Creamy Frozen Coconut Margaritas

Creamy Frozen Coconut Margarita

Thick and creamy frozen coconut margaritas beat anything you could order at a restaurant. Naturally sweetened with no sour mix, and blended with ultra creamy coconut milk.

Creamy Frozen Coconut Margarita

Is it bad that I just had a 3 day weekend and all I can think about is the next 3 day weekend? To be fair, my long “weekend” was mostly spent in the back of a van. Oh, and ya know, running to Seaside.

Creamy Frozen Coconut Margarita

If you’ve been reading for a while, you may remember that I ran Hood to Coast last year. Or…at least I ran some of it. After being out for 6 months with an injury, I had just started running again basically from scratch a couple of months before, and the race was just too much too soon. My injury started acting up during my second leg, and I knew if I wanted to avoid an other 6 months on the sidelines, I had to step back.

Creamy Frozen Coconut Margarita

It was hard. I took a break from running, rode my first century, and now that I’m almost a year back into running consistently, it was absolutely freaking amazing to go back and finish this year! It was a total whirlwind, and I swear after being awake for a solid 24 hours, I started to lose my shit, but I would do it again in a heartbeat! I mean, like, can we do it again this weekend? Because I’m already missing it.

Creamy Frozen Coconut Margarita

Anyway, after being home for less than 2 weeks, going back to Oregon, running this race, and then landing Monday morning to go straight into work, I am really ready for this 3 day weekend. And I plan to spend it lounging by my pool drinking frozen coconut margaritas. Oh, maybe you’d actually like to know a little bit about them, and not just about how I’m obsessed with relays?

What makes these babies so special is the coconut milk / tequila / orange liquor ICE CUBES! It takes an extra step, but making the coconut milk ice cubes is essential to getting the right creamy texture for your margaritas. We’ll use regular ice too, but too much, and you’ll have a watery mess on your hands. They are also made with a to-die-for coconut simple syrup and they include coconut extract for triple coconut-y flavor! And ya know what? Even my husband who usually hates coconut enjoyed them!

Creamy Frozen Coconut Margaritas

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours

Yield: 6 margaritas

Serving Size: 1 margarita

Creamy Frozen Coconut Margaritas

Thick and creamy frozen coconut margaritas beat anything you could order at a restaurant. Naturally sweetened with no sour mix, and blended with ultra creamy coconut milk.

Ingredients

    For the coconut milk ice cubes:
  • 1 x 14 ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur (like triple sec, grand marnier, etc.)
  • For the coconut simple syrup:
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 3/4 cup sweetened toasted coconut
  • To make the margaritas:
  • 8 coconut milk ice cubes
  • 2 shots coconut simple syrup
  • 1-2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 handfuls regular ice

Instructions

  1. To make the coconut milk ice cubes, whisk together coconut milk, tequila, and orange liqueur. Transfer to ice cube tray and freeze until solid.
  2. To make the coconut simple syrup, bring water and agave nectar to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add toasted coconut, remove from heat and let sit for 30-60 minutes. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Return to heat and bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool.
  3. To make the margaritas, blend all margarita ingredients together until smooth. Repeat with remaining ingredients when desired.
http://arismenu.com/creamy-frozen-coconut-margaritas/
them!

 

 

Tart Cherry Fro-yo {with White & Dark Chocolate Chips}

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of the Cherry Marketing Institute.

Ultra thick and creamy tart cherry frozen yogurt loaded with dark chocolate and white chocolate chips. So decadent, you’d never guess the base is FAT FREE!

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

After an incredible summer in Portland, I’m back in Phoenix. Back to real work, and back to 100++ degrees. And again I’m wondering…WHY DON’T I LIVE IN PORTLAND? Well, a fantastic husband, my puppies and an entire life time of family and friends make the heat livable I suppose.

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

Totally unreasonable amounts of frozen yogurt don’t hurt either. ;) You may have noticed that before I left I was on a bit of an ice cream kick. I finally figured out my ice cream maker, and I just couldn’t stop. The real deal, full fat ice cream is just so hard to recreate that I was a little nervous to go back to homemade fro-yo. I mean, I am a HUGE fan of soft serve, and I will eat it any time, any day, but it is just so hard to make something at home that doesn’t turn into an icy mess.

