Boozy Magic Cotton Candy Milkshakes

Cotton Candy. Ice Cream. Booze. Are you ready for the best 4th of July ever?

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I’m so in love with this milkshake that I don’t even care that it’s my third less-than-healthy post in a row.  My next few posts are a lot more wholesome, I promise.

I love it because it’s made of fair food, and because of the firework-themed colors, and because it’s fun to make, and OH, of course….because it tastes awesome.

I know that I’m supposed to be posting red-white-and-blue desserts. I wanted to. But then I thought of this and realized that it’s just as Fourth-of-July-y (that’s a real adjective, I just made it up) as any RWB food you got. Like I said, it’s made of fair food, and who doesn’t love a Fourth of July fair? And um, it totally looks like bombs bursting in air, doesn’t it?

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I decided to call this a magic milkshake because when I was a kid, I totally thought cotton candy was magic. I mean, I knew it wasn’t actually magic, but I was fascinated by the fact that you could take simple sugar crystals and spin them into something so pale and fluffy. And I loved how those wispy strands just dissolved the moment they came in contact with my tongue.

Those wispy strands also dissolve the moment they come in contact with vodka.

cottoncandy

You absolutely must use whipped cream vodka in this, and no other vodka. You wouldn’t use tequila in an old fashioned, would you? Then please please don’t use non-whipped cream vodka in this. Well, no, I take that back. If you can’t find whipped cream vodka, toasted marshmallow or vanilla would probably do.

If you want, you can make a big pitcher of this in advance, but that wouldn’t be as fun. Set up a little bar so your guests can make their own. And then garnish with more fluffy stuff, obs.

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Cheers, America!

Just a few notes:

  • if you’re not going to a fair, you can find big bags of colorful cotton candy at Party City. 
  • the recipe, as written, serves just one. I wrote it this way so it could be easily multiplied to the size of your party/gathering/whatever
  • the recipe calls for 3 oz of vodka, which is essentially two shots. Just if you like to keep track of how much you’ve consumed.

Boozy Magic Milkshakes

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Yield: 1

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup vanilla bean ice cream
  • softball-sized boll of cotton candy
  • 3 oz of whipped cream vodka

Instructions

  1. Scoop the ice cream into the serving glass and top with the cotton candy.
  2. Slowly pour the vodka over the cotton candy, until completely dissolved.
  3. Give it a quick stir and garnish with more cotton candy if desired.
  4. Serve with love.
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Almond Peach Cake

This cake is simple and rich and flour-free. Perfect for summer, or any season.

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A few years ago, I went to this barbecue and I brought a peach dump cake. It was sweet and gooey and went well with Jamison. We ate it by the a crackling bonfire with fireflies flitting  around us. The host’s daughter was playing Spice Girls, I think.  Or Britney. Or some 90’s pop, I forget.

This cake was inspired by that dump cake. While it’s different in many ways from a a cake mix + canned peach concoction, there are some similarities. It still goes well with Jamison (peaches go so well with whiskey, don’t y’all agree?) and friends and any kind of music. Hip check  hip check, everything from Motown to 90’s pop to a certain sombodies whose album drops on Friday. Rhymes with Pave-it. ✨ ❤️ (banjo emoji)

The center of cake is sweet and custardy, but also silky. The outside crusts are soft and chewy like a macaroon, and then a little inwards you get a texture more akin to a tres leches cake. So yeah, macaroon, tres leches, custard. Can you handle it? Can I handle it? Marbled throughout is a wonderful summer peach swirl, with adds a fruity tartness. Eating it is definitely an experience.

peaches

It’s a fork or spoon dessert. It’s rich and decadent. It’s a great way end a summer day, plate in your lap, drink on your armrest, legs swinging off a porch chair. This is something special to share with friends, or dear ones.

This a simple recipe with only seven ingredients. The peach swirl takes is just fresh chunked peaches and dates. Making the peach part takes a little babysitting, but honestly not much. The batter couldn’t be easier. After it’s done baking, you’ll need to wait to let it cool before cutting.  Your kitchen will be filled with a nutty fruity smell, the edges will be puffy and golden. I had to restrain myself from diving in headfirst.

