Simple Recipe: Pineapple Strawberry Palmiers

Pineapple Strawberry Palmiers

When my sister and I were kids, my mom used to make these pineapple strawberry palmiers for us to share with our classmates on Valentine’s Day. They were always gobbled up within seconds. So when Maggie taught me how to make palmiers a few weeks ago, a flood of happy (and sweet) memories came rushing back and I knew I had to share this recipe with you.

With the help of store-bought puff pastry, these little desserts are a snap to make. Crisp, flaky cookie with pineapple cream cheese and a strawberry on top? I don’t really know how you could go wrong.

Pineapple Strawberry Palmiers

Ingredients

1 sheet puff pastry
1 block cream cheese
1 can crushed pineapple (8 oz.)
Strawberries (sliced thinly)
Sugar

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle a cutting board with sugar and lay the thawed puff pastry on top of it. Sprinkle more sugar on top of the puff pastry. Use a rolling pin to flatten the pastry a little. This gets the sugar nice and embedded into the dough.

2. Take one edge of the pastry and roll it toward the middle do the same with the other side. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, stir together the cream cheese and pineapple. If you can find pineapple cream cheese, even better! That’s what my mom uses but for some reason it’s more readily available in Hawaii than in Massachusetts. (No idea why!) Slice your strawberries.

4. Take your puff pastry out of the fridge and slice it into quarter-inch pieces. Place about two inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Bake for about six minutes, turn, and bake for about six more minutes. Oven temperatures vary, so keep your eye on them. They should be golden brown when they’re ready.

5. Assemble: spread a dallop of pineapple cream cheese on the cookie. Top with two slices of strawberry.

P.S. Want more easy peasy recipes? Right this way!

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Valentine’s Day 2014: Love Yourself

Love Yourself This Valentine's Day | Frock Files

It was really no surprise that I woke up last weekend with a swollen throat and a runny nose, because since Christmas I’ve been going non-stop. With the new job, preparation and travel for Alt Summit, and several snow storms, it’s been a crazy couple of months and I knew that any moment my body was going to tell me to slow down. Forgetting to take my vitamins several days in a row didn’t help matters at all.

Over the years, James and I have become pretty adept at taking care of each other. We have very different “sick styles,” as I like to call them. He mostly wants to be left alone, while I seem to be in constant need of juice, tissues, and socks. Kona has largely taken over the issue of cold feet, as she seems to have picked up on my sick vibes and has spent most of the past few days on my feet.

But I think that what all of this has come down to is the need to take better care of myself. So while it’s the day before Valentine’s and we do have some special things planned for this weekend, I decided that I’d instead share some unexpected insight I’ve gained recently into staying healthy this year, physically, but also mentally and emotionally — in other words, loving yourself.

Self Love for Health

Turn Off.  Since I work in social media for a university and I also have my own social media for the blog, sometimes it seems like I’m in a constant social media tornado. But I found myself nodding as I read this interview that Gretchen Rubin conducted with Nir Eyal, in which Eyal says, “To me, the constant temptation to succumb to a mindless habit like checking email is a constant threat. I feel consistently happier when I successfully overcome habits I don’t want in my life and maintain focus on the things I want to accomplish.” Rubin also talks about scheduling time to be unscheduled in another post, which I found revolutionary! Taking time to restore your energy not only keeps you healthier, but it also ensures that you’re on top of your game when you do interact with other people.

Detoxify. I don’t really mean going on a cleanse here, though I hear those are helpful too. Rather, I’m thinking of getting out of toxic relationships. In this Psychology Today article called “Getting Unstuck: The Toxic Relationship” Mark Banschick writes about toxic relationships that range from friendships to marriages. The other party may not even know they’re indulging in toxic behavior because they’re so deeply self absorbed, butyou’ll know because it always feels draining to be around that person. According to Sherrie Bourg Carter, these relationships can actually cause heart disease because they involve so much stress. It’s not necessarily your job to point out the behavior to the toxic person — but it is your job to decide to step away for your own health. By getting out of a toxic relationship, you free up time for people you really want to spend time with, which is a gift only you can give yourself.

(A great quote from the Buddha in this article: “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”)

Eat Often. Raise your hands if you get hangry. That’s right hungry + angry. I am quite a monster when I haven’t had enough to eat, so when I spotted this t-shirt on Etsy I knew that I needed one. Like scheduling time for yourself, I’ve also found it really helpful to plan my meals out ahead of time. Not only does it prevent me from getting grouchy; it also allows me to keep better track of my caloric intake and therefore manage my weight. Lately I’ve been bringing edamame, Laughing Cow cheese, and trail mix to work with me. I also discovered that my lunch is much more appealing when I don’t have to go through the extra step of microwaving it at lunchtime, so I bought a thermos, which allows me to dig right in the moment those hunger pangs arrive!

Here’s to loving yourself this Valentine’s Day — and all year long!

