This past weekend while on a ‘girls’ weekend up north I encountered a few challenges. How is that possible, you ask, when the retreat was about restorative yoga, harmony and getting to our happy place. No televisions or radios blaring bad news or rap music, no kids asking for a ride someplace, no pets to clean up after, pure bliss, right?!
Well, for me, my challenges were twofold…, no bathrooms in the cabins and a vegetarian menu. (Always read the fine print!!) It’s not that I wasn’t aware of these things going into the weekend but somehow I can convince myself I’m not really as fussy and particular as I truly am.
Imagine having to haul yourself out of a nice cozy bed and pull on your snow boots and coat to walk roughly 500-feet into well lit clean bathrooms, with flush toilets and running water….such hardship…and to have all your meals for the weekend prepared using healthy, meat free recipes!?! My gosh, what kind of hell was this I signed up for. Me, who gets up at least once per night would have to walk through the crisp cold fresh air to use a bathroom and, oh my, I would have to forgo meat and cheese and chicken. Can you imagine. Oh and let’s not forget having quiet time for about 5 of our waking hours.
On the second day of our retreat, truthfully only about 24 hours into our weekend, I was able to convince my roomie, (who had already sacrificed herself as the bunk mate willing to climb onto the dresser and then onto the railing and onto the top bunk – please note none of us other caring, sharing women bunkmates even considered offering), we had time for a drive to town (after 20 minutes spent chipping ice off the car) and located a McDonalds (no lie! ) so I could enjoy a Quarter Pounder with Cheese plus a Peanut Butter Biscotti I had on hand for just such a dire emergency, I was able to reflect more clearly.
How fortunate was I to be able to afford a weekend away doing something I enjoy, being with friends and meeting new people, having healthy food prepared for me and not having to clean a pot or pan. How easy to just reach over and have clean warm clothing at my fingertips and under my own steam walk unaided. How lucky to be able to have my friend crawl onto the dresser then heave herself onto the top bunk so I wouldn’t have to and then because I’m such a fussy eater drive me to get a burger. Wow, if those are my biggest problems then I’m one of the lucky ones.
How great to be able to have the ingredients and time to bake up treats and share recipes online. So next time you have to eat vegetarian for a weekend with no bathroom in your cabin, AND, did I mention NO coffee in the afternoon or evening, or whatever blip has shaken up your day, enjoying one of these peanutty, crisp biscotti may just help you put it in perspective. Oh, and no offense to vegetarians but I think I’m a meat-atarian with a little carbaholic mixed in and perhaps, just perhaps, a slight sugar addiction.
Peanut Butter Biscotti
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup roasted peanuts
1/2 cup Heath Bits (or Skor Bits or mini chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment.
In a large bowl, beat eggs with sugar until smooth and then beat in melted butter and vanilla. Beat in the peanut butter.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture in 2 additions to form a slightly sticky dough.
Stir in the peanuts and whatever add-in you are using.
Divide the dough into 3 equal portions and on prepared pans form each into a log about 12 inches long and about 3 inches wide. Flatten slightly into a rectangular shape. Place about 3 inches apart on cookie sheets and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden in colour and firm to the touch.
Remove from oven and let cool for 10-20 minutes. Turn oven down to 325F. When cool slice the biscotti into about 1-inch slices and place back on sheets and bake another 15-25 minutes. THE DRYER AND CRISPIER YOU WOULD LIKE YOUR BISCOTTI THE LONGER YOU WILL BAKE AT THE LOWER HEAT.
If desired you can melt some chocolate and drizzle on cooled biscotti.