This place sure feels empty tonight.
At the time of writing these words, my friend would be on a plane back to their far far away land.
While our time together has been fulfilling in every possible way, as well as LOADS of fun, it was also way too short.
Sadly, vacation time is now over.
I have to admit that I’ve really let loose and taken a break, a HUGE break, from my usual healthy and clean lifestyle. I’ve been eating at very irregular hours and my food choices were not necessarily guided by their nutritional value, if you get my drift.
I also may or may not have had a little bit too much to drink on a few occasions…
You see, my friend got me to discover just how marvelous the union between Bombay Sapphire (my all time ultimate favorite gin), tonic water and fresh lime juice can be. OH! How I wish I could say I didn’t care for it! I had even warned my brains beforehand, you know, and told them that we were not to like the stuff, no matter what… Pfft! Looks like they turned against me and decided to go with my friend on that one!
Hmpft. I shall revenge! Now it’s nothing but green tea for the next 2 months. That’ll teach them! Oh, wait… I happen to like green tea. Darn. That won’t work! I’ll have to think of something else.
I’ve also indulged in one of my biggest weaknesses: CHEESE!
But seriously, take a look at this pile of deliciousness: whole grain bread (oops, yes, grain! I’ve had some of that too… told you I’ve let loose!), St-André Cheese, topped with half a dried apricot, dried prune, pecan, walnut, a few sprigs of rosemary and a drizzle of honey to top it all off…
Could anyone possibly resist that?
Hey, all my food choices weren’t as bad, though. I haven’t been SUCH a bad girl after all, you know. I’ve revisited a lot of my old recipes, and have enjoyed quite a few salads too! Salmon was on the menu, as well as chicken, and shrimp, and LOADS of veggies. Oh, and buckwheat pudding too, but that didn’t fly too high with my friend. Looks like we’ll have to give it one another go. This buckwheat lover simply HAS to make them a believer!
Ten days went by so fast, it’s not even funny. It seems like we barely had time to get anything done… I didn’t even have time to have them try quinoa… and even that ratatouille didn’t happen after all. Looks like I’ll have to invite him again!
Hey, at least we DID have the chance to work on a couple of projects…
Care to take a peek?
First, we have home made vanilla…
Should I let you in on them? Yeah, I guess I should. They happen to be healthy! Not only that, they are also grain free, gluten free and refined sugar free!
For real! Of couse, I will share the recipe soon!
I also made this crazy good carrot cake for my mom’s birthday, but sadly, because the icing wasn’t healthy enough for my taste, I didn’t even write the recipe down. Now I really wish I had: not to toot my own horn, but this was clearly the best carrot cake I’ve ever eaten. I’ll have to try and replicate it…
Last but not least, I came to realize that the date paste I used in my decadent chocolate cake was causing a lot of confusion, so I decided to make a new batch and document it in pictures. You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words…
Plus, I think I’ve already used my quota of words for this post…
So here goes… lots of pics,
very few words.
First, pack your pitted dates real tight in a Mason type glass jar. I was able to cram about 450g in a half liter jar.
Then, pour water over the dates until the jar is really full. I used about ¾ cup. Make sure you fill it right to the top then cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. You can also mix in any other dried fruit, such as apricots, figs, cranberries or raisins. This will slightly change the taste, texture and sweetness level of your paste. Just use whatever ratio you want. So long as it fits in the jar, you’ll be alright!
In this case, I chose to use about 75% dates and 25% California Raisins, for a bit of a sweeter paste.
After the fruits have soaked for at least 12 hours, simply process them on high speed in your food processor, for about 5-8 minutes, or until smooth and creamy in consistency. The longer you process, the smoother and creamier your paste will be.
When desired consistency has been attained, transfer back to glass jar and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. (That’s if you can keep it that long… you will want to use that paste everywhere, and will probably end up eating it by the spoonful too!)