Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

Since Christmas, I have been trying to wean myself off of sugar. It is so hard with the holiday goodies still around the house (yes, still!) so instead of fighting the urge to have a treat with the kids I decided to make my own healthier treat. Again, I find myself with loads of carrots (see this carrot cookie recipe) so I did a little internet search and found an easily modifyable carrot cookie recipe. At first bite, my family didn't really like these, but after a minute or two, we all started grooving on these cakey and not too sweet treats.

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies (adapted from this recipe at 101 Cookbooks)

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1 cup shredded carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
1/2 cup dark agave syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 t ground ginger

All ready to go

Preheat oven to 375F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger and oats. Add the nuts and carrots. In a separate smaller bowl use a whisk to combine the agave, and oil. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Coming together

Drop onto prepared baking sheets, one level tablespoonful at a time, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake in the top 1/3 of the oven for 10 - 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden on top and bottom.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

I'm back and I brought dinner with me

Hello internet. Have you missed me? I have missed you, but I have been spending lots of time with you doing other things mostly work related. In fact, I have been working nearly round the clock this month and have hardly had a spare minute to blog. But, we still have to eat around here, even when I don't have a chance to write about it, so I have a lot of good new recipes to post. Let's get things rolling with last night's dinner masterpiece.

I will freely admit that as a child I ate my share of crummy stuffed bell peppers (sorry Mom!). They were mostly bitter green peppers filled with tasteless meat and rice. I really hated stuffed pepper night when I was a kid. And honestly, when I stared at the pile of red bell peppers that my hubby came home with a few nights ago stuffed peppers didn't immediately pop into my head. But when searching for a dinner that would use a substantive amount of them I kept running across stuffed pepper recipes. Clearly the universe wanted me to make stuffed peppers, but they needed to be something yummy and that my kids would actually eat.

I surfed over to my favorite food blog, Kayln's Kitchen, and low and behold, Kalyn had just what I was looking for. These were, without question, the single best stuffed peppers I have ever eaten. Period. Chris and I ate them with a side of green beans. For the kids, I could have served the filling over or along side pasta and it would have been delicious. Please make won't be disappointed.

Italian Stuffed Peppers (adapted from this recipe at Kalyn's Kitchen)

6 red peppers
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pkg. (5 links) Italian sausage, casing removed
1 cup diced onion (1 medium onion)
1 cup diced red pepper (tops of peppers)
Salt and Pepper to season meat
1 1/2 cups grated low fat mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 1/2 cup tomato sauce (I used Classico Tomato Basil)

Preheat oven to 375. Cut tops off red peppers, making a deep enough cut that you have some red pepper to chop for the filling. If needed, "square" off the bottom of the pepper to make them stand up. Clean out inside of peppers and wash if needed.

In very large frying pan, cook hamburger and sausage until lightly browned. Drain meat, reserving about 1 T of oil in the pan. Set meat aside. Add peppers and onions to the hot pan. Cook 3 - 4 minutes or until just starting to soften. Add pepper and onion mix to the meat. Add about 1 cup tomato sauce, just enough to barely moisten the mixture. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Let mixture cool slightly, then mix in cheese.

Choose a glass or metal pan barely big enough to hold all the peppers standing up. Spray the pan with nonstick spray. Stuff each pepper with meat/veggie/cheese mixture, using a large spoon , piling it up on top and pressing in tightly until you use all the filling. Place peppers in pan touching each other. Top with an additional spoonful of tomato sauce. Bake, covered with foil about 30 minutes. Take off foil and bake about 20 minutes more, until cheese is melted completely and top is slightly browned.