Chocolate Avocado Almond Pudding Pops

Chocolate Avocado Almond Pudding Pops

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.

Chocolate Avocado Almond Pudding Pops

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.

Chocolate Avocado Almond Pudding Pops Chocolate Avocado Almond Pudding Pops

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??

Chocolate Avocado Almond Pudding Pops

9 Recipes To Make Before Summer Ends

Pattypan Panzanllla

As a self-declared “summer person” August is always a little bittersweet for me. Five minutes ago it was May, and all of a sudden back-to-school supplies are on store shelves. Which shouldn’t matter to me – it’s been years since I’ve been in school – but the thought of notebooks and number two pencils still sends a little chill up my spine. No matter how old I am, I’ll never be quite ready to let the summer go.

Today’s recipes use all of my favorite late summer produce – zucchini, summer squashes, peppers, corn, eggplant, and (the one I’ll be most sad to see go): peaches. These are some of our all-time favorites and I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Patty Pan Panzanella: (pictured above) A hearty veggie-filled salad using sauteed summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, day-old bread and tons of herbs.

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza:

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza: When it comes to pizza, I usually think less is more – but when you’ve got tons of zucchini and you’re up to your ears in corn – pile it all on. This one is messy to eat, but it’s a fun way to eat SO many summer vegetables.

Summer Squash Orecchette:

Summer Squash Orecchette: More zucchini, I know, but don’t you have tons of it? This simple pasta with rosemary and lemon is a light, yet satisfying. We like to make this one on Sundays with a glass of rose, but it’s easy enough to pull off any night of the week.

Peach Salad with Mint and Pistachios:

Peach Salad with Mint and Pistachios: This salad is one of my absolute favorites – peaches and mint are not only a winning combo, but they’re so delicious over a f zucchini noodles with a dollop of savory spiced coriander yogurt.

Peach & Plum Crumble

Peach & Plum Crumble: One of my summer goals is always to consume as many peaches as possible. This crumble recipe will work with any in-season fruit, but it’s my absolute favorite with peaches.

Grilled Eggplant Pesto Sandwiches

Grilled Eggplant Pesto Sandwiches: I always get asked “what do I do with eggplant,” and my first reply is always “grill it!” If you’re afraid of working with eggplant, give this one a try.

Eggplant and Roasted Tomato Farro Salad

Eggplant and Roasted Tomato Farro Salad: When we came home from Rome last summer, this was the first meal that I recreated, inspired by a terrific salad I had at Roscioli’s. I love the concentrated super sweet flavor of slow roasted tomatoes – they’re so good with meaty eggplant, chewy farro and peppery arugula. Make a big batch and keep this salad around all week. Its a great picnic lunch.


Tostadas with Smoky Sweet Corn Hummus: A corn trifecta – smoky sweet corn hummus on top of corn tortillas, topped with grilled corn (and avocado and tomatillo salsa).


Corn, Cucumber, Peach & Avocado Salad: Last but not least, my favorite salad that I created so far this summer – the name kind of says it all – it’s full of all my favorite fruits and vegetables, tossed with a creamy chile-lime dressing. It’s summer in a bowl.

Two days in Copenhagen

Copenhagen /

Ever since watching those chef-y TV shows about Rene Redzepi, I’ve wanted to go to Copenhagen. Sadly, we didn’t get into Noma (we were #1400 on the waiting list when Jack entered us 5 months ago, ha!), but we had a blast eating our way through Copenhagen nonetheless. We had only 2 short days to take it all in, but I think we did pretty well. Thanks to all of you who gave us so many amazing recommendations on Instagram!

Copenhagen /

Day 1:

We checked into this Airbnb, had a conference call and took a nap (#werk).

Later, we walked through Nørrebro and had an awesome first dinner at Manfreds. It’s a tiny vegetable-focussed restaurant that, first off, smells amazing when you walk in – like sourdough bread baking and onions roasting. It was so warm and cozy especially since we had just walked in from the cold pouring rain. (The photo below, was taken the next day when it wasn’t raining). Our dinner consisted of about 8 shareable courses – my favorites were the roasted spring onions with pistachio cream, grilled cabbage with tarragon, and the olive oil chocolate mousse. The great thing is that they can cater to special diets & allergies if you ask. Be sure to book a reservation a few days in advance.