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

The good news? This is by far the BEST frozen yogurt I have ever made! The base is so rich and creamy, and packed with tart cherry flavor. You may remember a little bit about the benefits of tart cherries from this Tart Cherry Lime Elixir. They are said to reduce soreness and oxidative stress, and aid in recovery. Also, they are delicious. I’ve been drinking tart cherry juice plain for the 7 Day Cherry Juice Challenge, and it is the perfect amount of sweet and tart.

Tart Cherry Juice Challenge

This challenge is great leading up to a big race or event, and it’s incredibly easy to incorporate! If you love the taste of tart cherry juice, just drink 8 ounces a day, or you can use 2 tablespoons of the concentrate as a shot–college flash backs anyone? Except I like the idea of actually feeling better the next day instead of worse (the woes of getting older)–or diluted in another beverage.

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

Okay, back to the fro-yo. We all know that cherries pair magically with chocolate. White chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate syrup, you name it. I went for a combination of white and dark chocolate to create more flavors, but you are free to use whatever you’d like. Or, if you’d like to keep this 100% fat free, feel free to skip the chocolate all together, and it will still be delicious!

Tart Cherry Fro-yo {with White & Dark Chocolate Chips}

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Tart Cherry Fro-yo {with White & Dark Chocolate Chips}

Ultra thick and creamy tart cherry frozen yogurt loaded with dark chocolate and white chocolate chips. So decadent, you'd never guess the base is FAT FREE!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3-1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tart cherry juice concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ tablespoon bourbon or vodka, optional
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, sugar, tart cherry juice concentrate and vanilla extract until combined and sugar is fully dissolved. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions. Add bourbon or vodka in the last 2-3 minutes of freezing. This is optional, but recommended—it keeps the frozen yogurt from freezing hard and icy. Fold in chocolate chips. Frozen yogurt is best served immediately, but can also be stored in a freezer safe container, just allow 10-15 minutes thawing time before scooping.
http://arismenu.com/tart-cherry-fro-yo/

To learn more about tart cherries and their benefits, check out ChooseCherries.com, or follow their Facebook / Twitter /Pinterest / YouTube!

 

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {with Honey & Vanilla Bean}

ricottaicecream-8

Rich, creamy ricotta ice cream loaded with mini dark chocolate chips with underlying flavors of honey and vanilla bean. All the flavors of a classic cannoli in ice cream form!

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {{with Honey & Vanilla Bean}

Do you ever love something so much that you feel like no matter how much you try to describe it, you can never quite put it into words? It’s how I feel about Mia Michaels’ choreography, or when I saw One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest on Broadway, or when I first discovered CILANTRO! I can’t tell you how good it is, you just need to experience it with me.

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {{with Honey & Vanilla Bean}

That’s how I feel about this ice cream. I felt like no matter how many pictures I took, or adjectives I thesaurus-ed, nothing could quite capture my new favorite ice cream. I loved it more than any ice cream I’ve ever purchased at a homemade ice cream shop, and definitely more than anything I’ve ever bought at the store.

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {{with Honey & Vanilla Bean}

First of all, I am OBSESSED with ricotta cheese. Once upon a time, I spent like an entire year on phase 1 of the South Beach diet. It was not a good year. I can tell you, however, that my favorite part was “snacking” on low-fat ricotta cheese. And by “snacking”, I mean opening the tub, grabbing a spoon, and looking down to see half the container had disappeared. Whoops.

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {{with Honey & Vanilla Bean}

But it’s not just the ricotta that makes this so special. It’s the hint of honey, the little specs of vanilla bean that carry a bold flavor (one of my very favorite flavors), and the multiple dark chocolate chips you get in every bite. I don’t know what it is about the mini chocolate chips that make them so much better, but they really do make a difference here, and although you are free to use whatever chip you like, I highly suggest the tiny guys for this recipe. Mini chips = more chips in every bite = automatically better.

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {with Honey & Vanilla Bean}

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours

Yield: 5-6 cups

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {with Honey & Vanilla Bean}

Rich, creamy ricotta ice cream loaded with mini dark chocolate chips with underlying flavors of honey and vanilla bean. All the flavors of a classic cannoli in ice cream form!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon, optional
  • 3/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, combine whole milk and sugar over medium to medium-low heat. Stir constantly until sugar is fully dissolved and incorporated. Remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Add heavy cream, honey, ricotta, cream cheese, vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract and blend in a large blender or food processor. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight.
  3. Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions. If desired, add bourbon during the last few minutes of freezing. Fold in chocolate chips then transfer to freezer safe container to finish freezing completely.
http://arismenu.com/ricotta-chocolate-chip-ice-cream-with-honey-vanilla-bean/

French Onion Burgers

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

Satisfy your craving for French onion soup in the summer time with these big, juicy beef burgers stuffed with caramelized onions, then topped with melty gruyere and even more caramelized onions. 

