Blog Nostalgia

So I’ve been busy.

Aren’t we all?

But I’ve been particularly busy, between starting a new job, planning a wedding, and moving. And spending a total of three hours just getting to and from work every day means I had pretty much abandoned keeping track of the blogging life I developed.

But then I made a really beautiful and healthy dinner tonight.

Image

No, I didn’t manage to eat this enormous pile of food. But I got pretty close!

And then I started reading my friends’ blogs again…

Which inevitably led to nostalgia of the blogging variety. So for old time’s sake, I thought I’d post quickly about my dinner tonight of a baked potato, asparagus, tomato, cauliflower, and caramelized onions (veggies galore!) topped with parmesan cheese. Everything except the onions were just roasted the old-fashioned way and doused in plenty of extra virgin olive oil.

Image

I am, of course, still alive and doing well. Angus and I moved three weeks ago into a beautiful new apartment with big windows and beautiful views and a brand new kitchen, which, as I’m sure you can all imagine, just suits me perfectly.

Image

So I can’t say this means I’m back to posting regularly. But perhaps occasionally? We’ll see.

 

Summer in January

 
Hello everyone! I missed you all while I was in Argentina with Angus. What an amazing place to go.

Buenos Aires is an absolutely beautiful city. Architecturally, it really reminds me of parts of NYC, particularly the Upper East Side. What’s really different is that there’s greenery EVERYWHERE; the trees are closely spaced together and they grow as tall as some the buildings. Even though it was midsummer there and often over 90 degrees (F), the streets were so shady that it was comfortable.

So many trees amongst the buildings!

So many trees amongst the buildings!

Speaking of it being midsummer, I really can’t overemphasize how AMAZING it was to have access to seasonal, fresh produce I normally only eat in July/August. I had fresh fruit every morning for breakfast and tomatoes every day with either lunch or dinner.

Breakfast every day

Breakfast every day

There were a few major cultural differences that I hadn’t expected to be as difficult as they were. Argentinians eat dinner WAY later than Americans; we usually went to restaurants around nine and were invariably the first people there. We never really figured out how to not be too famished or too full before dinner.

The men there were also much more aggressive about hitting on me. The guide book had warned about this, but I didn’t think I’d care; I grew up in NYC, after all, The Land of Catcalling. But it actually got to the point where we would avoid streets with too many men. The leering really bothered Angus.

Not so jealous here though. This was in a very touristy Japanese garden. We definitely felt most comfortable taking photos when we were surrounded by other tourists.

Not so jealous here though. This was in a very touristy Japanese garden. We definitely felt most comfortable taking photos when we were surrounded by other tourists.

Overall, it was an amazing trip. We walked a lot–probably about 6 miles every day, exploring the city–but we also rested a lot, reading books and enjoying the summer. It was my perfect kind of vacation/trip; there was enough exploring to keep it interesting, but not so much that I didn’t feel rested afterward. I was very sad to leave, but the ache was mitigated by the fact that we flew business class home (thank you rewards programs!).

Don't mind me, just looking like a crack addict.

Don’t mind me, just looking like a deranged crack addict.

It was my first time every flying business class and it was actually one of the most exciting thing to happen in my life. I told Angus it rivaled getting proposed to (which he was not impressed by).

Okay, this post is getting on the lengthy side, so I’ll have to update you all at some other point on the whole healthy-living thing (which this blog is supposed to be about!). I will say though that it’s rather strange to go from midsummer to New England winter overnight!

Oh, good morning snow storm.

Oh, good morning snow storm.

Intervals and Vegetables

In Providence, there are no legal requirements about shoveling snow off of sidewalks, so even though streets get paved quickly, individual home owners must shovel the walks in front of the houses. Some landlords are decent humans and own an entire block, so those blocks get shoveled really nicely. Others are run by what can only be called slumlords, and those barely get  half-assed shoveled, which turns into thick sheets of ice. And sometimes people are d-bags and don’t shovel in between their house and their neighbors’, so you get a foot of snow in the middle of a block.

