Almond-Chocolate-Cherry Bites

A quick snack or a sneakily healthy dessert, these little balls take about 10 minutes to create. The espresso powder adds depth to the sweetness, and the ground almonds create a wonderful texture. This recipe is going into our snack rotation.


  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 3/4 cup pitted dates
  • 5 oz. dried cherries
  • 3 T. cocoa powder, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. + 1/8 tsp. espresso powder, divided
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Pulse the almonds in the food processor a few times to get them chopped.
  2. Add dates, cherries, 2 T. cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp. espresso powder, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, mix 1 T. cocoa powder with 1/8 tsp. espresso powder.
  4. Form the date mixture into 24 balls.
  5. After all balls are formed, dip each one in the cocoa powder mix, then roll between your hands. Keep your hands over the bowl so that excess powder drops back into the bowl. Brush off any excess cocoa powder, then set each ball on a tray or plate.
  6. Store in an airtight container.

Finger Foods for Parties

‘Tis the season for lots of parties. Here is a compilation of my favorite dishes and drinks to share!

Appetizers and Snacks:

Caramelized Onion Dip {The Reluctant Hippie}


Caramelized Onion Dip: Skip the packet of onion soup mix and make this real-food version instead.


Real Popcorn {The Reluctant Hippie}


Popcorn: This can be as healthy or as naughty as you like. A little popcorn salt, or add some butter and parmesan if you want it all to disappear within 10 minutes.


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Cookie Fair

Time to start the holiday baking!!!

Did those exclamation points sell you on how excited I am about baking? ‘Cause that’s a lie. Not a fan. Not even a little bit.

But I know that other people love it, and I also know that everyone expects sweet treats for parties and such. Here are links to the blog’s best cookie and sweet treat recipes: Continue reading

Lemon Meringue Cookies

Lemon Meringue Cookies {The Reluctant Hippie}

I made these for my dad’s birthday. He’s a huge lemon fan. He loves lemon meringue pie, but I’m afraid of trying to compete with his memories of my grandma’s pies. These cookies are much simpler because you don’t have to worry about pie crusts. The tart lemon curd works perfectly with the sweet, airy meringue cups. Continue reading

Easy Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Easy Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies {The Reluctant Hippie}

I stumbled across this recipe while thumbing through a cookbook published by the St. Anne’s society of Holy Angels Church in Aurora in 1978. It’s called “I Can’t Believe It’s a Cookie,” by my mom’s friend Tari Hankes.

I know that Tari is a baker and chef of great talent, and I noticed that the cookies seemed to be idiot-proof in that they only required 3 ingredients and 2 sentences’ worth of instructions. Score.

I also noticed that those 3 required ingredients did not contain any gluten, so they would work for my GF friends. Even better, it was gluten-free cookie before “gluten-free” was a thing, so they had to pass a much more strict taste and texture test – they weren’t  “good, for a gluten-free cookie.” They were just plain “good.” Continue reading