When my sister and I were younger, our goal in life was to catch the ice cream truck. We’d play outside in the yard with our neighbor friends all day until one of us yelled “sshhhhhhhh!!!!” and then we’d all run to opposite ends of the yard to figure out which direction that whimsical sound of The Entertainer was coming from. When we would close in on the truck’s direction,
one of us would run I would make my sister run into the house to get money from mom while the rest of us kept a watchful ear to make sure that the winds didn’t carry our ice cream treats into another direction.
We’d get to the truck sweating and out of breath and would always order the same things – I’d get the red, white and blue rocket pop, my sister Karen would get the bar with the crushed nuts. Our neighbor friends would get that teenage mutant ninja turtled ice cream bar with the bubble gum eyes (gross, but to each their own).
More often than not, we’d miss the truck altogether and would have to resort to sub-par house ice cream or, on a GOOD day – pudding pops(!) that were in the freezer all along.
I hadn’t had a pudding pop in years until I started making these this summer, and boy did they bring back the memories. In my childhood, frozen things on sticks = life. Except, I promise, these taste SO much better than any pre-packaged pop.
The recipe is a blend of avocados (which will get hidden), almond milk, chocolate, cacao powder, and the ingredient that really makes them rich & decadent – a few tablespoons of almond butter.
And if you’re trying to relive your 80’s childhood like I am, drizzle these with melted chocolate and sprinkle some crushed almonds or pistachios on top.
Rainbow rocket pops: another post??
In the past few weeks, I’ve gone from hot Austin, to hot New York, to hot Chicago. I’m currently sitting in my parent’s kitchen in the west suburbs where the breezes have nicely cooled off, but not before I could make this watermelon gazpacho at least a few times. I can’t think of anything as refreshing and hydrating as watermelon so this soup has really hit the spot during these hot summer days. Note that this recipe makes a pretty big batch – I love to keep it in the fridge for quick lunches all week.
I always thought watermelon gazpacho seemed like an odd concept, but here’s the thing – when everything is mixed together, this doesn’t actually taste like watermelon. The tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, scallions and herbs make this a savory soup while the watermelon brings a subtle sweetness that nicely balances these flavors. I also snuck in a half of a jalapeño for some spice, but you leave that out if you’re not into spicy things.
I usually like my gazpacho really creamy, but this summer I’m just going crazy for this super light version with tons of chopped vegetables mixed in. And like most soups – this one gets better the next day, and even better the day after. It’s also great with a little chopped avocado on top.
Last week, I was in New York speaking at a Random House event with (one of my favorite bloggers ever), Jenny from Dinner a Love Story. We chatted about our shared love for the simple tomato sandwich and how you shouldn’t complicate things that are as beautiful as summer tomatoes. I forgot that I had this post in the queue – because I absolutely LOVE this slightly fancier tomato-with-other-things sandwich.
This reminds me of a juicy caprese sandwich except, well, there’s no cheese here. Instead, there’s a good slathering of this edamame spread that I’m still obsessed with. This time I made it with basil instead of cilantro which makes it taste completely different and oh-so summery.
The rest of the components are SO simple that the success of this sandwich depends on getting them right. First off, I recommend finding the best baguette you can get your hands on (we get ours from Elizabeth St. Cafe). Next, use in-season tomatoes and fresh basil. Since artichokes are out of season I used good quality jarred roasted artichokes which I’ve recently realized are far superior to canned artichokes.
Assemble this early in the day at least a few hours before your picnic (or even the night before) so that the sweet tomato-basil juices do that thing where they mingle together and partially soak into the middle of the bread. I like to assemble this using one large baguette, wrap it up, store it in the fridge, and then slice it into individual portions just before I’m ready to pack them up.
I just turned to Jack and asked “Hey, what should I write about stuffed peppers?” He grumbled back “I dunno know, maybe write about how we’re stuffed in this room.” It’s 10:30am, and we’ve been stuck in the bedroom all morning with a jammed doorknob and two hungry dogs. And two very hungry people. A locksmith is on the way, but until then I’ll tell you about this recipe… which will surely not make me less hungry, but here goes
As the title suggests, this starts with poblano peppers. These peppers are usually mild, although the ones at the farmers markets in Texas this time of year are quite spicy so pick your peppers with caution if you’re sensitive to spice. If you can’t find poblanos, you can use any type of bell pepper that you like.
The filling here is made up of things that you might have easily available in your fridge or pantry – a chunk of onion, bell pepper, a small section of cauliflower, leftover cooked rice, black beans, spinach, a scoop of tomatillo salsa, and a smattering of spices.
Instead of topping these with cheese, I opted for avocado, tomatillo salsa and cashew cream that I had leftover from this Cauliflower Burrito Bowl recipe. The cashew cream is a bit of an extra step, but it’s SO GOOD with both recipes (blend once, eat twice) and I highly recommend adding scoops of it after you bake these vegan poblano peppers. Of course, if your a cheese lover, by all means, smother these in cheese and bake until it bubbles.
According to my Instagram feed, you all celebrated this past holiday weekend by eating watermelon, making pie, or grilling up corn on the cob. If you were part of the third group, this is a super easy, super delicious recipe you can toss together if you happen to have leftover grilled corn. And if you don’t…. well, it’s still easy nonetheless.
This ingredient combo happened by accident but I’m so in love with it. I combined the corn I had left over from this grilled corn on the cob recipe with a few things I had in the fridge that I needed to use up before we left town: half of a cucumber, bell peppers, peaches, basil, lime juice and a few spoonfuls of the creamy serrano chile lime sauce from that same corn recipe. It’s a refreshingly sweet, crispy, crunchy, creamy combo that I will most definitely be eating all summer long.
Pair this with whatever you’re grilling.
Oh, and one more thing. We would LOVE it if you could take a minute to nominate us for the Saveur 2016 Blog Awards. Nominations are open through July 18th (click here). We really appreciate your support, thank you!