Cookies with Perks

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies postCookies with perks.

That’s dietitian-speak for a cookie that gives you great flavor AND lots of health benefits. So put those extra bags of cranberries to use that are in your freezer (leftover from Thanksgiving!) and whip up a batch of these easy cookies: Cranberry Orange Walnut Oatmeal Cookies.

Hot & Spicy Grammy Perks:
*Oats for soluble fiber to help promote healthy cholesterol levels and heart

*Cranberries for natural phytonutrients that help promote healthy urinary tract and ward off urinary tract infections. And even help with heart health and fight inflammation.

*Walnuts for plant-based omega-3 fatty acids for healthier heart.

*75% whole grain goodness from white whole wheat flour and oats; whole grains help provide satiety, offer many vitamins, minerals and fiber and helps promote healthy heart, blood pressure and digestive system.

Cooking with Grandkids:
*Young toddlers can help measure flour and sugar, whisk flour mixture and add ingredients to mixer, and even help turn mixer on and off and scrape sides of bowl. They can even click the cookie scoop and help get dough on cookie sheet – as long as they’re old enough to have a strong grip with the scoop.

Great opportunity to teach all young children oven safety, too.

Liam (2 1/2) and Elijah (5 1/2) making Papa Pancakes with Grammy Kim. Aug 2015

Liam (2 1/2) and Elijah (5 1/2)  baking with Grammy Kim.

Eli Grammy Aprons

                                                    Elijah & Grammy Kim in our favorite aprons.                                                           



Cranberry Orange Walnut Oatmeal Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: snack, dessert
Serves: 48-52 cookies
  • ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping teaspoon orange zest (from 1 medium orange)
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats (dry)
  • 1½ cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ⅔ cup each butterscotch and chocolate chips
  1. Heat oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, whisk together both flours, baking soda and powder and salt. Set aside. In large bowl of electric mixer, combine butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla until nearly blended. Mix in orange zest. Mix in oats. Add cranberries and both chips and mix again just until thoroughly blended. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake about 8-9 minutes for a chewier cookie (slightly browned) or 9-11 for a crispier cookie. Cool cookies on cookie sheet about 1-2 minutes before removing cookies to wire racks to completely cool. Store in tightly covered container. Makes about 48-52 cookies.


Holiday Nibbles Bites & Sips

Spiced Nuts PostAiming to maintain, not gain, this holiday season? Well then pay attention to those nibbles, sips and bites. Because they can really add up fast and before you know it, you’ve enjoyed hundreds of extra calories in one day. And many don’t offer nutrient perks – only extra calories.

Take a look at these approximate calories:

Bite of those iced sugar cookies in the break room = 30 calories.

A big sip of pumpkin spice caramel macchiato = 55 calories.

Whittle away at co-worker’s famous fudge in break room =75 calories.

Wait, another nibble = 50 more calories.

Handful of Hot Sweet Spicy & Smokey Mixed Nuts (recipe below) you made for the office party = 120 calories*

Another cookie bite = 30 calories.

Someone just opened the homemade peanut brittle, so 2 big bites = 160 calories.

This is a whopping 520 extra calories (at least) above and beyond your meals.

So be aware. Plan for these treats. Watch portions at meals to balance. And get moving. Movement = calorie burn. Get out of your chair!

*You brought these nuts to the office party because you know their calories are packed with tons of perks.

Hot & Spicy Grammy Perks:  heart-healthy fats, fiber, protein and dozens of essential health-promoting vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium.

Cooking with Grandkids: Even the youngest kids can pour nuts in the bowl, add oil and stir, help stir the spices and stir the spices onto nuts. Older kids can help stir nuts occasionally while cooking in oven.