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

Once upon a time, I’m pretty sure I thought caramelized onions actually had caramel in them. I mean, they’re sooo sweet and delicious. I just figured they at least had buckets of sugar to get them to that point!

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

Turns out, onions are kind of magical, and you probably already know that if you let em cook on low heat for a ridiculous amount of time, they transform into the sweetest and most tender veggie you will ever eat.

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

It does take a while, but it is soooo easy. Once I get them going, I generally prep everything else I have to do for dinner and then, if dinner is super easy, sometimes I just watch Netflix and go back to the kitchen to stir them around every now and then. They are totally low maintenance.

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

As much as I love onions, ya know what really makes French onion soup for me? That thick layer of bubbly cheese on top. Bubbling cheese is like the stuff dreams are made of. Put it on top of that thick slice of bread they put on top, and your meal is pretty much guaranteed to be awesome. Bread. Cheese. Onions. Done.

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

But I have to say, it’s all even better when sitting on top of a super juicy beef burger that has even more onions hiding inside! It’s so good, you totally don’t even need the bun. In fact, I won’t eat a burger unless it’s good enough to eat bunless. It’s kind of a rule in my house because 99% of the time I toss the bun after it serves its purpose of looking cute on camera, and eat my delicious burger nekked. ;)

French Onion Burgers

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 3-4 burgers

Serving Size: 1 burger

French Onion Burgers

Satisfy your craving for French onion soup in the summer time with these big, juicy beef burgers stuffed with caramelized onions, then topped with melty gruyere and even more caramelized onions.

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • generous pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef (94-96%)
  • pinch thyme (fresh or dried)
  • pinch paprika
  • 2-4 ounces sliced or shredded gruyere cheese
  • whole grain buns for serving (if desired)

Instructions

  1. In a large pan, cook onions and garlic in olive oil and balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft and caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl combine ground beef, 1/4 of the caramelized onions, thyme, paprika, and an extra pinch of black pepper. Form into 3-4 even patties (depending on how big you like your burgers).
  3. Grill burgers to desired doneness. Top immediately with gruyere and allow to melt slightly then top with a generous portion of caramelized onions. Serve immediately.

Notes

For even cooking in your burgers, gently press your thumb into the center of each patty before cooking.

http://arismenu.com/french-onion-burgers/

Snickers Ice Cream

Snickers Ice Cream

Ultra soft and creamy sweet cream ice cream loaded with chopped Snickers bars. The perfect summer treat that you will want to repeat all year round!

Psssst…Stick around for a super awesome giveaway at the end of this post!

Snickers Ice Cream

Can we talk about homemade ice cream? It took me so long to get it right, which is silly because it is stupid easy. I’m just lazy and I never read the instructions on my ice cream maker. Sometimes I’m surprised I can even boil water.

Snickers Ice Cream

I kept not chilling my ingredients well enough, and then after, like, 10 minutes I would give up on the churning because it had been soooooo loooong and nothing was happening. So I’d throw it in the freezer where it would then become hard as a rock and proceed to eat it anyway because ice cream is freaking delicious. Frozen solid or not.

Snickers Ice Cream

So this perfectly made ice cream is a recent development and I cant stop, won’t stop. I am obsessed, and I don’t care that I have probably gained like 17 pounds from my summer ice cream obsession. Totally worth it. Plus, running makes up for all calories, right? Shhhh, don’t rain on my parade.

Snickers Ice Cream

This is without a doubt, the richest, creamiest ice cream I have ever tasted. I have to admit, after this one, I lowered my fat content a bit on future ice cream recipes, but sometimes you just need the full fatty goodness, and I’m not going to keep that from you. You absolutely can play with the amounts of whole milk / heavy cream depending on what you’re in the mood for. This ice cream is half milk / half cream, and let me tell ya, the texture is so soft and creamy that I would dare to call it perfection.

Snickers Ice Cream

I loaded up this baby with about 100 Snickers bars (yeahhh, we’ve already established that it’s not healthy, and I’m not even sorry), but you could also use Reese’s or Butterfinger, or really whatever you want. I personally love it with Snickers. The way the caramel and chocolate freeze and get extra chewy. It’s totally dreamy.

