S’mores Fudgsicles

Summer got you feeling like a hot mess? It’s time to cool off! Forget those boring store bought icicles, hunker down and find some shade with these dairy-free S’mores Fudgsicles. Honestly one of the easiest and yummiest summertime recipes! The perfect BBQ companion or pool side squeeze.

Dairy-free S’mores Fudgsicles

Ingredients:

1 Can Coconut Milk
1 Bar Dark Chocolate
2 c. Marshmallows

Place one can of coconut milk (make sure to get one that doesn’t have water as one of the ingredients) in the freezer for at least 4 hours. When you remove the can from the freezer shake it, you shouldn’t be able to hear any liquid when you shake it.

Open the can and pour half the coconut milk into one large mixing bowl and the other half into another large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip the coconut milk in both bowls until it begins to thicken and then set aside.

In a heat safe bowl, place two cups of marshmallows and microwave for 30 seconds, or until the marshmallows are soft. Pour the marshmallows into one of the large mixing bowls that we previously set aside with whipped coconut milk. Whip the marshmallows and coconut milk together until the mixture is smooth.

In another heat safe bowl, break apart a dark chocolate bar and heat in a microwave for 30 seconds. Remove the chocolate from the microwave and stir until all the chocolate is melted.

Spoon a few teaspoons of coconut milk from the second mixing bowl into the chocolate. Continue to add the whipped coconut milk until the the chocolate is completely cooled. Then, pour the chocolate into the large bowl of coconut milk and whip on high until it is thoroughly mixed.

Now you should have two large mixing bowls, one with chocolate whipped coconut milk and one with marshmallow whipped coconut milk.

Spoon the chocolate mixture and then the marshmallow mixture into a popsicle mold. Tap the container to remove all the hair bubbles. Once the molds are filled to the top, place in the freezer over night.

Serve with Graham Cracker crumbs or straight out of the freezer. These icy mamas definitely won’t disappoint!

*Microwave not needed. The chocolate and marshmallows can be melted over a stove.

Summertime Tarts

Summertime and the living is easy…. so lets not make it complicated with confusing meals, shall we? Two easy tarts for any summer time dinner, or for those guests that stop by unexpectedly. Store bought puff pastry with fruits and veggies, almost as easy as a frozen dinner. And yes, you heard me right. Store bought, pre- made puff pastry. Sorry Martha, some of us work…. So, it’s time to clean out your crisper and dive into some tasty tarts.

Apple Goat Cheese Tart

Ingredients:
Puff Pastry
2 Large Apples
2 tb. Honey – extra for serving
3 oz. Goat cheese

Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Peel two apples and thinly slice them. In a square, parchment paper lined pan, place one of the square puff pastries. Spread softened goat cheese on the uncooked pastry dough and top with apple slices. Drizzle two tablespoons of honey on the apples and baked for fifty minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown.

When the tart is finished cooking, drizzle more honey on top and serve.

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Roasted Vegetable and Hummus Tart

Ingredients:
Puff Pastry
1 Large Onion
1/2 c. Broccoli
1/2 c. Cauliflower
2 Hand fulls of spinach
Original or traditonal Hummus
Olive Oil
2 tb. Red Wine Vinegar
Black Pepper
Powder Garlic

*The great thing about this recipe is that you can add almost any vegetable and it will be amazing.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and onion in a baking pan. Toss with olive oil and red wine vinegar and season to taste with pepper and garlic. Roast for thirty minutes. Once the vegetables are finished baking, place puff pastry dough into a square, parchment lined pan. Spread hummus on the unbaked dough and add roasted veggies. Drizzle olive oil and season again with garlic and pepper. Bake for fifty minutes or unit the sides start to turn golden brown.

When the tart is finished remove it from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes before serving. Trust me when I say,” Wait five minutes”…. the roof of your mouth will thank you.

