“There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage” ~ Martin Luther
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Last Friday (Groundhog's Day) my husband and I celebrated four years of marriage. We went to the movies at the cool new theater in town with the big seats for lounging. We sat where we always do; third row from the front, right in the middle.
My husband and I found each other later in life, after our kids were grown, careers established, and (one could hope) our major kinks had been worked out.
There are times I look at him and wish we'd met during the years when the cookie sheets were still shiny, and the bed didn't sag ever-so-slightly in the middle. The years when we were young, tan, and overly analytical.
Over a nightcap, we reminisce that there's nothing fair about life, and there is nothing fair about love. There is no magical formula for happiness, except to choose, each and every day, to allow yourself the circumstances you are offered. To welcome them, and feel them, and search for their beauty
Four years is long enough to let go of the idea that you have the rest of your life to slowly and surely change someone else. Instead, accepting (and embracing) the changes your spouse has created in you.
Four years is long enough to own your contribution to the pair. Learning to care for yourself, while a the same time, learning to care for another. It's seeking responsibility for your joy, your fulfillment, your being. It is understanding that the goal of two is to become stronger than one
“Happy 4th Anniversary Sweetie .. I love you”
As we celebrated our anniversary, this little blog officially became a kindergartner. I started The Veggies shortly after we met. It's still hard to believe I've written 673 posts and shown up in this humble space for five full years. Can you believe it?
I still remember the night I made the very first recipe for the site, while he unboxed my new camera
Looking back at old posts is always a little cringe-worthy (please, don't look at the photos), and at the same time a reminder that like marriage, everything in life is a work in progress. There's a lot to be said for showing up day in and day out
The Veggies was born with somewhat of a murky focus. I knew I wanted to write and to write about food. Over these past years, I've written read, and learned a tremendous amount about what matters to me; in food, writing, and everyday life
Most importantly, I discovered that the posts I love most are those that tell stories
“I don't care how eloquent your phrasing. Unless you're a storyteller, you're not a writer” ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer
A quote I carry with me all of the time. It's what I want this site to be
Admittedly, there are days I think about going back through the archives and tidying up the old, not-so rambly posts (the proverbial ghosts of yore); but I always manage to stop myself. Remembering that good or bad, they're all part of the journey
As we head into the weekend, I wanted to take a minute to say thank-you
Thank-you for being here. Thank-you for reading and cooking alongside. I mean that most sincerely. I'm really so grateful for you and I'm thankful for this space
Thank you for being here through all of the unfortunate photos, the typos, and all of life's ups and downs. Nevertheless, she persisted; you and me both
These cookies actually don't have the slightest thing to do with our anniversary but they need to be shared and we are celebrating
Since I ordered Donna Hay's Life in Balance cookbook, it's migrated from my desk to the coffee table to the kitchen counter and back several times. It takes you through the season's meals that are full of color, creativity, and fresh produce. Although I've looked at almost every page on at least three occasions (if not more), it's only just recently that I've had a chance to make a few of the recipes
The cookies are chewy, with the added interest and intensity of melted dark chocolate drizzles. They're a great quick and easy, gluten-free cookie to whip up and they store well too. That is, I think they would except they usually don't last more than a day and a half because we absolutely love them
If you do give them a try, just stay close to the oven. There's a time and a place for a crispy cookie, but these little guys are best consumed warm and just barely underdone
A note about the recipe: Because dates can vary in size, I've found it's best to go by weight when using them in a recipe
~ Adapted from Donna Hay
Chocolatey Caramel Sticky Date Cookies
- 1 ½ cups (360 g) firmly packed chopped pitted fresh dates
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 125 g unsalted butter or coconut oil
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup oat flour (the original called for spelt flour)
- 1 cup oats (the original called for spelt flakes)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- chocolate, for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 325° F
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add the dates, sugar, and butter. Stir until the butter has melted and the dates are soft
- Off-heat, add the baking soda, stir to combine, and set aside to cool
- In a large bowl, add the flour, oats, egg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Add the date mix and combine
- Divide and shape the mix into balls that are about 2 tablespoons in size, flatten slightly and place them on lined baking sheets
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden
- When cool, top with a drizzle of melted chocolate
Congratulations on reaching five years!! ? Your blog is a truly wonderful creation which I love reading, and I can’t wait for the next five years of food and stories. What could be better?!
