Dealing with Specialty Diets and Food Allergies in College

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

When it comes to campus life and trying to balance classes, homework, and an attempt at a social life, what you can eat is often the last thing on your mind.  But if you’re someone who suffers from food allergies or is on a restricted diet, figuring out what you can eat and actually getting your hands on it should totally take priority.  After all, how can you manage everything else if you’re starving or in serious stomach pain?

What if you are trying out the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle? How about a gluten intolerance? Cafeterias aren’t known for being the most friendly to restrictive diets, although they are getting better.

Without further ado, here are our top three tips for dealing with specialty diets and diet restrictions on campus.

TIP #1 – DO YOUR RESEARCH

Step number one is definitely to break out your laptop and do some research on restaurants, cafes, and shops around your campus.  Even your school cafeteria may have some info or reviews online!  There are plenty of specialty websites out there that you can hit up for info depending on your diet or your dietary restrictions. 

If you can’t find any information online, you can always hit up the restaurant itself and ask for clarification on what you can eat.  Knowing where and what you can eat ahead of time will help you feel comfortable and confident when you head out, freeing up your mind to worry about other things instead (like that paper due tomorrow morning you haven’t started yet).

TIP #2 – ASK AROUND

If you can’t find the info you need browsing online, you can totally ask around to figure it out.  Ask your classmates, roommates, professors, anyone.  Someone you know may have the insight that you need to figure out where and what you can eat on campus.

Another great resource would definitely be the staff of your on-campus eateries.  If you’re not sure what you can have, ask to speak to the manager or one of the chefs to get their insight and opinions.  They will be able to provide you with an honest answer on what you can eat and may be able to even incorporate some of your food suggestions into the menu, too! 

TIP #3 – HIT UP THE GROCERY STORE

As always, one of the easiest ways to make sure that what you’re eating fits with your specialty diet or restrictions it to just make it yourself.  If you’re living in an apartment on campus with a kitchen or have access to one, whipping something up for yourself to eat that you know is within your restrictions is totally the safest thing to do.

If you don’t have access to a kitchen or really have the time to cook for yourself, pick up some healthy snacks to stash in your room and bags for when you’re in desperate need of a pick-me-up.  That way, you have something you can eat if you need to in a pinch, like an unexpected late night study session or night out on campus.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Remember, if you have dietary restrictions you can still totally eat on campus.  Just make sure to do your research, ask around if you need help, and hit up the grocery store if you need to for snacks and other goodies.  All of this can absolutely help you feel more comfortable and less stressed on campus!

Make Your Own Shamrock Shake for St. Patrick’s Day

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Forget March Madness. There’s only one season that matters this time of year — Shamrock Shake season! That’s right. March is here, and McDonald’s finally has the uber delicious Shamrock Shake back on its menu. Since it’s only around for a limited time, there are not many chances of scoring our favorite green, minty dessert drink. Luckily for us, we’ve found a few DIY versions that hold up to the original. Here’s how you can make your own Shamrock Shakes for St. Patrick’s Day (and beyond).

What You’ll Need

For any kind of shake, you’ll probably want a drink mixer, blender, or hand mixer (if you’re okay making a mess with it). But blenders and mixers can be hard to come by if you’re in a dorm room. Most residence hall rules forbid them. If that’s the case for you, we recommend grabbing a mason jar and canceling your arm workouts for the week.

As for ingredients, your base is simple: 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream (full fat and with sugar is best), 1 cup of whole fat milk, ½  teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 3 tbsp chocolate syrup. To get the green look, you’ll want green food coloring or green sugar sprinkles. If you’re all about the toppings, the classic recipe also has a generous amount of whipped cream and a cherry. You can find all these ingredients at the grocery store.

How to Make

To get the best consistency, let the ice cream sit out for five to ten minutes to soften. You can microwave to speed it up but only do it for a few seconds at a time.

Then, place the ice cream in the blender with the milk, vanilla, and optional food coloring. Blend for ten-second intervals until smooth and drinkable. You don’t want to see chunks of ice cream leftover. If you’re blender-less, place everything in a mason jar with a tight lid and get shaking. It will take a while, so be prepared to feel sore in the morning (it will be worth it).

