. While the dates are standing, weigh out your remaining ingredients into your food processor.

3. Drain dates and add to the food processor. Whizz for a few minutes or until you have a smooth mixture that clumps together.

4. Dump your mixture into a loaf pan lined with baking paper and use your hands to smooth out until it’s the height you prefer. Don’t spread the mixture over the whole base. Only use half or less.

5. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer. Then chop into tiny squares.

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Variations

chocolate brownies – add 2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder to the mix.

different nuts – feel free to use other nuts or nut meals. Pecans are particularly good.

short on time – pop in the freezer to firm up. Will take about 10 minutes.

medjool dates – no need to soak, just be sure to remove the pits.

nut-free – struggling with this one. Sorry!

dairy-free / vegan – use the coconut oil option.

more decadent – cover with a layer of melted dark chocolate.

Video version of the recipe.

I really hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas. And look forward to ‘seeing’ you in the new year when Stonesoup returns on January 12th.

Big love
Jules x

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ps. If you’d prefer to keep your comments confidential, just hit reply to this email and share your thoughts. I’ll be reading every response :)

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Fudge

Healthier chocolate peanut butter freezer fudge (vegan, paleo, no cooking required!) - cookieandkate.com

I bet you’re as busy as I am right now, so let me cut to the chase: FREEZER FUDGE! Just look at those swirls. This fudge is remarkably easy to make (no cooking required!). It just needs one hour in the freezer to set those luscious chocolate peanut butter swirls. Contrary to what the photos from above imply, this fudge has more peanut butter flavor than chocolate. Delicious.

peanut butter

This fudge is vegan, since it calls for coconut oil instead of butter, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup (or honey, which is not vegan). Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this fudge qualifies as paleo as well. The only downside is that this fudge must be served cold or it will lose its shape. That’s because it’s made with coconut oil instead of butter, which is liquid above 76 degrees. Happy holidays!

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Spinach Pasta with Roasted Broccoli & Bell Pepper (and Le Creuset Giveaway!)

Spinach pasta recipe, featuring lots of roasted vegetables tossed in a light balsamic sauce! cookieandkate.com

This post is brought to you by DeLallo.

Would you look at that? I made Christmas-colored pasta, completely on accident. I’m on a roasted broccoli and red bell pepper kick (actually, I’m on a perpetual broccoli and bell pepper kick because it’s so delicious). Anyway, I tossed some freshly roasted vegetables with lots of delicious sautéed spinach, my favorite whole wheat pasta and some balsamic vinegar, and here we are. High-contrast, Christmas pasta. I love it.

This spinach pasta recipe is highly adaptable. Feel free to change up the roasted vegetables—just use whatever you have around, cut to similar sizes and roasted until tender. Or, skip the roasted vegetables for a very simple but very flavorful and hearty spinach pasta. It’s easily made vegan and/or gluten free, and the leftovers are great, whether served chilled, at room temperature or warmed again. I always get a few commenters on recipes that include Parmesan (“It’s not vegetarian!”) but Whole Foods actually makes a great animal rennet-free Parmesan. There’s plenty of flavor in here without the Parmesan, if you’d rather leave it out.

pasta ingredients

My one request is that you serve this pasta with a great green side salad. It can be super simple with just fresh greens, your favorite dressing and a couple of add-ins. DeLallo, the makers of my favorite 100% whole wheat pasta, offer a product called Salad Savors that combine a few complementary salad mix-ins in one easy-to-grab package. I’m a big fan because it makes tossing together a simple side salad so much easier, and the more greens, the better! I had a hard time choosing which Salad Savors to use with this pasta, but ended up grabbing my favorite, the dried apple, cheddar and almond option.

DeLallo is generously giving away one 5.5-quart Le Creuset Dutch oven (in a color of your choosing from Crate and Barrel) to one lucky Cookie and Kate reader! Click to the post to enter.

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My Simple ‘Trick’ for Eating More Salad

Go-to Dressing-2

A green salad is my favourite go-to when I want to add more veg to a meal.

Especially now Fergal is older and we’re trying to have more family dinners, it can be ‘too much’ effort to mix up a salad dressing and toss in some leaves.

But over the last few months I’ve discovered a trick that makes salad making 1000% easier (and more likely to happen!).

Just make your dressing in bulk and keep it in a bottle on the dining table. That way all you need to do at dinner time is get some leaves in a bowl. And then dress once you’ve sat down and the rush is over.

