Rachael’s Swiss Chard Lasagna

Rachael’s Swiss Chard Lasagna

30This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from the show visit RachaelRayShow.com.

Antioxidant-packed greens and mushrooms are layered with a creamy bechamel sauce for a decadent vegetarian lasagna.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and white pepper or finely ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste (about 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, broken into hand by small pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3/4 pound crimini mushrooms and/or hen of the woods (maitake) mushrooms, thinly sliced or pulled into pieces
  • 1 large shallot
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, chopped
  • 1 large bundle Swiss chard (1¼-1½ pounds at full weight), stemmed
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 cups cow’s or sheep’s milk ricotta, drained
  • 15-20 no-boil lasagna pasta sheets
  • 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 cups Fontina val d’Aosta cheese or similar fontina/easy melting cheese (½ pound)
  • 1/4 cup your favorite fresh herbs (such as dill, chives and parsley), finely chopped

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

In a medium saucepot, warm milk over medium-low heat with bay leaf.

In a skillet, melt butter and when it foams, whisk in flour and stream in milk. Season with salt, white or fine black pepper and nutmeg, and thicken to coat spoon then remove from heat.

In a small pot, heat stock and porcini mushrooms over moderate heat to plump.

In a large skillet, heat EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, add mushrooms and brown, then add shallot, garlic and thyme, season with salt and pepper, and wilt in the greens. Remove porcini from stock, chop and add to pan, then add in all but last few spoonfuls of stock (where grit may settle). Add juice of ½ lemon. Remove from heat.

Mix ricotta with lemon zest.

In a square 3-quart casserole or shallow rectangular casserole, layer one-third of the béchamel and pasta sheets, dollop with half the ricotta, sprinkle with parm, top with half the mushrooms and greens, then repeat. Top lasagna with a last layer of pasta sheets, remaining white sauce and Fontina cheese. Bake covered 30 minutes, then uncovered for 20 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

12 Days of Holiday Baking

12 Days of Holiday Baking

Each day, we’re adding a new recipe to this post. So check back for the latest sweet treat!

There’s no way around it: One of the best parts of the season is making, baking, savoring, and sharing holiday sweets and treats.

In Rachael’s family, her sister, Maria Betar, is the baker. Rach handles the food, and Maria’s got everyone’s favorite desserts ready to go to wrap up the meal.

To bring a little of the spirit of their kitchens to yours, we’ve got Maria’s top 12 go-to recipes, just in time for the holidays! Whether it’s rich, cocoa cookies or chilly ice cream roll cake with hot fudge drizzle (oh yes!), there’s something in here for everyone. Check back to this post each day as we count down the 12 Days of Holiday Baking!

Day 1: Dutch Cocoa Walnut Cookies

Warm and rich, these cookies are the perfect texture. Their crackly tops and toasty walnuts are sure to make them a family favorite.

Day 2: Gingerbread Muffins

Maria says it best: “Nothing is better than a hunk of warm gingerbread topped with whipped cream dusted with cinnamon, or poached peaches dusted with ginger.” Her family loves popping these little muffins in the toaster for a quick snack, or even turning them into toppings for gingerbread sundaes!

Day 3: Apple Torte
Photo by Frances Janisch
Tuscan torte is featured in Rachael’s new cookbook, Everyone is Italian on Sunday. Maria wrote the entire dessert chapter! The trick to this perfect cake (along with some warm coffee to enjoy as you bake) is shredding the apples for even baking.

Day 4: Spritz Cookies

These simple and classic cookies get extra flair by using a cookie gun to create any shape you want. The trick is to keep the dough chilled throughout the process. We made ours with clear, chunky sugar crystals, but you can use any kind that you please to create customized cookies.

Day 5: Pecan Pie

This exceptional and classic pie is everything your holidays need: Flaky, rich crust with sweet, spiced filling that’s ready for sharing. Maria’s recipe for homemade crust is perfect for anyone (even if you’ve never made a crust before!), but you can use a pre-made pie shell if you’re running short on time.

