Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Can't Live Without Date Squares

I have completely surrendered to my inability to walk away from a date square. No resistance. One bite bar 9 x 13 pan can soothe my incurable sweet tooth. Until the next cup of coffee. I believe I have made 3 trays this month alone. Perhaps they offer some sort of comfort as autumn settles in and the days become cooler. Because even if I have to relinquish my flip flops and beach bag, I still have date squares.

These are so simple, so quick and can be made gluten free. I am fond of the addition of cinnamon instead of orange juice so these squares are more spicy than citrusy. Please surrender and enjoy! 


3 cups dates, pitted and chopped
2/3 cup water
1 tsp good vanilla
1.5 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour (for gluten-free, use sorghum flour)
1/2 cup almond meal
3/4 cup melted butter (a lot... but worth it)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup oats (gluten free can be used)
1/2 tsp good vanilla


1. In a small sauce pan, combine date filling ingredients (dates, water, 1 tsp vanilla, cinnamon) and simmer for a couple of minutes until mixture becomes thick. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients to make the oat base and topping.
3. Press half of the oat mixture into the bottom of a greased 9 x 9 pan.
4. Spread the date filling over the base and then crumble the remaining half of the oat mixture on top of the date filling.
5. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.
6. Allow to cool completely before cutting to avoid a gooey mess. Or just dig in with a spoon.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Beach House - Living The Book in South Carolina

Before vacationing in South Carolina, I spent a few lazy days reading The Beach House. In this novel, Mary Alice Monroe has beautifully penned the rebuilding of a mother-daughter relationship while sharing her passion for the lowcountry and the loggerhead sea turtle. While in Charleston, we "lived the book" and explored the Isle of Palms. We also experienced the Barrier Island Eco Tour - the exact location where a love story emerges as an undercurrent in the novel. If you can't experience the Palmetto State first hand, I promise you that The Beach House will take you there.

If you are looking to explore the coast or historic downtown Charleston, you can plan your Southern escape and book a Charleston Vacation Rental through FlipKey.

Baby loggerhead sea turtle nesting site (and goooorgeous beach house in background)

Barrier Island Eco Tours in Isle of Palms 

Little guy trying to find some peace and quiet at the beach.

A Stone Crab caught while on the tour.

Dolphin spotting.

Beautiful sky!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Making Memories in Myrtle Beach

The art of vacationing is when time and to-do lists dissipate into the salty air. The only requirements for Myrtle Beach's beautiful stretch of sandy shore and boardwalk are flip flops, a towel, SPF and a quiet mind.

Rachelle and I at the 2nd Avenue Pier roof top bar

View of the beach from the roof top bar.

THE spot for lounging

Inside 2nd Avenue Pier Restaurant

Fried green tomatoes and shrimp salad. Yum!

We had an incredible dinner at Joe's Crab Shack at Broadway at the Beach.

This bevy for two, aptly called "Shark Attack," arrived in a gigantic fish bowl.

Shopping for beach dresses and flip flops. Guilty Pleasure.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Taste of Folly Beach, South Carolina

An endless selection of fresh local catch on every menu had me savoring every bite.

The Folly Beach Crab Shack. Insanely delicious.

Michael enjoying the salt life.

Beach City Grill, Folly Beach, SC

Rent a bike. Or just sip a Malibu and pineapple.

The view from Beach City Grill at the base of the pier.

Black Magic Cafe in Folly Beach. Crazy awesome breakfasts.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Falling in Love with Folly Beach

I've fallen hard for a sleepy little beach town called Folly Beach in South Carolina. We lived the salt life on this charming barrier island, indulging in sun, sand and surf. There is a kindness here that permeates this beautiful community. Maybe this is why Folly's visitors become locals. We are definitely planning our return. Soon.


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