The final leg of my FTT knowledge gained was through getting the opportunity to showcase my talents to a group of fifteen women who were on an art retreat in Winter Park, Co. They required two students who wanted to take on the assignment of preparing three meals per day along with appetizers, snacks and desserts. This task-entailed meal planning, a particular budget, shopping, cost management and properly carrying out the assignment at hand. I am no stranger to living within a certain means but this project had me scratching my head at times wondering how I was going to make it all work. That and the fact that two of the women were on gluten-free/dairy restrictions was a challenge I took head-on along with my comrade Emily. I couldn’t have picked a better student to share the load of this assignment. She met the challenge dead-on with the same vision of the successful mission I also envisioned.
I felt as though I learned from this opportunity ten-fold. Our production lists were changed and updated on a daily basis. I feel as though we
exceeded our own expectations as well as our employers, Lori Worstl and Lorri Flint. http://www.artcampforwomen.com/ In those last eight days we also were given the privilege of getting to know most of these fifteen women on a much more personal level. Our ages and lifestyles were diverse in addition to our geographical locations all about the country, but every evening we were encouraged to sit and have dinner with the ladies. There we all came together to be grateful for the food in front of us.
I promised one camper, Kathy in particular that I would share my recipe for my Healthier Chocolate Chip/Date Cookies that were made available for snacking. I did tweak the recipe slightly to accomodate the gluten-free ladies in the crowd. It was no too hard as this recipe is pretty close to being that. I have noted the variations in the recipe.
This delicious cookie recipe is supposed to mock a chocolate chip cookie. Dates and oatmeal are used for an extra chewy cookie. My sister Nancy introduced me to this recipe and our attempts make it better is the recipe below. We substituted the butter with coconut oil and unsweetened
applesauce. Instead of using white flour, rice flour was used with amazing results. I have noted that this cookie can easily be made gluten-free by eliminating the whole-wheat flour and adding more rice flour. The end result is a delicious cookie full of fiber, iron and not a lot of guilt. If you have
children, have them help you out making these. They are a big hit with the children we have tried it out on!
Heart Smart Cookies
4 Tablespoon coconut oil
3/4 C packed light brown sugar
1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
1/3 C white or brown rice flour
1/3 C whole-wheat flour (if gluten-free, sub 1/3 C brown rice/white rice flour maybe a slight bit more for the correct texture)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ C instant oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 C chopped pitted dates
3 ounces coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate or 1/4 C mini chocolate chip morsels
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Bring coconut oil to a melting point and add applesauce and brown sugar and mix till smooth and creamy. Add flours, baking soda, oats and salt. Combine the ingredients, add egg, vanilla and pitted dates. The mixture will retain its shape but feel moist. Fold in chocolate and mix well.
Cover and refrigerate for about 45 minutes. When you remove the mixture will be more solidified and easier to assemble.
Spoon mixture by tablespoon full on pan sprayed cookie sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes till tops are dry to the touch and cookies are lightly browned.
Much thanks to Debbie also. She gave me a jar of her homemade pepperjelly at the camp. I was never really a big fan until the past week. I have been putting the jelly on everything! I even made a zesty salad dressing. Yum!
Thanks ladies. You were all a pleasure to cook for!!
A special post to Jack Rabbit Hill Farm/Vineyards in Hotchkiss, CO http://jackrabbithill.com/
Also, another special post coming soon for my friend Emily who is about to launch the most adorable apron business she and her friend Liz have been working on like crazy. These two talented women are taking feminity and the empowered woman and bringing her back to the kitchen while looking fantastic as she prepares meals. You’ll look hot in these nostalgic aprons even if you’re just pretending to cook. Mine is being made as I write and it has avocados all over it! I am going to be one hot mama in the kitchen with my new apron by “Sparrow Waits.”