Recipe: Savory Oatmeal Cookies

I know when I read a post on a site that starts with “I’m more of a savory girl than anything else” that I’ve found a soul sister. Or a kitchen sister, at the very least.

That’s how I felt when I stumbled upon these savory oatmeal cookies…how could I resist? A cookie baked deliberately for eating with cheese?! One that builds upon my already well-established love for the more traditional kind of oatmeal cookie (the kind with chocolate chips)? I was so, so sold – even before I saw the cup (yes, cup) of cheese that goes into these stunners. I swear.

Savory Oatmeal Cookies | Arlington Darling

Savory Oatmeal Cookies | Arlington Darling

Let’s just get right to it, shall we? Recipe adapted from The Kitchn.

Recipe: Savory Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup sifted all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt, plus more for dusting
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. chopped rosemary
1/4 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

To Make:
1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. In a bowl, combine the oats and water.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the olive oil, sugar, and egg. Then, add to the oats.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients (flour, sea salt, baking soda, rosemary, pepper, and cheese).
5. Add to the oats bowl and combine.
6. Form tablespoon-sized balls, and flatten gently on a baking sheet, leaving an inch or two of space in between each cookie. Optional: add a sprinkle of sea salt on top of each cookie.
7. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until golden on the edges.

Enjoy! Her suggestion to eat these with a soft, sharp cheese is perfect. I recommend Red Hawk or Humboldt Fog. They’re also good on their own. Just look at the savory texture! Mmmmph!

Savory Oatmeal Cookies | Arlington Darling

Savory Oatmeal Cookies | Arlington Darling


Arlington Darling’s Five Favorite Cheeses

This post needs no explanation, rationalization, or introduction. Here’s me, dropping my knowledge:

Cheese Assortment

Cheese – Fairway Market

  • Pecorino Tartufo Riserva. I have this every year at my aunt’s house for Christmas Eve, and it always blows my mind. Even my cousin’s 5 year old daughter loved this cheese, and she’s a picky eater. It is salty, nutty, firm, salty, truffley, and slightly crumbly. They are generous with the truffle in this cheese, and the flavor is astounding. Definitely a special occasion cheese to be savored and worth unbuttoning your top button for. I like it plain – no crackers, no other flavors to compete with. This one shines on its own. My aunt waits religiously in line at Murray’s in New York for it (P.S. new favorite website).
  • Humboldt Fog (Cypress Grove). A somewhat recent discovery of mine but it’s going to stand the test of time. This is a funkier cheese but still very accessible (gee, I really sound like I know what I’m talking about, don’t I? Hah! P.S., I don’t.). This cheese is so, so creamy and the vegetable ash in the middle gives it such a unique flavor. I also really love the rind on this cheese. You’ll find this on cheese plates at restaurants for a reason. This is also probably the only cheese on the list that I can only have a few bites of before I get so overwhelmed with the deliciousness that I need to switch to something else for a while or the awesomeness gets dulled. Maybe that doesn’t make sense. But basically it’s a unique winner.
  • Unexpected Cheddar (Trader Joe’s). A beautiful, beautiful blend of cheddar and parmesan – the best of both worlds. Fantastically crumbly, nutty, and super salty. Party favorite. Good alone, melted into quesadillas, and crumbled into a salad. Also plays nice with fruit such as apples and grapes. Unexpected is a great name for it because while it looks humble and average, it definitely isn’t.
  • Red Hawk (Cowgirl Creamery). This cheese makes my list because not only is it delicious, but it reminds me of San Francisco. JJ and I picked up this cheese somewhat randomly for our sourdough picnic and we couldn’t believe our find. It’s a cheese with enough interest to keep a cheese lover entertained while not being so funky that it turns people off. It’s a soft cheese, so crackers are the way to go for me. Some dried fruit is also nice with it (at our picnic, we enjoyed it with some dried apricots).
  • Hand Dipped Ricotta (Lioni Latticini). I buy this cheese at Whole Foods in what I think of as the deli section – where they keep the prepackaged cheese, olives, fresh pasta sauces, etc. I’ve never seen it sold anywhere else, but it is hands-down the best ricotta I’ve ever had. I’m not sure I could do a description of it justice. Let’s just say when I buy it, I keep it simple with some salt and a big hunk of pretzel bread. It’s too delicious of a cheese to mix into pasta or bake with.

There you have it! The big five. Did I miss any? 🙂

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DC Meat-Free Week 2013

Meat-Free week is this week, February 4th through 11th. There are a number of cool meat-free events (mostly involving food, of course!) run by DC Vegan, The Kindness Collective, and Compassion Over Killing. I’m going to try and get to at least one event but I’ve been feeling a little under the weather this week so we’ll have to see.

In honor of Meat-Free week, I will share with you my adventures into partial veganism! Exciting! As you know, I’ve been a vegetarian for about 4 years now. I love it and I’m not thinking about going back to meat any time soon, if ever (sorry, N and JJ). I got into vegetarianism mostly for three reasons: 1) I wanted to reduce my impact on the environment (sources here and here); 2) I wanted to incorporate more vegetables and whole foods into my diet and focus on eating healthier; and 3) I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could do it!

