dreams

24 May

When I was younger, I know I had several dreams working around in my squishy little brain. I don’t remember all of them, but I do know that from about first grade to sixth, one of them was that I wanted to be a cartoonist. I’m not exactly sure where this idea came from (probably my dad), but in my spare time I used to love to draw. I had my own spiraled drawing notebooks and second-hand charcoal pencils and doodled random things (mostly Looney Tunes characters), so naturally I would want to be a cartoonist. I remember being pretty good, but that could have all been in my head and/or the effects of the ‘little white lies’ of good parenting, but in reality I may have been very poorly skilled.

Regardless, I kept pursuing art. I took an art class or two in middle school. I had a very cool teacher that was modern with a touch of hippie with flowing and careless dirty blonde hair, and I wished so bad that I could be her. I again, felt like I did some quality work and moved on to high school. I took another art class freshmen year, and then that was that. I’m not sure what happened or why I didn’t pursue this “life-long” dream any further. High school was a strange time for me. Nothing too terrible, but I don’t remember much except the bad stuff. High school is a whole other story for another time, but I don’t have the slightest clue as to why I didn’t want to do anything else with art. It may have been something utterly lame as that it didn’t fit in with my schedule for required classes. It may have been that I started loving science classes more than arts and crafts. All I know is that it slowly drifted out of my focus and I moved on to other things.

With the “possible” impending rapture I couldn’t help but think about these “other” things. The things that I would have regretted if the world actually were to end. Dreams, per se, that I would really have liked to have experienced in this life.

I want to travel…specifically to Australia and Europe; Italy, France, Greece.

I want to have little ‘uns.

I want to have made more of a difference in this world.

I want to have a bakery with whimsical creations thought up by yours truly and coffee so good that you’ll never want to leave.

Even though my dreams have drifted away from creating masterful pieces of art or simply caricatures for the Sunday funnies or a huge face resembling your own on a teeny body at company picnics, I certainly have fallen head over heels for food. Playing with flavors and textures and new combinations. And even though I am quite far away from opening my own little slice of pastry heaven, I have been able to dream up some pretty wonderful creations thus far…

Dream Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 c ground almonds
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted and cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 c dried blueberries
  • 1/4 c dried, unsweetened coconut shreds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Method:

If you have only whole almonds, which is what I start out with, measure out a little less than a cup of almonds. Place in a food processor and let it whirl until you reach a size resembling a large piece of sea salt. You can let them go further if you like, but I like the almonds a little chunky. Just make sure you don’t start making almond butter! Pour the almonds in a small bowl and set aside.

Place dates in the food processor and let them whirl until they look smooth and start clumping into a big ball. Add remaining ingredients and turn on processor for about 10 seconds. Scrape down sides of the processor and then add the almonds. Turn on the processor for about 10-15 more seconds, or until the ingredients are fully incorporated and they begin to rise on the sides of the processor. When you pick up a chunk of the dough and squish it between your fingers, it should easily stay together without falling apart.

Lay out either a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap on the counter and pour out the dough onto the paper. You can go any way you want from here, but I use the parchment paper to mold the dough into about a 5″x5″ square and then wrap it up. You could mold yours into a brick and cut them later or shape into balls. Do what your heart tells you. Once you have the shape you want, place in the fridge for an hour or so to let the dough harden.

When I want a piece, I just go into the fridge, cut off a bar and enjoy. I would individually wrap them, if I ever had plastic wrap on hand, but I don’t so I just leave the whole disk wrapped in the parchment and cut as needed.

These bars, in my opinion are a heavenly piece of art and better than any other date-nut bar that has come out of a package.

How dreamy.

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2 Responses to “dreams”

  1. Sarah May 26, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    Ohhhh Kaleigh, you are still an amazing artist…I remember a certain someone making me some very awesome wall art for my birthday one year. It is still probably one of the coolest things I have ever received.

    • Kaleigh May 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

      Oh you are ever so kind!!

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