Tag Archives: dessert

“Froot” Cups with Cheese Filling – a Futurama Themed Party!

14 Jun

It’s time once again for a nerdy party recap! The theme this time was Futurama, the hilarious adult cartoon set in the year 3000, where a bizarre group of people, including a cryogenically frozen man from 1999, operate a galactic delivery service called the Planet Express. If you haven’t seen the show, it’s available in full on Netflix, and I highly recommend it! It’s funny, ridiculously clever, full of weird characters and situations, and brings a cartoonish approach to what the future might look like.

And it’s a perfect theme for a party! 12 of our friends came over to watch various episodes of the show, indulge in some themed food and drinks, and geek out over various elements of the series, commiserating the fact it ended three years ago.

FuturamaComposition1024

Chris went all out for this one, again. He got us a Futurama poster, a Planet Express wall cling, a magnetic note board, and new nerdy t-shirts.

"Froot" Cups with Cheese Filling - a Futurama Themed Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Our friends dressed their baby as Lord Nibbler, the lovable creature Leela saves from his planet shortly before its destruction. AND, another couple dressed as Fry and Leela! We obviously needed a “family” photo shoot 😛

"Froot" Cups with Cheese Filling - a Futurama Themed Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

"Froot" Cups with Cheese Filling - a Futurama Themed Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Leela & Fry posing with Nibbler (our friends’ baby).

We recreated the collection of Heads in Jars – when famous people die in the future, their heads are somehow salvaged and kept in jars, mostly on display in the Head Museum. These happened to be the perfect size for drinking 🙂

"Froot" Cups with Cheese Filling - a Futurama Themed Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

As for the eats, we did not disappoint! We had three pizzas straight from Panucci’s Pizza, Hedonism Bot bruschetta and crostini, president (puppy) chow, and dark matter bacon-wrapped dates. We drank Benderbrau, Slurm and Mom’s Robot Oil.

Panuccipizza

225px-Hedonism_Bot "Froot" Cups with Cheese Filling - a Futurama Themed Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Oh, and I made “froot” cups! In the episode “Fry am the Egg Man,” there’s a scene where the crew stop at Fishy Joe’s, a fast food restaurant. Leela isn’t pleased by the unhealthy options and simply orders the fruit cup…which she finds is spelled “froot.” Worse yet: the guy working the order window asks “What kind of cheese filling you want in that?” Cheese Filling

Now, being a Wisconsinite, I’m obligated to love cheese in and on everything. Except a fruit cup!! Spoiler alert: Leela gives up at the end of the episode and orders a froot cup with all the cheese fillings.

The “froot” cups I made for the party ARE in fact a healthy option, topped with a delicious lemony Greek yogurt sauce that merely looks like it might be a cheese filling 🙂 Whether you’re hosting a nerdy get-together or just want a tasty dip for a colorful fruit salad, this recipe is for you! I promise: there’s no cheese involved.

"Froot" Cups with Cheese Filling - a Futurama Themed Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

“Froot” Cups with Cheese Filling

Serves 8

“Froot” Cups:

  • 2 mangoes, cubed
  • 3 kiwi fruit, peeled, halved and sliced
  • 1 container raspberries
  • 1 container blueberries
  • 2 bunches grapes
  • 1/2 cantaloupe, cubed
  • Juice of half a lime or lemon, to prevent browning

Cheese Filling:

  • 2 C plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 4 tbsp canned coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 drops yellow food coloring + 1 drop red food coloring

Wash and prep all fruit. Mix together in a large bowl. Juice half a lime or lemon over the fruit and stir to coat, to prevent browning. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge while you prep the “cheese filling.”

In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, coconut milk, honey and extracts. Taste and adjust as desired. Add the food coloring and stir to mix in. Store in a covered container in the fridge until ready to serve.

