12 Jun 2014

CHOCOLATE COCO MINT BARS


Hello, my love. Yes, you. How are you today? I am genuinely curious.

In case the interest is mutual, I'll let you know I am feeling swell. I mean, I've got these chocolate coco mint bars in my fridge... so what could REALLY be wrong, right? Even when I am not considering these healthfully decadent wonders, my week has been going very well. My Oma and Opa are visiting from Ontario, so the family has been spending a lot of time together. My younger brother recently graduated from high school, and my older one has just graduated from university, wasting no time in getting accepted into law school two days ago! So in September he will be moving a few hours north and be living on residence for 3 years. It will be unfamiliar territory without all of us here. Although we have our issues, my family is close, and we've always been in one big house together. Now as we get older, we are starting to head out and find our places in the world. Greg is leaving for law school, I am planning on moving out soon so I can have my own space... Daniel is a very independent person so I know once he has enough money, he'll be off. My parents, I think, are happy to see us each succeed in our own paths, but they must be a little nostalgic seeing us grow up as well. At the same time, this means a new chapter in their lives! One free from the endless verbal, physical and emotional noise that comes with three children. One filled with each other, and the prospect of this thing called "free time", which they probably cannot remember exists since they haven't experienced it in 23 some odd years. My dad is excited to retire soon, and my mom is having almost too much fun swinging back into her acting and theatre career, which she put on hold while she raised a family. They are looking at little islands around the coast to buy property on, but I think they may end up a bit north somewhere, close to the ocean, where they can have a big garden, and where there are great hiking and off road trails for my dad to bring his motorcycle on.

It's surreal, unsettling, and exciting to understand that where I am now in time - and where my brothers are, even where my family is - is so very temporary and still just the beginning! I feel like everything is the beginning until it's really over. (Although is anything ever really over?) The morning of the day I die, I will probably be thinking "it's just the beginning!" I don't say this out of naivety, but rather optimism; it is my way of looking at the world. Humans seem to have this tendency of seeing everything as finally complete in the moment. In other words, we look to the past and think "Hah! I was so young then, I am much older now and actually mature." I suppose what I am trying to say is that we see and consider ourselves in the past and present, but don't look to the future and consider it's influence. Of course, I believe deeply in the living in the moment. I have "BE HERE NOW" tattooed on my wrist! At the same time, I think it can be important and useful to think of ourselves as at a point in time, and never at the end! Another example is how we think this is the most modern and civilized time of all, but certainly 100 years from now people will look back and think "I am amazed they actually wrote on paper and used pens!?" Just like how we are fascinated by horse-drawn carriages from 100 years ago today.   We are in a timeline of infinity, and I like to think about that often. So in that sense, it's exciting to be experiencing all these changes in the dynamic of my family and our home. Where will we go and where we will be 5 years from now? 10, 20, 50 years? I have so much yet to experience, at times it seems overwhelming, but as I said said earlier; I strive for optimism, and so I am mostly excited for whatever is to come.

This is just the beginning.


CHOCOLATE COCO MINT BARS

Chocolate layer:
1 cup walnuts
1 cup dates
1 tablespoon cacao powder

Coco mint layer:
2 cups dried coconut flakes
1 tablespoon coconut nectar (optional) 
1-5 drops peppermint oil, as desired

To make the chocolate layer: put the walnuts in a food processor and process until they turn into a powdery consistency. Add the dates and process until it all begins to get sticky. Add the cacao powder until fully incorporated. Press half this mixture into the bottom of a small lined bread pan and put in the fridge. 

To make the coco mint layer: put everything in the food processor and process until the dried coconut flakes turn into a crumbly buttery-like mixture; this can take a few minutes, so be patient. Press this mixture onto your first chocolate layer. Refrigerate for until it's solid. Add the remaining half of the chocolate mixture on top and press down evenly. Refrigerate until solid. Sprinkle with coconut flakes if you like. Slice and serve!

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