s’mores cookies

s'mores cookies // batch-22

These cookies have been on my mind for a while now. It’s summer and summer means dining al fresco whether you’re roasting (veggie) burgers on the grill or charring corn in the embers of a bonfire. Basically, summer means there are all sorts of opportunities to roast marshmallows and sandwich them between chocolate and graham crackers.

s'mores cookies // batch-22

Now, I try not to get all “woe is me” about my gluten allergy, because it’s honestly not that bad. Truthfully, I don’t think about it much at all these days. Most of the cooking I do for myself is naturally gluten-free and adapting recipes has basically become second nature over the last five (!?!) years. But there are a few foods that you just can’t replicate with gluten-free flours — bagels and graham crackers.

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So, I’ve been without my beloved s’mores for many, many years. Marshmallow smooshed between two pieces of chocolate, while delicious, just didn’t cut it. Then these cookies came to me in a dream. Well, not really. My friend Kelly brought in some s’mores cupcakes to work and I was like, “S’MORES COOKIES!”

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That was six or seven months ago. Maybe even longer. But what can I say? Good things come to those who wait. And these cookies? Yeah. They’re GOOD.

s'mores cookies // batch-22

S’mores Cookies

yields 2 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cups gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Redmill)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup marshmallows, chopped into bite-sized pieces (I used vegan ones)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar and mix until light and creamy. Stir in vanilla, honey, and eggs. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until blended. Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to cool for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

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peanut butter banana froyo with nutella swirl

peanut butter banana froyo // batch-22

When I graduated from the eighth grade, I didn’t attend the ceremony (it conflicted with my ballet recital), and I didn’t have a party (because, umm, why? It was the eighth grade.) But I did get an amazing gift — an ice cream maker and a Ben & Jerry’s recipe book. And let me tell you, having creative control over your own ice cream flavors is just dreamy. An ice cream maker is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

(Thanks, Mom!)

peanut butter banana froyo // batch-22

Tragically, there’s no place to store my ice cream maker in my apartment. It’s just too small. With three twenty-somethings, three twenty-somethings worth of stuff, the books (and cookbooks) of two twenty-somethings working in the publishing industry…

peanut butter banana froyo // batch-22

It’s tight quarters here in apartment 20. We keep our broom and mop stashed behind a mirror and a college-chic coat rack slung over the front door.

So you can imagine how excited I was to find a churn-free frozen yogurt recipe on one of by favorite food blogs. Yup. You read that right, I got to make froyo without my precious ice cream maker. It’s possible, people. If you dream it, you can do it.

peanut butter banana froyo // batch-22

This peanut butter banana frozen yogurt. And because peanut butter and Nutella are a match made in dessert heaven, I added a Nutella ripple. Just go for it. Trust me.

peanut butter banana froyo // batch-22

Peanut Butter Banana Froyo with Nutella Swirl

adapted from Shutterbean

makes about  1  1/2 pints

  • 4 frozen bananas
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (I used 2%)*
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)*
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Nutella

In a sturdy blender, combine frozen bananas, yogurt, peanut butter, milk, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Pour into a loaf pan and freeze for 1 1/2 hours. Place Nutella in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds. Drizzle on top of the frozen yogurt and use a knife to swirl into a marble pattern. Cover the frozen yogurt and return to the freezer for 3-6 hours, until mixture is firm.

* The higher the fat content of the dairy, the richer the froyo. I found 2% to e a nice balance of creamy-yet-guilt-free.

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peaches and (coconut) cream pops

peach and coconut cream popsicles // batch-22

You guys. I think I’m starting to walk down the dangerous path of popsicle addiction. They’re everywhere! Tracy from Shutterbean is the queen of boozy popsicles as far as I’m concerned. And these vegan espresso fudgesicles on Take a Megabite? I just die.

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peach and coconut cream popsicles // batch-22

I think I’m going to have to invest in a heavy duty  popsicle mold like this one. What do you think? Any recommendations? I just know my life will be approximately a million times better once I can make 10 pops at a time instead of a measly 4. Summer’s here for at least another month — and let’s be real, New York won’t cool off until late September…if not early October. So it’s a pretty solid investment, right? Right.

peach and coconut cream popsicles // batch-22

Today’s popsicles are a creamy, dreamy delight, if I do say so myself. I tossed peeled and sliced peaches with olive oil and sugar and stuck them under the broiler. They got all gooey and fragrant in no time and my apartment didn’t become a hot box. It was a win-win! Next, blended the peaches and layered them with coconut milk in the molds. So simple, yet so delicious. So indulgent, and yet totally guilt-free.

There’s nothing better than peaches and (coconut) cream at the end of July.

peach and coconut cream popsicles // batch-22

Peaches and (Coconut) Cream Pops

adapted from Joy the Baker

makes 10-12 popsicles

  • 1 pound fresh peaches, pealed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place peaches on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Place in the oven, under the broiler until blistered and fragrant (about 10 minutes.)  Remove from the oven and spoon the peaches into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and blend until smooth.

In a small bowl combine coconut milk, remaining sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix well.

