a balanced plate with room for dessert

Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond Bar


I finally grew up. I inherited a DSLR from my generous sister, Becca, who has moved onto bigger & better cameras. I started using it just a couple of weeks ago. The trouble is, I don’t know how to use it. Pfft, technology. I’m clunking my way through photos. Each time I make a dish it goes something like this.

Plate food
Poke at it with my fingers to make it look “better”.
Give up because I’m not expert at food plating and presentation.
Set it down and take some pictures.
Too dark.
Mash some buttons on the camera.
Too light.
Mash more buttons.
Too blurry.
Setup a makeshift tripod with my rolled up yoga mat (shut up, it’s all I have).
Still blurry (not surprising).
Prop camera on cake stand.
Snap a few more photos.
Still not great.
Give up and tell myself I’ll fix it in Picasa.
Get to Picasa and can’t figure it out.
Post the picture any way.

Some day I will learn how to use this thing… and how to edit the photo I take. Until then, you’ll have to bear with the cake-stand-as-makeshift-tripod unedited photos.

I’ll make up for subpar photos with stellar recipes, though! I give to you today a fruit & nut bar that will rock your world. It’s inspired by the Cranberry Almond KIND bars, but at a fraction of the cost. It’s filled with amazing goodies – almonds, cashews, dates, cranberries, and cherries.

I was a bit skeptical at first, because the fruit base is a bit unsightly after you blend it all together–
fruit & nut bar paste
But the end result? So good.  Not overly sweet with a bit of tang from the cranberries and just the right amount of saltiness from the nuts.
Dark Chocolate Fruit & Nut Bar
makes 16 bars
Olive oil spray
1/2 cup cashews
1 1/2 cup pitted dates
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup roasted almonds, divided
1/2 cup puffed rice cereal
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Place cashews in food processor and pulse a few times or until cashews are very roughly chopped. Place into a large, bowl lightly sprayed with olive oil.
  2. Generously spray food processor bowl and blade with olive oil. Place dates, cherries, and cranberries into food processor and blend until a paste forms.
  3. Place fruit paste, 1/2 cup of almonds, and puffed rice into bowl with cashews. Lightly spray hands with olive oil, and hand-mix until all ingredients are well combined. I find it easiest to knead it like I would with bread dough.
  4. Line an 8×8 pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang. Press fruit and nut mixture evenly in pan. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of almonds on top and press firmly into fruit and nut mixture. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.
  5. Lift bars out of pan with foil. Gently peel off foil. Spray a large knife with olive oil and cut bars into 16 bars, approximately 1×4″.
  6. Melt chocolate chips in a small bowl in microwave in 20 second intervals until fully melted.
  7. Drizzle chocolate with a fork over bars. Let chocolate cool and harden before enjoying.

Author: Jenni

Dietitian by day and Midwest food blogger by night. Lover of whiskey, running, and all things food.

3 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond Bar


    It has a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing one.
    if you’re under 120 lbs, unless you’re really short you are
    NOT overweight.

  2. The device is also very light, weighing slightly less than 3 oz.
    four GHz which is why you want to invest in a jammer that can
    tamper this signal. Waiting until the park is
    about to close is one way to get some privacy, as is visiting the park during Disneyland’s less busy times.

  3. Very energetic post, I liked that a lot. Will there
    be a part 2?

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