Summer is synonymous with ice cream. But what happens when you’ve overdosed on your go-to cookie dough flavor? Enter the gooey, hazelnutty goodness of Banana Nutella Ice Cream to carry us through Labor Day.

Bowl of Banana Nutella Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 5 bananas
  • 3/4 cup Nutella
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

 
Instructions:

  1. Cut the bananas into 1-inch slices.
  2. Put the slices on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for  20 – 30 minutes or until completely frozen.
  3. Pop the banana pieces into a food processor and mix them together, scraping down the sides every 30 seconds. (You’ll know it’s finished when the blend is completely smooth.)
  4. Add Nutella and vanilla and pulse until combined.
  5. Grab a spoon and eat immediately!

 
Serves 2

Toppings? Optional. But a little sprinkle of something extra never hurts.

By Kim Watson, Staff Writer

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August 26, 2015

It’s hazy. It’s hot. And it’s humid. Now try stepping up to a sweltering stove. (No, thank you.) Late-summer days call for a refreshing breakfast, so put away the frying pan and bust out the blender. Packed with antioxidants, an ice-cold açai bowl is this season’s BFF.

Acai Bowl Recipe
Ingredients:

Base:

  • 4 packs frozen açai berry purée
  • 2 cups plant milk of choice or coconut water
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons hemp protein powder

 
Topping:

  • 1 cup granola
  • 2 handfuls fresh berries
  • 4 tablespoons hemp seeds

 
Instructions:

  1. Place all base ingredients in a blender and pulse until thick.
  2. Add more milk if you prefer a creamier texture.
  3. Pour the blend into two bowls and sprinkle on the toppings.
  4. Serve immediately!

 
Serves 2

If you’re feeling inventive, try transforming the base with different fruit flavors. Your summer looks cooler already.

By Kim Watson, Staff Writer

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August 22, 2015

It’s already August – sigh – which means we have one month left to check off all of those summer bucket-list items. And it seems there’s no better place to start than creating the ultimate refresher – popsicles. Cue this super-simple (and all-natural) Watermelon Cucumber Popsicle.

Popsicle-Blog-PostIngredients:

  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 small watermelon, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/3 cup simple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

 
Instructions:

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  2. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl or a large measuring cup.
  3. Pour the concoction into your popsicle mold, leaving room at the top for the mixture to expand.
  4. Freeze for 1 hour before inserting the popsicle sticks.
  5. Continue to freeze for another 4 – 5 hours. Then enjoy!

 
Want more summer inspiration? Our Pinterest is filled with it.

By Carolyn Bothwell, Staff Writer

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August 12, 2015

We’ve heard it a million times: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Compared to an extra 20 minutes of sleep, though, whipping up an omelet doesn’t seem like a huge priority. But thanks to this overnight oats recipe from Fit Foodie Finds you can have your breakfast and sleep in, too.

Easy Breakfast Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup liquid (milk, almond milk, water, whatever you like!)

 
INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine oats and liquid in a Tupperware container (or anything with a lid).
  2. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Wake up and enjoy!

 
After getting the basics down, try incorporating different ingredients to make a variety of fun and healthy flavors. Here are some add-ons for three of our favorite recipes.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter

 
Add the vanilla and honey to the oat mixture and let it chill while you sleep. In the morning, top it off with chocolate chips and peanut butter.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry

  • 1½ tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 4 large strawberries, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate chips

 
Before refrigerating overnight, mix the cocoa powder and honey in with the oat blend. Then sprinkle on the strawberries and chocolate chips in the AM.

Peanut Butter & Jelly

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-natural strawberry preserves
  • 4 large strawberries, diced

 
Stir the chia seeds and peanut butter into the oat concoction and pop it in the fridge before bed. Then, mix in the preserves and fresh strawberries just before eating.

Try all three of our favorite flavors or make up your own. Either way, your day is off to a sweet start.

By Leah Welcome, Staff Writer

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July 28, 2015

Whether you’re a gourmet or just-okay chef, a charcuterie plate wows with minimal effort. The best part? All it takes is five ingredients.
Charcuterie Plate How-ToMeat
Grab a small selection of cured meats – prosciutto, salami, coppa, etc. We recommend choosing at least three options, but you can always add or subtract depending on serving size.

Cheese
Start with a soft cheese, like Brie. For texture play, add in a harder variety – cheddar or Gouda work great. Looking to step it up? Grab some Testun Occelli al Barolo (it’s covered in wine).

Sweet
To offset the savory flavors, you’ll want to work in something sweet. Think apples or plums, paired with year-round options like fig jam and dried fruit.

Salty
Don’t just rely on meat for saltiness. Grab something pickled or go with a selection of olives. Top off with your favorite nuts, and add some spicy mustard if you’re feeling fancy.

Bread
This is an area you don’t need to overthink. Just slice up a few pieces of ciabatta or lay out crackers and call it a day.

Place the sweet options next to the cheeses, with the salty extras adjacent to the meats. And faster than you can say “Charcuterie,” you’ve got a definite crowd-pleaser.

