Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sarmen (Pork Cabbage Rolls)

The holidays were hard. Really hard. And the new year feels bittersweet. On one hand, I’m looking forward to putting a painful year behind me. On the other hand, this will be a new year without my dad. 2015. A year that he’ll never see a day of. I’m moving into this new year without resolutions, but with purpose. I want to live fully and love deeply, like he did. Like he would want us to do. I’m going to focus on health and wellness, to get out and move around more. If I've learned anything in the last year, it’s that these bodies are the only ones we have, and they can break. Our bodies can betray us. The worst thing we can do with a working, healthy body is to take it for granted. 

Sarmen (Pork Cabbage Rolls) // Loves Food, Loves to Eat

The last few  months I’ve grappled with whether or not I want to continue blogging. My priorities just feel different now. Writing about the joy of a good cookie when my heart is breaking feels fake. But I also don't want this to be a sad place that brings you down with each new post. So, I’m still figuring it out. Figuring out how I want to use this space and the time and effort I put into this blog.
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Monday, December 15, 2014

Coconut Macadamia Biscotti | Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014

It’s cookie swap time! This is my 3rd year participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. The first year I made my ma’s recipe for the most amazing maple waffle cookies, and last year I made insanely good peppermint mocha icebox cookies. And this year? 

Coconut Macadamia Biscotti, Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014 | Loves Food, Loves to Eat #fbcookieswap This has been a really tough year for me, with lots of tears and heartache. I almost wasn’t able to participate in the swap this year due to my recent posting hiatus, but luckily the head gals in charge have super big, warm, fuzzy hearts! Participating in this event seriously gave me the motivation I needed to get in the holiday spirit and start recipe planning and blogging again! So, I wanted my cookie to be all about the big, warm, fuzzy, heart-shaped part of my life, which is… 
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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Fancy Tuna Melts from Sheet Pan Suppers

Do you follow the blog Dunk & Crumble? If not, you should! Molly’s writing is cute and personable, and her recipes are always fun and approachable. And she and I are the same age, we both live in Seattle, and we both got married this October. #soulmates. And guess what? She wrote a cookbook (so, I guess this is where our paths diverge) which is every bit as cute, fun, and approachable as her blog! I can already tell you this book going to be a weeknight staple in my house! 

Fancy Tuna Melts from Sheet Pan Suppers // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Sheet Pan Suppers is full of dinners, desserts, sandwiches, appetizers, and brunch things, all made on a trusty sheet pan! Her sheet pan style makes things simple and easy, even for some serious show-stoppers, like lemony fish baked on top of crispy potatoes, a pork tenderloin recipe with squash, apples, and onions that looks amazing for fall, a giant sheet pan-sized dutch baby with meyer lemon sugar, and a thin chocolate chip cake rolled with cannoli filling that I’m dying to make. She also has a lot of recipes for quick weeknight meals or weekend lunches, like these Fancy Tuna Melts.
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Monday, November 24, 2014

Date & Chorizo Kale Salad

We don’t usually have salad at our Thanksgiving feast, do you? I’ve always felt like, who wants to fill their plates and bellies with lettuce when there are already too many other good things to get through?

Date & Chorizo Kale Salad // Loves Food, Loves to Eat But this year, I’m throwing this salad option out there for you, just in case you want a dose of something green and leafy. And it’s kale, so really, no worries about that whole lettuce issue I mentioned above.
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Friday, November 21, 2014

Mini Cranberry Tarts

My mom has such a generous heart. Mel’s kitchen has always been open-invite, for any meal, any holiday, any time of year. If you need a place to eat at Thanksgiving, she’ll never turn you away, and you’ll always leave happy, with a full belly.

Mini Cranberry Tarts // Loves Food, Loves to Eat This year’s Thanksgiving will be no different in that regard. In fact, we’ll have a very full house. There will be one very important person missing this year, but we’re hoping to fill our hearts (and my mom’s home) as much as possible by surrounding ourselves with friends. Lots of friends. Like… around 20 people.
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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Pumpkin Cream Pie

I’m back… and with PIE!

