Three years ago Chloe decided we should sell cookies as a summer project for Open Airways and the SPCA.
It was the year our Holy Crap® cookies were born and she thought the name was so hysterical she kept looking for an excuse to say it over and over again.
I wasn’t sure I was winning any parenting awards for this one, but when a cereal on the shelf of a grocery store names itself Holy Crap® (er, for fibre and bathroom-related reasons!) I think you’ve already lost the battle. Might as well embrace it!
Anyway, Chloe decided this couldn’t be any old stand, it had to pop up all over Hamilton and we had to get a licence.
Because I had working-mum guilt, I said yes.
And then overnight it went nuts and we had to bake a thousand (true story) cookies in one week — and that was before the banana bread and the energy bites.
We almost boiled to death in the kitchen and then again on the street selling them.
I ran out of fridge space and had to run up and down a giant hill a few hundred times to use a fridge in our friends’ pool house. It was a cool little project for Chloe, but I almost lost my sanity and there was a fair amount of wine involved (just for me, well, mainly, ha.)
Afterwards, I said yes to similar adventures for two more years running.
It must be a little bit like labour, you forget how bad it is until the big day arrives!
Well last time, I finally said never again but this morning photos started popping up in my newsfeed and I wondered aloud on Instagram, was it REALLY that much work?
If I’d been in any doubt, I got a few messages (in, I don’t know, about a nanosecond?) from girls who had helped out with the process before. They said no, emphatically no.
Are you sure you don’t want to think about it ladies?!
One of girls talking me down from the precipice was Sarah, the force behind Natural Kitchen and our cooking nights at the Chef Shop.
She routinely handles dinner for 30, so she’s not afraid of hard work, large-scale cooking and prep.
So, maybe, I should listen!
Good job we fly off-island for a few weeks this weekend.
We’re headed to England for a week and then France for two. Am sure some lazy days will knock this new wave of ambition on its head!
Very much looking forward to unwinding. It’s been a while and will be good to take a breather.
Before I fly off, we just have one more night at the Chef Shop to get through.
Dinner for 30 has never been more fun and Sarah’s summer edition menu has been a hit. Last night, she conjured up our signature Natural Kitchen cocktail — a naturally low in sugar blackberry, cucumber and elderflower gin-based cocktail.
People also sampled Sarah’s tropical beauty bars, peach and kale panzanella, chicken tacos with mango and avocado salsa, Bermuda corn chowder and the most delicious nectarine tarts!
You’ll find some of these recipes elsewhere in Sarah’s articles online, but I’ve included the panzanella one here for you. Love some toasty croutons in my salad.
You’ll need some old, stale bread for your croutons — the one exception where being gluten-free doesn’t put you at a disadvantage!
This recipe works great as a side or as a main event. If you do serve it as a main, add some crumbled goats cheese, toasted pine nuts or avocado for extra depth.
Given how this column started, I’ve also included the Holy Crap® cookie recipe for you too. If you haven’t discovered it yet, Holy Crap® is a chia-based “cereal” that also includes buckwheat hearts, dried cranberries and cinnamon.
It was first sold at a small farmers’ market with a less attention-seeking title.
Being packed with fibre, loyal followers began commenting on its bathroom-related benefits. Someone suggested they rebrand it to reflect that and, wham!
One trip into the dragon’s den of sales later, the product went global. I turned it into a cookie though, as when you eat it by itself in milk — it’s a little like eating gravel!
I’ll still be writing this while I’m away, so get ready for some stories from England and France. Will take it easy on the dangerously good food and wine, maybe!
Holy Crap® cookies
(Makes 14, serving size is one)
½ cup extra virgin coconut oil (Supermart)
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup Sucanet (Supermart, Lindo’s, Miles)
2 cups almond flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
5 TBS Holy Crap® cereal
1 cup Eden organic dried Montmorency tart cherries (Supermart) or raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
2. Whisk together the first three ingredients (wet) in a small bowl.
3. Stir together the rest of the ingredients (dry) in a large bowl. Blend well.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir. When you can’t stir any longer, roll your sleeves up and kneed the ingredients together into a moist dough.
5. Roll the mixture into large balls (the mix should make about 14) and flatten in your palm. Place on the cookie sheet with at least an inch between cookies.
6. Bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes, until lightly golden.
7. Cool and store in the fridge.
Italian peach panzanella
(Serves four to six)
3 big stalks of kale, leaves removed and chopped
2 cups of cherry tomatoes
1 handful of basil, chopped (about ½ a bunch or ½ a cup!); 1 shallot
2 peaches, chopped
2 slices of bread of choice, torn or cut into pieces
White balsamic (or regular balsamic if that is what you have!)
Sea salt and pepper
Feta, optional, to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. On a parchment-lined baking tray, toss the bread chunks with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt. 3. Once the oven is preheated, cook for 15 minutes, checking every 5 minutes.
4. If tomatoes, kale and peaches have all been chopped, add to a large bowl. Slice the shallot into very thin rounds and add in.
5. In a mason jar or bowl, whisk or shake together ¼ cup of olive oil and ¼ cup of white balsamic. Add in sea salt and black pepper and shake again.
6. Toss salad ingredients in balsamic dressing, using half of the dressing and then more as needed. When the bread is crispy and golden brown, toss into salad. Enjoy!
The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns is a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. Please note that she is not a registered dietitian. For details: www.natural.bm, 236-7511 or, Facebook, Natural Nutrition Bermuda