Out of coconut?! What? No. This is a travesty.

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So yeah. You remember that day that I made the roti flatbread? Right.

I made cookies that day too! [I had a very productive day]

And guess how long it took us to eat all of that delicious carby goodness?

Yep. Like six hours.

Let me see… I made roti around 11… and they were gone by 12:30. And then I made the cookies around 11:30 and they were gone by 8 pm. Okay okay so more like 8 hours but do you see my point?! Delicious. Granted, there were four of us and I made half batches due to lack of coconut, but even so. Impressive, wouldn’t you say?

Besides, these are good for me so obviously this is an excuse to make them again…

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Sweet Potato Coconut-Almond Cookies

Recipe lightly adapted from the legit blog Mangia!, here! I made a half batch and got 11 cookies, but I’ll post the full recipe here. These are deeelicious. Healthy fats, beta carotene, and whole grains. Winner, winner.

  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp+6 tbsp water)
  • 1 sweet potato, mashed (I microwaved mine, laaaazy)
  • 1/2 c unsalted almond butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup (I use grade B)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1.5 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 c unsweetened, shredded coconut\

Preheat oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Make your flax eggs and set them aside to gel. In a smallish bowl, combine mashed sweet potato, almond butter, coconut oil, maple, and vanilla: stir until just combined. In a larger bowl, whisk together almond flour, oats, flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon, and coconut. Pour wet into dry, and stir until the batter is incorporated (I added a tablespoon or two of water to help it all come together). Drop dough by the spoonful onto the prepared baking sheet, and flatten slightly. Bake for 11-12 minutes (Mine were done perfectly at 11, with slightly golden tops). Let cool on the sheet for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack!

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Spinach. On. The. Ceiling?!

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Did I tell you that vaccuum vati found a piece of spinach on the kitchen ceiling the other day? 

Yeahhhh. That happened. How on earth did I manage that?! Welcome to my life: “Hello, my name is Hayley and I am obsessed with spinach!” I toooold you I put spinach where it didn’t belong, but um I had no idea it had gotten on the ceiling..?! I mean, I know I eat it multiple times a day, but that must have been some pretty ferocious chopping. You know, like Chopped Kitchen type of chopping.

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On. The. Ceiling. The mind boggles. 

Anyway.

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Today’s post has nothing to do with spinach and everything to do with apples. Mmm. Appleeesssssss. I feel like the witch in the Wizard of Oz when I say that… 

This tart is simple, good for your body, and good for your soul. It’s not very sweet–if you’re looking for a sweet dessert, this isn’t it. But I like it for a mid-meal snack post workout… or dessert, since I like mine less sweet anyway. I liked it with some added applesauce, and a few pieces of chopped date. It’s gluten free, vegan if you sub out the honey for maple, and contains no refined sugar. Hooray! I made it on a day that was cloudy and overcast, perfect for apples and baking. Simple, beautiful, and good for the soul. 

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And here. Happy Monday, here’s something beautiful! Have a wonderful day :) 

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Apple-Almond Tart 

Recipe lightly adapted from Tales of a Kitchen, here! This makes one full-sized tart/pie, depending on the pan you use. I would recommend a pie pan, as the crust is very crumbly—I don’t think it would come out of a tart pan too well. Next time I make this I think I’ll add dates to the crust instead of honey—I’d like it to be a bit crustier, less crumbly. But still delicious as is! Serves 8. 

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Laze around with me on a cloudy Sunday and produce the following:

  • 1 c oat flour
  • 1 c almond meal/flour (I grind my own from an equal amount of almonds in the food processor)
  • 1/2 c unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3 apples, cored, peel on (I used fuji and daisy girl)
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 5-6 tbsp almond meal
  • 2 apples, finely sliced, peel on

Preheat the oven to 375, and lightly grease your pan of choice (I used a pie pan). 

In a large bowl, combine oat flour, almond meal, coconut, coconut oil, honey, and lemon zest. Mash it all together (ideally using your hands, it’s much more fun) until combined. Press the resulting mixture into the prepared pan, making sure it’s evenly distributed. Poke a few holes in the bottom with a fork, and bake for 9-10 minutes, until lightly browned. When done, set it aside to cool slightly.