Pumpkin Cream Pie // Loves Food, Loves to Eat A lot has happened around here in the last couple of months, and I struggled a little with how I wanted to come back, and what I wanted to say. In the wake of so much sadness (my dad passing) and so much joy (my wedding), I just couldn’t seem to put pen to paper (or…fingers to keyboard) about food.
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Monday, September 8, 2014

A Moment

Hey friends, you may have noticed some silence around here.

My dad—one of the funniest, coolest, most vibrant and charming troublemakers I've ever met—passed away two weeks ago.  

Things may continue to be quieter around here while I’ll take a moment to figure out how, for the first time in my 29 years, to live in a world that he isn’t in…while simultaneously putting final touches on Evan and my wedding, which is just 4 weeks away.

I’ll be back when the inspiration strikes, maybe in a week, maybe post honey-moon. But in the meantime, I wanted to let you know I’m not going anywhere, and I hope you’ll stick around too!


XO
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Monday, August 11, 2014

Peach + Cilantro Sodas

Hey friends! Sorry for being MIA! I've been so busy! I had Ragnar*, then went backpacking, then flew to Sonoma for my bachelorette party(!), then got sick, then blah blah blah yadda yadda etcetera etcetera PEACH + CILANTRO SODA! 

Peach + Cilantro Sodas // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Last weekend we saw Book of Mormon, the musical (so good), then went to dinner at Terra Plata afterward, where I had an amazing house-made peach cilantro soda (plus a million other delicious things).
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Smoked Salmon Dip | #SoLetsPigOut

It's summer, bikinis are overrated, and it stays light out super late. So….LET’S PIG OUT. But seriously. #SoLet’sPigOut is a virtual potluck hosted by two super cool gals, Emily and Gina. It’s basically a rad excuse to get together with some of the coolest people on the internet-block/planet for a midsummer celebration of the season's finest eats. I’m talkin’ apps, snacks, desserts, entrees, drinks…all the recipes you need for a really great summer potluck, from 25 awesome food bloggers. I’m bringing the smoked salmon dip!

Smoked Salmon Dip #SoLetsPigOut // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Thick, creamy, smoky, delicious. This dip is a staple in my family. My mom has been making it my entire life.

Smoked Salmon Dip #SoLetsPigOut // Loves Food, Loves to Eat My hometown is nestled in between the Columbia River and the Klickitat River, bordering towns with names like Trout Lake and White Salmon, so needless to say, there was a lot of fish in my childhood. Like, a lot of fish. My parents were pretty avid fishermen (fisherman & fisherwoman? fisher-people?) when I was growing up, especially during salmon season. Amanda and I refer to one summer of our lives as “The Summer Mom and Dad had OCFD.” That’s obsessive compulsive fishing disorder, in case you were wondering. We were middle school aged, so old enough to be home alone, but too young to drive. Did I mention we lived in the middle of nowhere, miles away from friends? Oh, and we only had 5 tv channels? And this was before internet-at-home? Yeah, we really had to use our imaginations back then.

Smoked Salmon Dip #SoLetsPigOut // Loves Food, Loves to Eat So anyway, Mel & John were out salmon fishing from sun up to sun down every single day (ok, maybe they worked too, who knows?), leaving Amanda and I to fend for ourselves. Maybe that’s where I learned to love cooking? Survival, I tell you. She and I both remember the cupboards being bare that summer, but that’s probably just our memories playing tricks on us—if you saw my parents’ cupboards you’d understand why that probably wasn't true...I think they’re preparing for the zombie apocalypse. But about the salmon: we literally got tired of salmon. It’s the one thing we remember eating that summer. We basically lived off of my dad’s hot-smoked-canned salmon, grilled salmon (either Jamaican jerk rubbed or mayo-seasoning salt rubbed, which by the way, makes the best grilled salmon ever), and batches of Mel’s salmon dip (made from leftover grilled salmon and/or salmon that she cooked just to make dip).

Smoked Salmon Dip #SoLetsPigOut // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Now, of course, I realize how lucky we were. What I wouldn’t give for unlimited salmon that doesn’t cost a month’s rent! Leftover salmon? Please. These days I make Mel’s salmon dip with store bought canned salmon, because you better believe if I’m forking out a full paycheck for fresh fish, I’m grilling it and eating it all in one sitting right then and there. Luckily, Mel’s dip recipe has some secret ingredients that give the illusion of tons of super smoky smoked salmon, without actually using smoked salmon. Genius, that woman! 

