Archive | EAT

a smorgasbord of S’MORES!

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one of my favorite parts of summer is when we light up the fire pit and breakout the s’mores fixings. not because it’s an insanely yummy treat (i mostly pick at the chocolate bars), but because it’s the perfect way to fill a summer night with family time or entertain a larger group. in fact, i’m pretty sure it’s impossible to not have fun while roasting mallows with kids… (having wet wipes handy helps too)! to keep s’mores nights spontaneous and special i grabbed this camp stove by poppytalk at target (for nights when johan isn’t home – i leave fire building to the fireman of the house) and thought it would be fun to put together a smorgasbord of s’mores options for the kids to choose from.

Some S’more Fixings Ideas

  • Classic s’more with sprinkles
  • Chocolate grahams, mallow and sliced strawberry or banana
  • Graham cracker, chocolate, shaved coconut, nutbutter
  • Graham cracker, cookies and cream chocolate bar or peanut butter cup and mallow

some of those square chocolates with mint or caramel fillings would be a nice addition too as would some chocolate petite ecolier cookies by LU (double the chocolate!) at the store but no luck this time.

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and there is the pure happiness i was talking about!

what do you guys like to do on summer nights with the fam?!

or maybe you have a fave s’more combo?

xo . rae

(images by stacy jacobsen)


happy 4th + a simple dessert!


sneaking in one more 4th of july post before we take off for the long weekend (woohoo!!). i’m in charge of bringing dessert this year but instead of making something from scratch i thought i would highjack store-bought cupcakes, scrape off the extra frosting and decorate with washi tape clad toothpicks and fresh fruit. if you are looking for an easy dessert to make they turned out cute and festive and were super quick to assemble which means more time to play!


hope you guys have a fantastic 4th of july and long weekend! i’ll be sharing pics on instagram if you are into that and want to hangout, but otherwise will see ya on monday!


(images by stacy jacobsen)



a couple weekends ago the kids and i spent the morning at the farmer’s market and came home with a bucket full of cherries.  after we ate a few handfuls and i put the younger kids down for naps, ozzie asked if we could spend time in the kitchen making something sweet and summery.  now, i don’t typically give up nap time to make a mess in the kitchen, but  because he is 12, and the words made my heart melt, i said yes…

cherry-hand-pies-armommy-1… even though he requested we make cherry pie, and i am not a pie girl unless it involves pumpkin.  not sure what it is, but desserts that involve fruit don’t really do it for me.  i prefer my fruit fresh and my desserts with chocolate. usually.

then we decided to make hand-pies which changed my perspective on fruity desserts, because they are too cute not to eat. am i right!?


(images from instagram)

INGREDIENTS to make the filling –

  • this pie crust
  • 3 cups pitted cherries, roughly chopped (1 to 1-1/2 pounds whole cherries)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • powdered sugar


  •  make pie crust according to directions (link under ingredients).
  • preheat oven to 375.  line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, mix together fruit, sugar, cinnamon, salt, lemon juice and cornstarch; mix until well combined. Set fruit mixture aside.
  • remove dough from fridge and let sit for 5 minutes. on a lightly floured work surface, roll out one piece of dough to a 16-by-11-inch rectangle. trim to 15-by-10 inches. cut into six 5-inch squares.  repeat with remaining dough, stacking squares in between pieces of parchment.
  • working with one square at a time, place 2 tablespoons of fruit mixture in the center. then fold in half to enclose and crimp the edges with a fork to seal. repeat process with remaining squares.
  • place hand pies on prepared baking sheet. brush pies with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar. using a paring knife, slit the center (or make a design) of one side of each hand pie to allow steam to escape.
  • place baking sheets in oven and bake until crusts are golden brown and filling is bubbling (about 25 minutes).
  • allow pies to cool slightly and finish with a little dusting of powdered sugar. serve with vanilla ice cream, if you have any handy.


so sweet and festive they would be perfect to make & bring to a 4th of july celebration.

speaking of 4th of july, what are you most looking forward to that day?  fireworks, yummy food, good company, ….? all of the above?

talk soon.

xo . rae


homemade hostess gifts

the last day of school is right around the corner (or has come and gone for some of you!) marking the start of summer! i’m sure everyone’s social calendars are filling up with backyard shindigs, and baby and wedding showers. to make sure you don’t show up empty handed here’s a simple hostess gift you can throw together in the kitchen ahead of time.

to make it easier on yourself, stock up on jars or bottles so your ready to package the sauces and go – or pick a few of your favorites and set up an ice cream sundae bar at home. just be sure and invite me! (recipe and download below)



you’ll need

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup light cream or evaporated milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

here’s how

  1. combine all ingredients (except vanilla) in saucepan. stir constantly over medium heat until mixture boils. let boil for 2 minutes.
  2. remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  3. let cool, poor into canning jar or squeeze bottle (add printable label) and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. reheat in microwave or hot water before serving.


you’ll need

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup

here’s how

  1. combine ingredients in saucepan. stir constantly over medium heat until sauce is smooth and sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes). be careful not to overcook or sauce will become too thick!
  2. let cool, poor into canning jar or squeeze bottle (add printable label) and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. reheat in microwave or hot water before serving.