Happy Anniversary! I love the quote by Martin Luther and the cookies, although not a part of your anniversary celebration, look absolutely delicious.
Wow, beautiful story of 4 years of togetherness and the start of veggies! We’ll I would say don’t tidy up the mess, those are old memories from our heart. These chocolaty caramel cookies were indeed sweet enough to celebrate your love!
The quote is wonderful and Happy Anniversary. Drizzle all that goodness on top of the cookies really makes them that much better.
Those cookies look outrageous. Everything that you take pictures of making wish I could eat them of the screen. Happy anniversary I hope you guys have many happy years together and congratulations on your success of your blog.
Congratulations on celebrating 4 yrs of marriage. My husband and I recently celebrated 20 years and you’re absolutely right that the” goal is for two to become stronger than one.” Continue writing and using your blog as a vessel to share a tidbit of your life’s light with others. We appreciate reading your stories and trying your recipes.
Oh my, these look just like the cookies from the Co-op that I became mildly obsessed with. They’re absolutely amazing. Making these immediately to see if they’re one in the same!
Well dang. These look delicious! If I wasn’t in ketosis I might have to make these this weekend. It was fun vicariously living through you though 😉
Jesus take the wheel. These caramel cookies look so darn good! Congratulations on your anniversary — I may not be celebrating any holiday right now but I’m totally making + eating these delicious cookies ASAP just because!
Happy Anniversary to The Veggies! Long may she thrive …
I just signed up for your email list last week and this is the first of your posts to appear in my inbox. Late to the party, I only discovered your site a few days ago. Silly me.
Thank you for the Friday morning smile:-) I’m already looking forward to what comes next. Cheers!
These sound so good. I love the chocolate and caramel and combo!! I really like that you sweetened these with dates.
These look so good! I have never had cookies like this but the flavor sounds amazing! These would be fun to make with my kids.
Oh happy anniversary you guys! Chocolate and caramel…What more do you need! LOVE!
Congratulations on your 4 year wedding anniversary! And your blog is an Aquarius! (My husband an Aquarius too) 🙂
Congratulations on your anniversary! That looks great and is going on my list of things to bake.
Happy anniversary to you! It’s always so sweet to celebrate another anniversary with the one you love.
Happy fourth anniversary! I love that so many theatres are getting renovated to offer those big, lounge-y chairs you speak of!
And what a five years it has been! It’s been an amazing and beautiful journey – so many congratulations!
These are making me so hungry! I love so many of your recipes. Vegan anything is tough but you make it SO MUCH easier. Can you imagine how many animals are saved every day/week/year? Kudos!
A very happy fifth birthday to The Veggies, who just gets stronger, wittier, sexier and more mouth-watering with each passing year. May there be many more to come! And that coincidence of anniversaries is just too amazing. Sometimes life really is stranger than fiction – I’m sure you couldn’t have planned it better if you tried.
Congrats! Five years ago today I moved into my home in a new town after my marriage dissolved. I was terrified. I survived and I am really proud of the life I’ve built since. I have no idea how things will work out but have decided to follow along with whatever life sends my way. xx
Aww Congratulations to you and your husband on four years of marriage. I love your words on not changing someone but accepting/embracing them. It think we can often go into a relationship expecting to change a person but it just causes rift. I wish you two only the best!