This isn’t a photo of Providence, but imagine a street this erratically paved interspersed with sheets of ice and huge piles of snow. (source)

Anyway, the point of all of this is to say that it really sucks to try to run in Providence if there is snow on the ground. Since one of my new year’s resolutions is to build muscle, I’m trying to add interval training (which I absolutely LOATHE) in addition to strength training to my workouts. It’s not really feasible to do sprints outside right now, so I’m actually going to do something I never thought I would do and join a GYM. *shudder*
I just had my first treadmill interval workout tonight (1 minute sprint on a high incline, 2 minutes jog on a lower incline, repeat five times). Man oh man, fifteen minutes of one of the easiest interval workouts totally kicked my butt. I guess it’s for the best; it means I’m challenging my muscles, right?

I’ve also been trying to eat lots of fruits and veggies lately. My pal Chauncey was telling me about these kind of vitamin supplements she takes that are made from whole fruits and veggies, so they have the phytonutrients in addition to the standard vitamins and minerals. I’m not sure if I totally believe the “science” behind it, but hearing her try to convert me really reminded me how important it is to basically eat vegetables non-stop all day. So for dinner tonight Angus and I made scallops with spinach and mushrooms.

Sometimes I wish I didn't know how healthy spinach was for me. Leafy greens are not my favorite to eat.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t know how healthy spinach was for me. Leafy greens are not my favorite to eat.

We (and by “we,” I mean Angus) sautéed those beautiful mushrooms in a half and half mixture of coconut oil and butter. The greens and ‘shrooms were dressed with wee bit of balsamic vinegar before being topped with scallops, which he just seared with cooking oil spray

Artichokes were also served on the side, which I dipped in the extra balsamic:

Artichoke

Overall, a very healthy and yum meal. Well, healthy if you ignore the butter used for the mushrooms, which I am :)

Resolutions and Moving Forward

Do you know what today is? I mean, APART from the first day of 2013 (Happy New Year everyone, by the way).

Today is the first day I have not been a student in over 20 years.

Let’s just take a moment for that to sink in, yes?

20 years of always being affiliated with a school, of being enrolled, of learning and learning and studying and testing and moving forward. And now I am so blessedly not. So I think that’s my new year’s resolution numero uno: relish every day in this freedom from academia that I chose.

Aaaaah sweet sweet freedom.

Wooo dance party celebration. Please ignore the fact that I’m hula hooping in this picture and that I’m also blonde and that it is clearly four years old and was taken by my friend Anne not me. Look I didn’t want this post to be only text okay?

I’ve been thinking about other resolutions, too. At the risk of being clichéd, some are health and fitness related. I’d like to start strength training more (which is to say, start strength training at all). I also want to re-evaluate my relationship with desserts (once again) and try to cut back on them when we go out to eat. As far as non-health-related resolutions go, I will also try to take time every day to be grateful, for my life, my happiness, my luck.

I did not post much these past two weeks because Angus and I were busy visiting our parents and–can you believe?–I didn’t open my computer once the entire time we were away. But a few exciting developments happened. I received (and accepted) a job offer (I start at the end of this month, but I think it’s probably best I don’t share any other details about it on my blog) and Angus and I booked a trip to Argentina (we leave on Saturday (!)). It really is a time of change all of a sudden.

Happy Days :)

I went down to NYC to stay with my mom for a few days on Thursday. I packed minimally because I knew Angus would be driving down with the rest of my crap, which means I was without my computer (GASP!) for two days. I know. I don’t know how I survived with just my iPad and smart phone and my mom’s computer. It’s like it was the stone ages.

mom time, nails, and kitty cuddles.

mom time, nails, and kitty cuddles.

I had a lot of fun with my mom. We went Christmas shopping and got our nails done and giggled a whole lot. I also got to babysit this little bug yesterday morning:

My niece, Eliza. She wouldn't pose for a photo but INSISTED on seeing the photo afterward.

My niece, Eliza. She wouldn’t pose for a photo but INSISTED on seeing the photo afterward.

She chooses her own outfits, can you tell? I think she’ll be a fashion icon when she’s older.

I’m now in NJ at Angus’s parents’ house. They have a farm here, so we always get to have farm fresh eggs when we visit. I guess the little chickies are just starting to lay their first ever eggs, so they’re super small with an unusually rich yolk; it was such a treat. We fried them with some very crispy and salty hashbrown cubes.

Eggs and Hashbrowns

I mean…at least I’m eating whole foods right? Right???

Anyway, I just wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a happy non-end of the world and very happy holidays. My mom and I had a discussion over saying happy holidays vs. merry christmas. I was very firmly in the happy holidays camp, mostly because I feel like this is a holiday season more than just a particular day of celebration, regardless of one’s religious affiliation.

