this week’s contributor is erin from an appetite for color. erin is a former denverite who, it turns out, i’ve met a couple of times out and about before i knew about her blog. well, i’m a dedicated reader now. those stunning photos! her simple and thoughtful recipes. her family’s dedication to living the good life. sheesh. it’s all quite wonderful. in her guest post today, she generously provides us w a tasty and nutritious recipe for warm-weather cold treats that little ones will love. recipes such as these are becoming more and more important to me as i find ways to get ramona excited about eating and eating well. enjoy…

Blackberry bliss stains her fingers and lips, before staining this moment ours, forever.  I make a mental promise to never forget her sparkling eyes, impatient tummy, and smitten dimpled cheeks. These are the moments I was made for…A Denver Home Companion | an appetite for color

I come from a long line of sweet aficionados, and so my affinity for treats comes quite naturally. My father –a man with infectious passion, which does not stop with treats– left me no choice but to follow in his footsteps.  I have an inkling that our history has already left my daughter, Octave, with no choice as well. Some of my most fond childhood memories revolve around root beer floats and mint chip ice cream.  However, years later I find myself a whole-food enthusiast, bearing the responsibility and delighting in the honor of nourishing a little belly.  I believe food is so essential that I find myself planning my life around food rather than food around my life.

I want Octave to experience joy and enthusiasm for the colors and tastes that fill her belly just as I did as a child.  I believe her joy can be doubled when those colors and tastes come from real whole foods. Mindful treats are high on my list of importance and I have dedicated many adventurous experiments to creating just that. These blackberry creamsicles were dreamed up just in time for summer: creamy but dairy free, sweet yet free of processed sugar, and perfectly purple, just like all happy things are. Enjoy these tasty (a little more nutritious,) treats with your little ones and savor their eager, sticky hands with happy, messy faces. Because even after all these years, the moments surrounding special treats are the ones I remember and cherish most.    

A Denver Home Companion | an appetite for colorA Denver Home Companion | an appetite for colorA Denver Home Companion | an appetite for colorA Denver Home Companion | an appetite for color

Blackberry Creamsicles (makes 6) 

what you need:

  • popsicles molds
  • 1 ½ cup fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 1 cup of raw cashews
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (2-3 oranges)
  • 1/4 cup raw local honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp. chia seeds (these, along w the bee pollen below, can be found at your local natural foods store)
  • 2 tsp. bee pollen, divided for garnish & enjoyed as sprinkles:)

what to do:

  1. Soak cashews in a bowl of water, preferably overnight but an hour or two will do.   
  2. When you’re ready to start making your creamsicles, melt coconut oil and honey in a small saucepan.  Set it aside to cool for a few minutes.
  3. Drain the water from the cashews and place them in a food processor or high-powered blender.  Add orange juice, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla.  Blend for 5-8 minutes or until super smooth.  It may take a little longer than you would think, depending on the quality of your blender or processor, but just be patient. 
  4. Add blackberries and blend for another minute. 
  5. Pour in chia seeds, and, using a spatula, fold seeds into mixture.
  6. Sprinkle a few pieces of bee pollen in the bottom of each popsicle mold.
  7. Pour the mixture into the molds and place in the freezer for 4-6 hours or until completely frozen.
  8. Enjoy!

thank you so much, erin! i cannot wait to get my hands on some molds and make this for ramona. though, i’m thinking i will have to hide them from jp who’s been known to put down a stash of iced treats when it’s hot enough outside 😉 cheers!

if you are interested in contributing to A Denver Home Companion, please submit original writing (or ideas!) to emily [at] adenverhomecompanion [dot] com. though i may not be able to publish everything, i certainly consider all of them.

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if you’re designated to bring a dessert for a family christmas gathering or one of the many holiday parties you’re probably attending this december, bring this easy homemade apple pie. it is simple but will wow everyone. i made this for thanksgiving and will probably insist it’s made for christmas eve dinner when we’re back in minnesota later this month.

  • 8 – 11 medium granny smith apples
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • two ready-made pie crusts (or make your own. but you’ll have to find your own recipe for that).
  1. heat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. core and peel the apples
  3. slice them thinly
  4. mix together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  5. add to the apples and mix or toss or somehow move around to make sure they are all equally coated
  6. line a pie pan w one of the pie crusts
  7. heap in your apple mixture. pile it high!
  8. cover this with the second pie crust
  9. pinch the sides together and make slits in the top for air vents
  10. bake for 50 min
  11. let cool for at least an hour before serving

serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.