Valentine’s Themed Unicorn Hot Chocolate for Two

Found your unicorn?  We’ve got the perfect treat to impress your main squeeze & show them just how special they are. Put a little magic into your Valentine’s Day celebration with Unicorn Hot Chocolate! This dessert is deceptively easy, and most of the work comes from adding the toppings. We found fun, festive candy at a craft store and upped the fantasy factor with bright pink cotton candy. If you’re embracing Valentine’s Day alone this year (#single #notmadaboutit), this recipe can easily be cut in half – and let’s be real, it’ll taste just as sweet.

Unicorn Hot Chocolate: Make Your Own Valentine's Day Treat for Two

Unicorn Hot Chocolate tastes as magical as it looks.

Unicorn Hot Chocolate: Make Your Own Valentine's Day Treat for Two

All you need to create this bright drink: milk, white chocolate, food coloring & whipped cream!

Unicorn Hot Chocolate: Make Your Own Valentine's Day Treat for Two

Melt the chocolate into the milk over low heat.

Unicorn Hot Chocolate: Make Your Own Valentine's Day Treat for Two

Stir in a few drops of food color & add vanilla extract.

Unicorn Hot Chocolate: Make Your Own Valentine's Day Treat for Two

Colorful toppings? Not optional!

Unicorn Hot Chocolate: Make Your Own Valentine's Day Treat for Two

Add a few drops of food color to a bowl of whipped cream & swirl for a marbled look.

Unicorn Hot Chocolate: Make Your Own Valentine's Day Treat for Two

Top & serve!

RECIPE

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 8 oz. white chocolate
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • Food Coloring
  • Toppings of your choice
DIRECTIONS
  1. On low heat, melt the white chocolate in the milk over the stove top until small bubbles appear along the edge of the pot (don’t boil it!), stirring every few minutes so that the chocolate doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  2. While the chocolate melts into the milk, make the rainbow whipped cream in a wide bowl. Drop in two or three food colors in various spots. Using a knife, swirl the color around a few times to create a marbled effect. Set aside.
  3. Stir vanilla extract into hot chocolate.
  4. Add 3-4 drops of food color of your choice. Stir.
  5. Pour the hot chocolate evenly into two mugs.
  6. Spoon a few dollops of rainbow whipped cream on top & add other toppings of choice (we found these at a craft store)!
  7. Share 🙂

Share your Unicorn Hot Chocolate pics with us by tagging @americaneagle!

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National Strawberry Ice Cream Day: No-Churn Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Our good friend Erin, the blogger behind The Almond Eater, is back again and celebrating National Strawberry Ice Cream Day with us! For more from The Almond Eater, check out her recipes herehere, here and here

Hey, hey, hey–happy National Strawberry Ice Cream Day! I know, ice cream day in January? Who thought that up? To be honest, I’m not mad about it. Though I’m a year-round iced coffee drinker, I tend to gravitate toward warmer foods during the colder months, which leaves me missing some of my favorite cold foods like ice cream! I know a lot of people who drink smoothies in the winter, so why not eat ice cream too? It’s baaaasically the same thing except, well, better.

The awesome thing about this recipe is that you don’t need a fancy shmancy ice cream maker–nope! This no churn strawberry ice cream is just that: no churn. One of these days I’m sure I’ll cave and purchase an ice cream maker, but until then I’m going to keep doing things this way because it works and it’s GOOD. ….and because I feel like the majority of people out there don’t own an ice cream maker, but maybe that’s just me.

National Strawberry Ice Cream Day No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

ANYWAY, let’s talk out this ice cream recipe real quick so you can see how easy peasy it is. You’ll heat the strawberries and sugar over the stovetop essentially until the strawberries turn into a sweet strawberry compote. Then you’ll let them cool off while you whip the whipping cream. Whipping the whipping cream (<–hate that I love saying that) requires a liiiiittle bit of patience, but nothing crazy. Five minutes, max. You got this.

So yeah, you’ll whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks form and then you’ll add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla, fold the strawberries into the whipped cream and BOOM that’s it!! You freeze it to form hard serve ice cream for these ice cream sandwiches, or you just eat it straight up like the ice cream-obsessed person you are.

The trickier part is getting the ice cream sandwiches to actually look presentable. If you make this recipe, PLEASE tag me on Instagram @thealmondeater so I can see your pretty creation and how you one-upped me in that department.

These no churn strawberry ice cream sandwiches are LEGIT and you need them, even if it is the middle of winter.

