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I am thankful that I am not hosting Thanksgiving this year since I have to board an airplane with my 18 month old on Friday morning. Instead, we are visiting family in Mill Valley and enjoying the holiday, stress free. I love baking for special occasions and this year I am going to attempt to make something new. I found this recipe for a Chez Panise Almond Torte on pintrest a while ago and it looks so delicious and easy to make that I can’t go wrong. Last year I made a hazelnut cake so I could start my own theme of baking nutty confections for Thanksgiving. The recipe is located at the blog Alexandra’s Kitchen, a welcome new discovery. She has other delicious sounding (and looking, nice photography – see below!) recipes such as the Orange and Olive Oil Cake, and the Gingerbread Biscotti.

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Photo from Alexandra’s Kitchen

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Here is a book of Warholisms that will make you chuckle.

Excerpt from book-

“I really like to eat alone. I want to start a chain of restaurants for other people who are like me called ANDYMATS–“The restaurant for the lonely person.” You get your food and then you take your tray into a booth and watch television.”

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I cut back on my dairy consumption so I needed another source of calcium. I searched for calcium rich foods online and compiled a list. Then I mixed them together and turned them into granola bars. They are delicious and keep me satiated for hours!

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Calcium Rich Granola Bars Makes 16 large bars
Roughly 275 mg of Calcium per bar

1/4 cup Chia Seeds

1 cup Sesame Seeds

1/4 cup Flax Seeds (ground)

1 cup Sunflower Seeds

4 cups Rolled Oats

16 Dried Figs chopped into small pieces (make sure stems are off)

1/2 cup Almond Butter

1/2 cup Blackstrap Molasses

1/4 cup Honey

1/4 cup Coconut Oil

Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. Press into logs and smash down. Put in a 350 degree oven for ten minutes and press down bars with the backside of a spatula. Cook for another five minutes and cool.

* I was short on molasses the last time I made this and the dough would not form into bars. I split the recipe two and made the first half into granola and the second I added water and let it sit while the granola baked. I was then able to make bars with the remainder. The granola was so good with my homemade almond milk! One cup of granola equals 551 mg of calcium.

After many failed attempts last year, I have begun a new sourdough starter. This time I am not relying on the Tartine book’s shoddy instructions alone. Instead, I am following steps from this blog. So far I have fed it once and it seems to be behaving. I hope that I will end up with a crusty, delicious, rustic bread instead of a brick. Wish me luck!

Today at Ici Ice Cream they’ve made my favorite flavor, Rose Vanilla. I need to have it right now! I fancy myself somewhat of an ice cream aficionado and I deem Ici the best tasting in the Bay Area. When I was 9+ months pregnant I was craving it like crazy so I made a special trip, stood in line for 30 minutes and ordered a double scoop (something I don’t usually do) of Burnt Caramel and Cherry Almond. As I was walking back to my car the two scoops just plopped on the sidewalk. A passerby sympathized with me as I stood and looked at it with tears swelling up in my eyes. I was already two blocks away and decided that I was way too hot and pregnant to wait in line another 30 minutes so I just got into my car and drove home. It was so sad! I have been back since that day and have completely redeemed myself by ordering a double scoop and not dropping it. I was very careful!

Only one criticism – I wish they had cones without chocolate in the bottom.