To serve, spoon “froot” into cups or bowls. Top with about a quarter cup of the sauce. And remember to enjoy fast foods in moderation! 🙂

 

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip

24 May

Can you believe that before this past weekend, I had never been hiking?! This fact seemed to shock quite a few of my friends. After all, I’m a runner and a lifetime Girl Scout – week-long summer camp was a regular annual experience for me, but aside from walking from our tents to the mess hall, I’ve never been on a proper hike. Until now.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Boy, have I been missing out! Our friends Adam and Jill invited Chris and myself to join them on a hiking day trip in Utica, IL. Sounded like it could be fun, so we were in. Starved Rock State Park is a 2.5 hour drive from Milwaukee, so we left early in the morning to arrive around 10:30am. Being the over-planner that I am, we had figured out all the food & drink, clothes, first aid and emergency supplies that we could possibly need for the day. I was tasked with making a pasta salad that could sit in the cooler all day, homemade trail mix, and some kind of granola bar or bite to replenish the carbs we’d quickly burn through.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Once we walked up to the two “tourist” spots in the park – Starved Rock and Lover’s Leap, we had had enough of all the slow pokes, so we moved the car to a parking lot further away from the visitor’s center to do some real hiking.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.comA quick lunch of sandwiches and fruit salad from Jill, my veggie pasta salad, chips, and perhaps a little something from Wisconsin (cheers!), we hiked out to see a few gorgeous canyons, complete with small waterfalls. The closer we got to the canyons, the cooler it became – a welcome relief from the hot, sunny 80+ degree day. The ground was pretty easy to walk on with a handful of muddy spots. The streams were what got me – too big to jump over (mostly) but too small to warrant turning around. Thankfully, Chris was really good at finding me the best places to cross where my shoes would become only slightly wet (they dried off quickly, too).

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The views really were beautiful. Everything was bright green, we were relatively well-shaded, and the rocks of the canyons had this amazing layered yellow hue to them. Hiking to and from each canyon spot made us work up an appetite, so we stopped for a snack break before hitting the final, steepest trail. The granola bites I ended up making are filled with a tart roasted rhubarb puree. The crust is made up of ground oats, 7-grain cereal, coconut oil, peanut butter, flax, and cinnamon – definitely a hearty, compact snack! I wanted to make sure we were set with carbs, protein and fat, and I think I nailed it! These had to stay in the cooler and the perfect snack break.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Our final trail of the day was the most challenging. The view up looked daunting. It was steep, and lacked a lot of footing. There is a wooden staircase built in for the steepest portion (which is also right next to a county road), but we had to manage the rest on our own. And it was well worth it! A few water stops later, and we were presented with a fantastic view of the river and surrounding park. I can see why people enjoy this! I can now say I’m one of them 🙂

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The descent to the bottom of the trail was almost just as challenging, as we worked to avoid slipping and falling. When we returned to the car, I experienced the most wonderful feeling of taking off my shoes and socks! Haha, yeah, that felt great – I’m so glad I brought flip flops to change into and rest my feet.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

We headed home, with a pit stop along the way for a bathroom and much-deserved cold beer, and finally reached Milwaukee again. I had so much fun, that the four of us are already working on our next hiking trip! In the meantime, I’m going to be making these roasted rhubarb granola bites pretty often. It’s a great way to use your rhubarb harvest, and is a much healthier snack than cake or pie. They’re easy to make, and can be frozen for enjoyment later on!

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites
Makes 12 bites

  • 3 C chopped rhubarb
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp creamy nut/seed butter of choice
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 C Maple
  • 3/4 C Oat flour
  • 1 C Bob’s grain cereal
  • 2 tbsp Flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking pan with foil and spray with PAM.

Spread chopped rhubarb on the baking sheet. Drizzle with honey. Roast for 25 minutes, turning the pan around halfway through, to prevent burning.

Transfer rhubarb to a bowl and mix in the cornstarch. Use an immersion blender to puree the roasted rhubarb. Set aside. Note: leave the oven on!

In a medium bowl, melt together the nut butter and coconut oil. Mix in the maple syrup, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the oat flour, cereal and flaxseed meal until well-combined and hydrated.