I wish I were one of those people who could give “tips” on how to keep living healthily during the month of December, but I’m not, mostly because I fail to follow them. I’m just enjoying myself and trying to be restful. I hope you all are taking care of yourselves, too.

Liebster Award: Answers and Nominations

I am very excited that I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Emily at Emily Eats and Runs. For those of you who are not familiar with the Liebster Award, here’s what’s involved:

  • Write 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions given by the person who nominated you.
  • Create 11 new questions.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers and mention them in your post.

11 Facts about me

  1. I went to the same school for 13 years.
  2. I’ve never broken a bone.
  3. But I’ve had four concussions.
  4. I have had chronic headaches for as long as I can remember. Although I almost never throw up normally, the exceptions are when I get migraines.
  5. I enjoy raisins plain, but I hate when they’ve been baked.
  6. I’ve enjoyed a lifelong love affair with Paul Simon and his music.

    we're very committed to each other.

    we’re very committed to each other.

  7. I love milk chocolate, but dark chocolate doesn’t really do it for me.
  8. I am allergic to capsaicin, the molecule that makes things like black pepper, hot peppers, and chilles spicy. For a long time I thought I just didn’t like spicy foods, but I can’t get enough of things like mustard and wasabi.
  9. I have a dimple on the right side but not the left.
  10. I took ballroom dancing classes when I was in middle school.
  11. I can do a backbend.

Questions from Emily

  1. Do you prefer coffee or tea? A tough question; I love them both. I think I prefer the taste of tea, but coffee is more or less my life source.
  2. Would you rather be a guest at a party or the host? Absolutely a guest. I hate hosting.
  3. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? The first woman president or a gymnast. (pretty embarrassing to admit…)
  4. What would your last meal be? Probably lobster with white pasta and butter. Afterward, chocolate bread pudding.
  5. Do you have any siblings? Yes, I have two amazing and beautiful older sisters!

    At my college graduation.

    At my college graduation. Yes, I know, we look quite alike.

  6. What’s your dream vacation? To move to London and never come back but magically not need to make money. I guess this is more “Dream Lifestyle” than dream vacation.
  7. If you could live in another country, where would you live? I guess I answered that above; in England (London).
  8. What are three websites or blogs that you visit everyday? My wonderful friend Sara’s blog (she is the most supreme writer), Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, and Natalie Dee. The last two are webcomics. I read a lot of other webcomics that don’t update every day and I read a lot of other blogs that don’t update every day–mostly people who I’ll nominate below.
  9. What is your favorite season? The fall. Not even close.
  10. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? I’m honestly not sure anymore. I think I fall pretty evenly down the center. I am very social and enjoy talking to people, but I usually crave alone time. I was very introverted in college, but I’ve gotten more comfortable spending large quantities of time around other people.
  11. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Coffee ice cream with oreos.

11 Nominated Bloggers

  1. Jessie Bear What Will You Wear?
  2. Brain, Body, Because
  3. Eat, Move, Balance
  4. Finding Clairity
  5. West Blowing Wind
  6. Dynamics of Happy
  7. The Second Serving
  8. Milk and Honey on the Run
  9. Chocolate and Wild Air
  10. Geek Sparkle
  11. Journey to Awesomehood

My Questions for my Nominated Folks!

  1. What’s the weirdest food combination that you’ve tried and loved?
  2. Do you eat to exercise or exercise to eat?
  3. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? (recycled this one :) )
  4. What’s your favorite part of your day?
  5. When did you stop believing in Santa Claus (if you ever believed in him, or if you ever stopped)?
  6. If money weren’t a factor, what would you do with your life?
  7. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
  8. What’s the definition of delicious, in your opinion?
  9. What’s your favorite book?
  10. Do you speak another language?
  11. Can you play a musical instrument?

I hope some of you post responses. It was fun filling out my answers, but it was more fun dreaming up questions I want to know about other bloggers.

Moving and Praying and Making (Healthy) Tomato and Corn Cobbler

So I’m generally a pretty unlucky person when it comes to random chance games. I think it’s probably because I’m so lucky with respect to the rest of my life; the universe decided I don’t get to win drawings. One time, at a carnival, I guessed the number of candy in a jar within two pieces and I won the whole jar. But my mom had been involved in preparing the candy jar and so all the other kids told me I was a cheater (which I wasn’t!).