National Strawberry Ice Cream Day No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Recipe

Ingredients

For the ice cream:

  • 1 lb. fresh or frozen and thawed strawberries, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the cookies:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions

For the ice cream:

  1. Place the strawberries and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer and use a wooden spoon to break down the strawberries, forming mashed strawberries. Simmer for five minutes or so.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside, allowing mixture to cool completely.
  4. While mixture is cooling, make the ice cream.
  5. Place heavy whipping cream in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes, allowing the cream to form stiff peaks. Tip: mix on low for about 2 minutes, and then on high for the final 2-3 minutes.
  6. Once peaks have formed, add the condensed milk and vanilla and mix until everything is combined.
  7. Fold HALF of the strawberries into the whipped cream mixture and transfer to a baking pan.
  8. Pour the rest of the strawberries on top and stir so that there are some swirls and some strawberry chunks.
  9. Cover pan with aluminum foil and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.

For the cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together in a separate bowl; add eggs and vanilla and stir to combine.
  4. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and then, once everything is mixed, stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
  5. Scoop dough out a spoonful at a time and transfer to a baking sheet.
  6. Place cookies in the oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until cookies are harder around the edges but still soft in the middle.
  7. Transfer to a cooling rack and cook completely before making the ice cream sandwiches.

For the sandwiches:

  1. Scoop ice cream out onto a cookie and then place a second cookie on top, carefully smashing it down on the ice cream.
  2. Repeat this process until cookies are done. You will have ice cream leftover, but I don’t think that’s a problem!
  3. Place cookies on a plate or baking sheet and back in the freezer for at least an hour, allowing time for everything to harden and solidify.

National Strawberry Ice Cream Day No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Share your Strawberry Ice Cream Day pics on Twitter & Instagram using #AEOSTYLE and tagging @thealmondeater.

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How To Host An Easy Friendsgiving

Let’s face it – the holiday season is stressful. We’re embarking on a month of non-stop holiday adventures and family gatherings, and the last thing we want on our plate (other than a tenth scoop of mashed potatoes) is another party to plan, right? Still, in a time when we have the MOST to do, it’s nice to sit down and relax, preferably with friends who totally get what you’re feeling. That’s why we’re huge fans of Thanksgiving’s BFF, Friendsgiving. Friendsgiving is great because there’s no pressure to make every detail perfect – you can play with your decor & food and still throw a beautiful gathering for your closest pals (who, honestly, are like a second family).

In the spirit of giving thanks for all of the people who we can spill our deepest, darkest secrets to & who make us laugh uncontrollably, we’re showing you how to host an easy Friendsgiving dinner. Preparation for this get together doesn’t need to be difficult; a few DIY decorations really set the mood. Send out invites to your friends (we recommend a potluck dinner to keep things as simple as possible) & get the party started. Check out our Friendsgiving Guide below for our favorite tips, tricks & an easy dessert recipe to complete your Friendsgiving menu.

Set The Table

  • For a quick & festive tablecloth you already have on-hand, drape large blanket scarves over the table. Any spills can be removed in the wash! We like this one: Plaid Blanket Scarf.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix & match dishes. Check out your nearest thrift store to find pieces that are mismatched but still work together. Stick to a similar color family.
  • Cut brown paper down for DIY placemats for a no-hassle cleanup & a rustic feel. You can even use brown paper bags!

How To Host An Easy Friendsgiving Meal for Thanksgiving 2016

Remember Why You’re Gathering

  • Yes, one of Friendsgiving’s main pros is the amazing food & drink spread, but take a minute to remember the real reason you’re hanging out around the table. On each placemat, prompt guests to write down what they’re thankful for & talk about it before digging in.

How To Host An Easy Friendsgiving Meal for Thanksgiving 2016

Pumpkin Serving Bowl

  • Find a huge pumpkin and a bowl that is just a bit smaller in size.
  • Cut the top off the pumpkin & scoop out the insides.
  • Place the large bowl inside the pumpkin to serve drinks, mocktails & more.

How To Host An Easy Friendsgiving Meal for Thanksgiving 2016

Gourd-geous Votive Candles

  1. Choose different sizes and colors of gourds or small pumpkins.
  2. Using a pumpkin carving knife, cut small circles out of the tops of each.
  3. Scoop out the insides.
  4. Put votive candles of varying sizes in each pumpkin.

