Leap Year! and gnomes

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Hello hello!

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Bonus – two recipes for the price of one today, since I am behind and have been too busy to actually keep to anything resembling a regular blogging schedule.

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Today’s primary recipe is an asian pear & miso cardamom galette (hey hey hey asian pear season!) – so delicious with the slightly savory miso hanging out in the crust, not to mention a little cardamom somethin’ somethin’.

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The bonus recipe is these red bean & almond bars that I made last weekend to use up the last of my red bean paste. I’d frozen it, but I didn’t want to relegate it to the unrecoverable depths of the freezer, so into bars it went. Such a happy experiment in throwing things into a bowl and seeing what happened – the bars turned out dense and nutty with swirly pockets of red bean.

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In life news, there have been some fun finds on walks lately, as well as some beautiful sunsets – see following photo story! It’s currently super windy here in SF, and I’m sitting in my apartment listening to the wind howling all over the place – one of the many reasons I named my fourth/top floor apartment the Eryie (NO, not from game of thrones, but from 15th century Latin, thanks very much).

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Every home needs a gnome, a wise friend told me once… and he’s NOT wrong. Inherited this little guy from my gram – he used to sit in her planter and now he hangs out in my little succulent forest.

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I really, really, really love my rooftop & the fact that I’m the only apartment that has access… sneaky sneaky through a window. Not sorry.

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I highly recommend either or both of these desserts for your Leap Day weekend! Happy Leaping, and happy birthday to Frederic, for all of my fellow g&s nerdloves out there <3

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Asian Pear, Miso and Cardamom Galette

Grain and gluten free, refined sugar free. A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 galette, serves several.

For the galette dough:

1.5 c almond flour (not meal; you want the finer flour variety)
1/2 c tapioca flour
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
6 tbsp salted butter, chopped (or ghee)
1 egg*
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp dark miso

*alternately you can use a flax egg with very similar results (3tbsp water + 1 tbsp ground flaxseed)

In a food processor or high-power blender (I used a food processor), pulse almond flour, tapioca starch, salt, and butter to combine until it looks like coarse meal. Add in egg, vanilla extract and miso and pulse just until combined. Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disk and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or up to overnight.

For the filling:
3 asian pears, sliced
1 tsp cardamom + 1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tbsp butter, chopped

This might be the easiest thing ever. Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 375. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper, keeping the circle to about 1/4″ thickness. Peel off the top piece of parchment, and slide the rolled out dough on its parchment onto a baking sheet. Top with sliced asian pears, and dust them with cardamom and coconut sugar. Begin folding up the sides, creasing them together as you go – if the dough rips, that’s okay (you can crimp the cracks back together; remember: galettes are forgiving and rustic!); you can use the bottom piece of parchment to help fold up the sides.

Dot the pears with butter. Bake for 35-40 minutes until edges are golden brown — mine came out just fine at 35 minutes, so check accordingly.

Let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then carefully slide the whole galette onto a cooling rack to let it cool completely. Serve with your fave ice cream or whatever of choice! Keeps well covered in foil on the counter or in the fridge.

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Red Bean and Almond Bar Cookies

Gluten free, refined sugar free and dairy free. A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 8″ or 9″ pan; serves a few or two, your choice ;)

For the bars:

1 c almond flour
1 c oats
1/2 c shredded coconut
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 c maple
1/3 c coconut oil, melted
1 egg
1 c red bean paste (recipe below)
black sesame and coconut flakes for topping

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease an 8×8 or 9×9 pan with coconut oil (alternatively, you can use an 8″ or 9″ round pan, this recipe is totally forgiving).

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, oats, coconut, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Add in maple, melted coconut oil and egg, and stir until combined. Spread the dough into the prepared pan, then drop spoonfuls of red bean paste onto it. Swirl red bean with a spoon or a knife until it’s mostly sorta evenly distributed through the dough. Top with black sesame and coconut flakes, and bake for ~15-20 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Bake time will depend on the depth of your pan, so check early and often (psssh nobody has time for dry bars, ew).

Keep leftovers covered on the counter for a day or so; after that I’d store them in the fridge.

