Eating with Emily

vegetarian meals & the more than occasional treat

Treats

Rice Pudding (Swedish Risgrynsgröt)

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Risgrynsgröt is a Swedish rice pudding that is traditionally served on Christmas Eve. After the rice pudding is made, an almond, called a mandel*, is placed in the pot. Whoever gets the mandel is either the next to be married, or guaranteed to have a year of good luck, depending on who in my family you ask.

When my sister and I were little kids, every Christmas Eve the mandel would magically split in half and we would both end up with it in our bowls. We were both lucky!

Rice pudding, I have realized, is so warm and creamy and comforting it deserves to be eaten more frequently than once a year. Also, it’s so easy to make. So, so easy. And here’s the absolute best part about rice pudding: eating leftovers for breakfast. In the morning, it magically transforms from “rice pudding” to “rice porridge” so you can eat it without a second thought.

*For 29 years I have believed that “mandel” meant treasure/prize/luck in Swedish. I just Googled it and, nope, it means almond.

 Ingredients

Serves 6

  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 4 cups milk (I used skim, but whole is best!)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Toppings

On Christmas Eve, we always eat risgrynsgröt with cinnamon/sugar and nutmeg sprinkled on top. But feel free to go all out!

Some ideas: fresh fruit, raisins, dried cranberries, nuts, brown sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar…

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain the rice.
  2. In a medium pot, bring the rice, milk, and all the sugar to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for around 25 minutes, until the rice is soft and the pudding has thickened. While it simmers, be sure to stir occasionally.
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  4. Remove from the stove and stir in the vanilla.
  5. I like to eat my risgrynsgröt warm, but you can serve it warm or cold. Serve with toppings of your choice!

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Adapted from a recipe on a bag of Trader Joe’s oats

These cookies don’t just have a slight hint of peanut butter. They are full on, in-your-face, overwhelmingly peanut buttery. They are for peanut butter lovers.

Ingredients

Makes 4-5 dozen cookies

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup butter, softened
  • 1/8 cup apple sauce (can be replaced with butter, if you want)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 11.5oz bag chocolate chips (dark chocolate chips are really good in these!)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the white and brown sugar and butter until creamy.
  2. Add the eggs, vanilla, and baking soda.
  3. Add the peanut butter.
  4. By hand, stir in the oats, chocolate chips, and seeds/nuts.
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  5. The dough will be really gooey, so this will be a little tricky, but scoop up a couple tablespoons of the dough, pack it in together to form a cookie, and drop it onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.
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  6. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes, until edges are light brown. IMG_9335

Orange Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies

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My parents and friends in New England are getting pummeled with snow. (Another 10″ today?!) Meanwhile, this afternoon I went outside barefoot and picked oranges off the tree in the yard…

IMG_8930Trying to figure out what to do with all the oranges in the yard, I decided to make some cookies. Feel free to leave off the glaze if you want, though it adds some extra orange flavor!

Ingredients

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

  • 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons orange juice (juice of three large oranges)
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon + extra to garnish
  • 12oz bag semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F    

  1. Using an electric mixer, cream together the orange juice (1/2 cup), butter, yogurt, and egg.
  2. Add the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and orange zest (2 tablespoons).
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  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Use a spoon to drop the dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Use 2-3 tablespoons per cookie.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375°F.
  6. While the cookies are baking, make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar with 3 tablespoons of orange juice and 1 teaspoon of orange zest.
  7. When the cookies are done, let them sit for five minutes. While still warm, drizzle the glaze on top.
  8. To garnish, sprinkle some extra orange zest and cinnamon.
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Sourdough Bread Pudding

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Sourdough isn’t traditionally used for bread pudding, but I had a loaf that I needed to use up. It occurred to me that the slight tang of the sourdough might actually be a nice contrast to the sweetness of bread pudding. I loved it! (David, I should note, likes things a little sweeter and prefers a more traditional bread pudding. Though he did go back for seconds…)

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf (14 slices) of sourdough bread
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • chopped walnuts, to serve
  • maple syrup, to serve

