I wouldn't normally be posting on a Monday morning because I would be rushing to get to work (I work part time for an investor in New York City). But since the stock market is closed today, I get the day off. Extended holiday weekend? Yes please! ^.^ Today won't be too exciting, but I foresee a lot of relaxing!
I begrudgingly got out of bed today and went out for a run. I had overslept by an hour, so by the time I stepped outside, the sun was already out. Not fun. And you know what else happened? I had barely ran a few hundred feet when my eye started to feel funny. I thought it was an eyelash, so I paused to try to get it out. I got it out alright, but it wasn't an eyelash or eyebrow hair. It was a BUG! Oh goodness, fun stuff. It was probably dead by then. I shook it off my finger and resumed my workout, thinking nothing of it. But gosh, I must have the worst luck ever. On night runs in the summer, fireflies always attack my legs. Fine, I can deal with that. But I have found bugs flying into my nostrils, mouth, and ears before... and now the eye! Do I need to put on a ski mask when I run from now on? LOL.
It's going to get super super hot today, but right now the weather is pristine. I can feel the breeze coming from my bedroom window as I'm typing. Here's the view:
For breakfast I enjoyed a rejuvenating bowl of overnight oats. I had run out of fresh fruit to top it with, since I was not able to go shopping yesterday, so I decided to try my luck with frozen. I took out four strawberries from the freezer and set them out on a plate to thaw.
Verdict? Not bad at all! The thawed strawberries still had an icy touch, but I enjoyed that. I forgot how much I loved the taste of strawberries and banana together. I would definitely use frozen fruit again.
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My 4th of July was great! We met up with family friends for a little get-together at their house. I got to make homemade guacamole, lounge around their pool, play LIFE, and watch some fireworks. I have not played the game of LIFE for way too long! We all could not stop giggling and laughing as we were making up scenarios along the way. Seriously the best board game ever made!
I was experimenting in the kitchen to make a little dessert to bring to their house. In my mind, I had already knew what the star ingredient was going to be...
These are dried figs that I had bought a while ago and got tired of eating by itself. I knew that figs were super sweet and malleable, so I decided to make little dessert balls out of them!
Coconut Fig Balls
* 1.5 cups of dried figs
* 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
* 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut (goes inside the mix)
* 1 teaspoon ground coffee
* A few shakes of ground cinnamon
* A pinch of salt (Sadly I forgot to add this! It would've definitely enhanced the flavor.)
* 1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
* l/4 cup mixed nuts (almonds and walnuts)
* 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (outside covering)
Directions: I first sought to de-stem the dried figs and mash them up. I don't own a food processor, so I just placed the figs in a plastic ziplock bag and mashed it up that way. Lots of manual labor resulted in something looking like this:
I cut open the bag and transferred the mashed figs into a mixing bowl. Fold in the flaxseed meal, coconut, coffee, cinnamon, and salt (let's pretend I used this). At this point, I found it hard to mix, so I added the almond milk. I eyeballed the amount, but I estimate that it was somewhere around 1/4 cup. Just add enough to get everything well incorporated, keeping it at a cookie dough consistency.
Then in goes the nut mixture that I had ground up pretty finely. Most were small pieces, and the rest was a flour-like texture.
I stirred everything together, making sure the nuts were well mixed into the batter.
At this point, I placed the bowl into the fridge to chill. I was pretty impatient so I took it out in 15 minutes (It would work better if left to chill for an hour or so). I proceeded to roll them up into little balls. A trick I learned is to put a little water on your hands so the mixture doesn't stick too much as you roll.
(Thanks to my dad who helped take these pictures! LOL my hands were so sticky.)
The size doesn't have to be exact or uniform, but I tried to keep each one around 1-inch in diameter. After every few balls were made, I placed them onto a bowl with unsweetened shredded coconut and roll them around for coating. I used a small spoon to help my fingers with the prodding.
Here's my first finished plateful...
I used up every last bit, but the mixture still only yielded around 15 balls! I wish I had more figs. =P
I made two plates total and stored them in the refrigerator for a few hours. At one point, I decided to try a tiny one (I almost didn't, because I had only made such a small number of these!). I decided that it wasn't firm enough, so I moved both plates up to the freezer. I took them out when we were ready to leave.
Up close and personal...
I think the coconut coating definitely make these balls look upscale. It reminds me of powdered sugar!
They turned out tasting great! And I was proud to tell everyone that they were raw, gluten-free, and with no added sugar. I also loved that they reminded me of mochi balls, which are made with glutinous rice flour. My only regrets would be that I omitted the salt and that they weren't as firm as I wanted them to be. I would recommend using as little of the almond milk as possible, and to keep the batter at a malleable but still firm cookie dough consistency.
Looks like I'll be experimenting some more in the kitchen in the near future!
Have a great Monday,