It’s the end of a semester, and it’s been a long time since I’ve been on here! You can’t say it wasn’t for good reason. Between homework, and Jesse, the gym, and the kitchen, there hasn’t been much room in between. It’s funny, but during busy times, I usually daydream about what I will do when it is all over. Then afterwards, I have a bowl of popcorn, watch some netflixs, and then ask myself “now what?”
Everything went so fast. Moving to Portland, traveling, getting married, going on a honeymoon and my very first semester of graduate school. Yet it seems like forever ago I was flying around in airplanes. It’s amazing how in one year, my whole life (and Jesse’s too) has completely changed. Jesse’s vegan now! And happily tasting all my trial run cookies, pumpkin pie, lentil loaf, and soon to be Hawaiian jackfruit sliders.
Yet through all of this, one theme has remained constant: relationships.
Most of my life has been spent with other goals dominating over friendships, dating, and anyone beyond my immediate family. This year was the year to start making up for 29 years of neglect. I had a fantastic Amtrak trip that began with my friend Brittney, and turned into a family trip to see my Aunts Anita and Judy, and Uncles Tony and Dick. Jesse and I spent time with his aunt, Aunt Beth, and her partner Paulie in New York. Jesse and I spent time in Bend OR, and I got one on one time with his parents. The wedding was a huge and amazing event, filled with friends from childhood, middle school, high school and college. People I had not talked to in forever, who still came (some even flew cross country!) to see and be a part of Jesse and my big day. I guess sometimes, even if you are not the greatest friend in the world, people still may end up liking you anyway.
Notably absent was my piano teacher of 12 years, Karol Close. While I was off trying to survive undergraduate, both she and her husband died of cancer without me even noticing for a year. It pains me to admit that.
A year of relationships is hard for an introvert, especially once school started. However, I made a commitment to be both a better partner (now wife!) and a better friend. It’s small steps, and I’m certainly not perfect. It took me for ever to write a letter back to my Maid of Honor after the wedding… by forever I mean like 5 months. I also got annoyed during group meetings, missed plenty of birthdays, and admittedly I sometimes count calories and think about to do lists/working out in the middle of conversations where I should be fully present. But it is all worth it. I have an amazing husband, and we laugh every day. I have friends I am keeping in touch with, both on the east and west coasts. They’re gems, even if they don’t always think so, and they’re worth it. I think I’m making friends here in Portland too. At least, people sometimes come up to talk to me in the gym, and didn’t say no to a holiday party I’m co-hosting with another grad student.
Oh, did I forget to mention that? Why else would I be trial running numerous baked goods and jackfruit sliders, all in the same week? (Not to mention a first attempt at vegan loco moco. I made the burgers and the gravy from scratch because… well it’s me, right?)
Here’s the first final recipe of the lot. Like this year, it’s a little complicated and sweet. It makes use of rye and spelt flour, both delicious healthy grains that go easy on the stomachs of the gluten sensitive, like my hubby. Did I also mention rye is super sustainable? It adds nutrients back into the soil, so most sustainable farmers have to grow it in a crop rotation. Unfortunately, rye is not in great demand, so most farmers have to sell it at a loss. Every time you purchase rye, you’re helping a farm increase their natural productivity!
Furthermore, completely on accident, these cookies are fat free. The spelt and rye are a bit dense, and so instead of oil I used an overripe banana to give these guys extra sweetness and a hint of something extra. Thus the long name for these is vegan banana rye fat free gingerbread snowballs with chocolate drizzle. But that’s a mouthful, so we’re abbreviating it to vegan fat free gingerbread snowballs, or gingerbread snowballs. You can just inform all your friends when they’re like “this is so good, what’s in them?” about all the amazing ingredients. Sometimes life is complicated! But sometimes it’s the complicated bits that make it all come together, and taste that much better.
More holiday blogging to come soon!
Here's the first final recipe of the lot. Like this year, it's a little complicated and sweet. It makes use of rye and spelt flour, both delicious healthy grains that go easy on the stomachs of the gluten sensitive, like my hubby. Furthermore, completely on accident, these cookies are fat free. The spelt and rye are a bit dense, and so instead of oil I used an overripe banana to give these guys extra sweetness and a hint of something extra. Thus the long name for these is fat free vegan banana rye gingerbread snowballs with chocolate drizzle. But that's a mouthful, so we're abbreviating it to fat free vegan gingerbread snowballs, or gingerbread snowballs. You can just inform all your friends when they're like "this is so good, what's in them?" about all the amazing ingredients. Sometimes life is complicated! But sometimes it's the complicated bits that make it all come together, and taste that much better.
Note, when packaged the powdered sugar may get absorbed. If that happens, just re-powder before serving!
- 1 smashed overripe banana
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbs molasses
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup Ripple or vegan milk
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup tapioca starch
- pinch of cloves
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 cup chopped candied ginger
- 1 cup white spelt flour
- 1 cup rye flour
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Lightly grease a cookie pan.
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Ingredients will be wet and sticky, but that's okay. Place in small spoonfuls (they rise a lot!) on the cookie sheet. Should make about 16.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until middles are set and a fork comes out clean.
- Roll in powdered sugar while still hot.
- When cookies are cool, melt chocolate and drizzle as artfully as you can.