Congratulations on your 4 years of wedding annaiversary and to this little space for turning 4. I started by blog in feb too. It will be turning 3 by end of the month. I love what you said about going back and changing the posts. I always cringe to do that and stop myself from doing it becuause all those posts show how It grew up. I love that the recipe includes coconut oil and oats. It’s drfinitely going to taste delicious
Congratulations on your anniversary!! I wish you much more to come! (ps- I loved the quote by Martin Luther, it’s so fitting!)
And that recipe is a winner, looks so delicious!
Since I stumbled onto your ginger/chocolate/apricot cookie recipe, I make them all the time! Everyone I share them with asks for the recipe. I don’t know how many folks I’ve sent to your beautiful website. 🙂 Now, I’m really excited to give these a try as well!
It must be a cookie kind of day because I totally just baked a batch of these! They are so cute! And so GOOD!
It’s been a joy getting to know you through your recipes and stories over the years. So many congratulations on your five year blog birthday!
As an aside, would you consider creating a category for finger food? I recently realized recently I was looking for recipes to make for three different occasions recently: travel, a friend who just had a baby, and a potluck. What I wanted was a yummy finger food that wasn’t too messy. I’ve found some great recipes (savory and sweet) on your site for this but they are always little surprise finds.
Thank you for sharing your story! Happy Anniversary too. Wishing you and your husband many many more years of happiness together. I always tell my husband that all I want is to grow old with him, to sit side by side on the beach and watch endless sunsets together.
Happy Anniversary. This recipe looks so delicious and a great way to celebrate your anniversary! Can’t wait to try to make them as we bake a lot on our blog and are always looking for new recipes.
Happy Anniversary and thank you so much for sharing your story. Our business to started not long after my husband and I got together so it is so much fun to look back and see how both grew together. Don’t worry I cringe too looking back at photos we took early on, lol. This cookie recipe sounds delicious. My hubby is a big fan of chocolate and caramel so he would love these.
Congratulations on your wedding anniversary and cheers to many more years together. I love this chocolate cookie recipe, always looking for new recipes to make at home for the family.
Girllll…. by “for celebrating”, did you mean weekly? 😉 These are SO yummy!! I have a new love for dates with these cookies and I love the way the recipe is so easily explained. Congratulations on your four year anniversary as well!! Such a fun way to celebrate. 🙂
Yum! I’ve just eaten three. Super fun to make with my 3-year-old on this chilly and snowy winter’s afternoon! Oh, and he says to tell you the chocolate drizzles are really good 🙂
So much can be learned by looking back. I love to see where/how people started out and work my way up to the present. For one, it shows me that while I’m not that great now, I’m working to get better, and one day I might be great too. Thank you for not re-writing the archives, as you said, they’re part of the story.
Hi Ali. On quiet evenings with a cup of tea in hand, I’ve read through many of your posts from the archives. They’re beautiful and I’ve loved read stories of a girl with a big heart and a great love of life and food. Truly touching, my online friend. xo
Well, I was planning on being all healthy and making poached pears for dessert. No offence to the pears, but I think I’m making these cookies instead. Thanks for the recipe and happy anniversary!
Congratulations on 4 years of marriage and 5 years blogging. Thank you for sharing your passion with us; it often feels like a lifeline. So very done and these cookies look extra yummy
Happy anniversary – what a reflective post. You’re so right – you can’t change anyone and like you, I met my partner later in life (in our 40s). Those cookies look delicious too.
Congrats, Ali! I’ve been reading (and re-reading) your blog since its inception so many years ago, but haven’t officially commented until now. Your writing, your stories, your recipes, all of it should be celebrated. This sounds like the most delicious version of a cookie to do so!
Happy Anniversary! What a delicious cookie to celebrate it. Now I need to get some dates! 🙂
I made your whole wheat chocolate chip cookies not too long ago, and they were divine. I have been getting requests for more ever since, but I might have to make this recipe instead (for health reasons, of course! ;))
This resonates to me very well: There is no magical formula for happiness, except to choose .. each and every day .. to allow yourself the circumstances you are offered.
