Wake up.

*yaaaa-aawn* Oh hello! I woke up this morning to a lovely MEA weekend.

But the floor still felt pretty cold, and I had a morning Cross country practice.

It’s getting chilly, and I wore 3 layers. Even though the ground was frosted, and the grass was white, I decided somewhere in my exhausted brain, to notice the negative.

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So after a cup of mint tea, an everything bagel, and 2 episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show, I decided to get dressed.

Cosy fall colors, and my camera and I was ready to go.

The door creaked as I opened it, and the world awaited my first step.

Guess what?

It wasn’t cold anymore.

The grass was green, and the sun was shining. It’s a gorgeous day outside! I plan to go back outside as soon as I finish this post!

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So, today will you dwell on the disgusting coffee at lunch break and the annoying music in the car next to you? Or will you choose to enjoy the fall colors, wear a wool sweater, and eat outside? What side of the bed will you decide to get out of today?

Dairy Free Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

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Recently my mom made a wedding cake, with marshmallow fondant. She bought bags and bags of marshmallows, and we had some left. So she asked me to make some Rice Krispie treats. How could I resist? We decided that coconut oil would be a go-to substitute for butter! (Since I’m sensitive to all Dairy products)

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Yum. I made the first pan of original (plain) Rice Krispie treats, and thennn…. that chocolate addict part of my brain kept begging me to do something….

Add you know what.

So I caved.

I’ve recently discovered something delicious, Hershey’s Extra SPECIAL Dark Cocoa. Whoa! I love it so much, I have another recipe showcasing it coming soon.

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Isn’t this plate cute? It was a birthday present for my sister when she was little, complete with cute cups, and a matching teapot! So adorable.

Is your mouth watering yet? (not about the tea set, the treat!)

If you feel the need for chocolate and marshmallow in your life then make a pan to share, or devour while watching Netflix.

You will need:

6 cups of marshmallows, mini’s work best (or a 10 oz bag.)

6 cups of Rice cereal (Use the cheapest brand, or your favorite, brown rice is fine also)

3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil (you can use refined or regular, my little brother doesn’t like coconut flavor, and he liked the original Rice Krispie treats with unrefined oil, the coconut oil was barely noticeable)

2 Tablespoons of Dark Cocoa (or regular, but you know my opinion)

Optional : You can melt some marshmallows & coconut oil in the microwave and put it on the top of the treats for presentation, your choice. DO IT. No pressure.

Melt the coconut oil in a pan over low heat, once melted, add the cocoa and stir until combined. Next, add the marshmallows, and stir until melted. When fully melted, and smooth, take the pan off the heat, and stir in the cereal. Oil up your hands, and press the mixture into an oiled 9×13 pan. If you want don’t want the coconut flavor to be strong, use olive or canola oil to grease it. Clean out the pan with a spoon and eat or add to the bars. Cover with marshmallow/oil mix if you wish. They’ll harden immediately, so, you can slice and serve, or stash in the pantry for a chocolate day.

What do you make to satisfy your chocolate craving?

Fall Transition.

It’s………fa-fa-fa-fall! I’m excited for pumpkin everything, sweaters, boots, and cozy days with mint tea & Of Monsters and Men. I really want to wears sweaters, but I’m kind of stuck between Summer & Fall. 

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I kind of realized this #firstworldproblem when I burned my bare skin with a bowl of hot lentil stew. Shorts and stew don’t work together I guess.

 

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It’s almost time to make costumes too! We don’t really celebrate Halloween, but my little brother LOVES dressing up. He is constantly in a cape, cowboy boot, magic hat ensemble or his full body padded kangaroo suit. It’s so cute! I can’t resist a little kid in a costume. So recently, he’s been asking for a hedgehog costume… Not exactly your typical puppy or policemen kind of guy. 

 

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He’s my most willing model. I love his little hands, and sweet heart. 

You might be wondering what I’ve been up to! (besides catching my sleeve on the microwave door) Well, School is kind of a large part of my life… J’ai suis petit? (I’m learning french) Oh, and Cross Country! Our team is small this year, only 6 girls. But we’re all family. (not literally, but relationship wise) We only have 3 meets left! Our own home meet, Conference, and Sections! I’m so excited! 