Day 6: Pignoli Cookies
Photo by Frances Janisch
Featured in Rachael’s latest book, Everyone is Italian on Sunday, these classic Sicilian cookies will bring a taste of the old country to your holidays. What’s better than almond macaroons covered in toasty pine nuts?!

Day 7: Cider Cookies

These cookies use grated apples and apple cider for a moist, sweet bite. Maria recommends honeycrisp apples, but other juicy varieties like pink lady or gala would work beautifully.

Day 8: Pralines

These caramel pecan dreams are a cinch to make if you’re new to candy. All that’s required is a little focus and a dash of patience – they’re best if you let them cool for a few hours!

Day 9: Peanut Butter Blossoms

Maria loves making these cookies for Rachael – they’re one of her favorites! And there’s no doubt why – the sweet bite of chocolate paired with perfect peanut butter cookies is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Day 10: Molasses Cookies

Don’t let the main ingredient fool you: These cookies are anything but thick and heavy. Light and fluffy (our team ate a dozen right out of the oven!), they’re perfectly sweet but not overbearing. We think they pair well with a coffee!

Day 11: Oatmeal Pecan Raisin Cookies

Warm, toasty, and perfect with a glass of milk (or on a plate of your favorite holiday cookies), these sweet bites from Maria will satisfy your craving for something hearty and sweet.

Day 12: Ice Cream Cake Roll with Chocolate Sauce

What’s more decadent than rich, chocolately cake with ice cream swirled inside? You’ll love this beautiful, crave-able dessert from Maria. Just be careful: It will be gone in a flash!

There’s more to come…see ya tomorrow!

5 Clever Packing Tips using Plastic Wrap

Sponsored Post: This 5 Clever Packing Tips using Plastic Wrap post is sponsored by Reynolds KITCHENS™ but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

5 Clever Packing Tips using Plastic Wrap

We recently stayed at a hotel in our hometown after our dishwasher leaked and caused a good portion of our brand new wood floor to warp!  I was definitely not planning this 5 day excursion in our own city, but it was pretty fun for the kids to spend the night in the hotel.  We only had a few days to pack up and I wanted to make everything as easy as possible.

I learned that using plastic wrap to help separate everything in your suitcase makes packing a whole lot easier!  Packing with plastic wrap also saves money compared to buying travel containers for things like toiletries.  These 5 Clever Packing Tips using Plastic Wrap will are some of my favorite hacks for packing my bags!

5 Clever Packing Tips using Plastic Wrap

So which plastic wrap is the best to use?  My favorite plastic wrap the Reynolds KITCHENS® Quick Cut™ Plastic Wrap and comes in a convenient dispenser that has a built in slide cutter.  It’s SO amazing and by far the easiest to use!  I definitely won’t go back to regular plastic wrap containers because the quick cut is a game changer.

First tip is wrapping up jewelry in plastic wrap.  This first hack was introduced to me by my mom!  She uses this trick for plastic wrap when camping and traveling.  It keeps necklaces and bracelets from tangling all together.  It also helps to separate earrings into their pairs so that they aren’t as easily lost.  Just place the earrings in pairs separated by a little space and then roll them up!  So easy.

The second tip is to wrap up any and all toiletries that might leak or have any kind of moisture.   Things like toothbrushes and soaps are perfect for this.  I am a bar soap user and I really like that plastic wrap allows me to take a bar along with me during my travels.  My toothbrush also gets wrapped up and I don’t have to worry about keeping up with the travel container I used to use.  For any bottles that I have in my bags… a little square of plastic wrap added under the lid helps to keep it from spilling out!  I also use it for my hairspray when I can’t find the lid.

Tip number 3 is a hygiene issue and a great reason to use plastic wrap.  Shoes can be wrapped up in the plastic wrap and this prevents the soles from touching any clean clothes or items that shoes should not be in contact with.

Tip 4 is wrapping up any electrical items like phone cords, laptop cords etc.  This will keep them nice and separated inside your travel bag and helps prevent the cords from tangling together.

