Who enjoyed watching the eclipse today? We only got a partial view, and it got a little bit darker, but it was still really awesome to see! I’m going to keep this post short and sweet, like these eclipse-inspired moon pies. Only 3 ingredients and you’re ready to go!
Eclipse-Inspired Moon Pies
- 8 graham crackers
- marshmallow fluff
- 3/4 to 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Cut graham crackers into circles using a cookie cutter almost as big as the graham, if you have one. Spread marshmallow fluff on half of the graham crackers and cover with the other half. Heat chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring in between each round, until chips are beginning to melt. Spread over marshmallow/graham combination with a knife. Enjoy!
Why did I ever waste my time trying to make perfect pies? Rolling out the dough, cutting strips of pastry, moving it all to a pie dish, adding the filling, trying to arrange the strips of pastry perfectly all the while they are getting gooey from the filling and starting to fall apart… Why put myself through that torture? I am much too impatient for all of that work, just for a tasty dessert. But then I learned how to make a galette.
What is a galette, you might ask? It is the French term for a flat crusty cake. You start out with a pie crust dough, roll it out, add filling, and bake. The end result has the buttery crispiness of a pie dough mixed with the sweet fruit filling. It is delicious, for half the work of a regular pie. I have tried a lot of pie crust recipes, and my favorite is the William’s Sonoma recipe. It always turns out perfect for very little effort. I make my pie dough in the Cuisinart because that is how my mom taught me to do it.
One thing I would recommend would be to move wrap your pie crust around your rolling pin and move it to your baking sheet before adding the filling. The galette can get pretty heavy with all of the filling inside and you don’t want to risk spilling the filling or poking a hole in the bottom when transferring (definitely didn’t do that….).
You may remember that I have a surplus of sweet cherries laying around (https://lifeoffite.com/2017/08/19/cherry-limeade-smoothie-bowl/). They made the perfect filling for my summer galette. I added less sugar than most people would, because my husband does not like sweet desserts. A small dollop of whipped cream or ice cream was enough to sweeten it up for me.
Easy Rustic Sweet Cherry Galette
For the crust (Adapted from Williams Sonoma Pie Crust)
- 1 1/4 cups All Purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon Morena sugar
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- egg white
For the filling:
- 3 1/2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and halved
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup Morano sugar (depending on your taste buds)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
- Add all purpose flour, salt, and sugar to a food processor. Pulse 2-3 times to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing in between until mixture starts to come together. Be sure not to add too much water, as the dough will be sticky. Wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Mix together the cherries, sugar, lemon, and corn starch.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough on a floured surface until approximately 1/8 inch thick. Wrap around rolling pin and transfer to a baking sheet. Add filling to the middle, taking care to just add the fruit, without the juice. Too much juice will make the crust too soft. Fold in the ends, pleating as you go.
- Brush with egg white and bake for 35-45 minutes until fruit is bubbly and crust has browned. Enjoy!
I accidentally bought 3 pounds of sweet cherries today. Apparently it is almost the end of sweet cherry season in the south. In other news, lots of cherry recipes coming your way! I rarely buy cherries, but after eating a few (dozen) handfuls of these babies, I was wondering why I don’t buy them every summer. They are the perfect mix of sweet and tart. This smoothie bowl is like drinking a cool refreshing cherry limeade but in smoothie form, it is delicious!
Cherry Limeade Smoothie Bowl
- 1 cup lime yogurt
- 1 ripe banana
- 1/4 ripe avocado
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/2 cup pitted cherries, halved
- Cherry jam
- Other toppings: pomegranate seeds, more cherries, toasted coconut, almonds, etc.
- Add yogurt, banana, avocado, and lime juice together in a blender, Vitamix, or Magic Bullet.
- Swirl in cherry jam. Add cherries and other toppings if desired. Enjoy!
Sometimes my chocolate chip cookie dough never makes it to the oven. I much prefer a big bowl of cookie dough to a baked cookie. It’s just better. I love cookie dough so much that I probably make a small batch of chocolate chip cookie dough at least once a week and eat it with a spoon.
Traditional recipes usually have at least 1-2 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil. Some recipes will use applesauce in place of oil, but that usually needs to be cooked in order for it to work. If I ever tried to substitute something like milk to bring everything together, the recipe would be more gummy and would be more the texture of scone or biscuit batter. While those batters are delicious, the recipe did not compare to the buttery deliciousness of a true chocolate chip cookie dough. The other recipes I have seen involve chickpeas. I have made many a chickpea cookie dough in my day, but no matter what I do, there is always an underlying grittiness to the dough. But yesterday I started to make my usual cookie dough and had a stroke of genius.
