We lost a friend to cancer in late July. She was an all around beautiful person that we saw nearly every week for the past two years over dinner among friends. She was way too young, but from it, I found myself taking away an even greater appreciation of life. I yearned to spend real time with my husband, friends and family. I actively decided that every moment is a chance to greater not just myself, but the people around me I care so much about. Online life exhausts me more than anything and taking the time to step away is so good for me personally.
Every weekend we seemed to find ourselves hiking or camping, with a couple mid-week surf sessions thrown in. The challenges in life always fade into the background when I’m in the outdoors. Each step I take towards the top of a steep trail or paddle into the next wave is met with that perfect wholeness I feel when given one solitary task. The outside world holds such great treasures; I can never resist taking them on.
To make up for my absence I decided to entice you with cookies and take you along with us up the Trail in the National Forest. The wildflowers and views of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams were incredible, a must see if you are ever here during August. Making this video was new to us, but also very fun, so I’m hoping to take you all on more of our life’s little adventures in the future. It’s also my sneaky way of maybe teaching Scott a thing or two about how to cook, we’ll see.
These could also be called one of those “everything but the kitchen sink” cookies. I’m still trying to get zucchini into everything, but shredded carrots or apples would be a great substitute as well (they’ll also make them a touch sweeter too), now that summer squash season is coming to an end. The cookies themselves are like homemade granola or granola bars; relatively healthy, oaty, lightly sweet, and something with a lot of staying power. They get a little softer after a day or two, but on the first day they have a great outer crust that gives way to a softer center, the almonds keep them crunchy.
And even though I haven’t posted lately, I’ve still been filling up on a lot of good food! Here’s a few tasty things from around the web I’ve been eating and enjoying this month:
This spicy little green bean number.
A ridiculously good lemon cucumber tofu salad, that is so refreshing.
Granola that tastes like banana bread. You definitely want to make this.
Sara and Hugh’s beautiful masterpiece.
I’ve been experimenting more with buckwheat flour after enjoying these buckwheat chocolate chip cookies.
Kimberly’s eating well on the road series seems to have summed up my summer. Minus the rice cooker, that was a new tip for me!
Gave myself the challenge of making my own sourdough starter after being inspired by Tara. Let’s just say I’m going to have to start round two next week…
Trail Cookies / makes about 2 dozen
You need 2 cups oat flour for this recipe, I’ve made the oat flour myself using a food processor, but you can buy pre-maid as well. And these are gluten free if you use rolled oats that are marked gluten free.
1/2 cup almonds
3 cups rolled oats, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried cherries
Preheat oven to 400F.
Place almonds on a lined baking sheet and roast for about 10-12 minutes, until fragrant and roasted smelling. Allow to cool, then roughly chop. Turn oven down to 350F.
Meanwhile, place 2 cups of the rolled oats into a food processor (if using oat flour you can skip this step) and process until the oats become oat flour. Toss together with the other 1 cup rolled oats, baking powder, sea salt, coconut, and roasted almonds.
In another bowl combine the coconut oil, honey and egg, stirring well, then add in the zucchini. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring until everything is just moistened. Stir in the dried cherries and chocolate chips. The mixture will be very moist and sticky, place in the fridge for about 30 minutes if you’d like it to firm up a bit, but it’s not necessary.
Using your hands form the dough into rounded mounds and place on a lined cookie sheet. The cookies don’t spread so you can get about 12 to a pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops are just slightly golden. Cool cookies on a wire wrack until completely cool. Store tightly covered and enjoy on your next adventure.