How is your fall transition going? Have you gone on any hay rides yet?

I believe this is the recipe my mom uses for her lentil stew.

S’more Larabars

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Yum. Yum Yum YUM. OKAY. I think you got the idea! Image

These bars are based off of a recipe from Oh She Glows. But, I adapted it a little bit to my own liking…

(They’re also  a little unhealthier)

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The base is dates & almonds. The original recipe used cashews, and cashews are DELICIOUS in them, butttt…. I didn’t have any!

Plus, raw almonds are easier to find (and cheaper) than raw cashews!

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Then, I added in my own guilty pleasures. Chocolate. Marshmallow. Graham Cracker.

It’s like a campfire in your mouth. (in the best way!) No worries, it has no secret jalapenos or anything like that!

These special bars are in honor (and were made for a gift) for my wonderful youth pastor! Happy Birthday!

Now, onto the recipe.

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Pulse the almonds in your food processor until you have all of them smaller than pea sized. (This step is REALLY loud, earplugs are suggested)

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Then, add the dates, some soy milk, and vanilla, and blend!

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And last, but not least, mix in your marshmallows, cracker bits, and chocolate! (by hand)

1 1/2 cups of raw almonds (if you can’t find raw, toasted are okay too)

1 cup of dates

2 Tbsp milk of choice

1 tsp of vanilla ( or two, I LOVE vanilla)

3 Tbsp mini chocolate chips (or diced chocolate chips)

1 whole graham cracker, crushed into pieces (they can vary in size, depending on your opinion)

3 large caramel & vanilla marshmallows, cut into small pieces. You can use mini marshmallows, fruity marshmallows ( I don’t recommend that) or any type of marshmallow you want! I really liked the caramel & vanilla ones, the caramel added a sort of smoky taste, which I love in a s’more!

Pulse almonds in food processor until all pieces are smaller than the size of a pea. Add dates, while running, add milk and vanilla. It should be slightly sticky, think Quaker chewy granola bars.

Stir in chocolate chips, graham cracker pieces, and marshmallow pieces. Press into pan with parchment paper in the bottom, and refrigerate for 2 1/2ish hours, or freeze for 20 minutes. You just want them to firm up a bit. Cut, serve, share with friends, and gobble up. These bars are addictive.

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These also make great gifts. Rolling the dough into balls would also make yummy s’more truffles. Give it a go, and let me know how you like them! Have you made any special treats lately?

The Experience.

I promised that I would talk about my experience with my media fast. Here it goes! The first couple days was like weaning myself off of some kind of drug, I would have some free time and immediately my body would gravitate towards any electronic device! It was hard to resist the temptation, but with the help of my family ( keeping each other accountable) it turned out fine. The rules to this game were, no TV, or computer, UNLESS (computer) you were checking for something ( orchestra info) or looking up a recipe for supper. So basically, doing necessary things.

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That kept any media time to the minimum. While I was making peanut butter cups one day,  (Recipe HERE. They are delicious, especially after being frozen) My brother commented to my mom, “I’ve noticed that Tikvah cooks a lot more when she’s not on the computer!” He of course loved that because he got more treats.  I became more focused at the task at hand, I didn’t have Pinterest calling my name, or some video distracting my attention. Yay!

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I did miss some things, like being able to blog, I’d take a picture and be thinking, “I wish I could blog this!” But here I am, and I survived. While I was gone I realized that I want to cut down on my computer time, and mindless Facebook browsing. It’s seriously ridiculous, I don’t even enjoy it! 

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I’d much rather be figuring out how to make a healthy cookie recipe than counting how many selfies with the duck-face I could find. 

 

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What have I learned through this experience? I want to spend my media time doing things I really enjoy, and using that time WELL.

Also I want to limit how much time I do spend watching or browsing TV & the internet. Instead of watching a judge show (which I despise) I could be enjoying Pride & Prejudice!

What I will be changing? How much self control I have. Do you have any new energy or ideas? Yes! I want to enlarge my photographing skills, including family pictures, senior pictures, and possibly a wedding or two.

I’d like to start a real photographing business, with business cards, printing options and everything! I also want to become more organized in how I think, act, and live. Taking more pictures will definitely be on the agenda as well. The ones above are some I took while on leave.