It’s peach season people. And what better way to eat peaches than with another summer favorite – strawberries! (Ok, we think our peaches and cream and peach cobbler recipes are pretty awesome too. FINE, we’re obsessed with peaches.) Aaanyway, I picked these juicy fruits up from our local farmers’ market over the weekend. I absolutely adore going to farmers’ markets and I’m lucky enough to say I have a handful of them all within 15 minutes away. The fact that I can get fresh fruits and veggies means endless recipe options, for us and you. Saweet! And if you go a little overboard with too many fruits and veggies, before they start turning, throw them in to muffins like these little guys.
These mini muffins are perfect for brunch or as dessert. And, warning: they’re super poppable. You may run out sooner than you think.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a mini muffin pan. In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: baking powder, flour, and sugar until fully blended. Stir in the eggs, both extracts, and the butter. You should begin to see a dough form. When fully combined, gently fold in the strawberries and peaches. Pour into the pan, filling each muffin to 3/4 high. Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
We get it, it’s summer so no one can really indulge like they do in the winter. However, that doesn’t mean cravings for some soft and scrumptious chocolate brownies don’t arise. This is a low calorie, protein filled, and gluten-free way to make a brownie. It’s quite good paired with some berries and fresh whipped cream as well. Its a nice way to satiate the desire for dessert without packing on the bathing suit nightmare’s love handles. This is a perfect addition to a BBQ menu since it will cater to all types of food restrictions and diets.
1 can of black beans (15.5 oz.)
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. instant coffee (really makes things more chocolate-y but feel free to leave out)
3/4 cup white sugar
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth (batter like consistency) Then pour into a non stick pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. I baked mine in a muffin pan so that I could portion out 160 calorie size/serving.
Ever since I got back from Portugal I’ve been in an international state of mind. It’s still pretty cold in Philly and I wanted something hot and sweet. I decided to toy with the idea of making a rice pudding and found a Mexican recipe for arroz con leche. Luckily, I had most of the ingredients in my fridge and although it was a lengthy cooking time, it was very easy to make. Also its funny how many cultures eat similar variations of rice pudding – North Indians make a twist on this called Kheer with cardamom. (Had to toss that tip out there since Jess is obsessed with cardamom these days, did you try her cookies?)
1 tsp almond extract (my 1st batch I definitely put too much-yikes!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup white, long grain rice
so the recipe said 7 cups of water I did like 3 cups I don’t get why you need 7 but just letting you guys know.
1 handful of raisins (optional)
1 handful of slivered almonds (optional)
1 14 oz can of sweet condensed milk
1 12 oz can of evaporated milk
1 cup of whole milk
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Put the water, rice, and cinnamon in a medium-size heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered, and cook until the rice is tender, about 18 minutes. Strain out the excess liquid and reserve the rice. Return the rice to the saucepan. Stir in the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and whole milk (Along with the extracts I added to the original recipe, this is also where you could add the cardamom seeds-remove from pods) . Continue cooking over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick, about 20 minutes. Add the raisins & almonds and stir well. Transfer the pudding to a serving bowl. Dust the top of the pudding with ground cinnamon to look pretty and serve!
FYI: this recipe is GLUTEN-free, Vegetarian, and serves 4-5 people.
In an attempt to drink less coffee I don’t allow myself to have a cup post lunch. Having said that though, sometimes the work day can drag and we all need a little afternoon pick me up. I have been turning to tea at around 2:30pm daily. (Earl Grey has been my jam although I try to mix it up with Green tea every so often for the antioxidants).
Ok so I digress, with tea time I often crave a little snack. So, I thought of doing something sweet, but nothing too heavy that it will make you lethargic for the remainder of your day. When poking around the world wide web I came upon this easy cookie recipe and when I brought them into work I got mouthfuls of thumbs ups and yays from everyone. Hope you enjoy as well! (Also go out and buy a nice tea cup and matching saucer as it makes tea time more special, pretentious, fun etc…I got 4 recently! Some even monogrammed for the true tea snob factor.)
1 box of store bought lemon cake mix
1 lemon’s zest (if you don’t have a zester, a boxed grater works well also)
1 tub of cool whip
Mix the first 4 ingredients well and the spoon mixture into the powdered sugar. The batter will be very sticky so you will need to coat with the powdered sugar in order to form into balls for baking sheet. I would do a little bowl of powdered sugar in which you can drop the spoonfuls into the bowl, as this can get messy if you don’t have it all set up beforehand. Lay out on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let them sufficiently cool after you remove from oven as they will still be too soft to handle/will break if touched right after cooking.
Not sure on the history of why this is called love cake, but I will tell you its two major components are items I love dearly: chocolate & cheese!! (It’s ricotta, chill) Anyway, it’s not super laborious, but it’s also not your traditional cake. Set aside a good amount of time to make this and it’s actually best if you make the night before serving. Also! there’s an element of magic involved. That’s right kids, magic.
1 boxed chocolate cake mix AND the ingredients listed on the box (I know I’m a disappointment to Martha but whatever, I love me a solid shortcut)
2 lbs. (32 ounces) ricotta cheese (seemed like an insane amount when I was buying it but is actually the right quantity)
3/4 cup sugar (my coworkers seemed to think 1 cup would’ve been better as that layer wasn’t quite as sweet, so use your judgment)
1 cup cold milk (yes that seems like too little, but just trust the recipe please, also I may swap this for Kahlua next time and see if that improves/ruins this “frosting”)
8 ounces Cool Whip
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9×13 inch pan and set aside. In a large bowl, prepare your cake mix batter according to the directions on the box. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a super strong whisking arm like mine), beat together the ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan and use an off-set spatula to spread evenly in the pan. Next, carefully pour the ricotta mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter. Gently spread the ricotta mixture so it evenly covers the cake batter. (The layers will switch while baking so the ricotta moves to the bottom and cake to the top – like magic or the scientific reason that ricotta weighs more than cake batter, whatever I am sticking with MAGIC.)
Bake for 60 minutes or until cake is set. Let cake cool completely before “frosting.”
Once the cake is cool, whisk together the pudding mix and milk until combined. Gently fold the Cool Whip into the pudding until combined. Spread the pudding mixture over the top of the cooled cake. Cover the cake and refrigerate at least 6 hours, or overnight, before serving. You know what -this cake SHOULD be called Love Cake because if I have to wait overnight to dive into this puppy I must really love you/it.
Not a very “pretty” picture but this is all I could sneak in as my coworkers devoured the cake.
We are sending you all loads of Italian love this valentine’s day: tanti baci!