While the crust is baking, toss cored apples, cinnamon, and vanilla into the food processor (or blender). Blend until a smooth puree is reached. Toss this into a bowl, and stir in 5 tbsp almond meal. If it’s not thick enough and is still a little watery, add another tbsp of almond meal. Pour the filling into the slightly cooled crust, and arrange the finely sliced apples in a pretty pattern (this is very soothing, I found). 

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until your house smells delicious and the apples are a golden brown. Let cool before slicing, and store in the fridge! Excellent with a little extra applesauce, or I’m sure whipped coconut cream would be delicious as well, if you can be that on top of things (unlike me). 

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I’m alternative… or awesome? Let’s go with awesome.

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I eat greens in three meals a day.

No joke.

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I even put spinach in my oats. (I can hear you ewwwing, you know, through my computer). NOT cooked, mind you—it only goes in my overnight oats. With a buhhnahhhnuhhh. And then I eat them in lunch. And dinner. And probably a snack, if I could finagle it. You know how in previous posts I’ve mentioned putting spinach where it totally doesn’t belong? Yeah. I suppose oats would be one of those places… as would a banana scramble…? Whatever. I’m kind of  alternative. Or awesome… let’s go with awesome.

Ahem..

Movingggg… on!

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This time, spinach went in a smoothie! That’s at least a little more normal… but why I chose to make and eat this on day when it was cold and raining outside is beyond me. It was delicious but then I was promptly freezing. Whoops. Whatever, worth it!

And then you can do almond butter art on top of your smoothie, if you eat in in a bowl. Which is obviously reason enough to eat in a bowl, right?? Who doesn’t like an excuse to play with their food? Come on, channel your inner Jackson Pollock, you know you want to!

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Almond Coconut Green Smoothie

Gratefully inspired by The Edible Perspective, here! Makes one largeish smoothie bowl. Note that you need to freeze the coconut milk first, so make time for that if you want this later in the day!

  • 1 c light coconut milk
  • 1/2 c milk bev of choice (I used 1% milk)*
  • 2 c fresh spinach
  • 2 tbsp almond butter+more for drizzle
  • 1.5 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut+garnish
  • 1 medjool date, pitted
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

*I would have liked mine thicker, more like a milkshake consistency—next time I won’t add as much extra milk. Up to you!  If you want it drinkable (as opposed to spoon-able), use 1/2-1 c extra milk bev.

Freeze 1 c of coconut milk in ice cube trays. Once it’s frozen, pop them out into your food processor (or blender, if you happen to have a decent one). Add in spinach, almond butter, coconut, date, banana, and vanilla, and blend until combined. Pour into a bowl (because that’s more fun!), and top with almond butter and coconut, and maybe some chia seeds. Preferably eat when it’s not freezing outside…

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Caped cookie crusaders for breakfast?

jars are always superior storage

The breakfast cookie strikes again!

Sneaky breakfast nutrition packaged into one deceptively small package, complete with whole grains/fiber, potassium, and healthy fats. All it needs is a cape to achieve complete superhero status. Can’t you just imagine this little caped cookie crusader swooping in, shoving your boring (and non-nutritive)  breakfast off your plate, and (standing with fists on hips, cape blowing in the wind… wait. do cookies have hips? Whatever, indulge me) trumpeting: “I am the breakfast cookie, here to save your butt from a boring breakfast! Eaaaat meeeee, you know you want to! I’m tasty and portable, and a COOKIE. Hellooooo, who DOESN’T want to say they’ve had a cookie for breakfast?!”.

demonstrating amazing feats of super-cookieness

And then you eat it, and feel so ridiculously awesome, like you could go off and save the world. Or wear a cape and look bomb. You know, just some minor benefits of eating a proper breakfast (or a legit breakfast cookie, since as I’ve demonstrated, that clearly equates to the same thing). Besides, these cookies are one of the easiest to make: just toss all the ingredients together, stir and chuck onto the cookie sheet in roughly cookie-shaped balls. Bake. Let cool (yeah right). Eat. Done! Go don your cape.

dense cookie complexity up close and personal-like

Banana-Granola Breakfast Cookies

I adapted these ever so slightly from Fannetastic Foods, here! I’ve made them before, but I really wanted granola in this batch somewhere. They’re lightly sweet and nicely hearty, perfect for a capped crusader breakfast. Mine were 2-3″ across fully baked, and I ended up with 14 total.

