Earl Grey French 75

Earl Grey French 75 - cookieandkate.com

Busy week, huh? I seem to have temporarily lost my appetite (nothing that Christmas treats at home won’t be able to cure), so I made us some cocktails! I can attest that these strong, brunch-appropriate cocktails go great with my butternut frittata. Just remember—you’re adding gin to Champagne, so these pack a punch. Which means they might be just what you need at the holiday table.

how to make Earl Grey French 75

I tasted this cocktail at Cafe Flora in Seattle a couple of months ago. I was so excited to eat there since Bill had recommended the restaurant to me a couple of years ago. My brother was driving, so I ordered one of these while we waited for our vegetarian brunch to arrive and I marveled at the fiery red trees outside. Needless to say, I was a fan and knew I had to recreate these for the blog.

This Earl Grey-infused gin is the easiest infusion I’ve made yet, so please give it a try! It only needs an hour. The rest is super simple—the honey simple syrup comes together in just a couple of minutes on the stove (making simple syrup instead of straight honey helps the honey disperse into the drink). Shake it up, pour it into glasses, top it off with bubbly! Cheers from Cookie and Kate.

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Butternut Squash Frittata with Fried Sage

Savory butternut squash and Parmesan frittata with fried sage on top - cookieandkate.com

It’s very strange to be a private, reserved person with a public job. Sometimes I can hardly stand to publish another post and put myself out there for critique all over again. I’ve pulled back from writing about personal matters on this once-little corner of the internet over time, even though ninety-nine percent of you all are so kind and encouraging. (Thank you.)

butternut and sage

I catch myself doing the same in new relationships—not opening up, not quite being myself, just generally holding back. Vulnerability terrifies me and it’s safer to just bob along on the surface. This week went south and that’s all I can muster up to say about it.

This frittata, though. It deserves mention. You should make it. It’s full of sweet butternut squash, sautéed onion and salty Parmesan cheese, topped with crispy fried sage. It’s a great gluten-free holiday brunch option.

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Balsamic Butternut, Kale and Cranberry Panzanella

Wintery butternut kale panzanella salad - by @cookieandkate

Are you knee-deep in holiday overwhelm? Me, too. I got most of my holiday shopping squared away and ate a proper dinner last night, so that’s something. I’m going to call this salad a proper dinner-in-a-bowl. It’s full of roasted winter squash, nutritious greens, whole grains, seeds and olive oil. Granted, this blog needed another kale salad like my closet needed another motorcycle jacket… which is to say not really but absolutely.

Traditional panzanella is a summertime salad made with cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, vinegar and homemade croutons made from stale bread. As far as I can tell, though, any salad featuring vegetables, vinaigrette and big ol’ homemade croutons qualifies as panzanella these days. This salad calls for a healthy amount of olive oil, of course, so now seems like prime time to share some photos of my trip to the olive oil harvest this fall.

butternut and meCalifornia Olive Ranch invited me and a few other bloggers (Erin/Naturally Ella, Kelsey/Happyolks, Brenda/A Farmgirl’s Dabbles, Stacey/Delightful Crumb!) out to the Sacramento area for a couple of days at the end of October. The two lovely ladies in charge of marketing for California Olive Ranch, Kirsten and Grace, were warm and welcoming and fit right in with the rest of the crew.

During those two days, I was just hanging out with friends who are as passionate about good food as I am. It was grand. I wasn’t obligated to post about the trip, but it was so inspiring and insightful that I didn’t want to keep it all to myself.

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15 Wholesome Holiday Treats

Healthier holiday treats that everyone will love! See them at cookieandkate.com

This week is eating my lunch! Yesterday’s photo shoot didn’t work out as planned and I’m writing from the auto service department this morning. Free WiFi is hardly softening the blow of their outrageous repair estimate. Rumble grumble!

I thought I’d share some of my very favorite sweet and savory holiday treats today. If you’re on the hunt for Christmas appetizers or cookies, I’ve got you covered! All of these recipes are made with 100 percent whole grains and many are naturally sweetened as well. I’ve left notes for which are vegan and/or gluten free so you can find just the right fix. What’s your pick? I’d like one of each, please.

spicy molasses cookies

No. 1: Spicy Molasses Cookies

These not-too-sweet, grown-up cookies are fantastic on their own or with an afternoon cup of coffee.

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Easy Salted Oat Fudge

Healthy salted oat fudge! Tastes like a cross between fudge and no-bake cookies. cookieandkate.com

This fudge happened by accident. Back when I was perfecting my granola bar recipe, I decided to warm up the almond butter mixture for one of the test batches. When I stirred in the chocolate chips, they melted—as chocolate chips do when they’re stirred into warm liquids. Head smack.

The chocolatey mix tasted great, but I cursed those chips for melting because I wasn’t trying to make solid chocolate bars. I couldn’t waste a precious blend of chocolate, honey and almond butter blends, however, so I carried on with the recipe and served it as a makeshift dessert at girls’ night. Jordan, Tessa and Alissa are always good sports.

easy healthy fudge ingredients

We all enjoyed the chocolatey bars that night, but I was still mad at them for not being what I wanted them to be. “Off you go!” I declared, and sent the rest home with Jordan. She texted me a couple of days later to tell me that she and her husband had polished off the whole batch already and she was craving more. She called it “salted oat fudge” and suggested I publish the recipe, so here we are!

These delicious, easy, wholesome chocolate squares taste like a cross between fudge and no-bake cookies. You just can’t go wrong with a hybrid between fudge and no-bake cookies, am I right?

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Cinnamon Maple Caramel Popcorn

Cinnamon maple caramel popcorn, simple to make with all natural ingredients - cookieandkate.com

It’s been two days since I published my gift guide and I’ve made no progress on my holiday shopping list. I have, however, consumed lots and lots of this simple, maple-sweetened caramel corn. I can’t help myself! This is the one time of year that I wish I worked at an office, just for the homemade, powdered sugar-dusted cookies and chocolate peanut butter buckeyes.

naturally sweetened caramel popcorn

I’ve managed to appease my holiday cravings with my own homemade treats. Case in point? This popcorn. It’s dangerously easy to make and I’m powerless in the presence of its salty-sweet, cinnamon-flavored crunchiness.

Most caramel popcorn is made with corn syrup, which is an ingredient I’d rather avoid, plus a lot of butter. This healthier, dairy-free, homemade version is made simply with reduced maple syrup, nut butter, spices and freshly popped popcorn. And it is delicious.

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