“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good. It has potential. But it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work, went through years of this.We know our work doesn’t have this special thing we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap. And your work will be good as good as your ambitions.”
– Ira Glass.
Photography has definitely been my biggest hurdle with this whole blog thing. It can be frustrating and challenging and like most creative work, forever changing. Somedays I feel like I have a handle on things, and the next day I feel like I haven’t made any progress at all. It’s a learning curve and it’s definitely a bumpy ride. Good shots don’t just happen everyday, or at least not for me. We’ve moved into a new place (it’s pet friendly but more on that later!) and I’ve been really struggling with the light, or I guess I should say lack thereof. I am always seeking out inspiration and advice in the photography world, and Rachel has become a friend and teacher over the years. Her site is full of wisdom and encouragement. It seemed almost too good to be true that she was putting together a list of tips from bloggers and photographers around the globe. I think no matter who we are and where we are at, we always have something to learn. It is the reason I am so grateful to be part of this community; motivation is never far away.
Keep your head up and your ambitions high. We’ll get there.
In other news, I have an article over on MindBodyGreen all about what I eat in a day. There’s coffee, and cookies and – secret’s out – a lot of fudge. A little reading if you’re interested in that sort of thing or scroll down and fast forward to dessert.
Hippie Vegan Fudge
These, if you ask me, are the perfect treat. This vegan fudge is chewy, rich and satisfying. Sweet without overdoing it, a little bit of salt, and deep flavor from the dates + tahini that keep you coming back for another piece. I garnished one batch with sesame seeds but then decided I didn’t love the look of it, so I folded the whole thing in half and re-shaped it. Those little sesame seeds tucked into the middle added a little texture, so that’s an option for you too.This fudge can be easily adapted to your favorite flavors. Use any other nut butter instead of the tahini and add your own favorite notes – peppermint, orange, cacao nibs, goji berries, etc. You can’t go wrong.
Chocolate + tahini are old lovers here. I do love a good reunion.
Vegan + Gluten Free.
Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!
- 2 cups pitted dates, packed
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder, or good quality cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
What to do
If your dates seem dry, soak them in hot water 10-15 minutes before making the fudge. Drain and dry with a kitchen towel to remove any excess moisture. Dates should be soft and sticky. You can use medjools dates here if you’re fancy but my favorite everyday dates are deglet nours.
Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat, then remove and let cool. It’s important to let the coconut oil cool before making the fudge, if it’s too hot it will just make it harder to work with.
Add dates to a food processor and blend until smooth. The dates will begin to form a ball in the food processor, that’s ok! Add the tahini and blend until you have a smooth paste. Add the cacao powder, coconut oil, vanilla and sea salt. Blend until combined. The mixture might once again form a ball, if it looks smooth and uniform – then it’s done!
Line a square/rectangular pan or glass container with parchment. Tip the fudge dough into the container and use clean hands to spread it out. Start on one side, pressing the fudge into the corners and work until you have a flat, level surface. Use a measuring cup to pack it down and even out the top.
If the oil separates a little bit it’s ok, just continue working with clean hands and get the fudge into the fridge.
Allow fudge to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Slice as desired, dust with extra cacao powder if you want. Keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one week.