  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 2/3 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp whole chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 ridiculously ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 c plain lowfat yogurt (or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1/4 c pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c granola of choice*

*I used 1/4 c Nature’s Path pumpkin flax granola, and 1/4 c Nature’s Path Ancient Grains + Almond granola (a winning combo, I must say)

mmm, coookies

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a cookie sheet (or two, whatever floats your boat). In a large bowl, whisk together oats, flour, coconut, flaxseed, chia, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a smaller bowl, mash up the bananas, and then add yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add wet into dry, and fold in granola as you stir them together. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. Bake for 13-14 minutes—mine were done at 13. I pulled them off the cookie sheet right away, as I didn’t want them to dry out. Let cool on  a cooling rack. I store cookies with banana in the fridge—I think it improves the consistency and I like them cold, but that’s up to you :)

Eat. Enjoy wearing your cape to work.

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For when it’s too hot to wear clothes, much less bake…

mmm, frosty goodness

Ew.

It’s been one of those weeks where you get up and think… do I really have to put clothes on today? Dis.Gust.Ing. Too hot to live, let alone bake. I really am a pacific northwesterner in this regard: hot weather makes me nutty. Today I sort of decided to stick it to the weather and go take a hot yoga class, since I’d been sweating all day anyway. Surprisingly, it was a great idea: maybe there is something to that ayurvedic  idea of eating hot foods on a hot day? Huh. Anyway. After said hot yoga class, all I wanted was a dunk in cold water and one of these.

yum.

Yes.

No bake, for the WIN.

The solution for when it’s too hot to do much of anything and turning on the oven (or really even the stove, let’s be real here) turns into a capital offense. I had grilled cheese for dinner last night (although I did go gourmet with some sauteed veggies, ha) since I was so unmotivated to do much of anything except watch other people (i.e. Olympians) be ridiculously fit. Whatever, I made up for it with my yoga today, so there. And with these bars. These are FAB. And healthy, which is a bonus considering most no-bake items seem to involve some form of strange food product like cool-whip. Let’s not go there, shall we? Back to these:

cooooconut

Mmmm. Banana coconut bars on a nutty date crust. Naturally sweet and so frostily delicious. Bonus points for being gluten free and vegan, as well as refined sugar free. You also get a healthy dose of magnesium from the cashews, calcium from the almond butter, healthy medium-chain fatty acids from the coconut, and potassium from the banana. See? It’s like a complete summer meal in a bar (welllll…sort of). Wheee! Squat and gobble to your heart’s content, I won’t tell… even if you do it in a sports bra and running shorts because, like I said, it’s too hot to live or bother to look decent. Or to blog… this is all I got today!

drippy. LOVE.

Vegan Banana-Coconut Bars

I slightly adapted these from the DAMY health blog, here! These are frosty and best when straight out of the freezer. Easy to make, they come together in a snap and set up decently quickly, satisfying all kinds of crazy summer cravings (Besides, they’re healthy to boot!)

Poke around and scrounge up the following:

For the crust:

  • 1/2 c raw cashews
  • scant 1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 c pitted dates, chopped into smallish pieces
  • a tbsp or two of water, if the crust needs a little help to come together

For the topping:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • scant 1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut+ some for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 c organic almond butter
  • 1/4 c light coconut milk
look! another one materialized!

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together cashews, coconut, and date pieces until the dough comes together, with pieces of nuts intact. Add a tablespoon or two of water if it needs a little help. Spread this mixture in the bottom of a lightly greased pan (mine was 9″ square, making thinnish bars), flattening it out as you go. In your food processor once again, blend the topping ingredients, scraping down the sides occasionally, until smooth. Pour the topping on top of your crust, and use a spatula to spread it out evenly. Top with some reserved coconut, and cover with plastic wrap or foil (bonus points for foil, it’s recyclable!). Let set for at least 2ish hours before slicing (it should be firm). Store in the freezer!

Love tasty food. Eat. Feel magically cooler… ohmmmm.

eeeeeatmeeeee
one of the nicer parts of warm weather: these are all from my back yard!

