orange butter and whole wheat pasta

I first made the Orange Butter Cookies from The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread for the holidays–a nice counterpoint to the peanut butter- and chocolate-laden other varieties I’d baked. I’ve been dreaming about these cookies ever since, and thinking they hadn’t gotten their due justice here in my blog. So this is my tribute. Their greatness is in the simplicity… a very buttery cookie with a teaspoon of grated orange zest in the dough. The orange isn’t overwhelming, it’s more of a hint of orange essence. The sugar sprinkled on top adds just a touch of extra sweetness. And baking a batch of these doesn’t get much easier. One try and I think you’ll be hooked like I am. About the whole wheat pasta, I’ve been cooking more and more out of Ellie’s first cookbook, The Food You Crave. This time I tried her Whole-Wheat Pasta Salad with Walnuts and Feta Cheese. (The recipe title doesn’t mention the spinch, which really makes this dish work.) I’d say that whole wheat pasta isn’t for everyone, but I’m getting used to it. I know it’s good for me, and that counts. And it’s definitely more filling than regular pasta, which probably helps prevent people from overeating out of habit. So I’m not giving up on the whole wheat pasta vibe yet. And if it wasn’t clear, this is a great recipe, especially for transporting since it’s eaten at room temperature or even cold. The toasted walnuts work really well with the crumbled feta and red wine vinegar.

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