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the crust mixture into each paper liner and pat down with the back of the spoon. There should be some crust mixture remaining.

Spoon in a scant tablespoon of the rhubarb puree. Finally, spoon about a teaspoon of the leftover crust on top of the rhubarb.

Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely in the tin. Transfer the tin to your fridge and let chill a few hours or overnight. This will help set it up.

Remove from tin and serve. Refrigerate leftovers up to 5 days in an airtight container.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Belgian Ale Banana Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting

3 May

The word is getting out! Yep – I love to bake, and it’s even more fun when those baked goods are packed with booze 😉 This past weekend, my friend recommended my cupcakes for a joint bachelorette & birthday party. The bride-to-be wanted to surprise her sister, who was celebrating a birthday, with beer-infused cupcakes.

As soon as I learned that the birthday girl’s favorite beer is the Belgian Tripel style, I knew what I had to do: bake La Fin Du Monde into a cupcake and smother it with creamy, dreamy dark chocolate ganache frosting and a sprinkling of pink sea salt. For the non-beer lovers out there, La Fin Du Monde is a Belgian ale from Canadian brewery Unibroue. It’s effervescent, sweet, banana-y, clove-y and rather high in alcohol content. Certainly an obvious choice to bake into, and soak onto, cupcakes!

Belgian Ale Banana Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

With that flavor profile in mind, I packed these treats with fresh bananas and ground clove. I view the frosting almost as a pairing – like what you’d get at a good beer bar. And what goes better with banana than dark chocolate? So of course, I had to frost these cakes with my simple yet indulgent dark chocolate ganache frosting. Whipped to perfection, this frosting is piped on and sprinkled lightly with sea salt, to bring out the natural sweetness of the chocolate.

Belgian Ale Banana Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The end result? Let’s just say I could SMELL the beer in these goodies as they baked in the oven. The cakes are sweet, with hints of banana and clove, and you can absolutely taste the inclusion of the beer. Especially because I employ the “poke and soak” method post-baking: poke each cupcake with a skewer or chopstick and soak 1/2 tsp beer right on top. It really provides that extra punch, which is just to die for. Which is good, considering that La Fin Du Monde is French for “end of the world.”

Buy a bottle of Belgian ale, bake these cupcakes, and impress everyone at your next party!

Belgian Ale Banana Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Makes 24 cupcakes

Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting:

  • 1-1/4 C heavy whipping cream
  • 15 oz dark baking chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp flaked sea salt

Heat heavy cream in a pan on medium heat until it comes to a boil.

Remove from heat and stir in the chopped baking chocolate until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.

Transfer the chocolate to the bowl of your stand mixer and allow to cool in the refrigerator for one hour. Bake the cupcakes while this chills.

Belgian Ale Banana Cupcakes:

  • ¾ C butter, room temperature
  • 1 C white sugar
  • ¾ C brown sugar
  • 2-1/2 C flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground clove
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C La Fin du Monde Belgian Tripel beer + more to soak
  • ¼ C milk
  • 2 medium bananas

Preheat oven to 350. Line two muffin tins with paper liners.

Beat butter with sugars until creamy.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and ground clove.

In another bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs with vanilla, beer, milk, and mashed bananas.

Alternate adding the dry and the wet ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture. Beat until just combined.

Scoop batter into 24 lined muffin tins.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325 and bake for 18-23 minutes, rotating the tins halfway through baking. Let cool completely before frosting. TIP: speed this up by popping the cupcakes, still in the baking tins, straight into the freezer for 15 minutes.

Poke four holes into the top of each cupcake using a skewer or chopstick. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon additional beer on top and allow to soak in.

While the cupcakes cool and soak, whip up the ganache frosting.

Use the paddle attachment with your stand mixer and beat the ganache for 5 minutes on medium speed, or until it starts to create stiff peaks. Scoop the whipped ganache into a piping bag fitted with a tip of your choice. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with flaked sea salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve, allowing 30 minutes out of the fridge before enjoying.

Belgian Ale Banana Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

%d bloggers like this: