Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Sometimes you just crave things… especially when your pregnant. I never had any crazy cravings for something specific. Some days it would be all salt, some days it was all sweets. On this particular day it was a sweet, salty, crunchy, warm, melt in your mouth kind of craving.

This is a good combo:

but do I stop here, oh no, I just couldn’t resist. I had to throw in some ***BACON***

This is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo easy! and delicious- unbelievably so! I made this a week ago and my mouth is watering just remembering how perfect these flavors are together.

Bacon Wrapped Dates:

Cut the bacon strips in half. Stuff each pitted date (the Medjool variety are the best but you can use Neglet Noor if that’s all you can find- it will work pretty well- let’s face it- slap on some bacon and anything is edible) with an almond and wrap with the bacon strip.

You can secure it with a toothpick if it makes you feel safer or just put the bundle seam side down on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 min in a preheated 400 degree F oven.

WAIT till they cool down a little before tasting. Believe me you don’t want a burnt mouth because you just couldn’t wait, because you knew they would be so heavenly, because… trust me, I know from experience.

Ohhhhh these really are like candy, deadly, deadly, candy….  so share and enjoy!

It’s the little things that make me so happy. Using up ingredients that have been taking up space in the pantry- the joy that I experience from not letting food go bad- I can’t even describe it! This is a recipe that utilizes a lot of what I already had on hand and hopefully what you have too so that you can make something good and wholesome this Memorial Day weekend. Oats, flour, walnuts, raisins (actually I wasn’t a huge fan of the raisins in this. I think I’ll omit them next time,) mushy bananas, and a bunch of other stuff I’ll list in the recipe. Oh and the bananas I had were actually one’s I had in the freezer. If you have bananas that are turning brown you should definitely put them in the freezer for smoothies or banana bread- don’t throw them away!

This is kind of a hybrid of a bunch of recipes I found and combined online.

Vegan Banana Walnut Oat Bars (The consistency is more like Banana Bread but I baked them in a 9×13 pan and cut them into bars so I’m calling them bars)

2 medium ripe bananas, well mashed (if frozen allow to defrost)

1/4 cup almond, soy, or other milk alternative

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup agave nectar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (pecans work well too)

1 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray or line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine bananas and almond milk until smooth. Mix in the oil, maple syrup, agave, and vanilla. Add in the flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt and mix. Fold in oats, walnuts and raisins if using.

Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely and cut into squares.

Now, if you are so inclined, share with us what little things, or not so little things, make you happy.

Date Night

These date nut bars will satisfy your craving for a wholesome dessert or hearty anytime snack. I will often crave something like this banana pudding deliciousness- so decadent, rich, and creamy. Don’t get me wrong these bars are not really a “light” dessert but the all natural ingredients don’t weigh you down in quite the same way.

These are delicious with some tea or a glass of cold milk or milk alternative. Yum!

What you’ll need:

16 oz or about 2 1/2 cups pitted and chopped dates

2 1/2 cups of water

Cook the dates over low heat until thickened. Medjool dates are best as they are already so soft and gooey, but if you get dates that are a little dry it helps to use a potato masher to incorporate the dates as they get soft.

to prepare the dough:

1/2 cup silken tofu, mashed

1/2 cup oil

3/4 cup honey

1 tsp salt

2 cups unbleached white flour

1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

3/4 tsp baking soda

1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts, but you can use anything- almonds, pecans, peanuts)

In a medium to large bowl beat together tofu, oil, honey, and salt. Add in flour, oats, baking soda and nuts. Press three quarters of the dough into an oiled 9″ x 13″ pan. Spread date filling as evenly as you can over dough. Crumble remaining dough over dates. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a preheated 350 F degree oven. Cool and cut into 24 bars.

Tip: for easier and cleaner cutting put pan in the fridge to cool before cutting.

I apologize if this post is scattered and all over the place- Baby Brains is a real condition and I have it! Lately I’ve been so forgetful or just using wrong words for things- the other day I could not remember the word for supermarket (?)  Hormones, lack of sleep, loss of Omega 3’s etc, etc, etc. Whatever the cause I’m accepting that I will be somewhat fuzzy for the next few months so if I look at you with a blank stare you’ll have to bare with me for now.

I adapted this recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, and even he says that these are “so easy children can make them.” I felt like a total idiot when I realized that I poured 1 1/2 cups flour rather than 1/2 cup… It looked like the batter was too dry and the flour wasn’t incorporating? I had to go over the recipe 18 times to finally see my mistake. Here is my second attempt and the right way to make these yummy brownies:

What you’ll need:

8 tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter- softened, plus a little to grease the pan

3 oz. Unsweetened or I used bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

pinch salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 8 or 9 inch square baking pan (I used 8×8)

Combine the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat, stirring occasionally. It helps if the butter is already a little melty. I stuck mine in the microwave for 20 seconds to soften it a little more. When the chocolate is just about melted, remove from the heat and continue to stir until the mixture is smooth.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the sugar. Then beat in the eggs one at a time. Gently stir in the flour, salt, and vanilla. Pour and scrape into the prepared pan and bake until just barely set in the middle. Mark says 20-25 min but my oven took 27 minutes for that to happen, but you definitely don’t want overcooked brownies- so keep an eye out. Cool on a rack before cutting. Store covered and at room temperature.