you’ll need

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

here’s how

  1. in a small bowl combine cream, milk and cornstarch and set aside.
  2. in a saucepan combine brown sugar, corn syrup and butter. stir constantly over medium heat until butter melts and sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes).
  3. reduce heat slightly, add milk mixture and bring to a boil for a quick 30 seconds…. remove from heat.
  4. let cool, poor into canning jar or squeeze bottle (add printable label) and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. reheat in microwave or hot water before serving.


you’ll need

  • 2 pints fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed, hulled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

here’s how

  1. combine ingredients in saucepan. stirring occasionally, heat over medium heat until berries have softened and mixture becomes a sauce.
  2. let cool, poor into canning jar (add printable label) and store in refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. reheat in microwave or hot water before serving.

have fun!

xo . rae


little bites: PB&J push pops

with the weather warming up we’ve been experimenting with chilled snack ideas and wanted to share our favorite so far, PB&J pops! these push pops are a healthy mix of complex carbohydrates and protein, simple to make, and the perfect bite between lunch and dinner time. Mmmm.


Peanut butter and jelly pops (*gluten free)

You’ll Need

  • 1 cup favorite peanut butter
  • 2 cups greek honey yogurt (our fave brand is zoi)
  • favorite fruit preserves
  • dixie cups + popsicle sticks, or push-pop molds
  • food processor or blender

Here’s How

  1. In a food processor, mix peanut butter and Greek yogurt together. Spray dixie cups or push-pops lightly with cooking spray, fill the first third with yogurt mixture, add a small layer of preserves of choice and another small layer of yogurt mix, repeat until cups are filled. Put in the freezer.
  2. If using dixie cups – When mixture is starting to freeze or become hard (after 30 minutes or so) insert popsicle sticks.
  3. After a couple of hours, these pops should be ready to eat.

three cheers for warmer weather!

(images by stacy jacobsen)


raid the pantry.

about a month ago i went on our women’s church retreat and stayed at this swanky hotel with the most incredible amenities. one of my favorites was “raid the pantry” where the hotel would open up a hidden pantry in the lobby, from 10:30pm to 12:30, stocked full of all kinds of yummy food to satisfy their guests’ late night munchies – sandwiches, warm soup, pastries, fruit, potato chips and just about anything you might find in a vending machine. a pregnant girl’s dream come true if i’m being totally honest.


all i could think about while picking out my snacks was how much my kids would LOVE the whole concept. with summer right around the corner and the anticipation of kids that will inevitably be hungry and looking for snacks all. day. long. a locked cabinet seemed like the best place for sweet treats to hide. at least until a movie night or sleepover gives us a reason to indulge with friends.

so obviously (after returning from the retreat) i ran to ikea to purchase one of their lockers and then stopped at costco to stock up on goodies. have you ever shopped at costco solely for snacks and sweets? it was too much fun and really hard to not buy all the things.

raid-the-pantry-8just as i imagined the kids about died when i introduced them to “raid the pantry”. we’ve been gone so much on the weekends lately that it’s only been opened up for the kids a couple times in the last month, but it was a big hit with friends and also comes in handy when i need to throw a bribe in my purse (just in case). also there may or may not be any of those peanut butter m&m’s left. not that i had anything to do with that… ahem.

so, what do you think? would your kids love it?

xo . rae

(images by stacy jacobsen)


breakfast club: easy blender crepes recipe

there is a certain two year old in our home that will greet me in the morning with a sleepy, “make crepes, momma?” several times a week. it’s hard to resist, but this recipe (especially if made the night before) is super easy to throw together and equally as easy to clean up after. depending on the toppings, they are also fancy and filling enough for a family brunch or breakfast for dinner!

(fully recipe and gluten free alternative below…)


Easy Blender Crepes: Makes Approx 30 Crepes, 10 minutes Prep Time, 15 minutes Cook Time

You’ll Need

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (*or all-purpose gluten free blend to make GF)


Sweet or Savory Topping Ideas

  • Chocolate nut butter and bananas
  • Fruit preserves and whip cream or cream cheese
  • Ricotta cheese and honey or powdered sugar
  • Eggs and sausage or bacon
  • Cheese and salsa
  • Goat cheese, roasted red peppers and arugula


Here’s How

  1. Mix melted butter, milk, eggs and salt in the blender. Blend until just combined but not whipped. Add the flour and blend until fully combined. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to 24 hours. Before using, consistency should be that of thick egg nog. Add milk if too thick, flour if too thin.
  2. Use an 8″ or 10” nonstick fry pan or a crepe pan. Heat pan on medium high and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. With large ladel, add ¼ cup batter and swirl around to make an even coating of batter on the bottom of the pan. Cook for about one minute, until edges start to pull away from the pan. Carefully flip crepe by sliding thin spatula underneath. Cook on the other side until lightly golden. Do the same with remaining batter, stacking crepes on a plate as they are ready.
  3. Layer leftovers between parchment paper and freeze in a ziploc bag for extra busy mornings or snack time!

