This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.
It’s Thirsty Thursday! During the summer months, I tend to drink more iced coffee than hot. It is so gratifying on a hot day!
A few months ago I went to a new Chinese bakery in San Diego. On top of having the most amazing pastries (at fabulous prices), they also specialize in Thai Iced Coffee. I had no idea what I was ordering, but after one sip, I was hooked! I knew I had to learn to make them at home asap!
Once home, I promptly googled the recipe. Since too much dairy upsets my stomach, I knew I had to find an alternative to sweetened condensed milk. Blue Diamond Almond Breeze is a staple in our house. Not only is it delicious and nutritious, but it also keeps. With three cereal freaks in my home, we are constantly running out of milk. I love that I can reach in the cupboard and open up a box of almond milk! Not to mention, it is much lighter on my stomach and calorie intake!
Traditional condensed milk also contains a lot of sugar. I’ve been on a paleo kick lately (although you would never guess it with my posts) so decided to substitute coconut sugar for granulated sugar. This also helped thicken the almond milk.
My dear husband grew up eating fresh berries with a spoonful of condensed milk. He was ecstatic when he got home to find the nostalgic treat waiting for him. It wasn’t until after he licked the bowl clean that I told him about my substitutions. He was quite surprised at how good it was!
I can’t wait to use this condensed milk in other recipes! Can you imagine how good it will be in pumpkin pie!!!!
This post was supposed to be a recap about my recent trip to the Sabra Kitchens in Richmond, Virginia. Unfortunately, the day after I arrived, I got extremely sick and had to spend the day in the ER instead of the Sabra facilities. It was such a bummer!
I have been a long time lover of Sabra, and their hummus has been a staple in our refrigerator for years. After this experience, I am not just a lover or their hummus but also a fan of their company and their PR reps. They really went above and beyond to make sure that I got home as comfortably and quickly as possible. To me, this speaks wonders about a company. The fact that they care so much about the people that represent them is very important. Sabra not only exceeds quality in their hummus and other products, but they also get an A+ in public relations!
Now that summer is here, we have been eating a lot of salad and cold meals. It is too hot for heavy meals. I have to say it has been a nice break! I like to make a large batch of this and keep it on hand for quick dinners and simple sandwiches. My kids absolutely love eating salad cups (they will actually eat just about anything in a salad cup), so I have been using lettuce instead of bread a lot lately.
In an effort to maintain a low-fat diet, we have been substituting many ingredients. However, just because we have been substituting ingredients, does not mean we have been substituting flavor! Instead of using the traditional mayo in this recipe, we replaced it with Sabra hummus and Sabra Greek Yogurt dip. Not only is this chicken salad full of protein and light on fat, it is delicious, light, and full of flavor! The next time a recipe calls for mayo or you are thinking about smothering it onto your burger, try replacing it with Sabra hummus or Greek yogurt dip. You will be pleasantly surprised at how good it is!
It is officially summer and our garden is bursting with beautiful summer squash. I have been cooking up a storm to keep up with supply, but if any of you have any recipe suggestions, please send them my way! Next on the harvest list will be tomatoes- so please include recipes for that too! I would be ever so grateful! There is only so much grilled and sautéed summer squash that my family can take!
Growing up I despised squash, yet my mother still made it almost every night. I swear that woman never cooked, but when she did it was zucchini. I tried every scheme under the sun to avoid eating those things. Although I am still not a huge fan of zucchini, I have grown to love summer and zucchini squash.
As I was looking for recipes to use up our ever growing supply of summer squash, I came across this recipe for summer squash lemon bread from one of my favorite bloggers, Heather Christo. The recipe calls for over 2 cups of grated summer squash- the perfect way to use some of them up!
I made this bundt cake for my daughter’s end of the year picnic. Even after slicing it, it remained perfectly moist. The water in squash does wonders for baked goods! You couldn’t actually taste the grated squash but the little ribbons of yellow made it very pretty! The lemon of course took center stage flavor wise, which is fine in my book as I love that flavor.
When I go to a new bakery the first thing I order is a vanilla cupcake. I think this is the best way to decipher if the bakery is good or not. With a vanilla cupcake or cake, the flavor is pure, giving you the chance to really taste whether or not they are using quality ingredients.
These days I have a hard time finding a decent bakery that can make a good piece of cake. Making a vanilla cupcake at home is good for many reasons. The first is that you can control what goes into your cake. Good ingredients like butter and vanilla bean paste, really stand out. Also, for about the same price as 2 cupcakes you can make about 2 dozen! Not that any of us need that many.
Pure vanilla cupcakes are by far my favorite flavor. There is something about the little fragrant specks that make my taste buds go wild! If vanilla is not your thing, this is a great base recipe. Switch out the vanilla extract for almond, coconut, or even lemon extract.
