For the past 11 years, and 10 of them with Dan, I have been posting recipes on this site. Together, we’ve created hundreds and hundreds of meals we love. So many of you have written to us over the years to tell us what this food has meant to you. Thank you.
However, time in blogs marches on. Every week a new post, or two. There is rarely the chance to go back and look at old recipes and see if they still matter. Sometimes, I randomly click on a recipe from 5 years ago and think, “Oh, those gluten-free corn dogs. I remember where I was standing in the kitchen of the green house when I made that photograph. Lucy was only 3 and she was clinging to my legs, begging me to stop so she could eat a corn dog.” I make them differently now. With a few tiny changes, I think we made them better in our cookbook, American Classics Reinvented. If I had the time, I’d probably go back and make that recipe, and that photograph, again.
But there’s never time. I wish I had the time. Because I know that plenty of people come to this site from search engines. They don’t want to know the story. They want corn dogs. I wish I had the time to edit every recipe on this site. Oh, there’s never time.
More than that, we know that so many of you are less interested in the treats and more interested in how to make meals. Corn dogs are great but how do you get vegetables into your gluten-free kid? How do you cook great food on a budget? How do you plan a week’s worth of meals?
This is part of the reason we started Feeding Our People, an online cooking club for people who love to cook good food together.
And it’s why we have teamed up with EatLove to bring you great meal plans, designed to help you cook great meals for your family.
A few months ago, I stood in a spacious kitchen in a lovely Los Angeles home. My new friend, Nicki Sizemore, stood beside me. We were there at a launch party for EatLove, an organization we had both separately decided to support months before. We were there to hear Monique Nadeau, the force of nature behind EatLove. For years, Monique was the CEO of Hope Street Group, an organization that is, in its own words, “…a group of young entrepreneurs, business, and technology professionals concerned with individual and national economic opportunity in the U.S.” They do good work in the world. But as Monique has told me in the many conversations we’ve had in the last year, in doing that work, she began to see just how much economic opportunity and good food are intertwined. Everyone in this country wants to eat well. Most of us are confused about what food is good for us. How do we find the time to make wholesome meals for our family every day?
Monique started EatLove to be part of the solution to that problem.
EatLove is a subscription-based meal-planning service. It’s based on thoughtful technology and a true love of food, as well as an intention to help. EatLove is an attempt to include purposeful preparation, food choices, and creativity in the kitchen in your weekly meal planning. The EatLove team has gathered hundreds and hundreds of recipes from food blogger, cookbook authors, well-known chefs, and food lovers across this country. It offers subscribers personalized meal plans, based on every possible permutation of how your family needs to eat: budget, preferences, number of meals you want to make from scratch, and any food allergies.
That’s where we come in.
To quote from the principles of EatLove:
“We believe eating is a sure way to connect with those you love even if it’s for just 30 minutes in an otherwise crazy day. It’s a celebration of being together in a world that frequently pulls us apart. We need that connection, that opportunity to regularly ground ourselves in the company of our loved ones.
But let’s be real, it’s hard to pull a meal together. We’re in the rush hours of our lives and for many of us food preparation is often a haphazard experiment based on what’s in the fridge, or even an unmanageable chore that leaves our requirements and restrictions unmet.
At EatLove, we believe that it’s possible to create special mealtimes without as much stress. With quality food that enables not just sustenance, but joy, whatever the dietary constraints. It’s a philosophy to reclaim the family connection. We offer a new kind of convenience by figuring out what, how, when, and who can help!”
They are speaking our language.
Listening to Monique speak about EatLove in Los Angeles, facts and figures flying from her, I was struck again by her fervent desire to make lives easier for families. In particular, she is moved to provide recipes for families with celiac, food allergies, and multiple food intolerances. How do you feed a family when one child can’t eat gluten, another dairy and peanuts, and another soy? And you want new dishes, something kids will like, and not just the same meals, over and over again? EatLove can help.
There were a number of influential people in that home that night. None were as impassioned and connected to real families as Monique was. I was struck again by her determination to help people cook. She is good people.
EatLove is a good organization.
That’s why Dan and I decided to work with EatLove, providing them with quite a few of the recipes from this site for the meal plan. If you click on this link, you’ll see menu plans like these: tasty and efficient, high fiber gluten-free dinners, savory comfort food, a new family classics menu, on-the-go breakfasts, and romantic dinners for two. There will be more coming soon. We intend to be working with this group for awhile.
(In the interest of transparency, we receive a referral fee for every subscription that comes from this site. If you subscribe, you will also be helping to fund our continuing work in recipe development.)
Here’s more about how it all works.
And in preparing for this launch, we have been remaking and re-photoraphing some of the many recipes we’ve created together in the past decade. I’m finally having the chance to do that editing I want to do. All in the name of helping you make great meals with your family.
sunflower seed butter bars with dried cherries
I first made a version of these in 2012, based on a piece I had read about baking without flour. Back then, I used quinoa flakes as the binder. Now that certified gluten-free oats are more widely available, I like these even better. They’re wholesome and sweet, but not unbearably sweet. We have an end-of-school-year party to attend on Wednesday in Lucy’s class. I’ll bring these, since they contain sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter. Even without flour, these bar cookies are a big hit.
Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
Making the dough. Put the sunflower seed butter, the coconut sugar, and the cane sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. (You could probably mix this all by hand, as well.) Run the mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed until the butter and sugars are light and fluffy together. Add the oats and mix until combined. Add the egg and mix until there is no visible egg in the dough. Add the baking powder, salt, and vanilla extract and mix the dough. Toss in the almond slices and dried cherries and mix until just combined.
Baking the dough. At this point, the dough will be sticky to the touch. Plop the ball of dough in the baking pan. Lightly grease one of your hands with a touch of oil. Use that hand to spread the dough out to all the edges of the pan, evenly. Bake until the center is starting to be firm to the touch and the edges are pulling away from the edges of the pan, about 30 minutes. Allow the bar cookies to cool completely before cutting into them.
Feel like playing? You could use almond butter, cashew butter, or peanut butter in place of the sunflower seed butter. I really love the taste of sunflower seed butter. Using sunflower seed butter means these are same for kids with peanut and nut allergies, as well.
Of course, if you are going to be serving this to someone with nut allergies, be sure to sub in something different for the slivered almonds. Another fruit? Chocolate chips?