Just in time for the hottest dog days of summer, I have the most refreshing, easy breezy cool down drink for you.  I hardly feel like I can call this Strawberry Watermelon Cooler a “recipe” because it is so simple, but it is so delicious that it is definitely worth sharing with you.

Strawberry Watermelon Cooler {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Watermelon is hands down one of my favorite parts of summer.  I always have a tub of cut up melon in my fridge and it is the best way to quench my thirst and cool down after a workout or satisfy my hunger while I finish dinner.  I’ve told you a million times how much of a texture eater I am and that juicy light crunch of watermelon is pretty much what my dreams are made of.

Strawberry Watermelon Cooler {satisfymysweettooth.com}

As if the taste of this Strawberry Watermelon Cooler wasn’t reason enough to make it daily, it is basically like sneaking in several servings of fruit without even noticing.  Watermelon is receiving more and more praise for being one of the fruits that is highest in lycopene which is an antioxidant which helps to fight numerous diseases.  I was also surprised to recently learn how high in vitamin C watermelon is.  I think of citrus fruits instantly when I think of vitamin C, but watermelon is one of the fruits that has a very high amount of this immune-boosting vitamin as well.

Have I mentioned that there is NO added sugar in this Strawberry Watermelon Cooler??  But you’d never know it by how sweet and tasty it is.  The watermelon and strawberries are sweet enough to shine on their own which is a bonus because I try to avoid sugary overly-sweetened drinks.

Strawberry Watermelon Cooler

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

about 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped seedless watermelon
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/3 cup ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Serve.
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Fluffer Nutter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
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Oh boy sweet teeth, have I got a treat for you today!!  There are certain things that I make that when I taste them, I am just overwhelmed with excitement about sharing them with you and these Monster Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches are exactly the type of treat I am talking about!

Monster Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Monster Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, how I love you, let me count the ways:

  1. First, you know that I love miniature things, and each of the peanut butter M&M cookies that are the “bread” in this sandwich begin with just a tablespoon of dough, so the cookies end up being just a few bites each.
  2. Second, I love peanut butter anything and the peanut butter flavor is so prominent in these Monster Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches.
  3. Third, I love soft cookies and because these Monster Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches are made with a flourless peanut butter cookie recipe, the cookie sandwiches are soft enough to eat straight out of the freezer.  No need to wait until the sandwiches thaw for a few minutes.  Instant gratification people, it’s a beautiful thing.

Monster Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The peanut butter M&M cookies that sandwich the ice cream only require 6 ingredients that you will undoubtedly have on hand.  As I mentioned, the cookies are flourless which is not only great for those individuals who are gluten intolerant, but it also equates to the cookies being some of the softest cookies I have ever had.

Monster Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I bought a small tube of the Mini M&M’s because I like how colorful and fun they make the cookies but you could make just as delicious a cookie using mini chocolate chips if you don’t want to run out and grab some Mini M&M’s.  And since I made these cookies “bite-sized”, you will only have to wait about 8 minutes per tray for them to bake, which means you will be able to have these perfect soft and oh so peanut buttery cookies on their way to becoming ice cream sandwiches in no time.

Monster Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I sandwiched Light Monster Cookie Ice Cream in between my perfect peanut butter M&M cookies (hence the name Monster Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches), but I can’t think of a flavor of ice cream that wouldn’t be fantastic in these sandwiches.  Cookies n’ Cream would be phenomenal, strawberry ice cream would give you a lovely peanut butter and jelly taste and just straight up vanilla or chocolate would be just dreamy.  The possibilities are endless.  Let’s try them all, shall we?

Monster Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes

Yield: 15 ice cream sandwiches

The softest and most peanut buttery cookies filled with miniature M&M's and sandwiched around monster cookie ice cream, it doesn't get any better than this

Ingredients

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural peanut butter, it will make the cookies gritty)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup mini M&Ms
  • a pint of ice cream (I used Light Monster Cookie flavored ice cream, but use whatever flavor you like)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the peanut butter and brown sugar.
  3. Add egg, vanilla and baking soda and mix until combined.
  4. Fold in the mini M&Ms using a spatula.
  5. Place 1 Tbsp sized balls of dough on to a cookie sheet leaving at least 1 inch in between cookies.
  6. Bake for 8 minutes and cool completely on the cookie sheet.
  7. Place the cooled cookies into the freezer for a couple of minutes so that they are chilled when you sandwich the ice cream in between them.
  8. Remove cookies from freezer and flip half of them over. Top half of the cookies with 1 Tbsp of ice cream and then use the other cookies to top the ice cream to make the sandwiches.
  9. Place ice cream sandwiches into the freezer in a covered container or zip top bag for at least an hour before serving.
  10. Store the ice cream sandwiches in the freezer in a covered container or zip top bag.
  11. Cookie recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour
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Homemade Kit Kat Bars
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I made soup twice last week.  I am fairly certain that I could eat soup every day.  I love how it warms me up and keeps me feeling full and satisfied for hours.  I made a brothy farro vegetable soup (farro is my new grain of choice by the way) early in the week that was so healthy and delicious.  Then later in the week I made an also healthy and simplified version of one of my favorite soups, Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients).  As I was making this Simple Potato Leek Soup, I realized that I was utilizing some of my favorite kitchen tips for making things healthier and easier to manage in the kitchen and I decided to share them with you in this post.