Add the chocolate to your glass by swirling it around inside before pouring your shake. Top with the whipped cream, sprinkles, and cherry for presentation. We recommend a giant straw to go with it.

Ideas for a Healthier Version

It’s not impossible to make a low-fat version of the shake. After all, eating healthy shouldn’t be eating boring! And besides, who wants to skip out on a Shamrock Shake?

It’s all about finding the right alternative ingredients that still give you the same great taste and flavor. We recommend replacing your ice cream with a low carb version like Halo Top or Arctic Zero which boost low fat, low calorie, and high protein offerings. Mix it with skim or 0% milk for even fewer calories.

Go ahead and skip the toppings, including the chocolate, while you’re at it. But if you still want to make it decadent, let yourself splurge on melted dark chocolate which is rich in nutrients and great for a treat.

After all, everyone should be able to indulge in a Shamrock Shake for St. Paddy’s Day!

How to Look Fit for Break

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

No one wants to go back for the holidays with the extra freshmen fifteen. While your mom might be too nice to say anything or your dad too oblivious to notice, you want to return from the break looking and feeling your best! On the other hand, it is the time to relax, not to suddenly pick up a fitness or diet regimen. It’s better to focus on that now, so by the time your family picks you up from the airport, you’re not hiding behind flowy shirts and heavy parkas.

Whether you’re worried about facing your family and friends or not, it’s never a bad idea to adopt some healthy habits. If you establish them beforehand, it’ll be easier to keep them during high-stress finals week and the temptation-filled holidays.

Look at the Dining Hall

Just because this is the stuff that the school is feeding you doesn’t mean that it’s the best for your health. The food that is served in the university dining hall probably covers a lot of ground — Asian, Tex-Mex, fast food, sub sandwiches, etc. Having such a wide range of options at your fingertips constantly can overwhelm even the strongest-willed person, especially if this is the first time you’ve ever been entirely in charge of your own diet.

Some university dining halls also have beverage machines. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, but limitless soda is definitely bad for your health. Furthermore, just moderating your soda intake can help you lose weight. My dining hall even had a limitless milk dispenser, and even though milk is often touted as a nutrient-rich beverage, drinking more than a glass a day is concerning.

It can be tempting to just indulge in all the tasty food at the dining hall, but really examine every option before you eat it. The salad bar or sandwich station might seem like a healthy option until you see that all the dressings and meats are filled with fats and calories. This is where you can find some of your healthiest options, of course, but you need to be mindful of what ingredients you choose. Keep this in mind no matter what station you choose.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Okay, this is probably the most repeated advice ever, and also the least followed. Yes, we all know it’s easier if you plan out your meals ahead of time. Instead of scrounging for the cheapest meal in the dining hall, it’s better if you pack your own salad before leaving for class. But no college student has the time or the willpower for that, especially after a long night studying.

The trick is to prepare something that will last you a long time. That way, you only have to prep once and then you’ve got something to grab for the week. Things like breakfast pizza, a tray of lasagna, or any sort of pasta will keep in your fridge for a long time. Just watch your portions on these!

If you absolutely cannot bring yourself to prepare ahead of time, then there are on-the-go meals you can fall back on, but they’re not always the most satisfying. Don’t always rely on these, or you’ll end up in a food coma once you get back to your mom’s cooking.

Stay Active!

As the weather gets colder, you might be tempted to drive or take the bus to class, but it’s important to stay active. Walking or biking to class can help you offset the typical winter weight gain (which you WON’T have because you’re following these tips!). You’re also probably not moving around outside as much, so try to find some winter sports to participate in.

At the very least, hit your student rec center or local gym. Being active in the winter takes commitment; you can’t just wait around for the next ultimate frisbee tournament like at the beginning of the year. Plus, with more exam pressure, you’ll have to really want it to stick to your plan.

If you develop a consistent workout schedule now, it’ll be that much easier to stick to when you get home as well. Instead of wondering what happened to the fit high schooler they knew, your family will be impressed that you’re managing yourself so well! At that point, you can indulge a little bit in some festive foods, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to go back to school looking different than when you left either!

