Homemade Apple Cinnamon Pop-Tarts

Adults need Pop-Tarts too! My inner child was craving one of my favorite childhood snacks, so I grabbed a whole lotta of butter and apples and got to work. Surprisingly, not that hard to make. But what’s even better is the fact that they almost taste better than the real thing. I know that is a bold statement, but make these and try to tell me you don’t feel the same!


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 large egg, whisked
2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg, for the egg wash

2 large baking apples, peeled cut into cubes
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Start by making the dough. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or use your hands. If using your hands, you simply want to roll the butter chunks between your fingers with the flour until it resembles the texture of small peas. Whisk together the egg and milk then add to the flour mixture. Mix lightly until incorporated. Pour onto a flat surface and shape into a disk, cut in half then wrap both separately in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

In a large saucepan, add the apples, lemon juice, both sugars, and the salt. Cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until the apples are softened all the way through. You should be able to easily pierce them with a knife. Remove from the heat and strain the apples, reserving the liquid. Place the apples in a food processor and blend until smooth, using the reserved liquid as needed. Set aside to cool to room temp.

In the meantime, roll out your dough one at a time. Lightly flour the surface and your rolling pin, and gently roll out the dough into a large rectangle shape that is 1/4 inch thin. Using a knife, cut the dough into 3×5 rectangles and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Scoop the scraps back up into a ball, roll it out again, and keep cutting your tiny rectangles until you’ve used all the dough! Repeat with the other dough.

Working quickly (as the dough will start to warm and be harder to handle) brush the egg wash around the perimeter of each rectangle piece. Scoop and spread 1 tablespoon or so into the center of half of the rectangles, and top with the remaining rectangles. Using a fork, press around all the edges to seal them together. Place in the freezer for 1 hour.

When the dough is almost done chilling, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the Pop-Tarts from the freezer and brush with egg wash. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes, then rotate and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and let sit for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

To make the glaze, mix together the confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon until smooth. Let sit for a few minutes to thicken, then drizzle over the cooled Pop-Tarts!

Summer Pea & Prosciutto Risotto

Risotto! One of the easiest most delicious things to make. It wasn’t until recently that I tried making it, as I was under the impression it was a hard thing to make, but turns out it is incredibly easy! There are minimal steps, you just need a little patience while the rice takes its time to absorb all that delicious liquid. Though I find sipping a big glass of wine is a great way to help the time pass while you wait!

3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
28 ounces chicken stock
1 cup fresh peas
1 cup shredded zucchini, moisture squeezed out
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, optional
Good pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a heavy bottomed pot, add the chopped prosciutto and a tiny drizzle of olive oil. Cook until crispy then remove and set aside. In the same pot, sauté the garlic and shallots for a few minutes then add the rice, followed by the wine, and simmer for about 3 minutes. In the meantime bring the chicken stock to a boil in a separate pot then turn off the heat. Add enough of the hot stock to the rice in order to just cover it, and stir until the rice has absorbed the liquid. This will take about 5-7 mins. Pour in more stock and repeat the process until the rice has absorbed all of the stock and is creamy and el dente, about 25 minutes total. While the rice cooks, sauté the peas in a pan with some olive oil for about 5 minutes then set aside. When the rice is ready, add the cooked peas, zucchini, prosciutto, lemon juice, fresh parsley, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a touch of butter if you want to get a little crazy! A poached egg on top is always lovely as well…


Homemade Pesto & Potato Pizza

I’ve been eating a lot of pesto lately, it’s just so easy to make and tastes great on so many things. I remembered I had some pizza dough leftover in my freezer, so when I got a ton of basil, arugula, and potatoes in my CSA this week, I knew what I was going to make… pizza. My favorite easy go-to when I want something delicious that doesn’t take too long to make. I didn’t have any nuts on hand so I made a pesto without nuts and actually liked it a lot, didn’t even notice they were missing!

**not the best “final” photos… but I swear it tastes GREAT!

1 cup fresh arugula
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil, and more as needed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 golden potatoes, sliced (you want them to be thin enough to cook, but not so thin they burn)
1 pizza dough (I buy mine at Whole Foods or Trader Joes, or I just pick some up from my local pizza place)
1 cup shredded gouda cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, add the arugula, basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Mix until you have the texture of pesto. Set aside. Next, cook the sliced potatoes in a pan with some olive oil until fork tender but still slightly firm.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread on the pesto, followed by the potatoes, then top with the gouda cheese. Cook in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the toppings are bubbling. Crack some fresh pepper on top and perhaps come red pepper flakes, and dig in!