By Ashley Bell, Staff Writer

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July 22, 2015

While we couldn’t be happier it’s summer, these days we’re a little scared to check our weather app (It’s going to be HOW hot?!). Luckily, this issue isn’t anything a little rum and mint for two can’t fix. Check out this super simple Classic Mint Mojito recipe from Chef Savvy.

Classic Mint Mojito Recipe
Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 20 sprigs fresh mint
  • 1 lime, cut into small wedges
  • 2 ounces white rum
  • Ice
  • 2 ounces sparkling water

 
Instructions:

  1. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and simmer until the sugar dissolves (this should take a minute or so). Take the pan off heat and let the syrup cool.
  2. Put the mint and lime in a small pitcher, muddle them together for about a minute until all of the juice is squeezed out of the lime and the mixture smells minty.
  3. Add the rum and cooled syrup to the small pitcher and mix it all together.
  4. Fill two glasses with ice.
  5. Pour half of the mojito mixture into each glass and top it off with sparkling water.

 
Want to sip from festive glassware? Take your pick in our Whip Up Juicy Summer Cocktails Boutique, which opened Thursday, July 16, at 11AM ET.

By Leah Welcome, Staff Writer

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July 16, 2015

Our obsession with fizzy water knows no bounds, so naturally we turned to SodaStream to bring that love together with another: refreshing summer cocktails. Turns out, this Pink Lemonade White Wine Sparkle recipe is super-easy to make – and too good not to share.

Sodastream blog cocktail recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bottle of SodaStream Pink Lemonade flavored sparkling water
  • 1 liter cold water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup gin
  • Lemon wedges


INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Prep the flavored water: Fizz the cold water with your SodaStream soda maker, then flavor that fizzy water with SodaStream Pink Lemonade sparkling drink mix.
  2. In a carafe, mix the flavored sparkling water with your wine and gin.
  3. Add the lemon wedges and ice.
  4. Give it all a mix and enjoy cold.

 
Go on, make your water more exciting. Our SodaStream Boutique opens Friday, June 19, at 11AM ET.

By Chrissy Makkas, Associate Content Editor

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June 19, 2015

Summertime and the living’s busy (beach days, anyone?). Which is why you need easy, on-the-go snacks in your life. Enter: No-Bake Energy Bites, courtesy of Gimme Some Oven.

No-Bake Recipe

These power-packed balls of protein are perfect for a quick breakfast or road-trip treat. Not to mention, they’re incredibly delicious and can be ready in a snap. No oven? No problem. Just measure, mix, and you’ll be eating the healthy equivalent of cookies in no time.
Continue reading “Stir Things Up: No-Bake Energy Bites Recipe” »

May 29, 2015

Chances are you’ve been to a wine tasting or two at a vineyard or perhaps a local wine shop. But now it’s time to take your wine-connoisseur status to the next level – right at home with good company. Here’s how to pull it off like a pro.

Global Wine Cellars Vino Tasting

1. Provide simple glasses. No need to use specific styles for each wine – your small pours won’t be in the glass long. As long as you have one glass per person and a water pitcher for rinsing between tastes, you’re good.

2. Make each glass personal. A variety of festive coasters or wine charms will add a custom element to each person’s tasting. Because assessing lip-prints shouldn’t be the way you avoid mixing up glasses.

3. Prep the wine before guests arrive. Ideal serving temperatures for white wines range between 49 and 55 degrees, while red wines should be in the 62- to 68-degree range. And don’t forget to let the full-bodied reds breathe. Decant at least 25 to 30 minutes before you plan to taste.

4. Stock up on snacks. Set out crackers and a mix of cheeses. Use one mild – think Brie, Teleme, or Jack; one medium like Havarti, Gouda, or Edam; and one strong blue, like Gorgonzola or Stilton. Finish the spread with grapes or strawberries, crunchy Marcona almonds, and chocolates.

5. Educate your guests. They should be seeing, swirling, smelling, sipping, and swallowing to fully experience each wine. And if they can’t quite pinpoint the flavors? Keep tasting notes on hand to identify hints of plum, lavender, leather, oak, and more.

Ready to host? Stock up on wine and tasting notes in our Global Wine Cellars Boutique, which opened Thursday, May 7, at 3PM ET.

By Chrissy Makkas, Associate Content Editor

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May 10, 2015

Now that arctic freezes are a distant memory, all we can think about is getting outside and grilling. But an alfresco meal just isn’t complete without the right wine pairing. So we consulted Jennifer Ingellis, a sommelier over at Global Wine Cellars, for advice. Here, the 2012 Food & Wine Sommelier of the Year shares three must-try wines and what to serve with them.

Global Wine Cellars Grill Pairings

1. Peñalolén Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Chile
Serve: Juicy herb-marinated steaks – as rare as you can handle – or protein-rich veggies like mushrooms, eggplant, or roasted tomatoes. This dark red’s plum and cherry flavors play well with meaty options.

Continue reading “Sip & Grill: 3 Foolproof Pairings from Global Wine Cellars” »

May 7, 2015