Your Top 10 Recipes from 2016

Delicious vegetable enchiladas with black beans and homemade red sauce - cookieandkate.com

See ya, 2016! This year was a tough one for me and for so many others, I’ve heard. May 2017 be better to all of us! Here are the top ten recipes from 2016. Looking through them is almost like looking through a scrapbook, because they remind me of the circumstances surrounding each one.

I worked harder this year than ever, and I’m proud of these recipes and the cookbook that I made this year. Since the cookbook took so much time away from the blog, I published fewer recipes here so I could maintain my quality standards. I’m excited to share many more delicious concoctions for you all next year. What would you like to see? What are you craving for 2017? Please let me know! I’m always listening and adding your suggestions to my lists.

1) Veggie Black Bean Enchiladas (and enchilada sauce)

“OH MY GOODNESS. I stumbled upon your page on Pinterest and am so happy I did! I made these tonight and my husband and I devoured them! It was nearly impossible to stop at 2 each.. I resisted but he had 3! The enchilada sauce makes all the difference in the world. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe with us! xo” – Elizabeth W.

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Fluffy Beer Biscuits

Cheddar beer biscuits recipe - cookieandkate.com

“Who brought the bread?” “I didn’t bring any bread, did you?” “What do you mean, we don’t have any bread for Christmas dinner?!”

I’ve got you covered if your bread guy forgets the bread. These fluffy beer biscuits are almost as easy as pouring a can of beer into some flour. No yeast, no rising time, no fuss. Beer offers a nice yeasty flavor that makes these taste more complicated than they actually are.

Bob's Red Mill whole wheat flour

If you’ve ever enjoyed beer bread, you’ll love these. I like the biscuit format better because there’s more crusty surface area, plus they finish baking faster. These babies are an improved rendition of one of my oldest recipes, my feta and rosemary beer biscuits (she’s almost six years old now).

I set out to make 100 percent whole wheat beer biscuits that are nice and fluffy, without a “healthy” aftertaste. I’m pleased to report that after about five tries, I finally got them just right.

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Maple New York Sour

Learn how to make a New York sour cocktail. I sweeten mine with maple syrup instead of simple syrup, which tastes amazing! They're easy to make, too.

For my first year after college, I worked at a cozy college bar in Norman, Oklahoma. The inside featured wood paneling, brass accents on the bar and over 32 beers on tap. We were open 365 days a year.

Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas night were our busiest evenings every year. The place filled up with people who needed a break from family time, and wanted to catch up with old friends. Smiles, laughter, good food and drink—a few of my favorite things.

new york sour ingredients

Since my cinnamon maple whiskey sour was so popular this time last year, I wanted to share my latest iteration with you. It’s a classic cocktail called a New York sour, which is essentially a whiskey sour with a beautiful wine float on top. It looks fancy, but it’s actually easy to make at home.

If you like whiskey and wine separately, you’re going to love them together in one glass. If you need a stiff drink after the holiday crazies, this is it. Also, if you’re shopping for last-minute gifts, don’t miss my 2016 holiday gift guide. I’ve updated it with categories and better photos!

Continue to the recipe…

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Moist Chocolate & Zucchini Cake

Chocolate & Zucchini Cake

I‘m sooo excited about Christmas this year!

Having a 3.5 year-old in the house definitely helps. Then there’s the fact that I get to deep fry a turkey.

And I’m not pregnant so there’s Champagne in my future. Actually there’s already a bottle of Pol Roger in my fridge. Yay!

To celebrate my last blog post of the year I bring you cake.

Not just any old cake. A super moist chocolate cake (which also happens to have vegetables and won’t spike your blood sugar – but no need to mention these things, especially if you have a 3.5 year-old in the house).

I also have a request…

I’m looking for recipe testers for my new baking book that I’m working on. If you’re interested in sugar-free / low carb / gluten-free treats and you wouldn’t mind doing some baking over the next few months, I’d love your help!

Either leave a comment below or email me (jules@thestonesoup.com) to volunteer your best baking services.

There will be a little surprise thank you bonus to everyone who helps out.
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Moist Chocolate & Zucchini Cake

One of the first food blogs I ever discovered was Chocolate & Zucchini by my lovely Parisian mate Clotilde. I’m still a huge fan and I just love the idea of combining two seemingly opposite ingredients to make a cake that ticks all the right boxes.