Indeed there is no magical formula for happiness but to choose to be happy every day. Happy anniversary to you and to your husband!
Aww what a darling post and a massive congratulations to you and your husband, I am so glad you both found one another. Now I am going to also check out your archives, but dont worry regardless of your pictures, they are you and Veggies by Candelight ,plus if I know you the will be freaking awesome. x
Awesome story, but I read quick, so that I can see the images. I hope no offense. God that looks lovely and delicious. I am bookmakrking it and going to make for my friends someday.
I love cookies my favorite tea time snack . Even the cookie dough looks delicious . Great recipe my chocolate craving will get satisfied for now 😀
Happy 4 years to you and your husband! That’s awesome. And these cookies look scrumptious. Perfect for finishing off a date!
After only a few hours of sleep last night, I decided to work from home today. After seeing these little gems, I may very well make that “work” from home and make some cookies instead! Besides, I’m thinking the cookies will raise my blood sugar enough to make it through the day. They look tres yummy!
I loved reading this post. It sounds so happy and free and brought a huge smile to my face. The cookies look and sound wonderful. I agree with you completely with another commenter that “a day without dessert is a day poorly lived” Please pass the cake tin, someone!
Two awesome milestones! That’s so awesome. I wish you more happy years – marriage and blog. And how about these cookies?? They look scrumptious. I haven’t actually worked with dates in baking before but this looks so good it might be the first recipe I try. PS: I totally get the cringe-worthy posts! I tried to update 1 or 2 at the tailend of last year but it’s just so much work. I love how you put it – it’s part of the blog’s history (no matter how cringe-worthy the photos are lol)!!
Happy 4th anniversary to you both. I can hardly remember our 4th, but I know we were still transitioning into a solid couple. Life can be complicated, like you said “Learning to care for yourself, while a the same time, learning to care for another. ” is a major milestone. it doesn’t happen over night, it takes some time.
Oh, these sound SO good! I have to say, cookies are by far my favorite dessert. And a recipe this quick and simple is perfect ? thanks!
Happy Anniversary, congratulations on your 4 years of marriage together. Long may they continue with all those happy memories to be made.
I am loving the look of these cookies, I bet they taste absolutely wonderful and go well with a nice cup of breakfast tea.
First of all, these cookies combine all my favorite things and sound divine! Secondly, congratulations on both your blog anniversary and your wedding anniversary!
I found Nick late(r) in life too but I don’t regret any moment before or after meeting him. I always enjoy your stories and drools over your recipes. I would love to try these cookies too as dates are my favorite treat (well and chocolate too). Happy anniversary!
Happy anniversary to you both. I definitely think there are lots of bonuses to meeting a partner later in life and the cookies look divine
Congratulations on your anniversary! Gaz and I got together when I was 30 and he was 28 so definitely not late in life but I had an 11 year marriage under my wing and a 6 year old son. I don’t regret those years we weren’t together though. I think for me, I needed that first marriage to make my second marriage a success. Those cookies look AMAZING by the way!!!
Congratulations to you and your husband on your 4th anniversary! I love the words you used “There is no magical formula for happiness, except to choose .. each and every day .. to allow yourself the circusmstances you are offered. To welcome them .. and feel them .. and search for their beauty”. Also the cookies look incredibly tasty 🙂
Er… I need to get my cookie on right now! These look amazing!!! My husband makes sticky toffee pudding occasionally and the dates are the magic ingredient for that rich gooey texture and flavor. I need to know what these taste like, I might have to surprise him with some on Wednesday for Valentine’s! Happy Anniversary 🙂
every time i swear i will eat healthier, i see delicious recipes! I love anything with caramel and these looks absolutely delicious! if only i had someone to share the cookies with!
Great tip about the dates – I think I have read that before – maybe on here!
Congrats on 4 years.