Spiced Nuts Post

Hot Sweet Spicy & Smokey Mixed Nuts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: snack, appetizer
Serves: 10 servings of ⅓ cup each
  • 1 cup walnut halves and pieces
  • 1 cup pecan halves and pieces
  • 1 ½ cups cashew halves and pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Mazola corn oil
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne red pepper
  • ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Coat a 10x15x1-inch rimmed baking pan with cooking spray or parchment paper and cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix walnuts, pecans and cashews. Add corn oil and toss until blended. In a separate small bowl, mix sugar and all spices. Add to nut mixture and stir well, coating all pieces. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Bake, stirring several times, until nuts are browned, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely. Serve or store in airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature. Nuts will last about 5 days. Freeze if you have them longer.
  2. Makes about 3⅓ cups nuts (10 servings of ⅓ cup each).


Fall & Football Favorites

Touchdown! All these fall favorites – apples, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, chili, cornbread – score big time at your next celebration or tailgate party.

Intercept ho-hum tailgate sides with a batch of Maple Apple Baked Beans. Pass the apple and pear slices for my Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip. Huddle for more whole grains with my Skillet Cornbread. And tackle that bag of apples you bought by turning them into Homemade Chunky Applesauce.

Forward pass to my Recipe page for all four recipes and get in the game with great taste and good health for your tailgate party!
(Cornbread photo courtesy My Indiana Home magazine/Journal Communications)


Kim’s Whole Grain Skillet Cornbread
Serves: 8-10 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter or shortening for 10-inch cast iron skillet plus more for melting over top of cooked cornbread*
  • 2 cups whole grain stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1¾ cups buttermilk
  • ⅔ cup corn oil
Heat oven to 425°F. Add butter to skillet and place in oven to completely melt. In a large bowl, whisk together corn meal, flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar. In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk and corn oil. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and stir just until combined with a wooden spoon. Carefully remove hot skillet from oven and spread cornbread batter evenly in skillet. Cook 15 to 18 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean or with just a smidgen of crumb. Immediately after removing from oven, rub top and edges with butter stick, melting it as you rub. Do this several times! Makes 8-10 pieces.

*A 10-inch skillet that is 10-inches across the bottom and 12-inches across the top rim.
Tips & Hints

  1. Find wholegrain cornmeal right near the other cornmeal and flour. Always store it in the fridge to keep it fresher.
  2. Corn oil is exactly the same calories and fat grams as other oils, and it works great for any baking, including corn bread, corn muffins and corn pudding.
  3. Lately I’ve been using full-fat buttermilk in my cornbread, but low-fat works well too.

Homemade Chunky Applesauce
Easy Homemade Chunky Applesauce
Serves: 10 servings of ½ cup each
  • 4 ½ pounds apples (combination of any favorite cooking apples)
  • 1 cup 100% apple juice (such as Simply Apple)
  • 2 tablespoons to ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 ½ - 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
Peel, core and cut apples into 1-inch chunks. In a 4 to 5 quart saucepan over medium-high heat, combine apple chunks, apple juice, sugar, lemon and orange juices, zests, allspice and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining desired cinnamon. Using a fork, wooden spoon or potato masher, mash apples slightly, leaving some chunks. Refrigerate in tightly covered container.

Tips & Hints

  1. Kim likes a less sweet applesauce, Jeff likes it sweeter! I use at least ⅓ cup brown sugar when I’m making a big batch for Jeff’s lunches.
  2. Use more or less spices and zests depending on how you like your applesauce.
  3. Best apples include Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, McIntosh….just about anything other than red delicious.

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip with Apples & Pears
Serves: 11 servings of ¼-cup each
  • 1 package (8 oz.) ⅓-less fat cream cheese
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ⅛ - ¼ teaspoon ground Saigon cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a food processor until blended. Enjoy immediately or chill one hour before serving. Serve with thickly sliced apples and pears.

Tips & Hints

  1. I normally make a double batch for parties or get-togethers. Use 2 cans (15 oz. each) rather than 1 big 29 oz. can.
  2. Use as much or little of the spices as you want!
  3. If you don’t have time to slice pears and apples, just use gingersnaps, vanilla wafers or graham crackers. Even shortbread cookies.