Smoked Salmon Dip #SoLetsPigOut // Loves Food, Loves to Eat This recipe is also super simple and comes together in the blink of an eye, which means you'll have extra time to make other #SoLetsPigOut potluck recipes! YES! Check out the recipes at The Pig & Quill and So…Let's Hang Out

Mel's Smoked Salmon Dip

We have lots of good canned salmon in the PNW, but if you can't find anything local, I've found the Trader Joe's canned salmon is pretty good! Just avoid anything that has skin with it, no bueno. Use 2 6oz cans, or equivalent cooked salmon. For fun, I bought a little 2 oz chunk of smoked salmon and mixed that in as well. You can serve with any crackers or veggies, but the classic summer-of-OCFD version calls for Saltine crackers. 

2 6oz cans salmon, drained
2 oz chunck of smoked salmon (optional)
1 8oz brick cream cheese, softened to room temp
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish sauce (more or less, depending on preference)
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste

Stir everything together until fully combined. That's it! Add more lemon juice or liquid smoke if you desire. Store in the fridge in an airtight container. 

PS. I knew making this dip look pretty would be a challenge. The quickest way to tell if food looks gross? Have a second grader take it to school for lunch and see how many kids make fun of it and are grossed out by it. Yep, I was that second grader you guys. In the end I was the lucky one with this dip in my lunch, but man, sometimes a kid just wants a Lunchable like everyone else, ya know?   
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Salad Roundup

Summer Salad Roundup // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
This weekend is two of my favorite events of the year: Ragnar Relay (my 6th year!) and Burning Beast. Next weekend we’re hiking/camping for Amanda’s birthday, and the following weekend is…wait for it… my bachelorette party weekend! In Sonoma! 

Summer Salad Roundup // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Um, also…did I mention that Evan and my wedding is in 2.5 months!? Where did the time go!? At this point, we mostly just need to pull together some last minute decorations and things. We have each other and we have the food, so that’s really all that matters in the end. Oh, but we’re having a helluva time picking out the aisle song. We love music and want it to be something special, but most of the bands we love sing about the opposite of happiness and love. Maybe you can help: I love classic rock (think CCR, Stones), bluegrass, Lana Del Rey, and Miley (don’t hate). Evan loves electronic music & Elliot Smith. Together, we’re bigtime fans of DCFC, Colin Meloy, and Neutral Milk Hotel. Annnnd, go! 

Summer Salad Roundup // Loves Food, Loves to Eat So anyway, with all I have going on lately, I’ve been living off of quick salads. Not even exciting ones. I know that’s kind of boring, but it’s true. Sometimes I toss some chicken on the grill and then put that in the salad, or maybe I’ll throw the whole thing in a tortilla, and call it dinner. I’ve been so busy and it’s so warm out that I’ve just had no energy to put together a real dinner. I think Evan loves it, because it means he can eat out whatever and whenever and I just don’t care. The Korean place around the corner probably loves it too, because Evan’s been a very frequent customer (sidenote: their grilled pork & kimchi sandwich is insane, and I’ll probably need to recreate it for you sometime soon!).  

Summer Salad Roundup // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Summer’s a busy time, man. If you’re also living off salads, here’s a little inspiration from the archives:
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Simple Blueberry Ice Cream

Simple Blueberry Ice Cream // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Last weekend, Amanda, Pete, Evan and I were sitting in the sun, drinking beer. Pretty typical. And then our friend Mer showed up. Also typical. So there we were, sweating our faces off, drinking craft beers (Seattle is craft beer heaven, by the way). Aside from the sweating our faces off, this is basically what we always do. So anyway, Amanda started talking about homemade ice cream, and the next thing you know, we were all crammed into my apartment around my ice cream maker. Summer is the best. 

Simple Blueberry Ice Cream // Loves Food, Loves to Eat I love a good egg-filled custard based ice cream. All creamy and rich. But for those moments when you want homemade ice cream and you want it right now (er, well, in 20 minutes) this simple milk and cream base can't be beat. No cooking. No extra cooling or anything. The only added step here is throwing some fresh blueberries in a blender with fresh lemon juice to make a tangy, fruity, swirly mix-in. 

