Tonight, I’m taking a red eye flight. By myself, which means that instead of nodding off on Ben’s shoulder, I’ll probably (accidentally) drool on a stranger. I’m also going to be the sneezy/sniffly girl on the plane — you know, that girl. Everybody hates that girl! Rough.
But it’ll all be fine because, when I wake up bleary-eyed from my unrested, sniffly, drool-covered airplane snooze, I will be in Miami. Miami! I’ve never been, but I hear that everyday’s like a Mardi Gras, everybody party all day, no work, all play, okay? (Where’s Will Smith when you need that guy?)
I’ll be there for BlogHer Food – a conference for food bloggers (this is a real thing, and I find it both hilarious and amazing). I’m excited to meet some fellow bloggers and, since this is my first time going, find out what this conference thing is all about. Will you be there, too? Get in touch!
I’ve never been to Miami before, but I envision eating a bunch of cuban sandwiches and possibly running into LeBron James. What else should I look out for down there?
In the meantime, I’m packing up the essentials – maxi dress, sandals, swim suit, business cards – and plane snacks. For long trips, I like to pack my own snacks so I don’t have to rely on unreliable airport/plane food. Do you ever do this? I like to make my own sandwiches, and usually some cookies, too (nothing brightens a miserable in-air experience quite like a homemade cookie). Tonight, in the name of portability and good health, I’m packing these homemade cherry cashew sesame bars.
I adapted these guys from Megan Gordon’s beautiful new book, Whole Grain Mornings, which I’m just loving these days. The bars are sturdy and flavorful, packed with good things like cashews, toasted sesame seeds, rolled oats and dried cherries. The bars, which you can cut as large or small as you please, are surprisingly filling and easily wrapped in some parchment for the road. They’re great for a quick breakfast or, in my case, a fuss-free plane snack (post boarding and pre-drooling, probably).
See you in Miami, friends!
Cherry Cashew Sesame Bars
As Megan mentions in her book, this recipe is easily customizable. Feel free to swap out the nuts or dried fruit for whatever you have on hand. Almonds and apricots would probably be delicious. Also, instead of rolled oats, Megan calls for quinoa flakes — I couldn’t find quinoa flakes in my hood, but if you’ve got those, go ahead and use them instead.
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted and cooled
- 2 cups cashews, toasted and cooled
- 20 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 cup dried cherries
- generous pinch of kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
Line and 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper so that it hangs over each side.
Put the sesame seeds, cashews, dates, cherries, salt, vanilla, cinnamon and cocoa powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process the mixture continuously until it comes together in a large clump, 2-3 minutes.
Turn the mixture out into a medium bowl and add the rolled oats. Knead gently with clean hands to incorporate throughout. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, then use your hands or the back of a spatula to spread and press down the mixture, creating a smooth, even, layer. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 2 hours (or freeze for 1 hour, if you’re in a rush).
To slice the bars, lift them out of the pan using the parchment overhang and place them on a cutting board. Cut into small bars (about 2×3 inches). The bars will last, tightly wrapped, in the fridge for a week, or the freezer for up to 3 months.