Copenhagen / Copenhagen /

Day 2:

By popular recommendation, we had porridge for breakfast at Grød (the one in the Torvehallerne market because it was closest to us). I got oatmeal with almond milk, topped with granola, fruit and dried strawberries. Jack got (the better bowl), which was topped with homemade caramel sauce, apple and roasted almonds. Afterward we took a long walk to Copenhagen Street Food, which is a giant warehouse full of tons of food trucks/stalls – there is a stall representing pretty much every cuisine of food – Indian, Moroccan, French, etc, etc, etc. I had smørrebrød (the open faced sandwiches that are everywhere in Denmark), Jack had something meaty, and afterward we walked through Christiana Free Town. 

For lunch #2 (so much to eat, so little time), we went to 42 Raw since so many of you had recommended it. I had the veggie burger with vegan tarragon mayo and sweet potato fries. Although I was really wishing I had gotten one of the avocado sandwiches because they looked incredible. (I have this thing where I can’t help but look at other people’s food!)

For the rest of the afternoon, we walked around central Copenhagen and popped into the Design Museum when it looked like it was going to rain.

The highlight of our trip was a late dinner at Relæ (make a reservation in advance). We sprung for the 8 course tasting menu (although the 4 course option would have been totally sufficient). It started with the most delicious sourdough bread I’ve ever eaten. The rest of the courses were a series of creative, seasonal vegetable dishes. Some of the most memorable were: a salad with pickled green strawberries, marigold and chives, cold cucumber soup with sorrel & nostrum, and these wonderful thyme roasted carrots en papillote with hollandaise sauce for dipping. We had organic natural wines (although I’m not sure how I feel about those, but they were interesting to try), and yogurt panna cotta for dessert.

Copenhagen / Copenhagen /

The next day before heading to the airport:

We took a quick walk through the Torvehallerne Market, had a more smørrebrød at Hallernes Smørrebrød – I had one that was piled high with potatoes, cucumbers and chives, and a slice of carrot cake at Laura’s Bakery.

Copenhagen /

Super quick trip, but we’ll be sure to go back! If you have favorite Copenhagen places, feel free to list them in the comments!

Watermelon Gazpacho

Watermelon Gazpacho

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.

Watermelon Gazpacho Watermelon Gazpacho

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.

Watermelon Gazpacho Watermelon Gazpacho

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.

Watermelon Gazpacho

A Picnic at Hamilton Pool

A picnic at Hamilton Pool

Since Jack and I first moved to Austin, we’ve loved exploring all of the local natural springs and watering holes. The heat here in the summertime is no joke and the best way to beat it is by getting around some water.

A few weeks ago, we took the day off and spent a lovely afternoon hiking and picnicking at Hamilton Pool. For this post, we’re partnering with Bota Box to share our little local adventure. Hamilton Pool is SO beautiful.It’s a natural pool with a gorgeous 50-foot waterfall. It’s about a 40 minute drive outside of Austin – an easy half-day trip.

A picnic at Hamilton Pool

There’s a quarter mile hike down to the pool. It’s scenic, but be sure wear decent walking shoes that will probably get a little muddy. Another quick tip: pack a lighter picnic than I did above unless you have as nice a husband as I do who will carry it all. (note: glass containers actually aren’t allowed, as we discovered later. Bota Mini’s are perfect to bring along since their alternative packaging contains no glass). 

Here we go!

A picnic at Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs TX A picnic at Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs TX

The pool was naturally created thousands of years ago when the dome of an underground river collapsed due to massive erosion. It’s fun (and totally safe!) to hike around the massive limestone formations. Be sure to grab a walking stick at the beginning of the trail, it was surprisingly helpful.

A picnic at Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs TX A picnic at Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs TX

The day we were here, swimming wasn’t allowed, but that didn’t hold us back from enjoying our picnic on the small beach. I packed my favorite picnic sandwiches, hummus & veggies, a lemony chickpea & radish salad, and these vegan chocolate chip cookies. We brought Bota Minis because what’s a picnic without wine? The Bota Minis are so convenient and easy to pack. Because the weather was warm, I packed their Mini Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay white wines.

A picnic at Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs TX A picnic at Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs TX

I just loved spending this day with Jack. It really reminded me that we should get away from our computers and go explore something new, yet nearby, more often.

A couple of tips before you go: be sure to make a reservation, they only let a certain number of people in at a time and, especially in the summer, it gets full. If you can take off a weekday afternoon, I highly recommend it!

This post was created in partnership with Bota Box. All opinions are my own!