Tip 5 is wrapping up makeup!  I really dislike my makeup bag being a mess and nothing gets it messier than traveling.  Even when I use my nice organized travel makeup bag… there is always one loose lipstick or blush that makes a mess on everything else!  Wrapping up my brushes, lipsticks and anything else that might spill helps to prevent this problem.  I love my nice clean makeup bag as a result!

I know my packing for our little hotel stay was much easier because of these 5 Clever Packing Tips using Plastic Wrap.

Christmas Cookie Kit ⋆ Baking Gift

Christmas Cookie Kit ⋆ Baking Gift

Cookies are a universally loved treat.  In fact, they are loved by both people and monsters (hello Cookie Monster).  We have a few cookie monsters in our own family for sure.  Plus, cookies are the preferred breakfast, lunch and dinner for Santa himself.

So I am going to make a self declaration that this Christmas Cookie Kit is the perfect gift for all your cookie loving friends and family!  This post may have affiliate links.

Christmas Cookie Kit Baking Gift

DIY gift ideas are my favorite because you can make them unique to the recipient.  See the easy ways to personalize this gift below to give you some thought starters.

All the items I’ve shown in this baking gift should fit perfectly in a large box or they can also fit into a large gift basket.

Many of the items I have listed can also be found at Dollar Tree or most Dollar stores.  I am all about easy, frugal and wonderful Christmas gift ideas!  How about you?

Sprinkle Ornaments

One of my favorite items in the Christmas Cookie Kit is Holiday Sprinkle Ornaments!  How cute are they???  Additionally, they would make a cute ornament on their own, but they are also perfect in this baking gift.

Fillable Light Ornaments

The ornaments I used for these are from Hobby Lobby.  They have a closed cap lid and they are found in the Hobby Lobby Christmas craft section.  You could also use tiny jars or containers that are small and have lids.  I just thought these Christmas light containers were too cute and hopefully they won’t run out before Christmastime (call your store ahead to make sure)!

If you cannot find the ones at Hobby Lobby then these ornament necklaces from Amazon (affliate)should work just fine.  Just cut down or cut off the necklace part.

For this Cookie Kit Gift I also included a homemade Vanilla extract ornament.  You can use any container you want for this, but the ones I used are found at Hobby Lobby.  For more information on how to make them check out the Extract Ornaments post.

Christmas Cookie Kit Baking Gift for Holidays

First, I shop at the Dollar Store before buying any other items.  Most of the baking essentials like the half cookie sheet and spatulas are easily found at most dollar stores.  You’ll also find tissue paper there and other goodies you might want to include.  I always try to shop there first and then find the rest of the items later because it helps keep the cost down.

The mason jars I use are the 1 quart sized jars which work with the recipes I’ve included below.

Just sign up to be a VIP subscriber and you can download them and print them off.  They can be two sided or print the label and directions separately.  As a subscriber you’ll get access to any free printables I make in the future too.

Christmas Cookie Kit

Additionally, you can personalize this gift kit with items you think will be perfect for the person receiving it.

Here are some fun ways to personalize a Christmas Cookie Kit:

  • For the Dog Lovers:  Adding a dog shaped cookie cutter and maybe some snacks appropriate for a dog would be a huge hit for pups and their owners.
  • Chocolate lover’s delight: Making a double chocolate chip cookie mix and adding chocolate sprinkles would be perfect for the chocolate lover.
  • Making a Kid friendly version:  By adding lots of plastic cookie cutters and a kid size Christmas apron; you’ll have a Christmas gift for any aspiring baker.
  • Ideas for the coffee lover: Adding a coffee mug and some gourmet coffee mix makes this gift even more appealing to any coffee connoisseur.

Favorite Christmas character theme: Include your recipients favorite Christmas characters.  Example: For a Santa theme you could include a Santa pot holder and other Santa themed items.

Baking Gift with Cookie Mix in Mason Jars

These Christmas Cookie Kits have delicious chocolate chip and sugar cookie mixes and all the tools to bake them inside.

Everyone will love all the care that went into finding the ingredients and baking tools included in this baking gift.  I can’t wait to make these Christmas Cookie Kits for all my cookie loving friends, family and “monsters” in my life!

