Every time we tell people that we moved here from Southern California people ask, "WHY did you leave?"
And honestly we've asked ourselves the same question at least 1000 times.
We miss palm trees, blue skies and boring weather (aka, sunshine all the time). I miss the produce and my favorite places to shop for it. We miss the beach and all of our favorite places to walk, talk and explore. We miss our favorite indie movie theater with the best popcorn. We miss running into people we know. We miss our long drives down the coast to get the best tacos and horchata. We miss jumping in the car and knowing exactly where we're going without consulting Waze. We miss feeling like we belong. And of course, it goes without saying but we especially miss our people.
I spoke at our church this past Sunday and mentioned John and I were new to the area and afterwards a beautiful lady came up to me and said, "I don't want to be discouraging, but, we're from Southern California too and we've been here for over 20 years."
I went home after that and cried.
We really are trying to look for the positive things that Utah has to offer though, like:
1. The mountain man bun. It's like the surfer man bun, only it comes with a gnarly, unkempt beard and red checkered flannel. It's definitely a thing and sometimes I get a nudge from John while we're out in public and he'll whisper and nod is head in a direction saying, "Look at that one." Is "spot the man bun" a game? Because we play it.
2. It’s a slower pace. People aren’t in such a hurry. People say hello everywhere. There’s a real sense of community here. Utahns are really proud to be Utahns. It’s both annoying and admirable.
3. No traffic. Utah, bless you. You don’t know what real traffic is.
4. The accent. Some Utahns say things like, "melk" instead of “milk” and “fLajita” instead of fajita, "ex-specially" instead of especially, “ompen” instead of open, "moisture" instead of rain. I seriously giggle every time I hear a true Utahan speak. It’s my favorite. I’m sure this California girl with her “likes” and "totally-s" and “dudes" and “rads" is equally as entertaining.
And that's it! Haha, I know, a meager list. I don't know if it will ever grow but I'm working on it.
I’ve had transplants tell me that it took years for Utah to feel like home. But I think the problem is, I don't want it to feel like home. I feel like the second it starts to feel like home it means I’m stuck here forever. I still want home to be home because home is so much a part of who I am. Is it weird for me to hold onto that?
Anyway, at this rate, I’m sure we could all use a cookie.
These chocolate chip cookies use spelt and oat flour and almond butter and they’re on the thin side but not too thin - still crisp around the edges and soft and chewy in the middle. The muscovado sugar and combination of flours make for a more nutty, malty, buttery cookie than my typical salted chocolate chip. And of course had to add a sprinkle of salt to these to balance all of those beautiful flavors out because, sweetish.
Love you my friends. xo
oat and spelt flour chocolate chip cookies
makes 24-ish cookies, adapted from Anna Jones', a Modern Way to Eat
I’ve been trying to eat a lot better lately because my sister is getting married in July and I really want to lose this extra wobble I think I’ve earned. But after eating mostly treat-free for weeks and weeks I told John I was making a healthy-ish cookie and no one was gonna stop me. He started taking out sticks of butter to soften on the counter just a like a good husband should.
bakers note: I think these need salt. The original recipe called for no salt at all, but I went ahead and added it not only into the recipe but sprinkled on top as well. Also! Take note that the dough needs to chill for an hour to ensure the perfect texture. And one more thing - these cookie are perfect for ice cream sandwiches - especially slightly under baked.
⅔ cup / 100g spelt flour or whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
5 oz / 150g dark chocolate bar (70% cocoa or highger) roughly chopped into good chunks or big chocolate buttons / chips
6 tablespoons / 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons / 100g almond butter or peanut butter
⅔ cup / 150g light brown sugar or light muscavado sugar
⅔ cup / 150g dark brown sugar or dark muscavado sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large pasture raised eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 400° F / 200°C and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Combine flours, baking powder and salt in bowl. Then pour in your chocolate chunks and whisk it all together.
In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat almond butter, sugars, vanilla and butter until whipped and creamy. About 5-8 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated.
Slowly add your dry ingredients until everything is combined.
Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour before baking. Make sure your dough is covered before you chill it so it doesn't dry out.
Scoop cold dough onto parchment paper. I like my cookie balls slightly larger than a tablespoon. Space cookies at least 2 inches apart so they have room to grow. Press each dough ball down with the heel of your palm flattening them out just a bit before sprinkling with a pinch of sea salt.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until a dark golden brown around the edges. Enjoy warm straight from the pan or cool the cookies and make into ice cream sandwiches. We used coffee and vanilla ice cream to make sandwiches and they were heaven.
why is this good for me?
spelt flour - is an ancient, minimally processed grain, therefore delivering some major health benefits. Like, more soluble fiber which helps regulate our blood sugar, improves our digestive system and strengthens our immune system.
oat flour - is a gluten free flour. It's basically just ground oats but it is the most soluble grain out there, meaning it digests slowly making us feel full longer. It's also been known to help us reduce stress, help with anxiety, depression and insomnia.