I’ve used pure stevia powder to sweeten but see the variations below if you’d prefer to use something else.

makes: 1 loaf
takes: about 60 minutes
150g (5oz) unsalted butter
200g (7oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids or higher)
300g (10) zucchini, grated
4 eggs
250g (9oz) almond meal
1/4t pure stevia powder (see note below)*
2 teaspoons baking powder

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) fan assisted. Line a loaf pan 24cm x 12cm (approx 9.5in x 5in) with baking paper.

2. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate. Stand to allow the chocolate to melt.

3. Meanwhile, grate zucchini using your food processor or a box grater. When the chocolate has melted add to the grated zucchini then add the eggs, almond meal, stevia and baking powder. Mix with a spoon until just combined.

4. Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the loaf feels springy when you touch it. And a skewer inserted into the middle come out without any gooey cake stuck to it.

5. Cool in the pan then slice and serve (preferably with lashings of double cream).

Variations

important note about stevia! – there are two types of stevia:
1. Pure stevia powder (not an affiliate link) which looks like icing (powdered / confectioners) sugar. It’s expensive but a tiny amount goes a long long way. We’re talking 1/4 teaspoon to sweeten a whole cake.
2. Granular stevia like Natvia or Truvia which looks like regular white sugar. It’s a blend of erythritol and stevia.
I’ve used the pure powder in this recipe but if you wanted to use granular stevia you would need 4-6 tablespoons (add to taste).

sugar lovers – replace stevia with 75g (3oz) caster sugar (superfine). If you have a super sweet tooth you might need more – taste and add as needed.

no stevia – use you favourite sweetener… Honey, maple syrup or white sugar! Just add and taste until you’re happy with the sweetness level. If I didn’t have diabetes I’d totally be making it with brown sugar.

dairy-free – coconut oil.

nut-free – you could try replacing the almond meal with regular flour, I haven’t tried this but start with 125g (4.5oz) plain (all purpose) flour.

no fan assist on your oven? – increase the set temp to 200C (400F). Check after 35 minutes just to be sure.

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Thank YOU so much for reading Stonesoup this year! I really appreciate it.

I hope you and your loved ones have a really lovely Christmas.

Looking forward to sharing lots of deliciousness in the new year.

With love,
Jules x

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Love Real Food’s Cover Reveal & 10 Recipes to Celebrate!

Blood orange and pomegranate sparkling sangria (perfect for the Super Bowl and Valentine's Day!) - cookieandkate.com

It’s official! Cover number two for the win! Thank you all so much for voting last week. It’s all becoming very real and I’ve had a blast reading all of your feedback. I didn’t know that so many of you detest cabbage; now I’m on a mission to bring cabbage back!

For those who are curious, here’s the final count:

FINAL RESULTS: 7445 Votes
Cover 1 – 949 Votes (12.8%)
Cover 2 – 3425 Votes (46.1%)
Cover 3 – 3058 Votes (41.1%)

Funny enough, those percentages match perfectly with my own preferences. One of a million reasons why you all are the best people on the internet! Thank you again for your support throughout this crazy cookbook-making process, and for your input on the cover. I wanted a bold, vibrant, eye-catching photo of a fresh and satisfying recipe on the cover, and I think the salad is exactly that.

The book comes out May 16th, which seems so far away, but it will be here before we know it. It’s available for pre-orders on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Chris pre-ordered some cookbooks to give as gifts this Christmas, and he’s printing out copies of the cover to give for now. Love it.

I absolutely cannot wait for you to see the book and all of my new favorite recipes that I’ve had to keep under wraps. For now, I’ve rounded up ten of my favorite festive recipes to celebrate the official cover announcement. They would all be fantastic options to serve at holiday gatherings. Enjoy!