How To Host An Easy Friendsgiving Meal for Thanksgiving 2016

How To Host An Easy Friendsgiving Meal for Thanksgiving 2016

Simple Rice Krispie Treat Pumpkin “Pie”

Ingredients

  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1 package marshmallows (10.5 oz)
  • 1 box Rice Krispie cereal (18 oz), with 2 c set aside
  • 1/2 c pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the better.
  2. Add marshmallows and melt, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the marshmallow mixture is melted, combine 2/3 c of marshmallow with 2 c cereal and mix together.
  4. Add 1/2 c pumpkin & pumpkin spice to remaining marshmallow mixture in the pan and combine.
  5. Press the cereal/marshamallow mixture around the outside of a springform pan to create the “crust”.
  6. Remove the pumpkin/marshmallow mixture from heat and, after a few moments, mix in the rest of the cereal in the box.
  7. Press pumpkin/marshmallow/cereal mixture into the center of the “pie”.
  8. Cover & let cool completely before cutting.

Do you have any tips for throwing a Friendsgiving party? Let us know in the comments & show us how you’re celebrating on Instagram.

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Pineapple Mint Fauxjito

Our good friend Erin, the blogger behind The Almond Eater, is back with her final recipe for our summer countdown series. If you missed her other posts, you can find them here, here and here. Cool down this weekend and celebrate the summer solstice with a sweet drink! Keep reading for Erin’s recipe. 

Enjoy a non-alcoholic version of this classic drink! This Pineapple Mint Fauxjito tastes like a fruity and refreshing mojito minus the morning hangover. It’s sweet, refreshing and ready in just 5 minutes!

 

Make this Pineapple Mint Fauxjito & celebrate the summer solstice!

So, instead of a mojito, today we’ll be enjoying a pineapple mint FAUX-jito. Get it?! I thought I was beyond clever when I “created” that word but, as it turns out, the fauxjito is real. Which is a good thing, because the flavors of a mojito deserved to be enjoyed with or without alcohol.

My cocktail of choice is a mojito. In one word, they are REFRESHING. In more than one word, they are refreshing and come in a variety of flavors and I’m fairly certain you can’t mess them up.

You definitely can’t mess these fauxjitos up – they’re that easy! They’re five ingredients and they come together in approximately 5 minutes, maybe 10 if your pineapple isn’t already cut. THAT’S IT. You’ve got your pineapple (duh), your club soda (necessary), your mint leaves (refreshing!), your lime juice (yes please!), and your…wait for it…coconut milk (YES I’M SERIOUS).

Make this Pineapple Mint Fauxjito & celebrate the summer solstice!

For whatever reason, I’ve been into adding coconut milk to cocktails recently, specifically coconut milk. Coconut milk plus any fruit equals tropical to me, and tropical equals fruity alcoholic and/or non-alcoholic beverages. Yes, it’s true. Coconut and pineapple may be the most common combination, and that’s because they go perfectly together. A match made in heaven, if you will.

So whether you’re sitting poolside with your BFFs your on your couch watching Friends reruns (no judgment here), I hope you find an excuse to sip on a pineapple mint fauxjito. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pineapple, muddled
  • 2 cups pineapple juice (1 cup fresh pineapple+1 cup water, mixed in a blender)
  • ½ cup club soda
  • 10 mint leaves
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • Juice from 1 lime

Directions:

  1. Place cubed coconut in a bowl and use a muddler (or a fork) to smash it down; divide evenly between two glasses.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir pineapple juice, soda, mint, milk, and lime juice together really well; pour overtop of muddled pineapple, dividing evenly.
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy!

Share your fauxjito pics on Twitter & Instagram using #AEOSTYLE! We’d love to see how you’re celebrating summer.

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Make Your Own French Fry Bar

Erin from The Almond Eater is back with her third recipe post to help us count down the days until summer (we’re in the single digits now!). If you missed her first two posts, Caprese Kebabs and Chocolate Dipped Coconut Popsicles, be sure to check them out! Keep reading for her make-your-own french fry bar tips below.

A French Fry Bar is what dreams are made of! Homemade baked french fries sprinkled with salt and served with several different choices of condiments… talk about a tasty appetizer your friends can get behind!

Whenever someone asks “would you like fries with that?” there is only one appropriate answer: YES. How does one even go about ordering a sandwich without fries? How?! In fact, sometimes I just order fries. I know they’re considered a side, but sometimes they deserve to be the star of the show.

Like today.

Amp up your next get-together with a make your own French fry bar!

Though it may be more common to create a cheese plate or fruit platter when you have guests over, I guarantee they’d be much more thrilled to hang out with you if they knew there were going to be FRIES. Not that you’re not fun to hang out with, but c’mon. It’s a french fry bar for goodness sake! Fries on fries on fries with so many different condiments. You could even take it up a notch and add sweet potato fries into the mix.