Trust me when I say that this recipe is super delicious. I have never seen a recipe that substitutes the fat of coconut cream for butter or oil in cookie dough. This recipe also isn’t super coconut-y. I mean, if you hate coconut, then you may not like this recipe. But if you enjoy something else with a hint of coconut flavor such as curry, then trust me, you will like this recipe.
Secret Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough For One
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut cream (if you only have canned coconut milk, be sure to use the cream that you scrape off the top)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Mix together coconut cream with vanilla. Add sugars and salt to combine. Add flour and mix completely. Fold in chocolate chips. Enjoy!
I am not a salad person. I do not go out to a restaurant and get excited about ordering a salad. Yet, I still eat a salad for lunch every day at work. As you can probably tell, I eat a lot of desserts, so I try to balance my diet by eating a very healthy lunch and breakfast every day. I try to mix it up from week to week, rotating ingredients so I don’t get tired of eating the same thing. I have made a lot of salads in the last few years and I will admit that this one is my favorite so far, mostly because roasted peaches are super tasty.
The first part of the recipe involves roasting the peaches with a honey cinnamon butter glaze. Yes you heard me right, if you just see this recipe, make the honey cinnamon butter, and then stop there, I will not judge you. I definitely did not lick the honey cinnamon butter bowl clean after making these peaches (okay I did). These peaches are the best part, and very versatile. I had extra roasted peaches after making the salads and decided to make a phenomenal dessert with them (keep an eye out for that recipe soon). The second part of this recipe involves making a vinaigrette, which you would think would be a lot more difficult than it actually is. Don’t ask me why I decided to make it in the largest mason jar I have, despite an abundance of much smaller mason jars in my cabinet.
Roasted Peach, Kale, and Feta Salad with Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
For the vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
For the salad:
- 1 bunch kale, chopped finely
- 1 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup feta
- 5 peaches
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Roast peaches: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut peaches in half and remove pits. Place in greased pan cut side up. Melt butter and add in honey and cinnamon to combine. Brush tops of peaches with honey cinnamon butter. Bake for 15-20 minutes until juices are collecting in center of peach.
- Make vinaigrette: Add olive oil, white wine vinegar, sugar, lemon, garlic, salt, and pepper to a mason jar. Cap the jar and shake vigorously until combined.
- Most people like to massage the kale before eating. If I am making the salads ahead of time for meal prepping, I do not massage the kale. I find that if I chop it finely, add the dressing, and then keep it in the fridge until lunch time that the acid of the vinaigrette has softened the kale. If eating immediately, I would recommend massaging the kale before chopping it finely.
- Dress salad with vinaigrette. Add pecans and feta. Add hot peaches. Enjoy!
Anyone else’s succulent party favor from our wedding still alive? We have three left: two are thriving and one is holding on for dear life. Every time I look at these cute little cacti, it brings me back to two years (how has it been TWO YEARS?) ago to our wonderful wedding. Here’s a picture of those little guys (oh how they have grown) exquisitely captured by Esther Nail. 🙂
I’ve made a variation of this smoothie several times, alternating ingredients for what I have in the house. The components include a mixture of green veggies and various fruit. My main problem with traditional superfood or green smoothies has always been that they either taste like I’m drinking a liquified salad or they are so full of sugar that I think I’m cancelling out any benefit I’m getting from the healthy ingredients. Something about adding the matcha masks some of the earthiness of the green veggies. Plus, then you feel like you’re indulging in a matcha iced latte while still getting a healthy dose of nutrients and antioxidants.
Superfood Matcha Smoothie Bowl
- Handful of green leafy veggies (I used a mixture of kale and spinach)
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey or sweetener of choice
- 1/2 teaspoon matcha powder
- 1 stalk celery
- 1/2 green apple
- Another fruit: 1/3-1/2 cup frozen peaches, blueberries, raspberries, etc., depending on desired level of sweetness (can omit altogether if desired)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Toppings as desired: cut apples, almonds, coconut chips, etc.
- Blend ingredients together in a blender, Vitamix, or Magic Bullet until blended. Add toppings and enjoy!
Overton Park this morning was magical. We’re so lucky to have a beautiful outdoor space and basically forest less than a mile from our house. We went on an early morning run before it got too stifling hot. Although it was muggy (wouldn’t be the south otherwise!), the air was still cool, which overall made for a surprisingly relaxing experience. I am not a fan of running, nor am I good at it, but something about being completely surrounded by ancient green trees while still in the middle of a city is very cathartic.
I came home from the run and picked a bouquet from my garden. I’m always amazed at how long the flowers continue to bloom in Tennessee. Being from such a windy state, I’m used to the blooms being blown away in a day or two. I’ve been here for two years but I’m still somehow surprised that the city is covered in flowers from the months of May to September.