1) Blood Orange and Pomegranate Sparkling Sangria

If you can’t find blood oranges yet, regular oranges would be great, too

“Well, in spite of yourself and your perfectionism, you have created the perfect sangria! We’re having a Super Bowl Ungame Party and we’ve inconveniently run out of Blood Orange and Pomegranate Sparking Sangria. Back to the store!” – Peggy

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Whole Wheat Gingerbread Pancakes

These whole wheat gingerbread pancakes are light, fluffy and delicious! Perfect for Christmas mornings and cold days. cookieandkate.com

Are you all hanging on out there? With all the holiday parties and gift-buying and sugary sweets, it’s easy to get worn out. I think I’ve made it abundantly clear lately (sorry) that I’m on the worn-out side myself. I’ve resolved to focus on top priorities and let the rest slip, starting with my first yoga class in weeks tomorrow morning. I also want to hire some help so I can take a proper post-cookbook vacation next year. India? Morocco? Thailand?

I’m bummed that I haven’t been able to share all of the holiday recipes on my list this year. I might try to squeeze in a few extra if I can be more brief in the introduction. What do you say? I know we’re all busy this time of year.

gingerbread pancake ingredients

I really wanted to revisit this gingerbread pancakes recipe that I published almost four years ago exactly. It’s one of my favorites. I’ve just been reticent to promote these pancakes because they looked like unappetizing brown blobs in the old photos. Here are some better photos to do them justice, along with a revised recipe that meets my post-cookbook recipe-writing standards. I also added special diet notes, so these should work if you’re vegan and/or gluten free.

These molasses-laced spiced pancakes are fluffy yet hearty, and both warming and comforting. They’re for Christmas morning and special occasions, but they’re also for those other days when we need some warmth and cheer. I hope you enjoy them on a cozy winter morning soon. In case you’re craving more gingerbread-flavored sweets, check out my gingerbread granola, spicy molasses cookies and gingerbread cookies.

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Pear, Date & Walnut Salad with Blue Cheese

This fresh green salad with pears, walnuts, dates and blue cheese is a fresh option for your holiday table! cookieandkate.com

Good gracious almighty. If doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the mark of insanity, I am a special kind of crazy. You see, I thought maybe I could move an entire home’s worth of belongings and get them organized in one day. Three weeks later, my second bedroom still looks like a photography studio exploded inside.

salad ingredients

I thought maybe I could leave town for the weekend and get back to work right away, but yesterday didn’t work out so well. The fire alarms went off in my new apartment building for the first time and I’m still recovering from the shock. I understand that fire alarms should be loud, but forget the defibrillator—these could bring a mummy back to life. My ears ache just thinking about it.

And last week, I thought maybe I could just not sleep for a night to finish cookbook edits, which I managed to do—but I slept fourteen hours last night to catch up. Perhaps I should allow more time for recovery and extenuating circumstances, you say? Yeah yeah, I know, I know. (By the way, if you haven’t voted for the cover yet, you have just one day left!)

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My New Favourite Snack

Turmeric & Togarashi Cashews-2

There’s a bad habit I’ve been trying to overcome for a long time now. Like most bad habits it’s a case of steps forward and backward.

One thing I’ve found super helpful is to stop feeling guilty or beating myself up. Instead, I use ‘slip ups’ as an opportunity to be a ‘detective’ to help me improve.

It’s a subtle mind shift but it makes a huge difference.

Oh yeah so the bad habit?

It’s ‘nibbling’ and picking at things while I’m cooking which means when I sit down to eat I’m not hungry.

I’ve never been the biggest fan of snacking, but I am a fan of experimenting. So I’ve been trialling sitting down and having a proper snack when Fergal and Finbar have their dinner (at the moment my Irishman and I eat after the boys are in bed).

Mostly I think it helps. But it’s still a work in progress.

One side benefit of this experiment is I’ve been having loads of fun exploring new snacking ideas

These spiced cashews are my current favourites. Although I should note they come with a warning! (see note below).

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Turmeric & Togarashi Cashews

This snack comes with a warning (!). The turmeric looks pretty but it does like to stain things. Especially clothes. So don’t do as my Irishman did and wipe your fingers on your jeans.

The other warning is that they’re super delicious – addictively so. Don’t be surprised if they disappear much faster than you’d think. Although with all that turmeric you can be happy they’re doing good for more than just your taste buds. They also make a great edible gift.

makes: 2 cups
takes: 15 minutes
300g (2 cups) roasted cashews
2 tablespoons schchimi togarashi*
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4t fine salt

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). In a medium bowl toss cashews, togarashi, turmeric, oil and salt until well mixed.