On the other hand, some of the best parts of summer include diving in headfirst. Taking a roadtrip to a different city. Getting a new job. Visiting friends you haven’t seen in a while. Splashing in a (deep-enough, no traumatic brain injuries please) swimming hole. Wearing sundresses you feel beautiful in, whether society approves or not.

You know….just….living.

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Almond Peach Cake

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs peaches
  • 5 dates
  • 8 oz almond paste (I used Solo brand)
  • 7 oz white chocolate (I used Divine brand)
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder

Instructions

  1. Roughly chop the peaches (no need to remove skin). Place chopped peaches and the dates in a pot over medium heat. Cover and cook for 22-25 minutes. Stir at the 10 minute mark, and then stir constantly for the last five minutes.
  2. Puree the peaches. You should have about a cup of puree. If you have more than a cup, set the rest aside because a cup is all you'll need. The puree should be thick and paste-like.
  3. Beat the eggs till fluffy and frothy.
  4. Add the almond paste, a little bit at a time, to the eggs, until fully Incorporated.
  5. Carefully melt the white chocolate. Microwave it, stirring every 30 seconds, until fully melted -- about 1 1/2 minutes.
  6. Stir the white chocolate into the almond mix.
  7. Add the salt and baking powder.
  8. Preheat the oven to 325. Line a 7x7 or 8x8 pan with parchment.
  9. Pour the almond batter into the pan.
  10. Swirl a cup of peach puree into the almond batter.
  11. Bake for 40 -42 minutes, until puffy and golden.
  12. Allow to cool completely before cutting.
  13. Serve with love.

Notes

Solo brand Almond Paste contains no wheat or gluten Certain bars of Divine White Chocolate are made with sunflower lecithin, and not soy lecithin. Perfect. Just read the back of the bar....

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Tiny Pies: Cherry Vanilla Pie Popsicles

Cherry-vanilla ice cream inside of a soft and sweet mochi “pie crust”. Stomp your feet for food on sticks!

Cherry Pie Popsicles

I simply adore mochi-wrapped ice cream. I used live across the street from an Asian grocery, where the sweet cold treats were easily accessible. But when we moved, missing mochi was the last thing on my mind.  I didn’t really think about it until early this spring, when one lazy google revealed that mochi ice cream wrappers were something I could totally whip up in my own kitchen. And there was no excuse not to. The ingredients could be found even in the small town grocery shop down the street.

I’m participating in popsicle week for the first time ever. I’m excited. And nervous. Hi guys, can I hang out? ☺️  I cannot wait to see what everyone made.

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream Mochi Pops

So. Let’s get to talking about these treats. Mochi around a cherry vanilla filling, so good. I liked to let them sit out for just a second before biting it, because it makes the mochi a little softer and silkier.

For the “pie crust,”you will need mochiko flour, otherwise know as sweet rice flour. Don’t freak out, it’s also known as glutinous rice flour, even though it has no gluten. Promise. It’s not the same as regular rice flour, but it’s just as accessible. You can find it the Asian section of any grocery store. Look for the white box with the red letters and the blue star.

The filling is as easy as er…..well, you know. I condensed some cherries down to a red juicy paste and then stirred that into some vanilla ice cream. Done and done. I let that harden back up and then divided it up into little scoops.

I used a little mix of maple syrup and molasses as an “egg wash,” but you can skip that part if you wish.  It just adds a little bit of sweetness and shine, and who doesn’t need more of that, ya know?

Cherry Pie Popscicles

Be sure to check out all the awesome pops here!

Tiny Pies: Cherry Vanilla Pie Popsicles

These little pies look complicated, but they are totally doable. There are a handful of helpful tips at the bottom of the recipe. Yay timesavers! :D

Ingredients

    filling
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream
  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen cherries
  • 4 dates
  • crust
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp mochiko flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • yellow food coloring, optional
  • plenty of corn starch or tapioca starch, for dusting
  • maple syrup and molasses, for the "egg wash",optional