Summer Break Slimdown – 3 Simple Recipes!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Let’s face it — sometimes we don’t make the best of decisions when we’re faced with a buffet of choices at the cafeteria. Addressing any damage you might have done eating on your meal plan takes dedication and energy. A lot of people thinks it begins and ends at the gym. However, the real place to get healthy is right in your kitchen. These three simple summer break “slimdown” recipes will give you a day’s worth of ideas on how to get your eating habits back on track.

 

BREAKFAST

People call breakfast the most important meal of the day for a reason. Eating right at breakfast means keeping hunger at bay later, giving you energy for any workout you may have planned, and setting your day up for healthy choices.

This fast food restaurant makeover is significantly lower in fat and packs in the protein. You can tweak it to match the nutrients your body needs or skip the English Muffin to reduce the carbs. Get creative!

healthy-breakfast-sandwich

Super Fast Egg, Cheese, and Bacon Sandwich

  • Ingredients:
    • Light, whole wheat English muffin
    • 3 tbsp. egg whites
    • 1/8 cup of shredded, reduced fat or nonfat cheese of your choice
    • 1-2 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and cut into small pieces
  • Directions:
    • Toast the English muffin
    • While it toasts, pour egg whites into a coffee mug. Mix in cheese and cooked bacon
    • Microwave mug in 30-second intervals until there is no more liquid, stirring in between to make sure cheese and bacon are distributed.
    • Place cooked eggs on muffin and enjoy!

 

LUNCH

The simplest meal of the day should be the easiest too. While you could do last night’s leftovers, there are plenty of healthy sandwich ideas you can experiment with.

This classic sandwich is our favorite. Both great for your body and an awesome recipe perfect for warm days, you’ll be eating this on repeat.

Garden-In-Your-Mouth Sandwich

  • Ingredients:
    • 100% whole wheat bread
    • 1 tbsp. hummus
    • Sliced cucumber
    • 1-2 oz. shredded carrots
    • 1 sliced pepper (or slices of assorted peppers)
    • ½ cup of uncooked spinach leaves
    • Lowfat cheese (optional)
  • Directions:
    • Spread hummus on bread and then add ingredients to taste!
    • Enjoy with the rest of the veggies as a side, or indulge with some veggie-based chips or freeze dried fruits for a crunch.

 

DINNER

After a long day of working outside, relaxing poolside, or getting in a workout with your friends, it’s time to really feast. Indulge with your meal by picking one that is low in bad fats and carbs and instead focuses on proteins that will keep you full the rest of the night.

 

We especially love this plate because it is so easy that anyone can recreate it. You can also take it to the grill or change out the meat source to your seafood of choice! Yum!

Lemon Salmon With Summer Berry Kale Salad

  • Salmon Ingredients:
    • 1-2 planks salmon (roughly ¼ lb. to ½ lb. per person)
    • Sliced lemon
    • Salt to taste
  • Salad Ingredients:
    • 1 bunch washed kale
    • 1 bunch washed spinach
    • 1 cup sliced fresh or frozen strawberries
    • 1 cup mixed berries
    • ½ cup pecans or walnuts
    • Light raspberry vinaigrette, to taste
  • Directions:
    • Preheat oven (or grill) to 400°F
    • Salt salmon and place 2-3 lemon slices on top
    • Wrap in tin foil and cook in oven for 12-15 minutes, and discard baked lemon after cooking
    • Prepare salad by mixing ingredients evenly together and drizzling with the vinaigrette as the dressing

 

Add any of these recipes to your regular weekly meals to get back on track. At that rate, you’ll enter fall semester in a much better place, ready to make smart food decisions at your college cafeteria!

Delicious Microwave Desserts You Can Make in a Mug

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Microwave-Desserts

Bakers and fans of homemade desserts have never had much to celebrate when living in the dorms. There’s no easy access to ovens, and dorms lack quality baking supplies. Plus, students have limited time — meaning fewer cookies, cakes, and brownies, except for the insipid stuff the cafeteria tries to pass off as homemade.

But we’re here to tell you that you can bake decadent desserts with just a few ingredients, a mug (or mason jar), and a microwave! Here are a few starter recipes to get you baking dorm room style!

 

smores-mug

Fire-Less S’mores in a Mug

Who needs a campfire when you’ve got a microwave in your dorm room? Make these super delicious throwback desserts in under five minutes. Bonus: no risk of dropping your marshmallow into an open flame or contaminating your cracker on a dirty rock.

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp. white flour
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ⅓ tsp. baking powder
  • 4 tbsp. milk
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 4-5 graham crackers, crushed
  • 3-4 chocolate squares (any type)
  • Handful of mini marshmallows

 

Directions:

  1. In a mug, stir flour, oil, baking powder, milk, sugar, and graham crackers until well mixed.
  2. Add chocolate squares to the center of the mixture and microwave in 30-second intervals until mostly melted.
  3. Top with mini marshmallows and microwave 10 to 20 seconds until melted.

 

mug

Instant Cinnamon Roll in a Mug

Who said dessert was just for after dinner? When we want a treat for breakfast, we make ourselves a huge, fluffy cinnamon roll just like our mom did for special occasions. But given just how easy it is to make these rolls in the microwave, we may have to make them every day of the week.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbsp. of syrup (to taste)
  • Icing or frosting*

 

Directions:

  1. Mix everything together in a mug until the flour is not clumpy.
  2. Microwave for 2 minutes on high.
  3. Spoon or drizzle icing or frosting on top. Serve warm.

 

*Icing is also easy to make in your dorm! To make a cream cheese version perfect for cinnamon rolls, use 1 tbsp. cream cheese, 2 tbsp. powdered sugar, and 1 tsp. milk. Whisk all ingredients together with a fork in a small bowl and add to your roll!

 

berry-pie-mug-microwave

Pick-Your-Berry Pie in a Cup

It’s not exactly summer yet, but that doesn’t mean we’re not dreaming of summer desserts like our favorite berry-filled pies. Pick your favorite flavor (blueberry, strawberry, and raspberry are highly recommended) and experiment with this quick and easy recipe. Add a scoop of ice cream to make it even more satisfying.

 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup berries (your choice; if frozen, thaw)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp milk

 

Directions:

  1. Chop or mash berries and mix with powdered sugar at bottom of the mug.
  2. Mix all other ingredients in a small bowl. Add on top of berry mix.
  3. Microwave 1½ minutes.
  4. Allow 30 seconds to cool. Add ice cream to the top, or allow it to melt in to make it a cobbler!

Our Favorite Ways to Eat Watermelon (Plus Recipes!)

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Watermelon Recipes

In honor of National Watermelon Day, we’re getting our favorite fruit out of the fridge and onto the counter. While you may love yours whole and fresh (who doesn’t), there’s actually a ton you can do with watermelon! This ultimate guide will give you ideas for just about any dish from appetizer to dessert and beyond.

watermelon

Appetizer: Watermelon Slices With Lime, Mint, and Honey

Watermelon slices are our absolute favorite pre-meal eats for a summer afternoon, but it can get boring after a few bites. Mix it up with a few extra ingredients to make it more of a wow factor.

Ingredients:

  • Watermelon, sliced in thick pieces
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • Handful of finely chopped mint

To make:

  1. Mix honey and lime in small pot and heat on medium-high for 1-3 minutes.
  2. Allow honey and lime to cool and then generously spread on watermelon slices. Top with mint for an extra kick.

 

Salad: Watermelon Salad With Feta and Almonds

When we think of a summer salad, we usually think of raspberries or strawberries, but watermelon is becoming a new favorite salad topping! We love how you can personalize this dish to make it your own.

Ingredients:

  • Leafy greens
  • Mint leafs
  • Tomatoes, preferably cherry or heirloom
  • Watermelon in cubes or small bites
  • Feta cheese
  • Slivered almonds
  • Raspberry vinaigrette dressing

To make:

  1. It’s as easy as taking all the ingredients and tossing together! Play around with dressings, nuts, and toppings.

 

Entrees: Watermelon and Shrimp Lettuce Wrap

We know it sounds weird to have watermelon in the main course, but it’s an added flavor that totally changes up a meal from bland to amazing! Plus, watermelon goes with a lot of meats and seafood, including pork and shrimp.

Ingredients:

  • Shrimp, tail off
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Romaine lettuce pieces
  • Watermelon cut in chunks
  • Feta cheese
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

To make:

  1. In a small pan, heat oil for 1-2 minutes on medium-low. In a dish, cover shrimp with garlic powder. Add shrimp and cook about 2 minutes on each side.
  2. Remove shrimp and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Spread lettuce and add shrimp, watermelon, and feta cheese. Sprinkle with vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Roll the lettuce up and serve as a wrap.

 

Desserts: Watermelon Popsicle

Sure, we get that you’re an adult with sophisticated tastes when it comes to your food choices. However, we can guarantee that you’ll go NUTS when you take a bite of a classic watermelon popsicle. It’s a flashback on childhood you won’t want to miss.

Ingredients:

  • Chopped watermelon (roughly 3-5 cups’ worth)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • Dash of salt

To make:

  1. In a blender, add all ingredients and blend until watermelon is liquid and sugar is fully dissolved. If needed, add more lime juice to taste.
  2. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and add popsicle sticks. Freeze and serve.

**Don’t have popsicle molds? No problem! By using ice cube trays, you can make watermelon ice cubes that are perfect to toss into your favorite juices, lemonades, and other summer drink mixes. Or you can stick toothpicks in them for mini-popsicles that make a great, guilt-free, refreshing treat!

Recipes: 4 Things You Can Grill on Campus

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Summer Grilling

‘Tis the season for barbecues, hot dogs, hamburgers, and corn on the cob. But without access to a real grill, cooking your summer favorites while living on campus can be quite the challenge. Luckily, there are ways to get around not having charcoal and a porch by utilizing what you have in a shared kitchen. Here’s how you can grill up a feast with just a little effort and creativity.

4 Meals You Can Grill On Campus

 

1. Mediterranean Kabobs

Need a quick, simple, and healthy grill meal? Lamb (or any other meat) kabobs are so easy to make, you’ll be kabob-ing just about any combo you can think of!

Ingredients:
● 2-4 wooden skewers
● 1 lb. lamb, chopped in chunks
● 1 red onion, cut in large circles
● Handful of cherry tomatoes
● Full mushrooms
● 1 tsp. minced garlic
● ½ cup olive oil

Directions:
● Use wooden skewers to place lamb, onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms
● In a small bowl, mix olive oil and minced garlic.
● Turn on stove to medium and wait till warm. Pour mixture into pan.
● Place skewers on an oiled, flat surface pan and grill for 5-10 minutes on each side until lamb turns gray and onions are slightly translucent.

shish-kebab-817162_960_720

 

2. Basic Ribs

Ribs? Really? Yes, you can make tasty, tender, sweet ribs in your dorm building kitchen as long as you have access to an oven and some tinfoil.

Ingredients:
● 3-4 lbs. ribs (serves 2-3 people)
● ½ package of dry rub mix
● ½ cup of bbq sauce

Directions:
● Preheat oven to 325°F.
● Use the dry rub mix to cover the ribs generously (use the whole package if you like lots of flavor).
● Place ribs in a baking pan and cover in foil. Cook for 2-3 hours.
● Remove, flip ribs over, and cover in bbq sauce. Cook for another ½ – 1 hour.

abstract-1238657_960_720

 

3. Chicken Wings

Who needs a restaurant when you can make your own chicken wings in 10-20 minutes! Plus it gives you an opportunity to find your new favorite BBQ sauce.

Ingredients:
● 1-2 lbs. of chicken wings, skinless
● ¼ cup of milk
● 1 cup of flour
● 2 tbsp. of cooking oil
● Salt and pepper to taste
● BBQ sauce

Directions:
1. In a medium sized bowl, soak chicken wings with milk. Shake out excess and then put to the side.
2. In a ziplock bag, add flour, salt, and pepper. Place wet chicken in a few pieces at a time and then shake until they are covered. Shake again to remove extra flour.
3. In a larger, heated pan, add oil and then chicken one by one. Grill chicken on each side for about 3-5 minutes until cooked through. The “skin” should be pale but flakey.
4. While in the pan, add bbq sauce and stir to cover. Add flour if the sauce is too thin or doesn’t stick, add extra flour into the sauce.

chicken-wings-246167_960_720

 

4. Crispy Corn on the Cob

Whether you’re a meat eater or a vegetarian, corn on the cob is standard grill food. But you can recreate it with just a pot of water and a heated grill.

Ingredients:
● 3 ears of corn, husk removed and clean (if you have a smaller pot, cut ears in half)
● 1 tbsp. of sugar
● Butter and salt to taste

Directions:
1. Fill the largest pot you have ¾ of the way with water, cover, and boil. Add corn and sugar to water and recover.
2. Corn will rise to the top when done, but cook a few extra minutes if you like your corn a little more tender. Dry off with a paper towel.
3. On a heated pan with butter or oil, place corn and allow to cook for about a minute on each side.
4. Add salt and butter before eating.

corn-on-the-cob-932857_960_720

 

Summer Recipe: Banana Ice Cream

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest
Banana Icecream Recipe

School’s out, summer is here, and the start of classes is just around the corner. But it seems like everything costs a ton of money, doesn’t it? From summer staples such as water parks and theme parks to warm-weather favorites like hot dogs and even ice cream, the cost of having the best summer ever just doesn’t add up for our wallets.

One of our favorite treats, ice cream, usually ranks up there with the most costly purchases. Sure, you could track down the ice cream man or go to the grocery store for the really cheap stuff, but who wants that when what you really want is something ultra rich and tasty? You’re probably only going to get that from making your very own, custom ice cream. And no one is buying an ice cream maker on a college kid’s dime.

But what if you could make your own ice cream using only a couple of easy-to-find appliances from your parents’ kitchen and a handful of inexpensive ingredients? If you’ve been looking for a delicious summer snack that hits the spot and keeps you healthy, check out this amazing recipe for banana ice cream. It’s totally delicious and can be customized to any dietary need (except for a banana allergy). So get creative, get shopping, and get the perfect frozen treat that will please everyone from your vegan next-door neighbor to your sugar-demanding best friend.

icecream2

The Ultimate Cheap Banana “Ice Cream”

Ingredients & Tools:

● 4 bananas

● Mix-ins for flavor (for this recipe, we used 10 raspberries, 2 strawberries, and 1 tbsp. cream cheese)

● 1 blender

● 1 mixing spoon

● 1 piece parchment paper

● 1 cookie sheet

● 1 knife

Bananas-strawberries

How to Make:

1. Peel the bananas and use the knife to cut them into slices approximately 1” to 1½” thick

2. Lay the parchment paper on the cookie sheet, then put the banana slices on the parchment paper, as evenly spaced as possible

3. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least four hours (overnight works best). Ensure the cookie sheet is placed free of construction to avoid smashing.

4. When you’re ready to make the ice cream, begin by pulling up each individual slice of banana to ensure that they aren’t stuck to the parchment paper

5. Dump the banana slices into the blender

6. Press the “pulse” button a few times, allowing the banana chips to blend somewhat

7. After a few pulses, the frozen banana slices may mix a little, but mainly, they will stick to the sides of the blender. If that happens to be the case, use the mixing spoon to move the mixture back towards the center. You may need to repeat these two steps several times.

8. When the banana mixture has turned into a loose paste, add in your toppings. For Creamy 2-Berry Ice Cream, add in 10 raspberries (whole), 2 strawberries (sliced), and 1 tbsp. of cream cheese.

9. Close the blender and pulse again. Continue pulsing until mixture mixes smoothly (approximately 60 to 90 seconds, though this can take more or less time depending on your add-ins).

10. Spoon into a bowl. If the mixture seems too melty, return it to the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to allow it to harden.

You can also top it off with more fruit and fresh herbs like we did. And now you have a deliciously creamy summer treat you’ve made by hand!

icecream1

Summer Adventures: Kitchen Concoctions

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Hello all! I hope you’re all enjoying the beginning of your summer vacation, wherever you are and however you’ve spent it so far! As this is my last summer before graduating, I’m excited to knock a few to-dos off my summer bucket list! I’ll also share my favorite guacamole recipe — it’s super simple, and makes for the perfect summer snack.

As college students, we all know that summer vacations are precious time. And for this particular college student, this summer is my last before I graduate next spring! I had a brief moment of shock today going through the next few months in my head, realizing I already had so many weekends booked up and so many things planned. It’s my last college summer, and perhaps the last summer that I’ll have this much freedom to run around adventuring. Naturally, I wanted to make sure I’ll be able to conquer my bucket list of adventures! I have plans to go camping, attend a surprise family wedding, see the Zac Brown Band live at Fenway Park, and possibly visit a lake house for a weekend!

So over the next few months, I’ll be taking you all through the adventures of my last college summer! On this Tuesday’s Summer Adventures, I’ll be discussing one of my favorite parts of being home for the summer: food! With a kitchen finally in arm’s reach, it’s time at last to leave behind all that dining hall food.

I’ve actually been very into cooking lately. Once you learn different techniques and develop different tastes, the kitchen becomes a world of experimentation and an opportunity to try new things!

Today, I’ll be taking you through my favorite guacamole recipe! (Ok, so this isn’t technically cooking. But it’s a classic summer snack that I couldn’t help sharing my go-to version of!)

Whether you just spent a full day at your summer job, or you need a substantial pre-dinner pick-me-up after a day spent in the sun, this guacamole recipe is a sure way to put you in the summer mood!

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Ingredients:

2 large avocados (3 for a larger group)

1/2 of a small red onion, chopped finely

Handful of cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime (In my opinion, you can never have too much lime juice. Go crazy.)

Salt and black pepper to taste (A tip in advance: you’ll need plenty of both, but taste along the way to make sure it’s to your liking.)

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients by mashing with a large fork. Mash and mix to your desired consistency, but if you ask me, a little chunky is the way to go!

Enjoy your summer snack! What are some of your favorite summer recipes?

Chocolate on Chocolate Graduation Cupcakes [Recipe]

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

chocolate cupcakes for graduation

Graduation is almost here for many of us, which means it’s time to party! And if there is ever a time to celebrate with friends, family, and food, it’s now. No graduation party would be complete without an amazing spread of food. However, getting the time to bake or cook a dessert worthy of a party display can be difficult between finals and commencement prep.

Luckily for you, we picked our favorite graduation inspired cupcake, and the best news is that it’s so easy to make that anyone can do it! Grab an apron and head to the grocery store, because these cupcakes are ready to graduate to your big event!

Supplies Needed

  • Mixing cups and spoons
  • 2 muffin or cupcake pans (with enough for a total of 16 cupcakes)
  • Cupcake liners (we recommend in the color of your university)
  • Large, sturdy fork or mixer
  • Spatula
  • Medium and large mixing bowls

Ingredient Shopping List

  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened dark or regular cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1⅓ cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, left out at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup of chocolate morsels or chips
  • 1 can of chocolate or vanilla frosting
  • Miniature-sized Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Chocolate squares, cut in half

Directions

  1. In a microwave, soften the butter so that it isn’t quite melted or too runny. In addition, take out your two uncracked eggs and leave near a stove or counter so that it warms to room temperature. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together baking soda, baking powder, flour, and cocoa powder with your fork. The color should turn a light brown, indicating that is mixed completely. Set aside for later.
  3. In the large mixing bowl, pour the softened butter and sugar together. “Cream” the mixture using the fork so that it looks fluffy and a lighter yellow.
  4. In the large mixing bowl, add the eggs to the mix slowly, stirring before adding the second one. Add the vanilla extract. Once mixed, add the mixture in the medium mixing bowl, about a quarter of a cup at a time, while also slowly pouring in the milk. Stir with the spatula, mixer, or spoon until the flour has completely disappeared. Add in chocolate chips or morsels last. If the chocolate sinks to the bottom of the mixture, add additional four.
  5. Fill up the cupcake tins about ¾ full, and then place in a cool space or a refrigerator for an hour uncovered. During this time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. Bake for 16-19 minutes. To test to see if the cupcakes are done, insert a toothpick or fork prong into the center of the cupcake. If it comes back out clean, the cupcakes are done. If not, bake for 1-2 minutes longer.
  7. Top with chocolate or vanilla frosting. To make a graduation cap, use a bit of frosting to stick a miniature Reese’s cup in the center of a half chocolate square on top of the cupcake. You can add a tassel using additional frosting or a small piece of licorice!