5.19.2016

Pasta with Savory Lemon Cream Sauce {gluten free + vegan}

Every year when school is almost out for summer and baseball is in full swing (pun intended), we always seem to be rushing so much in the evenings that dinner is usually corn dogs or something that can be thrown on the grill in a hurry. It never fails that I also start to miss cooking during this time. While it can be a chore when I'm trying to come up with a plan for every night of the week, cooking is kind of therapeutic for me. I can zone out over the stove and love coming up with new meals.

Pasta with Savory Lemon Cream Sauce from Making it Milk-free


Summertime always evokes certain ideas too: bright, fresh flavors and vegetables galore. One of my absolute favorite dishes that is also super versatile is pasta. You can mix up the sauce depending on what mood you're in and have a totally different dish each time. Plus it's usually quick and kid-friendly.

Today happened to be the last day of school for our boys, so we're kind of winding down some of the most hectic days of rushing off first thing in the morning. Baseball games pick up later this week, but we've had so much rain these past few days that it has delayed things a bit. I was excited to be able to put together this pasta dish that I've been thinking of for awhile. I randomly think of dishes that I want to try, or flavors that I think would work together, but sometimes it will take me awhile to actually work on it. This dish was the opposite: once I had the idea, I knew I had to go for it. And it did NOT disappoint!

Pasta with Savory Lemon Cream Sauce from Making it Milk-free

Pasta with Savory Lemon Cream Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups So Delicious Dairy Free Almondmilk Creamer, Original flavor
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup aspargus stalks, cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 6 oz. gluten-free pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
Optional:
  • fresh parsley for garnish
  • additional lemon zest for garnish
  • red pepper flakes
Pasta with Savory Lemon Cream Sauce from Making it Milk-free

Instructions:

Fill a 4-quart pot 3/4 full with water and place over medium high heat. Bring water to a boil. When water is boiling, place the bite-sized pieces of asparagus in the boiling water and blanche for 2 minutes. Carefully remove the asparagus from the boiling water and transfer to a colander over a bowl of cold water to shock it and stop the cooking.

Bring the water to a boil again and add the pasta. Season the water with salt and allow the pasta to cook for 8 minutes or until it is al dente.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add 2 Tbsp olive oil. When olive oil is hot, add the diced onion and cook for about 2 minutes or until it softens and becomes translucent. Add the garlic and turn heat down to medium. 

Pour 1/2 cup of the Almondmilk creamer into a small bowl and add the cornstarch. Stir well until combined. Meanwhile, add the remaining 1 cup of Almondmilk creamer to the skillet. Gradually pour the Almondmilk and cornstarch into the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk the mixture slowly until it begins to boil and thicken. 

Once the sauce has thickened, turn the burner to low heat. Add the zest and juice of one lemon. Stir to combine. Add the asparagus and frozen peas. 

Drain the pasta and add it to the saucepan. Toss to coat the vegetables and pasta with the sauce. (If your sauce seems too thick, add the reserved pasta cooking water 1/4 cup at a time to thin it back out a bit.) 

Serve pasta hot, topped with chopped fresh parsley, additional lemon zest, and red pepper flakes (optional). 

Pasta with Savory Lemon Cream Sauce from Making it Milk-free


5.01.2016

Easy Lunch and Snack Hacks



Do you ever feel stuck in a rut when it comes to packing lunches and snacks? For me, especially as the school year is drawing to a close, I end up resorting to the quickest, easiest, throw-together meals which is about all the energy I can muster. I wish I could say that once summer is here I get a break from lunch-packing for another three months. But when you have a child with food allergies, there is never a break. In fact, if I am not packing a meal for some reason, I feel off. Like I’ve forgotten something, and it takes most of a day to get over that feeling!

I am always looking for ways to feel less stressed about lunch-making, and also to have healthier, more wholesome options available for after school snacks. I have tried everything I can think of from creating week’s worth of menus to rotate through, to packing dinner leftovers the night before, to prepping several servings of meals and freezing them. All of those ideas were fine, but still I found that they only worked for a short time. A month or two in and I found myself struggling once again.

4.28.2016

Camp Out with Honey Maid

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HoneyMaidHouse #CollectiveBias


Lately it has been difficult for me to find much time or energy to make food fun. Whenever the end of the school year gets near, I start to run out of creative steam for awhile. This goes for school lunches as well as snacks. Due to food allergies, our school allows a very limited variety of snack options (and with good reason). I really do like to find creative and fun ways to make food special because of the limitations having food allergies places on us. 

One family favorite of ours is always the holiday houses we like to make around the holidays. We find new, healthy, kid-friendly ideas that make decorating and eating them fun. This past holiday season we got super festive with our Winter Wonderland house. But who says the holidays have to have all the fun? 

