Weekend Words #3 and Almond Butter Bars

I had a cold recently…and like a good mother, I passed it on to my daughter. Right before she got on a plane. With just her father. For 6 hours. Yikes. Her first cold, in a tin box, 6 miles up in the sky. Well then.

A few weeks (months?) ago We went to Pinnacles National Park. Tyler planned the trip, and Adele and Dan looked after Shanta. As per usual, a few days before the trip I started to get nervous.

“What if it’s too hot?” “What if it’s too dusty?” “What if I’m too tired when I get back to work?” “What if the baby does something new while we’re out hiking?” “What if I don’t want to hike when we get there?” Tyler is used to this rigmarole that happens like clockwork about three days before a trip. I’m not sure why I do it, but I get nervous about change or new things.

I usually get over it and move on, but I started thinking about my what ifs when I switched residencies. I had a lot of what ifs, a ton of what ifs. “What if I’m wrong and I don’t actually love internal medicine more than anesthesia?” “What if they say no?” “What if I switch and don’t find anything I love there either?” “What if I flounder in a new system?”

At that time, Tyler couldn’t just sit down and patiently tell me to chill, and that I’ll have fun no matter what because I have before, and it’s an adventure. But he did tell me to chill and think about what I want. That’s the hardest part, sitting with myself and figuring out what I want. It seems to come so naturally to some people, I’m not sure if that’s true, it probably isn’t, but I had to sit down with myself. I’m pretty type A, so admitting I made a mistake was hard at first. I kept trying to say I’d eventually love it, that I’d eventually enjoy going to work. The year went on, and I didn’t. So after a lot of thought and spike of courage, I switched. I’m happy I did.

I’m still working through exactly what I want my career to look like, and I think that’s okay, it is the adventure.

I did have fun on the hike! The trip was good — we did a short 3-4 mile loop, and then a 10 mile hike the next day. It was lovely. I highly recommend going, but if you’re going to do the 10 mile loop to the caves, definitely get an early start to beat the sun. We were on the trail at 5:30, and off the trail at 11:30 before the sun was able to hit us too hard.

It’s those “twix” bars I’ve become obsessed with. I’ve made them three times thus far, and each time Tyler tells me not to call them twix bars. So I’ve renamed my version (very few change’s from Rachel Deveaux’s recipe, I just didn’t have coconut flour, so I replaced it, and took down the maple syrup a little) to Almond Butter Bars.

They are delicious and addictive. Be ready to make this recipe multiple times.

Almond Butter Bars 
Modified slightly from above Rachael’s Good Eats

Almond Flour Base
1.5 cups almond flour
0.33 cup of coconut oil, melted
3 tsp honey
1 pinch of salt

Middle Layer
0.5 cup almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
Slightly less than 0.25 cup of maple syrup

Chocolate Topping
2oz dark chocolate
3 tsp coconut oil
sprinkling salt for the top

Heat up your oven to 350. Pull out an 8×8 pan. If you want thicker layers, then use two ramekins (oven safe) to shorten the container. It’s pretty imprecise, but makes sense, smaller container = thicker layers.

Mix together the shortbread layers. Press them down into the bottom of the pan. Bake it for 10 minutes. Pull it out and let it cool.

Meanwhile, in a pot over medium heat, mix together the nut butter layer. Let it all come up to a simmer. Salt it as you see fit, 1 tsp may be enough for you, or more if you like it a little on the saltier/sweet side.

Pour it on top of your almond crust. Let it cool completely, I popped it in the fridge for about 30 mins.

Then in the microwave, melt together the coconut oil and the chocolate. Pour it over top of the cooled nut butter layer. Sprinkle on some salt.

Pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool. Then cut into bars. They store for about 1-2 weeks in the fridge. Definitely keep them in a covered container in the fridge.

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