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Nikkis wonderful friends

Nikki's wonderful friends

I keep in touch with one of my best friends from high school. Her name is Nikki and she lives in rural Pennsylvania with her husband and four kids. Four! She's an inspired cook who can throw a meal together on a whim from a refrigerator she keeps packed with all manner of whole, natural foods. She's an enthusiastic supporter of local growers and producers and regularly sends me emails highlighting recent cooking triumphs and trials. A few months back she emailed me her recipe for butter-less, flour-less, egg-less, and potentially sugar-less cookies - I promptly filed it under "can't possibly be good." How wrong I was.

When I made a trip to Philadelphia a few weeks back and spent the day with Nikki the topic of the cookies was revisited. Nikki mounted a compelling argument for these banana-battered treats, and I quickly bumped them to the top of my to-do list. My only regret is that I didn't try them sooner. The shredded coconut gives each cookie a hint of macaroon-esque texture, the oats lend heartiness, and melted chocolate chunks deliver bursts of dark, intense richness. You get just enough golden crustiness where the cookies touch the pan to play off the tender coconut-flecked center of the rest of the cookie.

Wayne and his brother Greg drove me out to see Nikki in Kennett Square, and for those of you who find yourself in the area I'll list off a few of the places Nikki took me to visit that day. First thing in the morning, on the drive out, we stopped off at Terrain at Styers. I bought enough that my suitcase barely squeaked under the fifty pound mark on the flight home - I should also thank Terrain for stocking my book! With Nikki we made the short drive from her house to Va La Vineyards, and then onto an organic mushroom grower to pick up a case of portobellos (which we would throw on the grill later). We hit "downtown" Kennett Square and I got a coconut popsicle at La Michoacana before hitting up their wonderful farmers' market (more on this later), on to Talula's Table, and then back to Nikki's house for an impromptu feast with the kids and a few of Nikki's wonderful friends.

Three of Nikki's four kids in a tree at the Kennett Square Farmers' Market, and a collection of birdhouses at Terrain at Styers

Give the cookies a try and let me know if you like them as much as I did.

The failure of a friend With Beau Cook Pumpkin and Rice Soup Recipe Distance hail I felt was anxious and tongue-tied Companionship of Books Triple Chocolate Pecan Cookies Your happiness, your responsibility When love beckons to you Reese's Cup Remix with Brazil Nut Butter Recipe
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