Orange Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

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I really do love making cookies, they are probably the thing I like to make the most, just because you can add sooooo many different things and flavors.  Most of the time I will take the base dough that I make divide it half, three’s or in four’s, it really depends on the different combinations I want to try and see if they are any good.  Sometimes they work, sometimes your like yeah…NO 😛

But that is what’s fun about getting in the kitchen and creating a recipe.  When coming up with a recipe for you all here on my blog, I usually try to start with an ingredient that I like (ex. chicken, seafood, etc.), then a direction I want to go in, check my pantry, walk the aisle’s at the store, coming home and laying it all out on the counter and just start.  

Taste as I go, sometimes it’s not right and then I go back to the pantry and see what I have to make it better.  Everyone has different tastes, what I like, you may not like, so if you don’t like something in a recipe then change it, don’t be afraid to make your own.

So here we go with my newest cookie recipe; as I was thinking of what kind of cookie to make, I checked my pantry and left over from my Homemade Granola Recipe https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2013/03/25/homemade-granola/ was coconut and pecans.  So okay there is a start, then I saw  the oatmeal so okay an oatmeal cookie…but what else could I add… as I turned my head and started to think…there is was right on my table…Mandarin Oranges…yes!! 🙂

Ingredients

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First I got my coconut on a baking sheet to toast

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Whisk together flour, salt & baking soda set aside
                                                                          In a small cup add eggs & vanilla

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In mixer bowl add sugars & butter           Beat together

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Then add eggs with vanilla                         Then on low at flour mixture

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At this point I want to try two different cookies, so I halved the dough

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First Cookie – Orange Coconut Oatmeal
dough, coconut, orange zest, oatmeal              mix to combine

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Second Cookie – Orange Pecan Oatmeal
chop pecans, add pecans, zest, oatmeal, mix to combine

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Scoop on to baking sheet and bake

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done

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So as I had my family test these cookies, they liked both for sure, the one’s that didn’t like coconut liked the pecan ones better, but most said they’d like them both together.  So there I mixed the coconut and the pecans together, but if you don’t like coconut or can’t have nuts, you can leave one or the other out.

Recipe – Orange Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

2 eggs
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup toasted coconut
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
zest of 4 mandarin oranges
2 cup old-fashioned oats

Preheat oven 350 degrees
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking soda, set aside
In a small cup add eggs and vanilla, set aside
To toast coconut, add to baking sheet, bake at 350 degrees until light brown, keep an eye on this, in a second it will burn, stir every minute or so until light brown.   Chop pecans, set aside.

In your mixing bowl add butter and both sugars, beat on medium high for about 3 – 4 minutes.  Turn to mixer to medium add eggs with vanilla, beat until combined, on low add your flour mixture, once flour is kind of mixed, you can turn the mixer back to medium and beat until just combined.

Fold in or use your hands to mix in coconut, pecans, oats and orange zest.

Use a medium scoop, scoop dough on to lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart, bake for 12 – 15 minutes, golden brown.

I hope you will try them and enjoy!!!

And if you haven’t seen my Dark Chocolate Coffee Nut Cookies, check them out here

https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2013/02/

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Homemade Granola

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Homemade Granola is everywhere, pic 1

or I should say store made…You see in a lot of stores their own brand of homemade granola and it really is good if have not tried it you should give it a chance.  But I’ve always just wanted to make my own so I could control what was in it, seeds, nuts, fruit, honey or sugar or maple syrup or whatever.

So as I decided to make this I was thinking what do I want in it, I like pecans, walnut, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), pistachios, coconut and then I was thinking what else……….I got it…..Chia Seeds!!  Yes I know what you are thinking the “Chia Pet” this terracotta figurine, shaped in all kinds of characters.   You soak the figurine in water and then spread the seeds and watch it grow….well you are right  chia

But you can eat the seeds too and the people of the ancient Aztec and Mayan empires revered chia seeds as vital nourishment.  They are packed with Omega-3, protein, antioxidants and fiber.

While  getting my chia seeds, I saw Toasted Hemp Seeds and I thought…huh?…why not…They are high in protein, potassium, Fiber, Omega-3
and Omega-6, who knew…LOL!!

Okay so now I have all my so called nuts and bolts I need sweetness…I could use maple syrup which most recipes call for…and I found some locally but they also had Apple Cinnamon Syrup, I knew that was what I wanted to use, so I am now ready to go.

