Yesterday was my birthday! I feel so loved by the outpouring of cute messages and heartfelt wishes for my coming year. It has definitely been a period of love and gratitude around here. My mom just got married last weekend and I had the honor of being a bridesmaid! We had a very simple, yet beautiful and intimate backyard wedding in northern California. I don’t think there was a dry eye anywhere. It was so humbling and encouraging to witness my mother and my new step dad exchange vows. They were raw, honest, loving, hopeful and kind. Both of them have kids and have been married before. But I was overcome with joy to see two people persevere through hardship and still have the courage to open their hearts and love again.Do you get swept off your feet by witnessing and experiencing love at weddings? I certainly do. Not in the way that I think to myself, “AHHHH…I MUST get married right now!”, but rather, in a way that makes me see more clearly what I already have in my relationship and my friendships. It makes me love harder and appreciate more so than I did before. So thank you mom and Alan for opening my eyes and making me more present and aware of my own joy and happiness. I wish you two the happiest and best years ahead! Speaking of love, I have FINALLY figured out my kind of granola bar. It is not too sweet, has a good mix of nuts to oats and lots of flavor! I have been recipe testing a lot at work and this particular mix is my favorite so far. If I am feeling fancy or crafty, I will cut some parchment paper and baker’s twine to make it look pretty. If you package them, they can also make great little gifts!Also, thank you Daniel for the incredible birthday dinner at Osteria Mozza. You are simply the best partner in crime.
Fig & Nut Bars: makes 12 big bars or 24 smaller squares
2 cups rolled oats
small pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
12 dried figs, stems removed and chopped
1 cup hazelnuts, chopped (I used pre-toasted hazelnuts)
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped (I used pre-toasted nuts) or pistachios, whichever you prefer
1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
2 tbs coconut oil, softened
1/2 cup +1/4 cup honey
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8X8 pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl combine oats, salt, cinnamon, all nuts and dried figs. Stir well.
3. Next add the coconut oil and stir to evenly coat the mixture with the oil.
4. Add 1/2 cup of honey and stir really well so that the mixture becomes evenly coated and sticky. Add the last 1/4 cup of honey, making sure to drizzle it over the parts that look dry. Stir well.
5. Place the mixture in the parchment lined pan and press firmly into the pan, making sure it is even. I like to use the back side of a spatula or a piece of parchment paper to help press the mixture down.
6. Bake for 22-25 minutes until lightly golden brown on top. Remove from oven and cool for 1 hour in the pan. Transfer to fridge and cool for at least an hour before cutting into bars, which will prevent them from crumbling.
7. I like to wrap them up and give them as gifts!