Cake rolls are annoying to photograph but undeniably delicious.

this is how I rolllll

Today and tomorrow I’m doing makeup for my elementary school’s play! I looove helping with the play—I’ve attended every year since I was in it myself, and I did makeup last year as well. The kids are adorable and so excited! And Mrs. Noel is hands down the most awesome director. EVER. Who else could wrangle that many children with such grace and humor?! This year, they’re doing Beauty and the Beast, which is awesome, since I was in that one in 5th grade (I was also in Pirates of Penzance in 4th)…. except today I realized as I was doing Gaston’s makeup that most of the kids in this show were born the year I was in the play. EEEEKKKK! Way to make me feel SO OLD.

Okay really, I need to get onto a more regular schedule for this blogging biz… How is it that when I was in school and theoretically “busier” that I had more regular posts?! Whatever… I’ve been crazy busy and having lots of fun, so absolutely no regrets there. However.

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It’s cake time! It’s been waaay too long. Well, at least since I’ve MADE a cake. No guarantees on what I’ve eaten recently… I’m sure there’s some cake in there somewhere…

I’ve been intrigued lately by interesting flavor combinations, like the curry-chocolate chip cookies. When I was down in San Luis Obispo last weekend visiting friends, I made the curry cookies again, except this time with five spice! It was totally inspired, and sooo good. I think I may like those better than the curried ones, actually. There’s something about the coconut+five spice+chocolate that is really tasty. So, when I got home, I wanted to do something else with those flavors. But I decided, rather than making yet another batch of cookies (though we do know how much I love cookies), I would make a cake! But not any cake, oh no… A cake roll! I’d actually never made one before this, so this was quite the novel experience… not as difficult as anticipated, with just a minor bit of cracking. No big deal, nothing that cleverly placed whipped cream can’t hide, ha. AND, added bonus: this cake is fat free! (the cake bit. Not the whipped cream, obvs,… gotta have a little indulgence in there somewhere!). Five spice is also reputed to have health benefits (though I’m not entirely sure what they are).

mmm… five spice = new favorite flavor!

Five Spice Roll Cake with Coconut-Chocolate Chip Whipped Cream

I adapted the cake recipe only slightly from Cooking Light, and ignored their filling idea in favor of using whipped cream with chocolate chips folded in. The chippies got rave reviews from all tasting parties, since they add texture interest and go well with both five spice and chocolate.

For the cake:

  • 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar, divided (6 tbsp + 6 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder*
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • largeish pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut rum**
  • 1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut
*the blend I used was organic five spice, with cinnamon, star anise, fennel, sichuan pepper, and cloves. Try to find one that doesn’t have any weird additives beyond spices
**the original recipe called for coconut extract, but no way was I going to shell out $6 for a small bottle of imitation coconut flavor, eww. So I did what I do best: improvise! Malibu rum worked exceptionally well instead…
yumyumyum

For the filling:

  • 1 c whipping cream
  • powdered sugar to taste
  • coconut rum, to taste
  • vanilla extract, to taste
  • a good handful of chocolate chips

For the cake! Preheat the oven to 325, and line a 15 by 10 inch jelly-roll pan with waxed paper. No worries if it doesn’t come all the way up the sides.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, 6 tbsp sugar, and five spice powder. In a non-reactive bowl (I like to use the metal bowl from my kitchenaide), beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy. Add in cream of tartar and salt, and beat until soft peaks form. Add remaining 6 tbsp of sugar 2 tbsp at a time, and beat until you see stiff peaks when you pull the beaters out (beating egg whites might be one of my favorite things ever… I love how they change!). Once you have stiff peaks, quickly beat in the lemon juice, vanilla extract, and coconut rum.

egg whites are awesome!

Sift 1/4 c of the flour over the egg whites, and fold in until combined. Repeat until all the flour is incorporated. Spread the batter out into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top. Sprinkle the top with coconut, and bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned. The top should spring back when you touch it lightly.

Place a clean (preferably relatively smooth, not really ribbed) dish towel over a largish cooling rack, and lightly dust with powdered sugar. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 3 minutes, then loosen the sides and invert onto the towel. Peel off the wax paper. Starting from the narrow end of the cake, roll the cake and towel up together in a spiral, and place seam side down on the cooling rack to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, make filling! Using an electric mixer, beat cream until it starts to get a bit more solid. Add in powdered sugar a little at a time, as well as a little vanilla and rum (to taste, as desired! I probably used about 3-4 tsp of powdered sugar, 1/2ish tsp vanilla, and 1 tbsp rum—my measurements were definitely not exact… pour and taste is my preferred method for whipped cream). Beat until the cream is… creamy?! You’ll know when it’s done, just don’t go too long and turn it into butter! Fold in chocolate chips.

