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

Ingredients:
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

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Things that Annoy Me About Pinterest: A List

If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I really, really love Pinterest. I maintain my 3,500 pins with special care, hoping that one day I’ll have a personal stylist and interior designer at my disposal so that I can just send them a link to my boards and say, “This is me. Go.”

Until that day comes, I use Pinterest for recipe inspiration, hairstyle ideas, craft/DIY instructions, and to collect pretty images (cats! twinkly lights! Paris! more cats!). Pretty much the same way that most people use it.

But I do admit that sometimes I get annoyed by Pinterest. Or, more accurately, I get annoyed at the things that people pin. People just don’t think before they pin! Take these pins, for example:

Picture of beautiful model with large, bold, colorful tattoo. The description is always, “beautiful, want this tattoo.” Do you? Do you really? Or do you just want to be 19 again and tan and skinny? Yea. I thought so. I am in the market for a tattoo myself, but I only pin things that I would realistically get and would look good on my body and fit my lifestyle.

“Pinata cookies! Want to make!”

Pinata cookies. Yes, those pinata cookies are adorable, and very creative. If you’re pinning them to say, “wow those are very creative, never would have thought of that”, then fine. If you’re actually thinking about making them, stop. Just stop. They will take 7+ hours and will not turn out at all like the picture. Your efforts are better spent making something else yummy and homemade and then going and spending quality time with the person you were going to make those crazy cookies for.

“Genius!”

Bra phone holder. No. Assuming (big assumption) that the type of shirt you are wearing even allows access to that area of your bra (try it right now – I bet you can’t manage it), with how often we all check our phones, this complex operation isn’t even practical. Plus, coming from personal experience, it is possible to irreversibly damage your phone with sweat. So just think about that before you stick your phone in your armpit. The creators cite that they made this product for “all the girls who lose their phones or credit cards after a night out”…I’m willing to bet those phones and credit cards didn’t jump out of a normal purse and run away on their own, but got left on a table or bar when their owner took them out — and the same thing would happen if those girls wore this. Fail.

“The Emergency Workout is designed to help you slim down FAST in just 8-weeks. Super intense workouts with a lot of variety help you make serious progress in a hurry.”

Magic workout routine – pick one, any one: 5 days to flat abs? 10 minute toner? Morning magic muscle builder? Honestly what is the deal with pinning all of the workout routines?! Some people do find them inspirational – and I agree that seeing toned abs and arms in the Pinterest images as I scroll through late at night, munching on white cheddar popcorn, makes me want to put down the popcorn. Just a little. But if you spent half the time actually doing the exercises as you did pinning them, you’d be in baller shape by now. People – find a workout you like and stick to it – pinning 200+ different miracle-promising exercise pins doesn’t get you into shape any faster.

The “Healthy” Milkshake, Oreo, Cake, Brownie, Snickers Bar Extravaganza. As someone who eats vegan cheese (occasionally, and I’m not very happy about it), I completely understand the urge to “substitute” something healthy in a recipe for something unhealthy, or to try and reinvent an old favorite with healthier, grown-up ingredients. But at some point, it gets a little ridiculous. Even if your Shamrock Shake healthy copycat recipe is less caloric and less fattening than the original, can it really be called “healthy?” It’s still a milkshake. Let’s be thoughtful in our use of the term “healthy.”

Did I get all the annoying ones? What are some pins that drive you crazy?

Recipe: Quinoa Burgers, Tzatziki, and Lemon Asparagus

After a food-heavy holiday like Thanksgiving, the last thing any of us wants to do is eat unhealthy food or food that’ll make us feel bloated. Cue protein-rich, low-fat, and veggie-based meals like this one! My GENK girls and I made this after a long day of indulging our other senses…we went to see the latest Twilight movie and then rented The Lucky One (the Nicholas Sparks flick starring Zac Efron). Yea. It was a good day of indulgence :).

The food was indulgent, too, even though it was healthy! We made everything from scratch and enjoyed all the wonderful flavors of green onion, lemon, dill, and cumin. Delish. Oh, and then we made chocolate chip cookies. Kind of killed the health kick, but it was necessary!

So here we go with our recipes. The quinoa burgers needed no bun, we just ate them topped with heaping spoonfuls of the cool, creamy tzatziki. The combination really hit the spot. And the asparagus — so, so good! It’s my new favorite way to eat the vegetable. The recipes uses a unique cooking method that isn’t quite steaming, isn’t quite roasting, but an in-between approach. I’ve done lemon and parmesan with asparagus before but this recipe really took me by surprise.

Quinoa Burgers (Adapted from Eating Well, Living ThinEating Well Living Thin | Quinoa Burgers

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa (cook in 2 cups of salted water, makes about 2 cups of cooked quinoa)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 carrot, finely grated
3 eggs
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 green onions (or scallions), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of salt
olive oil for frying

To Make:
1. While you are cooking the quinoa, combine the cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, carrot, eggs, flour, green onions, garlic, and spices.
2. After the cooked quinoa has cooled for a few minutes, add that to the bowl and mix.
3. Preheat a large saucepan on medium-low heat and add a thin coating of olive oil (
4. Using a large spoon, gently scoop the mixture and place it into the pan, then use a spatula to gently press them into a “patty” shape about 1/2 inch thick.
5. Pan-fry until golden brown, flipping every 3-4 minutes until the patty holds together.

