Kale + Blackberry + Beet + Almond Milk Smoothies

Kale + Blackberry + Beet + Almond Milk Smoothies

What’s in your morning routine?  I make my bed, splash my face with cold water, drink a giant glass of lemon water, and try to forget about the giant bag of dark chocolate chips I’ve been meaning (and failing) to hide from myself.  I try my best to start things off well, with some clarity and conscious eating… that’s because it’s easy to reason with my relaxed morning brain.  By the time dinner rolls around it’s nearly impossible to talk my brain out of popcorn, wine, and handfuls of chocolate chips.  

Continue reading Kale + Blackberry + Beet + Almond Milk Smoothies at Joy the Baker.

Buttered Pecan Oatmeal with milk and sugar in the raw

I’ll be the first to admit, that I’ve been breakfast obsessed lately.  I fall asleep thinking about the breakfast.  I wake up thinking I better hurry to the kitchen to get breakfast and tea started.  I eat breakfast standing in front of my kitchen window watching my morning get brighter and brighter with the sun and listening the the morning’s news on the radio.  It’s a ritual I’ve become attached to.  Oatmeal is my no fail breakfast treat, and I’ve had pecans on the brain lately.  This buttered pecan oatmeal is rich, earthy and filling. The warm, sweet and nutty combination would be great with fruit too- any fruit- bananas, apples, peaches, berries.  It’s the kind of breakfast my dreams are made of.

Buttered Pecan Oatmeal

Print this Recipe!

serves 1, but it’s a lot of filling yumminess.

For the Pecans

1  scant Tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 cup chopped pecans

pinch of salt

 

For the Oatmeal

1 cup of water

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats

sugar in the raw

milk

 

Melt the butter in a skillet.  When butter is melted, add the chopped pecans and pinch of salt.  Cook pecans, stirring often, until they are browned and fragrant.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil, then add salt.  Add the oats to the boiling water and turn flame down to low.  Cook the oatmeal, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.  Once oatmeal is sufficiently thickened, mix 1/2 of the buttered pecans mixture into the oatmeal.

Put oatmeal in a serving bowl, add the remaining buttered pecans on top, sprinkle with sugar in the raw to taste, and add milk if you’d like.

Homemade Almond Milk

It’s just an ordinary day, except for the fact that I made milk!  Not the yummy stuff that comes from the cow, but Almond Milk with a touch of honey.  It might just give Old Bessie a run for her money.

Let me tell you a little about me.  I’m part Irish, part African American, and A Little Bit of Hippie.  Today we’re only going to discuss the Hippie in me.  My parents raised me on, what seemed at the time to be, the gnarliest health food on the planet.  I remember sitting down to dinners of Tofu Potato Baker (which I did eventually come to love- thank you ketchup), loads of barely-steamed-mostly-raw broccoli, whole wheat fig bars and fresh squeezed carrot juice.  Granted, I love all that stuff now, but what I would have given for some Chips Ahoy and Kentucky Fried Chicken when I was 5.

I make my family’s dinner habits sound like abuse, don’t I?  That’s probably not fair.  In their choices, my parents instilled in me, what I call, A Little Bit Of Hippie.

As a person with A Little Bit of Hippie in her I am prone to do things like enjoy vegan food on Friday night and throw back a medium rare filet on Saturday night.  I also might ride my bike to work, but only twice a week.  It’s also the Little Bit of Hippie in me that lead me down the granola bar path and inspired me to make these Banana Blackberry Smoothies with Homemade Almond Milk.

I think we all should have at A Little Bit of Hippie in us.  Maybe the the world would be more full of peace, love and Homemade Almond Milk

The milk is SO easy to make.  It tastes light, but full of almondy flavor.  Give it a go!  I love it in smoothies and on granola.

Almond Milk

Print this Recipe!

1.  Place 1 cup toasted almonds in a glass jar, or clean container with a lid.

2.  Cover almond with 4 cups filtered water.

3.  Tightly close the jar or place the lid on the container.

4.  Refrigerate for 1 day, 2 days at the very most.

5.  I know the picture isn’t all that charming, but pour the almonds and water into a blender and blend until relatively smooth.  It will never smooth completely, but blend on and off for about 1 minute and 30 seconds.  (During this step I added 1 Tablespoon Honey to the almond milk.)

