Recipe roundup

Mujaddara with Spiced Yogurt from Food52.com.  Mujaddara is one of those dishes that belongs to a vast region (in this case, the Middle East in general and the Arab world at large) and varies from country to country and group to group.  It is a simple combination of rice, lentils, and onions (and sometimes meat) served with yogurt (and sometimes vegetables).  As one Food52 reviewer very rightly stated, it is “so much more than the sum of its parts”.  Once I mixed together the rice, lentils, and caramelized onions (which are all cooked separately) I could not stop shoveling it into my mouth, even though it had no dressing, herbs, or spices of any kind.  I had to cover the bowl and get it out of sight by hiding it in the oven.  I didn’t care for the spice combo in the yogurt (though that is likely the fault of using smoked instead of spicy paprika by mistake), but Matt did, so when we had it again the second night I made a simpler yogurt for me with just garlic and lemon.  I never pass up an opportunity to make chapatis (and I use the Cooking Light recipe found here) but I have to admit that with all the starch from the lentils and rice they really aren’t necessary. The first night I served it with a simple salad but the second night I roasted a huge pan of veggies (three colors of peppers, onions, cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli) until they were limp and charred and caramely (40 minutes at 400 degrees with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper) and it was so good I will never make this without them again.

One-Bowl Mocha Brownies from Leite’s Culinaria.  Look out, Uncle Dain.  These brownies are serious contenders for Best Brownies I’ve Ever Eaten — and that includes yours.  They are insanely chocolatey (gooey chocolate batter with chocolate chips in it, too), they have juuuuust the right amount of mocha flavor (a hint, not an assload), and they are wicked easy. Probably a little too easy for someone who is perpetually on a diet.

Vanishing Oatmeal Blueberry Cookies.  This one is a hack of a recipe I can almost guarantee you all have in your house.  Under the lid of the big carton of Quaker quick oats is their tried and true recipe for Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies.  All you have to do is replace the 1 cup of raisins with 1.5-2 cups of dried blueberries.  (I also use 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening instead of 1 cup of butter to reduce the spread.)  I finally love oatmeal cookies again!  I am not a milk drinker (though Matt is) so I eat my cookies with coffee, but these are also extremely good with a cup of tea.

— Amanda

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