When I was a kid, I was a habitual journal/ diary writer. I’d consistently update the blank pages with every last detail of my day from who I played jailbreak with in the neighborhood the night before, to why I didn’t like that creepy boy from 3rd grade [probably now a millionaire/ model], to my outlandish countdowns to Christmas. All of my feelings and wishes and hopes stuffed under my mattress for only my eyes to see. And probably my mom’s every time she made my bed. [Hi Mom!]
I remember getting older and writing less frequently. I felt like it was harder to write after it had been a while- like my journal actually had a brain or something and wouldn’t comprehend a random name or situation thrown into the mix. “Where to begin, journal! It’s been so long!” Dork.
In any case- after I would lay it all out there [sometimes two or three pagers!] I would feel so much better. Like I just counseled myself or something. You know what I mean? Okay, good.
Well here I am – with so much to tell. Rather than posting an update on the past few months of my life- I just want to say that I felt like I lost myself there for a little while. Yea, I’ve been working too much and can say a great deal about the success of my professional life this year- but I truly believe that when you don’t have time to do the things you are passionate about, it really has the ability to bring you down. While it sounds pseudo depressing, I’m actually extremely grateful to have realized exactly what I love to do. I love to cook and write about my kitchen adventures and baking failures and take pictures of vegetables and read about health foods and go to grocery stores for fun and other things that you probably think are weird. I had to find balance between work and play.
But, you aren’t here to read about that. You’re probably here because I wrote fudge brownie in the title of this post. I wasn’t born yesterday, silly.
If you’ve ever had a Larabar, you know that while the ingredients are minimal, the flavors will just blow you away. I’ve been trying to cut all of the processed crap out of my diet and these are a great alternative to any packaged bar. Oh, and they taste like those Little Debbie brownies… you know, the ones with the nuts on top?! I’m serious.
Fudge Brownie “Larabars”
Recipe slightly adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie
- 1 cup of chopped walnuts + extra for topping
- 1 and 1/4 cups pitted dates
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon of ground flax [optional]
- pinch of salt
Say hello to literally the easiest recipe you will ever read in your life! I guess if you read a recipe for making toast that would probably be easier, but anyway…
Throw all the ingredients into a food processor. Blend. I added a splash of almond milk to get everything going after a few pulses in the processor.
When everything is well combined, Line a small baking dish with wax paper. Choice is yours on the size- depends on how thin or thick you would like these babies to be! Scoop the thick “batter” into the dish and press down with a small piece of waxed paper [much easier than using the back of a spoon or spatula]. Spread and press it out evenly in the dish. I then topped it off with some additional chopped walnuts; press em’ down!
Pop it into the freezer for a little while to firm up.
Voila! Cut into squares to the size of your liking. How great would these be with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, and a cherry on top?!
PS- I missed you. Here are some photos to catch you up on me.
Literally the most beautiful sunset that I have ever seen- Phoenix Arizona, May 2013. I traveled with our soccer team for their games in Arizona & California earlier this summer and this was the sunset view right before kickoff. Amazing.
Went an awful few couple of months without seeing my best friend in the world, Chels. Finally got back up to New York a few weeks ago and we had a blast, obviously.
Playing in my kitchen. A usual occurrence.
Stephanie and I out in the Southside of Pittsburgh a few weeks back- we’re always trouble and up to something. Randomly booked a trip to Nashville after a few glasses of wine on the patio a few summer nights back. Oops…
This photo just screams SUMMER to me. A family favorite at Kennywood. I grew up [and still do] calling these Sidewalk Sundaes — because my brother and I would always drop them…on the sidewalk?
Literally don’t know what I would do without this girl- my partner in crime, Angela, is my co-worker and life saver. We’re a dynamic duo.
Speaking of work…
Enough for now. Look for details of my 100 Day Challenge on the blog over the weekend. Prizes involved and health to be gained! Xo. Follow me on Instagram!
Welcome “back”! 🙂
And these looks delicious. Clearly, we’ll discuss at lunch today. See you soon! 🙂
Glad you’re back!! I missed this! Love you babe
You are such a fab writer, Nat. I love reading your stuff and I’m making these babies ASAP!