6.  Drape a cheesecloth over a medium sized bowl and place a fine mesh strainer on top.  Pour the contents of the blender into the strainer.  Gather all four corners of the cheesecloth and slowly lift and squeeze the liquid from the cloth.

7.  You’re left with almond milk and almond pulp.  Discard the pulp, or think of something extra hippie to do with it.  The milk- drink it.

Banana Blackberry Breakfast Smoothie

In a blender combine:

1 ripe banana

6 blackberries

3/4 cup almond milk

1/2 cup plain yogurt

Milk Chocolate Pudding with Cream and Raspberry Sauce

Milk Chocolate Pudding

I was notorious in my family for being the child that could only be comforted by my mother.

Most playful family weekends, the scene went something like this:  I’d be in the backyard playing with my little sister, my dad and Scamper, the family dog on our creaky, rusted and awesomely fun swing set.  My favorite move was to swing as high as I could, count to three with my sister and jump out of the swings onto the grass.  Sounds innocent enough, but I was always getting my little girl fingers stuck in the chains of the swing as I dismounted.

I’d hit the ground and look at my dad with the silent cry face… the face kids give their parents before the completely lose it and burst into tears.  My dad would invariable come over and try to talk me out of losing it, but I was already halfway into the ugly cry by then.  It was then that no one but my mom could handle the cajoling and kissing of my finger.  I’d run into the house, screaming like a maniac and clutching my (not even bleeding) finger, looking for my mother who had found just a few moments peace to take a shower or a short nap.  I’d force myself into her lap, lift the offending, pained finger, and wait for the mom comfort to blanket me.  So good.

Come to think of it, that swing set caused as many injuries as it did smiles.

Come to think of it, jumping off the swing set is always worth the hurt finger.

Come to think of it, this pudding has much the same healing qualities as my mom’s lap.

Milk Chocolate Pudding

Milk Chocolate Pudding

Milk Chocolate Pudding … holy wow!  It’s super simple, brilliantly satisfying, and you can have it as is, or doll it up with lightly sweetened cream and easy homemade raspberry sauce.  Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  Mother’s Day treats?  Yea… I thought so.

Milk Chocolate Pudding

Milk Chocolate Pudding

Gourmet, February 2007

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2 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream

4 ounces fine-quality milk chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan.  Gradually whisk in milk and cream.  Bring to a boil over moderately high heat, whisking constantly.  Boil, whisking for two minutes.  Mixture will be thick.  Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate pieces and vanilla extract.  Stir until melted and smooth.

Transfer pudding to four or six small dishes.  Cover the surface with wax paper, to prevent a skin from forming, and place in the fridge until cool and set, about two hours.

In the meantime, make the whipped cream and raspberry sauce.

To assemble, top the chocolate pudding with whipped cream and raspberry sauce and serve immediately.  If you would like to assemble dessert and return it to the fridge, you may want to place the raspberry sauce beneath the whipped cream so it doesn’t bleed as much.

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons powdered sugar.

Whip heavy cream with an electric hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer until frothy.  Add the sugar and continue to whip until soft peaks form.  Whip the cream slightly longer if you like a stiffer hold to your whipped cream.  Place in the fridge to save for assembly.

Easy Raspberry Sauce

1/2 of a 12-ounce bag frozen raspberries, thawed

1 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoons water

Place the thawed raspberries in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment.  Add sugar and water and mix until the raspberries form a smooth puree.  Transfer raspberry puree to a fine mesh strainer fit over a bowl.  Press the puree through the strainer, until only the raspberry seeds and a bit of pump remain the the strainer, and a beautiful raspberry sauce is all that’s in the bowl.

Milk Chocolate Pudding

Milk Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes

Milk Chocolate Chip Pancakes

These are the four pictures that are going to make you seriously consider why you aren’t in your kitchen right this second making these pancakes.

These are the four pictures that might just have you prioritizing the next few hours, the next few days, heck(!) your entire weekend around these pancakes.

Milk Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Milk Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Milk Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Yea… that just happened. I just dropped that madness on you. I know… totally unfair.

Milk Chocolate Chip Pancakes

These Milk Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes will weaken all defenses. They’ll make you completely susceptible to lounging in bed for an early afternoon nap. They’ll make it even more impossible to remove yourself from the couch to get any weekend chores done. These pancakes are perfect for that epic unproductive weekend you’ve been planning. You were planning one of those weekends, weren’t you?

