New Year, New You.
This sentiment seems to be how many people approach the 1st of each calendar year. Some of us even wait until after the 1st to talk about what we need to work on to become a better . . . fill in the blank. A few of us reject the concept entirely, constantly reminding ourselves to strive to be our best every single day.
In an organized rush to get everything on our to-do list crossed off before we make the trek to Philly, I’ve packed most of my beloved dishes, small appliances, pots and pans, silverware and other kitchen necessities. Already I’ve filled up about 6 large boxes aaaannnd there are probably at least 3 more to go (yes, I may have a bit of an obsession). We’re also trying to quickly plow through our remaining produce and pantry staples leaving me with a fun challenge come dinnertime each night. I’m actually kinda diggin’ it.
I’ve yet to pack my favorite brownie baking pan (because lots of brownies are an absolute must for road-tripping), and we had an excess of fresh cherries just begging to be used. And for some reason I have a ridiculous amount of chocolate chips to try and use up in 10 days time… poor me, right? ;)
So, today I decided I should bake some chocolate chip cherry brownies. These guys are easy to make and pretty darned good for you — at least compared to most other things I bake! And they have chocolate! And cherries!
Yay for brownies!
Chocolate Chip Cherry Brownies
- 12 medjool dates
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 2 1/4 cup non-dairy chocolate chips, divided
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup superfine brown rice flour
- 1/3 cup potato starch
- 1 cup finely chopped cherries
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Lightly grease a glass 8 x 8 inch baking pan.
Combine pitted dates and non-dairy milk into food processor and puree until very smooth.
Over double boiler, melt 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips. Pour the melted chocolate into the date mixture and blend again until super smooth. Transfer to large mixing bowl and stir in vanilla extract and salt.
Add in brown rice flour and potato starch and mix until well combined. The batter will be very very very thick. Fold in cherries and remaining chocolate chips. I used clean hands to more or less knead the mix-ins into the batter.
Press batter into pan and spread as best you can to make a uniform surface on top. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Cool completely and cut into small squares.
It’s been a buuuuuuusy week around the Kramer household. I’ve been putting in some major overtime trying to get this cookbook wrapped up. Sleeping has been replaced with early morning recipe testing and late night writing, my refrigerator is jam-packed with WAY too much food for a family of three and a half to deal with, and there are regularly just enough dirty dishes in my sink to keep me from filling my coffee pot with water so I can function throughout the day. :\
But, despite the busyness, I am loving life right now. The weather outside has been a blissful 90 degrees (yeah, I’m a heat junkie), and my garden is in full bloom even though I haven’t been able to tend to it this year. I guess it wanted to grow so badly that it just took care of itself. Pretty rad! We have kale, scallions, chamomile, rosemary, parsley, cilantro, mint, oregano, sage, berries, roses, and even purslane! So, it’s really a great time to be cooking up a storm. Ah, yes… life is good.
And, you guys… I have good news! Well, great news! I’ve been sitting on this exciting announcement for a while until it became “official”. And now it is. I’m super happy to say that my cookbook is getting published by Fair Winds Press… one of my all time favorite publishers of beautiful reads! So with that, comes an emphatic thank you to all of you. There’s no way in heck I would have ever had this opportunity if it wasn’t for you glorious readers out there, subscribing to my culinary rants, making my recipes, and keeping me motivated. You guys are the best.
The book’ll be hitting shelves Spring of 2012, and the [tentative] title is Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats. Keep an eye out for it! Unless of course you’re a regular follower of my blog, in which case I’ll be sure to remind you. :)
My testers have been hard at work too! Check out what a few of them have been up to:
Tiffany’s (of Bread Without Butter) flickr photostream Check out her blog too!
And, last but not least, Tofu’s Mobile Me Gallery
They’ve been busy helping me out, and I couldn’t be more appreciative of all their hard work. ♥
With a schedule like I have these days, one thing that’s keeping me fueled up is salads. Yep… I’ve been thriving on simple, colorful, nutritious bowls of yum. They always include some of my garden bounty in ‘em, which makes me especially proud to be noshing them. They’re good for your mind and body, and they are super easy to prepare. Oh, and they require very little cleanup!
This recipe is one of my faves. It’s filling enough to count as a full meal, yet simple enough to whip up last minute before heading out the door for some summertime fun (if you happen to have some cooked brown rice on hand, which is a frequent occurrence in my refrigerator). Feel free to adjust all seasonings and ingredients to your taste! This is, after all, a salad… mix it up!
Okay dear readers, file this one under Allyson’s favorite recipes.
I have made this coffee cake three times in the past three days (yes, that’s right: one per day) and have regretted not one single moment of it. There is just something about a good cherry-almond combo that makes my heart sinnng! Plus, it’s an easy cake to throw together since it calls for dried cherries, and not those delicious juicy ones with the pesky pits.
And, this coffee cake does not require coffee to make it shine (do any, really?), it stands up quite nicely on its own.
So what are you waiting for? Get in your kitchen and whip up what I consider to be the best coffee cake I have ever made.
Hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do… and if you happen to not like it, please don’t hesitate to send me the leftovers! ;) nom nom nom
Over the weekend, the family and I stocked up on plenty-o-cherries. While I was excited about eating them as is- savoring each sweet and juicy bite- my son had another plan for them: cherry pie.
He must have asked me to make cherry pie at least ten times this past weekend.
Truthfully, the thought of rolling out a pie crust in 90 degree weather seemed less than appealing…but I didn’t want to disappoint my little man. So, I compromised with some tiny cherry tarts. Similar to the requested pie, with a little less fuss. These tarts can be made quickly, with relatively little effort. Pitting the cherries is the hardest part.
They are super cute too. Kinda like cookies and pie and muffins- all in one!