Instructions

    for the filling
  1. Place the cherries and the dates in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cover and allow to cook for 10 minutes, stirring once.
  2. Remove the lid and allow to cook for 12-13 additional minutes. Stir occasionally at first. During the final 2-3 minutes, stir continually. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Puree the cherries. You should have about 1/2 cup of mix. It doesn't have to be totally smooth. In fact, a somewhat lumpy mix will allow for small bits of cherry in the pops.
  4. Stir the cherries into the ice cream.
  5. Allow to firm up in the freezer - several hours or overnight
  6. Using a 2 tbsp cookie scoop, divide up the ice cream into little mounds. This is your filling. I ended up with 10 mounds.
  7. Allow mounds to harden completely and then shove in the popscicle stick.
  8. for the mochi dough
  9. In a large glass bowl, stir up the mochiko flour, the sugar, and the cinnamon. Once combined, add the water. You can darken the batter a bit (to more closely resemble pie crust) by adding a bit of food coloring. Totally optional.
  10. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave for 1 minute. Stir with a wet spatula, then cover and return to the microwave for a another minute. Stir again. Return to the microwave for an additional 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. (4 minutes total. 1 min, stir/ 1 min, stir/ 30 seconds stir/ 30 seconds, stir/ 30 seconds, stir/ 30 seconds, stir).
  11. The dough will be more manageable if it's cool before you roll it.
  12. Once the batter is cool, dust dust dust your rolling surface with your starch. Roll out to 1/8th inch thickness. You will need two different size crusts, as the top crust needs to cover the top and sides of the ice cream, and the bottom crust only needs to cover...uh...the bottom. For reference, my ice cream mounds (the filling) were 1 1/2 inches in diameter and almost 1 inch high. My bottom crust was 2 1/4 inches in diameter, my top crust was 3 1/2 inches in diameter. I trimmed a bit off my top crust after I'd laid it down. Since I had 10 scoops of filling, I needed 10 bottom crusts and 10 top crusts.
  13. Now you can assemble the pops. Simply place a the filling over a bottom crust, drape the top crust over that, and pinch together with a fork. It helps if the fork is a bit wet. Place the pop back in the freezer right away so that the crust can harden up a bit.
  14. Optional -- you can cut little "steam vents" in the top.
  15. Also optional - stir up a little molasses with a little maple syrup. Use a brush to glaze the top of the crust, for a little extra darkness and shine.
  16. Enjoy!
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Don’t let the many steps deter you from doing this. This is a good recipe to do in little bursts, which means you’re never spending too long in the kitchen at any given time. A few helpful tips:

for the filling:

  • If using frozen pitted cherries, allow to defrost before beginning (that’s what I did).
  • Measure the vanilla ice cream when very cold, and hard pack it into the cup measurement.
  • The filling is approx 2 tbsp of ice cream. I do not have a 2 tbsp cookie scoop, but I did have a 1/8th cup measuring cup, which is the same thing. It made shaping the filling a little harder though. If you don’t have either one, cut 3/4 inch wide strips of food-grade cardboard (from an oatmeal container, cereal box, et al) and then then staple them to form circles that are approx 1.5 inches in diameter. Pack ice cream into these makeshift molds. 
  • Use cupcake liners to keep the filling separate while hardening

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for the dough

  • you can cool mochi dough to cool before you roll it. In fact, I recommend it. 
  • Before you roll your mochi dough, dust the rolling surface with a super thick layer of cornstarch or tapicoca starch or whatever starch. Dust, dust, dust. Any dough coming in contact with an undusted rolling surface will stick. Be a generous duster, and you will be repaid in time saved. 
  • After cutting the crusts, they will be dusty, obs. Brush them with a wet pastry brush (or a drug store crayola brush, whatever) to get rid of the excess starch. Stack the crusts between layers of parchment until you’re ready to use them.
  • Cut more crusts than you think you’ll need (there will be enough dough to do this). Even if you don’t end up using them, you can make other things. I stacked some ice cream and peanut butter and marshmallow fluff in between two leftover crusts. It was amazing. 

for assembly

  • While assembling, keep your work surface super cold. I filled an 8 x 8 pan with water and froze it. I placed a cold plate over that. 

pie pop assembly

  • Assemble the pops one by one (keeping the others in the freezer), and assemble on a small piece of parchment.
  • When pressing the crusts together with your fork, don’t lift your fork up from the crust. Instead, drag your fork out towards the edge of the plate.
  • As with any popsicle……..don’t lift it by the stick until completely frozen. After assembling, lift it by the parchment and place it in the freezer to harden again 

the mochi wrapper is adapted from just one cookbook, which you will find linked at the bottom of my mochi ice cream cake-pie-thing post.

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Peach Rhubarb Milkshakes and other goodies

Peach Rhubarb Milkshake

Oh ice cream and rhubarb and peaches, it’s almost summertime!

I never realized how much I missed the hot sultry days until they arrived. And the really sticky days haven’t even hit yet. There’s so much I love about summer, but since this is a food blog, I guess I’ll stick to talking about food.

🌽 🍅SUMMER PRODUCE, Y’ALL!!!! and yes, that deserves all caps. I’m yellin’. 🍑🍒

A bit ago I posted some rhubarb-peach thing on instagram. I’m gonna call it a smash. Peach Rhubarb Smash!  The combination is sweet and tart, you taste the peaches at the beginning and the rhubarb at the end. Swirled into vanilla ice cream, it creates a velvety summery dessert. The vanilla is distinct from the fruit, creating a happy contrast reminiscent of an creamsicle. If creamsicles has peaches and rhubarb instead of orange.

rhubarb

The smash also pairs well with booze. Specifically, gin. I used to dislike gin, but a few summers ago, Jason started making me some gin and tonics and they were the perfect summer drink. They weren’t technically g+t, as neither of us like tonic, but they were g + fizzy water with a lot of lime. Even my mama, who doesn’t really drink, relished them when we got a cabin up in the mountains for my cousin’s wedding last summer.

For this frothy marvel, I simply subtracted the lime and added peach-rhubarb smash. I am not a cocktail mixer by any means. I really wish I was. Two of my favorite blogging ladies, Danguole and Meghan, are simply cocktail masters. Cocktail mixing is a delicate science, don’t y’all agree? But if you are an unlearned cocktail explorer such as myself, do not fear. This drink takes no skill. Just a long spoon and a slow hand — churn it too fast and it will fizz all over the place.

Peach Rhubarb Gin Fizz

 

 

It’s a marvelously refreshing drink, and it’s fun.  That fizz is just so happy. If you don’t like gin, just leave it out. This drink can be made completely non-alcoholic without making it non-fun. Um, I know that sounds like a poster you’d see in a freshman dorm, but it’s true. 💁 Enjoy!

P.S. This peach rhubarb smash comes out different colors each time I’ve made it.  The redder the rhubarb, the redder/pinker the smash. Obs. It’s also brighter and prettier with yellow flesh peaches. White peaches don’t yield the same sunset colors. However, if all you have is white peaches and you must have the bright colors, add a drop or two of food coloring. Ifin you’re not opposed to that sort of thing. This smash is also wonderful at breakfast time. Swirl it with yogurt and stud it with cherries and toasted oats. The possibilities! 

Peach Rhubarb Milkshake

Peach Rhubarb Smash

5 yellow flesh peaches
5 stalks of rhubarb (should yield 4 cups chopped)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar (if your peaches are extra sweet, reduce to 1/3 cup)

  1. Chop up the rhubarb and slice the peaches. Keep the skin on the peaches.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a large, deep, flat-bottomed skillet. (mine was 1.5 inches across and 3.25 inches deep).
  3. Cover and set over medium heat for 18-20 min, stirring once or twice.
  4. Remove lid, lower heat just a notch and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 10 more minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, allow to cool, and puree till smooth.

Yields just over 4 cups. I called it a smash, but it’s very similar to a puree. It also tastes wonderful in smoothies, or with a bowl of granola. 

Peach Rhubarb Milkshake

1/2 cup of Peach Rhubarb Smash (recipe above)
1/2 cup of softened vanilla ice cream

Swirl together the softened ice cream and the cooled smash. If you want it a little thinner, throw in a tablespoon or two of milk. I like my milkshakes thick.

Peach Rhubarb Gin Fizz

10 oz club soda
1/3 cup peach-rhubarb smash (recipe above)
1.5 oz gin

  1. Place the smash in a large glass.
  2. Stir the gin into the smash.
  3. Gently pour the club soda in. Very slowly stir it with the gin+smash until you get an even color throughout. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Fangirl’s Blueberry Bliss Bars

These blueberry bliss bars are soft and sweet and nutty. In the classic lazy baker method, they come together in a single bowl. GF, vegan, (paleo, I think) but no one has to know. Shhhh. Don’t think. Just bake.

