Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip


shutterbeanplanters

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip // shutterbean

As much as I like having people over for a sit down/fancy dinner, I almost always prefer a last minute spontaneous play-date/party.  The expectations are lower, it’s more carefree, and I haven’t agonized over how unkempt my house is. You busy tonight? No? Come over! Maybe bring a dessert or a drink mixer would be cool and we’ll hang out with the kids while I’ll fix us a cocktail. By the way, my house is a total mess. Oh? Yours is too? Cool.

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip // shutterbean

Another thing I love about the spontaneity is that I can dig into my pantry/fridge and make something out of nothing. It feels like I’m having my own Iron Chef battle; I secretly love a good culinary challenge! I just don’t want you to be filming me nor do I want to be competing with a chef coat on.

Spontaneous Play-date Iron Chef Battle:

Something for the kids that’s nutritious but makes them think they’re eating something indulgent so we can get as many fruits & vegetables into their little bodies as possible.

Challenge Accepted.

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip // shutterbean

After a little rooting around in the pantry & raiding the fridge, I came up with this party spread ready for a gaggle of ravenous pruney fingered kids fresh out of the pool. The star of the show is this Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Dip- made from three simple ingredients

Cucumber Ginger Gin Popsicles

Cucumber Ginger Gin Popsicles // shutterbean

I didn’t like gin for YEARS. I blame it on tonic water. Tonic water is not my jam. My tongue puts grapefruit juice and tonic water in the same ahhhhhh what is that??! MAKE IT STOP!! category.

Cucumber Ginger Gin Popsicles // shutterbean

It took me a long time to warm up to grapefruit…so maybe I have it in me to one day like tonic water? I dunno. The day I added ginger beer to gin (out of desperation!) was the day I liked GIN. In fact, it’s been my go-to alcohol for the past few years. Gin + Ginger Beer (sometimes ginger ale if that’s what we have on hand) with lime. Sometimes I add a few cucumber slices or strawberries (they taste really good when they’re gin infused!).

Cucumber Ginger Gin Popsicles // shutterbean

And here we have my favorite cocktail in POPSICLE FORM!!! Cuz it’s summer and boozy popsicles might be on your bucket list!  These ones are super refreshing.  How could you go wrong with cucumber, ginger beer, lime and gin??! Dust off your popsicle molds and get at it!

MY FAVORITE THINGS: GIVEAWAY!!

MY FAVORITE THINGS GIVEAWAY // shutterbean

I had every intention of doing a giveaway when I hit 1234 posts…. but it came and went and here we are on post 1347. Oops.  It’s kind of like how you look forward to the number changing on your odometer (88,888 and 111,111 are my favorites!) and you’re so close to seeing it and then you realize you totally missed it.  I thought I’d use the beginning of June (we’re so close to official SUMMER) to play Oprah and  share with you my FAAAAAVORITE THIIIIIIIIINGS.

Side note- Have you tried Oprah’s chai? What do we think of it? I had it hot and it tasted like drinking a chai while chewing on cinnamon gum.  I prefer it iced! It’s super cinnamon-y and I’m into it! Thanks Oprah!

 Ok let’s discuss my (current) favorite things….

My Everyday Life: Week 22

Here’s what this past week looked like:

Getting ready for the day. Coffee. Magazine. Deep breath.

My Everyday Life: Week 22 // shutterbean

I love lists, Friday!

i love lists friday!

  1. Cinnamini. That’s fun to say.
  2. Let’s tie a scarf like a French girl.
  3. My DREAM artichoke recipe. Also no mayo!
  4. I’ve always wanted to go strawberry picking.
  5. Have you tried cauliflower rice? I’m going to do it. Promise.
  6. You had me at Coconut Lime Pull Apart BREAD!
  7. THE ULTIMATE BLOODY MARY (totally deserves all caps!)
  8. She makes incredible points.  Instagram is like the wild wild west.
  9. Fred Armisen is good. I love the Joy Behar best.
  10. My friend Jenny finds amazing treasures. I love that about her.
  11. I don’t care if this was staged, I still love it. They’re good.
  12. Are you Textually Frustrated? (I laughed at the Group Text part)
  13. My summer bucket list includes reading Delicious! & Delancey
  14. Animal photobombs are the best thing EVER!
  15. Makes me want to spend more time in the Sunset.
  16. 10 Choices You Will Regret in 10 Years.
  17. I think this print should be in my house.
  18. Rare photos. It really makes you think about time. Love this one.
  19. OMFG I LOVE BILL MURRAY

mybites

Think Fruitful made Garlic Herbed Breadsticks

Re-Re Reader was inspired by my Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Hello Dear  made my Vanilla Walnut Shortbread

Graham Crackers+ Nutella+ Coconut

Graham Crackers + Nutella +Toasted Coconut // shutterbean

You’re either into Nutella or you’re not. This one is for those of you on Team Nutella! We take one sheet (is that what we call it??) of graham cracker and break it into 4 segments (don’t you love the built-in perforated lines?!). We then dunk the tips of each graham cracker into Nutella and top with toasted coconut (you could use a knife if you’re fancy). Because you’re doing a light dip and not covering the entire piece in Nutella, it’s just enough to give you a dessert fix. I also like that you can start with indulgence with your first bite and finish with the plain part of the graham to seal the deal. If you start the opposite way, then I can insert the mullet joke of business in front, party in the back. Ok, I’m out!

Strawberry & Coconut Ice Cream

Strawberry & Coconut Ice Cream // shutterbean

After we spent the weekend in Los Angeles, I was so ready to get back in my kitchen yesterday. There’s something so nice about being home from a trip. Home is where my plants are. It’s where Cooper’s room smells like Cooper and where stacks of books rest precariously on my nightstand. Home is where my laundry pile stays a constant disheveled pile and where I scorn how much laundry I have to do EVERY dang DAY.  Home is where my routine lives and as much as I’m happy to be away, I find an incredible amount of comfort in my everyday routine.

Strawberry & Coconut Ice Cream // shutterbean

To get myself back in kitchen/cooking mode, I decided to make 4 recipes at once. I made some popsicles (coming soon!),  a batch of simple syrup (which fell on the floor), raw blueberry ice cream (that tasted too much like cashews-Boo!) and this Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream recipe (because I had all of the ingredients!!). I also cleaned my pantry for a good 4 hours (post soon!) and didn’t bother to check my email once during that time (it was liberating!).

Strawberry & Coconut Ice Cream // shutterbean

After all of that, I picked Cooper up from school where he proceeded to hound me with questions about dessert. There were negotiations (you must eat your dinner!) and some reminders to be patient, but at the end of the night we enjoyed small bowls of this Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream after dinner. It’s a creamy strawberry ice cream that’s mildly tart, and you’d have no idea it’s made with coconut cream unless someone told you. I set myself up for Cooper not liking it, but then he asked for a second helping and THAT MY FRIENDS, was the icing on the cake yesterday. Well…that and my clean pantry. It’s good to be home.

Out & About: Harry & David

Out & About: Harry & David

When I was young, we always had an influx of gift baskets during the holidays seasons (my dad has always been in sales). I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love EVERY second of it. How could I not??  Besides gift cards,  gift baskets are my favorite thing to receive.  The thought put into the combination of flavors…the themes…the basket itself and the additional accessories (cutting boards! plastic wine glasses! cheese knives! napkins!) ALL OF IT excites me. If I could tell my childhood self that I’d be touring the factory of Harry & David one day, I’m sure little Tracy would FREAK OUT. You mean, I get to see how the baskets are crafted and shipped? COOL!!