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Friday, October 21, 2011

Chewy Date Walnut Bars

It is finally starting to cool down here in B-more, and I love it. (Just wait, though, in a month I'll be shivering with complaints). Wool cardigan, corduroy skirt, tights, and boots...these clothes I wear today tell me it's autumn. And although I can't say I like shorter days, I do like the fact that the sun is rising when I run/bike in the mornings. This morning I rode out to the reservoir and saw the golden light breaking through the dark clouds and bathing my city in glory. Good way to start the day!

To celebrate autumn (and my sweet tooth) I put together these dear little treats (actually, the real impetus was that moths were trying to get into my dates. Had to rescue them). A combination mainly consisting of brown sugar, walnuts, and dried dates, this dessert comes together beautifully. I found the recipe years ago from I can't remember where, but forgot to write down the oil/butter. I had to guess, and went with half a cup of olive oil. (However, now that I have stored these treats for a few days, I think 1/4 cup or maybe 1/3 cup of oil would be better -- the squares are a bit messy to hold.) I suppose canola would have made more sense, but I didn't have it, and besides, the olive-y-ness is not detected after baking. Butter would probably work just as well, but I wanted these to be dairy-free.***

A note about the dates --

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad from the Farm

I volunteer with an urban farm down the street from me. Have I mentioned? It's an amazing farm. Set on 1/3 acre of land, on a lot where a business used to be, on a corner where there used to be an open drug market and gang wars, is a charming, quirky, beautiful, farm.

Whitelock Community Farm started as an idea from a bunch of giddy green people (myself included) in my neighborhood last year. We all wanted to beautify this area as well as share our passion for good food with the neighborhood. The idea is to provide fresh vegetables at an affordable price to neighbors who don't have easy access to a grocery store. Last year was a bit wobbly; this year has exceeded expectations. We have grown a few dozen types of veggies, worked with neighborhood kids, brought in volunteer groups, and had fun (and just a little bit of stress) doing it all. Now we are raising money to: