This Valentine’s Day popcorn is a sweet treat everyone will enjoy snacking on. It’s a fun snack to send to school for a Valentine’s party or to put in treat bags to give with Valentines cards (like these cute candy hearts ones!). It just takes a few minutes to whip up a batch (perfect for that ‘oops I forgot’ moment the night before 😉 : all you have to do is melt some white chocolate and choose your favourite sweets to mix in. I’ve even got some cute printable tags you can download and attach to treat bags for handing out on February 14! Who’s going to be organized for that class party? YOU ARE. Nice work mama, now let’s get to the good stuff…
5 cups popcorn (Tip: pop it a little ahead of time so it has time to cool)
1 cup white chocolate for melting
Valentine’s candies of choice (For mine I went with Smarties and candy hearts, but for kids who are gluten free I picked up some jelly beans to mix in in place of the Smarties).
1. Melt the white chocolate and stir to remove chunks. (I tried melting the chocolate two ways: on the stove top in a double boiler and in the microwave. For some reason I had better luck in the microwave).
2.When melted, drizzle the white chocolate over the popcorn.
3.Cover with the sprinkles and allow to cool. Tip: To speed this step up pop in the freezer for 10 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened.
4.Break up the popcorn mix into bight-sized pieces and pour into a large mixing bowl. Toss in the smarties and candy hearts and blend until evenly distributed throughout the popcorn. If eating right away, pop into some bowls and enjoy. If making treat bags check out step 5.
5.If you want to send the popcorn to school with Valentines, pour into your bag or container of choice and attach one of these cute Valentines tags!
Last week I posted about the Lemonade Stand Party that a group of us got together and organized and I wanted to follow up this week with the lemonade popsicles I made. These popsicles are super simple to make and you can either make them with homemade lemonade or use a mix like I did (I used a Lemon Lavender cordial from The Handpicked Home). For a pretty finishing touch I added a fresh sprig of lavender from my garden and used sparkling water instead of regular to make them bubbly. We’ve still got a few weeks left of Summer and these are a perfect sweet treat to cool down with, or serve them up as a refreshing addition to a dessert bar at your next party.
Homemade lemonade or a lemonade mix made with sparkling water instead of regular water or
Fresh sprigs of lavender
Optional: slices of fresh lemon
Mix up your lemonade to your desired sweetness, using sparkling water instead of regular
Pour into popsicle molds, leaving a little extra room at the top so you can add lavender sprigs and/ or lemon slices, plus the popsicle sticks
Freeze overnight, pop out, serve, and enjoy!
That’s it, told you these were easy to make! 😉
Tip: serve in a container with ice to keep them from melting as fast
I scream, you scream… it’s hard to think of a Summer where there wasn’t a day spent at the beach served up with a scoop or two of my favourite flavour (usually bubble gum- you know the kind with real bits of gum in it?- or cotton candy). And it’s still a favourite treat of mine, no matter what time of year. Buuuuut, since we’re headed into the hottest time of the year I thought what better time than now to share a recipe for a sweet frozen treat that’s tasty and- gasp!- healthy too (can you guess the hidden uber- healthy ingredient???). And if you haven’t tried making your own ice cream/ froyo/ nice cream, now’s the perfect time to try. In case you’re unfamiliar, nice cream is the dairy free sister to the classic dairy dessert we know and love. You can absolutely whip up this recipe with milk, but I’ve been wanting to try making nice cream and had a freezer full of frozen ripe bananas calling my name, so I went for it.
Ari and I spent a messy morning blending up the flavours (we went with blueberry, raspberry, and the secret flavour you’ll have to scroll down to find out about), and I now know what I’ll do from now on with all the bananas that get over- ripe when it’s too hot to bake banana bread. This takes about 15 minutes to make, and the mix is also perfect for popsicles. Your kids will love helping, everyone will love eating it, and you’ll love that it’s a healthy version of a favourite Summer sweet treat. Now about that secret ingredient and how to make your own nice cream at home..!
6- 10 ripe bananas (you don’t have to be frozen, mine were just in the freezer waiting to be made into something yummy)
1 cup each of your favourite frozen fruits; for ours we used blueberries, raspberries, and kale (how’s that for a sneaky/ healthy secret ingredient?!)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)
2 tsbp honey or maple syrup (optional)
1- 2 cups of water, dairy- free milk, or milk
1. Start by blending all of your bananas as if you were making a smoothie. I added about 1 cup of dairy- free milk to mine to help get a thick/ creamy/ smooth consistency (we splurged on a Blendtec a few years ago and love it for things like smoothies and soups). The more flavours you want to make, the more bananas you’ll want (I used 10 for this recipe).
2. Once you’ve got the banana mixture smooth, pour it into a large jug and set aside. To make the green nice cream, I juiced a few few kale leaves (you don’t need very many as the colour is really strong). For each flavour, combine 1 cup of frozen or fresh fruit with 1- 2 cups of the banana mixture. For the green, add 1 tbsp of kale juice (you won’t be able to taste the kale, but if you prefer you can add some vanilla extract and/ or honey). Pour each colour/ flavour into their own container until you’ve made all the flavours you want to include.
