Sitting around a campfire with hand carved wooden sticks, roasting marshmallows to golden perfection and sandwiching them between two honey sweetened graham crackers and a layer of chocolate is the quintessence of a perfect summer night.
As much as I love the act of creating smores, I'm not really sure how I feel about eating them. I love all of the smore ingredients: graham crackers, chocolate, toasted marshmallows - what's not to like? I actually prefer to deconstruct my smores to eat them though. I guess I like to savor each flavor without being muddled together.
This smore ice cream really got me thinking. If you can take a smore and transform it into a heavenly frozen treat, what other things can you transform a smore into? I've made them into cakes and cupcakes but I couldn't help thinking that the chocolate, marshmallow, graham combinations would also make a great muffin.
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup marshmallow cream
Bake 20-25 minutes at 350.
Top each muffin with a Tablespoon of marshmallow cream. Let sit 10 minutes.
When sitting around a campfire is not an option, you can always improvise and bake up a batch of smore muffins. Admittedly, these smore muffins are a little sweeter than your normal breakfast muffin but they're a delicious morning treat. My plan is to bake a batch another batch of graham cracker muffins without the chocolate and marshmallow. I'll let you know how they turn out.
If there were a speed eating contest, my husband and I would both stand a chance of reigning victorious. We've got an edge up on our competition because we're both ultra competitive AND we have a lot of practice. I'm not talking about a hot dog eating or pie eating competition, I'm talking about scarfing down a regular sized meal in record time.
There is really no advantage to our accelerated eating habits - quite the opposite really. No person should ever consume their food in such hasty fashion. Eating quickly leads to poor digestion, overeating and lower satisfaction with the whole experience. Not to mention the fact that if I spend and hour preparing a meal, I want everyone at the table to enjoy every single bite that goes into their mouth. I don't want to see my culinary efforts disappear in ten minutes flat without so much as an inhale to appreciate the way the food smells.
I talk about eating as an experience A LOT. I'm mainly reminding myself to put my fork down between bites and to slow myself down while I'm eating a meal. (Regardless of who prepared it.) My goal is to experience my food instead of simply eating to satisfy my hunger. Appreciating what the food LOOKS like and how it SMELLS even before diving into that first bite.
If there was ever a food that really begs to be experienced and appreciated, it's a Caesar Salad. It's simplistic in nature and the recipe is very basic but it really stands out against all other salads. Chances are you've had one of these beloved salads at some point in your life but now I challenge you to experience your Caesar Salad. Try my Grilled Caesar salad with Sourdough Breadcrumbs for a unique twist on the class Caesar.
Grilled Caesar Salad with Sourdough Breadcrumbs
2 cups cubes whole wheat sourdough bread
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 romaine hearts, quartered lengthwise
1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated
Brush romaine halves with olive oil.
Place lettuce, cut side down, on a hot grill and grill until charred.
Add 1/4 c. chickpeas and 1/4 c. breadcrumbs.
Top with 2 T. Caesar dressing and parmesan cheese.
Pair this Cesar salad with a great piece of grilled fish or chicken and you've got yourself a perfect summer meal.
My birthdays have finally caught up with me and I've had to face the tough reality that my vision is no longer what it used to be. I've been living in denial for quite a while now. I've used glasses for my near sightedness for years but now that I'm 47, apparently I'm both near sighted AND far sighted! I'm not even sure how it's even possible to not be able to see near OR far.
Growing older may equate to deteriorating eye sight but I feel like with each passing year, my taste buds have become proportionally more intense. Maybe my sense of taste is compensating for my declining eye sight. Ten years ago, I would have never been able to pick up on the subtlety of a shitake mushroom, truffle oil or an aged gruyere in a risotto dish. To be honest, I'm really not sure that I would have even eaten a risotto dish a few years ago.
There are a lot of downsides to maturity and I won't go into that lengthy list, but I do seem to gain a new appreciation for food with each trip that I make around the sun. I'll hold onto each and every advantage that there is to getting older. I love that the flavor of fruit seems more intense than it did when I was younger. Herbs are more vivid and vegetables more crisp. I can truly appreciate a really great 3 ingredient dessert like Strawberry Lime Sorbet now, even more than ever before.