Maple Apple Baked Beans

Maple Apple Baked Beans

Maple Apple Baked Beans
Serves: 15 servings of ⅔ cup each
  • 5 cans (15 oz. each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2¼ cups peeled, chopped Granny Smith apple (2 very large apples)
  • 1⅔ cups chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped, cooked bacon
  • 1½ cups hickory barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup stone ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well. Pour in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish coated with vegetable cooking spray. Bake 45 minutes, or until bubbly and heated throughout.

Tips & Hints

  1. Kroger’s new Roasted Bacon that only takes 2-4 minutes is an absolute timesaver for this recipe! Just look for boxes of it in near the refrigerated bacon.
  2. Definitely use hickory barbecue sauce to compliment the maple syrup.
  3. Tarter apples, like Granny Smith, really help balance the sweet maple syrup.


First Food in the New Studio

Colts Kim 3 Foods
Lucky me…I happened to be the “first food” in the new, enlarged studio at the Colt’s Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. That’s what the production crew told me earlier this week when I taped three short videos for the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council and their #ColtsBestTailgate contest.

I took Buffalo Chicken Cheese Dip, Big Beef Chili and Spicy Pork Sliders. These three tailgate party dishes highlight our Indiana soybean and corn farmers (feed for the chickens, cows and pigs). These dishes also exemplify my philosophy with any dish: blend and balance great taste with good health! And I had representation from EVERY nutrient-rich food group!! (Grains, fruits, vegetables, protein & dairy).

For example –
My Buffalo Chicken Cheese Dip has slightly less calories and fat because I use lighter, 1/3-less fat cream cheese and light Ranch dressing instead of full-fat and lots of lean protein-rich chicken breast. I serve it with pretzels and veggies like celery sticks (vitamin K for bones) and bell pepper strips (vitamin A for immunity & eyes).

My Big Beef Chili is brimming with belly-filling lean beef protein (I use ground beef that is no more than 15% fat) and fiber + phytonutrients for optimal health (from all the beans, tomatoes, garlic and onions. Lots of onions).

My Spicy Pork Sliders are made with lean ground pork (satiating protein + B-vitamins, iron and zinc for immunity) and some green/white onions (phytonutrients). I serve them on whole-grain/whole-wheat slider buns with Chinese cabbage and slices of Asian pear (there’s the FRUIT!!)

You’ll find all three recipes on my Recipe page and details about the contest at Go Colts!

The Ugly Truth About Food Trends

Zesty Pork Tacos with Black Bean Mango Corn Salsa
Here are the resources I used to craft three segments I did on Fox 59 Friday, May 9, 2014. The Theme was Ugly Truth About Food Trends. And my goal was to calm confusion, ease fear and mitigate misinformation.

The ugly truth about food in general is that many Americans are filled with fear about food. And as registered dietitian nutritionist who is neither fearful nor suspect of our food supply, including conventionally-grown and produced, I suspect that many food choices and food decisions are being made based on misinformation, flawed research, pseudo-science, anecdotal evidence, emotion and fear-mongering activist groups.

7:15 The Ugly Truth about:

1. Steel Cut Oats
packages of oats

2. Fancy Oils like Coconut Oil & Grape Seed Oil
bottles/jars of oils

3. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

4. Anti-Wheat Trend/Gluten-Free

5. Raw & Organic Milk – Fact Sheets (top link)

6. Alcoholic Beverages

8:20 The Ugly Truth about:
1. Bagel & Toast Only Breakfast

2. Almond Milk
actual packages/cartons of almond milk

3. Organic Fruits & Vegetables

4. Protein Powders
Actual package containers and

5. Food Borne Illness

6. Cheat Days & Elimination Diets

9:15 The Ugly Truth about:

1. Meatless Monday trend

2. Caffeine Gone Crazy
packages of tiny energy products

3. Dirty Dozen list

4. Chia Seeds

5. Most Wasteful Form of Coffee (pods)
(National Coffee Association)

6. Wild Caught Seafood

(My Pork Tacos with Mango Black Bean & Corn Salsa photo depicts numerous Ugly Truth about Food Trend issues: fruits and veggies all forms, safe cooking, lean meats, conventional produce, wheat/grains)
Zesty Pork Tacos with Black Bean Mango Corn Salsa