Snickers Ice Cream

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours

Yield: about 1 quart

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Ultra soft and creamy sweet cream ice cream loaded with chopped Snickers bars. The perfect summer treat that you will want to repeat all year round!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped Snickers bars

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, combine whole milk and sugar over medium to medium-low heat. Stir constantly until sugar is fully dissolved and incorporated. Remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature then add heavy cream and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Cover and chill for 4 hours or up to overnight.
  2. Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions, then fold in chopped Snickers. Transfer to freezer safe container to finish freezing completely.
http://arismenu.com/snickers-ice-cream/

And nooowwww for a very exciting giveaway! I, along with some of my friends, am giving away a $125 Target gift card, a $125 Amazon gift card and a $50 Starbucks gift card. Pretty much all of my favorite things. ;) Giveaway opens July 9th at 12am EST and will remain open until July 23rd at 11:59pm EST. Open to US residents only. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

As I said, this giveaway is sponsored by some of my favorite people. Check them out and see what they’re up to. :)

Julie from White Lights on Wednesday | Aubrey from Real Housemoms | Nancy from The Bitter Side of Sweet | Becca from It’s Yummi! | Brianne from Cupcakes and Kale Chips | Alyssa from What’s Cooking, Love? | Raquel from Organized Island | Deb from Cooking on the Front Burner | Jenn from Endlessly Inspired | Melissa from Persnickety Plates | Megan from The Pink Flour | Heather from French Press | Nicole from The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie | Kelley from Miss Information | Paula from Call Me PMc

Greek Lamb Burgers

Greek Lamb Burgers: Like a healthier gyro in burger form!

Bold, flavorful and tender half lamb/half beef burgers stuffed with feta cheese and topped with creamy tzatziki sauce. Everything you love about a classic gyro in healthy, summer burger form!

Greek Lamb Burgers: Like a healthier gyro in burger form!

I F-ing love a gyro. When I worked at my last school, we did our shows at the MAC which is dangerously close to this little hole in the wall Greek restaurant. I had actually never (whaaaaat???) eaten a gyro (and I still pronounced it with a j sound…shhhh…), but my friend Emily raved about it, and I have to tell you, I have not stopped thinking about that damn gyro ever since.

Greek Lamb Burgers: Like a healthier gyro in burger form!

We’re talking years here people. When I love food, I don’t forget about it. Trust me, I still talk about this Italian restaurant I ate at in London when I was 14.  I can’t remember to return pretty much any emails, but I can remember the meal I ate 5 zillion years ago that was “life changing”. It’s a gift. You know, like how Karen in Mean Girls can tell the weather.

Greek Lamb Burgers: Like a healthier gyro in burger form!

Okay, so we all know I have a bit of a burger problem, yes? I have actually heard my man food and meat loving husband utter the words “burgers….again?”. Yes. Once June hits (okay…May…), burgers multiple times a week are not only normal, but expected. I mean, sometimes I change it up. With a hot dog.

Greek Lamb Burgers: Like a healthier gyro in burger form!

But this was not a “burgers…again?” moment. This was one of those getting feisty and fighting over the leftovers all week long moments. I’m serious. It gets crazy over here. Like a race to the fridge to claim the good leftovers. We’re both very considerate and grown up human beings.

Greek Lamb Burgers: Like a healthier gyro in burger form!

Okay, let’s discuss what makes these burgers so flippin fantastic. First of all, they are half lamb, half beef. Lamb is delicious. If you haven’t gotten on board yet, I highly suggest it. I find lamb to be one of the juiciest, most tender and flavorful meats. Well, this has a lot to do with the high fat/calorie content. Now, if you don’t care about that sort of thing, feel free to use all lamb. That would be delicious. While I don’t count calories, or any macronutrients, or even really anything past the #8 (dancer joke…see what I did there? ;) ), I still do think about that sort of thing, and I would prefer to get all the flavor, but keep it a little on the leaner side.

Greek Lamb Burgers: Like a healthier gyro in burger form!

