I finally got to go skiing last weekend. There is no other activity that I can think of that gets me outside in the fresh air, for a whole day, during the winter time. I can’t tell you how good I feel to be outside, in the sun and the snow, in the mountains where everything smells good, and moving. It’s such a luxury over these winter months. With skiing comes the need for snacks. Mostly the snacks are needed on the long car ride home when you finally sit down and suddenly realize that you are deeply tired, hungry and thirsty from all of that moving and fresh air. My go-to snack is granola bars. They are easy to keep in my ski jacket pocket, nutritious, filling, and have just the right balance of sweet and savory that I crave at times like those. I have been making versions of these granola bars ever since the Smitten Kitchen cookbook came out. There is a date and almond version in her book but I decided to make some apricot sunflower granola bars this time instead. I have tons of sunflower butter in my fridge and I thought it would be a nice change.
A couple of weeks ago I was going on a work retreat. A potluck was being organized and I decided to volunteer to make dessert. I chose dessert because I like posting recipes up here but don’t like having to eat it all by myself, so I figured a potluck was a perfect opportunity to make something sweet to share with lots of people. Let me tell you, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. As the food restrictions came pouring in, I realized that I had to make a gluten free, vegan, nut free dessert. That meant no eggs, no butter, no flour (unless it was an overwhelming combination of a bunch of flours I didn’t have), and no nuts to simulate all of the above. It wasn’t like I could back out, so I started to do my research. I came up with two viable options. The first, being a fruit crisp like this one on Cookie and Kate. I thought that maybe this was the most obvious choice and left it out there in case my co-worker who was also making dessert chose to go in that direction. The second option that I found was a recipe for Fig Newtons on My New Roots (a beautiful blog that focuses on healthy ingredients, which I knew would come through in terms of looking for a recipe built around dietary restrictions).