Seasonal Sustenance

December 13th, 2010 · Lisa · gluten-free, raw, Recipes, Snacks, sugar-free · Comments

I have finally regained my post-mofo mojo. I took a break (if you can call working 2 jobs, recovering from a running injury and Christmas shopping a break).

But now I’m back!

A fabulous weekend full of giving and receiving was just the push I needed to get back to posting.

On Friday, a very special surprise greeted me whenΒ I walked into my building after a very long day at work. This HUGE basket of fruit was waiting for me.

Stuck to the beautiful basket was a card from my family congratulating me on surviving the double duty stint at work. It was such an incredible gift because it did exactly what all the best gifts do – demonstrated that the giver(s) thoughtfully considered the needs and desires of the receiver. I know many rockstars are greeted by fruit baskets in ever green room they visit – but for me, after an exhausting six weeks of long work days I had an empty fridge and as always, a hankering for an apple. I know, my family is the best.
Receiving such a lovely gift got me in the mood to do some giving. Saturday night I was invited to a Wine and Cheese party. To compliment the fruit that I knew would be served alongside an array of cheeses, which I would avoid, I wanted to bring some delicious vegan options. A quick run to the Distillery district presented the perfect finds to bestow upon my hosts.

A rustic loaf of walnut sourdough from the Brickstreet Bakery

And three chocolate bars from Soma Chocolate – one with crystallized ginger, one with seville orange peel and a seasonal special full of dried cherries, cranberries, cocao nibs and Sumac.

The walnut loaf disappeared quickly – the chocolates were reserved for future revelry!

On Sunday evening, I attended another festive gathering – an end of season event for Not Far From the Tree. We celebrated our harvest of 19, 600 lbs of fruit from Toronto’s backyards. I’m a dedicated volunteer, or a Supreme Gleaner as they say, so it was a lot of fun to see the other volunteers dressed up and mingling rather than hauling fruit and climbing trees. My amazing hub coordinator, Mark, gave me a jar of vegan vegetable soup and Laurel gave me a jar of crabapple jelly. I love parties with great goody bags!

Since I’m feeling so generous, I’d like to share with you a simple treat to give you the energy you need to thrive during December’s chaotic itinerary. I was so tempted to call them “heavenly balls” or “santa’s balls”…but the silliness didn’t do justice to this sophisticated snack.

Blissful Bites
1/2 cup pecans
1 cup almonds
1 cup medjool dates
2 TBSP crystallized ginger
2 TBSP freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
In your food processor, pulse the pecans and almonds into a fine meal. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until a ball of dough begins to form. Roll each into small balls and store in your freezer.

One blissful bite will keep feeling full and festive while navigating the mall, carolling at tree-lighting concerts or touring the local nativity scene.

I’ve got a few cookie exchange parties and office celebrations this week. What do you bring to the work potluck?


  1. Posted December 13, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    So glad that you are back! I've been checking every day. πŸ˜›

    Did you catch the Christmas lights at the Distillery?

    I've often brought some kind of quinoa and bean salad to office potlucks. But I'm also known for frequently bringing in baked goods to share when I get a nagging for baking and know I've had too many treats.

  2. Posted December 13, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Lovely! THose bites look yummy!

  3. Posted December 14, 2010 at 1:05 am

    What a fun seasonal snack.

    Such thoughtful family members to get you some fruit for your hard work.

  4. Posted December 14, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I was at the NFFTT volunteer appreciation party too! I've been subscribed to your blog for just a little while but didn't know you were part of NFFTT. I won the Backyard Farms goodie bag in the raffle.

    How funny that whilst Toronto is a really big city – sometimes it really feels like a small city!

    I think I'll be making these blissful yummies for the family Christmas gathering.

  5. Posted December 14, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Ooh, I'd love to put Santa's balls in my mouth! Wait, what? πŸ˜‰ Really though, they look delicious!

  6. Posted December 14, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Your family is AMAZING.

    I love the combination of spices and nuts you used in your blissful bites. Will you be taking those delicious-looking treats to the cookie exchange? I hope you continue to enjoy all of your holiday celebrations and parties this week.

  7. Posted December 15, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Barbi – I've tasted your delicious leftovers.

    Jennifer and Jaclyn – I love simple sweets.

    Bitt – I was pretty blown away

    Cindy! What a small and wonderful world. Congratulations on your win at the party. I hope to see you up a tree soon.

    Amber – your 105 creations are incredible. I'm counting down the days for mine.

    Nicole – I think I'm going to make ginger-molasses cookies for the exchange. I ate all my blissful bites already.

  8. Posted December 18, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Welcome back! πŸ˜€

    And, why yes, you DO seem to have the best family ever. πŸ˜‰ And those bites. . .ah, blissful! Have a wonderful holiday, Lisa! xo

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