Two weeks in Iceland. 12 days in Denver. Two weeks traveling all over the Midwest. Denver for 20 more hours. 3 leg flight to Morocco; seven cities in two weeks. Exhale. Four days in Spain. Barcelona to be exact. Back to Denver until we run away to Ireland to say HELL YES I DO (this summer).
It feels so good to be back after two long, jam-packed months. Finally. With new ideas. New perspective and inspiration. A new life slogan that’s something along the lines of Thou Shalt Not Keep Any Shit Thou Does Not Need. Which I think was the direct result of traveling to a third world country (at least that’s what I’ve been told). The other result? Crying off and on for a good two days because allllll the feelings came crashing down the moment I walked into our house and the heaviness of my pack collided with the floor.
Thankfully, I decided early on that sulking is a lot less productive than what I could be doing, so I took all the not-so-feel-good energy and decided to (finally) paint the entry way after months of having cans of primer and Benjamin Moore’s summer basket green take up valuable shoe real estate in the entryway closet. One early morning before Thom woke, I rolled the paint onto our heavily textured walls then decided, when I was 98% finished, that we needed to rip the exposed telephone wires off the walls instead of continue painting over them like owners past. Along with the wires came some of the plaster then came a contractor and then the decision to HEY! LETS TAKE ALL THE TEXTURE OFF THE WALLS!
Now that I’m back and am attempting to settle into a routine again (and trying to stay as far as I can from future home improvement projects), I figure it’s about damn time I share something edible with you guys because that hasn’t happened in over six (!) weeks. I’ve been avoiding the oven like the plague because I made three peach crisps and only one of them turned out. Then I made a batch of my favorite chocolate chip cookies, left out the vanilla extract (though I’m not sure how considering I reached over exactly three bottles of it to get the salt and baking powder), and so more than half of the dough got smooshed into ramekins to be enjoyed with ice cream on top.
Pro-tip: Ice cream is the best disguise for subpar desserts. It’s also the antidote to ugly crying, in case you weren’t aware.
Notes: Feel free to replace the vanilla almond butter with your favorite flavor of Justin’s. Chocolate hazelnut, classic peanut, and maple almond all made for delicious variations, but the vanilla almond butter version was, by far, my favorite. If you can’t get your hands on bulk goji berries (buying a bag of them will set you back more than a few bucks), fell free to replace them with dried cherries or cranberries (just make sure they’re unsweetened). The shredded coconut is optional, but I highly recommend adding it as it pairs perfectly with the almonds and goji berries.
NO-BAKE ALMOND BUTTER COOKIES (WITH GOJI BERRIES)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raw almonds
Pinch of fine sea salt
10 medjool dates, pitted
2-4 tablespoons dried goji berries
1/2 cup Justin’s vanilla almond butter
1/4 cup Califia Farms unsweetened almondmilk
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, optional
In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the oats, almonds, and salt into a fine meal. Add the dates and goji berries, pulse until combined. Add the almond butter, almondmilk, and coconut, if using, and process just until the dough forms into a ball. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon or 1 teaspoon cookie scoop, drop the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roll into round balls, if desired, then smoosh with a fork. Freeze for 30 minutes then transfer to an air tight container. Cookies will keep in the freezer for several months but I doubt they’ll last that long.
Yield: 16-18 cookies + 24 bite-size cookies