In short, these pancakes are a blessing from the heavens.

Milk Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes

adapted from BlogChef

Print this Recipe!

makes lots, enough for four people.

2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2- 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips (depending on how chippy you feel)

oil or cooking spray (for cooking)

Step 1: In a large bowl beat eggs. Add buttermilk, butter and vanilla and mix well. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well until mostly smooth. Fold in chocolate chips and let batter set for a few minutes.
Step 2: Heat griddle or pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan or spray with cooking spray. You can test to see if the pan is hot enough by adding a few drops of water, ifor when the drops start to dance its hot enough.
Step 3: Pour 2 Tablespoons of batter onto the griddle. Cook on the first side until bubbles that form start to pop. You can also gently lift up the pancake to make sure the bottom is not overcooking, if it is the pan may be too hot and you will need to adjust the heat. Flip the pancake over with a spatula and cook until golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is gone. Let cooked pancakes rest on a heat proof plate in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve.

Strawberry Cream Puffs with Milk Chocolate Sauce

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Some problems can only be solved by Fiona Apple songs.  Loud.  In headphones.  All up in my brain.  In the car.  Drowning out surroundings.

Fiona Apple reminds me of heartbreak that I no longer mourn.  Young loves from years ago.  Young loves that feel old now.  Loves that I feel faded into just good memories.  The sting is gone… and it’s all just sweet.  The memories are indulgent.  The drama so pleasingly removed.  It’s like watching a movie in my head… me and that cute boy I loved are the star.  It’s tender and earnest.. and there is good even when it gets sad.

It’s hard to imagine how my now will someday have this faded comfort of my current memories.  All of the now feels so… now… and pressing and urgent.  If I’m lucky, my now will be my sweet moments later.

But really… the now is sweet indeed.

I made pastry vessels for whipped strawberry cream…. then I covered the whole thing in chocolate.  I’m not the first and I won’t be the last to do this.. but I feel pretty much like a genius.

If you had told me ten years ago that I’d be sitting on a bed eating strawberry cream and NOT crying to this song… I wouldn’t have believed you.  I would have called you a liar… because that song would always and forever tear out my heart.  Or.. not!  Because now it just feels sweet, and tender, and reminds me of love and strawberries and cream.

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Is it completely hard to believe that flour and butter turn into cream puffs?

It sort of blows my mind… it can’t be this simple, right?

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Right…

We need eggs.  Eggs do all the heavy lifting in this recipe.  They create the webbed and moist texture.  Eggs also create the lift and lightness in this dough.

Eggs are a wonder.

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If you’ve never made a pate a choux dough… it’s a little different.

Don’t let its difference intimidate you.

Flour is added to a mixture of simmering water and melted butter.

Sounds crazy, but it totally works out.

The mixture gets cooked and stirred over a low flame, helping the moisture cook out.  The process is entirely satisfying.

Once some of the moisture is cooked out, we’re going to add more fat and moisture with eggs!

This is the dough after two of four eggs are added.

It looks slightly tough and glue-y.

It will smooth out with the addition of more eggs.

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After four eggs are beaten into the flour mixture, the dough is glossy and smooth.  Thick and juuuuust pourable.

The dough gets piped onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Pro Tip One:  when this recipe asks you to line the baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper…. just do it.  Trust the process.

Pro Tip Two:  I used a 1/2-inch pastry tip (the #9) and disposable piping bags for this recipe.  It’s an investment…. but it’s totally worth it.  If you like to bake, disposable pastry bags and a few tips are really a great thing to have on hand.  Think on it.

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I have a new obsession in my kitchen:  freeze-dried strawberries!

These strawberries are my favorite part of packaged breakfast granola.  They come in a bag of just freeze-dried berries from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

I suppose you could even make your own freeze-dried strawberries.  That’s a whole thing that requires machinery.

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Because I don’t have proper machinery… I buy the bag of freeze-dried berries.

I used a spice grinder (though you could use a small food processor) to grind the berries into a powder.

This is the powder that will flavor and tint our whipped cream.

The best, right?

(The Tomato Tart has an amazing use for freeze-dried strawberries.  It’s the inspiration!)

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Just barely pink and full of strawberry flavor.

All you really need is a spoon.  Truth.

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Because I don’t know when to stop…. we need milk chocolate.

