It’s no secret that my honey, BL, is one of the most important people in my life. For the past five years, he has been my fearless recipe taster & guinea pig. He came into my life as a Midwestern meat and potatoes guy and is now a veg, kale-loving California boy.
Is my cooking good or what? ; )
Thanks B! For every bite.
To celebrate the big 3-0, I made him a Pina Colada Cake: Vanilla-Pineapple base, pineapple jam, coconut frosting & topped with toasted coconut and dried pineapple.
While I love all things chocolate, sometimes I’m in the mood for something a bit more light and fruity. These bars hit the spot. Close your eyes and enjoy the tropical sweetness of coconut and apricots in these flaky bars.
Not in paradise yet? Well, these squares also sneak whole wheat flour & dried fruit in. Higher in fiber than your average cookie bar, consider them the perfect dessert to get you into your tropical vacation swimwear.
… Or to enjoy with your morning coffee. I admit I ate these for both dessert & breakfast!
Combine 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 1 1/2 cups rolled oats, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1 tsp. baking powder together in a large bowl.
Beat in 1 1/2 sticks Earth Balance baking sticks, cut into small pieces. This works better when the butter is at room temperature, not straight out of the fridge. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat until a crumbly dough forms.
Make an easy to lift carrier for your bars: drape aluminum foil over the ends of an 8X8 bar pan.
Spray with non-stick cooking spray (or lightly grease) and pour 1/2 of the oat mixture in.
Using your hands or the back of a spoon, gently spread the oat and flour mixture until it forms a layer on the bottom of the pan.
Mix together 1 cup apricot marmalade, 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots, and 1/3 unsweetened coconut flakes. Pour on top of the oat layer and spread until it reaches the edges.
Pour the rest of the oat mixture on top of the apricot layer and gently pat down until the crust forms.
Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes until golden brown on top.
Remove from the pan and let cool.
Cut into squares and enjoy!
I just had another one with a big cup of tea! Perfect afternoon pick me-up before I go teach kickboxing.
Happy Tuesday! The worst part about being off for the holidays and then only working 3 days last week is that I feel very OFF. The weekend seemed like it came way too soon and it just doesn’t feel like a Tuesday. Perhaps a Thursday?
Did you have a nice weekend? Thanks to everyone who emailed and/or commented on the new 12 week running series! I am very excited to get this started. Did you use the weekend to start your goal? I went on a nice, long run on Saturday and a much slower one on Sunday, (thanks mostly to the new wine bar that we hit up on Saturday night). I hate feeling rushed in the mornings when I try to run and am always fortunate for leisurely weekends.
Have I mentioned to you that my mother is my BFF? I’m not even embarrassed to admit that I talk to my mom about 5 times a day, wayyy more than I talk to anyone else, especially BL. Does that make me weird?
I think it makes me cool (And maybe just a little bit weird). The best thing about this wonderful, obsessive relationship? Our conversations are 75% about food.
What are we making tonight? What did you eat today? Did you see that new product demo at Whole Foods on Saturday? No food topic goes untouched.
And really, my other relationship thanks me. I try, I really try to get BL to talk food with me. After years of silently and not-so- silent begging, I’ve given up. Why fight it? I have my wonderful, food-loving BFF Momma who thinks my 5th phone call that day about the right way to slice Brussels sprouts is completely normal.
A few weeks ago, while we were discussing curries, Triple D episodes, and Christmas cookies, she turned me on to this soup that she made over the weekend. Creamy, coconut Thai soup filled with vegetables and chicken.
Mmmm, sounds delicious. Bet I can make it healthier & veggie-friendly, which wasn’t too difficult to do.
So, thank you mother, for another fun project. Hope you enjoy my take on it.
Thai Coconut Soup
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 heads baby bok choy, thinly sliced
3 tsp. fresh grated ginger
3 tsp. green curry paste (or more. or less. it really depends on what brand you use and how much curry you like)
2 tsp. lemongrass paste (or 1 stalk finely minced lemongrass)
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
12 oz. cubed firm tofu
1/4 cup thai basil (finely shredded)
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
2 cups vegetable brown
2 cups lite coconut milk
In a soup pot, heat 1/4 cup vegetable broth over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, garlic, carrots, celery, ginger, lemongrass, and curry paste.
Cook 8-10 minutes until fragrant and vegetables are soft. Add more vegetable broth if needed to prevent sticking.
Add soy sauce and brown sugar to the pot, stir. Add vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Add bok choy, tofu, mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes until vegetables soften.
Reduce heat to low and stir in coconut milk. Taste- does it need more curry paste depending on the brand you used? Does it need more soy sauce? Adjust for taste. Stir in thai basil.
Pour into bowls, preferably over brown rice or noodles. Garnish with cilantro and a big squeeze of fresh lime.
Eat. Now, call you mother and tell her how delicious this soup was and how she needs to make it too. Enjoy the bond : )
I can’t help but snicker a bit when I walk into the frozen treat section at the grocery store. Really!? $5.99 for a pint of mango sorbet? When I can make my own at home using just 4 ingredients? Sticking it to the man one pint of ice cream at a time.
Summer is in full swing around here and a bowl of ice cream or sorbet is the perfect thing to cool off with. While our house has lots of victorian charm, it also lacks central heating and air. A big bummer when temperatures reach 106 like they did last weekend. Sure, sticking my head in the freezer helps for a moment but I would much rather cool off with a big bowl of mango sorbet. It is so refreshing! Luckily I have BL around to help me eat it so I don’t have to admit that I may or may not have eaten the entire thing myself this week.
2 cups coconut milk (use the kind in the carton, like the one by Silk)
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups mango chunks (frozen or fresh)
1 lime, zested and juiced
Toss the mango, sugar, lime zest and juice into a blender and process until silky smooth. Add the coconut milk and puree for another minute- until combined. Place into the fridge to cool for 1 hour.
Pour the mixture into your ice cream machine and process according to your manufactures directions.
Serve immediately (it will be similar to soft-serve in texture) or place in the freezer to harden.
Optional- you could add a thickener to this- like xantham gum or arrowroot if you wish. I didn’t add it to this recipe as I wanted this recipe to be as uncomplicated as possible.
What flavor of ice cream would you like to see next?