Blueberry Bliss Bars (vegan blueberry bread)

A few months ago, y’all might recall I post a recipe for Simon Snow’s Sour Cherry Scones. These blueberry bliss bars are the pastry genesis of that recipe.

Allow me to explain.

(or simply scroll past the explanation to the recipe. I don’t blame ya)

Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl is one of my favorite comfort books. I read it all the time, even if it’s just a bit here and a chapter there. Rowell’s Carry On, Simon came out of Fangirl (sort of).  The fangirl in Fangirl snacked on blueberry bliss bars while writing Simon Snow fanfiction. Fanfiction Simon snacked on sour cherry scones. So blueberry bliss bars churned out the writing that churned out the scones.blueberry bliss bars vegan gluten free paleo

Are you still with me?

Good. That explanation was complicated, but these bars are simple. One bowl kinda simple. Fewer dishes kinda simple. Your nana-made-it-with-a-lot-of-love kinda simple.

The bars are soft and sweet and nutty and melt magically in your mouth. If you adore a good blueberry muffin, you’ll love these.

They are made with almond flour.  Almond flour is an occasional ingredient for me, as opposed to a regular ingredient. I love the taste (my mom says that almond flour makes everything fantastic), but it’s too pricey and rich for everyday use.

Books, however, are always cause for celebration.

little purple wildflowers

Like warmer weather, and rain, and wildflowers and hot sweaty summers and almost being DONE with school. I still I have to take my Boards this summer, but for now, I’m ignoring my overpriced test prep texts in favor of other literature. Clearly.

Speaking of little bits of bliss, I still can’t get over Chewbacca lady.  💗

What small joys do you celebrate?

blueberry bliss bars gluten free vegan paleo

 

Fangirl’s Blueberry Bliss Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8-10 bars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of very ripe mashed bananas (about 2 bananas)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp water)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • sesame seeds, optional

Instructions

  1. Combine bananas, maple syrup, flax egg, apple cider vinegar, almond extract, salt, and cinnamon. Blend well.
  2. Stir in the almond flour, followed by the baking powder. Allow the batter to rest for about 5-7 minutes.
  3. While the batter is resting, preheat oven to 350 and line a 8 x 4 loaf pan with parchment.
  4. Place the batter in the loaf pan and smooth it out.
  5. Swirl just over half of the blueberries into the batter. Smooth it out again.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries over top of the batter. Sprinkle on sesame seeds if you wish.
  7. Bake for 55 min - 1 hour, until it's nice and golden. The middle may not turn gold.
  8. Allow to cool completely before cutting.
  9. Serve with love. makes 8-10 bars, depending on how you cut them.
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Blueberry Bliss Bars Vegan Gluten Free

Pecan Bun Superchunk Granola

The clumpiest, chunkiest granola EVER. But also….it’s kind of like a cereal bar? GranolaCerealBar?

Cosmic Granola!!!
Cosmic Granola!!!

This is my new favorite granola. Maybe my favorite granola, ever.

This granola started out like most of my granolas do: at yet another (failed) attempt at creating good savory granola. I adore Mediterra’s savory granola bars, especially their Walnut & Olive and Sun Dried Tomato & Basil. So freakin’ tasty. I always try to copy them and then I fail. Maybe I should just leave savory granola to the experts…..

On the other hand, every time I try to make savory granola, it doesn’t go well. I then follow these steps:

  1. try to convince myself that it’s good
  2. sample it again and regret it
  3. give up and just make a sweet granola

And those sweet granolas always lead to something awesome. Like this uber-chunky granola.

Super Chunky Granola

So, the clumpiness here is clearly fantastic. And they taste like a freakin cinnamon pecan bun. munch munch much.

ANDDDDDD this is the easiest, quickest, cheapest granola and the blog to date.

Since it’s so easy, you’ll find yourself making batch after batch without even thinking about it.  I feel like that’s one of the essential qualities of any good snack. Uncomplicated, comforting, and undemanding.

And abidingly tasty.