Ingredients

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I used Coconut oil to add to my syrup, I like using coconut oil in my everyday cooking, cook on low , stirring until coconut oil is melted

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once melted add vanilla and salt, stir to combine then set aside

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in a large bowl add nuts and seeds, mix to combine, if adding fruit you will add that after baking

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pour the oil and syrup mixture over nuts and seeds

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 stir to make sure everything is coated

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pour mixture to baking sheet and spread out

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bake at 325 degrees for 25 – 355 minutes, stirring half way through, I like my granola on the very crunchy side, so I let it get really brown, so keep in and stirring as it gets brown, just don’t let it burn

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Serve over yogurt or with milk

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Recipe

Homemade Granola

3 cups oats (not quick oats)
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup pistachios
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup toasted hemp seeds
3/4 cup apple cinnamon syrup
4 tbsp. coconut oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt

In a large bowl add the first 8 ingredients, stir to combine set aside.

In a small sauce pan add coconut oil & syrup, cook on low stirring until just melted, then add vanilla and salt and mix till salt is dissolved.
Pour oil mixture over the nuts and seeds, and toss to fully coat, pour mixture on to  two baking sheet and spread out, bake at 325 degrees for 25- 35 minutes.  

Let cool completely, if adding dried fruit so it at this point and store in air tight containers for up to a month, if it lasts that long!!

Have some on yogurt, or even Ice Cream, or just pour milk over it, or eat just as is…I don’t like mine that sweet, so this is not that sweet as other recipes can be, I also added some dried tart cherries at the end.  

I hope you will try and enjoy!!!

Mango Wrapped Coconut Macadamia Nut Crusted Tilapia

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fish 1I love me some fresh seafood, I wish I lived on the coast just for this reason.  When I worked on a cruise ship having fresh seafood in every port was not an issue, it was amazing!!!

Myself and my friends would have our favorite spots to go to in each port, and although they all had great fresh seafood, there was one place was my favorite…Cozumel Mexico!

We would go up into town, now I mean up in town past all the tourist spots where the locals eat and shop, to the “Market”.  Now this was not like our kind of markets here in the US, although the market was in a building, there were no doors.
And everything was out in the open; fruits, vegetables, Meats, breads, oh yes I did say ‘Meats”, out in all it’s glory, hanging and flies everywhere.  Yes this was not appealing, but I really didn’t go there for the meat.  Of course the produce was out of this world fresh, oranges and melons that were so sweet it was like eating candy.  Fresh tortillas being made right in front of you, this was really was one the highlights of visiting Cozumel.
Right outside of this market was a courtyard in a “U” shape, and when it was closed it would look like just a bunch of garage doors.  But when open, the garage doors would lift to reveal all these individual kitchens.
All with there own specially dishes, but we only ate at this one kitchen every Friday like clock work.  We’d go early into the market get some fruit, veggies, really whatever appealed to us and what we wanted to cook for lunch.
Yes I said cook, this one Kitchen would let me use the kitchen to cook whatever we bought in the market, it was awesome.
The only thing we would get from them was some of the Freshest Red Snapper and Grouper I ever had, we’d be there when the doors opened and then here comes the fisherman walking up with a cooler.  He had just got off his boat with this fresh fish and we would pick the ones we want and the kitchen would cook it right up. Head, body, tail and all and serve up with white rice.  

red snapper
My boyfriend at the time loved the head, I will not go into detail on what he ate from that, I was happy to let him eat that part. LOL

So I came up with this fish dish for Fish Friday’s in my house!!  Plus it does have that Caribbean flare!

Mango Wrapped Coconut Macadamia Nut Crusted Tilapia

Ingredients

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Coconut, panko breadcrumbs, macadamia nut

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in a skillet add butter, oil, shallots & red pepper

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Cook for about 2 minutes

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add panko breadcrumbs, nuts & coconut flakes

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once combined (above), remove from heat and add brown sugar, set aside to cool

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peel mango

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with peeler, peel long ribbons of mango for wrapping

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I used a whole fillet and cut it in half

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starting at one end take mango ribbons and start wrapping fillets

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wrapped fillets

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add topping to each fillet, you can use as little or as much
(I used the leftovers for a salad topping – recipe to come)

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then bake

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done

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I served it with a Mango Avocado Salad with Balsamic Poppy Seed Dressing
(recipe coming soon)