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F

  1. Slice your bread into 1″ pieces.
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  2. In a large bowl, use a mixer to combine the eggs, milk, and vanilla.
  3. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon, followed by the raisins.
  4. By hand,  slowly stir in the bread. It’s a lot of bread, so it helps to do this in batches. Add 1/4 of the bread, stir (the moisture from the liquid will reduce the size), then add more bread, stir, etc.
  5. Pour into a greased 8×8 baking pan.
  6. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the bread to absorb the liquid and flavor.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes.
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  8. Serve with a splash of maple syrup and chopped walnuts on top.
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Fig Bars

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David’s love of figs started years ago with fig newtons, but it has evolved into a strong preference for fresh fig bars. There’s a local bakery near my parents’ house in New Hampshire that sells amazing homemade fig bars. Whenever we visit my parents, David stops by, crossing his fingers that they’ve made them that day.

I can’t believe this was my first attempt at making my own. Instead of a more traditional top, I used oats. These bars are much easier and quicker to make than I thought they’d be (even the fig filling). Oh, and in case you were wondering, they have David’s seal of approval!

I bought my figs in the bulk section of Whole Foods, but later discovered they have plastic containers of them cheaper at Trader Joe’s.

Ingredients

Makes 16 bars

  • 1 cup dried figs (approximately 24 figs)
  • water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup applesauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F    

  1. Put the figs and lemon juice in a small pot adding enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the figs sit and soften for around 8 minutes. Remove the figs, but save the water.
  2. Remove the stems from the figs. They should be soft, and you should be able to pull them off with your fingers.
  3. Put the figs in a food processor with 4 tablespoons of the saved water. Blend until smooth and the consistency of a thick jam. If it’s too thick, add more of the saved water, one tablespoon at a time, until it’s the desired consistency.
  4. In a bowl, stir the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, butter, and applesauce together until it holds together in a crumbly mixture.
  5. Divide the oat mixture in half. Place half of the mixture in the bottom of a greased 8×8 baking pan. Crumble (or drop lumps) evenly over the bottom, then push down until the bottom of the pan is covered.
  6. Spread the figs on top of the oat mixture.
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  7. Put the remaining half of the oat mixture on top of the figs, making sure to press down on top.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.
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Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Quick Oats Cookies

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My sister works a full-time job and is a full-time grad student. She is in an MFA program and it has a been a crazy year for her: every day she leaves for work at 8am and doesn’t get home from school until 10pm. And then she has homework. Weekends are filled with her thesis project. My sister is a pretty awesome lady: smart, hardworking, and creative. But, understandably, she’s a little bit tired.

I wanted to send a Valentine’s Day care package full of snacks to her office. I am a firm believer that knowing you have a drawer full of tasty snacks at the office can make getting out of bed just a little bit gentler. It’s 2pm and you don’t know how you can make it through the rest of the day? Well, you’ve got a drawer full of snacks…

These cookies went into my sister’s care package.

Ingredients

Makes ~3 1/2 dozen cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • coarse salt, to garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F

  1. In a large bowl, use a mixer to combine all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips and the salt. When the batter is well combined, stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Roll 1″ balls of dough between your palms. Once a ball is formed, flatten it between your hands into a pancake-like shape. Place the flattened balls of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet.IMG_6806
  3. Bake cookies at 375°F for approximately 8 minutes, until the edges are lightly brown.
  4. When the cookies come out of the oven and are still hot, sprinkle coarse salt on top.IMG_6830IMG_6845IMG_6888

Pumpkin Bread Cookies

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From September to November, it’s hard not to notice the pumpkin-flavored craze: lattes, muffins, granola bars, doughnuts, ice cream… This year, I even saw pumpkin-flavored vodka. I know it’s February, but personally, I’m a big supporter of year-round pumpkin consumption.

These cookies are soft and moist: a little cake-like, a little cookie-like. They are very fluffy right out of the oven, but they sink down a little bit as they cool. They are best if you let them sit for a little while; the pumpkin flavor (and orange color) becomes much more pronounced.

Ingredients

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup plain or vanilla greek yogurt*
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2  bag semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (~6oz)

*can be substituted for another 1/4 cup oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F

  1. Place all of the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Using a mixer, stir until well-combined.
  2. Add the dry ingredients. Mix until well-combined.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
  4. On a baking sheet line with parchment paper, drop spoonfuls of the dough.
  5. Bake the cookies at 350°F for approximately 12 minutes.