That being said, in the name of “health”, obviously I had to stuff them full of freshly crumbled feta and smother them with creamy tzaziki because…obviously? Oh, and you can totally use a bun. I never do. I buy them for photos. It’s pretty silly. But these babies looked gorgeous on their own with just some fresh greens, the grilled onions, black olives, green onion and fresh parsley. There was so much going on, I just wanted to show them off for exactly what they were. I can tell you that these will definitely be making their way back into my burger rotation, and they will take your next grill night not just to the next level, but like a lot of levels up. ;)

Greek Lamb Burgers

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8 burgers

Serving Size: 1 burger

Greek Lamb Burgers

Bold, flavorful and tender half lamb/half beef burgers stuffed with feta cheese and topped with creamy tzatziki sauce. Everything you love about a classic gyro in healthy, summer burger form!

Ingredients

    For the burgers:
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (93% or higher)
  • 2-3 ounces freshly crumbled feta
  • 3 tablespoons minced onion
  • generous pinch oregano (finely chopped or dried)
  • generous pinch thyme (finely chopped or dried)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • generous pinch each salt and pepper
  • For serving:
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced and grilled
  • fresh greens
  • tratziki
  • fresh chopped parsley
  • sliced olives
  • chopped green onion

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the burgers. Mix until just combined. Form into burger patties and grill to desired doneness, about 3-5 minutes per side. Lamb, like beef, does not need to be cooked well done, but do make sure it reaches 160 for food safety.
  2. Serve over fresh greens (or on tops of your favorite buns) and grilled onions. Top with tzatziki, parsley, olives and onion. Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
http://arismenu.com/greek-lamb-burgers/

Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins.: A perfect summer breakfast. Light, healthy & gluten-free.

Ultra soft, fluffy and tall bakery style lemon blueberry buttermilk muffins. These muffins are screaming bright, summer flavor, and with their ultra soft and tender crumb, you’d never guess they were healthy and gluten-free! Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins.: A perfect summer breakfast. Light, healthy & gluten-free.

Okay, so who else is ridiculously excited about season 2 of Orange is the New Black? I feel like I haven’t left the house in two days because all I want to do is stay home and watch it. Plus, I wanted to re-watch the entire first season to refresh and get myself ready for season 2! Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins.: A perfect summer breakfast. Light, healthy & gluten-free.

I actually juuuussstt finished season 1, and I’m only a couple of episodes into season 2. “I think I’ll Pinterest. I hear that’s a thing.” <—–my favorite part so far. Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins.: A perfect summer breakfast. Light, healthy & gluten-free. Ummm….yeah. So that’s what’s happening in my life. Also lots of swimming and a whole 13×9 pan of watermelon and tequila in my freezer because these are making a comeback. What can I say? It’s summer. Margaritas and all things citrus must be had. ;)Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins.: A perfect summer breakfast. Light, healthy & gluten-free.

Something about lemons just scream summer to me. Summer is when I do a lot of my recipe testing/photography because I have some extra time to devote to the blog. Last year the first thing I did when summer vay cay started was buy a crap ton of lemons and make lemon blondies and lemon crinkle cookies. They are still two of my favorite desserts. Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins.: A perfect summer breakfast. Light, healthy & gluten-free.

The bright, citrusy flavor seems to instantly make desserts more summery. Like I’m cooling off by the pool with a glass of lemonade, while simultaneously eating my weight in big, fluffy muffins. The best of both worlds if you ask me. Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins.: A perfect summer breakfast. Light, healthy & gluten-free.

I also feel like lemons and blueberries are kindred spirits. Like pb & j, chocolate & hazelnut, goat cheese & my mouth. These muffins are so soft and filled to the brim with blueberries. The lemon glaze is totally optional. There is plenty of lemon flavor already there, but if you want a little extra sweetness, it’s definitely a fantastic addition. Either way, you won’t be able to get enough of these babies!

Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Ultra soft, fluffy and tall bakery style lemon blueberry buttermilk muffins. These muffins are screaming bright, summer flavor, and with their ultra soft and tender crumb, you'd never guess they were healthy and gluten-free!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups gluten-free baking blend orwhite whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 small lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1 and 1/4 cup fresh blueberries (preferably organic)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray, or line with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together baking blend, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, applesauce, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla until combined. Stir in half the dry ingredients, then buttermilk, then remaining dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix. Gently fold in blueberries.
  4. Evenly divide batter between 12 standard muffin tins. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and continue to bake for an other 17-20 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (with just a few crumbs).
  5. Let stand for 10 minutes, then serve or transfer to a wire rack. Drizzle with this lemon glaze if desired. Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-5 days. For best results do not add glaze until ready to serve.

