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A surefire way to relax- cook for yourself

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Today was a busy day of studying for an exam I’m taking later this week! So it was all about convenient food the last few days. My favorite of them all? Fruit salad. Make a huge bowl, and you’ve got enough to last a week (or a few days if you’re like me!). Just add ANYTHING you want, and cut it up, and delight in the freshness before you! Then I realized, it was time to stop practicing the questions and find a way to unwind.

Of course, I went straight to my cookbooks. I found this recipe for oat scones in my gluten-free, sugar-free cookbook. Sadly, it did not come out the way I expected, but happily it tasted PHENOMENAL! I have to admit I tweaked a few things… so it ended up being crumbly cookies!

Oat-raisin cookies

Oat-Raisin Cookies (modified from Oat Scones in Gluten-free, Sugar-free Cooking by Susan O’Brien)

1/3 cup olive oil

2 TBSP agave nectar

2 TBSP warm water

1/2 cup instant oats, grounded (in a food processor)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup raisins

1/3 cup instant oats


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a saucepan, cook the oil, agave and water until throughly mixed. It shouldn’t take any longer than a few minutes.

In a separate bowl, mix up the grounded instant oats and baking soda. Add the wet mixture to it. Blend well. Add raisins and instant oats.

In a 9×9 pan, sprinkle more oats to “grease” the pan. Just lightly, you don’t have to douse it (this made 9 cookies for me, hence the tiny pan).

9x9 sprinkled with instant oats and prepared dough

Bake for 20 minutes, then cool completely. It tastes AWESOME. Just be prepared for it to fall apart in your hands. But after doing this, I realized that it’ll be PERFECT as a pie crust (raisins in it, who would have thought?!) or the crust of bars. YUM! I ate four cookies right away. Sshhhhhhhh…. I’ll work out tomorrow.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is to approach cooking as something enjoyable. Not everything will come out perfectly or even as expected. Sometimes it leads to a delightful surprise! Occasionally you just have to spit it out in the sink and wonder what the heck went wrong. That shouldn’t deter you from cooking! It’s all about experimenting with your senses: sight, taste, smell and even touch (especially if you’re stirring or working with your hands). I wouldn’t know about the hearing aspect . . .

But I’ll say one thing for sure… the oat-scones-that-turned-out-to-be-cookies did its job by making me forget about the upcoming exam! All I did at the end was swoon at the taste. And the best part? It was a no-guilt snack for me. I’m not sure where I stand with agave nectar, so try not to wreck this moment for me, please!

But want a surefire way to stress yourself out? Now there are exceptions to every rule, but not in my case… cooking for a crowd! Especially with a timetable. Oy. That’s a good way to alienate people, getting so wired that I snap at people, shooing them out of the kitchen. So… just focus on pleasing YOUR own senses. Maybe a few friends, or that special somebody you want to awe with your culinary talents…


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