But I actually got lucky a few week’s ago; I won Joanne’s contest for a Country Crock Giveaway of  Harvest Pumpkin Tiny Taper HoldersItalian Scalloped Bakers and a 13″ Wire Baker Rack. It was so exciting! They arrived in the mail on Thursday at my New Haven address, the day of The Move. So it felt pretty fate-like. Speaking of The Move, here it is, summarized in two photos:

In which I completely empty my New Haven apartment (left) and dump everything on top of Angus's stuff in Providence (right).

In which I completely empty my New Haven apartment (left) and dump everything on top of Angus’s stuff in Providence (right).

Anyway. It’s been an eventful couple of days, with lots of time spent unpacking and cleaning and crying and praying. There’s been less time for cooking than normal, which means there’s been more time for dreaming. Getting the scalloped baker and wire rack was really exciting; it immediately got me thinking about what kind of meal I could create in it.

The beautiful scalloped dish, fresh out of the oven and cooling in its wired rack.

The beautiful scalloped dish, fresh out of the oven and cooling in its wired rack.

I wanted it to be something savory, something whose flavors could all stew together. It’s been so cold and dreary here in New England, I wanted something that would warm me to my bones, preferably something that involved leaving the oven on for a while (Angus can be a bit of a heat-nazi). Today, the pieces that had been floating around in my head, trying to form a coherent meal, just sort of fell into place, and I knew I had to make a Tomato and Corn Cobbler.

But you all know me. It also had to be healthy. I couldn’t make biscuits with cream and butter and white flour. So the biscuits are relatively low-fats and made entirely with whole wheat flour.

(Healthy) Tomato and Corn Cobbler

(Healthy) Tomato and Corn Cobbler (serves 3, or 2 very hungry people)

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Active Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the Biscuits:

  • 1c whole wheat flour, lightly scooped (120g)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/8c (6 tbsp) skim milk
  • 1/2c grated extra sharp cheddar cheese (40g)

For the Insides:

  • 1 container grape tomatoes (10 oz)
  • 1/2 large vidalia onion, sliced into half rings
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2c frozen corn kernels, defrosted

1. Caramelize the onions. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium low heat in a large pan and add in the onions. Allow to cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the onions are a dark caramel color and very fragrant.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the biscuit dough. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cheese; mix well. Forming a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add in the olive oil and milk, stirring well to combine. Do not overmix. Move to the refrigerator until ready to bake.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. When the onions are a done caramelizing, combine the tomatoes, corn, and onions in a small casserole dish. Try to avoid pouring in the extra olive oil from the onion pan or it’ll get really greasy. Dollop the scone mixture on top of the vegetables in four placements. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the scones are done (they should be golden brown on top).

(Healthy) Tomato and Corn Cobbler

Fresh from the oven, before being served.

Mmmm I love cobblers. I love cobblers made with cherry tomatoes, in particular. They start to explode in the oven, forming this rich stew-y base with the onions.

(Healthy) Tomato and Corn Cobbler

These aren’t super cheesy, so if you want them cheesier you should double the amount of cheddar. I also wouldn’t get too heavy handed with the oil; it can get pretty greasy pretty fast. But this was quite tasty and really not a whole lot of work. And to be fair, you don’t need a fancy cooling rack and baking dish to make it; any old thing would do, probably. But I certainly don’t think the fancy dish hurt the appeal of the meal :)

Oh, and if you don’t like the taste of olive oil much, I would sub out the olive oil in the biscuits for cold butter. It should be pinched in cold to keep the biscuits flakey. I haven’t done this myself, so I technically can’t vouch for the results, but I’m sure it would still be delicious.

Headaches and Black Bean Corn Veggie Burgers

I’m not sure what it is that’s causing them, but I’ve pretty much gotten a headache every day for the last two weeks or so. Headaches have been an “always” part of my life, so I’ve heard of every way to decrease their incidence, trust me. This time I’ve tried exercising more, sleeping more, eating less sugar, eating more sugar (hey, it was worth a shot), meditating, hydrating, and taking aspirin up the wazoo, but nothing seems to help lately. Maybe it’s the stress of this stupid move.

(It’s not a stupid move. I’m very excited to finally be living full-time with my future husband, etc. etc.)

Feeling sorry for myself this afternoon.

Feeling sorry for myself this afternoon.

