Berry Optimistic

I sleep violently. A typical night's rest is usually marked with fits of tossing, multiple trips to the kitchen to refill my water glass and an indecisive relationship with our blankets. On or off? Comforter or top sheet? Do we need fresh air?

Saturday night was no exception. After a night out, Brian and I planned to sleep in before heading out Long Island to celebrate Easter with our families.

And then I woke up. At 5:00AM. Scratching my arms.

It took me a minute to realize that I'd been the victim of an obese mosquito. My arms were covered in cherry-sized welts. War was waged.

I'll spare you the gory 'skeeter-versus-cranky girl violence that ensued; I've returned to a happy place by repeating these one, two, THREE things:

you need to put screens in the windows...
b e c a u s e:
summer is almost here...
w h i c h  m e a n s:
it's time for fun with summer fruits!

That's positive thinking, folks. Let's make a fruit crisp to celebrate.

Tropical Crisp with Blackberry, Mango and Basil
Serves 6

For the fruit:

2 1/2 cups blackberries
2 cups mango, diced into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
pinch salt
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. agave nectar
1 Tbs. basil, sliced very thinly

For the topping:

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup toasted coconut (unsweetened)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of ground ginger
pinch salt
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 Tbs. agave nectar
2 Tbs. rice milk
1 Tbs. vanilla

1. Prepare the fruit: toss all ingredients in a bowl and set aside while you work on the filling.

2. Prepare the filling: Combine the first seven ingredients until they are evenly distributed. In another small bowl, stir together the wet ingredients. Slowly add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until the dry ingredients are all moistened and slightly crumbly in texture.

3. Spread the fruit in an even layer in a greased 9-inch square baking dish (or in individual ramekins). Spoon the topping over the fruit and spread out in an even layer (as much as possible). Bake for 30 minutes, until the top is golden and crunchy and the fruit is bubbly.

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