Easy Pistachio-Cranberry Bark

What’s up, Babes?? I hope you’re all healthier, wealthier and wiser than when we last chatted.

As for myself; well, as an old friend used to say; if I was any better I’d have to be twins. Life is good and I am super grateful.

I’ve finally given in to the fact, not idea, that I’ll never be able to churn out recipes to accompany the many foods these hands produce. I do cook a lot, even though I take breaks from it.

There’s no way I’m going to take beautifully staged pics of all the delightful dishes that come out of our kitchen. As I mentioned in the previous post, my phone just can’t handle it, and breaking out the professional set up can be tedious. SD cards and all that jazz. Ugh.

Oh, my God. I’m not a food blogger.

In fact, I’m not a blogger at all. I’m just a person who has a blog. Get the difference??

This is a hobby. Not a job, and I’m telling myself, not you. To avoid any guilt I feel sometimes for not showing up.

I think we recently talked about labels. I mean, I know I did, either here or somewhere else. At any rate, it is worth repeating that labels are lame AF. You see, labels trap us into these descriptive and defining roles that maybe we don’t want to stay playing forever.

Food blogger. Foodie. Blogger. Vegetarian. Bitch. Yogi. Runner. Drunk. Writer. Crazy.

The list goes on and on of labels I have quit wearing.

We do things. We are not objects. We are ever changing, so it makes no sense to label ourselves as any one thing. What if I don’t write for a year?? What if I don’t feel yogic today?? What if I want pepperoni on my damn pizza this time??

You always have some wise ass who wants to “call you out” on it, too.

“I thought you don’t eat meat…”

Quit thinking about what I do or don’t do. There’s an idea.

That being said, my human name is Michelle. I’m nothing and I’m everything all at once. I love to cook and I love to write. Sometimes I make good shit and share it here to combine those two loves.

Now. To the question you probably ask yourself often when opening your email and reading these entries; that question being, “WTF has this got to do with food,” I want to say that this little ditty of a dish would probably be labeled “Christmas” bark because of it’s red, green and white colors. Oh, and the fact that I usually, (ok, always) make it at Christmas time, lends to the label as well.

We’re not labeling this anything but “snacktastic.”

I love this in a creamy white bark, but use any substance you like for the base. Well, maybe not butterscotch or cinnamon chips. Those would be fuggin gross.

The chewy, tart cranberries alongside salty, crunchy pistachios is a combination that is far too good for any one label. It is bomb in any chocolate, but in the white bark it doesn’t have to compete. There’s a perfect balance and everything comes together for an easy treat that will, no doubt, be devoured and requested over and over again. Make a ton.

There is a tiny and funny story that is pertinent to the recipe, though. Have we met??

Check it out.

We haven’t had a microwave in the house for probably two years. One day I opened the door to get my lunch out, and it just kept running. It wouldn’t stop releasing radiation into the kitchen, so I unplugged it, and off to the dump it went. Best kitchen move ever. More counter space. Less nuclear energy. Win, win.

Anyway, I guess I haven’t melted chocolate in awhile because as I was all prepped to rock this out, I realized I had no means of getting my melt on.

See. I’m not a food blogger. I don’t even own a double-boiler hook-up.

Whaaattt?? Foodie. Fail.

I had to MacGuyver (did I spell that right?) a rig to pull this one off, and of course I did. Check it out…

Where there’s a will for sweets, there will always be a way.

I highly suggest you acquire a double-boiler for yourself, but if the entire city you live in doesn’t have one (like mine didn’t) and you don’t have time to wait for Amazon, then I hope you have a steam basket because that’s all I could figure to use.

I actually had three or four items that required melting chocolate this past holiday season, so this set-up was put to the test and it passed with flying colors.

Right after the first mishap of seized up white chips. A true foodie would never let that happen, and I truly just laughed out loud.

Word to the wise; don’t allow the boiling water in the bottom pan to touch the top pan. Keep them apart or your chips could seize. It only takes a millisecond to happen, so pay close attention.

Other things you’ll need but maybe not think about:

Alright, Cookers. Let’s get our bark on!!

What You Need:

2 bags white chips

1 c dried cranberries

1 c shelled pistachios

2 Tbsp refined coconut oil

You can double or triple this as much as you like.

I made a LOT, but here’s the first pan.

What You Do:

Begin by adding 1-2 inches of water to the bottom pan of a double-boiler or your homemade melting apparatus.

Bring the water to a slow simmer. I know it’s a double-boiler, but actual boiling is not necessary.

In top bowl, add the coconut oil and the chips.

Let it sit for one minute and then begin to stir with your silicone spatula until it is 3/4 melted.

Remove from heat and keep stirring.

Note: We melt in the microwave by simply adding one bag of chips and 1 Tbsp coconut oil to a medium sized glass bowl, then nuke in 30 second intervals. Stir it, of course.

When the chocolate is smooth, add in about half of the pistachios and cranberries.

Quickly transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and spread it out.

Sprinkle remaining nuts and berries on top, distributing evenly.

Press the top berries and nuts into the bark.

Move to the refrigerator and cool for 30-60 minutes.

When it appears solid and matte in color it is done.

Bring it out, bring it out now!!

I look super in love with it, don’t I?? Is that a cocky smirk on my mug?? I think it is. Like, “gotcha, Bitch.”

Break this into pieces and enjoy. Then make another pan for the others, because trust me; that first one won’t last.

Hey, you guys. I miss ya!! I am so focused on living life in real time that I don’t think much about external things lately, but sometimes I pause and reflect on how much a part of the healing and recovery journey this “fooding” gig has been. I would never have made it this far into peace and freedom if I hadn’t had this space to express myself so freely. It is one of my favorite healing spaces.

From the bottom of this wild heart, I thank you so very much, whether there are five or five million of you.

I’m still only entering social media a few minutes a day to clean the memory bank out. After that, it’s the entire “delete” process on the account, and on with real life. It’s hard to see some of the shit I put out there in the past. It’s really nice to cut cords with old, out-dated versions of myself, and with the negativity that comes with social media.

I have to say that absence from the virtual world is a definite reflection of inner-peace. We really can get to a place where we no longer require the constant feeding of our egos via likes, follows, etc.

Plus, I really have shit to do!! I’m not sure where I ever found time for all those posts and scrolls before!! Our time is precious, people. Just saying.

I’m still working on the manuscript for a book about that, aaannnd I’ve been putting together ideas for a cookbook since I can now publish in hardcover.

Other than that, not much is going on that isn’t regular.

We lost our eldest dog and had to deal with that tragedy. We managed to stay sober and are still going strong every damn day and in every damn way. It’s not a perfect life, but it is my perfectly imperfect vision come to life.

Yoga. Domestics. Dog. Family. Stillness. Raising consciousness. Staying sane. Half-assed homesteading. Keeping our shit together.

Sugar-free and spicy as ever.

Until next time, stay peaceful and free, friends.

XOXOXO, Chelle


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