2. Spread cashew mixture on a baking tray (I line mine with baking paper for easier clean up).

3. Bake for 5 minutes. Check and stir. If cashews are golden, remove from the heat. If you like a darker roast leave in for another 5 minutes or so.

4. Cool. Store in an airtight container. Will keep in the pantry for weeks to months (depending on how fresh your cashews were to begin with).

Variations

raw cashews – I usually buy pre-roasted but if you have raw cashews, just roast in the oven until lightly golden before tossing in the spice mix and roasting further as per the recipe.

no schichimi togarashi – It’s a Japanese spice mix with sesame seeds, different chilli powders and occasionally some chopped nori (seaweed). It’s super delicious and if you can be bothered tracking some down you won’t have any problems finding uses for it. It’s brilliant on avocado or soft cheese (especially labneh) or poached eggs. If you don’t have any just use sesame seeds and a little chilli powder or crumbled dried chillies and if you like toss in some chopped nori but it’s not essential.

different nuts – almonds, macadamias or brazil nuts would be the best substitutes or use a mixture.

no sesame oil – it adds a lovely roasted flavour but any oil you’d normally cook with will work.

black pepper – is meant to help with the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric so feel free to add freshly ground pepper to your roast nuts.

no turmeric – most commercial ‘curry’ powders have lots of turmeric so you could use a curry powder instead.

With love,
Jules x

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ps. What about you?

Got any snacks you’re loving at the mo’? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

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Vote for Love Real Food’s Cover!

cover vote

Help! I can’t decide on the cover for my new cookbook, Love Real Food. The book’s talented designer, Rae Ann, came up with three different options. I love them all, and I can’t decide which one should make the cut.

I proposed to my publisher that we let you guys pick the winner, and they said yes! You all have been so supportive throughout the cookbook-making progress (thank you) and I’m thrilled that you get to pick the cover.

The book is officially available for pre-orders on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I’m working on some final edits for the book now, and it’s so fun to see it come together exactly how I envisioned it. I can’t wait for you all the see the book on May 16th!

Click through to see all three and vote for your favorite. It’ll take ten seconds, tops.

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19 Delicious Ideas for Chicken

Spring Onion & Ginger Sauce

A few months ago I made a big decision around where I buy my meat. No more flavourless supermarket chicken and lamb, even if it was ‘grass-fed’ and ‘organic’.

I realized I cared too much about how the cattle, pigs, chicken and sheep are treated to trust it to the supermarket supply chain. I wanted to buy direct from the farmers I could build a relationship with and trust.

To be honest I wish I’d made this ‘rule’ for myself years ago.

And apart from the odd sausage, chorizo and black pudding, all the meat I’ve cooked since September has been from the farmers market.

It feels really good.

Mostly the price evens out about the same.

But I’ve really noticed is how much better everything tastes. Especially chicken. Especially now I can get my hands on thigh fillets with the skin on. Yum!

So today I thought we’d have a little look at my favourite chicken recipes on Stonesoup as well as share a new recipe for one of my current favourite sauces that is brilliant with (you guessed it) chicken.

Enjoy!

19 Delicious Ways with Chicken

1. Roast Chicken Soup
My simple take on the classic way to use up leftover roast chicken bones and meat.

2. Citrus Roast Chicken & Fennel
A match made in heaven. Roast fennel and chicken with orange and lemon. Amazingly fresh and, dare I say it, finger-licking good.

3. Quick Warm Chicken & Parmesan Salad
When you’re in the mood for something quick and light but not a cold meal. This is just the thing.

4. Chicken & Basil Stir Fry
Uses minced (ground) chicken so it’s super quick to cook and you don’t have to worry about over cooking the chicken. A great place to start if you’re not a confident meat cook.

5. Pesto Chicken with Zucchini
An easy Summer favourite.

6. Flattened Chicken with Parsley Sauce
If I’m cooking whole chicken, I generally ‘butterfly’ it like this because it cooks much faster.

7. Chicken & Peppers
My friend Ellen made this recently and like me was blown away by how two simple ingredients can cook down into such a delicious dish.

