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Energy Balls

11 Sep

You know that moment when it’s after dinner and you want a treat, but don’t have anything around the house and don’t feel like baking? These are for that moment. And for the next day, when you want a snack – kinda like a granola bar but more satisfying. I love that these are all ingredients that I have in my pantry. They come together quickly. Feel healthy yet decadent

The name energy balls reminds me of how, at an office I worked at in SF, we’d refer to peanut m&m’s as power pellets. I am not sure the exact origin of this internet recipe, but I’ll credit Sara, who first gave me one of these and shared a screenshot of the ingredients list.


3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter [you can also use peanut butter, or almond butter. PB takes on a bit more of a dominant flavor than sunflower]

1/4 unsweetened cocoa

1/4 cup pure maple syrup, or to taste

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Dry ingredients

7 tablespoons rolled oats

6 tablespoons shredded coconut

I like to throw in a handful of raisins but you could leave as-is or add any dried fruit or nut etc. Can also add a tablespoon of chia seeds or flax seeds etc. 

Just keep in mind – if you are going to go crazy with the ad-ins you might need more of the top-category binders. or sub out from the oats & coconut category. 

Directions: In a small mixing bowl, stir together the top category of ingredients (coconut oil, nut butter, cocoa, syrup, and vanilla). Then mix in your dried ingredients.

I like to put them in the fridge for about 30 mins to firm up a bit and then use a cookie scoop to make balls that are about 1-in in diameter. Store in the fridge.

These have been rolled in shredded coconut purely for the aesthetics of the photo. Chris believes they are best enjoyed with a glass of milk. 


Peanut Sauce

25 Aug

This peanut sauce recipe. It came from Chris’s co-worker. We had gone over to their house in the before times and they made this with delicious Vietnamese spring rolls. Anyway, she wrote this peanut sauce recipe on a piece of paper, which we dutifully hung on our fridge and made repeatedly because it’s so easy and delicious. I was recently distressed- thinking I’d lost that scrap of paper in our move– and elated when I found it again a few nights ago. I am putting it here, so that I never lose it again.

What should you eat this with? Anything and everything. I just dined on some with cold soba noodles (tossed w a tsp sesame oil), sliced cucumber, bell pepper and scallion but anything you have around the house could be added. I should have added extra chopped peanuts for crunch. what a fool am I. Also great with baked or fried tofu. Could do with chicken or beef. As a dipping sauce for any veggie or with Vietnamese spring rolls with rice paper wraps stuffed with veg, herbs, rice noodles, tofu or shrimp etc. The list goes on and on. 

Recipe note: I would definitely include the grated ginger. I used unsweetened unsalted PB, so I added 1 tsp maple syrup just for funsies and used the high end of her scale, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar). Just do to taste. You can refrigerate leftover peanut sauce and use a little hot water if you want to thin out again.

Irish Soda Bread

18 Mar

Hello my far-away-friends,

I’m not sure I have anything poetic to say here, but I’ll highly recommend that you make this bread asap. It has a few simple ingredients. It comes together quickly. It just came out of the oven and I ate almost half the loaf already. Eat it warm or toasted with salted butter (or butter and salt). And if you dare, a drizzle of honey or some jam. Blue or soft cheese would also be delightful. This is a mood lifter to both bake and consume.

More soon,


A Joy of Cooking recipe

Butter a bread loaf pan. Preheat 350.

Whisk together in a large bowl:

  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (I sieve through a fine mesh strainer)
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I did more like a rounded 1/2 tp kosher salt)

Stir in:

  • 1 cup raisins
  • and/or 2 tsp. caraway seeds [I did caraway only. don’t worry if you have neither on hand]

In another bowl, whisk together:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted and still warm
  • 1 cup buttermilk [if you do not have buttermilk, mix regular milk with a tablespoon fresh lemon juice or white vinegar and let stand for 5 mins]

Add the flour mixture into the liquid. Mix until flour is just moistened.

Bake 45-50 mins. Let cool in pan on rack 5-10 mins, take out and let cool rest of the way.

Granola Crisp + Mulled Cider

7 Nov

This is a holdover from summer. It was my go-to crisp — I must have made more than half a dozen times. Now, don’t get me wrong. I still stand loyal to my apple crisp recipe and will continue to make for every Rosh, Thanksgiving etc. But… this is more of an everyday crisp because it contains way less sugar, butter etc. It is great with ice cream for dessert or yogurt for breakfast. For serious. And it is infinitely adaptable. The original Bon Appetit recipe was all strawberries. My fave was strawberry peach combo pictured here. I’ve also done strawberry rhubarb (for which you’d want to slightly up your sugar). Play around. My most recent incantation for fall was to do apples + 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Because of the pectin in apples, don’t need the cornstarch.