Simple Blueberry Ice Cream // Loves Food, Loves to Eat It's seriously so easy and basic that I almost didn't share it. But the little bites I've been sneaking from the freezer all week were enough to change my mind. 

Simple Blueberry Ice Cream
Ice cream maker required

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Pinch salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
Juice from 1 lemon

Whisk together cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt, and pour into your ice cream maker. Follow ice cream maker's instructions. 

While ice cream maker is doing it's thing, blend together blueberries and lemon juice. Feel free to add a little liquid sweetener if you want (like honey or agave) but I like the tang. 

Right as ice cream is almost done, add 3/4 of the blueberry mixture and continue running machine until it's mixed in. 

To eat as soft serve, top with a little additional blueberry sauce. 

To freeze for hard ice cream, pour ice cream into a freezer safe dish, and pour remaining blueberry mix on top. Swirl with a fork. Freeze until set. 

Simple Blueberry Ice Cream // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Shaved Ice Coconut Pineapple Sundae

We booked our honeymoon! Guess where we're going? I'll give you a few hints. 
Shaved Ice Coconut Pineapple Sundae // Loves Food, Loves to Eat

It's a tropical paradise full of palm trees, coconuts, pineapples, shaved ice, ukelele music, waterfalls, beaches, coconuts, pineapples, and shaved ice. Did I mention coconuts, pineapples, and shaved ice?

Shaved Ice Coconut Pineapple Sundae // Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Hawaii! Did you guess right? We're going to the island of Kauai, and I am stoooooookkkked. We went to Maui a hundred years ago (in 2008… ack!) and loved it a ton. For honeymoonin, we considered knocking out a bucket list destination like Vietnam or France, but in the end, we decided on good ol' Hawaii, for a few reasons. First off, for us west-coasters, that tropical palm-treed paradise is just a hop and skip away. A quick little flight. Which means less time in a plane/train/taxi-cab, and more time on a beach/hammock/surf board. 

Shaved Ice Coconut Pineapple Sundae // Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Second, we aren't even tryiiin to get travel stress on our h-moon. Don't get me wrong, we love traveling to new, foreign places. But, you have to admit, there's always at least one currency/customs/language/map-reading stressor that comes up in a new country. And normally, I'm all about navigating those waters, but after 10 months of wedding planning, the last thing I want to do is run out of lempira and not have an ATM or credit card machine in site (like happened in Honduras), or get lost in the middle of the night in the pouring rain in Brugge because oh-my-god-i-thought-that-was-the-castle-by-our-hotel, but-every-mother-effing-corner-has-an-identical-castle. You know. Nothing major, but things I don't want to think about on my honeymoon. 

Shaved Ice Coconut Pineapple Sundae // Loves Food, Loves to Eat

You know what I want to do on my honeymoon? Oh, and Evan's honeymoon? (Aside from that, perverts). I want to relax. I want to be holding a drink in my hand non-stop. I want to lay on the beach, with my husband (!) by my side. I want the option of doing absolutely nothing all day and not feeling guilty about. But. BUT! If we do want to adventure, Kauai is full of hikes and waterfalls and places where Elvis filmed movies. I think we're gonna have a really swell time. I think we're also going to consume a LOT of shaved ice. 

Shaved Ice Coconut Pineapple Sundae // Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Which brings me to this dessert! I was inspired by a few recipes for this, and by Hawaii! Christina from Dessert for Two posted this coconut snow the other day, and I just couldn't get it outta my head. It's basically just semi-frozen coconut milk, granita style. She served hers with chocolate sauce, which looks so rich and good, but with Hawaii thoughts swirling in my mind, I wanted something tropical! Another recipe that been's in and out of my dreams is this roasted pineapple popsicle. So naturally, I decided to combine the coconut granita magic with roasted pineapple. And not just any roasted pineapple… roasted pineapple sauce! And then, since the coconut snow and roasted pineapple sauce was sort of reminiscent of classic ice cream sundaes (remember that pineapple sauce!?) I threw some cherries on top. And some black sesame seeds, for good measure.

Shaved Ice Coconut Pineapple Sundae // Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Coconut shaved ice! Roasted pineapple sauce! Go ahead, you can pretend you're on my honeymoon. Oh wait, is that creepy?   