I love lists.  Do you love lists?  I hope so because here we go with my list of 3 kitchen tips for you:

  • Sauté vegetables in stock rather than butter or oil.

IMG_2627

IMG_2629

When I am sautéing vegetables for soups or a side dish, rather than dousing them with oil or drowning them in butter, I simply open a can of stock (I use low sodium chicken stock but you could also use vegetable stock without either option affecting the flavor too significantly) and pour about 1/8 cup at a time into the pan with the vegetables.  I don’t measure, I simply make sure there is a little bit of liquid in the bottom of the pan so that the vegetables don’t burn.  I watch it and pour a bit more when the liquid has evaporated/steamed off.  I find that this technique results in soft, tender vegetables without any added fat.  I want to save my oil and butter for when I need it to add flavor.  I will usually sprinkle some fresh ground pepper into the veggies, but don’t add extra salt because the broth does that for me.  Once my vegetables are cooked, I can continue with them as I wish whether that be turning them into fajitas or adding other things to make them part of a soup.

  • Clean your potatoes with a manicure/pedicure nail brush (an unused one silly).

IMG_2628

This one does not need much explanation.  I was cleaning out my bathroom and had a never-been-opened pedicure kit with a nail brush and I was about to discard the whole kit when I realized how convenient that brush would make cleaning potatoes.  I scrub my potatoes with the brush while running them under cold water to remove excess dirt.  Simple idea, but it helps me be more efficient and effective.

  • Clean your leeks quickly, but effectively.

Oh leeks, how I love you.  I used to fear and avoid cooking with leeks because they seemed like a pain to deal with because of all of that dirt hiding between their layers.  Here are the simple steps that I now use to avoid sand in my dinner:

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

cut the root ends and the dark green parts off each leek

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

cut the remaining leek in half lengthwise

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

run the leek under water while fanning out the layers to remove dirt; flip leek over and repeat from the opposite end

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

cut into thin strips (and sauté in chicken stock-see first tip of this post)

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}I hope that you find these simple kitchen tips helpful when you make this Simple Potato Leek Soup!  You would never guess that this soup is only 140 calories per serving based on how rich and creamy it is!  Add additional salt and pepper to your taste.

What is your favorite, most helpful kitchen tip?

Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients) {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients), plus 3 helpful kitchen tips

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Rich, creamy and flavorful soup that is light and healthy and simple to make

Ingredients

  • 3 large leeks, white and light green parts only (about 3 cups sliced leeks)
  • 5 medium yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans low sodium chicken stock
  • 1-2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream, plus more for serving
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium/large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add 1/8 cup chicken stock.
  3. Cut root end and dark green parts off of leeks. Cut in half lengthwise. Run under water while fanning out layers to clean and remove dirt.
  4. Slice into strips, sprinkle with regular salt and pepper and add to pot and cook until softened 5-10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, clean potatoes and dice into 1-inch pieces. Add to pot with remaining chicken stock and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover pot and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.
  6. Puree soup using immersion blender or regular blender. Add 1-2 tsp celery salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Stir in sour cream.
  8. Serve with additional sour cream.

Notes

Per serving: Calories: 140 Fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 29g

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When I first tasted these Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to eat them with every meal everyday for the rest of my life.  They are that good.

Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

The potatoes were extra special because after cooking them, we finished them off on the grill which made them slightly crispy and smokey and it was the perfect complement to the creamy and slightly spicy aioli.

Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Since we have been married, my husband has become much more open to eating things that he had previously characterized into a special mental folder that he “doesn’t like”.  He loved these Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli the first time we had them.  Then, the next time I made them, he asked what was in the dressing and I made the mistake of being honest with him.  At the sound of the word “mustard”, he turned his nose up.  Mustard is one of the condiments in that mental folder of his.  In the end, these potatoes are so good that he enjoyed them just as much as the first time we had them.

Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

These Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli are the perfect side dish to accompany any summer meal and are also great when eaten cold which makes them resemble an extra flavorful potato salad.  I modified the original aioli recipe which was heavy in mayo and substituted Greek yogurt which added a nice tang and made me feel better about sopping up every bit of sauce off my plate.  I had some extra aioli left and so I boiled up some hard boiled eggs and made egg salad for lunches for the week to make the incredible flavors of these potatoes last even longer.

Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Potatoes coated with zesty and tangy aioli make for a perfect side dish

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds baby red potatoes
  • 1 (6 ounce) container nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp minced chives

Instructions

  1. To make aioli, combine yogurt, garlic, mustards, mayo, salt and pepper. Refrigerate aioli for at least 30 minutes before tossing with potatoes. (Can be made a day in advance.)
  2. Place potatoes into a large pot, add water and 1 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Boil potatoes until you can piece through them with a fork.
  3. Drain potatoes, allow to cool slightly then cut in half.
  4. Place cooked potatoes into a large serving bowl.
  5. Pour aioli over potatoes and toss to coat.
  6. Sprinkle chives over potatoes and serve.
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Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

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I hesitate to say that I have “mastered the art of French macarons”, but I have certainly found a method that works well for me.  I have enough confidence in my basic recipe and technique for making the shells that I felt brave enought to mix it up a little.  Generally, I use all almond flour for my shells, but for these Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream, I used half almond flour and half peanut flour.

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

The peanut flour did not make any difference in the form or texture of the macaron shells but just lended a subtle peanut flavor.  This peanut flavor paired delightfully well with the honey cinnamon buttercream that was sandwiched between the shells.  The flavor is reminiscent of a peanut butter and honey sandwich.

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

When making these Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream, or any macaron shells for that matter, I have a few tips that should help you learn how to make macarons easily.

  • Plan ahead.  Aged egg whites whip into stiff peaks more reliably for me.  All that means is that you should separate your egg whites at least 2 days before you plan to make the macaron shells.  Store the egg whites in a covered container in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.  This step seems to dry out the egg whites slightly which makes them perform better upon whipping.  I love to use my OXO egg separator to make sure I don’t get any yolks in my whites.
  • DO NOT use egg whites from a carton.  They don’t seem to hold stiff peaks as well.
  • Be organized.  Before you begin whipping your egg whites, have all of your other ingredients measured out in bowls and ready to go.  Then when you are ready to incorporate them into the egg whites, they are all ready.
  • Parchment paper is a must when making macarons.  Your macarons will be very easy to peel off the paper if cooked properly.

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 14 minutes

Total Time: 54 minutes

Yield: about 20 filled macarons

Macarons with a subtle peanut flavor that are sandwiched around sweet honey cinnamon buttercream

Ingredients

    For the macarons:
  • 1/4 cup almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
  • 1/4 cup peanut flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites, aged and at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp white sugar
  • For the buttercream:
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp honey

Instructions

    For the macarons:
  1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Measure and sift almond and peanut flour and powdered sugar into a clean, dry bowl. Set aside.
  3. Prepare a disposable pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip.
  4. Place egg whites in a clean, dry medium bowl and using an electric mixer (use the whisk attachment if using a stand mixer), beat eggs on medium speed for a few minutes until they get bubbly and frothy and you can begin to see the tracks from the mixer in the whites.
  5. Keep the mixer on medium speed and slowly incorporate the granulated sugar into the egg whites in several increments.
  6. Increase speed to high and beat egg mixture until stiff peaks form (when you lift the beater out of the egg whites, the mixture does not droop when inverted; alternatively when you can tip the bowl upside down and the egg whites do not move).
  7. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and fold into the egg whites using a spatula. Do not worry about "deflating the meringue". Continue with 1/2 of the remaining flour mixture and finally with the last of the flour mixture. Mix until no dry, flour streaks remain.
  8. Use spatula to load mixture into prepared pastry bag.
  9. Pipe 2-inch circles onto parchment paper leaving at least 1-inch in between each circle.
  10. Firmly tap the baking sheet against the counter a few times to help flatten the batter.
  11. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. The batter will dry slightly while the oven preheats.
  12. Bake shells 1 baking sheet at a time for 14-16 minutes. Shells are done when they can easily be lifted off of the parchment paper cleanly.
  13. Cool completely before filling.
  14. For the buttercream:
  15. Combine all ingredients using a mixer until smooth and creamy.
  16. Pipe about 1 tsp of buttercream onto half of the shells and top with remaining shells.
  17. Store in airtight container. Macarons taste even better the day after they are made. :)
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mix egg whites on medium speed until frothy and mixer begins to leave marks, then slowly add granulated sugar

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

increase mixer speed to high and mix until stiff peaks form (you can turn the bowl upside down and the mixture does not move)

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

fold in dry ingredients in three increments

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

mix until no flour streaks remain

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

pipe onto parchment lined baking sheets and bake

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth} Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

bake

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

DID YOU KNOW?  Peanuts are a great snack because they can help keep you full and feeling satisfied.  Protein and fiber provide you with a feeling of being full longer and they also provide long-lasting energy because they have a low glycemic index which helps to maintain a stable blood sugar.

I hope you have enjoyed the peanut recipes that I have brought to you this week and that you have learned something new about how peanuts and peanut butter can contribute to a healthy, balanced diet.

*The Peanut Institute sponsored my trip to California, but all opinions expressed are, as always, my own.

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