Notes

The muffins will get quite brown and you will think you have overcooked them. The almond meal and whole grain flours yield a darker muffin. As long as you bake for suggested time and do not over mix, your muffins should come out perfectly baked, soft and tender!

http://arismenu.com/lemon-blueberry-buttermilk-muffins/

Drink & Dish: Restaurant-style Watermelon Margaritas

Restaurant-style Watermelon Margaritas

 

Restaurant Style Watermelon Margarita

I always try to spell watermelon with two Ls. Doesn’t the word mellon have two Ls? Shouldn’t watermel(l)on?? Maybe I just want to find an excuse for my terrible spelling. It’s true. You don’t even need to know how to spell these days. A red squiggly line will do it all for you, and my brain has gotten lazy. I can literally feel myself becoming less intelligent.

Restaurant-style Watermelon Margaritas

I’ve actually learned a lot about how many words I used to spell incorrectly since I started this blog. I always thought avocado was spelled avacado. That’s how it sounds in my head. I also get really confused because every time I type the word fudgy I still get a red squiggly line. So then I try fudgey which is also wrong and looks worse, so I’ll take it my computer has never eaten a delicious brownie, because if it had, it would totally know fudgy is a word.

Restaurant-style Watermelon Margaritas

Good lord, I need a margarita. Specifically the best, thickest, most flavorful margarita I have ever tasted. And trust me, I would never joke, or exaggerate about my margaritas. They are serious business, and these are the best of the best. The secret? Soaking the watermelon in the alcohol and freezing overnight. I had to get out that little push down stick for my vitamix to get everything to blend together. Restaurant-style Watermelon Margaritas

It’s easy for a frozen margarita to taste watered down and flavorless. In fact, I usually don’t order them frozen for this very reason. This margarita contains NO ICE. Simply watermelon, tequila, orange liquor, lime and agave. No overly sweet sour mix, no extra water–just real, bold ingredients. The watermelon flavor is out-of-this-world-good. It tastes fresh, natural, and like biting in to a cold, juicy watermelon. I simply cannot get these babies out of my head!

Restaurant-style Watermelon Margaritas

For our Labor Day episode of Drink & Dish, Nicole and I pulled a Freaky Friday and switched places–I made the drink, and she made the dish: a loaded potato chip dip that is to die for! Crunchy potato chips in a cheesy, creamy dip with all sorts of flavors and textures working together–it is a must try! Check out this latest episode for all the details!

Drink & Dish: Restaurant-style Watermelon Margarita

Prep Time: 12 hours, 5 minutes

Total Time: 12 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: 2 extra-large or 3 medium margaritas

Drink & Dish: Restaurant-style Watermelon Margarita

Ingredients

    For freezing:
  • 1/2 medium watermelon, chopped into 1" cubes
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur (triple sec, grand marnier, etc.)
  • For blending:
  • 2 shots tequila
  • 1 shot orange liqueur
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp agave
  • For serving:
  • coarse salt
  • extra lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Place chopped watermelon in a large, freezer-safe container. Poor tequila and orange liqueur evenly over chopped watermelon. Cover and freeze for 12 hours or overnight.
  2. Transfer frozen watermelon and any liquid remains from your alcohol to a high-quality blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. If mixture is still too thick, slowly add a little more alcohol until you've reached your desired consistency.
  3. Run a lime wedge around the rim of each glass. Place salt on a small, flat plat and press the top of each glass into the salt. Fill each glass with frozen margaritas and serve immediately.

Notes

You may freeze your watermelon up to 3 days if you wish to prepare ahead of time.

If all of the frozen watermelon does not fit into your blender, start with 1 shot of tequila and 1/2 short of orange liqueur and slowly add from there. All blenders and watermelons are different, so start slowly with the alcohol and add as you go.

http://arismenu.com/drink-dish-restaurant-style-watermelon-margaritas-2/

Lemon Rosemary Grilled Artichokes

Lemon Rosemary Grilled Artichokes #vegan #glutenfree

Lemon Rosemary Grilled Artichokes #vegan #glutenfree

I took 5 pictures of artichokes and they all look the same. Forgive me?

Lemon Rosemary Grilled Artichokes #vegan #glutenfree

Actually, I took more like 20 pictures of artichokes which is surprisingly low for me. Usually I take close to 40 photos per shoot until I’m either 100% positive I got the shot I wanted, or I give in to frustration and call it quits, decide I hate photography and I am going to delete my blog. Sometimes I’m a little dramatic.