When the cake is completely cool, unroll carefully from the towel. If it rips a bit, don’t freak out! Better luck next time, and you can disguise the rip with a bit of whipped cream, or else put the cake on it’s plate rip-side down, haha… and yes, I speak from experience! Spread the whipped cream filling evenly over the inside of the cake, and then carefully roll it back up. Sprinkle the top with a bit of powdered sugar or extra coconut if desired. Eat immediately or chill briefly, but make sure you keep it in the fridge for storage (if it lasts that long, ours didn’t!). Serrated knives work best for slicing and serving.

this looks like some kind of awesome moonscape…

Graduation go-time and curry cookies!

you can have a picture of me in it, after Sunday!

Cap, gown, stole and tassel? Check.

Mortar board covered in red glitter and a puffy painted anchor? Check.

Honor cords acquired? Check.

Imminent familial arrival? Check.

Pre-graduation nerves and free time resulting in inventive baking and cooking? MEGA CHECK.

Last blog post before the merriment of commencement commences? Probably check.

thanks, Willamette!

It’s happeninggggg!!! This Sunday I graduate from Willamette University with a BA in Art History magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and with departmental honors. Yesssssss! I had to brag, just a little! I still can’t believe it’s happening. It probably won’t hit me until after it happens, at which point it likely won’t feel real either, ha! Jeez, I thought I had copious amounts of free time after I finished thesising?! I have sooo much now (at least until tomorrow when all the fun starts), I don’t know what to do with myself! Oh wait… yes I do. Cook and bake! Duh. I’ve made some super tasty yummies the last few days, but unfortunately they escaped into my stomach before being photographed. BUT. I’m fully intending on making most of them again, so maybe at some point they’ll make it on here.

coookies! But… can you tell me what the curry is doing lurking in the picture?

Anyway… today when I was sitting around post-running trying to figure out what to do with myself, I stumbled upon these cookies. And had one of those moments where I was suddenly fixated on them and determined to make them, despite already having made red wine chocolate cookies yesterday (but whatever, irrelevant, since they’re almost gone). These are pretty much the complete opposite end of the spectrum from the red wine ones… They have CURRY in them! What a novel and EXCELLENT idea! Curry + coconut + oats = yumyumyum. I’m so glad the inside of my car smells like a spice shop now, since now I have these. Win win win all around. And besides, now I’ll have something to sustain me through the (three hour?! Willamette is so NOT big enough to justify a 3+ hour commencement, pshh) graduation ceremony… I’ll have to hide them under my robe, for snackies! Can’t have the gremlins grumbling when I’m about to get my diploma, can we?!

yumyumyummyy

Curried Chocolate Chip-Oat Cookies with Coconut

Only slightly adapted from Cookie Madness, here! I made half of the recipe on account of already having some red wine-choc cookies left over, and got 7. I’ll include the full recipe here, with my modifications.

These cookies are unusual, but so good! I like them for a change from standard chocolate chip/oat cookies. The sugar and coconut add just the right sweetness to balance the curry powder—I reduced the sugar a bit already, but I probably wouldn’t take it down much further. These are easily made vegan!

  • 4 tbsp salted butter (if using unsalted, add 1/2ish tsp salt)
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 c + 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c turbinado sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk bev (I used soymilk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c + 6 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (any kind is fine, just make sure there’s no garlic in it, that would be awkward)
  • 1.5 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 c shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 c chocolate chippies
they look kind of like Horta-cookies! heheh.

Preheat the oven to 375.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together butter, applesauce, and sugars. Add in egg, milk, and vanilla, and beat to combine. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and curry powder. Add this to the liquid bowl, and stir until just combined, and then toss in oats, coconut, and chocolate chippies. Drop by small (or huge, if you’re like me) blobs onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on the size of your cookie blobs… mine were more like 12, since they were on the large side. Let cool for a minute or two on the sheet, and then transfer to a cooling rack for eating further cooling.

natural light all the time, at last!