Super Chunky Granola

 

Pecan Bun Superchunk Granola

Yield: approx 3-4 cups of huge chunks

prep time: 5 min/ cook time: 3 min/ sit time: 45 min

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of toasted rice square ceral (like rice chex)
  • 3/4 cup quick-cook oats
  • 1/3 cup pecan pieces
  • 2 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • a generous dash of salt*

Instructions

  1. Place the rice squares, the quick oats, and the pecan pieces in a bowl and stir them up.
  2. In a small microwaveable container, place the maple syrup, the coconut oil, the brown sugar, the cinnamon, and the salt. Microwave until the coconut oil is melted, about 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring every 15 seconds. Watch closely so it doesn't boil over.
  3. Pour the coconut oil-maple mix over the cereal mix and stir super well.
  4. Press the mix into a parchment lined 8 x 8 glass pan. Make sure that the quick cook oats are distributed evenly in the pan. This is key to the big chucks.
  5. Microwave in the pan for 2 minutes.
  6. Allow to sit 45 min before cutting.
  7. Using a gentle rocking motion, cut into 4 squares, and then cut each square into 2 triangles. You'll end up with mostly large chunks, a few smaller chucks, and some crumbles.
  8. Enjoy and serve with love

Notes

*for a salty-sweet granola, increase salt to 1/4 tsp

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Maple Cheddar Shortbread

This maple cheddar shortbread is a cinch to make. I used gluten-free flour, but feel free to use regular flour as well. This is a winner for anyone who loves a salty-sweet treat. 

Gluten Free Maple Cheddar Shortbread

Have you ever gone through a period in your life where you felt like nothing was in your control? You were robotically moving from one point to the next, trying not to crash, grinning and bearing like crazy?

Yeah.

That’s been this semester for me. I even got in trouble for not grinning enough.  I want to launch into a this-wouldn’t-be-an-issue-if-I-were-a-dude diatribe, but I’m too tired. Ladies, you get me.

Shredded Cheese

When life gets like this, I find it useful to focus on routine matters.  There’s peace in the familiar, in the tried and true.  A running routine, a morning tea routine…..a cheddar routine?

It’s not a crazy notion, really. Think of all the comfort foods that include cheese.

I love these cookies for their amazing cheddar-packed flavor and for their simplicity. The dough comes together quickly in your food processor or blender or Bullet or whatever. If you are a traditional kind of human, you can even use a pastry blender.

Chill the dough and roll it up a pecan maple mix, and chill again. Then cut it up into 1/4 inch slices and bake.  The pecan coating with caramelize in the oven, which is a happy compliment to the sharpness of the smoked cheddar.

Gluten Free Maple Cheddar Shortbread

 

Raise your hand if you need a little bit of sweet to compliment the sharper notes in your life. (that’s everybody, right?)
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Maple Cheddar Shortbread

Yield: 21 cookies

prep time: 15 min/ chill time: 35-45 min/ bake time: 15-18 min

Ingredients

  • 8 oz of smoked cheddar, shredded
  • 2/3 cup of cup to cup gluten free flour (like Bob's in the blue bag)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • outer pecan coating
  • 3/4 cup pecan pieces
  • 3 more tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Throw the shredded cheddar and a good portion (but not all) of the flour in the blender and pulse until combined and crumbly.
  2. Dump the cheddar mix in a bowl. Add the maple syrup and sriracha, and then the remaining flour. (you want to add the remaining flour last because it will make the wet ingredients easier to mix in with your hands).
  3. Um....mix it all together with your hands and then roll it into a log that's about 7 inches long and about 2 inches in diameter.
  4. Wrap the log in parchment paper and freeze for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Combine the maple syrup and pecan pieces.
  6. Unwrap the log, spread the maple pecan mix on the parchment. Roll the log in the mix and then wrap it back up tightly.
  7. Freeze for 25-30 more minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350.
  9. Slice the log into 1/4 inch pieces.
  10. Bake for 15-18 minutes until they darken and get a little golden. If they are a little dark on the bottom (which normally is an awful thing to happen to a cookie), that's totally fine. It's just the maple syrup caramelizing on the bottom. Also, the pecans will caramlize too and that makes it so amazing.
  11. The cookies will be pliable right of the oven, but will harden and snap as they cool.
  12. Serve with love
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adapted very slightly from here

Gluten Free Maple Cheddar Shortbread

Healthy Homemade Slush Puppies

Healthy Homemade Slush Puppies

The first summer that Jason and I dated, we subsisted mainly on frozen treats and the occasional peanut butter waffle. It was awesome.