Inspired by the bright pink of the blooms, and ravenous from running, I treated myself to one of my go-to protein shakes. It’s nowhere near my birthday, but I decided on a Birthday Cake Protein Shake anyways. This recipe is very filling, and actually makes either a rather large protein shake or two smaller-sized protein shakes.
Birthday Cake Protein Shake
Servings: 1-2 (depending on your preferred portion size!)
- 1 large frozen banana
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- few drops of almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or sweetener of choice
- 1 scoop unflavored protein powder (I used Isopure)
- 1 tablespoon cashew butter
- Optional: sprinkles
- Optional: ice cubes
- Place ingredients in a blender, Vitamix, or Magic bullet. The ice is optional, but I prefer my protein shakes to have more of a frappuccino texture. Trust me, it turns out to be amazing! You could possibly substitute with another nut butter such as peanut butter or almond butter, but I expect the smoothie will not taste as cake batter-ey. Top with sprinkles (if desired) and enjoy!
This was my first venture into non-banana nice cream. What is nice cream, you ask? Traditionally, it is a vegan recipe for ice cream that usually involves frozen bananas pureed with various additives such as peanut butter, cocoa powder, fruit, etc. I have tried several variations that involve a frozen banana, although most recipes seem to taste more like a smoothie to me – not that there’s anything wrong with that! These recipes didn’t really cut it if I was looking for something more ice cream-like and indulgent. This is actually one of my favorite desserts I have ever made. Ice cream is one of my favorite foods, and this recipe is just as, if not more, creamy and delicious as home made ice cream. If you’re a fan of coconut, this recipe is a must.
I had some leftover canned coconut milk from making my favorite Lentil Coconut Curry that I used for this recipe. You do not need an ice cream maker for this recipe, although it would probably work if you used one. I have an ice cream maker, but wanted to test out the ice cube tray method.
Cinnamon French Toast Coconut Nice Cream for One
- 3/4 cup canned coconut milk
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup, depending on preference of sweetness. (I really like agave maple syrup, so that’s what I used!)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
- splash of vanilla extract
- dash of salt
- cinnamon sugar for serving
- Mix together the coconut milk, syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid, at least 6-7 hours. Blend ice cubes with milk of choice in a blender, Vitamix, or Magic Bullet. You can put back in the freezer for 20-30 minutes for a firmer ice cream. Top with cinnamon sugar and a splash of syrup, if desired. Enjoy!
AKA the “Stormborn, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Protector of the Realm, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Mother of Dragons, The Unburnt, Breaker of Chains, Princess of Dragonstone” Smoothie bowl.
But really. If you’re not currently watching Game of Thrones, you need to stop what you are doing right now and immediately binge watch all 6 1/2 seasons. I’m going to try to avoid any spoilers but I am still in shock from the most recent episode. The dragons! And the fire! Wow. What girl doesn’t want to be Khaleesi when she grows up?
Scroll down for the smoothie bowl inspired by the Mother of Dragons herself.
I had honestly never had fresh dragon fruit before but I picked these babies up from the Vietnamese food market and they did not disappoint! The texture is similar to a kiwi but not quite as sweet. They are either pink or white on the inside so buying them and cutting into them is like opening a present – what’s inside is always a surprise!
This has to be my favorite smoothie bowl to date. The creaminess of the coconut milk adds an extra layer that put this healthy lunch over the top! Plus there’s no dairy so it is completely vegan. Although I eat meat and dairy products, I find myself making a lot of vegan desserts and meals. It can’t hurt to at least minimize consumption of animal products – and in some cases I prefer the result to the butter and egg filled version!
Mother of Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
- handful of frozen mangoes
- handful of frozen raspberries
- handful of frozen or fresh strawberries
- roughly 1/3 cup chopped dragon fruit or pitaya
- toppings: strawberries, dragon fruit, mangoes, coconut chips, almonds, blueberries
- Blend all ingredients together in a blender. Add toppings and enjoy.
Another delicious smoothie bowl! I’ve always enjoyed a good smoothie in the summertime because they are light and fresh. I recently switched from smoothies to smoothie bowls because I love that you can put in add ins such as fresh fruit and nuts that add a little crunch rather than just drinking something that’s basically liquid. It ends up being more filling while still being refreshing and nutritious. It’s definitely peach season in the south and these peaches that I picked up from one of the locally grown farms were sweet and delicious!
Summer Peaches and Cream Smoothie Bowl
- 3/4 cup fresh (or frozen) peaches
- 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (Greek Gods Honey Vanilla yogurt paired perfectly with the peach flavor)
- splash of milk
- optional swirl of strawberry jelly
- optional 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
- toppings: I used chia seeds, pistachios, strawberries, and cut fresh peaches
- Blend ingredients together in a blender or Magic Bullet. Add toppings and enjoy!