Be sure to follow me on my social media, so you never miss a post!

If you LOVE this Christmas Cookie Kit baking gift, be sure to stop on over in my Pinterest Community to share a picture of YOUR completed pictures! Or share it on Instagram and tag me #sprinklesomefun so I can see it!

Christmas Cookie Kits (Chocolate Chip and Sugar Cookie recipes)

Sugar Cookie and Chocolate Chip Cookie mixes in a jar are a great DIY gift idea for the holidays!

10 minutes

Ingredients

Sugar Cookie Mix in a Jar

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 quart Mason Jar with lid
  • Gift Tag optional see post

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix for Jar

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

FOR SUGAR COOKIE MIX:

  1. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl then set aside. In a 1 quart large mouth mason jar, add the sugar on the bottom and then layer the flour mixture on top. Attach a tag (sign up for free tag) with the following instructions:
  2. Recipe to attach: (or just print off the tag)
  • Add contents of jar into a large bowl. Add 1 cup of softened butter; cut it in until the mixture is crumbly. Beat two eggs in a second bowl. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract. Beat until fluffy. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Chill covered for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 1/2 inches apart onto cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should begin to brown. Decorate them with sugar or sprinkles before baking if desired.

FOR CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MIX:

  1. Add flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Place flour mixture in 1-quart jar. Layer remaining ingredients in the order they are listed above. Press each layer firmly so all ingredients will fit into the jar. Attach lid and decorate as desired. Print off the tags included when you sign up for emails above.
  2. Recipe to attach:
    • Preheat oven to 375° F. In a large mixer bowl; Beat 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter or margarine, 1 large egg and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract until blended. Add cookie mix and 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional); mix well. If there are clumps break them up.
  • Drop batter by rounded tablespoon onto un-greased baking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Vegan Cobb Salad with Coconut “Bacon”

Vegan Cobb Salad with Coconut “Bacon”

Vegan Cobb Salad with Coconut "Bacon"

This salad was once again inspired by my bi-weekly Farmhouse Delivery bushel. What I love most about receiving a box of “surprise” vegetables is that it takes the guesswork out of deciding what’s for dinner. My general CSA strategy is to try to use the lettuces first so I usually start my week with a big salad for dinner.

This salad is an all-veggie version of a cobb salad. It’s packed with fresh summer corn, crispy cucumbers, zucchini and the first of the seasons’ cherry tomatoes. I made a creamy vegan cashew-based “buttermilk-like” dressing and coconut “bacon.” It’s a lot of quotation marks for one meal, but I promise (whether you’re vegan or not) you’re going to love it.

Vegan Cobb Salad with Coconut "Bacon"

I made my salad a full meal by adding baked tofu and avocado, but you can customize this with whatever proteins and cheeses you like.

The coconut “bacon” here is a wonderful thing – just bake unsweetened coconut flakes with tamari, maple syrup and smoked paprika and you get these tasty little crispy salty bacon-like bits. I also have a recipe in the cookbook (page 171) for shiitake bacon, which would also be wonderful here.

Store extra dressing for around 5 days. You’ll want to pour this yummy creamy dressing on everything.

Author: Jeanine Donofrio
Ingredients
  • 1 small head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, spiralized or peeled into ribbons
  • 1 ear of corn, grilled, kernels sliced off cobb
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced
  • 12 to 14 ounces extra-firm tofu, patted dry and cubed
  • ½ cup coconut “bacon” (recipe below)
Coconut “bacon”
  • 1½ cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1½ tablespoons tamari
  • scant 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Cashew “buttermilk” dressing: (this makes extra)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 3 to 4 hours, preferably overnight, drained and rinsed
  • ½ to ¾ cups fresh water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a blender, combine the cashews, ½ cup water, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder and ¼ teaspoon of sea salt. Blend until creamy, adding more water if necessary. Taste and season with additional salt as needed. Chill until ready to use.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the coconut flakes along with the tamari, maple syrup and smoked paprika on the pan and toss gently to coat. Spread in a thin layer on the pan and bake until dark golden brown and slightly crispy, about 10 minutes.
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tofu cubes on the pan and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and generous pinches of salt. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
  4. In a serving bowl, assemble the salad with the romaine, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, corn, avocado and tofu. Top with the coconut “bacon” and serve with the dressing on the side. Store any extra dressing in a sealed container in the fridge.