Coconut Shaved Ice Sundae with Roasted Pineapple Sauce
Makes 2 sundaes

This is a simple recipe, but you do need to scrape the coconut snow every half hour for 2-2.5 hours, so keep that in mind. You may have extra pineapple sauce, but it's delicious on ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal, with a spoon, in a box with a fox, you name it. 

1 can coconut milk (full fat)
Juice from 1 lime
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1 pineapple
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Pinch sea salt
Cherries, pitted
Black sesame seeds


First, get your coconut snow in the freezer:

In a bowl, whisk together coconut milk, lime juice, honey, and water until smooth and combined. Pour into a shallow, freezer-proof dish (I used an 8 inch cake pan), and pop into freezer. After 30 minutes, scrape it all over with a fork to stop from freezing solid. Repeat this every 30 minutes for around 2-2.5 hours.


While coconut snow is in the freezer, make pineapple sauce:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel one whole pineapple, and cut into bite-sized chunks (feel free to save out a few wedges for the sundaes). Add to a baking dish (smaller, not a full baking sheet, it's ok if the pieces overlap), and top with brown sugar and a pinch or two of sea salt. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Pineapple should be super soft, and there should be a bit of liquid in the pan. Let come to room temperature, then add pineapple and any extra liquid in pan to a blender, and blend until smooth. If it's too thick, you can add a splash of water.


Assemble the sundae:

In a glass or bowl, fill halfway with coconut snow, add a small layer of pineapple sauce, fill the rest of the way with coconut snow, then top with more pineapple sauce, cherries, and black sesame seeds. Dig in!


Coconut Snow from this recipe

Roasted Pineapple Sauce inspired by these pops

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Coconut Lemon Bar Popsicles

It's summer! And it's popsicle week! 

Coconut Lemon Bar Popsicles// Loves Food, Loves to Eat #popsicleweek The always awesome Billy is hosting popsicle week, which is basically just a big, giant internet popsicle party, wherein 37 bloggers (including yours truly!) post a bunch of really fun frozen treat recipes all week long. I'm so excited for you guys to make these coconut lemon bar pops, and to try all the other cool creations (cool… get it? like… frozen. but also like…rad. oh. you did get it?). Head over to Wit and Vinegar, where Billy's updating the popsicle page with the latest recipes as they come in. 

Coconut Lemon Bar Popsicles// Loves Food, Loves to Eat #popsicleweek So, about this popsicle. Remember that one time when I didn't care about lemon bars, and then my friend Genevieve begged and begged, so I finally made them? And I threw a whole bunch of shredded coconut into the shortbread crust? And then I discovered that lemon bars are amazing and I'm silly for not caring about them? Remember that? Well, these popsicles are the frozen summer version of those lemon bars! They're so creamy and coconutty and lemony! With little bits of buttery crumbled cookie chunks! 

Coconut Lemon Bar Popsicles// Loves Food, Loves to Eat #popsicleweek I asked for some popsicle flavor ideas on the ol' FB, and I heard a whole lotta coconut. And a whole lotta lemon. And a few lemon-coconut. So you people who said lemon or coconut or lemon and coconut? These are for you. And all you other people, who said things like boozy pops and Thai iced tea-sicles? You just head on over and check out all the other popsicle week posts! There's something for everyone. Except for Biscuit… she asked for a Fancy Feast popsicle, but I said no. You have to draw a line somewhere, ya know?

Coconut Lemon Bar Popsicles// Loves Food, Loves to Eat #popsicleweek These are easy breezy. I used store-bought cookies and crunched 'em up, because it's summa and i'm not trying to be in front of an oven all day. I tried three different variations on the mix-ins: coconut and cookies mixed evenly in the liquid, coconut and cookies at the top end, and coconut and cookies at the bottom end. I think mixed evenly throughout works best, because you get cookie flavor in every bite, but if you want to try the other options, go for it! 

Coconut Lemon Bar Popsicles// Loves Food, Loves to Eat #popsicleweek Coconut Lemon Bar Popsicles
Makes about 10 big popsicles

1 can full fat coconut milk (for full creaminess)
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
1/3-1/2 cup desiccated coconut (depending on how textury and coconutty you like it)
1/2 cup shortbread cookie crumbles 

Whisk together coconut milk, lemon juice, and honey until smooth (or whiz up in a blender). Stir in coconut and cookie crumbles. Pour into popsicle molds, and freeze until solid. Release from molds (I like running warm water over the outside of the mold) and enjoy! 