Your story had me intrigued and you do write beautifully.
Actually, I am at the other end of the spectrum right now – separated after 10 years.
I love what you said about meeting when older.
Sometimes I think the only true love is when people meet at a younger age having many memories and a chance to grow together.
Other times I feel meeting after most mistakes have been made is best and knowing we are not to change each other but change together as needed.
Either way haha I am getting all introspective.
I am SO happy for the two of you!
Congrats on your anniversary and much love to both of you. Just my luck, I was looking for a cookie that included caramel. Will be baking these soon
Happy Anniversary to the two of you and here’s to more years to come. I think people meet at exactly the right time to make sure that they’re ready for each other when they do. That’s the beauty of love and how it works when it’s true. This recipe sounds so lovely!
Congratulations on your anniversary! I love the look of these cookies. These look amazing! So I need to eat these or make them soon. The chocolate looks so good. Wishing you many more years of happiness together.
I love how chewy these look. Dates are such a delicious and versatile fruit. I need to bake with them more. Gotta try your recipe!
Two milestones to be very proud of; the polish shows in your site and the love shines through in your story. Always love to find stories of special love found later in life!
Such a beautiful post. That MLK quote is everything and shocking as I never came across any of his quote about marriage. Love how you reference growth with your blog/writing. It is a timely note for me. Finally, happy anniversary! Don’t dwell on wishing you met sooner… just enjoy every moment and remember to live like there is no tomorrow. Xoxo
Happy Anniversary to you my friend. I love the Chocolatey Caramel Sticky Date Cookies. It looks so good! Yummmmmmm!
Oh wow. These date cookies look so darn good. Pinning for later reference
Wow, happy fourth wedding anniversary to you and your hubby! I guess you are really destined for each other. Also the recipe is so good. I would love to try this over the weekend.
It feels unfair sometimes because you could have spent all those years together but I also believe that you meet the right person at the perfect time, when you’re both ready for each other. I think this recipe is a must try. I looks so good and I love that chocolate drizzle.
Oh my! How yummy! Always looking forward to your mouth-watering recipes and this one is no exception! Really loving the chocolate decoration…makes it look much sweeter. Perfect for celebration!
Happy Anniversary as well! Four years is no joke…it’s a blessing!
I made these cookies yesterday, brought them to a rehearsal, and got at least two men to fall in love with me. Amazing.
Well what a creative cookie recipe. These are perfect for an anniversary. YUM! I love dates but I have never thought of making a cookie out of them. Delicious!
Happy anniversary, hope you and your husband had a great time celebrating!. Your blog and social media accounts have always been an inspiration to me. This recipe is out of this world but I might be biased because I love caramel, but who doesn’t? Here is to many more years of success both in your life and in your blog
Since I’m a recently diagnosed diabetic, I don’t bake much anymore. ~sigh~ It’s not that I don’t eat an occasional dessert, but if I bake a whole batch of cookies, they are there and I’ll eat them – all! So, if I bake, I eat a few and give the rest away very quickly. Or I buy one or two cookies an let it go at that. But thanks for the recipes and great photos too. And, most of all, congratulations on your anniversary! xo
Happy anniversary! This was a great post – I sometimes feel the same about my fiancé wishing we had met an earlier stage in life. Also congrats on the blog too! I completely understand how over time we progress with our blogs, life etc. Your pics look great – and I didn’t go back to look at your old pictures! I will have to give the cookies a go – they look quite easy to make and yummy! Thanks for sharing!
Firstly congrats on 4 years together ??? what a lovely post. I hope you had a wonderful anniversary. And those cookies look to die for.
Happy anniversary to you! Your cookie pictures are gorgeous! I love the dark chocolate drizzle on top!
How delicious! I have never tried these type of cookies before, but I’ll definitely give this recipe a try. Thanks for sharing!
