Saturday, December 1, 2012

Experimenting with a New Format as the Rain Comes Down

Hi there. We've had 6 inches of rain in the past 48 hours. It is really nice. I love the sound of it hitting the roof and gushing through the downspouts. There is comfort to being inside, warm and dry. As I begin my second year with Farm Girl Blog, I've decided to experiment with a new design and layout. This new template is just a slightly altered stock template offered by Google. The only glitch I have noticed so far is that sometimes when I open my website it is missing some elements. If you click on the Farm Girl Blog title at the top of the page it re-loads and the elements are present. If the words Farm Girl Blog are orange, that is as it should be. If not, please click on it to re-load page.

Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday of the year. Just the fact that there is a holiday called thanksgiving is pretty cool. I love it for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that it has escaped commercialization for the most part. Our family had a lovely 5 days in western Sonoma County that included a traditional feast and jaunts to the beach where we enjoyed unseasonably warm, sunny weather.

It was my first gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner and it went fine. No stuffing, gravy, or pie. No worries. Yes spicy fennel almonds, cranberry sauce, turkey, roasted sweet potatoes, beets, onions, carrots, wine and chocolate truffles!

I made these as a gluten-free dessert option:

Well, whatever. I was going to post a recipe for a spicy pumpkin fish coconut curry I threw together the other night inspired by a visit to a Himalayan restaurant in Sebastopol over the holiday. That is why I lead with the pumpkin photo. But truth be told I took no notes and would be approximating and generalizing at every turn if I tried to share a "recipe" with you. But these truffles, on the other hand, are super easy and straight-forward with only a few ingredients so I will share how to make them, hereby firmly securing my new identity as a bit of a chocoholic. I swear this is a brand new development in my life. Isn't it fascinating how our food interests and passions can evolve and change throughout our lives?

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Dark Chocolate Truffles

6 oz. (1/2 12 oz. bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 oz. (1/2 12 oz. bag) bittersweet chocolate chips
6 T. organic virgin coconut oil (your local health food store or here)(I think I will receive a discount coupon if you purchase anything through my links.)
4 T. water
1 t. vanilla (other options: 1 t. brandy, 1 t. rum, 1/2 t. almond extract)
pinch of sea salt
For rolling truffles: toasted shredded coconut, cocoa powder, crushed nuts (pecan, pistachio)

Note: I don't have a double boiler so I just use a stainless steel bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
Melt the chocolate and the coconut oil with the water in a double boiler or as described above while stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in your extract and salt of choice. Transfer chocolate to a shallow bowl and let cool in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. Scoop into balls and place on parchment or waxed paper. At this point you can roll the truffles in cocoa powder to coat. When I am using coconut or nuts, I find that I need to warm the truffles slightly with my hands to get the coarser toppings to stick. Makes 18-25 truffles depending on size of scoops. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Bring to room temp. before serving.

Virgin Coconut Oil, Gold Label - 1 quart

Here are photos of the pumpkin curry creation anyway.
Let me know what you think of the new format. Good or bad....I'm not emotionally attached: )



  1. I was lucky enough to try these amazing truffles last night! I cant stop thinking about them- could I be addicted? Thank you for such a wonderful dessert!

  2. Hello Ms. Unknown mystery woman! I've been thinking Grand Marnier would be a good flavoring too. Next batch. Thanks YOU for a wonderful dinner and evening.

  3. Dear Farm Girl!

    (and perhaps the Unknown mystery woman?) The Almonds with the fennel seeds are totally our very best favorite. I must hide them each day so Kevin doesn't consume them all at once. Is there a possibility of the recipe?

    I love your new format and I'm so proud I figured out how to find you again!

    1. Dear Candace,
      So glad you love the almonds! Yes, as a matter of fact, the recipe is right here on the blog already. I posted it a year ago. You can get to it by going to TOPICS on the side bar and navigating to Spicy Fennel Almonds OR I linked to it above in this post as I was talking about what I COULD eat at Thanksgiving. Anything in blue is a link.

      Happy, Happy Holidays! And I am so happy you and Kevin are enjoying the nuts as Mary thought you would!
      Love, Karen

    2. back40four@wildblue.netDecember 19, 2012 at 9:18 AM

      Karen, I love the new format, especially the white background. And we love the spicy fennel almonds! Your packaging graphics are very attractive.
      Uncle Don

    3. Yea! Glad they are a hit. I'm busy making a bunch more today......... They were sent to Evan in NY as well. -K