Monthly Archives: March 2013

Crazy Dreams and Maple Oatmeal Cacao Nib Cookies


Last night I had a dream.  I dreamed that I all of a sudden had a baby. I had what I thought was a normal medical condition, and then all of a sudden I was recovering in a hospital room, and being told that I had given birth. I had no idea that I was pregnant — it was a total surprise.  I also had absolutely no baby supplies, no husband, and no idea what to do with a baby.

This is not the first time I’ve had this dream. I’ve come to refer to them fondly as the “Spontaneous Baby” dreams. Every time, a  baby just appears. I’m never actually pregnant in any of the dreams, I just all of a sudden have a baby.  In one of the dreams, I ended up at Wal-mart trying to buy diapers, and I accidentally only bought diapers for a toddler.

Another interesting fact about these baby dreams is that the baby is sometimes a different race. For instance, last night’s baby – a girl – was a beautiful African baby. I don’t mean African-American, I mean actually from Africa. Except that I somehow gave birth to her. It was like some sort of foreign adoption/natural birth hybrid. Don’t look at me like that. It’s a dream.

Occasionally, the dream isn’t about MY baby, but someone else’s baby that I have found myself unwittingly in charge of.  In one of them, my best friend (Italian) and my old boss (Hispanic) had a beautiful Asian baby that I was in charge of, and I accidentally left the baby at a deli.

Another time (in my dream) I left my baby in a booth at the restaurant.

And then there was the time I tried to be considerate to the baby and let the baby have shotgun in the car until I realized as we were driving that the front seat of a car wasn’t a safe place for a baby.  I was just trying to be thoughtful!

It’s getting a little ridiculous (Okay, a lot.) But the crazy baby dreams just keep coming. They all involve a surprise baby and one very unprepared Momma.  I tried to look up the meaning once, but it’s kind of hard to look up “Accidentally putting a baby I didn’t know was mine in danger” in the dream dictionary.

I think it’s pretty clear it’s some sort of anxiety dream, but really, couldn’t I just have the “show up to class naked” dream like everyone else?

My dreams, just like my real life, always keep me guessing, never make sense, always colorful, and usually a bit scary.

As a side note, I’m also always a beautiful blonde in my dreams.

After my crazy baby dream, I did the following:

– ate a pile of pancakes
– took a shower
– got dressed (in real clothes), did my hair and put make up on
– about 25 minutes later decided that was stupid, and put my pajamas back on
– watched a lot of bad realty TV
– made these freaking delicious cookies (and ate 4 of them)

Maple Oatmeal Cacao Nib Cookies

First, we should address what exactly cacao nibs are. I first heard of them a few months ago while perusing recipes online, so when I spotted them at a Whole Foods, I had to snatch them up. They are basically raw chocolate.  Pieces of cacao beans that have been roasted and are pretty much ready to be made into chocolate. They taste kind of like a mix between dark chocolate and a coffee bean and are deliciously crunchy. Since they are pretty bitter, they work best when combined with something sweet – like a cookie!


This recipe is adapted from Joy the Baker (surprise!)

The main difference is that I added Maple Syrup and toasted the nuts.

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 c. pure maple syrup
1 c. packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 t. pure vanilla extract
2 c. flour
1 t. baking poweder
1 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
1 c. chopped walnuts (toasted)
1/2 c. cacao nibs
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

In the beginning:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set out your eggs and butter so that they are room temperature when you begin your baking. Chop your walnuts and place them on baking sheet. Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Once nuts are toasted, turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

The gooey middle:
In a large bowl, combine butter, maple syrup and brown sugar. Beat on medium speed for 3-5 minutes.  Beat in eggs one at a time, beating on medium for about one minute in between additions. Beat in vanilla.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, salt. Add dry mixture to the wet ingredients all at once. Beat on low until it just comes together.

Add the oats, nuts, nibs, and chocolate chips. Use a spatula to incorporate everything until everything is combined.


Almost done:
drop onto parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 10-13 minutes until just a little golden brown on top. Let cool for 5 minutes until transferring to a wire rack to cool all the way.

Eat them. If you don’t eat them all right away, you can store in an airtight container for about 4 days.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.






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Filed under Feelings, Recipes

Back on the Blogging Wagon

I’ve always found it curious and a bit fascinating how closely one’s physical and emotional health are linked. (I suppose this should come as no surprise… I have a blog about baking – and eating – my feelings after all.)

In December, I was so upset that I actually made myself physically sick. Recently, I’ve had some medical issues that have really taken a toll on my poor feelings.  For the first time in a while, I found myself in a place that I couldn’t bake myself out of. It’s not that I haven’t been baking – don’t worry, there’s still been a lot of chocolate and cookies happening in my kitchen – but it wasn’t just a feeling of being down that I could fix with some eggs, sugar and whisk.  Not to trivialize how I felt in December, but I’ve realized that there are much more complex problems in my life other than having or not having a boyfriend.

I haven’t posted in a while, not because I didn’t have anything to say or I didn’t have anything to bake, but because I had too much to say and no way to say it.

About a week ago, I received a gift from a dear, sweet friend. It was a container of homemade cupcakes with a card that said, “Hang in there… I baked your feelings for you this week!”  It was exactly what I needed. Sometimes, when things feel so much bigger than you, so complicated and messy and just too much, someone steps in for you. Obviously, my friend can’t make my decisions for me, but she helped in a different way. She knew that normally, I’d be in the kitchen baking my sad feelings into delicious baked goods, but when I couldn’t – she picked up the slack and did it for me.

After the cupcakes, I took a long walk by the lake and a couple days later I hopped on a plane to Las Vegas for a much needed vacation.  I’ve come closer to making some big decisions, and although things are still a bit scary and uncertain, it no longer feels too big to handle.  My mind is clearer, my body refreshed, and I’m ready to write, bake, and tackle whatever problems happen to come my way.


Filed under Feelings