Thanksgiving Cupcakes with Cornucopia Toppers

Thanksgiving Cupcakes with Cornucopia Toppers

These make the perfect centerpiece for a Thanksgiving dessert table.  Also, they are easy enough that the kids can help decorate them too.

Thanksgiving Cupcakes with Cornucopias

I just love Thanksgiving.  Over the years I think I’ve come to appreciate Thanksgiving more and more.  Thanksgiving isn’t pretentious; no long lists of presents to buy or want.  It’s just family/friends gathering together around our favorite Thanksgiving foods and thanking God for the blessings.  I am looking forward to our Thanksgiving celebrations this year for sure!

In our family the desserts get their own table, and I think these cupcakes should be the centerpiece this year.  These cute Thanksgiving Cupcakes will be a big hit with the kids and adults alike.

Thanksgiving Cornucopia Cupcakes

Have you ever wondered what a cornucopia is or why it has such a weird name?  I found out that it might date back to ancient mythology and it is a symbol of abundance.  That’s why it’s also called a Horn of Plenty.

In North America, we associate the cornucopia with Thanksgiving and the abundance of the harvest.

I never really knew much about the history of the cornucopia before I was an adult.  Cornucopias do make a beautiful Thanksgiving centerpiece and an interesting segue into the history of Thanksgiving.  That’s why I think these cornucopia cupcakes would be great for any Thanksgiving celebration.  These would also be great as a little school lesson too for the kiddos.

Thanksgiving Cupcakes

How to make cornucopia cupcakes with sugar cones:

What you will need: 

  1. 1-2 Boxes of sugar cones (usually come in 12 cones per box)  I suggest only using sugar cones for these and not waffle cones.  The waffle cones have a bigger size and will not work to make tiny cornucopias.
  2. Baked and frosted cupcakes (I suggest 12-24).  I used chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting for these.  I liked how the frosting looked with the decorations, but I think they taste great with the chocolate too.
  3. A Box of Runts candies.  You can usually find these at Walmart or I’ve been able to find them online too.
  4. 1 bag of Mellowcreme pumpkins (Brach’s brand is best and sold at most big box stores near Halloween/Thanksgiving)
  5. A box Wilton fall leaf sugar decorations (I found these at Walmart last year… you can use sprinkles or omit this if you can’t find the leaves).  Walmart always sells a variety of fall themed sugar decorations (at my store) and so I hope they will have these leaves again.  They are so pretty!

Directions on How to make Thanksgiving Cupcakes with Cornucopia Toppers: 

  • First, the sugar cones were dipped in water and heated to make them soft so I could cut and shape them into tiny cornucopias.  I made sure that the whole cone had been submerged before heating them.

Cornucopias made from sugar cones

  • Softening allows you to cut off the sugar cones at just right place for the size you want your cornucopias.
  • To soften you will place the cones in very hot water (both sides) for around 15 seconds. Cornucopia sugar cones
  • Next,  microwave for just 10 seconds or until the cones have softened enough to shape.  If after 10 seconds they do not shape easily then put them in for another 10 seconds and so on until they are softened.  You may also need to submerge them again if they are not soft after the second round in the microwave.  This step involves a little trial and error.

Cutting Cornucopias out of sugar cones

  • Before they dry out you’ll need to cut them and shape them into a cornucopia shape.  I made each one around 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 inches in length which was the perfect size for the cupcakes.  You don’t have to be perfectly exact with the measurements, but just try to think of how big a cupcake is and eyeball it.

Mini Cornucopias being shaped

  • To dry the cornucopias without them losing their shape you will want to hold them in place with something. I was able to hold the shape with the outer ring from a mason jar lid.  You can use the edge of a bowl to hold it in place too, but I really liked the mason jar lid for this. Mini Cornucopia made from sugar cones
  • The next step is to let the cornucopias dry out for at least an hour (it may take longer so make this part ahead of time).  It took mine quite a while to dry out completely because I submerged mine a little too long in the water.  You could decorate with them a little sooner, but my suggestion is to let them dry completely or at least until they hold their shape.

Piping chocolate icing on chocolate cupcakes

  •  Lastly, ice your cupcakes (I like the chocolate for both taste and color) and then use your fancy cornucopia toppers to decorate with.  I think the Runts, Mellowcreme pumpkins and leaves were perfect for this.
  • The cornucopias were able to hold around 1-2 runts each which ended up being perfect amount.  The rest of the Runts I placed on the outside of the “Horn of Plenty” like it was overflowing. Then the leaves were put on as a final touch to bring it all together.

The sugar cones ended up looking perfect as cornucopia toppers for Thanksgiving cupcakes!

SAVE THIS PIN FOR LATER! 

 

If you don’t want to make the sugar cone cornucopia toppers then you could use bugles instead.  Bugles are my second choice for cupcake toppers because they are not quite the same size and shape, but they will work in a pinch!  My kids had a blast with me making these.  They mainly just had fun eating the candies, but they helped a little with the decorations too. 😉

Thanksgiving Cupcakes with Cornucopias

I know that everyone will be thinking PIE at Thanksgiving, but don’t you think these deserve a place at the dessert table this year?   It’s always nice to change things up from time to time.  Plus, there is always room for just ONE MORE DESSERT at Thanksgiving.  Don’t you think?  It’s not over until our pants send us the signal that we are done!

What Thanksgiving desserts will you be making this year?  Share them below!

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If you LOVE these cupcakes, be sure to stop on over in my Pinterest Community to share a picture of YOUR cupcakes! Or share it on Instagram and tag me #sprinklesomefun so I can see it!

Watch the video for more on this tutorial for Thanksgiving Cupcakes with Cornucopia Toppers

 

Strawberry Kale Salad

Strawberry Kale Salad

This Strawberry Kale Salad is packed with nutrients AND flavor. It makes a perfect lunch, side salad or light dinner.

Strawberry Kale Salad from What The Fork Food Blog

I was never a fan of strawberries in my salad. Until I tried it. Yes, sadly I judged the strawberry salad book by its cover. I don’t know, it just sounded weird to me. Strawberries and lettuce together? Why??

Then (out of politeness), I tried a strawberry spinach salad. Ah, that’s why. It’s pretty delicious. So to keep a short story short, I’m a fan of strawberries in my salad.

Since posting the recipe for baby kale chips, I’ve been trying to think of other ways to incorporate kale into our weekly menus. I wanted to stick with using the baby kale since it’s got such a mild flavor. I had some kale salad ideas rattling around in my brain but a strawberry kale salad was calling out to me. It just sounded so fresh and delicious.

Now, this strawberry kale salad is pretty much a salad template, the way most salads are. But that’s what is so great about salad. You can change them up and really use whatever ingredients you want or have.

I added some toasted pecans and some fresh mozzarella to my strawberry kale salad but you could use whatever nuts and cheese you’d like. You could even leave them out if you want. I chose fresh mozzarella because I like the creamy texture it adds. You could try goat cheese or feta too. You could also use all kale and no lettuce. See? A salad bowl is like a blank canvas. It is what you make it and it’s almost always delicious!

Strawberry Kale Salad from What The Fork Food Blog

Doesn’t that just look so yummy and inviting? Fresh strawberries, creamy mozzarella, toasty pecans, healthy kale… flavorful and healthy for the win!

I love this time of year when I can get fresh produce locally. Especially fruit like strawberries. There’s nothing like strawberries that have just been picked. Since it’s finally strawberry season here in New England, I’ve got some other great recipes [including a cocktail!] featuring fresh strawberries coming your way.

Make sure you sign up for email updates to get those strawberry recipes delivered right to your inbox as soon as they’re posted!