It’s a simple idea. But like many simple ideas, it really makes a difference…

Got any tricks you use to eat more salads and/or veg? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below…

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Go-To Salad Dressing

This has been my go-to salad dressing for years. The addition of soy sauce gives saltiness but also a really lovely and unexpected depth of flavour. I tend not to add herbs or garlic so it can be kept on the dining room table (for months) instead of the fridge. But see the variations for other possibilities.

makes: more than 1 cup
takes: 10 minutes
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons sherry, rice or wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce

1. Measure out and combine ingredients. Pour into a jar or bottle.

2. Seal and shake well. Taste and add more soy or some salt as needed.

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Variations

soy-free – replace soy sauce with coconut aminos or skip it and season with sea salt instead.

different oil – EVOO is my favourite but you’re welcome to use other well flavoured oils if you like.

sweeter – use balsamic vinegar or a caramelized red wine vinegar or a tablespoon honey.

herby – a few leaves or tarragon are lovely. As are a handful of chopped parsely or basil. If using herbs keep in the fridge and use asap, preferable no longer than 2 weeks.

mustardy – add 1-2 tablespoons dijon or wholegrain mustard. OK to keep this at room temp.

garlicky – I’m not the hugest fan of garlicky dressings but feel free to add a small crushed clove of garlic. Keep in the fridge and use within 2 weeks if using garlic.

single serve – to dress enough salad for 2 people I usually use 2-3 tablespoons EVOO, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon soy sauce.

Video Version of the Recipe.

Big love,
Jules x

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Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels sprouts tossed with spicy Kung Pao sauce! Delicious. cookieandkate.com

May yesterday go down in history as the day that I spent twenty-five dollars on Brussels sprouts. I didn’t mean to do it! I knew I needed plenty of sprouts in case I encountered another recipe failure. The sprouts were packed in big bags, so I grabbed two and continued on to the green onions. That’s how they get you—with those big, pre-packed bags.

Then, I was a terrible customer and read email during check-out and didn’t even notice until I glanced at the receipt at home. Twenty-five hard-earned dollars! Who am I? The sprouts weren’t even good sprouts. I’ve been robbed.

ingredients

My only condolence is that my sprouts turned out great on my next try, so I have extra sprouts for later. This Kung Pao Brussels sprouts dish is my take on a popular Chinese stir-fry recipe, Kung Pao chicken. I roasted up lots of sprouts and tossed them in a completely irresistible, spicy soy-honey glaze with green onions and peanuts. It’s a killer vegetarian appetizer or side dish, and I wouldn’t judge if you wanted to eat it for dinner on its own.

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23 Favorite Holiday Recipes

23 favorite holiday recipes, from Christmas cookies to main dishes and cocktails! cookieandkate.com

Good morning! It doesn’t feel much like December outside, but Christmas is less than two weeks away. I imagine you might be looking for holiday party-worthy treats and breakfast options that can serve a crowd, so I rounded up twenty-three recipes for you.

Below, you’ll find everything from cookies and other baked treats, to snacks and sides, to meatless main dishes and a few drinks, of course. You’ll find them organized by category, plus details on which are gluten free and/or vegan.

If you’re looking for more holiday-related inspiration, check out my 2015 holiday gift guide, kitchen essentials shop, favorite cookbooks list and holiday Pinterest board!

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Healthy Carrot Muffins

Healthy carrot muffins that taste amazing! These are made with whole wheat flour and sweetened with maple syrup! cookieandkate.com

Cookie always comes running when I pull out the vegetable peeler. I swear, she can hear it slice through the air before it even touches a carrot. Then she starts jumping up and down for carrot scraps. She can be very demanding. I’ve created an entitled little carrot beast, and I’m not sorry in the slightest.

Cookie loved the development process for this carrot muffin recipe. It took me five tries to get them just right, so she got a lot of carrot scraps in the process. They’re based on one of my cookbook recipes (so good!!!), but these are packed with grated carrots, walnuts and raisins.

carrot muffin spices

Unlike standard carrot muffins made with refined all-purpose flour, these are made with white whole wheat flour. That means they’re made entirely with whole grains, but you can’t taste them because white whole wheat flour has such a mild flavor. Then, Greek yogurt replaces sour cream, coconut oil replaces butter and maple syrup replaces refined sugar.

Combined, you end up with hearty muffins that taste like carrot cake. You can eat carrot cake for breakfast with these babies!

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