Andrew Ly asked me via Facebook “What about something sweet? Baked goods!” So, Andrew, here they are. I feel like I am showing da Vinci how to paint a picture since Andrew Ly and his brother founded the Bay Area baking phenomenon Sugar Bowl Bakery.
Andrew and his family, along with another 140 refugees, braved pirates and sharks on a ride in a rickety hand-built boat from Vietnam to Malaysia with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They were in a refugee camp in Malaysia for a year before coming to America. They started a family bakery which grew into a 60 million dollar enterprise. Their rags to riches story was singled out by President Obama when he came to San Francisco to give a speech about immigration a few years ago.
I understand the struggles of being uprooted and coming to a strange land. I also understand the great opportunities that this land offers to all who are willing to work hard.
I was not a boat person and I arrived US on a plane, but I also came to America with only the clothes on my back in 1981. Though I was a movie star in China, I had no money. I babysat, cleaned houses, and worked in restaurants to support myself through college. I, too, have come a long way.
Now, what about something sweet? Baked goods!
Walnut & Date Almond Meal Cookies
1 1/4 heaping cup almond flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 heaping cup chopped dried dates (I used very plump and gooey ones)
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or almond oil)
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 tsp Xanthan gum (optional)
Combine almond meal, walnuts, dates, shredded coconut, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum in a large bowl.
In a small bowl whisk the egg until it is uniform in color doubles in volume. Whisk in the coconut oil, honey and vanilla.
Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until combined
Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and using your hands roll the chilled dough into two bite sized cookies and lightly press on the tops to flatten.
Bake on a parchment paper lined baking sheet until the edges begin to brown – about 12 minutes.
Yields about 12 cookies
Adapted from: Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook
Slow-churned Raspberry Ice Cream
1 cup 2% milk fat evaporated milk (or any milk)
1 cup fat-free Fage (or other Greek yogurt)
1 1/2 heaping cup fresh raspberries
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
5 tbsp xylitol
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
Blend all ingredients except for raspberries in a large blender until smoothly mixed. Add raspberries and pulse for a second.
Pour mixture into the ice cream machine and let it churn for 30 minutes or until the desired hardness.
I know it must feel odd and inappropriate to show my socks with my yummy cookies, but I promised yesterday that I would demonstrate what the Kondo way of folding socks is like. It took me less than 15 minutes to un-ball the socks that looked like potatoes in my drawer, and to fold them in a way that they can relax and I can see each and everyone of them at one glance. I actually committed a Kondo sin by beginning to organize my socks before discarding of the clothes category is 100% completed, but rules are made to be broken.