Put It On My Project List and Cherry-Almond Chocolate Clusters
Ahhhh (crazy, excited cry)! I’m busy like a beaver. (They are pretty busy building and defending, folks.) Annie, that’s me, took on several projects and she loves it although, she is a bit winded and overwhelmed. She (since I’m talking in third person) is opening many of these projects at once, completing a tiny portion of work instead of obtaining any sense of accomplishment on any of these tasks by focusing on just one at a time. She should be taking it one at a time, completing one then moving to the next but no, Annie wants to do this the hard way and she keeps adding more to the list.
What are these projects? She’ll tell you about three out of probably a dozen.
1) The magazine that I provided recipes for in the past recently requested a holiday segment from me which means planning, researching new recipes, new photos, writing this up and having it finished in about a week so I’m in a rush. A good rush.
2) My mom made the sweetest stiffened crochet white and beige snowflakes and angels (see below) that deserve to be featured and sold so I’m going to stores in search of a kind person to sell them this upcoming holiday season. With that, I’m pondering about adding a store to my website because these are just too cute to hoard (perfect to add to presents, as ornaments, place on a wine bottle for parties, add photos within them- pets or other family members, place on baskets to transform your decor into a holiday motif and on and on).
3) I thought scanning most of our family pictures (on both sides) would be a grand thing to do so I’m accomplishing, at a snail’s pace, the scanning and labeling of hundreds and hundreds of photos, one at a time. Then, I thought hey, let’s add the family videos too so we will soon be making copies of these…but I’m really glad to have the memories to hold in my hands/view and eventually provide them to everyone in the family.
I love being busy, getting that high from the sense of accomplishment-it puts me in the mindset to keep busy which is a good thing for the projects I’ve put off throughout the year. Sometimes, it inspires me to be more creative but I have to put those tasks on the back burner, prioritize and finish my initial undertakings.
Even though I feel the most alive and on my game when I’m productive, I tend to be very stressed and moody. When that happens, I don’t make the best decisions in nutrition and workouts are overlooked. I find myself not feeling well-rounded in life. I’m just physically well-rounded. That’s when I turn to recipes I can make ahead and not just tasteless, energy-providing meals and snacks with the texture of cardboard but something to hit my cravings.
For example: chocolate. I usually crave salty/savory foods when I’m stressed, however, on the chance that I want something sweet and head to the candy part of the cabinet (I try to keep one or two candy bars-Toblerone, Symphony, or Ghirardelli are some of the usual characters), I want to have handy something healthy covered in a light, dark chocolate coating and that’s where this snack comes in from Ellie Krieger. With the almonds and dried fruit, my craving is met by eating 1 cluster around 109 calories and I get the benefits of the healthier version of chocolate, dark.
Cherry-Almond Chocolate Clusters from Ellie Krieger
1 cup whole almonds, toasted
½ cup dried cherries
6 oz. dark chocolate (60% to 70% cocoa)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes. Cool and chop if you desire (I didn’t), set aside. Line the baking sheet with waxed paper and set aside also. When the almonds are cool, mix them with the cherries (coarsely chopped if you wish) in a bowl.
In a double boiler (a pot filled with a little over an inch of water brought to a low simmer with a bowl over the top-not touching the water), melt half of the chocolate, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add the remaining chocolate. When it is completed melted, add the fruit and nut mixture, coating well. Spoon about a tablespoon of the mixture onto the waxed paper and refrigerate until cool and set, 20 minutes. Store and serve at room temperature.