And then tonight during dinner, the fire alarm went off (our downstairs neighbor burned some fries). The fire department wasn’t immediately notified–I thought that was a guarantee with alarms?–so we stood outside for 20 minutes listening to the blaring buzz until Angus called the fire department to ask about it. Needless to say, it did not help the headache.

When I got upstairs, dinner was cold.

Black Bean Corn Veggie Burgers

But it was a tasty dinner: Black Bean Corn Veggie Burgers, made with brown rice, served with sharp cheddar cheese and avocado. Yum. And it’s very easy; if I could do it with a pounding behind my eyes, you can do it after work, I promise.

Angus, a meat-lover (with a name like Angus, how could he not be?) said the texture was very similar to a hamburger.

Black Bean Corn Veggie Burgers

Prep/Active Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1c black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4c cooked brown rice
  • 2 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • cumin to taste
  • 1/3c frozen corn kernels, defrosted and drained
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Throw the beans, rice, egg whites, salt, and cumin into a food processor and process until it’s just a little bit chunky.

2. Mix together with the corn kernels in a separate bowl.

3. Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a non-stick pan. Form the bean mixture into four patties and fry until they’re no longer so goopy, about 5 minutes per side.

Do you like my step #3? Look, I have a headache. If you have onion on hand (which I did not), I would recommend throwing half a vidalia onion into the food processor with everything else. I would also recommend eating these which ketchup and a bun (I sadly did not have a bun either. Too headachey to go to the store). The avocado and cheese also added a nice dimension.

In other news (as you can probably tell from the photos!) my dSLR has been unpacked. Hooray! I have been dying a little inside every time I post a food photo here taken with my iphone.

Recovering from Moving with Chicken Breast and Corn Stew

I hate moving.

I know in the scheme of problems to have, moving is not high. Like, I’m lucky the regular aches and pains of moving are my only major problems right now. But I am just so tired of it. Since I couldn’t justify paying movers to do it for me ($1000 for five pieces of furniture? Really?), I’ve been slowly schlepping stuff up to Providence for the past few weeks. My New Haven apartment is getting emptier and emptier. We move the five pieces of furniture on Thursday.

But I just ache. Lots of heavy lifting, packing, unpacking, running around, driving back and forth and back and forth. My body hurts. My mind hurts.

So warm, so filling, so healthy.

So warm, so filling, so healthy.

I wanted something soothing, something warm and comfortable that would warm up the dampness that has settled over all of New Englad. So Angus and I made a Chicken Breast and Corn Stew. Oh my. Marvelous. Definitely a Sunday prep-for-the-week type of deal, but so worth it.

Chicken Breast and Corn Stew (makes about 8 servings; freezes well)

Active Time: 30 min

Prep Time: about 6 hours

Ingredients

  • 3 medium chicken breasts (no skin, off the bone; about 1.5 lbs)
  • about 1/4c flour of choice (you know I used whole wheat, but it can be a gluten-free one if you want)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4c chicken broth
  • spices of choice (we used 1 smashed garlic clove, 1 bay leaf [removed at end], thyme, cumin, and tarragon)
  • 2c fingerling potatoes, sliced in half
  • 28oz can whole, peeled tomatoes, drained and rinsed, chopped
  • about 25oz cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2c frozen corn

1. Heat the oil over high heat. Lightly flour the chicken breasts and pan-fry each one until browned on each side. They should not be cooked through.

2. Transfer the chicken breasts to the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the potatoes on top. Deglaze the frying pan with about 1/2c chicken broth. Decant that broth and the remaining broth into the slow cooker. Add spices, as desired (I honestly couldn’t taste any of them by the end, but they may make a difference which is why I included them). Cook on low for four hours, covered.

3. Microwave the frozen corn for about 45 seconds and drain any additional fluid, if necessary.

4. After four hours, add in the beans, corn, and tomatoes. Switch heat to high and continue to cook for two hours.

5. If necessary, add a few tablespoons of flour, corn starch, or arrowroot to thicken the broth.

Get a load of that garlic clove ;)

Get a load of that garlic clove ;)

Between the chicken, beans, and potatoes, this stew kept me FULL. Traditional chicken stews call for chicken thighs so that the fat will melt off and add some flavor. But this chicken was very tender and the stew was not lacking flavor at all. We froze the extra stew in little aliquots in freezer bags.

