Cherry-Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

The best oatmeal cookies I have ever eaten.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 1/3 cups dried cherries (I chopped mine up a bit)

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and both sugars until creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, then the vanilla, beating well after each addition. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Stir in the oats, pecans and cherries.  Using a large cookie scoop (6 tbsp.), drop about 6 balls of dough 2 inches apart onto the cookie sheet. Bake until golden around the edges, about 15 minutes. Let sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool. Repeat for 2 more batches.

Jewel Roasted Vegetables

The last time I had Brussels sprouts was probably in 4th grade.  I'm pretty sure that my mom either steamed or boiled them, and I remember my brother getting in trouble when he tried to be sneaky and flush his serving down the toilet.  

Needless to say, mom didn't try serving them again.

I have become a big fan of roasting vegetables, and when I saw this recipe, thought that maybe I'd give the humble sprout another go.  And guess what?  They were fantastic.

I shared this revelation with my brother who is a professional chef and culinary arts instructor.  I got the equivalent of a shoulder shrug over the phone.

Apparently, he's been eating them this way for over a decade.

  • 4 medium beets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots
  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 8 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme leaves (I used Herbes de Provence)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Put the beets into a small baking dish and rub them with 1 tablespoon of oil. Cover the dish with foil and put into the oven for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, peel and cut the carrots into 1-inch pieces, trim the Brussels sprouts and halve them lengthwise, and peel the garlic cloves. Put the carrots, Brussels sprouts and garlic cloves into a large baking dish and toss with the remainder of the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
After the beets have been cooking for 30 minutes add the large pan of vegetables to the oven and cook everything for 1 hour more, stirring the vegetable mixture once or twice.
Remove the beets from the oven and transfer them to a cutting board to cool. Stir the thyme into the carrot and Brussels sprouts mixture and let it continue to cook for another 10 minutes while the beets are cooled and cut. When the beets are cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes, peel them and cut them into 1-inch pieces. Remove the other vegetables from the oven, toss with the beets, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.