Strawberry Kale Salad

15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 C baby kale leaves, long stems removed
  • 2 C spring lettuce mix
  • 1 1/2 C fresh strawberries, cut in half
  • 1/2 C toasted pecans
  • 1/2 – 1 C fresh mozzarella, cubed

Instructions

  1. Toast pecans at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes on a dry baking sheet. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Let cool.
  2. Combine baby kale leaves and spring lettuce mix in a large salad bowl. Toss with strawberries, cooled pecans and mozzarella.
  3. Serve with balsamic dressing.

23 Coffee Drinks You Can Make at Home

23 Coffee Drinks You Can Make at Home

You guys know how much I love my coffee so you KNOW 23 coffee drinks you can make at home is like, music to my ears. I can have all the coffee all the time (and not break the bank). Hallelujah. Thank you coffee gods.

If you guys are just as addicted to your cups of joe as I am, look no further. These drinks will have you sipping happily all month long.

Caramel Macchiato Float Recipe from What The Fork Food Blog | @WhatTheForkBlog | whattheforkfoodblog.com

 

Caramel Macchiato Floats

Mocha Chip Frappe (Starbucks Copycat) from What The Fork Food Blog | whattheforkfoodblog.com

 

Mocha Chip Frappe

Recipes from fellow coffee lovers:

Caramel Brûlée Coffee – Foxes Love Lemons

Iced Caramel Mocha Latte – Melanie Makes

White Chocolate Latte – Julie’s Eats and Treats (pictured below)

White Chocolate Latte plus 23 Coffee Drinks You Can Make at Home from What The Fork Food Blog | whattheforkfoodblog.com

S’mores Coffee Milkshake – Shugary Sweets

Dunkin Donuts Coffee Coolatta Copycat – CopyKat

Cotton Candy Coffee – The Worktop (pictured below)

Cotton Candy Coffee plus 23 Coffee Drinks You Can Make at Home from What The Fork Food Blog | whattheforkfoodblog.com

Toasted Coconut Mocha – Chocolate Moosey

Vanilla Latte Protein Smoothie – Celebrating Sweets

Healthy Salted Caramel Mocha Smoothie – With Salt and Wit (pictured below)

Healthy Salted Caramel Mocha Smoothie plus 23 Coffee Drinks You Can Make at Home from What The Fork Food Blog | whattheforkfoodblog.com

Skinny Peanut Butter Mocha – Back for Seconds

Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino – Ilona’s Passion

Coconut Horchata Iced Coffee – Baking a Moment (pictured below)

Coconut Horchata Iced Coffee plus 23 Coffee Drinks You Can Make at Home from What The Fork Food Blog | whattheforkfoodblog.com

Frozen Mexican Hot Chocolate Mocha – Kitchen Treaty

Mocha Green Smoothie – B.Britnell

S’mores Iced Coffee – Show Me the Yummy (pictured)

S'mores Iced Coffee plus 23 Coffee Drinks You Can Make at Home from What The Fork Food Blog | whattheforkfoodblog.com

Cream Egg Cafe au Lait – Blender Happy

Salted Caramel Mocha Protein Shake – The Seasoned Mom

Copycat Mocha Frappe – The Chunky Chef (pictured below)

Copycat Mocha Frappe plus 23 Coffee Drinks You Can Make at Home from What The Fork Food Blog | whattheforkfoodblog.com

Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Frappuccino – Amy’s Healthy Baking

Coffee Smoothie – Diethood

Mocha Coconut Frappuccino – Simply Stacie (pictured below)

Mocha Coconut Frappuccino plus 23 Coffee Drinks You Can Make at Home from What The Fork Food Blog | whattheforkfoodblog@gmail.com

How to Make a DIY Snow Globe

How to Make a DIY Snow Globe

DIY snow globes are a perfect holiday gift

DIY Snow Globe

A DIY tropical holiday snow globe

Lovely Indeed

A snow globe is a whimsical, sentimental addition to your holiday decor! These DIY snow globes are the perfect project for the holiday season. You can customize them with your favorite miniature figures, select the perfect colors, and experiment with different types of snow. They’re also a wonderful gift to give to friends and family, and you can put together a whole batch of them in a very short time. This holiday season, make some snow globes for the people you love and watch their eyes light up!

