You know you want it. Double Dark Chocolate Cookies with Sea Salt.
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Don't hate me because these are addicting. Decadent Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts and Sea Salt.  

Decadent Double Dark Chocolate Cookies, and More Ways to Cozy Up to Fall.

October 2014 Volume 2

Hello, friends!

October was a whirlwind, in a very good way. I finally got around to posting my decadent Double Dark Chocolate Cookies with Walnuts and Sea Salt on the blog. You will LOVE these, and your friends will never know that half of the butter is replaced with avocado. And there's flax! And coffee! I also share with you a natural cleaner that you can eat.

This month I trucked over to Produce Marketing Association's (PMA) Fresh Summit in Anaheim to FNCE (the world's largest food and nutrition conference) in Atlanta. I have lots of tasty tidbits to share with you over the next few newsletters. 

Oh, and I just launched my very own Amazon store!

Until next time. And have a happy Halloween, All Saints Day and Dia de Los Muertos. 
- Michelle

Like Don't Hate Me Because They're Addicting (Oct. 2014 Vol. 2) on Facebook

The Michelle File: My Latest Recipes

This month I cooked hundreds of samples of my California Avocado Chicken Lettuce Wraps at the PMA Fresh Summit. Attendees raved about these, and I hope you do, too! They are ready in 30 minutes from start to finish. In these scrumptious little gems I take lettuce wraps to new heights with fresh lemon and creamy avocado. I developed these for my client, as well as these Lime-Cilantro Sliders with Cucumber and California Avocado Relish. And, a bonus recipe from my book: Tomato-Studded Guacamole with Scallions and Chile. One VIP attendee said it was the best guacamole he has ever eaten. Yes!
Michelle in the News

Fall Foods: From squash to grapes, see how I incorporate fall produce into meals:

In my monthly segment on Arizona Midday, I shared some tasty tips for winter squash (delicate, spaghetti and butternut). Watch the video here.

Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere! Check out this pumpkin roundup from Parade magazine, featuring pumpkin beer to pumpkin yogurt, as well as my Oven-Roasted Pumpkin Fries with Feta and Pepitas. And if you love pumpkin, you will obsess over these Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies that are Weight Watchers approved. My friend made these for me, and I bought the ingredients to make them tonight.
Big News!
Eat Like Me, Shop Like Me: I'm all about efficiency, but not at the expense of eating well. And shopping in a brick and mortar store can be such a time suck! Which is why I buy most things online. I set up a brand spanking new Amazon store to make not only my shopping easier, but yours, too. I get a small commission off of anything you buy through my store or link, which helps pay for my IT guy, improving the way I communicate with you online. Check out my aStore here!
Seasonally Obsessed
Explore delicata squash--my favorite winter squash of the moment. Rest assured, it's just as easy (actually, easier) to crack open a delicata than a butternut squash. Simply cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and slice into thick pieces. Spread over a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Add cumin seeds if you're feeling feisty. Roast at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until golden. (Delicata pictured in the middle as the oblong squash.)
More Notable Recipes
Recently I toured a California Almond grover (sponsored trip) and tasted chef Matthew Accarrino's (owner of SPQR) granola bars, which were savory and sweet with a hit of spices. Adapted from the book SPQR: Modern Italian Food and Wine (Ten Speed Press, 2012). These were light and crunchy, despite the hearty ingredients, due to using a dehydrator.
1/3 cup almonds, skinless, sliced, lightly toasted
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
1 cup puffed rice or buckwheat
1 1/2 tablespoons flax seed, ground
1 1/4 tablespoons chia seed
1 1/4 tablespoons hot water
1/4 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons dried fruit, chopped pineapple, apricot, cherry, date
2 1/2 teaspoons honey, maple syrup or agave
1 1/4 tablespoons almond butter
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon seasoning powder (curry, zaatar, or 5 spice)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Combine flax and chia in a small container and pour hot water over to bloom. Melt almond butter, coconut oil and stir in syrup. Combine flax/chia mixture.
In another large bowl combine the remaining ingredients. Stir in the wet mixture and pack into sprayed pans or containers evenly.
Dehydrate in a very low oven or dehydrator until desired firmness. 6 hours, up to 24 hours.
My New Favorite Things
Have Your Glass Cleaner and Eat It, Too
Often my husband just laughs at my shenanigans and to this one I responded, "Honey, I'm just saving you money!". Most importantly, I love saving myself, my family and the environment from nasty cleaning chemicals. You've probably heard that vinegar is great for cleaning, but have you wondered how well this natural solution actually cleans? Just recently, I poured white distilled vinegar into an empty spray bottle and stowed it beneath the cabinet with a stash of newspaper. Et voila. The tools you need at the ready to wipe away grease and finger prints from glass table tops. This is now my go-to.
Herb sprigs in your tea? Whaaaat?! My husband grows an herb garden (I know, how picturesque). And we have, like, a lot of herbs--especially rosemary. So what did I do? I plopped a sprig right into the glass with an Earl Grey or black tea bag and poured hot water right over it. I did, indeed. The result is pure and natural tastiness. This method works great with thyme, too. Experiment with this and let me know what you come up with!
Just for fun: Oh, dear. Stella has initiated her toddler mini-tantrums. So my new thing is just to hand her a big piece of produce (because we're pretty much always in or near the kitchen), which stops her in her tracks. The only problem is that now she prefers eating the banana with the skin. Yikes. Baby steps. I guess I could wash it...
Don't have my cookbook yet? You're missing out on over 110 mouth-watering, quick-fix meals filled with clean ingredients that everyone will love! Available at Amazon and wherever fine books are sold. It's also a great gift for the parent who enjoys cooking.
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