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“Can’t Hardly Wait” for Pop-Tarts

Rawpoptarts

Now, this may not seem to be a romantic post for you, but it is for me. I’ll explain.

Around the time that my husband and I first started dating, a little movie called “Can’t Hardly Wait” came out (we watched it so many times since then; I think I lost count as to exactly how many). Although a far cry from Oscar-worthy, it struck a cord with us.

Maybe it was the music (now that would be a “cord”). The soundtrack is packed with songs from our youth (you can even hear “Lucas with the Lid Off” during one of the party scenes. You have to be within a certain age-bracket to remember that tune). We both own a copy of it.

Sad, but true, it also has a Barry Manilow theme running through it. I hate to admit this guilty pleasure, but I own his greatest hits. (Did I just admit that?) I think it stems from his Super TV (this was pre-cable for those not old enough to have experienced it) concert I watched as little kid and later seeing Jennifer Aniston’s character sing “Copacabana” in a fluffy pink bridesmaid dress in an episode of “Friends.”

Anyway, I’m getting really off track. The main reason we could relate to the film was that we really could relate to it. The main characters were, in fact, us.

My husband, Matthew, is Preston (don’t run the last few seconds on this link if you have kids in the room), a nice guy, who believes in fate. Years prior to the start of the film, he spots a girl, who he instantly knows is the one for him, even if she is unaware of this at the time (not to mention, being unavailable).

This girl, is Amanda (or in this case, me), who he first sees walking into his classroom, a moment he can recall down to every last detail (my husband remembers what I looked like, where I sat and what I was wearing the first day I strolled into his life, and coincidentally, our math class).

This is how Preston remembers when he first laid his eyes on Amanda: “It was her first day at school. Then, I'm sitting in class enjoying a late breakfast when out of all the classrooms in the entire school, she walks into mine. And where does the teacher sit her? Right next to me! Now, up until now, one could write this off to coincidence. But then she reaches in her bag and pulls out a strawberry Pop-Tart - the very same breakfast pastry I was consuming at that moment! What was I to do? How was I to proceed?”

(This is where the Pop-Tarts get tied in; I wasn’t eating one when Matthew first saw me, but we certainly ate our share after that.)

Well, he (Preston/Matthew) doesn’t do anything right away, holding out for just the right moment. That’s where fate steps in.

In the movie, fate provides an opportunity one evening, when Amanda would show up (at a party in the flick; I was at a video store in my version of the story), newly single, with various signs urging Preston to make his move.

One of the signs was Barry Manilow’s song, “Mandy,” which Preston’s friend informs him is actually about a dog. I don’t know if that is true, but I, too, was named after a song about a dog (my father was unaware of who “Shannon” was in the lyrics). Now that’s way too much information.

In the movie, fate appears as an angel, well a stripper dressed as an angel, played by Jenna Elfman. She’s known for her lead role on “Dharma and Greg,” two more characters that closely resemble us.

Her advice to Preston is, “There is fate, but it only takes you so far, because once you're there, its up to you to make it happen.”

I’ll save you the rest of the details and fast-forward to the end of the movie, the part that always makes me cry (don’t click on this link if you don’t want me to spoil it for you).

As for the real version of the story, Matthew and I did end up together; spending as much time with each other as possible (we’ve still never been apart for more than 24 hours; crazy, I know). I fell for him, as he predicted, and we’ve lived happily ever after.

Now, as a reward for humoring me and reading through that sappy sugar-coated story, here is the recipe I made up this weekend (inspired by the feature we viewed yet again) for raw Pop-Tarts.

Rawpoptarts2

“Can’t Hardly Wait” for raw Pop-Tarts

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup almonds
  • ¼ cup cashews (or more almonds, which will give you a crispier texture, more like the real deal)
  • ¼ cup coconut flakes, ground into powder
  • 2 soft pitted dates
  • 2 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • dash of sea salt
  • berry filling*
  • coconut icing*
  • colored sprinkles*

Directions

In a food processor, grind the almonds, cashews and coconut into a finely ground flour. Add the dates, agave, vanilla and sea salt, and process until it forms a ball of dough (just like in last week’s Girl Scout cookie recipes).

Flatten the dough out into a large rectangle, and cut it into four smaller rectangles. To keep them from losing their shape, place each one on a piece of parchment paper.

Rawpoptarts1

Spread a thin layer of berry filling on the center of two of the rectangles. Then, cover the topped rectangles with the other two berryless ones, carefully peeling off the parchment backing. Pinch the edges to seal in the filling and poke small holes with either a cake tester or toothpick in the top of each Pop-Tart, to resemble the original toaster pastry.

Instead of toasting these, pop them into your dehydrator until firm. I left mine for about 36 hours, which seems like along time to wait for a Pop-Tart. However, it was far less time in comparison to how long I’ve had to wait for one since going raw.

These can be eaten right away, or stored in the freezer, like the current frozen Pop-Tart trend. I left one plain, and decorated the other with a coconut icing and some colored sprinkles.

Berry filling

Ingredients

  • 1 cup strawberries, raspberries or other berry of choice (I used raspberry, since I had some leftover from filling these donuts)
  • 3 or 4 soft pitted dates, soaked
  • 1/2 Tbsp. lecithin

Directions

In a high-speed blender, blend all ingredients into a puree.

Quick coconut icing in a pinch

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup coconut flakes, ground as fine as possible
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • dash of vanilla

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a little bowl.

Colored sprinkles

These are just dried coconut flakes “dyed” with a mixture of agave and tumeric to make yellow, spirulina to create green and berries to produce magenta. Then, they are dried again and ground into fine sprinkles.

This Pop-Tart recipe yields two large pastries, perfect for sharing while watching your favorite flick with someone you love. Remember, Valentine’s Day is next week. I wanted to give you some time to prepare :)

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