Seasonally inspired recipes from 42.79 N, 70.81 W

  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches

Posted on March 27, 2015

We made it through another week! Anyone have any good plans for this weekend? Me? I’ll be eating my weight in these ice cream sandwiches and possibly doing my taxes. And IF I manage to get my taxes completed (notice the “if” is emphasized), well then I will have beaten my previous record by a whopping 2 1/2 weeks. Yes, I’m that person pulling their hair out at the eleventh hour on April 14th. Every.single.year. And you all thought I was so organized.

Anyways, let’s talk about something more pleasant than taxes. Like dessert.

If you follow along with me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I snuck out to Portland, Oregon last weekend for a little adventure. Portland is one of my favorite West Coast cities (although Seattle still gets top ranking in my book!). And part of the reason for that, not surprisingly, is because Portland has such a vibrant and eclectic food scene.

One of the best places I hit up on my trip was Salt & Straw, an ice cream shop with a dizzying array of unique flavor combinations. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re in the area. The folks at the scoop shop are super generous and let me try out a bunch of different flavors. One that really stood out in my mind was the Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper. So you KNOW that I had to re-create it at home.

And you also know that I can never leave well enough alone. So not only did I re-create the ice cream, but then I smashed it between some peanut butter cookies for the ultimate Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches. Can I get a heck yeah!

Anyone. Please. Come on. Don’t leave me hanging.

Moving on.

For the ice cream, I started with my all-time favorite non-custard base. Then I created a quick sauce that incorporates all the flavors from the ice cream shop’s version and swirled it right in. It’s so darn pretty. I just die.

The thick ribbons of sauce reminded me of strawberry jam, so that’s when I got the idea to throw some classic peanut butter cookies into the mix. And what a good idea it was! {insert: humble brag}.

If my mom had put THESE babies in my lunch box as a kid, I would have been a much happier and more well adjusted child. Just saying.



Recipe for the cookies barely adapted from Gimme Some Oven

One year ago: The Best Chicken Sandwich

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches

Yield: Makes 10-12 ice cream sandwiches

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches


  • For the Ice Cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vodka or bourbon, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberry halves, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • For the Cookies
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur Flour)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • Sea salt for sprinkling


  1. Make the ice cream base. Before you start, make sure the canister of your ice cream maker is frozen. To freeze completely, the canister should be in the freezer for at least 6 hours. In your food processor with the blade attachment, process the cream cheese until smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved and small bubbles have formed around the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat. Carefully add about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture to the cream cheese and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining milk mixture and process for another 30 seconds. Transfer the ice cream base to a clean bowl and stir in the vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
  2. While the ice cream base is chilling, make the strawberry-honey-balsamic-black pepper sauce and the cookies.
  3. Make the strawberry-honey-balsamic-black pepper sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the strawberries, honey, balsamic vinegar and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries are slightly softened and have released their juices, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. Then transfer the mixture to your blender and blend on high until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a clean container (mason jars work great) and refrigerate until chilled. This recipe makes about 1 cup of sauce, which is more than you’ll need for the ice cream. The sauce can be stored in an airtight container the refrigerator for 5-7 days and it’s great on pancakes, yogurt, cheesecake and about anything else you can imagine!
  4. Make the cookies. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy. Then beat in the peanut butter. Add the vanilla extract and egg, beating until just combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. With your mixer on low speed, slowly add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cornstarch. Mix just until no more white streaks remain. Transfer the cookie dough to your refrigerator and chill for 30-60 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper. After the dough has chilled, form round balls (about 1 1/2 tablespoons in size) and place them on your prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2-inches apart. Use a fork to press down on the top of the dough balls, creating a criss-cross pattern. Bake in your pre-heated oven for 9 minutes. Then rotate the pans and bake for 2-3 minutes more. The cookies should be slightly golden brown around the edges with puffed centers. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the tops with a pinch of sea salt, if desired. Let the cookies cool on their baking sheets for about 5 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to continue cooling. Once the cookies are cooled, they can be stored in an airtight container for 5-7 days. This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies.
  5. Churn the ice cream. Pour the chilled ice cream base into the canister of your ice cream maker and churn until the mixture is nearly frozen and the consistency of soft serve, about 20 minutes. Add the alcohol, if using, and churn for an additional minute. Transfer about half of the ice cream to a freezer safe container. Drizzle on about 3 tablespoons of the strawberry-honey-balsamic-black pepper sauce. Drag a knife through the mixture to swirl the layers together slightly. Top with the remaining ice cream and another 3 tablespoons of the sauce. Swirl slightly with a knife. Cover the top with plastic wrap, pushing the plastic all the way down to the surface of the ice cream, and freeze until firm, about 3 hours. The ice cream can be stored in your freezer for several days. This recipe makes about 1 quart of ice cream.
  6. Assemble the ice cream sandwiches. Arrange half of the cookies so the flat side is facing up. Place a scoop of ice cream on each cookie. Top with a second cookie, pressing down slightly to adhere. You can serve the ice cream sandwiches immediately. Or wrap them individually in aluminum foil and store them in your freezer for several days.