Lemon Rosemary Grilled Artichokes #vegan #glutenfree

And actually, they don’t all look exactly the same. I moved, like, an inch to the right which obviously makes it a completely different photo. Then I just really liked them all, and I couldn’t choose. Usually I show them all to Steve over and over and over until he tells me which one(s) to delete, but he was boycotting. So that’s what you get. Five pictures of artichokes that all look extremely similar.

Lemon Rosemary Grilled Artichokes #vegan #glutenfree

Grilled artichokes. Uuugghh…you guys. They are THE BEST. I could eat a whole grilled artichoke for dinner and be totally content. They are huge, filling, healthy, and they force you to eat slow and enjoy the experience. They are not an impatient food, which makes it a little strange that I enjoy them so much, because we all know I am an impatient person. They are a process. The cooking part is a piece of cake. Boil, remove the weird hairs (I know…I wish they made hairless artichokes, like pitted dates or hairless cats…), grill, voila! Then you get to take your time. One leaf at a time, until you get to where all the action is–the heart!

Lemon Rosemary Grilled Artichokes #vegan #glutenfree

Once your artichoke has been cooked, you scrape the inside of each leaf with your teeth, then discard the leaf into a side dish. Repeat with all of the leaves until you get to the heart, then pick that baby up and chow down! If you’ve never tried a whole artichoke, seriously, you must! And the lemon and rosemary?? To die for. A totally impressive meal that is more time consuming to eat than it is to cook!

Lemon Rosemary Grilled Artichokes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 artichoke

Lemon Rosemary Grilled Artichokes

Ingredients

  • 2 large lemons
  • 2 large artichokes
  • 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut off the stems of each artichoke leaving about 1" of stem remaining. Slice off the top quarter of each artichoke to create a flat top. Fill a very large pan or dutch oven with water and juice from one lemon. Add a pinch of salt if desired. Bring water to a boil, and add artichokes. Boil for about 15 minutes, until softened. Remove, and let stand for 5-10 minutes until they have slightly cooled.
  2. Slice each artichoke in half, and use a spoon to remove the choke (the part in the center just about the heart that looks like little hairs--they will scoop right out). Drizzle each half with 1/2 tbsp olive oil, then zest remaining lemon over the artichokes (I used about a tablespoon of zest). Season with rosemary, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
  3. Grill artichokes over medium heat until browned and softened, about 5 minutes per side. Serve immediately.

Notes

Some people wish to trim the spiky leaves on the outside of the artichoke before cooking. You may do this, but I find it to be a waste of time. I find that they soften when cooked, and if they don't I simply discard them after cooking.

Often the first layer or two of the artichoke won't have any of the good stuff. You may with to discard the first several leaves. When you get to the good ones, the "meat" will scrape off easily.

http://arismenu.com/lemon-rosemary-grilled-artichokes/

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Hi friends! I can’t believe this week is almost over. It has been a whirlwind over here. I’ve been back in town for just a little over a week, and I’ve started a new job, adjusted to a new 4am alarm, and tried to start setting up a new routine. It has been great, and challenging, but mostly great! Also, yesterday I had the honored of being featured by one of my favorite bloggers. I answered several questions about my weight loss and running journey. Head over and check it out if you want to learn a little more about me. :)

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Anyway, let’s talk about food! Cookies, specifically. Perfectly tart and sweet, melt-in-your-mouth-soft lemon crinkle cookies. Uggghhhh, you guys…I can’t even explain to you how good these cookies are. They rival those Paradise Bakery gems that I’ve been obsessed with for years. They make you want to convert to lemon desserts forever.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

The combination of the lemon Greek yogurt + coconut oil = cookie texture perfection. Thick, soft and lightly chewy–you will never miss the butter!

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • dash salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 5 tbsp nonfat lemon Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together sugar and lemon zest until fragrant. Add coconut oil, yogurt, vanilla, egg and lemon juice. Beat until combined. Add flour mixture and beat until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
  4. Place powdered sugar in a large shallow bowl. Roll dough into approx 1" dough balls. Roll in powdered sugar to coat completely, then transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges gave just set. Allow to cool completely on baking sheet. Store in a loosely covered container for 5 days.