I have successfully fulfilled #2 and #3. But what about #1? Yes, reducing my meat consumption has absolutely reduced my environmental footprint. But cheese (and other dairy products) is also a big water-guzzler, fossil fuel-guzzler, and polluter (source here). Some studies that I’ve read even rate it as high on the environmental villain list as chicken! Not cool. And dairy in general, while it has benefits (protein and calcium), also has some dietary pitfalls.

So I decided that in 2013 I am going to try and significantly reduce my dairy consumption by not actively purchasing any eggs, milk, yogurt, or cheese. I’m not going 100% vegan – just not purchasing these dairy products on my grocery trips. I’m okay, for now, with trace amounts of dairy appearing in my food (e.g., cream in a can of tomato soup). Also, while I will try to go vegan outside the home by taking advantage of vegan options in restaurants, generally this is really hard to do – and can drastically limit your social options (I’m not saying it can’t be done, just that I’m not ready for that level of commitment yet). So I’ll stay my usual vegetarian outside of my own home.

Note: I know that what I am attempting is not veganism. It’s not even close! I’m just trying to do my part to reduce the environmental impact on our planet by reducing my overall dairy consumption. Who knows, maybe this will open all kinds of new doors for me in terms of food and health! And who doesn’t want that in 2013? 🙂

Grilled Cheese, KL Style

City Eats (which, by the way, I have decided is a mostly useless site that seems to exist just to inspire my blog posts) recently released a list of the Ten Best Grilled Cheeses in DC. Not only have I not been to just a handful of the establishments on their list, but I think they missed a few! And, as everyone knows by now, I am the district’s #1 cheese lover. I might not be the most knowledgeable, or the snobbiest, but man do I love cheese. See previous blog evidence here (I do not think this evidence would hold up in court or follows the rules of an appropriately cross-referenced article on Wikipedia but it certainly holds weight in my book).

KL’s Top Grilled Cheeses in DC and Arlington:

  1. Earl’s Sandwiches. Why do more people not know about this place? It’s a gem of a sandwich shop tucked into the area between Courthouse and Clarendon. I like to go there when I need a little pick-me-up and order the grilled cheese special, which has asparagus, tomato, and cheese on buttery toast. It is greasy, perfectly-cooked perfection. Total indulgence and right in the neighborhood.
  2. Northside Social. Can I rave enough about this place? This Clarendon coffeehouse has a lot of virtues (previously extolled on this very blog), and its grilled cheese is one of them. One coworker raved that it was the best grilled cheese in the DC area. I hardly ever order it because Northside has many other tempting bites to offer, but when I do, I am always very happy. It comes with a side salad so you can feel slightly more virtuous about eating it.
  3. Shake Shack. This is my non-traditional pick, because it’s really a veggie burger and not a straight up grilled cheese. Shake Shack’s veggie burger is composed of two very thinly sliced and breaded Portobello mushrooms which are then stuffed with cheese and fried. You end up with a glorified mozzarella stick. Then they put it on a bun, with the special sauce. Heaven. Who could resist fried cheese on a bun? Not this girl. I have been to Shake Shack more times than is appropriate for a vegetarian.

Okay, so that list is pretty short – mostly because I try not to stuff my face with cheese everywhere I go (despite mounting evidence to the contrary). But these three places are clutch.

I will admit that one of my favorite grilled cheeses is the homemade kind: plain white bread, lots of butter, and sliced American cheese. Sorry to those of you out there who are groaning with disappointment, but when you need comfort food nothing beats that and a bowl of Campbell’s tomato soup. Childhood right there. But on days when I want to feel a little more like a grown-up, I might make one of these:

Yum :).

Recap of Charlottesville Part II – It’s Finally Fall

Happy Monday! I’m fresh from another weekend in Charlottesville. This time, it was finally fall. Unfortunately the foliage hasn’t quite caught up to the weather yet (or maybe it won’t be as good this year? I may have heard that somewhere). So our drive down Route 29 wasn’t as scenic as I would have hoped. But the weather was perfect.

I did some shopping in Charlottesville to prepare for the changing seasons – I bought a textured orange sweater from Loft, an Abercrombie flannel shirt (finally!) from a consignment shop, and a caramel pecan pie candle from Yankee Candle. It is comical how fall-focused my shopping was. And the candle smells amazing – I highly recommend this scent. The saleslady totally got me, too – I was going to buy the medium one and then she says, “for $3 more you can get the large candle and have 60 additional burning hours!” And I was like, “sold!” LOL.

And of course, aside from the shopping I enjoyed yummy food: this time we ate at an off-the-beaten-path bar called Black Market Moto Saloon (very veg-friendly) and had Bodo’s Bagels (a Charlottesville tradition). And, for my fellow W&M alumni: Charlottesville has a Cheese Shop “cousin” called Take It Away – they have house dressing and all of the same sandwiches as the Williamsburg Cheese Shop. My mind was blown. Of course I got bread ends!!! Of course. LT and I enjoyed them (and by enjoyed, I mean we ate the whole bag in one sitting) while sitting on the UVA lawn. Heaven.

No wonder I love Charlottesville: great weather, great food, and most of all, great people. Thanks to LV for another amazing weekend at my new home-away-from home :).