Rodelle extracts and baking essentials are my some of my favorite extracts to work with. Their quality definitely surpasses many vanilla extract brands. The vanilla extracts and pastes are deep, rich, and robust, exactly what you need to bring out the vanilla flavor in a cupcake. I also really enjoy their almond extract and baking cocoa.
These cupcakes were so fun to make. The kids and I loved using the different colors to create the frosting. If you have an upcoming party or just need some good eats and rad colors to brighten your day, these cupcakes are it!
This is not a sponsored post. I have been using Rodelle extracts for a few years now and love the product. They did however recently send me a few samples.
When I first married my husband and still living in Switzerland, we visited his grandparents and aunts a few times a month. During the summer months they would grow their entire year’s worth of vegetables and preserve everything for the cold months. One of the items they make is Ratatouille. I had never had it before, but immediately fell in love. In Switzerland, Ratatouille is essentially a vegetable stew served over boiled potatoes and doused with a cheese. Every region makes their Ratatouille differently, but I prefer my husband’s region.
When brainstorming new recipes, I thought it would be fun to combine two of my favorite things…ratatouille and tarts. I had recently purchased the OXO V-Blade Slicer, and thought this would be a great opportunity to try it out. I love the ease of use and the fact that I can adjust the width of the items that I am slicing. It is also great because it is dishwasher safe. OXO products are made with quality and durability and are a great investment in any kitchen.
I served this tart with a side salad for dinner, however I think that it would also make a wonderful appetizer. This is a great dish to use up your summer garden vegetable! Enjoy!
A few weeks ago I was invited to visit the Safeway Culinary Kitchens in Pleasanton, CA. The other bloggers and I got a behind the scenes tour of just how recipes are developed and tested. It was really interesting to meet the people responsible for the Open Nature brand.
Safeway is debuting their new Open Nature frozen dessert products – Super Premium Ice Cream, Gelato, Sorbet, Greek Frozen Yogurt and Gelato Bars – that, like the rest of the products in the Open NatureTM line, are made using only ingredients from natural sources. No artificial anything. Each batch of ice cream, sorbet and yogurt and every gelato bar is thoughtfully prepared with as little processing as possible and comes in clear packaging to show what’s inside. It’s got nothing to hide! The new line includes 23 flavors of ice cream, gelato, sorbet and Greek frozen yogurt as well as four flavors of gelato bars.
After trying each of the 23 flavors, we also got to help with the creative side. Teamed up with Safeway Head Chef, Jeff, we made new flavors including Coconut Avocado, Maple Thyme, and Smoked Almond Honey Sea Salt. I was blown away at how delicious each of these flavors were!
We were thoroughly spoiled in the test kitchen with delicious food and delectable ice cream, then taken to the beautiful Wente Vinyards for an incredible dinner. It was such a wonderful few days!
Open Nature Event // Wente Vineyards // Liza Gershman Photography
Upon returning home, I immediately went to our local Vons to pick up a few of my favorite new flavors. Along with the Strawberries and Cream that I purchased for this recipe, I also picked up a pint of Salted Caramel Butter Pecan, Mango Sorbet, and Pistachio Gelato. The Safeway team joked that these ice creams come in the perfect single serving pint- but it’s no joke. You seriously have to hold back from eating the entire pint in one sitting!
Since I am already in full on summer mode, I wanted to make an ice cream sandwich that captures the sweet flavors of the season. The perfect combination of sweet corn and fresh strawberries does just that! The cookies have a delicate corn flavor, yet are just as soft and chewy as a regular sugar cookie. I pulverized (put in the Blendtec until it became fine) some freeze dried corn
corn kernels to obtain the sweet corn flavor. If you are looking for a grown up ice cream cookie sandwich, this is it!
How would you like to try Safeway’s new Open Nature ice creams? Enter below until Tuesday June 9th, 2015 for your chance to win a $50 Safeway gift card.
On a recent press trip, I had a conversation about Hollandaise sauce with one of the other attendees. She mentioned that after seeing some kitchen nightmare type show, she will never order Hollandaise sauce again. Apparently, in some restaurants the sauce is made in the early morning and left out for the rest of the day. Now, I do not know if this is sure but it still makes me think twice about ordering.
The good thing to come out from all of this is that I finally made it from scratch at home! In fact, we have been putting it on everything because it is so delicious. At my Plugrá Butter dinner party I served the freshly made Hollandaise sauce over some baked asparagus.
My favorite part when making the sauce is when I add the Plugrá butter at the end. You can just see the sauce transform into a light and creamy sauce. Although we have been enjoying the Hollandaise sauce on lots of things, pouring it on homemade Eggs Benedict has been the best. No more paying $15 (California prices) for a plate when you can serve your entire family for under that! Enjoy!
This post has been sponsored by Plugrá Butter- a company which we love and a product that we adore!