  • Tropical Rice Bowls
  • Tropical Rice Bowls

Tropical Rice Bowls

Posted on March 25, 2015

There are a few truths to life that I’ve gathered over the years.

One: dark chocolate trumps white chocolate.

Two: summer is better than winter.

And three: food in a bowl is way tastier than food on a plate.

It’s this third point that really gets me. Like WHY is it SO MUCH BETTER? I can’t explain it. But it’s true. In fact, I think I’m going to throw away all my plates. I want bowl food all day, every day. More specifically, I want THIS Tropical Rice Bowl.

Every component of this Tropical Rice Bowl is like it’s own mini flavor explosion. It’s hard for me to pick out my favorite part. We’ve got coconut-lime rice (you’ll never want to make plain rice again!), curried plantains, spiced sweet potatoes, black pepper pineapple, zesty guacamole and a couple extra toppings for good measure. Because you always gotta have some extra toppings (= fourth truth in life).

I can’t even deal. This bowl has got it going on.

OK, now I bet you’re eyeballing the ingredient list and thinking that this recipe seems a bit involved. But trust me. It isn’t. It just looks long because of the way I’ve compartmentalized the ingredients. In fact, all we are really doing is cooking up some rice, roasting up some vegetables and fruits and smashing an avocado. Easy peasy. You got this!



One year ago: Mocha-Nutella Oatmeal

Tropical Rice Bowls

Serves 2

Tropical Rice Bowls


  • For the Coconut-Lime Rice
  • 1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup basmati or jasmine rice
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime

  • For the Plantains
  • 1 plantain, green to light yellow in color
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar (you could also use maple syrup)
  • 1/4 tsp. curry powder

  • For the Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder

  • For the Pineapple
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

  • For the Guacamole
  • 1 avocado
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

  • The Extras
  • Roasted cashews
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges


  1. Make the coconut-lime rice. In a medium saucepan bring the coconut milk, water, salt and olive oil to a low boil. Stir in the rice and turn the heat down to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. I find that I have to keep the heat a bit lower than I normally would, as the coconut milk has a greater tendency to over boil or scorch on the bottom. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, keep the lid on and let the rice sit for 5-7 minutes. Then remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Gently stir in the lime juice and zest. Cover to keep warm.
  2. While the rice is cooking, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Peel the plantain by making a long, vertical slice along the peel and removing it with your fingers. Slice the plantain into 1/2-inch thick disks. Toss in a medium bowl with the olive oil, agave and curry powder. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer.
  4. Using the same bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Add them to the same large baking sheet, keeping the sweet potatoes separate from the plantains.
  5. Using the same bowl, toss the pineapple with the olive oil and pepper. Add the pineapple to the same baking sheet, keeping it separate from the other ingredients.
  6. Transfer the baking sheet to your pre-heated oven and roast for 10 minutes. Stir the sweet potatoes and pineapple. Use a pair of tongs to flip the plantains. Then roast everything for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  7. Make the guacamole. Cut the avocado in half and remove and discard the pit. Scoop the flesh from the avocado and add it to a small bowl along with the lime juice, salt and cilantro leaves. Mash with a fork.
  8. Assemble the bowls. Divide the rice evenly between two bowls. Then top with the plantains, sweet potatoes, pineapple and guacamole, dividing everything evenly. Garnish with some cashews, extra cilantro and lime wedges, if desired. Serve immediately.