For the red bean paste:

1 c dried adzuki beans, soaked overnight, then drained and rinsed
1/4 c maple syrup
pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp miso (I used brown rice – medium)
1 tsp vanilla

Bring the soaked adzuki beans and 3 cups of water to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, covered, until you can easily mash beans with a fork – about 1 hour. Once the beans are cooked, drain off any residual water, and stir in maple, salt, miso, and vanilla. Let cool completely. Once cool, take it for a spin in a food processor or high powered blender until smooth (you can leave some chunky too if you like – it’s good either way!). You won’t use all of it for this recipe, so either refrigerate the rest and use within 3-4 days, or freeze it; it keeps for about 3 months in the freezer.

I love the number 2020

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Hi friends!

How is 2020 treating you so far? I’ve been BUSY. So many deadlines this time of year have meant some very long workweeks that bleed into the weekends (ew). But! I am not working this weekend and for that I’m super grateful.

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Had a great climb with C this morning – did a bunch of climbs at the top of my skill level, which always feels good. Finished and inhaled a plate of eggs & veg + a latte… working out on an empty stomach is great until I’m done, at which point I’m usually STARVING.

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I made these on Thursday night for a Friday datenight – I think they get better overnight actually, so I like making them in advance. Plus, I needed to destress and baking is my favorite way to do that.

I’d had a bag of cranberries that I tossed in the freezer somewhere in the early part of December, and some rosemary hanging out that I didn’t want to waste (waste not, want not!). Besides that, I’d been thinking about the rosemary – cranberry combo for awhile and I’m happy report that it’s fully excellent.

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These slice like beauties; are tart and “buttery”, despite being dairy free. Actually, they are free of all the things (gluten, grain, dairy, refined sugar & are vegan & paleo), so everyone can share the love.  Not to mention, they come together in a snap, so no waiting around. Perfect for breakfast or brunch, or an anytime snak.

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Happy weekend! Hopefully you’re finding time to bake something delicious and/or treat yourself right.

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Cranberry Chia Bars with Rosemary Pecan Crumble

Fully sliceable, tart, breakfast or anytime snak bars! Free of all the things, so everyone can share the love. Gluten and grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free, vegan & paleo. A Wait are those Cookies original.

For the cranberry filling

1 bag (~2 c) fresh cranberries
zest & juice of one lemon
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp tapioca flour
1/4 c chia seeds
1 tbsp vanilla

In a small saucepan, heat cranberries, lemon zest and juice, maple, sea salt, and tapioca until the berries have popped and the liquid is just barely boiling, 10ish minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in chia seeds & vanilla; let cool.

For the crust & crumble

2.5 c almond flour
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt, heaping
3 tbsp maple
5 tbsp melted coconut oil
~1tbsp finely chopped rosemary – I used about 1.5 large sprig’s worth
1/3 c chopped pecans
1/4 c unsweetened coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 and line some kind of 9” pan with parchment – this is the least fussy recipe ever, so square, round, tart pan, etc – whatever you have is fine! I used an 9” pie plate. In a large bowl, stir almond flour, vanilla, salt, maple, rosemary and coconut oil together. Reserve a heaping half cup and stir in the pecans & coconut (this will be the top bit) – set aside. Press the rest of the dough into the base of the pan, and bake for 12-15 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and top evenly with cranberry chia jam. Crumble the rest of the reserved topping on the berries, and bake for another 23-25 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown and the berries are bubbly. Remove and let cool completely before serving. It’s also fabulous cold – I made mine the night before serving, refrigerated overnight and served straight out of the fridge – highly recommended. Leftovers keep well covered in the fridge for a day or two but I dare you to have any ;)img_1927

Berry bars for errryybody

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Internet friends!

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How goes it? Things here are pretty bueno – it feels like fall, with the snappy air and all the squash in the markets! I have yet to make any squash this season, but I’m sure it’ll happen SOON; we can just chalk it up to being super busy at work and opting for quick dinners (hello eggs & black beans, you’re the bomb) or meal prep that can turn into a quick dinner.

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Weekends have been productive and lovely, with lots of urban hiking and pretty views of my beautiful city. The sunsets have been off the HOOK – this is the time of year for cotton candy skies in this part of the Bay, and I’m loving every minute.

Looking back down the hill; I never ever get tired of the views on my walk home from work:

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I love that I can get these amazing sunset panos from my roof!

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And of course, there was dessert! A low-key one for this last weekend; C and I may or may not have eaten this all in two sittings. To be fair, there was a hike in there also that was nearly 6 miles and a lot of stairs, sooo…. ahem.