2 lb strawberries (hulled, halved, quartered if large). Or whatever combo of fruit you like.

3 Tbsp. raw sugar (can add more if your chosen fruit is less sweet)

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. plus 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch (this is necessary for the berry dominant combo. don’t need for apples. and can reduce if berries are well balanced w another firmer or pectin fruit like stone fruit or rhubarb)

1/4 olive oil

1 cup old fashioned oats

1/3 cup sliced almonds (I omit)

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 all-purpose flour

Plain yogurt, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream for serving.

Preheat 350. Toss strawberries, raw sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Transfer to a 9″ pie pan or 1 qt baking dish.

Stir olive oil and maple syrup in medium bowl to combine. Add oats, (almonds if using), coconut, flour, and 2 (good) pinches of salt and work until mixture comes together in loose clumps. Scatter over pie filling.

Place crisp on baking sheet (in case spill over. can foil line, but I don’t). Bake 35-45 min until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling. (Original recipe reccs that you cool at least 30 min before serving.) Serve w yogurt, ice cream etc.

Can also be baked 1 day ahead. Cooled. Covered. And chilled in fridge.

And for a taste of fall…

Flour Bakery Mulled Cider 

This recipe exceeded expectations. The orange makes all the difference. I’d go for the whole spices, as the recipe was written – but ya know, sometimes you gotta work with what’s on hand so I used some dashes of ground allspice and nutmeg as subs.

1 half-gallon fresh cider

2 cinnamon stick

8 allspice berries

1 orange, scrubbed clean, unpeeled, sliced thin

1 tsp whole cloves

1 inch fresh ginger, rough chopped

1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg.

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Turn off heat, cover, and let steep for an hour. Strain through a sieve and reheat. Pour into mugs. Can store leftovers and reheat.


Corn Muffins

3 Nov

I have a lot to say about Corn muffins. (No, I’m not going to go on about how long it’s been since the last post or promise that i’ll be better. Rather, I’ll just stick to the topic at hand). Sam & I ate a lot of corn muffins as kids with huge pats of butter, which we referred to as Sammie Sandwiches. You’d take a bite – then in a game we called Batteries- you’d move your arms around like a robot until you swallowed it and then you had to freeze. And could only be unfrozen when the other person said your full name. Which inevitably led to the same jokes of feigned ignorance… “Wait, what’s your middle name again?”

Childhood stories aside I’ve always found corn bread and corn muffin recipes to be a bit disappointing. Especially when you can just make a box of Jiffy – which let’s face it, is delicious. But these are so good they are motivating me out of Snacko Backo retirement. The picture and story should serve as a friendly reminder to always slather with butter. And if you are feeling bold, drizzle with maple syrup, mmmmm…..

These are delicious anytime but ’tis the season, so think about enjoying w a warm bowl of chili or even a thanksgiving dinner…? (Made this Veg chili the other day, still so delicious)

This recipe comes from the New York Times. Tiny rant – I hate how they put up a paywall to see recipes. I just.. ugh.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled (plus more for butter pan and eating)

2 cups coarse or stone ground cornmeal (this is important – you just aren’t going to get that satisfying texture w. fine ground)(another tip – brands like Bob’s Red Mill label it as Corn grits/Polenta. And you find it in grocery store with grains, not with baking flours etc. And apparently you are supposed to any leftovers in fridge).

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder

1 tsp fine sea salt (i did more like a heaping tsp of kosher salt)

1 cup sour cream or whole milk yogurt

1/2 cup whole milk

2 large eggs, at room temp

Demerara sugar (or sugar in the raw), as needed

(note I am moving the butter the pan stage down after mixing. NYT reviews says some wait time after mixing ingredients gives some time for the baking powder to activate. Not sure if that’s true… but does seem to hold when I make pancakes…)

Heat oven to 400.

In large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

In separate bowl, whisk together melter butter, sour cream, milk and eggs. Fold butter mix into dry ingredients.

Generously butter the cups and tops of muffin tins (these muffins will overflow). (I made some w paper baking cups and surprisingly preferred those without. It’s like you get all this additional crispy surface area without).

Then scoop (cookie or ice cream scoop work well) batter into tins. This made 12 muffins filled to the brim. Sprinkle each muffin top w Demerara sugar.

Bake until golden on the edges, 18-22 mins. Cool on wire rack for 10 mins, remove from muffin tin and cool to room temp. Serve w even more softened butter.


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