If you omit the beans and choose an appropriate flour, this stew would be paleo, yes?

The Zen of Baking Cherry Bars

My first year of graduate school, I baked a lot more than I do now. It was my way to unwind, destress. I’d get home at the end of the day (or sometimes sneak home in the middle of the day) and start softening up my butter and bringing my eggs to room temperature. I loved the sense of making something delicious and and beautiful from almost nothing at all.

It helped that I wasn’t as weight- and health-conscious at that point. It also helped that I was taking classes, which provided the perfect way to unload my baked goods on other people. Baking for one is very hard. I used to fantasize about being a full-time baker and being paid to give people my baked goods.

But then I started cleaning up my diet and exercising more. My cooking became more involved, which meant I didn’t have as much space in my life for baking.

I’ve baked cherry bars twice this week. This is not a healthy dessert; perhaps in the new year I will find a way to health-ify them. But for now, it’s December; I’m feeling indulgent with the impending holidays.

Layers of cherry frosting, a caramelized cherry-walnut center, and a shortbread crust.

Layers of cherry frosting, a caramelized cherry-walnut center, and a shortbread crust.

The first time I made them this week was during my baking frenzy on Tuesday; the second was yesterday, Thursday, because Angus I were going to a potluck and volunteered to bring dessert (I also made CCK’s deep dish cookie pie, which made for fun entertainment having folks guess the secret ingredient). The original recipe called for maraschino cherries, which I belatedly realized I didn’t have. Oops. But then Whole Foods didn’t have maraschino cherries either. Perhaps seeing my desperation, my total anguish, Bryan (the man who told me there were no maraschino cherries) said, “But we have jarred sour cherries. Maybe they would work instead?”

Maybe indeed. When I made the cherry bars on Tuesday, they were even better than they normally were.

It’s a rather involved recipe; the bars have three layers. But I like that. It’s calming; it’s methodic. It brings me back to the positive parts of the darker days of last year, when I was baking for comfort and company. I can bake these bars and just think; I can get lost in the caramel-y scent that fills the whole apartment. And then when they’re done, I can cut into them with Angus and smile because really, we are so lucky to be in a caramel-scented apartment with each other and cherry bars.

The unfrosted bottom two layers (far right), the frosting alone (center), and the final frosted product (right).

The unfrosted bottom two layers (far right), the frosting alone (center), and the final frosted product (right).

Zen Cherry Bars (recipe adapted from an old newspaper clipping my parents saved for years)

Prep Time: 1 – 1.5 hours, depending on efficiency

Active Time: about an hour

Ingredients

crust layer:

  • 2 sticks (1c) butter, softened and melty (I microwaved the two sticks together for 30 seconds)
  • 1/2c sugar
  • 2 1/4c all purpose flour, sifted or lightly spooned

cherry/walnut layer:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1c dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2c chopped, canned sour cherries, drained of their juices (don’t throw away the juice though!)
  • 1/2c chopped walnuts (the food processor is your friend)

frosting:

  • 2 tbsp butter, softened and melty
  • 2c powdered sugar
  • 1/4c sour cherry juice

1. Preheat the oven the 350. Mix together the butter and sugar for the crust. Slowly add in the flour, mixing until it’s all well-combined. Spread the crust as evenly as you can in a 9×12 baking pan; I used my fingers and it was a lot of fun. Bake for 20 minutes.

2. Lightly beat the eggs and add in the brown sugar, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Beat to combine. Fold in the cherries and walnuts.

3. When the crust is done baking, pour the cherry walnut layer mixture on top, spreading it evenly across the top. Bake for an additional 25 minutes. Your house or apartment will start to smell really good.

4. Make the frosting: mix together the butter and about 1/2c of the powdered sugar. Slowly add some of the cherry juice and powdered sugar, mixing to combine. Continue to add them little by little until you have a smooth, bright pink frosting.

5. Allow the bottom to layers to cool on a cooling rack until they’re cool enough that they won’t melt the frosting. Spread the frosting over the top and enjoy!

Zen Cherry Bars

This is a great recipe for sharing; it’s not a great one to make because you’re bored at home alone and want to create something because it is so good and so rich that you will probably eat yourself sick, if you’re anything like me.

It’s also a great dessert to impress people with. It’s involved, but not tricky, so even novice bakers could probably pull it off. I had someone say last night that it was the best dessert he’d ever had.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 73 other followers