If you don't have children, borrow a couple to look after before you go on your next vacation, and then when you go you'll really appreciate what time out is! After 5 years of full-time-parenting I've forgotten what it's like to have a day without an agenda. I'm still light-headed from the experience. (Although that might be a head-cold. But you get the point!)
Now, though it's straight back into full-time-mommy-mode (and that's a real privilege, too!)
So, while I have a few island-inspired treats in development, this recipe is for a practical, healthy lunch-box snack:
Homemade Fruit and Nut Bars
Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking
Preheat the oven to 160'C
Grease and line a 20cm square baking pan.
(Make a cross of baking paper in the pan, and let the baking parchment extend above the sides of the pan.)
1 1/2 cups dried dates and figs - chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 cups dried apricots, peaches, cranberries, etc - chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 cups mixed seeds and nuts - roughly chopped
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 XL free range egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
In a large bowl, mix together the dried fruit, seeds and nuts with the flour and other dry ingredients.
Make sure that all the fruit and nuts have been coated with flour.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg and vanilla together until pale and fluffy.
Add the egg mixture to the fruit/flour bowl and mix thoroughly.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and bake at 160'C for approx 35-40min.
Allow to cool in the pan.
Once cool, lift out of the pan by pulling up on the sides of the baking parchment.
Cut into bars.
Store in a sealed container at room temperature.