|Our new favorite quinoa bar with almond meal, lots of good vanilla and dark chocolate chips.|
The turn of the year's wheel inevitably stirs up ghosts. Last night we walked after dinner. Slowly, in a warm breeze, curled paper leaves scuttling the uneven side walk. Something in the air reminded me of New Mexico. And I remembered a day we drove to Taos, just to get out of our heads and escape the particular tunneling isolation of the writing life.
The afternoon was golden and soft, almost balmy. The kind of day that lulls you into believing winter is still far off. The trickster wind spun burnished leaves and pinon smoke around us with fingers warm and cool and so dreamy we almost floated along the crooked streets of Taos center, bumping elbows with straggling tourists in beaded earrings and adobe hued scarves, and locals in scuffed cowboy boots barking Spanish into cell phones.
We wandered through empty galleries and a well-stocked kitchen store. I fingered a set of engraved silver measuring spoons, but put them back on the shelf (too expensive to justify). Steve ordered a cappuccino to go, and we drove home along the Rio Grande listening to Steve Earle and watching the late afternoon sun dart down the canyon walls, back-lighting the almost bare cottonwoods, grayish brown and silver.
It was good to get away that day, get out of my head.
That night I dreamed of Russell Crowe. He was close by that month, filming 3:10 To Yuma up in Abiquiu. I read in my journal that we spoke about our fathers. He listened with his eyes, I wrote, grasping the loss of never knowing my father with a depth and muscle that held my pain fiercely.
This morning I woke feeling less heavy, and relieved of my usual L.A. bruxism. For the first time in a long time I felt the urge to pick up a paintbrush. To smooth a raw canvas with palms, flat and expectant.
But in the meantime, I wait.
To wait, to surrender to this thing, this process, this road home to myself- it's not an easy thing. But if you offered me a pill to swallow, some cure, some promise, some magic, I doubt I would be tempted. Because there is a part of me- some stubborn, rusty, ancient part of me- that understands I must go through it, not around it. I must go down. Not up in a flight of fancy. I must get muddy and singed and hollow and exhausted.
I must tunnel through and scrape away with the tiniest of tools- my will- toward some small, shy truth. Excavating, digging past the illusions, the denial, the desire to please, to be light, to be pretty, to be approved of.
It is my Holiest Grail. And why it is so hard to find it, I don't know.
For some of us, it just is.
|Dark chocolate, lots of good vanilla, and nuts make these quinoa bars special.|
|Warm from the oven, when the chocolate is melty- divine.|
|Take a break with a good book and a blondie style quinoa bar.|
New Quinoa Bars Recipe - Blondie Style
Gluten-free quinoa bars (and cookies!) are a long time family favorite. Hence, we are forever tweaking, experimenting with variations on a theme. This time out we tried almond flour in the mix, and added chopped walnuts for a nutty crunch. (This version uses eggs, find a vegan version here for a template on making this recipe egg-free.)
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1 cup Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2/3 cup organic coconut oil
2 organic free-range eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
2/3 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
If needed: rice milk
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 9x11" baking pan with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and starches, quinoa flakes, xanthan gum, sea salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and brown sugar.
Add in the coconut oil, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla and beat until you get a smooth, but sticky batter.
If the dough is dry, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of rice milk, as needed, one spoonful at a time, to achieve a dough that sticks together when you pinch it- much like cookie dough.
Stir in the dark chocolate chips and nuts by hand.
Spread the dough into the prepared baking pan, and using wet or oiled hands, smooth out the surface. Bake in the center of a pre-heated oven until the dough is golden and set - about 22 to 30 minutes. The top should appear golden brown around the edges, and the center should be firm to a light touch.
Cool on a wire rack.
Remove from the pan whole, using the parchment paper edges to lift it, and place the baked bars on a cutting surface. Using a thin sharp knife, cut into 18 squares. Wrap the bars in foil or wrap; bag; freeze in a freezer storage bag.
Makes 18 bars.
Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com
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