Let me tell you about those frozen treats. We ate Popsicles of all flavors, Slush Puppies by the dozen, boxes and boxes of Minute Maid frozen lemonade. We both liked the raspberry lemonade ones better, but if there was only raspberry lemonade pop left, we’d save it for the other person. How womantic.

raspberries

Here’s the thing about eating all those frozen treats, though. There’s the sugar bit, and the no real nutritional value bit, and the “you-are-adults-did-you-really-eat-all-those-Popsicles-in-one-sitting” bit.

And then there’s the weirdest bit of all. The bit where you realize just how much food dye is in those things, because it manifests itself….uh….the next day.

I’m not opposed to using food coloring, but dang, there is a LOT of food coloring in off-the-shelf Slush Puppies.

Healthy Homemade Slush Puppies

These bright happy puppies have zero artifice. There’s nothing but bright happy produce in here.

There are two kinds here. Apple-cherry, and raspberry-lemonade, of course! The apple-cherry is the sweeter of the two, and the raspberry-lemonade is tart and puckering and fresh.

I know you can buy slush puppy bags on various places around the interwebs, but I couldn’t be bothered. I made my own by cutting regular snack bags and then sealing them with heat (alternately using a skillet and a lighter). But if that doesn’t sound like your uh…bag….you can get any variety of bags here.

Healthy Homemade Slush Puppies

Healthy Homemade Slush Puppies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 14 pops

Ingredients

  • 2 cored apples
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen cherries
  • 2.5 cups frozen raspberries
  • 2 cups grapes
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Defrost the frozen fruit (yeah....you'e just gonna freeze it again)
  2. Place the apples and cherries in a blender and combine until smooth.
  3. Place a cheesecloth or flour sack cloth over a large bowl and pour the cherry mix over that. Squeeze out all the juice. You should end up with bout 2 1/4 cups of juice. Discard the juicing solids, or use them in baking, if you wish.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the cherries, grapes, and lemon juice.
  5. Pour the juice into your bags. My bags were about 5.5 x 2 inches. I was able to fit about 1/4 cup of juice into each bag. Make sure to leave about 1.5 inches at the top, because you will need to seal the bag as well allow room for the ice to expand. Otherwise, the bags will burst once they freeze. (1/2 inch to seal, and 1 inch of room).
  6. Freeze for 8-12 hours, until solid. Makes 7 of each flavor.
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Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe (seriously….3 minutes, 3 ingredients)

This simple chocolate peanut butter fudge is ready in minutes. It only dirties one bowl, and you whip it up in your microwave. Vegan.

Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

As it gets warmer out, I can’t help but think of warm weather foods. A mouthful of stinky ramps. Charred corn, hot off the grill. Cold watermelon, perfectly salted. And fudge.

I suppose fudge is technically a beach treat, and not specifically a warm weather treat, but you know….folks generally go to the beach in the summer.

And technically, if you asked me where I wanted to go on vacation right now, I’d tell you the mountains, and not the beach.  But fudge can be enjoyed anywhere.  Pack these up in a box and tuck them into your cooler for a long drive out to a quiet hammock.

Simple Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

This recipe actually started out as an attempt at chocolate peanut butter, for Jason to dip his pretzels in as an after-school snack. Er….after-work snack? Nah, that sounds wrong. I think we all understand that the idea of after school snacks carry far past our classroom days. Whether you’re removing your dirty soccer cleats or peeling of damn panty hose, it’s still an after-school snack.

Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Anyways, the pretzel-dip thing didn’t quite work out, but one thing lead to another and I retooled the recipe to become classic chocolate peanut butter fudge.

It makes a small batch, but it can easily be doubled or tripled if you wanted to bring it to a party.

The sprinkles are optional (I only added them for the photo aspect), but if you can put anything you want over top. An extra drizzle of peanut butter, chopped nuts, a sprinkle of big-flake salt, whatever.

Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge (seriously….3 minutes, 3 ingredients)

Prep Time: 1 minute

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Yield: 28-32 1-inch pieces

Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge (seriously….3 minutes, 3 ingredients)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Place everything in a glass container. Microwave for 1.5-3 minutes, stirring at 30 second intervals, until the chocolate is fully melted. Pour into a parchment-lined loaf pan and cool until hardened. When fully cooled, slice and serve.
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easy vegan fudge

Blueberry Newtons (homemade fig newtons)

Blueberry Newtons, DIY Fig Newtons

So Jason is a bit of a tri nerd and he loves his tri podcasts almost as much as he loves buying bike gear.  Whatever.

Anyways, on one of these podcasts, someone mentioned fig bars, and all these other people started chiming in on how great fig bars are for bike workouts.   Jason immediately asked me to make him some. And I was like, “uhh….but you don’t like figs or Fig Newtons?” And then he clarified that he wanted raspberry, cherry, or blueberry newtons.

So I set to work. The filling came readily enough, because I’d made it dozens of times. BTW, you can also do these with raspberries….just follow the cooking directions for the blueberry filling and reduce the cooking time by about 1 or two minutes.

a-3

The dough was much more of a challenge. I was picturing a nutty newton, but Jason specifically requested something with lots of carbs and as little fat as possible. So I couldn’t use almond flour at all. I tried using all oat flour, but the newtons came out gummy and gross.

I finally chose buckwheat flour mix, which satisfied the nutty flavor I craved, but is far lower in fat than any nut meal.

The results were addictively fantastic. They’re soft and sweet and pillowy and filled to the brim with a homemade blueberry jam that won’t spill over when baking.

The only part that’s kind of annoying is that the dough likes to be chilled…..but I chose to consider chilling time as study time, so I could learn and cook at the same time.

This recipe make as generous batch of 24, but I doubt there will be a single one left by the time Jason has his next long bike workout. What? I gotta fuel my studies somehow.

Blueberry Newtons, DIY fig newtons

Blueberry Newtons

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 22-24

The dough calls for a banana as the wet ingredient. Do not, under any circumstances, use an very ripe banana --- the dough will be super sticky and very hard to work. Choose a just right banana --- not too green and not too spotty and brown.

Ingredients

  • 14 oz frozen blueberries
  • 8 dates
  • 1 banana (1/2 cup purreed banana)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats, ground to fine flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Place the blueberries and the dates in a pot over medium-high heat. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring twice. Uncover, lower heat to medium, and continue to stir for about 3-4 min. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Puree till smooth.
  2. Scoop the blueberry filling into a zip bag for easy piping later on. Store in the fridge.
  3. Liquefy the banana with brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.
  4. Combine the buckwheat flour, the oats, and baking powder, the baking soda, and the salt.
  5. Combine the banana mix with the buckweat mix.
  6. Chill the dough for at least an hour.
  7. Cut out 10 strips of parchment paper, 2.5 inches wide.
  8. Divide the dough into four equal parts, and shape into logs.
  9. Sandwich the logs in between two strips of paper, roll them flat (1/8th inch). Trim them up and roll the scraps between the remaining two strips of paper.
  10. Let them chill in the fridge again (the dough gets sticky fast), then remove the top layer of paper.
  11. Cut a 3/4 inch corner off of the ziplock bag where you've stored the blueberry filling, and pipe it down the center of the dough. I recommend keeping the dough strips in the fridge and only removing one at a time to pipe the filling on. Flatten the filling a little with a knife.
  12. Measure every two inches of dough and cut, then fold the dough over the filling.
  13. You can also fold, THEN slice, but I find makes for messier edges. Don't try to separate the cut parts -- you'll do that after baking, like a pizza.
  14. Preheat the oven to 350 and continue to chill the bars.
  15. Put the strips directly onto the baking sheet and bake for 10 min
  16. You can cut the bars right away (separate them) or wait until they've cooled a little.
  17. The bars will soften after a few hours, and this is when they start to get sooo good. Honestly, wait about two hours before taking a bite.
  18. Serve with love, makes about 24 bars. Keep in fridge in airtight container for up to 1 week.
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