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White Squirrel Festival

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As we go about our daily lives, it’s easy to forget to enjoy the simply things. It’s easy to forget that there’s a life outside of work, deadlines, and the day to day bustle. Being from a large city myself, I couldn’t imagine a slower way of life, but in fact they do exist. After moving to the country, I realized that not only are there people who live this way, but entire towns as well. Towns that throw three day long festivals in honor of their rare and adorable mascots. This past weekend I spent the majority of three days soaking in the allure of small town living and celebrating the Memorial Day weekend.
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On May 27th the White Squirrel Festival began with music and art. Over the length of three days locals, visitors and neighbors, far and wide, were able to enjoy all that Brevard had to offer. The event was filled with food trucks from all around the region, booths selling wares adorned with white squirrels, and like any good southern festival, pony rides for the kids.
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The White Squirrel Festival is always held on Memorial Day weekend, a way to celebrate and remember. A parade to honor our fallen soldiers and thank those who have served, started promptly at nine in the morning, followed by an event, I have only witnessed on Little Rascal reruns, a soap box derby race for all ages. The evenings swarmed with people eating traditional festival food, drinking local brews, and listening to an assortment of live music.
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With an Oskar Blues Pale Ale in hand, I took to the night enjoying folky rock music and consuming all the delicious food they had to offer. A Chicken Gyro, and Philly Cheesesteak later, it was time for dessert. The Velvet Cup was my destination and no one was going to stop me. Although the need for coffee drew me to their truck, the warm, soft, sugar and cinnamon coated mini doughnuts have me dreaming of the next time our roads will cross.IMG_1977

The White Squirrel Festival had a winning combination of good music and great food, but most importantly it was a fun time to be had. It was a time to slow down and remember what brought us all together and remember those who have and continue to fight for us and our rights.
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Icebox Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches

Ah yes, the winds have changed. Spring is here and Summer is on the horizon! My friends, it is time to rise up and usher our food into the appropriate season! Ice Box Oatmeal Sandwiches anyone? They are the red headed (or should I say the strawberry blonde) step child of an ice cream sandwich. Strawberries have finally made an appearance and I am taking notice! Strawberry babies come on in, make your self comfortable. I won’t bite…. Ok I probably will….

Ingredients:

Cookies:
1/3 c. Brown Sugar
1/2 c. White Sugar
1 Stick Butter
1 Egg
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 c. All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 c. Rolled Oats

Cream:
1 c. Chopped Strawberries
1 tbl. White Sugar
1/4 c. Water
1 c. Heavy Whipping Cream

Preheat the oven to 375. Begin by creaming together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Add the egg, vanilla and mix with a hand mixer.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Once the flour mixture is thoroughly mixed, stir in the butter mixture. Next step is to add the rolled oats. When cookie batter is ready, make evenly sized balls and place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet (make sure to space the cookies about 2 inches apart). Using the bottom of a cup, flatten the balls (wet the bottom of the glass with water or oil so it doesn’t stick to the batter). Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
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Once the cookies are finished baking, remove them from the sheet and place on a wire rack to cool. This recipe should make about 14 medium sized cookies.

As the cookies cool it’s time to make the cream. Place the chopped strawberries in a small saucepan. Add water and sugar to the pan and let the mixture simmer. After about 5 minutes the strawberries will begin to break down. Once the strawberries have softened and the mixture is smooth, it’s ready to remove the saucepan from the heat and cool. Allow the strawberry sauce to cool completely before making the cream.

Now that the strawberries are cooled, it’s time to make strawberry cream! In a large bowl place the heavy whipping cream and strawberries. Using a hand mixer, whip the cream until it resembles whipped cream.

Fill a piping bag (a plastic bag with the tip cut off will work just as well) with the strawberry whipped cream. Pipe the cream on to the bottom of one cookie. Find a cookie that matches in size and top the cream with another cookie, making a sandwich. Once all the sandwiches are made, place them in the freezer for about an hour or until the cream has hardened.
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Once the cream has hardened, melt some chocolate. I used semi sweet, but any chocolate will be delicious. Dip one side of the cookie into melted chocolate and place each one back in the freezer for another hour.

After the cream and chocolate have set, the sandwiches are ready to eat! Make sure to hide one or two of these yummies for yourself because everyone will want seconds.