What are you up to this weekend?
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We've made it to the weekend, which means (hopefully) there will be some sort of patio cocktail in the very near future. Preferably, around twilight
I'm really looking forward to tonight's Iowa Cubs game. The ball field is less than a mile from our new place, and while we love their breakfasts, I've yet to see a game from the stands. Fingers crossed that it doesn't rain so they'll have fireworks after!
I'm also looking forward to our Saturday morning trip to the farmers market. I suspect we'll bring the puppies along to sniff everyone furry while we people watch. I'll pick up a few bags of greens and pretty flowers for the kitchen. Hopefully, some homemade jam
But most of all, I want to pass the time doing a little of this, and a little of that. You know, lingering in pajamas, lots of iced tea, (hopefully) a smoothie, a long walk, and a few hours on the sofa. I wish that for you as well
Especially the smoothie
For the weekend, a few things I've been loving lately
These charming postcards + snail mail = the happiest combo ever
If you're feeling run down – such a wonderful checklist of things to consider [via Dana James]
Here at The Veggies, a lot has been happening behind the scenes. I've been working to give the site a bit of a refresh, and have also switched to a new recipe plug-in. Converting all of the recipes over has proved a bit of a challenge, but ever so slowly, it's getting there.
Are you familiar with the work of Dr. Gabor Mate? His efforts around addiction, stress, and the effects on health are incredible; especially when delivered with his kind and compassionate approach. After listening to one of his talks, you'll want to reach through your screen and give him a hug. A couple of my favorites? With Tim Ferriss. Also with Rebekah Demirel (The last question makes me tear up every time. I'm grateful to the person who asked it and Gabor's response. Absolutely beautiful)
Hopelessly addicted to Julia Child cooking videos! She's so funny, and I'm learning a ton. Things like, “If you're not too fat, add a little cream”
Other Inspirations – Hydrangeas, night walks, film noir, sunny mornings, rainy nights, falling in love (again), heartbreak, talking to people who are really in touch with their emotions, tuxedo cats, Scrabble, afternoons at the library, folksy music on a warm afternoon, falling asleep to the noise of the city, painted ceramics, friends (new and old), red wine, long dinners, and strangers with good energy.
Current Mantra – Be a blessing
Friends, whatever you're up to this weekend, I hope you have a good one!
By now, you'll know how much I love a rustic, family-style dessert (or afternoon treat). And really, there aren't many things that fit the bill better than a simple fruit crumble. These are similar but in snack-bar form.
For those of you who've never attempted a crumble, it couldn't be easier. Start with fresh seasonal fruit over an oat-filled crust, top it with crumbled dough, and into the oven it goes. Before you know it, golden-topped dollops of baked goodness are crisping up in a shallow sea of bubbling fruit.
In this version, I combined strawberry, a splash of port wine, an almond slivered oat crumble, and peanut butter for a pb&j twist, Sounds a bit fancy, but really, they couldn't be easier to make.
You can prep the ingredients up to ahead of time if you like. Combine the dry ingredients, cover, and set aside. Chop the fruit, cover, and refrigerate. The rest of it comes together in a flash whenever you're ready to assemble the bars and bake them off.
These are tender and sweet and nutty and can be swapped with another seasonal fruit should you need it. If strawberries aren’t great where you live just yet, use a good quality jam as the fruit layer and continue with the crumble from there. This will leave you with a sweeter bar, but still great!
(They would be extra special a la mode)
~ Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen's Cooking Club
Strawberry Crumble Bars
- 1 ¼ cup rolled oats
- 1 cup oat flour (or all-purpose or gluten-free flour)
- 1 stick cold butter (or ½ cup coconut oil, as a solid)
- ⅓ cup natural sugar (such as turbinado)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- fine grain sea salt
- 1 lb. strawberries, hulled and chopped small
- ¼ cup natural sugar
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
- splash port wine (optional)
- ½ cup peanut butter, optional (or any nut butter would be great)
- ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted (or pine nuts)
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 8” baking pan with parchment, and grease with cooking spray or butter.
- In a food processor, pulse together oats, flour, coconut oil, almonds, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. (Pulse carefully, you'll want to see flecks of oats, and it should look crumbly. Add water if needed, and pulse until the dough will stick together when pressed between your fingers)
- Transfer ½ of the crust mix to the prepared pan and press it into an even layer. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the top has just begun to get toasty
- Meanwhile, combine the strawberries, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and lemon zest.
- In a small bowl, add the arrowroot/cornstarch and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth
- Add to the strawberries, along with a splash or port, if using. (Note: The amount of sugar will vary, depending on how ripe your berries are. If they taste a bit tart, add another sprinkle of sugar)
- Remove the crust from the oven, and let it cool a few minutes.
- If using, spread a thin layer of peanut butter evenly over the top before spreading the filling. (When I added the filling, I was careful not to include all of the juice because I worried it would make the crust soggy. Just use your best judgement)
- Stir the slivered almonds into the remaining crumble/crust mix and sprinkle it over the fruit. Return to the oven and cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.
- Let them cool. (They’re easier to cut if refrigerated for a little bit)
- Using the edges of the parchment, remove the bars carefully. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 12 large squares. (You can cut them smaller, but they are crumbly and may fall apart more easily. They will stay together a bit better if refrigerated as well)