Strawberries, limes and sugar is all it takes to make this really sweet and delicious frozen treat. This sorbet is absolutely bursting with fresh flavor. You NEED to try this.
Puree ingredients in blender.
I've love this Strawberry Lime Sorbet so much that I've made it multiple times this summer already. I can tell you from experience that it's equally delicious if you swap out the sugar for TruVia sweetener. I keep a container of the stevia sweetened strawberry lime sorbet in my freezer for nights when I crave a little dessert but don't want the extra calories and sugar. It's REALLY good.
I'm learning to thrive in the gray areas of eating. I'm also learning to accept the fact that not all of my daily decisions can be as black and white as I would like. Sure there are some decisions that are very clear cut: Should I get out of bed? Should I each some chocolate today? I can answer YES to both of those questions without even giving them a second thought.
The problem is that black and white rules don't apply to healthy eating. These days the rules of healthy eating are constantly changing. One diet "expert" makes the claim that we should eat salmon at least once a week while another warns us to avoid it at all costs. Eat only farm raised salmon, eat only wild caught salmon, eat coho salmon, eat only Alaskan salmon. What are we supposed to believe? It's all very confusing and quite honestly - overwhelming.
Thriving in the gray area, means finding balance in my diet. Shrugging off my guilt for indulging in something "forbidden", listening to my body and allowing myself to eat the things that are right for me and not removing sugar completely from my diet to the point where I obsess over it. Thriving in the gray area. Balancing my ice cream binge sessions with some vegetables.
Today I cooked salmon tacos for dinner. Salmon is a hot topic right now in the healthy eating world and there is a LOT of information regarding both the benefits and the disadvantages of its consumption. The fact is that I enjoy salmon and eating it makes me happy so I eat it at least once a week. These Smoked Salmon Tacos are a great way to really enjoy salmon in a delicious and healthy way.
Smoked Salmon Tacos
1 cup brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
2 pound salmon filet
1 cup wood chips
2 Tablespoons apricot preserves
1 Tablespoon water
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 small granny smith apple, peeled and chopped fine
1 celery rib, chopped fine
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
12 (6 inch) flour tortillas
3 cups salad greens
Add salad greens.
I cook a lot of salmon and I don't like to repeat recipes. (I'm a food blogger after all.) I had explored what I thought was every possible way to prepare this delicious seafood - then I discovered the salmon taco. I wasn't sure about the idea of a salmon taco at first but I was ready for a new way to enjoy my salmon so I agreed to give it a shot. I am so glad that I did. This may just be my new favorite way to enjoy salmon.
What's your favorite food? I never know how to answer that question so I usually give chocolate as an impulsive answer without really giving it much thought. But, if I really search the depths of my soul, I would have to say that my love of fresh raspberries trumps my love of chocolate. There's just something special about those little bright red fruity gems.
My wonderful husband surprised me a raspberry pie from my favorite raspberry farm for my birthday this year. (Doesn't everyone have a favorite raspberry farm?) Sometimes I think Ben knows me better than I know myself, but then again, it didn't really take much deductive research to figure out that I'm obsessed with raspberries. I blogged about them here, and here and here.
Even though I often overlook the apprized raspberry, I am always delightfully surprised at just how happy they make me. These little ricotta toasts are one of my new favorite way to enjoy raspberries. It doesn't hurt that pistachios also hold a place near and dear to my heart. Oh, and ricotta cheese is my guilty pleasure so when you drizzle in a little bit of honey over these tiny creations - ridiculous. This recipe couldn't be any easier - or more delicious.
Raspberry Ricotta Toasts
1 cup ricotta
1 Tablespoon honey
4 slices country bread, toasted
pistachios, roughly chopped
Top with fresh raspberries, pistachios and a drizzle of honey.
This is one of those delicious foods that crosses all traditional food boundaries. It's the perfect brunch food, a delightful little side dish for a ladies luncheon, an elegant appetizer, a sweet little dessert or if you're me ... it's DINNER. I struggled to figure out where to put them in my recipe index. Breakfast foods, appetizers and desserts all seemed like perfectly appropriate places to add this delicious treat. (Just in case your curious, the recipe landed on the appetizers page of my recipe index.)
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