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Recipe

Mango Wrapped Coconut Macadamia Nut Crusted Tilapia

1 whole tilapia fillet, cut in half 
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
2 tsp. brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp. butter (you can use all olive oil)
2 tbsp. lime infused olive oil ***see note below
1 large shallot, chopped
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 mango
salt to taste

Add butter, oil, shallots and red pepper flakes to a skillet and cook over med. to med. high heat, once butter has melted cook for 1 – 2 minutes more.
Add breadcrumbs, coconut and nuts, stirring to coat with butter mixture, once all is coated then remove from heat stir in brown sugar and taste for needed salt.  Set aside to cool

Peel mango, then take peeler and run it around the mango, trying to make long ribbons of mango.  If they break that is okay you can piece it together. (the remaining mango, use in salad recipe)
Take ribbons and start at one end of the fish and continue wrapping to other end, place on baking sheet, top with breadcrumb mixture, you can add as much or as little as you want.  Keep leftover crumb mixture for salad topping.

Bake fish at 400 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes, you want topping to be golden brown, my oven I cooked it for 15 minutes and fish was perfect.

You can serve the fish with anything you like, I served mine with a salad, I will post that recipe in the next few days 🙂

***Note – Lime infused olive oil, I got this oil at a specialty store, you do not have to use this oil, you can use plan olive oil, if you want that hint of lime then add the juice of half a lime in the crumb mixture when you add the brown sugar, if you want more lime flavor add the juice of the other half, and you can always add the zest of the lime as well!!
You also do not need to use butter, you can just use 4 tbsp. oil in the recipe.

Hope you enjoy this one and hey tell all your friends about me and my blog…Enjoy!!

Coconut Macaroons

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I truly love Coconut macaroons, but of course you have to love or at least like coconut…Well I do 🙂
Its funny when I was little my parents would get a huge box of “Esther Price” at Christmas time from my Dad’s work and I hated when I would pick a piece and it was “Coconut” yuk!!!!   😦
Of course our taste buds change as we grow up and I absolutely love making these, this recipe is so simple and easy!!!  So please “if you like coconut” make these, you will not be disappointed, I love having mine with a great cup of expresso…Enjoy!!!

1 14 oz. package sweetened coconut
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar

5 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

4 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

I like my coconut fine, so I add it to the food processor and pulse a few times to make the coconut finer, you do not have to do this, this is just how I like it.

Attach the whip attachment to your mixer, in bowl add egg whites, cream of tartar and salt, beat until egg whites become white and just start to stiffen.  Then add sugar in 2 parts, sprinkle in 2 1/2 tbsp. let that beat a few seconds then sprinkle in the remaining sugar and add vanilla, continue to whip until egg whites are very stiff.
Fold in coconut, drop by the teaspoon or tablespoon (I do 2 tablespoon scoop), onto silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake teaspoon size for 15 – 20 minutes, tablespoon size for 20 – 30 minutes, they should be golden brown but still moist inside.

If you want to add chocolate, just melt chocolate and drizzle over top or dip half the macaroon into chocolate.

Enjoy!!!!

Coconut Macaroons

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I truly love Coconut Macaroons, but of course you have to love or at least like coconut…Well I do, its funny when I was little my parents would get a huge box of “Esther Price” chocolate candy at Christmas time from my Dad’s work and I hated when I would pick a piece and it was “Coconut”!!!  Of course our taste buds change and I absolutely love making these, this recipe is so simple and easy!!!  So please “if you like coconut” make these, you will not be disappointed, I love having mine with a great cup of expresso…Enjoy!!!

3 cups unsweetened coconut *see note below
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sugar
3 extra-large egg whites
2 tbsp. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large mixing bowl combine coconut, butter, vanilla and 1/2 cup sugar.
With an electric mixer whip egg whites until they begin to get foamy and opaque. With the mixer on add remaining sugar in a slow steady stream, keep whipping until the mixture has volumized and is pure white, but just short of holding soft peaks.

Fold the whites into the coconut mixture, I use a 2 oz. scooper to make perfect mounds and place them on a baking sheet pan with a silpat.  Bake for about 20 minutes, I like mine a little brown, so they are crunchy on the outside but chewy inside.
I store mine just on a plate, if you keep them in a sealed container they will get soft on the outside, if this happens and you want them to have that crunch again, just heat them for about 5-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

***NOTE – I like my coconut a little finer, so after I measure out 3 cups, I pulse it a couple of times in the food processor.

You can drizzle chocolate on them or you can add chocolate chips if you like, 3/4 cup – 1 cup.