Notes

Plain yogurt may be substituted if lemon is unavailable.

http://arismenu.com/lemon-crinkle-cookies/

Creamy Greek Yogurt Slaw

Creamy Greek Yogurt Slaw

Creamy Greek Yogurt Slaw

You know, for the longest time I never ate coleslaw. I always thought it was really gross. Cabbage and mayo?? I’m really not sure where the appeal comes from, but Steve and my mom are both huge fans (weirdos), so one night when I was grilling up some hot dogs, I decided to try to make some coleslaw that was actually appealing.

Creamy Greek Yogurt Slaw

I’m pretty much convinced that Greek yogurt is the cure for all things. I have never made a dish and then thought “Man, it would have been so much better if I had left off the Greek yogurt.” Perhaps I am weirdly obsessed, but it really is a magical food.

Creamy Greek Yogurt Slaw

So I made coleslaw, which I thought I hated. But then I loved it. Steve was a little confused by the texture. He said coleslaw is usually more runny. That sounds gross. Thick, creamy, delicious, and packed with protein and veggies–now it really is the perfect side for your summer grilling!

Creamy Greek Yogurt Slaw

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: approx 10 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Creamy Greek Yogurt Slaw

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Juice from 1/2 medium lemon
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • pinch each salt and pepper
  • 5 cups coleslaw veggie mix*

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, honey, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper until combined. Stir in coleslaw mix. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

Notes

*Feel free to use fresh cabbage and carrots (or whatever shaved veggies you'd like) to create your own mix. I bought a bag at the store because it was easy, but I'm sure it would be even better with fresh produce!

http://arismenu.com/creamy-greek-yogurt-slaw/

Thai Chicken Kabobs

Thai Chicken Kabobs

Thai Chicken Kabobs

Is there anything more fun than food on a stick? I mean, sure, eating it can be tricky and you run the risk of stabbing your husband while playing swords with your food (because that’s a totally normal and acceptable thing to do, yes?), but really, how many foods can you make into a sword anyway?

Thai Chicken Kabobs

I’ve actually never made kabobs before this one, and let me tell you, I am in love. I loved having my chicken on my veggies all on one stick. I loved how fun they were to eat and dip in the peanut sauce, and I also loved how food on a stick meant there were next to no dishes to clean up. Seriously, I hate cleaning almost as much as I love cooking.

Thai Chicken Kabobs

The chicken marinates in the peanut sauce to soak up all that delicious Thai peanut flavor, then gets grilled up with your veggies and dunked in lots more peanut-y deliciousness as you eat. You end up eating a lot less of the calorie-dense peanut sauce than if you were to eat traditional Pad Thai. Not to mention getting rid of the noodles and adding a bunch of veggies gives you all the flavors of classic Pad Thai with a fraction of the calories, and sticking it all on kabob skewers to grill up gives them an awesome summery touch!

Thai Chicken Kabobs

They are topped off with fresh cilantro (my favorite food–I don’t care if you say it’s an “herb”, it’s still my favorite) and drizzles with sriracha for an extra spicy kick. Of course, those are option if you’re one of those weirdos who doesn’t like spicy food, or worse, you have that genetic “mutation” where you don’t like cilantro. Have you heard about that? Apparently it’s a genetic thing where to some people it tastes like soap. So glad I pulled the long straw on that one. ;)

Thai Chicken Kabobs

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 9 kabobs

Serving Size: 3 kabobs

Thai Chicken Kabobs

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha + extra for drizzling
  • approx 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1" chunks
  • approx 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into 1" chunks
  • fresh cilantro, optional

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter, lime juice, coconut aminos, sriracha and 1/4 cup water. Remove half the mixture (eyeball it), cover and set aside.
  2. Add 1/4 cup water to remaining mixture. Whisk to combine. Continue to slowly add water until it has reached the consistency of a marinade. I used about 1/4-1/3 cup. Place chicken and marinade in a large freezer bag or medium tupperware and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour (alternately, feel free to do this step up to 24 hours ahead of time).
  3. If using wooden skewers, soak skewers for 30 minutes before cooking (if you use metal, this is not necessary). Alternately place chicken, bell pepper, onion, and snap peas onto your skewers (you will most likely have room for about 2 of each) close together, but not crowding.
  4. Grill on medium-high heat until chicken is cooked throughout, about 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and drizzle with srirach. Serve immediately with remaining peanut dipping sauce.

Notes

You may wish to heat the peanut sauce before serving. It can get quite thick while it sits, so microwaving for about 15 seconds and adding a tablespoon of water should get it back to your ideal consistency.

http://arismenu.com/thai-chicken-kabobs/