Monthly Archives: March 2015

  • Coffee Glazed Roasted Carrots

Coffee Glazed Roasted Carrots

Posted on March 30, 2015

Disclosure: Thank you Lavazza for sponsoring this post! As always, all opinions are 100% my own. It’s opportunities like these which allow me to continue to develop and share unique content with you. So thank YOU for supporting brands and companies that I love and for helping me keep my little kitchen afloat. I appreciate you!

Hi Friends! I am overflowing with energy this morning. Because not only am I sufficiently caffeinated, but I also have some exciting news to share with you.

I’m a Lavazza Passionista!!!

Sorry for yelling at you on a Monday morning. I warned you that I was excited.

So what does that mean? Well, it means that I’m going to be working as part of the Lavazza Team to bring you some coffee-inspired recipes over the next several months. Get ready to go on a fun and delicious caffeinated journey!

I was absolutely thrilled when Lavazza asked me to become part of their Lavazza Passionista Team. As the #1 selling coffee in Italy and a recognized global leader in Italian espresso, Lavazza is dedicated to bringing people around the world an authentic Italian coffee experience. And as a family company, Lavazza has been owned and operated by four generations of the Lavazza clan since it’s conception almost 120 years ago. That’s pretty cool. And something I can really get behind.

And of course, you all know that not only do I love drinking coffee (and I must admit to being a bit of a coffee snob), but I also love incorporating it into both sweet and savory dishes.

To kick things off, I wanted to do something a little bit unexpected. So I paired coffee with carrots. I bet you didn’t see that one coming!

OK, you totally saw that coming because it’s the title of this post. I know. Sorry.


Anyways. This easy, three ingredient coffee glaze brings a real depth of flavor to some otherwise typical, boring oven roasted carrots. In fact, these Coffee Glazed Roasted Carrots are special. And absolutely perfect for, and totally worthy of, your next Holiday meal (hint: Easter!).

Lavazza has four specialty drip coffee blends – Classico, Gran Aroma, Gran Selezione and Perfetto. I used Perfetto in this recipe, which is the boldest of their blends. But any one that you choose would be great.

Make sure to check out for all your Lavazza needs!



Coffee Glazed Roasted Carrots

Serves 4-6

Coffee Glazed Roasted Carrots


  • 1.5 lbs carrots
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup brewed Lavazza coffee
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Trim the greens off the carrots, leaving about 1-inch at the top if desired. Peel and wash the carrots. If the carrots are large, you can cut them in half lengthwise.
  3. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots with the thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to your pre-heated oven and roast for 10 minutes.
  4. While the carrots are roasting, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan, bring the coffee, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup to a boil. Cook until the glaze is reduced to approximately half, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the carrots from the oven and pour the glaze over the carrots, tossing to coat. Then return the carrots to your oven for an addition 10-12 minutes, stirring once halfway through the cooking time. The carrots are done when they are tender, but not yet completely soft.
  6. Remove from the oven and serve while still warm.
  7. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.


1. You could use agave (still vegan!) or honey (not vegan!) in place of the maple syrup.

  • 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

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
  • 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.


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