3. Scoop spoonfuls of each flavour into a baking dish until it’s full, putting different colours/ flavours throughout (this is what will help create the marble effect).
4. Drag a skewer or chopstick through the mixture to create a marble effect- make sure to go all the way to the bottom so the nice cream is marbled throughout, not just on top.
5. Place your dish in the freezer for a few hours or overnight to freeze. When you want to serve, take it out of the freezer for 10- 15 minutes to soften. Scoop and enjoy!
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Both our juicer and blender get a lot of use in our house. They were two kitchen items we researched and invested some money into, since we wanted ones that would hold up well to use and last a long time. So far we’ve been more than satisfied with them and they do a great job; they were both splurges and we bought them at different times as we were able to put the money aside. I use them for many of the recipes that appear on the blog and get asked fairly often about which ones we own. The juicer we have is the Breville Juice Fountain Elite 800JEXL and we have the Blendtec TB-621-20 Total Blender. I’d highly recommend them both and worth the investment, especially if you enjoy making healthy food at home.
Who doesn’t love their house smelling of baking in the oven? This recipe is yummy. Just. Plain. Yummy. And it’s perfect to make for Christmas morning as a sweet brekkie while you open presents. I came across a recipe on Pinterest a while ago for cinnamon roll bread and thought I’d adapt it and make a few changes for GF cinnamon rolls. You can make this one of two ways: baked in a bread pan or on a baking sheet. This does make a difference and while I think the roll baked in the bread pan looked better, my taste testers (aka family) preferred the roll baked on the baking sheet (I’ve got photos below to show you how differently they turn out). I also made up two batches: a GF one (which is in the above photo) and a batch using regular flour (in the photos below). The nice thing is you don’t have to make any adjustments to the measurements between a GF and regular version, you’ll just find that they bake up differently (which is pretty much how I find these recipes always go anyways). You can prep everything ahead of time and simply pop the rolls in the oven on Christmas morning or enjoy whipping up a batch for a cozy Boxing Day snack. Either way, it’s hard to resist something that’s this cinnamon-y good!
For the buns
4 cups gluten free flour (I use a blend of coconut and brown rice flour- or swap for your favourite regular flour)
1/4 cup water (you may need to add a little more to achieve the dough consistency you desire)
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup eggnog or milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling
6 tbsp butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
For the frosting
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1- 2 tbsp of milk or cream to thin (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients until well combined; add the eggnog/ milk, water, and vanilla extract and stir until dough has formed with no lumps (you may want to use your hands to help with this). Set dough aside.
2. Mix together the ingredients for the filling and set aside (if you find it hard to get rid of the lumps, warm over low heat until the brown sugar and butter have melted).
3. Separate the dough into two equal halves and roll into rectangles approx 1/8″ thick onto pieces of parchment paper.
4. Pour the filling over the dough and spread out evenly. Roll the dough into a log, pinching the end of the dough to the roll to hold it together. Make diagonal cuts into the dough almost all the way to the bottom.
5. Transfer the rolls to a baking sheet or into a bread pan and bake: if using a baking sheet it will take 25- 30 minutes; if using a bread pan it will take approx 40- 45 minutes. Bake until the top and edges are turning golden brown.
6. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, mix together the frosting. Add more or less milk until you get the consistency you want.
7. Remove the rolls from the oven and drizzle with the frosting (tip: keep some aside for dipping). Serve hot.
See the difference: The roll on the left was baked on the baking sheet and the roll on the right was baked in a bread pan. Both delicious, but a little different. It’s totally worth trying both methods to see which you prefer.
It’s that time of year when everything is starting to feel festive and Christmas spirit starts to take over. Will and I are still big kids at heart and get into the mood early with things like festive cocktails, decorating, and lots of Christmas tunes (I don’t think it gets any better than doing holiday baking while pumping your favourites in the background). If you’ve got some parties coming up or need some festive stocking stuffer/ teacher gift ideas, this popcorn is perfect. I made mine minty- what’s more Chrismtas- y than candy canes?- but you can choose whatever holiday treats you like for your mix. It’s simple to make and looks super cute when finished off with some Christmas wrapping or served in cute paper cups at a party. Just try not to eat it as you go or you won’t have any left! 😉
4 cups popped popcorn
1 cup mint chocolate chips
1 cup mint candies (this will equal approx 1/4 cup when crushed)
1. Once your popcorn is popped and cooled (you don’t want it to melt your candies), separate your various ingredients into bowls.
2. Unwrap your candies and place on a piece of parchment paper. Fold the parchment over the candies and using a rolling pin crush them into small pieces.
3. Now for the fun part! In a bowl or jar, begin mixing your ingredients together in layers starting with popcorn at the bottom. Do this until you’ve mixed everything up together and your container is full. It looks super cute stored in a mason jar with a lid or…
… wrapped up in a cute container like a Chinese take- out box to give as a gift!
… finish it off with some pretty ribbon or twine and some Christmas greens for an easy party favour or teacher’s gift.