Monthly Archives: August 2016

Whole Grain Oat and Raisin Cookies


I was getting ready for our Topsail Trip this summer and made a batch of these cookies for our road trip down. The journey usually takes 12 hours on average for us. I always look forward to the road trip. My mom always says it is not always the destination but the journey it takes to reach the destination. I love this piece of advice,  and I learn the older I get the more I find truth to the quote.

We make a lot of memories on our drive down and back to Topsail. We put on various xm stations (90 on 9, The Blend, Highway, Y2K Country) and hit the cruise control. We usually get lost along the way but we always find new markets, cars for sale, or antique stores along the way. We laugh about getting lost later.

To fuel our journey,  we pack our car with a lot of snacks so we don’t have to stop as much.  Plus it saves us some money to spend later ….. on another vacation (hehe). My husband always says more than half of what I pack is food. Which is true and I guess because that is the dietitian in me.

I did make one healthy swap on these cookies and it was to incorporate more whole grain by using whole wheat flour. Next time I will try and decrease the saturated fat and sugar content by using unsweetened applesauce.

This recipe yields: 36 rather large cookies (when you use a number 40 cookie scoop)


2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

2 egg

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of brown sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp (soften)

3 cups Old fashioned Oats

1 1/2 cups of raisins or your favorite dried fruit

Tools for the job: 

2 half sheet cookie sheets: Line with Parchment paper

#40 cookie scoop

Oven : Preheat to 350 degrees.


  1. In a large glass bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl attached to a stand mixer beat the butter until light and fluffy, add the sugar and cream the two together. Add in the eggs one at a time and lastly add in the vanilla.
  3. Gently add in the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix on low until incorporated. Caution not to over mix.
  4. Lastly fold in the oats and raisins.
  5. Use a number 40 cookie scoop to portion out the goodies on the parchment lined pan.
  6. Make sure to keep the cookies about 2 inches apart from one another.
  7. Bake for 11-12 minutes on 350 degrees.
  8. Remove from pan right away and allow to cool on wire rack.

Peach Kuchen

My husband and I just returned from Topsail Island. One of our favorite places to go is Sugar Island Bakery. They have beautiful pastries and adorable local crafty gifts and jelwery.   

This bakery makes fresh goodies daily. One of the pastries that has intrigued me the last few years is a Kuchen. The baker had a blueberry kuchen in the shop showcase when we went on Friday. 

On our way home from Topsail we always stop at Mountain Man Orchard and pick up 2 bushels of freshly picked Virgina grown peaches. 

Funny story my husband and I found this gem of a farmer’s market, Mountain Man Orchard, when we got lost about 4 years ago. At the time he was not happy we got lost but now we cherish the moment. This pit stop is now an anticipated tradition to stop at the market our way home from the beach. The destination is actually halfway from Topsail to our home. 

Every year we buy more and more goodies. This year they even had muscadine grapes! A new found love! They also have my sisters favorite honey.


This recipe yields 8-10 servings


1-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup raw sugar

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom 

4 TB cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup fat free half and half

1 egg

1 3/4 cup sliced fresh peaches 

For the Custard Cream topping 

1/2 cup fat free half and half

1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek Yogurt

2 teaspoon whole wheat pastry flour

1/3 cup raw sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch kosher salt

Necessary tools:

9″ Springform pan


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9″ springform pan with cooking spray, set aside. 
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cardamon in a mixing bowl and stir well with a whisk.
3. Cut the cold butter into the flour to incorporate to blend well until it becomes a sandlike texture. 

4. In a small mixing bowl, whisk fat free half and half and egg.  Pour the liquid mixture over the flour mixture. Mix with a fork just until it becomes wet. Spread the batter on the bottom of the pan greased springform pan.

5. Arrange the peach slices on top. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

6. While the bottom part of the dish bake, make the custard topping. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup of half & half with flour and whisk together to remove flour particles. Add the rest of the half and half, sugar, Greek yogurt, egg, vanilla, and salt. Whisk well to thoroughly mix.

7. Take the cake out of the oven and pour the custard mixture on top. Place the cake back in the oven and reduce the heat to 350˚F. Continue to bake for 35-40 minutes.

8. When the cake edges are deep golden and starting to separate from the pan, the cake is done. Remove from oven.  Cool in the pan for 15 minutes on wire rack, then remove it from the pan and let it cool completely.

Bold Black-Eyed Pea Hummus



We had my husband’s colleagues over for a picnic yesterday. I had intentions of making my vibrant blackeyed pea salad; however, I cooked the beans too long in the pressure cooker. It was my first time cooking the black eyed peas in the pressure cooker.  Apparently they don’t take as long to cook as black beans. Well, I learned my lesson for the day. There seems to always be a lesson to be learned. Anyway, there is a positive to this food story,  the unintended outcome was this spicy black-eyed pea hummus. I was able to showcase some crispy fresh garden vegetables from my grandfather’s garden and also my favorite local markets as well.

Hummus goes well with so many foods, I like to add it on top of a pizza instead of marinara sauce. I also add it to my vegetarian BLTs, and I love it on my soft tortilla shells. My frequent go to with hummus is with fresh vegetables. I suggesting skipping the ranch and giving this creamy dip a try.  My favorite pairs are cherry heirloom tomatoes, kohlrabi, red bell peppers, and snap peas.

This recipe makes 30 ounces of hummus (plenty to share; even for us non-sharers )


1/2 cup Water

2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

2 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

3 1/4 cup cooked black eye peas, (if canned make sure to buy low sodium and rinse well)

4 Tablespoons fresh chives

4-5  large of cloves of garlic, peeled

2 teaspoons of ground cumin, plus more for garnish (optional)

1 teaspoon of fajita seasoning

Tools: Vitamix Blender  (I have the Professional Series 750)

2 (2 cup capacity sealalbe containers to store the goods)


  1. In the order of the ingredient list, place all the ingredient items in the vitamix or blender. Place the lid on the attachment to secure.
  2. Select variable number one and gradually increase to number seven.
  3. Allow for all the ingredients to marry in the vessel for at least 1 minute. Use the vitamix wand to press the ingredients to the blades if necessary.
  4. Portion out the hummus in two separate containers. Sprinkle with fresh chives.