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This is rapidly becoming one of my staple desserts, along with my go-to cookies. It’s SO easy and flexible, and super delicious. It reminds me a bit of a grown up pb&j – only with almond butter and a lack of cloying jammy sweetness. Not to mention that it’s great for so many dietary preferences or allergies! Gluten & grain free, refined sugar free (it’s nearly sweetener free; only 2 tbsp of maple in the whole thing), dairy free, vegan, paleo! Woooohoo for inclusive desserts!

I find that I love it best straight out of the fridge for maximum chewy coldness, but it’s still great at room temp. Of course for science research C and I had to eat it with ice cream – highly recommend. Its nutty base dough/crumble tastes very reminiscent of an almond cookie, and is complemented perfectly by the sweet-tart chia jam in the middle. Suffice it to say, we’re big fans over here, and I hope it brings you as much joy :)

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I can feel myself starting to gravitate towards more involved baking projects as the nights come earlier and the days get shorter… it makes me turn inward and seek out cozy things like blankets, tea, and the oven. Not that I don’t usually seek out the oven, but you get the idea.

Happy October!

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Berry & Almond Butter Crumble Bars

Gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, grain free / paleo, vegan! A direct riff off of the blueberry bars that I posted a few weeks ago, here, where were in turn inspired by the Roasted Root, here! Yield: 1 8″ pan of bars, round or square, your choice. Super simple; these come together in about five seconds and bake up in just over 30 min, so they make a perfect last minute snack, dessert, or breakfast ;)

For the berry filling:

1 raspberries (I used frozen)*
1 c blackberries (I used frozen)
splash of yuzu or lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp tapioca flour
1/4 c chia seeds
1 tbsp vanilla

*can be made with all raspberry (or all blackberry!) – I was just trying to use up what I had

In a small saucepan, heat berries, sea salt, and tapioca until just barely boiling, 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in chia seeds & vanilla; let cool.

For the crust & crumble:

2 c almond flour
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp maple
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 c almond butter
1/3 c chopped almonds
Black sesame seeds
Coconut flakes

Preheat the oven to 350 and line some kind of 8” pan with parchment – this is the least fussy recipe ever, so square, round, tart pan, etc – whatever you have is fine! I used an 8” round cake pan. In a large bowl, stir almond flour, vanilla, salt, maple, almond butter and coconut oil together. Reserve half a cup and stir in the almonds, sesame seeds & coconut (this will be the top bit) – set aside. Press the rest of the dough into the base of the pan, and bake for 12-15 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and top evenly with berry mixture. Crumble the rest of the reserved topping on the berries, and bake for another 23-25 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown and the berries are bubbly. Remove and let cool completely before serving. It’s also fabulous cold – I made mine the night before serving, refrigerated overnight and served straight out of the fridge – highly recommended. Leftovers keep well covered in the fridge for a day or two but I dare you to have any ;)

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Bellissimo Blood Oranges

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What to do when your blood orange bars crack something fierce and turn out a weird, strange color but somehow are still so delicious?

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Cover them with more blood oranges and chocolate drizzle!

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Shhh. You know nothing.

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Seriously though… these bars were delicious but omg the filling turned out the most bizarre color. I can’t explain it…. I am mystified. They also cracked like crazy (are they trying to emulate the fault lines on top of which I very nearly live? I would hope not) – I might have cooled them too fast – outside, at 6am – but… I had to go to work. Desperate times.

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BUT, all’s well that ends well, since they’re delicious and I somehow juiced all the blood oranges without getting blood orange splatter all over my kitchen walls. I did get some on myself that I didn’t discover until I got to work, but that’s neither here nor there and no one noticed…

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Thank heavens it’s the weekend! This has been a long couple of weeks (month? ugh).

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This weekend though – no complaints! It’s been lovely so far, and it’s only Saturday. I took a long, coffee-fueled hike/walk in Golden Gate Park today, which was just perfect as it’s been a long time since I doodled around over there.

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Here again we have a dessert-breakfast-breakfast-dessert situation that does duty for whatever time of day in which it finds itself.

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We ate it with ice cream for dessert (it was bomb) and then again alongside eggs & caponata for breakfast (yes, it’s blurry – it’s not you!)

