Raw Cacao Pecan Bars

ImageHome. Home is safe, peaceful, warm. My heart is always here, but physically we have been separated for the better part of nine months. Now as summer begins and I settle back in, slowly unpacking bag after bag, reality sets in. I am home, really home.

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My mom and I made these “brownies” last night. Eaten alone, I would be more inclined to call them a power bar. But with a dollop of ice cream on top they can easily pass for dessert. This recipe is relatively simple to tweak – any kind of nut can be used, and add ins can simply be chopped up almonds, or to make more decadent, a handful of dark chocolate chunks as well.

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Espresso Date Muffins

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My brief homecoming for President’s Day Weekend has been a wonderful and relaxing respite away from chemistry, philosophy, track talk, and other college related topics that engulf my daily life. I have enjoyed being out of 20 degree misery and in beautiful sunshine. The past few days haven’t been remarkable in any sense; life has consisted mainly of eating, sleeping, and salt water. A bit of color has returned to my face that my sister swears is a sunburn, but I like to think more of as a sun-kissed glow (one that has necessitated copious amounts of aloe vera). While I may not be quite ready to return to school tomorrow, I know that my paradise is awaiting my visit once again in just a few short weeks for spring break.

I broke in to the kitchen cabinets this morning and decided it was time to create. My sister and I whisked and stirred, dusting the kitchen floor with a coat of flour and making our fingertips sticky with coconut oil and dates. While the process was fun, the end product was even better. I stretched out on our living room couch with my dog at my feet, a good book in one hand and a crumbly muffin in the other. This is how life is supposed to be.

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Red Lentil Curry, Vegan-Style

After a summer jaunt to Great Britain with their Nanny, my sweet girls returned home with rich stories of family, royal jewels, riding the Tube, West End shows and local food.  Small town pub fare, fish and chips,  gammon rashers and Indian curry dishes.

The idea of curry inspired me since I was at a loss for North Sea Cod,  but alas I was still short on ingredients. I do love to use what is on hand in the pantry and spice cabinet, and the lack of ingredients led me to discover a lentil dish that was dairy free and gluten free and was given the thumbs up by all.

Now, I have to come clean on this one – I did not measure my ingredients.  This was an eyeball and taste as you go recipe.

Red Lentil Curry

Ingredients:

3 cups Red Lentils

1 Medium Sweet Onion

2 Fresh Tomatoes

Coconut Oil (substitute with Butter/Olive Oil)

Water

Garlic

Ginger

Curry Powder

1 Cup of Cashew Milk/or substitute with Cream

Directions:

In a large skillet, saute chopped onion and lentils and for a few minutes in coconut and olive oil.  Add your tomatoes, curry, ginger and garlic and cook a little longer.  Add water to just cover the ingredients and cook for 5-10 minutes.  Don’t overcook the lentils, you don’t want them too mushy.

Let your dish cool a little and add your cream.  I used cashew milk that was not strained, thus it was really rich and creamy.

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I served this over a bed of rice and fresh arugula. John and I enjoyed the accompaniment of a Rodney Strong Pinot Noir.  It  was a lovely night.  My girls are home.  All is well.