This is my favorite time of year! The food, the decorations, the smells, the movies, the time spent with family, the holiday spirit, the food…did I already say that? Well, it deserves repeating.
For a full month and a half–from around Thanksgiving until right after New Year’s–I live in sheer bliss…even longer if you tie my early-November birthday into the mix.
Every night unfolds in basically the same way: I come home from work, change into comfy, warm clothes (complete with fuzzy socks and sweaters), eat a ridiculous amount of food, and finish it all off with dessert. My husband is convinced that I must be preparing for hibernation. He says it’s because I sleep and eat more, but I’m inclined to agree with his theory because my clothes always seem a bit tighter in the winter and I can’t help but notice some extra “padding.”
Because dessert is a must, I’m always trying to come up with holiday-themed treats that will soothe my sweet tooth without adding too much extra cushioning to my poor expanding derrière. That’s when desserts like these Raw Gingerbread Bites start to make a regular appearance in my fridge. They’re easy to make, store well in the fridge or freezer, are made from healthy, whole ingredients, and can be enjoyed practically guilt-free (as long as you eat them in moderation). Take that, tushie!
¾ cup chopped dates (approx. 6-8 depending on the size)
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
sea salt, to taste
1-2 tsp. hot water (optional)
Grind the oats into flour in a food processor.
Add the pecans and blend just until they’re broken down.
Add the chopped dates a little bit at a time and blend until broken down and the mixture begins to clump together.
Add the vanilla extract and spices and blend until evenly distributed. At this point the mixture should clump together easily–you can test it by pinching some between your fingers. *If the mixture does not hold together well and seems too crumbly, add a little bit of hot water (1 tsp. at a time) and blend until you are able to reach the desired consistency.
Remove a little bit of the mixture–approx. 1 rounded Tbs. at a time– and roll it into a ball between your hands. Continue rolling until you have used up all of the mixture.
Enjoy immediately or allow the gingerbread bites to firm up in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Store in the fridge or freezer.
You had to have known it was coming….It’s finally that time of year. You know, the season when big orange gourds are everywhere you look: in the grocery stores, on doorsteps, and in everything you eat and drink. That’s right, it’s pumpkin season and I couldn’t resist joining in the fun Continue reading →
Have you seen the GEICO “Happier-than-a-camel-on-hump-day” commercial? If not, please search for it on YouTube ASAP. I LOVE that commercial. I can’t help but smile every time I see it, and each Wednesday I annoyingly say to my coworkers, “Mike, Mike, Mike…What day is it? Hump Daaaaay.”
The past two Wednesdays, I’ve made these delicious Sweet Potato Brownies to reward myself for making it through the first half of the week and to power myself through to the weekend. The first batch was good, but I changed up the recipe the second time around and I’m so glad I did because these brownies are INSANE.
I don’t know how the weather has been lately where you are, but it’s been gorgeous in Dallas! Summers can be downright brutal here and no one dares to venture outdoors for months. But fall and spring are amazingly pleasant here and these are the times when I’m the happiest–when I can be outside and not feel like I’m roasting! This morning, I woke up and went for a jog in my neighborhood and then to brunch with my dad and stepson. We sat on the patio, enjoying the clear skies, cool breeze, and warm sun streaming in through the slats of the covering. For the first time in a long time, I actually got goosebumps while sitting outside. As soon as I got home, I heated up the oven to begin roasting my first pumpkin of the season and then curled up on the couch to watch some football with my hubby. So far, today has been perfect. I can’t think of a better way to welcome the new season…. Continue reading →
As much as I love to cook and truly relish my time in the kitchen, there are also times when I want a meal that’s fast and easy, but just as delicious as something that I might have slaved over for hours. I also like meals that I can make for dinner, quickly pack up the leftovers, and take with me for lunch the next day.