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However you slice it, these bars are delicious, odd color notwithstanding. Blood orange season is short, so grab them while you can! Thinly sliced, I think they look like stained glass – they are one of my favorites.

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Happy Saturday!

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Blood Orange Bars on a Chocolate Coconut Crust

Gluten & grain free, refined sugar free, dairy free, pretty much paleo. Tart but sweet – it’s hard to argue with the iconic combination of orange and chocolate. Blood oranges take it up a notch, and are so beautiful! A Wait are Those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ pie dish; serves 2-8.

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For the crust:

1.75 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened cacao powder
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
3.5 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″, deep pie plate with coconut oil. Alternatively, you could use a tart ring with a removable bottom – I needed to transport mine so opted for just keeping it in a less fussy dish.

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, cacao powder, coconut, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 17 minutes.

For the filling:

4 eggs
1/4 c pure maple syrup
zest of 3 blood oranges, roughly chopped
1/2 c fresh blood orange juice
pinch of sea salt
4 tbsp coconut flour
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:
1 blood orange, thinly sliced
3 tbsp extra dark chocolate, chopped
1 tsp coconut oil

While the crust is baking, make the filling! In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, maple, orange zest and juice, sea salt, coconut flour (sifted if lumpy) and vanilla until smooth. Pour the filling into the par-baked crust.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. The top should be mostly firm and the filling set, with just a small amount of wiggle (it’ll firm up as it cools). Let cool completely and eat immediately or chill in the fridge for later (I like them cold!). Once cool, top with a thinly sliced blood orange. Combine the dark chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl and microwave on 30 second intervals until melted, stirring between intervals. Drizzle over finished tart.

Serve with vanilla ice cream :) Store any leftovers in the fridge.

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Orange bars: like a creamsicle only WAY better

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Hello!! I have citrusy goodness for you today, because this time of year is all about the citrus and scurvy is bad news.

Besides that, I used to LOVE 50/50 bars when I was a kid (you know, those popsicle-looking things that were orange on the outside and vanilla on the inside? also known as a creamsicle?) and I wanted something that tasted sort of like that, only WAY better and not filled with all the junk. So I made these!

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Orange bars with a vanilla almond crust… pair them with vanilla ice cream and they are pretty much the perfect citrus dessert.

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Let’s see, what else is new… more drawing, of course — still on the SF series, naturally.

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I think that’s about it, otherwise I’m business as usual over here — didn’t really bake diddly for Thanksgiving so I’ll have to make up for it at Christmas, which is (gasp) rapidly approaching.

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Citrus was requested and I was thinking of doing something along those lines anyway, but I really wanted to do something besides lemon. I LOVE lemon, but… it’s always the favored child when it comes to citrus desserts. Let’s let oranges have their time in the limelight, ya know? …. Limelight? Really?? That just happened. Let’s see how many citrus references can fit in one sentence…

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Anywayyyy. Make these! Eat them! Your neglected oranges will love you, and you’ll get a nice blast of creamsicle nostalgia.

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Orange Bars with Vanilla Almond Crust

(Otherwise known as Creamsicle bars but that’s probably trademarked…)

Gluten & grain free, refined sugar free, easy dairy free option, probs paleo depending on your definition… all around delicious. I was going for the creamsicle flavor profile here and I haven’t eaten a 50/50 bar in years, but I’m pretty sure this really close (and, frankly, better tasting… let’s be real). These bars are light and citrusy, easy, delicious, and free of all the junk!

Sorry for some of the strange measurements — I prefer this in an 8 by 8 pan and I like my layers a little thicker, which is why the measurements are a little weird. Don’t forget to zest your oranges and then juice them! Nothing like attempting to zest pre-juiced oranges, it might be one of the more annoying kitchen things I’ve inadvertently done.

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For the crust:

  • 1.5 c almond flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • heaping 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 + 1/8 c unsalted almond butter
  • 1.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp salted butter, softened (or coconut oil for non dairy)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 4.5 eggs*
  • scant 3/4 c pure maple syrup
  • zest of 3 oranges, roughly chopped
  • 1/4c + 1/8c fresh orange juice
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4.75 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

* to achieve half an egg: crack an egg into a small bowl and whisk it; then either measure or eyeball half and use that. or just use a whole one as long as it’s small, I doubt it would affect the consistency of the bars all that much…

Preheat the oven to 350, and grease an 8 by 8 pan.

