A Happy Happenstance and a Little Experimentation

I am not the worlds most gifted cook.  That gene passed from my Grandmother to my sister- the gift of just throwing things together, whipping something up on the fly and having it taste amazing every time.  I have envied the gift time and time again, trying repeatedly to learn the science of culinary arts.  Sure, I can follow a recipe (most of the time, except when I am tired… or distracted… or not paying attention) but rarely do I successfully discover something on my own.

Which leads to the happy happenstance.  The other day Somer put together a crust for mini fruit tarts using dates, almonds, almond butter, vanilla and salt.  It was crumbly like a graham cracker crust and super delicious.

I went home and gave it a whirl, not knowing exact proportions (never a good idea in my kitchen.)  Into the food precessor went the almonds.  Everything looked lovely.  Then I processed the dates which turned in to a big sticky ball of sweetness.  I can work with big sticky balls of sweetness.  I combined the two and the result was much more ‘fruit & nut bar’ than ‘graham cracker crust’ and I didn’t even add the nut butter yet.  I could have added more nuts, no big deal, but I was famished and not patient enough for another go.

That said, I was still craving the salty vanilla flavor, so I added a couple splashes of vanilla and a sprinkling of sea salt.  One taste and I, the carb-starved-haven’t-eaten-a-baked-good-in-three-weeks gal, was in heaven.  We had happened upon raw cookie dough.  I tested it on my kids, calling it cookie dough and waiting for their reaction.  They jumped for joy, shouting that mommy makes the best cookie dough ever.  Yeah, I know they were just trying to butter me up, but these little babies are officially kid-tested and mother-approved.

Raw Cookie Dough Bites

Combine almonds and dates in a food processor to desired consistency.  Add vanilla and sea salt to taste.  Roll into balls.  Taste and smile.


#1 The Avocado:  I always wanted to try to grow an avocado plant.  I don’t know why I haven’t before, most likely due to a fear of failure.  But it worked, it really worked!  We took an avocado pit, skewered it on 3 sides and suspended it in a jar of water.  2 weeks passed.  No sign of change.  3 weeks, it cracked open a bit.  Could it possibly work?  4 weeks, is that a sprout in the middle of the pit?  5 weeks: a root!  And here we are, about 7 weeks in with a mini-avocado plant.  Success.

#2 Stevia:  Can I really grow it and what does it look like?  I put in seeds for 3 starter plants and only one grew.  Noted.  But this one is quite lovely.  It is potted (next time we’ll try direct planting) and very happy.  I ate a leaf.  It tastes like……  drumroll please….. a sugar coated leaf.  Shocking.

#3 Sauerkraut: From scratch?  I’m thinking Bubbies, natural fermentation, only cabbage, water and sea salt required.  Simple, delicious, tangy.  Bonzai Aphrodite said it was easy and gave me the step by step.  Why not?  Recipe says to let it sit 5 days to 5 weeks.  We are 10 days in and it’s not quite to my taste yet but it’s getting close and I can be patient.  Sometimes.


13 thoughts on “A Happy Happenstance and a Little Experimentation

    • I know, right? I love it! Now I need to figure out how in the world to cook with the stevia plant. There is always so much more to learn!

  1. LOL. Your marketing of the little balls was better than mine. I always say something like “Hey guys, try something for Mommy.” I’m going to use yours next time. And thanks for the sauerkraut tipoff – I’m thinking about a little fermentation jag to get past my pickle problems.

    • It’s really all in delivery and presentation. Otherwise, many meals in our home would have been decidedly inedible. 🙂 I can’t help but think of the Kid History sing-songy voice saying “come try something for mommy.” Funny thing is, I now subject our poor babysitters to the taste testing too. It’s pretty much mandatory to try something new everytime you walk through our door, The girls are pretty good sports about it. Let me know how your sauerkraut goes!

  2. Glad your “graham cracker crust” turned into cookies. Some of my best discoveries in the kitchen are accidents 😉 I want to come taste that stevia plant!

  3. It looks like you definitely inherited a green thumb – the avocado and stevia plants are so neat!

    Mmmm raw cookie dough bites – those look and sound incredible!

    • I don’t know, I’m drooling over the name of your blog. Banana pancakes, add a few blueberries- heaven. The semi-green thumb was learned (thanks to Amanda and her husband’s guidance at our community garden!) I love the garden now- it’s my therapy. 🙂 And yes, they were oh-so-tasty.

    • You should! Just a few years ago I was a self-proclaimed and proven many times over black thumb. I was so pathetic in the garden that when I saw a worm I would scream and move to a new section to weed. (I know, ridiculous.) I have upgraded to a grey thumb- I plant 100 things in hopes of 50 of them growing, still having much more to learn. It starts with a seed- or a starter plant…

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