I may be a bit biased, but a french fry bar is WAY better than a fruit platter, and I love fruit! Seriously, I do. But you cannot say “no” to fries.

I decided to use the following condiments in this spread: ketchup, mustard, truffle oil with parmesan cheese, garlic herb olive oil, chipotle mayo, and nacho cheese. Obviously you can include whatever you like – that’s the beauty of it! While I don’t like to play favorites, my favorite french fry condiments are probably truffle oil and chipotle mayo. In case you aren’t aware, chipotle mayo is simply mayo with a bit of sriracha. Yes, you can technically go to the store and buy “chipotle mayo,” but there’s really no need.

Amp up your next get-together with a make your own French fry bar!

Oh, and if you’ve never made your own fries, what are you waiting for? Truthfully, I should make them more often than I do. I like chopped, roasted potatoes anyway, so why not spend a few extra minutes chopping them up even smaller into french fry-sized potatoes. Because for some reason, fries>potatoes.

So cheers to summertime and friends and all the condiments. Oh yeah, and to fries! DUH.

Recipe 

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 russet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Condiments of choice (ketchup, mustard, truffle oil, mayo, etc.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Chop potatoes into thin slices; typically, the thinner they are, the crispier they’ll become.
  3. Line two baking sheets with foil and then spray nonstick spray overtop.
  4. Place potatoes into a large bowl and drizzle olive oil and salt overtop; stir to coat.
  5. Place fries only baking sheet, making sure they are evenly spread out and not overlapping one another.
  6. Bake fries for 25-30 minutes, flipping over halfway through so that they bake evenly.
  7. Remove from oven, sprinkle with more salt and serve with several choices of condiments.

Share your own take on Erin’s French Fry bar with us on Instagram & Twitter!

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DIY Chocolate Dipped Coconut Popsicles

Erin, the food blogger behind The Almond Eater, is back again this week to help us count down the days until summer. Today, we’re celebrating National Chocolate Ice Cream Day with Chocolate Coconut Popsicles – definitely a must-make on our summer to-do list. These Chocolate Coconut Popsicles are dipped in chocolate and just what you need to curb your sweet tooth and cool down on a hot summer day. Bonus: they’re dairy free and only 6 ingredients!

You know, for being a food blogger, I’m pretty terrible at keeping up with the food holidays. I blame it on the fact that there are several different food “holidays” every single day. With that said, I think it’s fun when you put up a recipe that happens to coincide with a food holiday.

Lucky for me, my friends over at American Eagle informed me that today is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day, so I figured, what better way to celebrate than with chocolate popsicles?

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Popsicles

I had been eyeing a popsicle mold for two years (kind of pathetic, I know), and I finally broke down and purchased one about a month ago. Best decision ever? I think yes. Also, if you’re ever debating something for two years, you should probably just bite the bullet and DO IT.

I don’t know about you, but popsicles instantly remind me of my childhood. After spending all day out in the sun, what else was I supposed to eat to cool down? Popsicles were always the answer. For some reason, you don’t hear about adults eating popsicles nearly as much as kids, and I’m guessing that’s partially because many of the store bought popsicles are full of fake flavors and generally just not that good. Yeah, I said it. Lucky for you, these chocolate coconut popsicles are quite the opposite!

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Popsicles

These popsicles are:

  • Creamy
  • Equal parts chocolate and coconut
  • Dairy free
  • 6 ingredients
  • Sweet but not too sweet
  • Practically perfect

The cool thing is that you can make this recipe in a blender, so the prep time is only five minutes, if that! Once you’re ready to devour them, you take them out of the freezer, dip them in melted chocolate and gobble them right up. But you already knew that.

Recipe

Ingredients:
1 can (13 oz.) coconut milk
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
¼ cup coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Combine milk, cocoa, syrup, and vanilla extract in a blender and pulse for at least 30 seconds or until mixture is completely smooth.
  2. Pour mixture evenly into popsicle mold and freeze for at least 2 hours.
  3. When you’re ready to eat the popsicles, prepare the chocolate dip.
  4. Heat chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe dish for 2 minutes, stirring the mixture every 30 seconds; set aside.
  5. Remove popsicles from the freezer and follow instructions on the mold package on how to remove popsicles from the mold.
  6. As you remove them, dip each popsicle in the chocolate mixture and then place on a plate or baking sheet; repeat for all popsicles and then place them back in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Remove and enjoy!

What are you eating to celebrate National Chocolate Ice Cream Day? Tell us in the comments below!

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