I think what makes these soooo good is good quality chocolate– DON’T skimp. It’s worth it. Oh and you can add any kind of nut or dried fruit to these. I added chocolate chips and it made them so much more the gooier. Mmmmmm, enjoy!


It has been raining and overcast with minimal breaks of sunshine for the last several weeks. I guess living in Los Angeles you take for granted certain things like beautifully uncalled for weather. Do I already have Seasonal Affective Disorder? Or maybe it’s just the ups and downs of the pregnancy. Whatever the case may be, I find that lately simple things like making a really hearty, nutritious soup, or taking a well deserved nap, seem to beat gloomy weather anytime. These sweet potato muffins also helped me out on Friday afternoon when it was particularly drizzly and overcast.

From time to time there is nothing wrong with turning to food for comfort– coming from a therapist that may sound terribly wrong, but guess what? It’s in our nature. You know what’s not in our nature? To force ourselves to eat celery sticks when we actually want chocolate. Has that ever worked for anyone? Anyone? I’d like to know.

I’m not talking about bingeing on a vat of frosting or downing a whole carton of ice-cream, I’ve been there and that does NOT feel good. What I’m talking about listening to your body when it’s communicating with you. Sometimes you need a walk and sometimes you need a dense, moist, sweet potato muffin.

By the way these are dairy free and sweetened only with honey. Adapted from “The Whole Soy Cookbook”

What you’ll need:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsps baking powder

1 medium sweet potato, cooked, peeled, and mashed (I steamed mine but you can bake it too)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup soy milk

Preheat oven to 350 F. and grease or use muffin liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sweet potato, oil, honey, and soy milk, mixing thoroughly. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the dry ingredients, and mix just until combined. Fill the muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes, until lightly brown and firm to the touch.

Hamentaschen

Or Oznei Haman in Hebrew, or Haman’s Ears. You know, Haman, the bad guy from the Purim story. Symbolically we eat his ears to commemorate that all the Jews weren’t killed in Persia. Huh? Traditions are so weird sometimes but I do love them. Anyway, these are some of the most delicious ears I’ve eaten in a while. The recipe comes to me from Irene who writes a beautiful food blog called Bamitbach. Please check it out and show her some love. This is her exact recipe and some tips for working with the dough:

Cool the dough in the refrigerator and pull off a section at a time to work with while leaving the dough in the fridge (I think I rolled out about 2 cookies at a time) I also used a glass cup as a circle cutter.

“Note: I posted this recipe last year, and the comments I received on the dough ranged from those who said it was much too soft to work with, to those who felt it was perfect.  The trick is to play with it, add flour as needed, and enjoy!

Lil’s Hamantaschen
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 Tsp. baking powder
2 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup orange juice

Mix dry ingredients in bowl.  Combine eggs and oil and mix well.  Slowly add orange juice and then mix into dry ingredients.  Put mixture onto floured board and handle until soft and pliable.

Filling
6 oz. dried apricots
6 oz. dried pitted prunes
1 1/2 cups raisins
3-4 Tbs sugar
1/2 Tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup water or orange juice

In a small heavy bottomed pot combine all ingredients over low heat and cook until fruit is soft, about 20 minutes.  Add water if needed.  Process mixture in Cuisinart for about 30 seconds until mixture looks like a dark jam. Roll dough out on floured board till about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out small circles and place a teaspoon of filling in the center.  Pinch sides together to form a triangle.  Brush with beaten egg and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until brown.

Enjoy,
Irene”

This is a dessert even your Gluten Free, Dairy Free sister will love! I used Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. I had never heard of these before but they are free of all the typical allergens and I found them at the local grocery store, see:

This stuff was so quick and easy to make I had forgot I made it!

Nut and Chocolate Bark:

1 package Semi-Sweet chocolate chips

1 cup mixed nuts- I used a mix of Walnut and Pecan

1/2 tsp. Canola oil

Toast the nuts (if they are raw) in the toaster or oven on a low setting- like 250. If using a toaster 5 minutes should be enough, if an oven, about 10 min should do it. Don’t overcook- they will turn bitter and burn.

Melt the chocolate and oil in a microwave safe bowl in increments of 20-30 seconds, stirring each time.

Mix the nuts with the melted chocolate and pour into a parchment lined 8X8 pan. Chill for 15-20 minutes. Remove from pan and parchment paper and break apart. Enjoy.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.