* This crepe recipe can be made the night before and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.


dinner tonight: hot dogs 3-ways


our family eats hot dogs fairly often during the summer months. they are a great option on a busy day, when we have lots of (extra) mouths to feed or we’re simply looking for something easy to grill or roast over a bonfire.  just to make sure the fam isn’t sick of america’s fave sandwich by the end of summer i’ve put together a few simple (and regional) ways to keep them guessing and hungry for hot dogs any night of the week.

  1. west coast dog: taking a hint from a BLT add a slice of bacon (we like turkey), halved cherry tomatoes, and lettuce to your hot dog. beyond delish.
  2. NY city dog: my brother and his sweet family live in NY so i love to bring east coast flavors into our kitchen. it makes them feel closer somehow (weird?).  to make, smother your dog with sauté onions (cooked in butter or oil, chili powder and a little bit of ketchup), sauerkraut and dijon mustard.
  3. tex-mex hot dog: top your hot dog with southern flavors – pico de gallo, avocado, cilantro and corn cut from the cob (or frozen).

note: if your looking for healthier versions of hot dogs try organic beef chuck or veggie smart dogs!

now i’d love to know – do you have a favorite hot dog topping or go-to summertime dinner!?


for more hot dog and ballpark food inspiration, check out this article i wrote for KROGER (HERE)!

Xx . rae

(images by stacy jacobsen)


flourless chocolate cookies for a happy weekend

have you tried the flourless chocolate cookies at starbucks yet? they are to die and i’ve bought more than my fair share lately so i figured it was time to try a homemade version. plus there is a budding baker around our home these days (named tilly) and although we’re reaping the benefits i’m always on the lookout for easy recipes with a healthier twist. now if only there was away to make them sugarless too!

(recipe details below.)


makes 2 dozen, 15 minutes Prep Time, 15 minutes Cook Time (adapted from recipe girl)

you’ll need:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi, milk or bittersweet chocolate chips

here’s how:

preheat oven to 350 degrees. line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and spray (lightly) with nonstick cooking spray…. the cookies are super delicate so this will help them stay in one piece.

in a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. whisk in two egg whites and the vanilla until the batter is moist bust still thick like brownie batter. if too thick, add another egg white or two – one at a time. fold in chocolate chips.

scoop batter onto the prepared baking sheets and bake about 14 minutes (check after 12), until the tops are lightly cracked. slide the parchment paper onto wire racks and let cool completely.

now go check your pantry for missing ingredients and head to the store or just pop into starbucks and start your weekend on a sweet note!

xo . rae


dinner’s ready: easy meatball sliders

posted one of our fave dinners (meatball sliders!) on Instagram last week and thought it would be fun to share the recipe here. we love this savory and scrumptious comfort food served in a mini size! they are also simple enough to make on busy evening and light enough to eat all year round. make a double batch and serve over pasta later in the week!


MEATBALL SLIDERS: makes 12  (Serves 4), 15 minutes Prep Time, 20 minutes Cook Time

You’ll Need

  • ¼ cup corn flakes, finely crushed (crushed saltines work too)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons favorite marinara sauce, plus more for topping
  • 2 tablespoons grated mozzarella cheese, plus more for topping
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces ground beef, 96% lean
  • 12 small dinner rolls or slider buns, halved
  • Fresh basil or arugula leaves for topping

Here’s How

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine corn flakes, parsley, egg, oil, 2 tablespoons marinara, 2 tablespoons cheese, salt and pepper. Add ground beef and mix together. Roll mixture into 12 meatballs, placing on prepared baking sheet as you go.

Place on rack in center of oven and bake for 20 minutes, until cooked through.  Set aside and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Place basil on bottom half of each roll, add a dollop of reserved marinara, top with a meatball, drizzle with more marinara, sprinkle with cheese and cover with roll top.

Arrange on plates, serve with one or two simple sides (ideas below) and wait for the compliments to roll in!

Ideas for sides

  • Crudités with dip or sliced fruit
  • Green salad
  • French fries
  • Favorite specialty chips

BREAKFAST CLUB: yogurt parfaits


spring hasn’t exactly made it’s way to the pacific northwest yet, but the dose of sunshine i got in phoenix last week (i have pics to share from our trip tomorrow!) has put me in the mood for a lighter, fruitier breakfast menu.

yogurt parfaits seem to be hitting the spot so i thought i would share some topping inspiration. i also  find that little eaters are extra happy anytime they get to customize their meal and the endless variations make them easy to serve all week for snack and dessert too.

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add the fixings you know everyone will like to your shopping list or plan out some fun combos. honey or vanilla greek yogurt, berries, bananas, granola and cereal (for crunch) is always a hit at our house.

here are some other ideas to pair with your choice of yogurt:

  • sliced kiwi, strawberries & cheerios
  • raspberries, coconut flakes & cocoa krispies cereal
  • broken graham crackers, lemon curd & coconut flakes (dessert)
  • peaches, brown sugar & rolled oats
  • diced apples, cinnamon & chopped walnuts
  • warmed almond butter, banana & honey (if using plain yogurt)
  • fresh berries & mini chocolate ships

layer ingredients and serve or set out fixings and let everyone build their own!

is there anything your craving now that spring is here!?

xo . rae