Mom’s Homemade Cream Puffs

Good news everyone! My mom has shared another one of her recipes. This time it is her delicious cream puffs that she has been making us for a long time. Sometimes she’ll just make the puffs and stuff them with ice cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce, but this time she made the custard filling version… which I would drink if I could. The puffs themselves are very airy and light, and the filling is sweet but not overly so. She also said if you don’t have time to make the custard, you can simply mix together vanilla pudding and whipped cream and that will do the trick in a pinch.

Puff Dough:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium saucepan, slowly bring the water, butter, and salt to a boil. Remove from the heat and add all of the flour at one time, mixing well with a wooden spoon. Return to the stove and continue to beat the mixture over low heat, about 4-5 mins. Remove from the heat again and beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth – continue beating until the mixture is shiny and breaks into strands.

On an ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drop large heaping tablespoons of the mixture 2 inches apart (you can make smaller or larger, whichever you prefer). Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 45 mins. Don’t peek when they’re cooking or they’ll collapse! After approximately 40 mins you can check on them – if you lightly flick them with your finger, they should sound hollow. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Custard Filling:
1 1/2 cups whole milk (if don’t have, add 1/2 or light cream to low fat milk to thicken)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch (plus more as needed)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 pink heavy whipping cream

Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl and mix together. In a small saucepan, slowly heat the milk until bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Add all of the sugar/cornstarch mixture at once to the hot milk, and stir over medium heat until it boils, then add the lemon zest, turn down the heat, and let simmer for one minute. In a small bowl beat the egg yolks with a tiny bit of the hot milk mixture – this will temper the eggs so that they warm without cooking when you add them to the hot mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens. Add additional cornstarch if necessary to thicken. Stir in the vanilla at the end. If the mixture is chunky at all you can pour through a fine sieve to smooth it out. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, having the wrap actually touch the surface of the custard so that a film doesn’t form. Place in fridge to completely cool and set up. In the meantime, whisk the heavy cream vigorously in a cooled metal bowl until you have yourself some whipped cream – you can also do this with a standing mixer. When the custard is cooled, gently fold the whipped cream into the custard.

When ready to serve, slice the puffs in half and scoops a big dollop of the custard in the center. Be prepared to eat about 700 of these!



Roasted Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream With Chocolatey Cones

My sister had a ton of fresh strawberries that she got from the farmers market in Rhode Island, so while I was home we decided to make a version of the “Sprouted Kitchen” roasted strawberry ice cream. She had the genius idea of filling the cones with chocolate and toasted coconut, which made the whole thing over the top amazing. There is nothing like homemade ice cream in the summer!

2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
2 teaspoons sugar
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons maple sugar (or regular sugar if you don’t have)
1 13.5 ounce can full fat coconut milk (if not full fat it tends to taste too icy and not a creamy)
1/2 vanilla bean, vanilla scraped out
1 box sugar cones
1 cup (melted) dark chocolate
1 cup unsweetened toasted coconut flakes

You want to make sure our ice cream container for the machine has been in the freezer for a good amount of time before using it. I like to keep mine in there overnight before I make my ice cream.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and top with the strawberries. Roast them for about 25 minutes or until completely softened and cooked through. Alternatively, my sister and I were already using the grill for our dinner, so we just covered the pan with aluminum foil and cooked the strawberries right on the grill! Either way works. Let the strawberries cool completely – this step is important as they cannot be warm when you add them to the ice cream maker.

While those are roasting, make the cones. Add the toasted coconut to a small shallow bowl and crunch them up a little. Next melt the chocolate. One cone at a time, pour about 1 tablespoon of the chocolate into the cone and swirl it around to coat the inside as much as you can, then dip the rim of the cone into the chocolate as well. Place the cone into the bowl of the coconut, and press the coconut to stick to the chocolate along the rim of the cone. Place together (opening first) onto a plate and put them in the freezer to harden.

Simmer a bit of water in a pot, and place a glass bowl over top. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Next, add the egg yolks and both sugars to the bowl and stir until they melt. You can add a little of the coconut milk if you need some more liquid to help it melt. Stir for about 5 minutes, you’ll see that the mixture looks shiny and smooth. Add the can of coconut milk and whisk everything together. The mixture will thicken just a bit. Lastly, stir in the vanilla and turn off the heat. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer to catch any of the egg bits that may have cooked. Place the bowl in the fridge to cool completely.
When the mixture is completely cooled, add it to your ice cream maker and churn according to instructions. When the ice cream is about 75% finished, add in a cup of the (cooled) roasted strawberries and let it continue until finished. At this point the ice cream is pretty soft still, but take a big bite anyway! Transfer to a container and freeze until firm. Scoop into your chocolatey coconut cones and debate whether to share with your friends or to just eat all of it in secrecy…