Let’s pour hot cream over it and call it a ganache.  Come on…. what’s better than that? (nothing… duh.)

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Let’s smash three desserts into one!

Profiteroles + Strawberry Cream + Milk Chocolate Sauce

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Nothing bitter.  It’s all just sweet.  Let’s keep it sweet.

This recipe is slightly adapted from Thomas Keller.  Ok… so it’s ballsy to adapt a Keller recipe… to be sure.  But!  I added strawberry cream.  I’m sure he’d understand.

If you don’t have access to freeze-dried strawberries, you can make a whipped cream filling with vanilla beans, you can add 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and double the powdered sugar, or you can add a splash of bourbon.  You’ve got options.

This might not be the sort of recipe you’d think to make.  I know… there are a lot of steps.  I know… you’re cooking dough.  It might feel weird and overwhelming.  Try something new!  Surprise your kitchen brain.  It needs surprising.

Strawberry Cream Puffs with Milk Chocolate Sauce

makes about 2 dozen puffs

adapted slightly from Thomas Keller

Print this Recipe!

For the Profiteroles:

1 cup water

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 to 5 large eggs

For the Strawberry Cream:

2 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberry powder

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Sauce:

4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

To make the Profiteroles:

Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter, sugar and salt.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Once the butter is melted and the mixture is brought to a simmer, lower heat slightly, and add flour all at once.  Stir immediately using a stiff heat-proof spatula or a wooden spoon.  Stir until the mixture thickens, pulls away from the side of the pan, forms a mass, and the bottom of the pan is clean.  The mixture will be glossy and damp.

We’re going to cook the dough over a low flame.  This will allow moisture to evaporate from the dough, allowing it to absorb more fat when the eggs are added.  Stir for about 5 minutes.  A thing gluten coat will form along the bottom and sides of the pan.  When enough moisture has evaporated, the dough will steam and the cooking flour will smell slightly nutty.

Immediately transfer the dough to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Beat on medium speed for about 1 minute, releasing some of the heat from the cooked dough.  Add four eggs, one at a time, beating until each egg is thoroughly incorporated.  Stop the mixer between each egg addition and scrape down the bowl.  After beating in the last egg the mixture should be glossy and thick… but still juuuust pourable.  When scooped into a spoon, the dough should slowly pour off the spoon.  If it doesn’t fall, or it fall in one giant clump… beat in the 5th egg.

Spoon the dough in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch pastry tip.  On the prepared sheets, pipe out dough into circles so that they are about 1 1/2-inches across, about about 3/4-inch tall.  Space them about 1 1/2-inches apart on the sheet pan.    Bake for 10 minutes.  Rotate the pans from bottom shelf to top.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees F, and bake for 15 minutes more.

Remove a cream puff from the oven and slice in half.  If the inside is not gooey, but still just moist, they’re done!  If they’re gooey, bake for another 3 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the pan.

To make Strawberry Cream:

Place dehydrated  strawberries in a spice grinder or small food processor.  Grind to a powder.  Set aside 1/2 cup of pink strawberry powder.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, add cold cream and powdered sugar.  Beat of medium-high speed to incorporate.  Stop mixer, add strawberry powder and vanilla extract.  Beat on medium-high speed until just thick.  You want the cream to be thick and hold its shape, but not over whipped and on its way to butter.

Allow cream to chill in the refrigerator until it’s time to assemble the cream puffs.

To make the Milk Chocolate Sauce:

Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.

In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream and corn syrup until just simmering.  Pour hot cream mixture over chopped chocolate.  Let stand for 1 minute, then carefully whisk to incorporate.  Mixture will be glossy and smooth.  Refrigerate sauce if you’d like a thicker consistency.

To assemble Cream Puffs:

Cut each profiterole in half.  Top with 1 heaping tablespoon strawberry cream.  Place the top of profiterole on top of the cream.  Drizzle with chocolate.  Serve with coffee.  Once assembled, these are best served immediately.  Profiteroles can be made a day ahead, wrapped will and kept at room temperature.  Before serving, place profiteroles on a sheet pan and toast at 300 degrees F for about 5 minutes… just to heat through and re-crisp.  Cool then fill with cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce.  

