Back story: Every year on the four days leading up to Ash Wednesday, Panama’s carnival takes place, which Panamanians call “Los Carnavales”. Although it is not an official holiday, the country basically shuts down + Panamanians put their inhibitions aside + let the
party spirit rum take over.
Most people go to the “Culecos”, which are large fire trucks that blast music + get surrounded by drunk people dancing in the street while being sprayed with water. Hello, Do I look like the type of person who voluntary likes to get drenched. Umm. No, thank you.
But as much as I’ve refused to partake in all this monkey business in the past, no one cares. Last years, I went out for a jog. You know this won’t end well, don’t you? Yeah, I was victim to water guns + water balloons + water buckets, despite my cry for help, “Please. Have mercy on my soul. I will get electrocuted. I’m carrying my iPhone with me”. Didn’t work.
Apparently being the Grinch of any holiday, back fires, so this year I’m embracing this stupid celebration head on. In preparation, I’m stocking up on munchies, the healthy kind, to counterbalance all those mojitos ya’ know?
Today, I’m pausing the cook-a-thon to show you how to make one of my new favorite creations. This Strawberry Granola drizzled with Chocolatey Sauce is 100% clean + naturally sweet + gluten free + vegan + oh so perfect for snacking. You can even use it as a lethal weapon if someone dares to test drive their Super Soaker on you. The chocolate sauce in the tropical sun will have them screaming, “Mommy!”. You sold on the granola now, aren’t you?
Here’s what you’ll need:
ingredients for the strawberry granola
- 3 cup gluten-free oats
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried strawberries (make sure their unsweetened)*
ingredients for the chocolate drizzle
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons young coconut water
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted (or 1 tablespoon maple syrup)
- 1/2 vanilla bean, scrapped
*If you can’t find desiccated strawberries you can make them yourself. It takes a bit of time, but it’s super easy. Wash + pat dry strawberries + slice lengthwise. You should get about 5-6 slices from each strawberry. Turn the oven to the lowest heat setting. Spread strawberry slices on a rack or a tray that has holes to let the hot air circulate under the strawberries. Oven dry for 2-3 hours. At around 2 hour mark, carefully turn the strawberry slices over. Once the strawberries are ready, remove from the heat + let cool.
Turn the heat up to 300˚ F.
In a large bowl combine oats + seeds + almonds + coconut flakes + salt. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup + coconut oil + vanilla + whisk to combine. Pour wet mixture over the dry mixture + stir so that everything is well coated.
On a parchment covered tray, spread mixture so that it is a think layer. Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes so that the edges do not burn. Once done, let cool for 15 minutes. Pour granola into a bowl + toss with dried strawberries.
To make the Chocolatey Sauce, just combine all the ingredients in a food processor + pulse.
Store the leftover Strawberry Granola + Chocolatey Sauce separately in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to devour.
Serve the Strawberry Granola in a bowl or kraft paper brag + drizzle with the Chocolatey Sauce to send it over the top.
Here in tropical paradise, the chocolate melts fast, so things might get a little messy. But heck, there’s nothing a good ol’ finger licking technique can’t fix.
Whether you’re celebrating carnivals or not, or perhaps joining April + I for cocktails this Friday, February 28 at 3pm EST (I’ll be broadcasting from the beach with my parrot + palm tree sunnies + a mimosa in hand) or not, do yourself a favor + whip out this granola on steroids. Your taste buds deserve a little carnival of their own.
And now it’s back to the kitchen for me. I have a cookbook to write!
I mess up. A lot. Feels like crap every time.
Today I want to showcase a personal case study of how I wiggled my way out of my last screw up. I’d rather not, but I will do it anyways, because I feel we spend too much time perfecting + controlling + polishing + giving advice, when all along it’s through the cracks that the real light comes out.
I hope that through exposing some of my imperfections, I can inspire you to expand your tolerance for the light!
This is the exact e-mail I sent out after my screw up:
What can we learn from this?
- Lesson #1: Don’t make excuses. There’s probably an excellent + valid reason for your mistake. Now’s not the time to explain it. Take full responsibility without caveats. It’s the only way to begin to build back trust.
- Lesson #2: Don’t be afraid to add a little humor here + there. How many times have you heard apologies that feel like you’re at a funeral. You don’t want a pity fest. You’re in the business of making people feel sorry for you, are you?
- Lesson #3: Highlight who helped you. Tanya saved my butt + she deserves all the credit + recognition. Sometimes all it takes to make someone feel heard + appreciated is a little shot out full of love. Right?
- Lesson #4: Be explicit about a solution. I fixed the file + e-mailed my entire family in a heart beat. Once you’ve admitted culpability and taken responsibility, it’s time to do what you can to fix it. Come up with a swift + actionable solution that you can undertake now.
- Lesson #5: When something unexpectedly disastrous happens, it’s okay to have a nervous meltdown. Just don’t unpack + live there. Cry it out. Call a friend who deserves to listen. Sure, have a shot of limoncello. Then, remember why you started + make an epic come back.
I want you to recall your last screw up. Big or small. Think. Got it? Alright. How did you deal with the whole situation? Did you go on a Hulk rampage or did you boogie your way out of it? Any lessons learned. Tell me. In the comments below.