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Add in almond butter, maple syrup, softened butter, and vanilla, and stir until combined and crumbly. Press the crust dough evenly into the prepared pan, and poke with a fork a few times. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside when done.

While the crust is baking, make the filling! In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, maple, orange zest and juice, seal salt, coconut flour (sifted if lumpy) and vanilla until smooth. Pour into the parbaked crust, and bake for 30-35 minutes. The top should be mostly firm and the filling set, with just a small amount of wiggle (it’ll firm up as it cools). Let cool completely and eat immediately or chill in the fridge for later (I like them cold!) — serve with vanilla ice cream for maximum creamsicle flavor :) Store any leftovers in the fridge.

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Wait. Free time?! I’m unfamiliar with this concept.

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Looklooklook I actually had time to make something!!! Actually, I had time to make TWO somethings, because well.. the oven was already on. So obviously. I also had a super productive weekend that also included time to work out and time to sit on my butt and read. Generally speaking, I consider this a highly successful weekend. Jessie thinks so too.

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And… I made bars!

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It felt so good to bake. I swear, it’s probably been about a month and that is WAY too long. These were a product of that fun game “let’s see what’s in the fridge and what I can make with it, depending on my mood and a billion other factors, but actually depending on what food is actually present”. It’s fun, kind of like a treasure hunt in the pantry.

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And (shockingly, not), I ended up with barz! I know, I know. But they’re just so delicious and fast and easy and satisfying. So, bars. Cookies were slightly too high maintenance for this particular weekend (though I did make a tiny batch of 10 cookies, just to be thorough).

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These are great for the indecisively minded, which I tend towards when I’m baking…. usually I want five things and can’t decide which of the five to bake. Sooo…. I decided to get creative and make both, at the same time. Problem mega solved. Now I have barz AND blondies AND brownies without having a gigantic pile of baked goods staring me in the face. Winning, winning.

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Also, succulents are awesome!

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Swirled Chocolate Tahini Barz

Half blondie, half brownie, for when you really can’t decide or you’re so braindead from biostats that you just decide that deciding isn’t worth the effort. Enter the hybrid bar. The best of both worlds with a minimum of effort.

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Gluten free, dairy free, soy free, refined sugar free and vegan! Spread the love. A Wait are those Cookies original.

  • 1.5 c almond flour
  • 1 c quinoa flour, toasted*
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 c tahini (mine is unsalted)
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 c pure maple syrup + 1 tbsp, divided
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c avocado oil
  • 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce + heaping 1/8 c unsweetened applesauce, divided
  • 1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 c extra dark chocolate chips

*In a medium sized skillet over medium heat, stir the flour occasionally until it’s fragrant, about 5 minutes. Toasting reduces the otherwise slightly bitter nature of quinoa and quinoa flour.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease an 8 by 8 pan.

Make flax eggs, and set aside to gel.

In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, quinoa flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Add in tahini, flax eggs, 1/2 c maple, avo oil, and 1/4 c applesauce. Stir until just combined — try to avoid overmixing. Take half of the batter and plop it into half of the prepared pan. Add the cocoa powder, 1 tbsp maple, and 1/8 c applesauce to the remaining batter, and stir to combine. Drop this chocolatey goodness into the other, empty, half of the prepared pan, and using a knife, swirl the middle bits together (or go crazy and do the whole thing, I’m not going to stop you!). Pop this goodness into the oven for just about 35 minutes, when the top should be mostly firm and a tester comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan, then cover and store any leftovers in the fridge.

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Actually yes, I do eat something besides barz.

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Before you say anything, I am totes aware that the last billion recipes on here are bars. I knoooow. I’m working on that, obviously not very successfully… One day, in the hopefully not to distant future, I will get off my bar train and blog about something different. And you’ll be so shocked, I’ll have to come over there and pick you up off the floor. But until that day… Barz.

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So….. I wasn’t necessarily going to blog about these, but then I ate one and discovered how deep, dark, datey and delicious they were, and decided they were too good not to share. Besides, they’re much fudgier than a lot of my barz recently, so you know. Variety is the spice of life, right? Right. But dates and dessert and chocolate and tahini also make life spicy, so why not eat those too?

Also because spicy life = great life.

