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Pistachio Lace Cookies

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I think one of the biggest reasons I consider myself a foodie is just because food is so intricately woven into our lifestyles. When my boyfriend and I first started dating, our relationship was strengthened (or so I would argue) over our cooking endeavours together, where we discovered our compatibility in being able to work together and collaborate to make delicious works of breakfast in the kitchen. When we made breakfast at his house, we would waltz around the kitchen in a seemingly choreographed manner, grabbing ingredients for each other, taking turns watching how cooked the eggs were, dipping slices of bread in the French toast batter, and, by golly, we were the best at making eggs (scrambled, over-easy, sunny side-up, you name it!), French toast, hash browns, pancakes, etc.. He had 11 other housemates and when we were in the kitchen, we dominated the aromas that wafted through the entire house.

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Beyond the act of cooking as a bonding mechanism, the act of eating is also so incredibly central to our lives. My memories and ideas of places and people are reinforced by the tastes and smells I associate with my experiences. Going to Taiwan as a child (where my paternal grandparents live), I have the fondest memories of my grandma waking up earlier than everyone else every morning and heading out to buy bags full of the most delicious Taiwanese breakfast goods. We would wake up to the smells of greasy, delicious fried Chinese donuts (you tiao), warm sweet soymilk for dipping said donuts, boxes of small, perfectly-wrapped soup dumplings (xiao long bao), and tightly wrapped rice rolls filled with pickled vegetables and pork floss.

And when I write about recipes and different items I have made before, I instantly think of the experiences and memories I have associated with said foods. These pistachio lace cookies I made one day I was at home before my sister finished school and when she came home and smelled the vanilla aroma from the cookies and saw the gorgeous green pistachio nuts speckling these thin treats, she was in infatuated. I remember dabbing our fingers along the cookie tray and lickng the bits of sweet oats off like they were an exotic spice. And it is for moments like this that I make and share food.

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 Pistachio Oat Lace Cookies (Original Seattle Lunchbox Recipe)

  • 1 1/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 350ºF and line cookie sheets with ungreased parchment paper.

Mix the oats, brown sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, and nuts together. Add butter, vanilla and water to oat mixture.

Drop teaspoonfuls of batter onto prepared cookie sheets with a couple inches of space in between. Flatten the cookies slightly.

Bake 8 to 12 minutes.

Let cool and gobble up.

Gingerbread Spiced Nuts: It’s Beginning to Smell a Lot like Christmas

IMG_2074If you asked me to wax poetic about the glory and beauty of the holiday season, believe me I could go on for a while.

The smell of hot chocolate, the glow of lights dangling from rooftops and tree branches alike, the frantic brain-racking to try to remember how many gifts you need to be, the helpless distraction by cute stocking stuffers that I end up just buying for myself usually.

Ah yes the holidays.

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But I think it is safe to say that the holidays are also the most wonderful time for foodies around the world. Food is a holiday centerpiece, and I use that word in a fairly liberal piece. Yes, food can be a literal centerpiece (i.e. a Thanksgiving dinner with the gorgeous glazed turkey towering over the mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce). But, food is also an integral part to so many traditions and memories.

I mean, think about it. “The Christmas Song” begins so truthfully with mention of delightful roasted chestnuts. One of my fondest childhood memories is of ski trips (having grown up in Washington State, land of stunning snow-capped peaks) and the breaks we would have between jumping on lifts. We would sit in the lodges, faces rosy from the cold, and sip on delicious hot chocolate and drink warm bowls of soup as Christmas music echoed from the speakers around the lodge.

And the holiday spices. Never has soul-warming gingerbread flavor been so well-complemented for a time of the year, which spurred me to make these nuts.

I’ve been on a nut-making frenzy. Have you realized that food is a perfect DIY holiday gift? These nuts are the epitome of this. Easy to package in mason jars or gift bags, and bursting at the seam with holiday flavor. They are holiday perfection.

Okay, I know I said I wouldn’t wax poetic about the holidays, so I’ll stop here before my writing turns to mush. Have a recipe, my readers.

IMG_2074Gingerbread Spiced Nuts (Adapted from Aggie’s Kitchen)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups nuts (I used 1 cup walnuts, 1 cup pecans, 1 cup roasted cashews)
  • 1/2 + 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 + 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • big pinch coarse salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat egg white until foamy, but before soft peaks form.
  3. Add oil and salt into egg white and mix it in.
  4. Add nuts to a egg white mixture and make sure all are coated.
  5. In a small bowl, combine spices and sugar. Add to nuts and toss well until nuts are completely coated.
  6. Bake in 250 degree for 45 minutes until fragrant. Toss halfway in between (and also make sure to rotate your pan if your oven is known to be uneven) Let cool before serving.