Coconut Lemon Bar Popsicles// Loves Food, Loves to Eat #popsicleweek
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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Strawberry Gingersnap Icebox Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream

Strawberry Gingersnap Icebox Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream// Loves Food, Loves to Eat
I was really busy over the weekend with wedding stuff, and didn’t have a chance to do a Father’s Day post.

Strawberry Gingersnap Icebox Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream// Loves Food, Loves to Eat We’re making our invites and DIY decorations (with the help of some friends, of course, plus floral by my lovely friend Brit), and taking care of all the business—banquet permits, flatware rentals, parking permits for the… oh, wait that’s a surprise. etc—all by ourselves. I’m kind of a control freak, so I can’t imagine not doing it all, but man… this is hard work!

Strawberry Gingersnap Icebox Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream// Loves Food, Loves to Eat Wedding, wedding, wedding. Sorry, it’s all I talk about and think about and do right now. If you’re my sister/mom/fiancĂ©/friends: thank you for your help and for putting up with my constant wedding chatter! PS. 107 days!

Strawberry Gingersnap Icebox Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream// Loves Food, Loves to Eat So anyway, I had a full Father’s day post planned, with some of my favorite things he used to make us when we were kids, but I didn’t get around to it yet. I will soon though. Because my dad is amazing and hilarious and I love him so much. Everyone who meets him loves him so much.

Strawberry Gingersnap Icebox Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream// Loves Food, Loves to Eat And he LOVES fresh strawberry pies. Every spring and summer, he whips up a million fresh strawberry pies. You know, the kind with a graham cracker crust, strawberry filling with maybe a layer of vanilla pudding or whipped cream.

Strawberry Gingersnap Icebox Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream// Loves Food, Loves to Eat This icebox cake is sort of a retro remix of the fresh strawberry pie. But the fresh strawberry pie is kinda retro too. So I mean… Retro remix of a retro recipe?

Strawberry Gingersnap Icebox Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream// Loves Food, Loves to Eat If you aren’t familiar with icebox cakes, they’re basically layered wafer cookies and whipped cream, chilled or frozen—the ultimate no bake summer dessert. The cookies soften in the whipped cream, and the whole thing kind of melds together into a cool, refreshing, super simple treat.

Strawberry Gingersnap Icebox Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream// Loves Food, Loves to Eat I added strawbs to this, because duh, and instead of classic wafers, I used gingersnaps, because strawberries and ginger go really well together! And also, I swapped out regular whipped cream with whipped coconut cream, and tossed a whole bunch of toasted coconut on top. The final product is creamy, slightly sweet, gingery, strawberry filled perfection.

Strawberry Gingersnap Icebox Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream// Loves Food, Loves to Eat Strawberry Gingersnap Icebox Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream

This recipe is a breeze to throw together, but you do need to plan ahead. The coconut milk needs to chill overnight before whipping, and then the cake itself needs to chill at least 8 hours for maximum cookie softness. If you do happen to dig in early, the cookies will be crunchy and everything will be less melded together, but it will still taste great!

2 cans full fat coconut milk
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound of fresh strawberries, sliced
About 30-40 gingersnap cookies (I used store bought—the thinner the better)
¼-1/3 cup toasted coconut flakes

First, chill the coconut milk (this helps the solids separate from the liquids). Place both cans in the fridge overnight. 

Flip them upside down, open, and drain the liquid into another dish (set aside for a different use). Scoop the thick cream into a chilled bowl or bowl of your stand mixer, and whip until fluffy stiff peaks begin to form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, whip to combine/ until smooth.

Assemble: In a baking dish or pie plate (I used a standard pie plate), add a layer of cookies (not overlapping). Spread half of the whipped coconut cream on top, and top that with the sliced strawberries (these can overlap). Top with another layer of cookies, and then the remaining cream. 

Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Serve cold or room temp. 

Add the coconut just before serving. 

Strawberry Gingersnap Icebox Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream// Loves Food, Loves to Eat
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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Shrimp BLTs with Basil Mayo

Shrimp BLTs with Basil Mayo // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
BLTs are pretty much the best sandwiches ever. Raise your hand if you agree. 