Peanut Butter Blondies with Milk Chocolate Frosting

Peanut Butter Blondies with Milk Chocolate Frosting

In my kitchen this past week I’ve managed to burn my Thanksgiving brussels sprouts, make a bum batch of chocolate brownies, crack my favorite coffee mug and somehow spill a half bottle of red wine under…UNDER my refrigerator.  Additionally, since my kitchen seems to be a vortex of ill fate, I’ve refused to do the dishes.  It wasn’t a pretty sight, friends.  I was just about due for an intervention.

I was just about ready to throw a stick of dynamite into my kitchen and hope for the best.  Instead I opted for one last shot… mostly because sticks of dynamite like the ones they have in cartoons are hard to find… maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places… whatever the case,  I preheated the oven, kept my head down, and… success!  Sweet, dense, chocolate and peanut butter success.

This dark kitchen cloud seems to have passed, and I’ve managed to get all of my dishes in the dishwasher…. things are looking up and tasting pretty darn good too.

Peanut Butter Blondies with Milk Chocolate Frosting

Peanut Butter Blondies with Milk Chocolate Frosting

These peanut butter blondies are serious.  The blondie is dense and packed with brown sugar and peanut butter flavor.  The chocolate frosting is the perfect compliment, although if you simply wanted to add chocolate chips or broken up Reese’s Peanut Butter cups to the blondie batter, that would be just as delicious.  I think frosting on brownies is the ultimate indulgence…. so why not go for it.  Be warned… you’ll need milk to drink with these.  Lots of milk.

Peanut Butter Blondies with Milk Chocolate Frosting

Peanut Butter Blondies with Milk Chocolate Frosting

makes one dozen big brownies in a 9×13-inch pan

Print this Recipe!

10 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 5 cubes

2 cups dark brown sugar

1 cup smooth and natural peanut butter

2 eggs

2  teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease a 9×13-inch pan, line with parchment paper if you have it on hand, then grease the parchment paper.  If you don’t have parchment paper, these blondies will be just fine.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and sugar together until the butter is just melted.  Remove from the burner and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then add the peanut butter.  Stir until incorporated.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes more, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract.  You want the sugar, butter and peanut butter mixture to be cool enough that the eggs won’t begin to cook when they’re added in.

Whisk together salt, flour and baking powder.  Add dry ingredients all at once to the wet ingredients.  Stir until just incorporated.  Pour the thick batter into the prepared pan and smooth out.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the blondies comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before frosting.

Milk Chocolate Frosting

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar

3 Tablespoons milk

3/4 cup milk chocolate chips, melted

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, cocoa powder and salt.  Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar followed by 1 tablespoon milk.  Beat well.  Add another cup of powdered sugar, followed by 2 tablespoons of milk.  Melt milk chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double boiler.  Add melted and slightly cooked milk chocolate the frosting and beat to incorporate.  Add the final 1/2 cup of powdered sugar if you need a bit more thickness.  Spread evenly over peanut butter blondies.

Hint of Mint Chocolate Milk

hint of mint chocolate milk

My dad used to make my sister and I cold cereal for breakfast most mornings.  He’d spoon some brown sugar into a small bowl, add Life Cereal (remember that goodness!?), and top the cereal with milk.  My sister and I would sit in the breakfast nook watching I Love Lucy (or The Andy Griffith Show on a bad day) and enjoy our cereal.  Easy and regular and somehow super special.

I’d try to rush my way through the cereal before it got too soggy.  Always a race against time.  The best part of cereal was always the final spoonfuls of milk steeped with the brown sugar that lived at the bottom of the bowl.  I loved finding those sweet pockets of brown sugar.

I think I’m looking for those sweet pockets all through life.  They’re not really that hard to find…. especially when you put way too much minty chocolate syrup at the bottom of your chocolate milk glass.  See what I did there?  Sweet pockets.

For a hot version of Chocolate Milk, see: Cinnamon Infused Hot Chocolate.

hint of mint chocolate milk

Chocolate milk is about more than just mixing cocoa powder with milk.  Oooh no.  We need to fancy it up a bit.

Cocoa powder is combined with brown sugar and granulated sugar.  Water to make it all a syrup.  Salt to balance the sweetness.  Pure vanilla extract for depth, and a dash of mint extract because it’s winter and peppermint is extra pretty in chocolate.

