Blackberry-Apricot Crisp

Hi again. Where was I? Oh yes, Berkeley.

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After several glorious days of walking, getting sunburned, farmers’ marketing, seeing ma girl Julia Nelson, hanging out with “Cool Jack,” and otherwise traipsing around the Bay Area, we headed to Palo Alto, where Ben’s cousin, Jessie, lives. Jessie and her husband, Paul, are super cool and have two great little kiddos. The highlight of P.A. was probably playing in their pool for hours with George, who is five, knows more about airplanes than I know about most things, and refuses to wear a bathing suit. Jessie and Paul also have an apricot tree, which obviously completed my lifetime.

With loads of fresh apricots I knew what I had to do. I found that Ashley had recently posted a recipe for an apricot crisp, so I took that as inspiration and ran with it. What resulted was a perfect summer dessert I could really eat every day and never get sick of. DEFINITELY NOT HYPERBOLE.
Okay, maybe.

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After three days in Palo Alto that felt like paradise, Ben and I hit the road once again and headed for Yosemite. There we stayed with my third cousin once removed (I think that’s our relation) and covered some gnarly terrain, brah. Seriously though, Yosemite is so goddamn pretty.

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Anyway, crisp. The beauty of this thing is that you can really substitute any stone fruit you like (peach, plum, pluot, nectarine) and any berry (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry… you get the point). It’s simple to whip up, is a total crowd-pleaser, and is actually quite healthy in the scheme is desserts. I hereby give you permission to eat this for breakfast.

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Blackberry-Apricot Crisp

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar or maple syrup + 2 Tablespoons
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil, softened (or other neutral oil)
  • 10-12 ripe apricots, sliced, pits removed
  • 1 pint blackberries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350*

  1. In a blender or food processor, blend 3/4 cup of the rolled oats until you have a fine flour. Set aside 1/4 cup of the oat flour. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup (or so) of oat flour with the rolled oats, walnuts, salt, agave nectar, lemon juice, and oil of your choice. Stir well, then set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the apricots, berries, vanilla, 1/4 cup of oat flour, and 2 Tablespoons of agave or maple syrup. Toss to coat.
  3. Pour the fruit into an oven-safe dish and spread evenly. Pour the oat mixture on top and pat down. Place into the preheated oven (uncovered) and cook 20-25 minutes, or until the oat mixture is golden brown. Serve warm.
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California Steaming

I’m sitting in Prescott, Arizona sweating out my former self. I know I spend about 75% of my blog posts complaining about weather, but it’s because I am feeble and weak and need it to be 60 degrees and sunny with no clouds or trace of humidity at all times. This is me smiling in the Grand Canyon even though I want to kick Ben in the teeth I am so hot. Note also how wrinkled my shirt is. #livingoutofacarfor2months.IMG_0866

Holy tacos, a lot has happened since we last spoke. Ben and I spent three days in Portland basically eating as much vegan food as we could find. Portland is cool because they have these parking lots where they set up a bunch of food trucks and it turns into this impromptu fiesta. We ate at one called Native Bowl and it knocked my socks all the way off. Another gem was the Tin Shed, where they have a patio full of cute dawgs and an amazing vegan menu to boot!

IMG_2004   After Portland we shoved on to Crater Lake. I must note that Oregon WINS for most kombucha. I came across not one, but TWO gas stations that sold the stuff on the way. Props props props props. Crater Lake was spectacular and we played many hands of Rummy with my friend Drew, who is working there for the summer.
IMG_0553 After Portland, we made our way across the border to California, land of the $15 bottle of raw organic juice, home of the brave. We made an obligatory stop at a winery for a tasting… at 10 AM… ain’t no thang.

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We camped in the Redwoods for two nights, then drove down Route 1. If you ever have a chance to do this, do it. Seriously.IMG_0690
We were smelly and hungry when we rolled up to our next hosts’ home in Berkeley. Netsy and Larry are super cool – Netsy has been involved in promoting and expanding Paid Family Leave in CA for a long time. We got to explore Berkeley and San Francisco (I took a geek-out picture outside of Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse, even though I couldn’t afford to eat anything inside). I am going to write another post tonight or tomorrow, so as not to overwhelm you/my mom/the internet with millions of pictures and recipes at once. In the mean time, here is a bomb recipe I made in Berkeley for our hosts! If you haven’t noticed, I’m all about the legume salads these days! As for me, I’m off to go bask in a puddle of my own sweat.

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Lentil Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Tomatoes

  • 3 cups lentils
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 large handful spinach, chopped finely
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400*

  1. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and toss the chopped sweet potato with enough olive oil to coat them plus salt and black pepper. Pop in the oven and roast 35-40 minutes, or until cooked through and slightly crispy on the outside.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, rinse the lentils and place in a large pot. Cover with 3-4 inches of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until just soft, but not mushy. Once they’re cooked, drain and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk or stir together the olive oil, cider vinegar, dijon, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cumin. Add salt to taste. Combine the cooked lentils, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and spinach in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Serve room temp or chilled.
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From Oregon, with Rain

I’m sitting in a coffee shop just off Cannon Beach on the coast of Oregon and I’m happy to report it has FINALLY stopped raining. Oh wait, nope, false alarm, a tsunami just rolled in. I like you, Pacific northwest, but DAMN, your skies are dribbly.

 

Since my last post, Ben and I have been to Yellowstone (drove through, stopped to watch geysers explode [by the way, those things smell 100% like farts]), Glacier National Park (made friends, saw wildlife, cried because of the beauty, froze our toes off), Seattle (stayed with awesome hosts (!), biked to Red Hook Brewery and wobbled 20 tipsy miles home, toured the Theo Chocolate factory, bought a funny hat), and now we’re in Oregon! Being rained on. IMG_0412IMG_0500   When we were in Seattle we stayed with my aunt Alison’s long-time friend, Pat, and her husband, Eric. They directed us to all of the cool locales (Cafe Lulu, Latona Pub, the Fremont Sunday Market) and let us wash our stinky selves several times over. We dropped by Pike Place Market for a hot second and checked out the nice looking veggies and BLOOD ORANGE GINGER BEER. Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 9.58.56 AM IMG_0485 And, last but never least, here’s a recipe we made for our bomb diggity hosts in Seattle. Perfect for a warm evening on the back deck, this colorful salad takes 5 minutes to put together and is all kinds of yum. PLUS, it’s the most recent recipe on my pursuit of 50 ways to love a chickpea. IMG_0482 Cumin-Dijon Chickpea Salad

  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped finely,
  • 1 large handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • splash of olive oil

1. In a small bowl, combine the dijon mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, and cumin. Stir well. Pour the chickpeas, chopped pepper, onion, tomatoes, and cilantro in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Serve room temperature or chilled.

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