When I was a child, becoming an orphan was my greatest fear, and I literally lost many nights of sleep worrying about it.  So, when I learned that one member  from the Secret Recipe Club was about to be an orphan this month (the person supposed to pick a recipe from the blog had a problem and could not complete the assignment in time) I decided to perform a virtual adoption… 😉  My “encore” post for this month’s reveal day comes from Without Adornment, and you can visit it clicking here.  Bean, the hostess, has a site loaded with gluten-free recipes, and absolutely gorgeous photography.   Due to the time constraints (I had less than 24 hours to pick a recipe, make it, and write about it), I had to go with a simple dish.  But, it all ended perfectly for me:  I had no idea what to eat for lunch after working out, and her chickpea salad came to the rescue. Delicious, refreshing, light, healthy, but also filling enough to carry me through a busy Sunday afternoon…
(adapted from Without Adornment)

1 can of chickpeas
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
Grape or Cherry tomatoes to taste
salt and pepper
grapeseed oil
lime juice
white balsamic vinegar

Boil  2 cups of water in a small sauce pan.  Drain the chickpeas from the can, and drop them in the boiling water for 5-10 second.  Quickly drain them and rinse with plenty of cold water.  Reserve until cold.

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients from chickpeas to tomatoes.   Make a simple dressing with oil, a squeeze of lime juice, a little balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Drizzle over the salad and….


to print the recipe, click here

This salad gives me the chance to introduce you to a reasonably recent acquisition from the Bewitching Kitchen… a spiralizer! Or a spiral-cutter… or… whatever you want to call it…
I like raw carrots in salad, but prefer if they are cut paper-thin.  This gadget gave me the exact texture I was hoping for.  The very thin ribbons get perfectly seasoned and retain just a little crunch.

Chickpeas & boiling water: this is a tip I learned from Barbara Tropp, in her book Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking.  She recommended to rinse all sorts of canned products in boiling water, to remove what she described as the “tin taste”.  The improvement in flavor is quite noticeable.  So I normally do it whenever I use chickpeas, beans, and water chestnuts.

Bean, it was fun to get to know your blog, I wish I’d had more time to devote to it, your Lemon Cupcakes seemed absolutely scrumptious!  😉

ONE YEAR AGO: A Soft Spot for Chevre

TWO YEARS AGO: Seared Tuna, My Own Private Idaho

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After one month break,  we are back with  “The Secret Recipe Club“,  and our group even has a new moderator, April, who did a great job coaching us through the changes that took place during the break.   For those who are not familiar with the event, a few weeks before reveal day, each member is assigned a food blog (in secret) to cook a recipe from.   This time I was paired with My Judy the Foodie.  When I get an assignment, I jump straight to the “About” page, to get to know my fellow blogger.   Shari describes herself as  a “kitchen-clueless person”. But one who is ready for a challenge, the challenge of creating new traditions for her own family, inspired by her mother’s cooking.  The whole blog is in fact a beautiful tribute to her Mom.  Her page “About Judy” was particularly touching to read.

I next browsed through her recipes, and it didn’t take me very long to choose her beautiful “Earthquake Cookies“.  Considering the fact that while living for one year in Los Angeles we didn’t have a single earthquake, but the very week we moved back to Oklahoma the earth shook  three days in a row,  I felt these cookies were the perfect choice!   😉
(from My Judy the Foodie)

8 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups sugar
4 eggs beaten
2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
1 + 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar

Melt chocolate and butter in a microwave safe container, stirring every 15 seconds.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add the sugar, vanilla extract, and melted chocolate/butter mixture.  Add the baking powder, flour, and salt and beat until very smooth.

Place bowl in fridge and chill as long as 24 hours.

Heat the oven to 350 F.  Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place confectioner’s sugar in bowl large enough to roll out the fudge balls. Take a teaspoon of the cookie dough and form into balls.  Coat the ball with confectioner’s sugar by rolling it around in the sugar many times.

Place on baking sheet with enough room for each ball to “explode” open. Bake for approximately  12 minutes (mine took longer).  Cool and then remove cookies to wire rack (make sure to place foil under the rack as powdered sugar can be quite messy).


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  When you make these cookies, don’t forget the cookie dough must sit in the fridge for 24 hours.   Once you mix the dough, it will be very soft, the only way you can shape them is by refrigerating for several hours.   As far as taste goes,  a full day in the fridge seems to be the best option.

Here you can see the dough right after mixing it…

and next day, ready to finish the job…

My cookies did not explode the same way Shari’s did, her cookies looked a lot more “interesting” than mine.  Not sure what happened, I suspect the geologic fault that runs near our home was fast asleep when I put them in the oven.  Bummer! However, exploded or not, these cookies were VERY tasty.  They have a slightly fudgy consistency, and as they melt in your mouth the chocolate flavor will force you to close your eyes and indulge in extremely happy thoughts.  My kind of cookie!

Shari, nice to meet you through The Secret Recipe Club!   Looking forward to checking out what was your assignment this month!   😉

ONE YEAR AGO:  A Soft Spot for Chevre

TWO YEARS AGO: Seared Tuna, My Own Private Idaho

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