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Recipe: Chocolatey Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies

Okay, I’m so sorry for leading you to the Dark Side here! White Flour? Refined sugar?? But really, these are amazing. And see? They have vegetables in them!

I haven’t risked modifying this recipe to make it less toxic, but if you do, and like the result, please post about it in the comments!

Chocolatey Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies
(I improved upon this recipe)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated zucchini
2 cups Ghirardelli 70% chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets (I...

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Recipe: Zucchini Crisp

High summer is nearly upon us, and most of you (anyone who doesn’t live in the mountains) are about to get inundated with overgrown zucchini - either from your own gardens, or by the “Zucchini Fairy” ditching her excess on your front porches at night!

This recipe will make you rejoice to see zucchini in any shape or size. The big seedy ones work just fine, too, which is what makes it so fantastic! If you’re suspicious of a squashy dessert, rest assured that it is virtually indistinguishable from apple crisp. And don’t delude yourself - just because it involves a vegetable, it is not health food!

Zucchini Crisp
(passed down in my family; probably sourced on the internet somewhere)


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Recipe: Crack Salad Dressing

Here is my hippie-food-kindred-spirit Marisa’s recipe for the best dijon vinaigrette I’ve ever tasted. We lovingly refer to it as “Crack Dressing” - not because of where you put it, but because it is just that good. This dressing makes me want to eat salad for every meal!

Marisa says [my comments are in brackets]:

Into the blender [I use my immersion blender] goes:
1 cup grapeseed oil or olive oil [why grapeseed oil? Because it doesn’t coagulate when it gets cold! It’s also a neutral-flavored oil with a high heat point. I love it!]
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar [I use Bragg’s - do use a high quality one, please!]
1 TB whole grain mustard or dijon type mustard
1-2 garlic cloves [I usually...

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Hey Laura, how can I combat the negative side effects of antibiotics?

“D” writes:

Hey Laura,
My mom had hip replacement surgery and keeps getting an infection. She’s got an oozing infection on her leg and a UTI from the last round of antibiotics. I know you’re really into what else can be done in addition to antibiotics, and I thought I’d try to get some ideas from you—something my dad can make up for her, etc.

*** Disclaimer: Guess what! I’m not a doctor! Trust your instincts and the other qualified experts in your life. ***

Oh, what a bummer! My initial thought is that her immune system must be totally shot - the multiple rounds of antibiotics will do that. I’m a big advocate of probiotics; they can help replenish the good bacteria that the antibiotics...

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Hey Laura, I need a chocolate cake recipe that uses my coconut porter

I’d play around with The Pioneer Woman’s “Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.” recipe. I haven’t made it yet, but everyone I know who has totally raves about it. I think it is a good foundation for building your coconutty goodness.

Try swapping out the water for your porter. I looked up some other boozy chocolate cake recipes and they all use about a cup, so the ratio would probably be correct. If the coconut flavor is quite strong, try only using your porter for half the liquid; you don’t want your cake to taste like suntan lotion!

And remember, you can always bring me a slice for taste-testing. I’m an expert taste-tester!

Hey Laura, how can I boost my picky kid’s nutrition?

Tricia writes:

Hey Laura, what would you feed an extremely picky child whose diet includes chicken noodle soup, macaroni and cheese and yogurt? (considering that she needs to add more calories to her diet)

*****Standard disclaimer: I have no credentials for handing out nutritional advice, but here is some info I’ve compiled that can help!*****

My first advice is my best parenting advice: “It’s probably just a stage; just wait it out.”

That said, there are definitely things you can try to improve her nutrition, even within the constraints of her approved food items. I’ll also give you tips on helping expand her gastronomic horizons!

Chicken noodle soup is an amazingly nutritious food...

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Hey Laura, what’s a great-tasting, healthy homemade salad dressing?

“I will be indebted to you forever” writes:

Hey Laura,
I love salad but I cannot seem to find a salad dressing that is both healthy and delicious.  What recipes would you recommend for a basic vinaigrette or oil-based Italian dressing?

Oh yes, my friend, you will be indebted to me forever after you try this salad dressing recipe! I just invented it a couple of days ago and have been dying to share. Since it uses strawberry puree in place of most of the oil, it only has 38 calories and 2 grams of fat per (2 Tbs) serving.

Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

10 oz bag of frozen organic strawberries, pureed (yields 1 1/4 cup - I wouldn’t waste fresh strawberries on this; frozen tastes just fine!)...Continue reading