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energy bar

Peanut Butter Date Fudge

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Evenings are slowly getting chillier and quickly growing dark prior to the dinner hour. Already, I want to spend more of them curled up in my kitchen.

While summer is filled with some of my favorite produce, it’s autumn and winter when I move into my real cooking groove.
Toasted sesame seeds

It’s also prime wedding season, and my photo ventures call for portable, energy-packed snacks like these. My tastebuds call for them all the time, so really it’s a win-win. Ya feel me?

Inspired by a recipe I saw over on Food & Wine, I knew I had to try this “fudge”. No sugar – just dates – this is the kind of fudge that’ll spike your energy, not bring it down. Yet, it has all that dense, sweet goodness you’d expect from a fudge. Again…win.

Peanut Butter Date Fudge

Throw some toasted sesame seeds on top for an extra punch of flavor, and toss a few coconut flakes on there too for some crunch. Both help brighten its appearance and make it an easy sell to guests. Although, one taste would do the trick as well.

Peanut Butter Date Fudge

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My New Roots’ Life-Changing Loaf of Bread

Life-Changing Bread

More than a handful of my friends have made this bread. Nearly all of my fellow let’s get in the kitchen, anytime, anywhere friends have made this bread. And pretty much my entire food blogging world has mentioned, created, and/or featured this recipe in some form.

Published a little over two years ago, it was about time I tried this illustrious Life-Changing Loaf of Bread for myself. Here I am. Another blogger to declare this recipe is awesome. And despite it’s cult following, I admit it was a bit to my surprise.

Life-Changing Loaf of Bread

Sure, I’ve heard everyone rave about how great this is. But as I was stirring up a bread pan’s worth of nuts and seeds, I found myself a bit skeptical. I knew this thing was going to be dense, and what I didn’t know was how that would play out into its finished form. I wasn’t even sure how it’d come together to ever fully form a loaf. I mean, what was this foreign psyllium husk ingredient, anyways? Could a few Tbsp. really bind a bunch of nuts into a loaf of bread? After finding it in the supplement aisle, the lady at Whole Foods told me psyllium husk is often used to help make you go..

Life-Changing BreadAnyway, when I finally got my first loaf out of the oven and cooled down enough to eat, it proved itself in no time. Yes, it’s dense, but incredibly delicious. Especially in its toasted form, as  many other food blogs assured me prior to making. “Toast it!” So toast I did, and slathered it with jam. I would recommend you do the same.

The toaster (I’d recommend a toaster oven, if you have one) pulls out an extra intensity of flavor from the already slightly browned nuts and seeds. Delish. Again, pair with jelly, or go for the savory route with some crisp radishes and a very thin spread of avocado.

Bluebells

This bread + spring + good cup of coffee + morning breakfast spent outside…now that might just make it to a life-changing status. Head over to My New Roots for the recipe!

Mostly Raw Curry Sunflower Oat Energy Bars

Most Raw Curry Sunflower Oat Energy Bars

Snow in the city is dirty. It will soil your shoes, your gloves, your stoop, your snowballs.

Suit up and put your game face on, or that black — and sometimes salty blue — stuff they call snow might stain a piece of your soul, too. It feels little like the soft, white flakes that flow quietly to country lands. Lands where cars stay stationary, kids go sledding and firesides roar.

Most Raw Curry Sunflower Oat Energy Bars

Yet snowfall in the city can also be a magical experience. I see this in ways far different than where I grew up. It comes in ways that remind me why I’m carrying out my youthful years in an urban setting.

Most Raw Curry Sunflower Oat Energy Bars

For one, while schools might shut down, often the community does not. Where I currently live, on snow days restaurants often remain open. They fill up with afternoon conversation. At the corner of my block, a place lights its fireplace and spreads out its board games. Beer is poured. Coffee is served. Warmth, both literally and socially, can be found in abundance.

My neighborhood’s yoga studio powers through with an evening session taught by a local teacher. I go, as do others, to fill the class, and practice while gazing out the window at the falling white flakes. They remain clean as they hang in the air, and it’s in this moment that I feel like I am “home” again. Back in the country enjoying a piece of serenity.

Following class, I rejoin the bustle. I meet a friend up the street at the fireplace for a beer and a game and good company. And again I remember, this is why I love the city.

Most Raw Curry Sunflower Oat Energy Bars

The start of this year has been a rough one in terms of the weather. I loathe winter. I could do without snow, and even seasons too if I really had to.

Yet, I am constantly reminded of why I still remain on the East Coast, in a state that won’t let me scoot by without being cold, in a city that I’ve grown to love. Surrounded by friends, and not far from family, I’ve learned to survive the cold seasons and even admire some of its parts I hate the most. Snow too has its place, and for now, it seems to be a significant part of my life…like it or not.

So until I get the guts to move far, far away to a new city in warmer lands, you can find me coping in my current city with my baking gear and measuring cups. When snow falls, cooking and tea and adventuring all call — usually in that order, too.

These were whipped up during our last winter storm here in Philly. They make for a healthy snack or breakfast, and are definitely going on my repeat recipe list. Made with antioxidant-rich curry powder and mostly raw ingredients (excluding the peanut butter), their packed with energy. The good kind. The kind you might need to get you through a long winter. Only 31 official days left. Not that I’m counting down or anything.

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