4.07.2016

Mint Chocolate Pudding Tarts {gluten free + vegan}

Some links in this post are my referral or affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. If you decide to purchase something at Amazon after following my link, I receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, which I use to pay for web hosting and services for this blog.

I remember not really liking raspberries much as a child because of the seeds. Apparently my tastes have changed a lot as an adult, because I can't seem to get enough right now! I've been buying the largest package of these sweet little bursts of flavor for weeks now and I don't think I'll be getting tired of them anytime soon. I'm also the only person in my house who eats them, which is a bonus. More for me! 

I've been on a mission to use as many ingredients as possible lately that are already on hand, rather than picking up new things each time I buy groceries. This has helped some with my budget since my lists are shorter, but it's also been fun trying to be creative and come up with new ideas. 

If I have an ingredient in my refrigerator for awhile that I haven't used and I am worried I won't get around to it, I usually just toss whatever it is in the freezer. This past winter, I picked up some So Delicious Dairy Free Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk at a really great price and threw it in the freezer because I just couldn't pass it up. We love to use it to make hot chocolate after the kids play in the snow, but we had such a mild winter that this never happened!

I decided on a whim that it would make an amazing chocolate mint pudding, but I wanted to do something a bit more fun with it. That's when my Mint Chocolate Pudding Tarts were born. I also just so happened to have a package of Enjoy Life Foods Double Chocolate Crunchy Cookies in my pantry and they worked perfectly for my crusts. I've been using this silicone muffin pan lately, which was also perfect for this. If you don't have a silicone mold, you can use a regular muffin pan. 

If you can't easily find the Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk right now since it is seasonal, use my chocolate pudding recipe and just add a drop or two of mint extract. Even though it's a seasonal coconut milk flavor, these tarts are fresh and a perfect flavor combo for spring or any other season!

Mint Chocolate Pudding Tarts {gluten free + vegan} byt Making it Milk-free

4.04.2016

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mousse Cups {gluten free + vegan}

Some links in this post are my referral or affiliate links. Read my privacy policy disclosure for more information. If you do decide to purchase something at Amazon after following my link, I receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, which I use to pay for web hosting and services for this blog.

Chocolate chip cookies are a classic dessert. I'm not sure I've ever met anyone who doesn't love them. Of course, the many opinions on whether they should be soft or chewy is a great debate. I personally love them soft (and slightly warm). And the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies can't be beat. 

My favorite gluten-free and vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe is just right for my personal cookie preferences. Now, I also believe that chocolate chip cookies can and should be incorporated into other desserts whenever possible. Like my chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches, or chocolate chip cookie dough bites. This recipe is yet another one I've been thinking of lately where chocolate chip cookies become the vehicle to deliver this velvety, creamy, delicious brown sugar mousse right to your tastebuds. 

I could literally eat the mousse straight out of the bowl with a spoon...but the cookies just make it that much more scrumptious. Make the cookies in advance and (if you can refrain from eating them all) use them to make this special dessert that is cute enough to be kid-friendly, yet also looks elegant enough for a dinner party!


Chocolate Chip Cookie Mousse Cups {gluten free + vegan}

Measure out the coconut milk and warm it slightly in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Add the melted butter and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Place 10 chocolate chip cookies in a zip-top bag and crush them into bite-sized crumbles. Break the remaining two cookies in half to use for garnish.

Place brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook until the sugar dissolves. Stir gently with a rubber scraper as needed to spread the sugar in the pan and dissolve the sugar evenly (and keep a very close eye so it doesn't burn). This step should take about 4 minutes. 

Once sugar is melted, turn heat down to medium-low and carefully pour in the warmed coconut milk and melted dairy-free butter substitute. The mixture will bubble up quickly and the melted sugar will begin to harden. Continue constantly stirring the mixture and using your rubber scraper to scrape the sugar from bottom of the pan. As the coconut milk warms, the sugar will melt into it and combine. This takes about 1 minute. 

If there are any hardened bits of the sugar left, carefully remove them and discard. Add the cornstarch and water mixture to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook until thickened and bubbly (about 1 minute). Remove the pan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and pinch of salt. Pour the mixture into a bowl; cover and chill for about 20 minutes. 

Once chilled, remove 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar mixture into another small bowl and set aside. Gently fold 1/2 cup of CocoWhip into the mixture. Fold an additional 1/2 cup of CocoWhip in. Place mousse in refrigerator covered until ready to use. 

To assemble, pour 1/4 of the crushed cookies into the bottom of each of 4 glasses or bowls. Spoon 1/4 of the mousse mixture on top of the crushed cookies. Pipe or spoon additional CocoWhip on top (optional). Drizzle reserved brown sugar mixture over top. Garnish with 1/2 of a chocolate chip cookie, or sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Keep the desserts chilled until ready to serve. (They can even be assembled the day before, covered and stored in the refrigerator for a quick and elegant dessert!)


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