Gather Materials

Materials for making a DIY snow globe.

You should be able to find everything you need to make an adorable snow globe at your local craft store. We used a snow globe jar, but if you’d like, you could also use a simple mason jar or something similar. Also, when you’re looking for your miniature figures to include inside the globe, be sure that you find items that are an appropriate size and won’t be too tall once you close your snow globe.

What You’ll Need

  • Snow globe jar or mason jar
  • Miniature figures to create a scene inside the globe
  • Strong glue, like E6000 or similar
  • Glycerine
  • Water
  • Glitter or faux snowflakes

Glue Figures

Making a DIY snow globe is lots of creative fun!

Start by using your glue to create a scene with your miniature figures to use in the snow globe. If you’re using a snow globe jar, you’ll glue your figures to the top of the plug that inserts into the globe. If you’re using a mason jar, you’ll glue your figures to the underside of the lid (with a mason jar, once your snow globe is complete, the jar will stand upside-down).

Arrange the pieces so that they’ll fit inside the jar once you close it up. Apply glue to each piece, ensuring that they’re secure. Then allow the glue to dry and cure according to the instructions on your glue packaging.

Add Glycerine

Glycerine helps the snow float inside a DIY snow globe.

Lovely Indeed

Add about a tablespoon of glycerine to your globe. This will help the glitter or snow float more slowly down to the bottom, rather than drop directly through water.

Continue to 5 of 9 below.

Add Water

A DIY snow globe for the holiday season.

Lovely Indeed
Fill your globe with water, add the lid, and shake until the water and the glycerine are combined. If you’re using a mason jar and your figures are still drying, just place your hand over the open jar as you shake.

Add Glitter

Use any kind of glitter for a DIY snow globe.

Lovely Indeed
Add about a tablespoon of glitter to your snow globe. At first it may float on the water, but it will incorporate and float around once your globe is properly sealed.

Add the Plug

Making a snow globe is simple and fun!

Lovely Indeed
If you’re using a snow globe jar, carefully add the plug with the scene you created. Do this over a sink, in case some water spills out as you do. The goal is to have as much water in the globe as possible, to avoid large air bubbles. If you’re using a mason jar, simply screw on the lid and you’re done.

Seal the Lid

A DIY snow globe for the holiday season

Lovely Indeed
If you’re using a snow globe jar, the final step is to add the lid and seal it tightly! Flip the jar right side up and shake it around to incorporate the glitter.

Watch the Snow!

A tropical DIY snow globe.

Lovely Indeed

Now you can enjoy your snow globe! Give it as a gift or keep it for decor in your home.

Avocado Peach Summer Rolls with Coconut Basil Sauce

Avocado Peach Summer Rolls with Coconut Basil Sauce

Avocado Peach Summer Rolls with Coconut Basil Sauce on a platter

This post is inspired by all of the fresh herbs that we have growing on our little deck. We have a ton of basil and some very fragrant Thai basil, among other plants like Thai chiles, tomatoes, peppers, and even figs. We’re very proud of our little plant escape, and when I say “we” I mean that I’m very proud that Jack has been lovingly watering everything up to twice a day to keep it all going. This might be the longest that we’ve actually kept plants alive.

Avocado Peach Summer Rolls with Coconut Basil Sauce

Since I know many of you also have lots of basil at this time of year, I made these fresh summer rolls with a creamy coconut basil dipping sauce. It’s the kind of sauce that I would normally make with cilantro, but the sweet basil flavor is so fresh and unexpected.

For the filling, I gathered the usual suspects – avocado, cucumber, tofu, and noodles. I felt like it needed a little more, so I thought what I often think in the summer – “peaches!” Peaches and basil are a tasty pairing and, in my opinion, it’s the season to throw peach slices on everything.

Summer rolls can be difficult to wrap (for me, at least), but I have one tip: get these 12-inch wrappers, they’re so much easier to work with than the 8-inch wrappers that I usually get. I have a tendency of wanting to overstuff my rolls, and the larger wrappers are easier to handle.