Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ice Cream Sodas & Floats with Julie and Ivy

Three different ways to cool off this summer!

I've already explained my enthusiasm for s'mores at length to you guys, but I have a slight confession to make: they're actually in direct competition for my other favorite "summer time" dessert, which is traditionally a little easier to get year round than my good pal the s'more. Root beer floats are incredibly simple, super tasty, and pretty much the greatest thing anyone working a soda fountain has come up with.

Unfortunately, root beer floats themselves aren't really worth their own blog post. They're the textbook definition of simple: put vanilla ice cream in a glass, pour root beer over it, eat immediately. But don't worry, this post does feature something that's a little bit more complicated, and probably isn't something you've had before! I know I'd never really heard of it before digging out a certain old cookbook to get ideas.

So get excited, because this is definitely a tasty addition to any summery menu, and is simple enough that literally any aspiring chef can whip one up in a jiffy.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Josefina's Black Bean Corn Salad

A tasty cold salad with the flavors of the American Southwest!

Bean salads are a relatively recent invention compared to some of the other dishes we've featured on A Peek Into the Pantry. They apparently were an invention first really published and talked about before the turn of the 20th century, and have remained a popular side dish and starter to picnics and dinners ever since. While this isn't an especially historical or cultural dish from the perspective of Josefina, its main ingredient is an important staple of Latin American cuisine, and has so for thousands of years! After trying it at my cousin's graduation party, I knew I had to give it a shot myself and share it with the rest of you!

It's a pretty quick side dish or starter to throw together for a party or dinner, or even just to eat on its own if you're looking for a meat free protein dish with a lot of tasty vegetables in it. I know I've been trying to be a little more health conscious in terms of what goes into my mouth - not that you'd know it from looking at what food I've been making for the blog for the last couple weeks - and often have a hard time finding things I actually like eating, but this fit the bill pretty nicely.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Molly's S'mores Dip

Tired of making s'mores outside? Here's your solution!

I've already told you guys how much I love s'mores. I love them so much, I found a way to enjoy them even when there's three feet of snow on the ground and more on the way with s'mores hot chocolate! So needless to say, when I discovered there's a way to enjoy s'mores indoors, without the hassle of building a fire or using leftover coals from a grill, I was pretty excited. Between the mugginess and buggyness of mid to late summer, sometimes it's just not fun to stand around outside making dessert when you could be hiding indoors, and s'mores cooked over a fire can definitely be a little tough to put together, especially if you've got little kids who already have melted chocolate and marshmallow all over them.

This is a pretty neat solution, and it's really pretty brainless to make - always a good thing! It's also a great way to turn what seems like a purely summer time (or at least nice weather time) dessert into something that can be enjoyed any time of year, which I'm certainly not complaining about!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Kirsten's Honey Cake & the Daisy Chain Blog Award

A tasty historic cake that (technically) has no sugar!

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! And happy birthday to Captain America, while we're at it. My family usually has a cookout on Fourth of July, but since we're kind of caught up in the middle of a hurricane, we were stuck indoors all day. That worked out just fine for me, because my favorite Fourth of July tradition is marathoning Jaws and Captain America: The First Avenger. First Avenger is obvious, but people do ask me why Jaws quite a bit. The answer is simple: Jaws takes place leading up to, during and after Fourth of July weekend!

Anyway, I'm sure Kirsten doesn't seem like the obvious choice for a Fourth of July post. What about Felicity or Molly, right? Well, Kirsten Saves the Day is one of the only American Girl books that takes place on Fourth of July, and I thought it would be a fun challenge to find a recipe that used honey as one of the main ingredients because Kirsten finding honey is one of the major plots of the book. Honey was a luxury item that could be traded and sold for a lot of fun stuff, as well as a good alternative to expensive products like sugar. It did take a little bit of digging to find something featuring honey that Kirsten would have eaten, but I think what we came up with was pretty great.

Now, before we get started with the recipe, Rhonda from Living a Doll's Life nominated me for the Daisy Chain Blog Award! I'm going to take a moment at the beginning to answer her questions, and then get right to the recipe.