Shrimp BLTs with Basil Mayo // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Obviously bacon is amazing, but when you combine it with crispy fresh lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and creamy cool mayonnaise… I seriously think it's bacon's best use. Well, aside from just chowing down slice after slice. When in doubt, I order BLTs. Unlike other sandwiches, they're just kind hard to screw up. I mean, there's for sure the perfect BLT, and you can probably make a sub-par BLT, but really...if you give me bread or toast, bacon, toms, and lettuce, I'm sure I'll manage.

Shrimp BLTs with Basil Mayo // Loves Food, Loves to Eat This here BLT, loaded with grilled shrimp and garlicky basil mayo (SBLTBM?), is SO GOOD. I'm not going to say it's better than the original, because how can you improve upon something so classic and perfect? But, I will say that it's delicious and awesome in it's own right. It's perfect for dinner, since it's a little heartier than the classic, but really, I could eat it for every meal. Breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, mid-day snack, dinner…dessert? 

Shrimp BLTs with Basil Mayo // Loves Food, Loves to Eat I also love the simplicity of a BLT, even this fancy one. Fry up the bacon, slicey slice the toms, give the shrimp a quick toss in some EVOO, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, then throw those suckers on the grill, and blend together your mayo, basil, and garlic. 

Shrimp BLTs with Basil Mayo // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Sidenote: avocado would not be a terrible idea here. SBLTBMA? 

Shrimp BLTs with Basil Mayo // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Shrimp BLTs with Basil Mayo
Makes 2 large sandwiches

8 thick slices bacon
1/2 cup mayonaise
8 large basil leaves
1 small clove garlic
12 large shrimp/prawns, peeled and deveined 
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper
1 tomato, sliced
Lettuce (I like a crunchy but leafy lettuce like Romaine for BLTs)
4 thick slices bread (I used a sour white from a local bakery)-toast if desired

Cook the bacon: Per your usual method, draining on paper towels when done. 

Make the mayo: In a blender or food processor, add mayo, basil leaves, and garlic. Blend until smooth, stopping and scraping down sides as necessary. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste.

Grill the shrimp: Toss shrimp with olive oil, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper. To grill outside, I like to put them on a double skewer so they don't fall through (for wooden skewers, be sure to soak in water prior to grilling so they don't burn). For indoor grilling on a grill pan, you can leave them loose. Cook shrimp for about 2 minutes per side, or until opaque.

Assemble the sandwiches: Slather 1 piece of bread with the mayo, top with tomato, bacon, shrimp, and lettuce, and top with bread slice. Repeat for second sandwich. 

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Amber Lately

Ah! It’s already June! Sorry I've been MIA the last couple of weeks. I've been so busy! Between our trip to NYC, wedding planning (ah, 4 months away!), trying to up my running mileage to prepare for upcoming races, softball season starting, and my birthday, things have been crazy town. Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon with something tasty for you, but in the meantime, here’s a little look at what I've been up to! 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat NYC! We visited one of my BFF/Bridesmaids and her husband for Memorial weekend, so fun! We did some sunning and wine drinking in Central Park, rode bikes all over Brooklyn, and of course, ate a ton of amazing food—the highlight was Roberta’s Pizza!

Loves Food, Loves to Eat I’m an old lady! I turned 29 yesterday… last year of my twenties, folks, watch out! Actually, I’m really stoked to be 29. I think this is going to be a stellar year. It started off with the biggest and best Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake ever (made by Amanda)! Also, in the most magical twist of fate ever, my birthday also happens to be National Cheese Day, National Hug Your Cat Day, National Running Day, AND the Seahawks birthday! 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat And I share a birthday with Angelina Jolie, Scott Wolf (um, Bailey for life, am I right?), Buddy Wakefield, and Evan’s grandma. Not to mention, yesterday my sweet tiny little bitty baby cousin Wyatt graduated from high school! Big day! 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat Also, for my birthday week, all these fine folks decided to have DONUT WEEK on their blogs! Oh, that was for National Donut Day on Friday? Whatever. I’ll take it. Thanks guys, I love donuts!

And, of course, I'll go ahead and just invite myself to this donut party with some baked donut goodness of my own:

Loves Food, Loves to Eat
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