I used two different types of cocoa powder because it’s what I had on hand.  I used natural cocoa powder and a black onyx cocoa powder.  Use whatever you have that makes you happy.

hint of mint chocolate milk

The mixture is whisked and boiled for about 10 minutes.  The chocolate becomes deep, dark, and bubbly hot.  Not exactly what you might think when you picture cold chocolate milk, but we’ll get there!

Once the syrup is boiled and thickened, it’s rested and cooled.  It’s sort of like making hot fudge for milk.  I mean… just imagine how good that is.  Ps.  REALLY GOOD, in case your imagination fails you.

A heaping spoonful of chocolate syrup is stirred together with milk.  The result is creamy chocolate milk with just a tiny hint of mint.  So satisfying.  Add a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and we’ll be best friends forever and ever.

hint of mint chocolate milk

My very favorite part is the collected chocolate at the bottom of the glass.  Life is sweet.

In other news… can you believe that I executed this entire blog post without the use of a single paper straw.  Food blog miracle.

Hint of Mint Chocolate Milk

adapted from With Style and Grace

makes about 1 1/2 cups chocolate sauce

Print this Recipe!

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used natural cocoa powder and black onyx cocoa powder)

pinch of salt

1 cup water

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

whole or reduced fat cow’s milk, soy milk, or almond milk

In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugars, cocoa powder, and salt.  Place saucepan over low heat and add water.  Whisk until thoroughly combined and no lumps remain.

Bring the chocolate mixture to a low boil, whisking frequently. Whisk for 8 to 10 minutes, until mixture is thickened.

Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and peppermint extracts.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Transfer to an airtight jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make chocolate milk, stir together 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup per one cup of cold milk.  Stir and enjoy!

Raspberry and Goat’s Milk Yogurt Popsicles

Raspberry Goat's Milk Yogurt Popsicles

I like pink food.

Raspberry Goat's Milk Yogurt Popsicles

There.  I said it.

Raspberry Goat's Milk Yogurt Popsicles

Also.  I’d like to know if Kraft needs a pink popsicle model.  Cause… dang.  I’d really like to get in on some popsicle model dollars.  Actually.  Truth be told.  I’d probably work for free popsicles.  Let’s make this happen .

Raspberry Goat's Milk Yogurt Popsicles

We’ve got fresh raspberries, lemon and a touch of sugar.

Raspberry Goat's Milk Yogurt Popsicles

Raspberries cooked down just a bit… that’s a gorgeous color.

Would I look reasonable with raspberry colored hair?

Raspberry Goat's Milk Yogurt Popsicles

Goat’s Milk Yogurt.  Such a dream come true.  It’s slightly tangy, has an alluring sweetness.  It brings a lovely summery character to these popsicles.

Think:  new summer love.  Like… brand new, stupid hot, summertime love.  These popsicles taste like that.

No?  Not getting it.

Ok…

Think:  fresh, sweet raspberries atop bright pillows of goat cheese on a lazy, late summer afternoon.  Better?  Delicious.

Raspberry Goat's Milk Yogurt Popsicles

Where did I find my popsicle molds?  A very fancy, very exclusive place called The 99cent Store.  Everything is a dollar.  Everything is everywhere.  This place would make Martha Stewart’s head explode.

Find your popsicle molds at the dollar store, in the summery department of your drug store or online somewhere… Amazon perhaps?

Molds come in all different sizes and shapes.  I found these molds endearing, clever and most importantly… cheap.

Raspberry and Goat’s Milk Yogurt Popsicles

adapted from thekitchn

Print this Recipe!

makes a dozen small popsicles, but it depends on the size of your popsicle molds

2 cups fresh raspberries  (or thawed and drained frozen raspberries)

1/4 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons water

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup goat’s milk yogurt

Bring the raspberries, water and sugar to a simmer in a medium saucepan.  Simmer for three to five minutes until the fruit is soft and slightly broken up.  Add the lemon juice and pour into a medium bowl.  Place in the fridge to cool to chill.

Once cold, add the yogurt to the raspberry mixture and stir to combine.  Pour into the molds and freeze for at least eight hours, or overnight.

To unmold the popsicles, run the mold under warm water to loosen the popsicles.

