Tag Archives: walnuts

Apple Pie “Lara”balls

Wanna hear a cute yet slightly embarrassing story?

Wow. You answered,”yes” really quickly to that.

I have felt so blessed and proud of my sweet girls the past couple of days. All of a sudden, they have started genuinely playing together. And not in that, they are both interested in the same toy so it looks like they are playing but The Dude is really only seconds away from snatching it from Monk and getting the heck out of there, leaving me to discipline and wipe away everyone’s tears kind of way. But genuinely enjoying a little activity together to the point where they do not need nor do they want me around to supervise. Amazing. It has been the very thing that The Hubs and I have imagined ever since I found out I was pregnant with sweet Monkey.

And SO helpful! Holy cow. You would not believe all of the stuff I am getting done while they are playing together. I will get within earshot and take the opportunity to fold laundry, actually put said laundry away (shocking!), and sometimes even get to the really important task of checking my twitter feed every five seconds.

Yep. Life has been grand around here for me. Until I had to make the party stop yesterday afternoon.

The Dude walked in with her new “kite.

(Update: The Hubs thought maybe a picture of The Dude holding her “kite” was probably inappropriate. And I figure he is probably right.)

…a feminine hygiene product.

Mmm hmm, that is what I failed to tell you about the sweet game that Monkey and The Dude have been playing together. They found a couple of boxes of those under my sink and that was what they were playing with.It was a pretty simple game, but apparently loads of fun. The Dude would sit in my bathtub and throw them out onto the floor; then Monk would go around and pick them up and throw them back in the tub. Now they obviously have no idea what they were playing with, and I had been waiting for this glorious playtime for so long that I just let them keep at it.

But once The Dude managed to get inside the package and come out swinging the contents by the string, I decided it was time to end the little game.

Bummer.

So this story had absolutely nothing to do with today’s recipe, other than this is what I was whipping up when The Dude whipped out her kite.

Now I know that homemade Larabars are totally predictable. Yes, you have seen them time and again from food bloggers. But friends, these are awesome! They taste like a treat, but they are actually healthy; chocked full of heart healthy walnuts and flax seed. The apples are sweet, but not to the point of tasting like candy and you get a nice punch from the cinnamon and allspice. I really wanted to add some cayenne to these, but since I was planning on sharing them with little kids, I decided to abstain.

Now if you will excuse me, I have some cleaning up to do in the bathroom.

No wait.

Maybe I will just leave them scattered all over the bathroom to scare The Hubs.

Apple Pie “Lara”balls

makes 12 balls

1 cup raw walnuts

2/3 cup dried apples

2 tablespoons chopped dried dates

1 tablespoon golden flax seed

3/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon apple juice

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the walnuts and apples are in pea sized chunks.

Then turn on high speed until mixture is beginning to smooth and will form a ball if you press some pieces together with your fingers.

Press mixture into walnut sized balls, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

I mainly added this picture to document that I actually had my nails neatly painted for five minutes. (The sparkly top coat was all The Dude’s idea.)

Grapefruit and Walnut Broccoli Slaw

Oh Mama’s not done with grapefruit yet. Not even close.

I’m actually a little obsessed with all of the citrus fruits in general lately. They are a miracle right now.

And I had a little epiphany on the subject yesterday afternoon that I’d like to share.

So I was standing over my sink, shamelessly sucking the juice out of the grapefruit that I had just segmented, and glancing around at all of the used tissues and various medicine bottles strung out all over the counter from The Dude’s most recent nasty cold. When it hit me how incredible it is that during the time of year when people’s immune systems are taxed and tested for months, the one fresh fruit you can find in abundance are the beautiful, juicy little specimens that are absolutely bursting with vitamin C to help you out.

Zen.

I totally found zen while standing over my kitchen sink and looking at dirty Kleenexes, friends.

Okay. So enough of that hippie talk. Let’s get to this slaw.

I’m telling you, if you are feeling the winter blues and have had enough of the heavy, hearty, stews and slow cooker meals you have been making since Christmas, you need to make this. This slaw doesn’t feel like winter. After a few bites, you will be ready to dig out your flip flops and tank tops and head out to the front porch swing.

It is crunchy in all the right ways from the shredded, fresh veggies. Which makes biting into the plump, soft, grapefruit all the more exquisite. The grapefruit also makes such a nice sweet contrast to the bitter slaw. I know I don’t even have to tell you how amazing the freshly toasted walnuts are. And the dressing is an Asian inspired, tart, sweet, wonder of flavor.

Now I know I always say that things are easy to put together, but this was so quick I was even kind of surprised, myself, when I was finished.

While your walnuts are toasting, you toss all of the dressing ingredients into a mason jar and shake it up.

Then you pour it over the slaw, segment a grapefruit (or two if you are feeling feisty) over the top, toss in the walnuts, and stir it around a bit.

Now it is of course like most slaws in that it really tastes better the longer you let it sit. So I would advise making this at least the night before you want to serve it up. You get bonus points if you go check on it and give it a gentle toss from time to time.

Now get in the kitchen and make something that will boost your mood by making you think of summer while giving that immune system a helping hand.

Grapefruit and Walnut Broccoli Slaw

1 cup walnuts

6 tablespoons freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice (approximately 1/2 medium grapefruit)

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon honey

12 oz bag of broccoli slaw

1 whole grapefruit cut into segments

salt to taste

Preheat oven to 375.

Place walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, or until golden and fragrant.

In a mason jar or any container with a tight fitting lid add grapefruit juice, sesame oil, vinegar, ginger, garlic, olive oil, and honey. Shake vigorously until well combined.

In a a large bowl gently toss together slaw, grapefruit segments, dressing, and walnuts. Season with salt.

Cover and refrigerate overnight until ready to serve.