Today is the last day to join Life is Messy Bootcamp at $397. At midnight EST, the price is going up to $497 forever. Register before the cutoff if you wanna save $100.
A word about payment options. Several people have asked me to split the 1-pay into 2-installment or even 3-installments. I’m happy to do that for you if you’re interested. Of course! Just click reply + my minions will take care of you. If you request a custom payment plan late tonight, you’ll still get in with the $397 price tag, even if we can’t set your membership up until tomorrow. It’s not your fault our minions are out dancing. It’s Friday!
I hope you’ll join the messy family. Gremlins be like, “Sh*t, we’re outnumbered!”
By now, your eyes should be hurting like when a drip of shampoo makes it to your eyeball. Hurricane B-School has hit hard. Everyone + their cat has drank the Kool-Aid + is sending e-mail blasts promising ponies + autographed anythings.
And that was just the tip of the perfect storm. Today the real madness begins.
Around noon, your inbox + every social media account you own is going to be swamped with “goodies” seducing you to buy B-School “here + nowhere else”. Bonus packs worth more than my car. Packages to work with apparently the most amazing person in the planet, for free. Bundles to make you rich + famous in just 10 blinks.
By now, you’ve probably figured out the B-School commission is quite generous to drive people this ku-raaaaaa-zy, have ya’?
But who cares? No matter the angle you look at it everyone in this Olympic-like production wins. Marie wins you. So lucky. The promoter gets a super generous cut of the sale. Bless Marie for indirectly sponsoring Anthropology shopping sprees + Mickey Mouse-shaped ice cream popsicles. And you? You get to take B-School for God’s sake with your preferred toolbox to help you succeed. You know your life is about to change forever don’t you?
Your first world problem now is, Which B-School bonus package do you choose? Do you go with the shiny Ferrari or the pony ride? Or wait, do you go with ahem ahem, this Superpower Pack instead?
The Superpower Pack is the only B-School quadruple-jab combo for creative superstars in the rise, that accounts for the day-to-day pickles we right-brainers face.
April Bowles + I put it together, cuz this is what we do:
- We’re artist with a Pinky and The Brain complex.
- We’ve done B-School three times already, or four. Right brain calling the left hemisphere. Do you copy?
- We don’t do code. We do wine.
- We know how to cast Patronus charms at any dementor that comes our way.
- We’d love to help.
Before the B-School gates open today, let me show you what we’ve put together for you:
If you’re bitting your lip with questions, bring it on to our LIVE Happy Hour next Friday, February 28th at 3pm EST. We’re spilling the jelly beans about all things B-School. No Yedi mind tricks, only good ol’ slumber party fun + of course, cookies dipped in chocolate, cuz no world domination scheme can do without.
How cliche. Heart-shaped cookies for Valentines. So clever.
Oh c’mon! Look at the name of my blog. Where you seriously expecting skull-shaped pancakes? Bomb-like chocolates with raspberry filling that explodes in your mouth?
If you feel like puking already over the avalanche of red bows + pink cakes + heart-shape everything everywhere, well, I come with a great idea: Simply make my cookies + break em’ in half with an evil look + we’ll call it a vengeance, alright? It’s rebellious, yet not creepy enough to put you in jail for a bloody Valentine’s crime.
I told you I’m getting smarter. I eat cookies that don’t make me feel like crap. Oh yeah, cuz you will still look sexy in lingerie when you eat these. They are gluten free + dairy free + vegan + refined sugar free + ridiculously delicious. Cuz healthy shouldn’t taste like cardboard. That’s an ultimatum.
Here’s how to make your batch of No Heart Attack Chocolate Chip Cookies:
- 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips/mini chunks
Heart-shaped cookie cutter (optional)
Preheat oven 400°F.
Prepare a baking sheet + line with foil.
Mix flour + coconut + baking powder + baking soda + salt in a large bowl. It’s essential that these ingredients are evenly spread throughout your cookie dough, before it goes in the oven.
Mix coconut oil + maple syrup + vanilla extract together in another mixing bowl. Give it a good stir.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture + mix with a wooden spoon. Add the cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips. With your hands, compress the cookie dough into a ball, until the chocolate is well incorporated.
Take 1 generous tablespoon of cookie dough into your hands + compress it + roll it into a ball. You can either flatter the balls slightly on the prepared baking sheet to make round cookies or you can press the ball of dough into the cookie cutter to mould it into heart shape. Don’t worry if the cookie dough is a bit oily before entering the over, that’s normal.
Makes about 15 cookies.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until they start to brown slightly. Remove the baking sheet from the heat + using a spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack + allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Serve with fresh almond milk.
And cuz everything is sweeter with a whimsical little tag made with love, I’ve made them available for you too. Not hating The Cupid so much anymore, are you? LOL! I thought so too.
Time to put on my new ba ba boom Pull Up Cherry Dress. Got a date with a really hot man with beard that’s sitting in my couch playing FIFA. Not for long thou. BUAAHAHAHAHA!
Continuing with the rated X programing. What you doing (said like Joy from Friend’s would) for Valentine’s? Will you be lighting up candles or stabbing your Sad Sam stuffed puppy? Tell me in the comments.