Back to school was a rough time for me. It was the end of summer, fun, and life, or at least what felt like it to my grade, middle, and high school aged self.
I did just fine academically, but I didn’t fit in at school socially. Nor did I mesh well with the bureaucracy of rules and rigidity that pretty much all schools participate in willingly and happily. It didn’t make sense to me why someone could take calculus as a freshman but I couldn’t take AP government.
I was a bit of a rebel and rule breaker, but not in a ditch class and smoke pot in the basement way. In a let’s think outside of the box and make school a better experience for everyone involved. Unfortunately everyone was more than okay with the status quo, so I was the odd man out, the weirdo, the freak that didn’t fit it, in a place where everyone is expected to fit in.
It was hard, and soul crushing. Looking back I have a million decisions I would have made differently that perhaps would have changed everything, but that’s not really fair because I don’t know what would have gone a different way. Perhaps I would have ended up in exactly the same places no matter what.
It’s not to say I’m unhappy with where my life has gone. I just wish somethings would change. That I could figure things out. For now, I guess I’m just happy I don’t have to think about going back to school.
But if you or your children are, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible. Treats are a great way to do that. I have many fond memories of after school snacks: chips and salsa with one of my favorite baby-sitters, ice cream with Mom, McDonald’s French fries to sustain me when I had to be somewhere right after school.
Today I have Paleo Cherry Blondies for you. Don’t let the fact that they’re Paleo scare you away. These are just yummy, healthy blondies. They have a great texture from the almond meal and a burst of flavor and juice from the cherries. They are super moist and dense, so they feel like a decadent treat, but you can feel great about eating them.
Whether these are a quick breakfast (maybe with a bit of almond butter), a school lunch surprise, or an after school snack, they are the perfect thing to make to make this time of year just a little better.
1 ½ cups almond meal
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup olive oil
2 large eggs, whisked
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 heaping cups cherries, pitted and halved
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil an 8 inch square pan.
In a large bowl, stir together almond meal, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in oil, eggs, syrup, and vanilla bean paste. Add cherries and stir to combine. The mixture may turn a shade of red from cherry juice, but that’s okay.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Be sure to check it well so that the center is not gooey. Tent with foil during baking if it is browning too fast.
Cool completely in pan before cutting and serving. Blondies may be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour.
Recipe adapted from Marla Meridith
Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!
Getting Started On School Days
- Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins by Caroline’s Cooking
- Caramel Apple Granola by What Smells So Good?
- Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars by Ruffles & Truffles
- Cinnamon Chocolate Overnight Oats by Whole Food | Real Families
- Funfetti French Toast by Brunch with Joy
- PB&J Muffins by Sew You Think You Can Cook
Ideas for the Lunchbox
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich by Cooking Chat
- Healthy Lunchbox Snack Mix by Noshing with the Nolands
- Mini Pepperoni Calzones by The Redhead Baker
- Turkey Bacon Ranch Wrap by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls by Curious Cuisiniere
After School Snacks and Beverages
- Back to School Cookies by The Freshman Cook
- Fruit ‘n Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites by The Weekend Gourmet
- Quinoa, Oat and Pecan Blueberry-Peach Crumb Bars by Simply Healthy Family
- Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits by An Appealing Plan
- Mother’s Ruin Punch by Food Lust People Love
- “Nut Butter” Rice Crispy Balls by Books n’ Cooks
- Parmesan Crisps Recipe by Life Tastes Good
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Monkey Bread by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Apple Nachos by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Waffle Pizzas by Our Good Life
School Night Suppers
- Beef Peppers and Onions Burritos by Family Foodie
- One Pot Bacon-Cheeseburger Pasta by A Gouda Life
- Oven Fried Portabello Mushroom Fries by Food Done Light
- Peanut Chicken Cutlets by Magnolia Days
- Smoked Salmon Ravioli with Cream Sauce by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Turmeric Chicken and Couscous by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Sweets to End the Day
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