DIY Light My Fire Valentine

Light My Fire 5 Minute Valentine's Day DIY // Frock Files

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a DIY project here, but they’re making a comeback as of today! This is a five minute project that will probably get a laugh from your love. If it doesn’t, your partner may have lost their sense of humor and you’ll have to help them find it.

How To Make a Light My Fire Valentine // 5 Minute DIY from Frock Files

Supplies
  • Scissors
  • Jewelry sized box
  • Cardstock
  • Pen
  • Tape/glue
  • Birthday candle
  • Washi tape
  • Lighter

How To Make a Light My Fire Valentine // 5 Minute DIY from Frock Files

1. Trim the card stock so that it just fits over the lid.

How To Make a Light My Fire Valentine // 5 Minute DIY from Frock Files

2. Write this note, or something similar that alludes to fire. “Burning for you,” “You make me hot” and other equally ridiculous and cheesy things are perfectly acceptable here.

How To Make a Light My Fire Valentine // 5 Minute DIY from Frock Files

3. Tape (or glue) the card stock to the box, then use your washi tape to attach the candle to the card stock.

How To Make a Light My Fire Valentine // 5 Minute DIY from Frock Files

4. Wrap the lighter with washi tape. To cover this blue lighter, I wrapped two layers of washi tape, trimmed, and then worked my way down.

How To Make a Light My Fire Valentine // 5 Minute DIY from Frock Files

5. Present your handmade Valentine to your sweetie. Pretend it took you ages to think of and execute.

Love in the Everyday

Happy Valentine’s Day, cupids! We’re celebrating over here by spending as much time as possible outside.

Yesterday, as the sun was beginning to set, we jumped in the pool. An old woman sitting nearby asked if the water was cold, and we told her it was. She said, “Probably not as cold as where I’m from: Philadelphia. But it’s okay because I’m here and it’s my birthday!” We wished her a happy birthday and talked about living on the East Coast for awhile. She told us that she hopes next year Philly and Boston both make it to the World Series.

We dried off and James went to order drinks for us. I wished that I had asked him to get one for our new friend too, but he was long gone. I shrugged it off — it was getting windy and she might go inside soon anyway. And how were we to know what she would like? It was probably for the best, right? I went back to reading my magazine.

But then, when he returned a few minutes later he told me he’d ordered our drinks and a slice of chocolate cake (with a candle) for our pool-mate from Philly.

This is why James is and always will be my Valentine.

Over the last month, Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project put together a 21 Day Relationship Challenge. It was all about strengthening your connections with loved ones rather than taking them for granted. Here are a few of the ideas that I liked most, which I think we should all practice every day  — not just on Valentine’s Day.

Joanna Goddard once wrote that she and her husband kiss for at least 10 seconds before he leaves for work in the morning. As a big fan of kissing, I’m totally on board with this.

How do you want to inspire more romance into your everyday life?

P.S. I’m sharing some parts of my life that I haven’t yet talked about over on Not Merely Living today. Go there and meet the lovely Mere, who you’ll wish lived next door so you could be best friends.

Simple Recipe: Chocolate Stout Cream Puffs

Last week, I wrote about how hard it is to shop for guys on Valentine’s Day and came up with five man-approved gift ideas. Desserts are somewhat easier — my guy is just as happy with a strawberry shortcake cupcake as I am — but I wanted to come up with something more masculine.

While shopping for Guinness, we spotted Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and my wheels started turning. I went home and searched “beer desserts” which brought me to this recipe from The Beeroness. After making a few miniscule adjustments, I ended up with these delightful chocolate stout cream puffs.

Unfortunately, there is no manly substitute for the name cream puffs. But real men wear pink and eat cream puffs. Heart shaped ones!

Ingredients

1 box (2 sheets) puff pastry, thawed
1 cup whipping cream or heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons chocolate stout

Ganache Topping:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chocolate stout
2 tablespoons whipping cream or heavy cream

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Unroll the puff pastry and use a 2 to 3 inch cookie cutter to make cut outs. I used a heart shaped one because it’s Valentine’s Day and, embarrassingly, I don’t have any other shapes. But the Beeroness used a 2.5 inch biscuit cutter. Bake for 15 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, mix heavy cream, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and stout with a hand mixer until it reaches your desired consistency — thick enough so that it holds together without running.
  4. Split the puff pastries in half and spoon the whipped cream onto one half, covering with the other half.
  5. Now it’s time to make the ganache topping! Microwave the stout and cream on high for 1 to 1.5 minutes. It should be steaming and hot. Pour the mixture over the chocolate chips and stir until smooth.
  6. Drizzle the ganache over the cream puffs.

This is my favorite dessert to date — the combination of the stout and the chocolate is divine. And I’m not even much of a beer drinker! And as a bonus, these babies are really easy to make. From start to finish, they were done in less than half an hour.

What sweet thing are you indulging in this week?

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