Tokens of Affection

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Yoga Buddy

Maple Almond Granola

¼ cup canola oil

½ cup grade B maple syrup

¼ honey

¼ teaspoon salt

4 cups rolled oats

1 cup coarsely chopped almonds

Fresh or dried fruit for serving

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly oil a 12-by-15-inch baking pan.

1. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, syrup, honey, and salt. Stir in oats and almonds, mixing to coat them completely. Spread evenly on prepared pan and bake, stirring every 10 minutes until golden brown (30-35 minutes).
2. Cool completely. Store granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Top with fruit to serve.

Makes 10 servings.

Reprinted with permission from Eat Well: Healthy Ways to Enjoy the Foods You Love, by Charity Ferreira (Oxmoor House, 2008).

Romantic Partner

Chocolate and Dried Berry Biscotti

Makes 24 biscotti

½ cup agave nectar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups blanched almond flour

¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ cup dark chocolate chips 73% cacao

½ cup dried cranberries or dried cherries

½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1. In a large bowl combine agave, eggs and vanilla and blend with a hand mixer until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

2. In a separate bowl, stir together almond flour, salt and baking soda.

2. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until combined then fold in chocolate, cranberries and chopped pecans.

3. Transfer dough to a parchment lined baking sheet and form a log about 12 inches long and 3 inches wide.

4. Bake at 325° for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes.

5. Transfer log to a cutting board and cut into ½ inch slices on the diagonal.

6. Place the biscotti on the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 15 minutes, turn slices over and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for at least 20 minutes.

Reprinted with permission from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam, Ten Speed Press 2009. Tenspeed.com.

Hosts

Mulled Cran-Apple Cider

Makes 4 servings

3 cups organic apple cider

1 cup pure unsweetened cranberry juice

2 cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish

4 to 7 whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon whole cardamom

1 teaspoon orange rind

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 to 2 tablespoons agave to taste (optional)

In a pot over medium-high heat, combine apple cider, cranberry juice, and cinnamon sticks. Place spices and orange rind in a fine-mesh tea ball or wrap in cheesecloth and add to cider mixture (alternatively, you can leave the spices loose and strain them out before serving). Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and sweeten with agave if desired. Serve in mugs with a cinnamon stick for garnish if desired.

Reprinted with permission from Eat Drink & Be Vegan, by Dreena Burton (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2007).

Kids

Rain stick

You will need:

a long cardboard tube (like one for mailing)

birch bark veneer or cloth

wood glue or glue

florist wire

round end caps

rubber animal stamps or stickers

glitter

½ to 1 cup of dried lentils and rice

To make:

Cut the birch bark or cloth to wrap around the cardboard tube with a slight overhang on each end. Coat the back of the veneer or cloth with glue and secure to the tube with florist wire. Let dry overnight. Remove the wire.

Glue an end cap to one end of the tube.

Decorate the tube with stamps, stickers, or glitter.

Add lentils and rice to the tube. (Test the sound before gluing the other end cap, and add more or less filler to achieve the sound you want.)

Glue the second end cap in place.

To play, tip slowly at a downward angle until you hear the "rain" come down.