Oh this is soooo true!!! My husband is 10 years older than me. We have both been married once before and came to the marriage with kids. We have children together and two children we’ve adopted together. Here he is 50 years old with kids ranging from 31 down to 18 months old. Life is such a journey!! And you’re right… it’s a process.
And Happy Anniversary.
Keep on celebrating! I’ve been married for 18 years and we celebrate everyday, really! Loving this cookies. My daughter is all into dates and oat flour. Beautiful shots too!
Congratulations on your anniversary. My husband and I got married twice! so we celebrate two anniversaries per year. Yummy cookies!
Happy Anniversary, I’m so happy for you guys. These cookies look so nice, I have to try them out. Thanks for the new recipe!
They look so good! I have never had cookies like this but the flavor sounds sooooo amazing! These would be fun to make with my son!!
Happy anniversary you guys! 🙂 I wasn’t craving anything sweet for the last couple of months (only salty and savory foods); since last week my sweet cravings have kicked in and I guess I will have to try this recipe to celebrate just that! 😀
You haven’t always had the easiest life but I am so thankful that despite everything you have been through you and your husband found each other. You might have had to kiss a few frogs before you met him but congratulations on four beautiful years together and I look forward to many more beautiful declarations of love. You are so fortunate to find someone who completes you and I hope one day that I will find someone who will love me too. Also what better way to celebrate love than with cookies and in my opinion the stickier the better! Have a lovely weekend my dear friend xx
The utter perfection of that drizzle is above and beyond describable!!! The drool coming out of my mouth, also something you cannot describe, LOL!
Happy Anniversary Ali 🙂 <3 Many Many Congratulations on reaching five years!! ? I am a big fan of your blog. these cookies look so delicious. Thanks for the new recipe!
Happy Anniversary and thank you for all of your beautiful recipes. I am about to have fun with this one.
For celebrating.. or for a random Thursday, like today when you NEED sugar and this looks delicious.
Hope you had a lovely anniversary! And titre totally right about the blog thing – it’s nice to see how far you’ve come! These cookies look so good, I definitely need to give them a go.
Hi Ali, I’ve been following your blog for a while now and I think this might be my first comment ever.
Being an Italian raised in Italy, cookies are not my favorite sweet treat. In fact, I can remember seeing them in the movie once wondering how they’d taste. The first time I ate one I found that they were just too much. Too much butter, too much sugar, too much sweet
Still, just by looking at that first picture and having a look at the recipe I think I’m ready to give cookies a second try! 😉
Oh my, you got me at chocolate and dates. I love dates. We live in an area where there are a lot of date farms. There’s even a date restaurant and their famous date shake. Love your photos as well. I hope they taste as good when I make them. Thanks for sharing. I never thought of combining chocolates and dates. My husband eats his dates with peanut butter. I’ve also tried it cream cheese.
I have a huge sweet tooth, and the photos of your cookies drew me in. Not sure that I want to make them, but they still look delicious. Congratulations on your recent anniversary.
Congrats on both significant anniversaries! Inspiration of love later found fills me with optimism as does the evolution of your blogging. Nicely done! …and the cookies look delicious too! =)
Those look good. Seeing coconut oil and dates together in the recipe makes me say “yes”! Congratulations on two milestones! 673 posts – totally awesome, keep it up! “It is understanding that the goal of two is to become stronger than one” – I strongly agree!
Congrats on making it through 673 posts throughout everything. I can only imagine going on my blog for five years. It’s just crazy enough to me that I have been through a little more than one post, let alone 673?!?! Congrats on the anniversary of the blog as well as your anniversary meeting your love. I know I have started to look back at my old posts and tried to think about what I wrote before and wondered what kind of editing could be done to them. My only question is whether or not I should be editing them. As for the cookies, I would love them. And definitely that little extra bit of chocolate drizzle would be an amazing addition.
OMG this looks delicious! Can I add less sugar? My family doesn’t like desserts with too much sugar. Also congrats of reaching two milestones!