Tzatziki Sauce (Adapted from Eating Well, Living Thin)Arlington Darling | Tzatziki

Ingredients:
3/4 cup thick plain Greek yogurt (we used Fage)
3 tbsp low-fat sour cream
1/2 cucumber, sliced very thinly (note: you could also seed and then grate it, but I pride myself on my paper-thin slicing abilities so we opted for that route)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp fresh dill (note: we used fresh dill, so if you use dried make sure you taste along the way)
salt and pepper to taste

To Make:
1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.
2. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Note: in our case, we added a little more dill and garlic powder. If making it again, I might also add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice). Ideally, let it sit for a few hours in the refrigerator so the flavors can combine.

Lemon Asparagus (Adapted from About)Arlington Darling | Lemon Asparagus

Ingredients:
1 bunch fresh asparagus (about 1 lb.), bottoms trimmed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp water
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
1 lemon
parmesan cheese, to taste
salt and pepper to taste

To Make:
1. Add asparagus, olive oil, water, and garlic to a large saute pan with a lid.
2. Cook uncovered on high heat for two minutes, or until the water has almost evaporated.
3. Toss asparagus with tongs. Cover the pan and continue to cook for 1 minute.
4. Remove the lid and toss the asparagus. Then cover the pan again and cook for 1 minute.
5. Repeat (note: we did about 5-6 total minutes with the lid on) until the asparagus are crisp-tender and may be slightly browned in spots.
6. Add lemon juice, remove the garlic cloves, and add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Garnish with lots of shaved parmesan cheese.

Enjoy :).

Cooking Club: Bridal Shower Taste-Testing

One of my best friends E is throwing an entirely DIY bridal shower for her sister today! Best of luck, E! It’s going to go great.

You know how I know it’ll be great? Because last weekend, E, N, and I gathered in E’s kitchen for taste-testing. See, E is making all of the food for the shower herself, and so she wanted to make sure every dish was perfect, tasted delicious, didn’t need deviation from the recipe, etc. So I happily played kitchen helper/guinea pig 🙂

K and N at work in the kitchen

First up, the cookies. They were going to be the bridal shower favors. They were also supposed to be salted, nutella-filled sugar bundles of deliciousness. The original recipe can be found at Cooking Canuck, but E found them and pinned them. Isn’t Pinterest amazing? OK I’ll stop raving about Pinterest.

Salted Nutella Cookies

That was the result of our baking. First of all, they expanded so much more than a normal cookie! I’m an efficiency-seeker and so when I tried to cram all 16 balls of dough we made (Because we ate half the batter before we could get a chance to form the cookies. Don’t judge.) onto one cookie sheet and E made me take some off and make some room, I’m glad she did.

The cookies were a definite disappointment. Way, way too sweet, the nutella didn’t seem to melt or ooze properly, and the size of the cookies was overwhelming and not at all the cute bite-size cookie favors that E was imagining for the shower. This is why we test!

Our next taste-testing adventure was a recipe for adorable Tuna-Apple Mini Melts from Southern Living. Now, the good folks over at Southern Living didn’t account for the fact that the Safeway in Adams Morgan is not the biggest or most gourmet grocery store around, so did they have frozen mini-phyllo pastry shells? No. Of course not. But, we made do with… ta da! As you can see below, mini crescent rolls!

Mini Tuna MeltsAren’t they adorable? And, because I was the only one of E, N, and E’s roommate who likes tuna salad, I got to eat them all! Muahahaha.

Since we modified the recipe so much (including doubling the apple since I was a huge fan of the fresh crunch it gave the salad), I’m posting our version for the other tuna-melt lovers out there:

K’s Tuna-Apple Mini Melts
Ingredients:
3/4 cup light or low-fat mayonnaise (you could sub greek yogurt if mayo grosses you out)
1 cup diced Gala or Pink Lady apple
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
2 (12-oz.) cans solid white tuna in spring water, drained and flaked
3 cans of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
12 deli Havarti cheese slices, cut into 4 pieces each

To make:
1. Stir together the first 8 ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in tuna. Cover and chill 1 hour.
2. Bake the crescent rolls according to package instructions, EXCEPT: Instead of rolling 8 normal-sized crescents, use a butter knife to divide each triangle in half lengthwise, so you end up with 16 very skinny triangles. Roll them and bake as usual.
3. Once mini crescent rolls have cooled, use a knife to gently cut them in half so you can make a little sandwich.
4. Divide tuna mixture evenly among the crescent bottoms, top with cheese pieces, and then top with the crescent tops.
5. Preheat broiler, and broil the mini melts 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately (though they weren’t half bad the next day straight from the fridge, either).

See my technique, below, for watching the crescents carefully while they broil. Copy that technique and you should have a delicious and adorable little party appetizer for your own bridal showers and spring festivities in no time!

Looking in the oven

Enjoy!