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And also because I wrote the last two sentences yesterday, and I ate a brownie last night and they only get better hanging out in your fridge, so there are really no reasons not to make them (unless of course there is no food processor readily accessible… sadly these aren’t one that you could hack, unless your by-hand mashing and blending abilities are on par with some kind of superhero. Even I, who avoids using appliances if at all possible, busted out the food processor on this one). SO! Brownies! That are phenomenally good for you and also delicious. Can’t beat that.

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Okay so further ALSO: it was a billion degrees here this past weekend, but I really needed brownies, so I stupidly ran the oven (no bake treats were just not going to cut it). I also stupidly decided that peeling an entire can of chickpeas was a good idea. I know I know, I sound like a crazy. But here’s why: I’d heard forever that peeling your chickpeas makes for smoothy smooth homemade hummus. And having been extremely put off and irritated by the grittiness of my previous batches of homemade hummus, I decided that standing in my million degree kitchen on my day off pinching the skin from each individual chickpea was a good idea. Um, just no. But I can happily report that my hummus is SPECTAC. And it has beets in it, so it’s pink…which obviously ups its superiority factor. Incidentally, I was also out of lemon juice and had to pinch hit with limes. Amazingly, it’s some of the best hummus I’ve had in awhile AND it is silky silky smooth. So unfortunately the peeling method does work. I might be convinced to do it again… maybe. Just not when it’s a thousand degrees out and all I want to do is lay on the air vent like my cat.

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And one further aside, that is completely unrelated. I (just for laughs) calculated my average fruit and veg intake on a standard work day (lunch varies; dinner varies but my overall veggie intake during the week is pretty standard each day). An article I saw sparked my curiosity — it was a pictorial essay of different combinations of fruit / veg that meet the official recommendations; and my first thought was, ‘wait. that’s IT?!’, which made me want to see what my intake looks like within the official guidelines. According to the government website calculator, I am supposed to eat 2 servings / cups of fruit per day, and 3 servings / cups of veg a day. At which point I calculated mine for the day (and it’s only 2 pm. I haven’t even had dinner yet, which will contain at least another cup of veggies, and then there are dates in my dessert)… and I’m at 3.5 servings / cups of fruit, and 4.5 servings / cups of veg. Sooooooo….. yeah. I’m basically a piece of produce. And plant-powered!

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And a bit of freehand, just cause!

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Tahini Date Brownies

Gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free and flour-free deliciousness! Whole food ingredients to show your bod how much you love it. Recipe makes one 8 by 8 pan. Inspired by Graceful Kitchen, here! In case you’re interested in this stuff, like I am, tahini is an excellent source of calcium, vitamins / minerals, and omega 3’s + unsaturated (good!) fat; dates are generally just fabulous for you (assorted vitamins / minerals / too many bennies to list); and dark chocolate + unsweetened cocoa powder = minerals, flavonoids, and antioxidants. In sum… eat whole-food brownies, absorb nutrients, be happy.

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  • 1 15 oz can of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c packed + pitted medjool dates*
  • 1/2 c tahini
  • scant 1/4 c pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • heaping 1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 c extra dark chocolate chips
  • optional…. sort of: 1 – 2 squares of chili-spiced chocolate, for a bit of subtle heat

*If the dates get hard, a 15 minute soak in boiling or very hot water usually softens them enough so that they won’t murder the food processor… Also, the date soaking water can be used in smoothies! Mmm. Or to cook oatmeal… or anywhere you need a little liquid sweet.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease an 8 by 8 pan (or use parchment. These are sticky, so if you want more evenly sliced bars, I would recommend the parchment route. Otherwise, I didn’t have a problem getting them out sans paper).

In the food processor, combine drained beans, dates (soaked if necessary; drain before adding), tahini, maple, and vanilla. Process for a few seconds, to get the dates broken up. Add cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, and process until the batter is nearly completely smooth. I left a few chunks of dates in mine, but I draw the line at chunks of beans, no thanks. Stir in chocolate chips and chopped chocolate, and spread the batter into the prepared pan (it’s thick, so just go for the rustic look). Bake for 29-32 minutes, until the top is mostly firm and a tester comes out clean. These are very fudgy (and they’re vegan), so if you want to underbake them for super-goop, go ahead! Mine were perfect and sufficiently fudgy at 30 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan before slicing. Store in the fridge (I cover the pan with foil till they’re mostly gone, then transfer them to a tupperware).

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