The bad news is, I killed a plant. A couple weeks ago, I went on a plant buying spree. Green plastic pots filled with pink polka dotted leaves and viney tendrils were two for $5 at the farmer's market. Then later, walking home from a cafe, a flower shop had a tray of long-armed, spiny aloe plants for sale, and a tall, proud looking green thing. Of course, I had to have them all.
Ever since I visited my friend in Los Angeles in the spring, I have realized that my dream life has a lot more green things in it than my actual life. Jenny had plants hanging from the rail of her balcony, and a terracotta pot filled with succulents and a bed of stones. At night, she might have snipped buds from white rosebushes and slipped then into the narrow neck of a tall bottle back in her apartment.
I came home wanting more green on my windowsills and fire escape. And it's why, when I ran into a jade plant at Trader Joe's, I swooned. There's something about jade plants that so speaks to me--they don't need much, and they hold what they need, in reserves, inside of them. Yet despite the lovely symbolism and my ability to instantly make reality an element of my dream life right there in the grocery store aisle, I had to stand, weighing the pecuniary ramifications of a $10 plant for several minutes. Then finally it hit me: I'll spend $10 on a sushi lunch but I can't drop the same amount to make my ideal life vision a reality? So I got my priorities straight and happily carried that jade plant home, where it greets me every morning from my bedroom windowsill. An important lesson: it's always worth it to spring for the things that really bring you deep delight, especially when they cost less than $20.
I killed the pink polka dotted thing. I think, perhaps, it was more delicate than it looked. It might have been the rain or the wilting heat. But I still have the jade plant, the aloe plant next to it, and two unidentified green things in the living room: one low and long-armed, one tall and proud.
Here's the good news: I'm pretty into these cookies. In fact, would it be wrong to say my favorite thing about these cookies was the raw dough? It was the best I've ever tasted. Some of their magic seemed a little lost in the baking, but they came out of the oven soft and have stayed that way for days. Plus, while I would not go so far as to call these cookies "healthy," they do have a number of good-for-you items in them, like whole wheat and oat flours, canola oil, and agave nectar. This is not reason enough to eat them for breakfast, but all the same, I did. Let's just call that my other piece of bad news.
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Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Almonds
adapted from Whole Living
1 cup whole-wheat flour, spooned and leveled
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 cup oat flour*, spooned and leveled
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup light agave nectar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
1 cup natural almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, agave nectar, sugar, egg, water, and vanilla until completely blended. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients; fold in the chocolate and nuts. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or as long as overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake until light golden brown, 10 to 13 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through.
Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
*Make your own oat flour by grinding old-fashioned rolled oats in your food processor until they become a fine powder.