Last year, at this right moment I was sitting on a plane, jetting across the Atlantic, over Dubai, and into Singapore. I love telling this story -how I missed my thirtieth birthday to time zones, intoxicated in a numbing concoction of sleeping pills, bad wine, and airplane food. Having your birthday in January is not ideal. Everybody is either hibernating, stuck in a blizzard, or depriving themselves from the food they love. Last years though, was simultaneously one of the best and worst. I’d like to think I was a different person then. I was internalizing a lot of frustrations, I was angry at work, and overall felt listless and uninspired. I was barely writing for Tasty Plan, and on the verge of throwing it all away.
I can't really pinpoint the moment when the change happened, because It wasn’t immediate or straightforward. But I did feel this need to do something about it. I needed to get out of whatever funk I had fallen into. I needed to get out of my brain and try something new. This has been a whirlwind of a year and I am so excited to celebrate my birthday, and the beginning of a new year like this - I just published a book. Whoa!
If I could explain the path that has led me to today it would look like a windy back-country road, full of steep hills, switchbacks, set-backs, and poor visibility. All I have done is put one foot in front of the other. I took every day as a tiny hill, and climbed without too many expectations. Along the way I cooked like I have never cooked before and learned to accept that everything takes a really long time.
I know, I know- it seems like Coseena is the only thing I have been talking about lately, but it is a big deal to me. I have spent the past six months cooking, photographing, editing, designing, editing again, packaging, and shipping books. Yes, I am feeling accomplished, and excited, and happy, and proud, but above everything else I am feeling so, so grateful for the people that have helped me along the way. I have laughed and cried, worked too many hours and too many weekends. I have been excited, nervous, frustrated, angry, and overwhelmed. I sliced my way through thick and thin to get to this - a true testament of grit and perseverance.
I didn't really know what I was doing or if I even really did it right, but today, at least I can say I did it. Coseena now belongs to the world.
Thanks to my patient husband, my bossy marketing expert, my friends, my family, my copy editor, my photographer, and every single person that pushed me to put all my ideas into a project I have been conceiving about for years, Coseena is real and Tasty Plan is going to be even more amazing!
To celebrate I am sharing a spanking new recipe for a spanking new website – a cake that is bittersweet and as complex as the journey that led me here.
Orange, Poppy Seed, & Currant Bread
Preheat oven to 350
- 1 loaf pan
- 1 sheet parchment paper
- 1 large bowl
- 1 small bowl
- ¼ cup, plus one teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 dates
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- juice and zest of one orange
- ½ cup poppy seeds
- ½ cup dried currants
- 1 tablespoon maple sugar
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds to garnish
- To make the bread: Your oven should be warming to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a loaf pan with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Line the loaf pan with a 10” wide sheet of parchment paper.
- Place gluten-free oats in a food processor, pulse until it resembles coarse flour. Transfer out of the food processor and into a separate bowl. Add almond flour, salt, and baking soda.
- Place ¼ cup of the coconut oil, eggs, maple syrup, dates, vanilla, and juice and zest of one orange into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well incorporated.
- Add dry ingredients into the food processor. Pulse until just well incorporated.
- Add poppy seeds and currants into batter. Pulse for just a few seconds, then transfer the batter into the prepared grease pan.
- Bake for 40 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a sharp knife into the center of the bread. Bread is ready if knife comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- To make the glaze: In a small bowl whisk together maple sugar, tahini, water, and vanilla.
- Transfer bread into a serving plate. Drizzle glaze over the bread, then garnish with the poppy seeds.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cook time 60 minutes