Unprocessed caramel apples

Tried these off the October Unprocessed posting for today. It works very well.

Forty-Five

Happy birthday to me.

It’s been a quiet day today. Spent the morning glad that my late season allergy attack had worn off. Ever since my diet changes I’ve had a lot less trouble during ragweed season (or as I used to call it, “I’m allergic to September.”) Even so, Friday something got kicked up and hit my eyes and nose for a solid 24 hours. Bleah.

I’m cooking again today, like I do most Sundays. Making lunches for the week. I was hoping for some bratwurst when we visited DaVinci’s yesterday, but Anthony hadn’t made any this week. He had andouille instead, so I decided on white bean soup for this week. We picked up a local chicken yesterday as well and started by crockpot-roasting that and then simmering up some fresh stock overnight. This morning I assembled my soup. Wait a minute… WordPress has a new form for my recipes? Interesting. Guess I’ll try it out.

Dinner tonight pans to be a visit to one of our favorite Japanese restaurants for sushi. Just Kellie and me. No big birthday trip this year. We really enjoyed Glacier NP in July though. I’d love to go back. I find myself enjoying our park trips more than our Disney trips and cruises lately. We’ve got a few ideas for the future, in that area: canyons in Utah, Yosemite, Oregon, back to Alaska, and Yellowstone again.

All things I’d rather be doing than worrying about the crazy at work. Another (lesser) re-org went by this week. My old boss, Harry, is my boss again. Yay for that. Tim’s been moved out of systems into our web group. Mixed feelings there. It’s good to get him under a decent manager, but the folks left in systems are now left in an increasingly bad situation. I figure it’s only a matter of time before we lose them, perhaps all of them. Then I’m still working, but without anyone doing the infrastructure work I need supporting my systems. We’ve already lost four solid people that I worked with most every day. They all left this summer due to unhappiness with the management. Very soon we’re going to reach the point that it’s a full time job to keep the lights on – if we haven’t already passed it.

Better to be thinking about hiking to waterfalls and looking for critters to photograph.

Cherry Almond Date Treats

Another round of playing with date treats. This batch was inspired by my need to use up some sour cherries that we had in the freezer. I started the night before by defrosting the cherries and spreading them out on the dehydrator trays. The next afternoon I had 3.3 oz of nearly-dried sour cherries, so that’s what I used.

Cherry Almond Date Treats

  • 7 oz almond meal
  • 3.3 oz unsweetened, dried sour cherries
  • 1 oz coconut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5oz pitted dates

Combined the almond meal, dried cherries, coconut butter and vanilla extract in a food processor. Pulse until the cherries are well chopped. Warm the dates in a microwave for 30 seconds or so. Add to the almond mixture a few at a time and pulse to chop. Empty into a bowl and mix/knead by hand to make an even paste. Scoop out level tablespoons and roll into balls. Place in the fridge to firm up.

I’m not sure how well this would work with dried sweet cherries. Might want to cut back a few dates so it’s not too sweet. I used the coconut butter to help add a creamy taste with the vanilla. You could probably use unsweetened flake coconut in its place if you don’t have it. Or cashews / cashew butter if you don’t like coconut.

Date Nut Treats

My buddy David at the Grain Mill of Wake Forest shared some of his date rolls with me on a previous visit. I’ve been meaning to make my own ever since. Last weekend we stopped by again and I bought a bag of Pakistani dates for my experiments.

Chocolate Coconut Date Treats

  • 5oz pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • additional dried coconut

Boil some water, then soak the dates for 5 minutes. Meanwhile combine the almond meal, dried coconut, and cocoa in a food processor. Drain the dates and add to the food processor. Pulse together until a smooth paste is formed. Shape into balls and roll with extra coconut. Store in refrigerator until firm. Makes 15-20 pieces.

These are good. Not too sweet, nice and chocolatey.

Key Lime Date Treats

  • 7oz raw, unsalted cashews
  • 1 fresh lime
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 7oz pitted dates

Place the cashews in a food processor and pulse to make a nut meal. Zest the lime into the nuts and pulse to combine. In another bowl, juice the lime and keep any extracted pulp. Add the vanilla to the juice and pour the mix into the nuts. Pulse to combine. Warm the dates in the microwave for 30 seconds, then add to the nut mixture in batches. Pulse each batch and scrape down the sides until all are well combined an a smooth paste is formed. Roll into balls and store in refrigerator as before. Makes about 24 pieces.

Nutrition estimate per piece: 70 cals, 3.6g fat, 9.1g carb, 0.9g fiber, 5.9g sugars, 1.6g protein

I think Kellie likes these more than the chocolate ones. I agree they’re very good, but I like chocolate and coconut too much to give them up anytime soon. For now we have both in the house and we don’t have to choose!