Spoon the peach mixture into the bottom of each popsicle mold. Pour coconut milk over top into each mold, until 2/3  full. Spoon more peaches into each mold and add more milk until full.

Place popsicle mold lids over top and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.

(If you, like me, have a tiny popsicle mold, store leftover ingredients in the fridge and make a second batch later in the week.)

chocolate zucchini bread

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True confession: I made this bread (cake?) a few weeks ago when we weren’t in the middle of a heat wave. I totally (TOTALLY) understand if you don’t feel up to turning on your oven this week. Just tuck this little gem of a recipe away (or pin it!) for later. You’ll be glad you did, I promise.

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Another true confession: I can never remember how to spell ‘zucchini’without spell check. Are there two ‘c’s  or two ‘n’s? Both? Neither? Uggah. I have trouble with ‘surprise,’ too. That first ‘r’ throws me for a loop every time.

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Anyway, here’s a recipe for chocolate zucchini bread. It would be really killer with chocolate chips tossed in. Of course, that might tip it into the cake territory. But who am I to judge if you still eat it for breakfast? I’m just a girl who can’t spell ‘zucchini’ to save her life.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Lightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Yields 2 loaves

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose, gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 3 tablespoons coco powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until bright and smooth. Mix in  olive oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, coco powder,  baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix to combine. Fold in chocolate chips, if using.

Divide the batter into prepared pans and bake for 60 minutes, until  cooked through.

black bean & corn salad

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Friends, it is hot out. It’s so hot that I haven’t worn pants in days and proper shoes (as opposed to sandals) feel like torture. There are three AC units in my tiny apartment, but even they are not meeting our cooling needs. If I could camp out in the freezer I totally would.

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Turning on the oven? Yeah. That’s not happening anytime soon. Our gas stove and I are in a fight and won’t kiss and make up until this heatwave breaks. So, what’s a hungry gal to do for dinner?

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Black bean & corn salad, friends. Say it with me! It’s sweet and tangy, filling, and suitable for eating on it’s own or spooned over salad. You could aslo serve it with rice BUT PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD USE A RICE COOKER SO THAT YOU DON’T HEAT UP YOUR APARTMENT.

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Sorry, this weather is making me a little crazy. I’ll just be over here eating salad in front of the open freezer. Don’t mind me.

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Black Bean & Corn Salad

makes 2-4 servings

  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can yellow corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small red onion. thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon white rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, whisk together garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and mustard poder. Add beans, corn, onion and bell pepper. Mix to combine. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour, allowing flavors to fully combine. Serve cold.

Carrot Salad

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Do you follow @RealCarrotFacts on Twitter? It is, perhaps, one of the oddest and amusing joke accounts out here. Here are a few gems:

“Sometime if someone talks to you but you dont want to talk to him you can close your eyes and pretend to be a carrot”

“Life is a carrot then you die”

“If you keep a carrot in your shoe everywhere you go, then you [sic] never alone”Image

Quality, quality stuff.

I think the folks behind @RealCarrotFacts would dig this recipe. It’s carrot-based. And also quite delicious.

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I love a good salad recipe in the summer, or any time of year, really. But a super simple salad that’s easily adaptable? Yeah, that’s the stuff of summer dreams.

I tempered cumin and paprika in hot oil and stirred in a dash of garlic and, later, parsley. But you could easily take it in a sweeter direction with cinnamon and raisins. Or stir in a creamy mixture or lemon and tahini. Delicious.

Here’s a real carrot fact for you: carrots make an amazing salad base. Image

Carrot Salad

(Adapted from multiple sources)

Makes 4-6 servings

  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled into ribbons
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Heat olive oil in a large skillet, add minced garlic, cumin, and paprika. Stir and add the carrot ribbons. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the ribbons are soft. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and parsley.

Serve warm or chilled.

strawberry cashew cream ice-pops

strawberry cashew cream ice-pops // batch-22
One of my roommates eats popsicles all year round. Even in the dead of winter. She’ll come home from a snowy excursion to the grocery store in mid-February and unload a box of coconut pops that make me shiver just looking at them.
Needless to say, I don’t get it.
strawberry cashew cream ice-pops // batch-22
To me, there’s something so quintessentially summery about popsicles — especially homemade ones. I have so many hazy memories of sticky summer afternoons spent consuming popsicles in my backyard. Of watching drops of melting popsicle splatter the pavement of my neighbor’s driveway. Of greedily slurping up the last drops fruity goodness from the popsicle molds.
strawberry cashew cream ice-pops // batch-22
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This is a vegan version of the popsicles my mom made for me as a kid. They’re quick, easy, and oh so satisfying. I bet you have the ingredients on hand now. So what are you waiting for? It’s popsicle season!
Strawberry Cashew Cream Ice-Pops
Makes 8 popsicles
  • 2 cups sweetened cashew milk (the brand I used contained a dash of cinnamon and vanilla. So delicious! Almond, soy, coconut or dairy milk may be subbed in)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 large frozen banana
Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 2 hours.
strawberry cashew cream ice-pops //batch-22