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Recipe Borrowing: “Lara Balls” & Kodiak Cakes

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I like to pat myself on the back for expanding my recipe repertoire (i.e. the meals I can comfortably fix for myself or for Ian and me), but I can’t take credit for devising many of them. Yesterday, I made Brittany’s healthy homemade Lara balls, and this morning I made Kodiak Cakes for Ian’s and my breakfast, idea courtesy of Courtney. Even though I won’t take credit for the ideas, I’ll still show you how I emulated what these fabulous ladies do. First up: Lara balls!

During Ian’s and my adventure at Fresh Market yesterday, I picked up the supplies for both the Lara balls and the Kodiak Cakes.

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First, I pulsed about one cup of whole, raw cashews in my food processor until they were thoroughly chopped.

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Then, I added about 2 cups of whole, pitted dates and about 3 tbsp of natural peanut butter and pulsed until the mixture was wholly chopped.

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I kept having to add PB because the mixture wouldn’t form into shapeable “balls” without more adhesive. When I was finally satisfied with the consistency, I formed the mixture into about 20 bite-sized balls and refrigerated them.

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Ian declared them “very rich,” but I have yet to try them. I sent him home with six of them. I am excited to have ready-made dessert or snacks for the next week or so! I love the idea of such a simple “recipe” with so few ingredients. As you all know, I’m all about easy and simple! 😉

Now for Kodiak Cakes! I had read about this flapjack/waffle mix on Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life multiple times, so I Googled where to find the mix in Virginia. I was ecstatic when I saw that the primary store that carries this product is Fresh Market. Helloooo, perfect Saturday! Sure enough, there it was, amidst the Bisquick and Krusteaz. (Is it just me, or is Krusteaz a gross name for pancake mix…?) Now, it’s amidst things in my pantry.

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As you can see from the directions, pancake prep is quite simple — perfect for busy mornings around here. The ingredient list is also quite impressive!

I added one cup of Cake mix with about three-quarters of a cup of water for thicker pancakes.

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And just like that, the mix is ready to be poured onto a hot griddle/skillet.

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“Kodiak Cakes are part of this balanced breakfast!”

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Ian and I both declared this “recipe” a keeper! The mix took less than a minute to whip up, and the pancakes cooked so quickly. We agreed that the whole grain ingredients are definitely noticeable in the taste, but it’s not an unpleasant taste. I can see myself whipping up batches of these mini-cakes on chilly mornings and enjoying them on my porch with a cup of hazelnut. Mmmmm!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you this weekend in terms of “new” recipes. For faster picture updates on what I’m eating, feel free to check me out on Instagram — @annekendall.

I hope you have a sunny Sunday, and a great upcoming week! 🙂

P.S. Have you ever tried Kodiak Cakes (or another variety of whole-ingredient pancake mix)? Either way, what’s your favorite topping or mix-in for pancakes? Mine is a toss-up between blueberries and pecans!

Praying for Moore

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I don’t even know what to think as I scan Twitter updates, watch news blips, read newspaper interviews, and scour Instagram photos of the destruction Monday’s tornado left in its wake in Moore, Oklahoma. It literally makes me feel sick that children perished due to a force of nature. It seems that somewhere in our nation, people are constantly trying to rebuild and restart from the destruction a natural disaster has left behind, when another one comes along and throws another town, city, or state into panic and devastation.

I literally cannot imagine.

The closest I have ever come to experiencing a tornado was when this storm was filmed just weeks before I graduated from college. My sorority sisters captured this clip that was later featured on the local news:

This tornado tore across Virginia and parts of neighboring states, causing damage at random. I was home alone, and I was crouched in my living room two apartment buildings closer to the storm than where the video was taken. My apartment was on the first floor of the building, but elevated about six feet off the ground. I considered taking my roommate’s cat to wait out the storm in my bathtub after golf ball-sized hail pounded the cars and porches surrounding me, and a clap of thunder occurred so loudly and so suddenly I thought our glass porch doors were going to shatter. In the end, I waited out the storm in our living room, clutching the cat for dear life and praying that the storm wasn’t as severe as it sounded. Because the windows and the porch of our apartment faced the building across from it and away from where the tornado was forming, I couldn’t have known the storm was as intense as it was. I should have known that danger was imminent when I turned on the television to check the local weather report, but all that greeted me was static on every channel. The fear that I experienced that day and the uncertainty of what was happening were the closest I have ever come to a tornado.

As I think back now to the prayers I said for my family and friends, and as I discussed the event later with my friends and sorority sisters, I truly cannot imagine the fear and the sadness that the residents of Moore are experiencing now. I read in the newspaper this morning that the mother of six-year-old twins who survived the tornado was quoted as saying, “If you don’t believe in God before something like this happens, you sure do after.” Truer words were never spoken. My deepest thoughts and prayers go out to those individuals, families, students, teachers, rescue workers, paramedics, school staff, and relatives of those grappling with what has happened to Moore. While so many across the nation are asking themselves, How could God let something like this happen?, I am trying to focus on the bravery of the search-and-rescue teams who have worked tirelessly for two days; the families who may be living out of shelters but who have a positive outlook for their future; the teachers whose courage and quick thinking saved the lives of countless children; the strangers who have banded together to form impromptu communities of survivors; and those whose thoughts and actions spared the lives of others, even if their own were not saved.

Please, even if you are not a religious or spiritual person, take a moment today to think about Moore, Oklahoma, and all that we are blessed to have and that we take for granted each and every day.