8. My Simple Kung Pao Chicken
A simplified version of one of my Irishman’s all time favourite things to cook.

9. Dad’s Butter Chicken Curry
So easy even my Dad can make it. And mild enough to be family friendly too (it was the first ‘curry’ Finbar ate!).

10. Coq au Vin
A French classic, it’s something I make at least once every Winter.

11. Chicken with Pine Nut Sauce
A recipe that didn’t make it into my print book 5-Ingredients 10-minutes because I wasn’t happy with the original photo and was too lazy to re-shoot. Still a favourite sauce especially now I’m having a Middle Eastern food renaissance.

12. June’s Chinese Chicken
One of my mum’s most exotic recipes from my first print book ‘And the Love is Free’.

13. Roast Chicken with Carrot Top Pesto
A brillant way to actually use your carrot tops. Especially great with home grown ones.

14. 5-Ingredient Chicken Caccitore
My super simple take on the Italian family-favourite.

15. Moist Roast Chicken with Yoghurt & Crispy Sage
An old recipe from way back in 2008, this pre-dates my 5-ingredients philosophy so is way more complicated than most Stonesoup recipes. But it’s super super delicious and really lives up to its name so if you’re up for a bigger project this is for you!

16. Salt Baked Chook
Another from the archives, this is a spectacular way to cook a good chicken! Basically you make a salty dough and wrap the chicken and bake. It’s a bit nerve wracking getting the timing right but well worth the effort if you want to impress your guests. Definitely not one for a Tuesday night after a long day at the office!

16. Spanish Meatballs with Zucchini ‘Noodles’
Gotta love a good meatball. Made lighter with the use of chicken instead of beef.

17. Super Green Saag Chicken
An Indian-inspired curry with an amazing sauce based on wilted greens. So good!

18. Cajun Chicken in a Paper Bag
Such a brilliant way to ‘jazz up’ your favourite cut chicken. Basically just toss the cook chicken and some spices in a paper bag and shake to coat. Instant flavour hit!

19. Chicken with Spring Onion & Ginger Sauce
Recipe below!

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Ginger Spring Onion Sauce

OMG this sauce is the business! It’s fresh. It’s zesty. It’s got lovely warmth from the ginger. And I love the crunchy texture you get from the spring onions. You have to try it!

I’ve adapted the recipe from three sources, the brilliant Momofuku cookbook, my friend Aggie (whose family are Hong Kong Chinese) and Melbourne chef Andrew McConnell who writes for the Saturday Paper.

The first time I made it we had it with chicken steamed in the slow cooker (remind me to tell you about that another time). Just loved how the moist clean chicken flavours were brought to life by this vibrant sauce. It’s also great with pulled pork (in a Korean style Bo Ssam). But you could pretty much use it with any chicken… stir fried, roast or BBQ. It’s also a great way to dress up good old egg fried rice.

makes about 1 cup – enough for 4
takes 15 minutes
1 bunch ‘spring’ onions*, whites and greens, finely sliced
thumb sized piece ginger, grated
1 tablespoon sherry or rice vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you think it needs it. A little more soy for extra salt, more vinegar if you think it’s a bit lifeless. Or just regular sea salt if it’s lacking something you can’t quite put your finger on.

2. Stand for at least 10 minutes or up to an hour before serving with your choice of chicken (see note above). If you need to store for longer pop it in the fridge and bring back to room temp before serving. Will keep for a week or so.

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Variations

warm sauce – heat oil in a small saucepan until hot to touch then pour over the remaining ingredients. (This is good but I prefer the freshness of my recipe).

different vinegar – sherry vinegar is totally my favourite here but you could use any wine vinegar. If you have Chinkiang vinegar it would be good too.

* a note about ‘spring onions’ – in Australia they’re often sold as ‘shallots’. The ones you need don’t have the big bulby onion bit at the bottom (which I call ‘spring onions’). I think the correct term is green onions but I didn’t want to confuse you! What do you call them?

soy-free – just season with sea salt. If you have access to coconut aminos they would be the best substitute.

With love,
Jules x

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ps. Looking for Christmas gift ideas for the food-lovers in your life?

Then I have just the thing!

5 ingredients 10 minutes cover image

The print version of my cookbook ‘5-Ingredients 10-Minutes’.

For more details go to:
www.5ingredients10minutes.com/

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