Kale + Blackberry + Beet + Almond Milk Smoothies

three almond milk smoothies

What’s in your morning routine?  I make my bed, splash my face with cold water, drink a giant glass of lemon water, and try to forget about the giant bag of dark chocolate chips I’ve been meaning (and failing) to hide from myself.  I try my best to start things off well, with some clarity and conscious eating… that’s because it’s easy to reason with my relaxed morning brain.  By the time dinner rolls around it’s nearly impossible to talk my brain out of popcorn, wine, and handfuls of chocolate chips.  Morning is my power hour.  Dinner looks like a breakup rom-com where a heartbroken girl eats her weight in everything ever.

It’s a new Monday.  It’s a new week.  Let’s start things off feeling great!  The morning is on our side in three major ways.

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I love that three completely different smoothies can come from this display of ingredients.

It’s all about color!  We’re talking about the deep green of kale, bright yellow of pineapple, pretty purple blackberries, and beets that are just dying to stain your fingertips magenta.  

Our constants, our rocks, our anchors in the storm will be frozen banana chunks and cold Almond Breeze Almond Milk.

almond milk smoothie: three ways

I’ve coaxed you into putting greens in your smoothie before, haven’t I?  This Kale, Spinach, and Pear Smoothie started this whole green smoothie kick in my kitchen.

Pairing pineapple with kale really brightens the flavors and makes the smoothie feel like a tropical kale vacation.  Wait.  That doesn’t tempt you?  Don’t worry. This smoothie doesn’t taste like a salad in a blender.  The kale flavor really mellows when pulverized in the company of pineapple and vanilla almond milk.

kale pineapple smoothie

Kale, Pineapple and Almond Milk Smoothie

makes 1 large or 2 small smoothies

Print this Recipe!

1 banana, sliced into chunks, frozen is ideal

1 heaping cup fresh pineapple chunks

1 giant handful of coarsely chopped kale leaves, center rib removed from the kale

1 cup cold Almond Breeze Almond Milk

1 tablespoon honey (optional, but nice for added sweetness)

Remove kale leaves from their rough center stalk and coarsely chop.  In a blender, combine banana, pineapple, chopped kale leaves, almond milk, and honey (if using).  Blend until smooth and no big kale bits remain.  Add more almond milk if the smoothie is too thick for your taste.  Enjoy immediately.

almond milk smoothie: three ways

We’ve gone down the green road, now let’s talk purple.

Blackberries are both tart and sweet.  They’re moody, and I respect that.  I paired blackberries with a vanilla goat’s milk yogurt, and oat flour.  Oat flour is made by placing old-fashioned oats in a small spice grinder until pulverized into a powder.  It helps make me feel full and totally eases any belly unrest.  An extra kick of vanilla from the almond milk, and pure vanilla extract really bring home the vanilla and berry theme.

blackberry oat almond smoothie

Vanilla, Blackberry, Oat and Almond Milk Smoothie

makes 1 large or 2 small smoothies

Print this Recipe!

1 banana, sliced into chunks, frozen is ideal

1 heaping cup frozen blackberries

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (I used goat’s milk yogurt)

1 cup Almond Breeze Almond Milk

2 tablespoons oat flour (old-fashioned oats ground in a spice grinder)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a blender, combine banana, blackberries, yogurt, almond milk, oat flour, and vanilla extract.  It’s easy.  Blend until smooth.  Add more almond milk if the smoothie is too thick for your taste.  Enjoy immediately.

almond milk smoothie: three ways

Did you think for a minute that I’d leave you a smoothie with strawberries and bananas and call it a day?  Noooo way.  Not around these parts.  I’ve added roasted, cooled, and peeled beets to this smoothie.  It’s added fiber, folate, and major magenta coloring.  I’ve also thrown in freshly ground flax seeds for some good omega action.

This smoothie is packed with good, but doesn’t taste like drinking a beet salad.  It’s sweet, pink, and filling.  It’s totally my new favorite.

strawberry beet flax almond smoothie

Strawberry Beet Smoothie

makes 1 large or 2 small smoothies

Print this Recipe!

1 banana, sliced into chunks, frozen is ideal

1 heaping cup sliced strawberries, frozen is awesome

about 1/3 cup steamed beets (I used two about half a large beet)

1 heaping tablespoon flax seed meal

1 cup Almond Breeze Almond Milk

In a blender, combine banana, strawberries, steamed and cooled beets, flax seed meal, and almond milk.  Blend until smooth. Add more almond milk if the smoothie is too thick for your taste.  Enjoy immediately.  

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Sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze.