I kicked off the weekend a little early this week because I’m down in Key West with two of my blogging bffs, Rachel and Carrie. You can follow our Florida adventure on Instagram and on Snapchat (I’m @sarahheartslove).
If you’re looking for a fun DIY to try this weekend, here are some of my favorites from this week!
I know everyone is all about french fries these days but I’d take some good crispy onion rings over fries any day. Ever since I discovered that you can make onion rings at home without a deep fryer, I’ve been hooked. My version is super simple to make and uses the oven over deep frying for a lower calorie recipe that’s just as good as a restaurant version.
This recipe uses Panko, or Japanese style bread crumbs, which is one of my go-to pantry staples. It makes the onion rings have the perfect crunch when you bite into them while keeping the onions juicy inside. Once you try making them at home, you’ll soon want to make these all summer long. Especially since they pair perfectly with a juicy grilled burger!
Watch the video to see how to make them!
Oven Baked Onion Rings and Savory Dipping Sauce
For the onion rings
1 sweet onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup water
1 cup panko bread crumbs (I like using whole wheat)
salt + pepper, to taste
For the dipping sauce
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon creamed horseradish
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Pinch of cayenne powder (optional)
Preheat oven to 450°. Cut the onion into 1/2″ thick slices. Separate the slices into rings and set aside.
Add the flour, paprika, and garlic powder to a bowl. Add the water and whisk until combined.
Add the panko in a separate bowl. Dip the onion rings one at a time into the flour batter and then into the panko. Shake off excess and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.
Season the onion rings with salt and pepper and bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip the onion rings over half way through cooking to get them nice and crisp on all sides.
Meanwhile, while the onion rings cook, make the dipping sauce by combining all sauce ingredients in a bowl. Once the onion rings are done, serve them right out of the own with the savory sauce.
I swapped regular Panko bread crumbs for whole wheat but you can use whatever kind you have on hand or prefer. I also used smoked paprika in both the batter and sauce. It adds a subtle smokey flavor that’s oh so delicious. If you don’t have any in your spice rack, I suggest picking up some as it adds a nice richness and depth to so many dishes.
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This week went by too quickly. I still feel like I have mountains of work to do but I’ve also got some fun things planned for the weekend. It’s all about balance, right? If you’re looking for a fun DIY to try this weekend, here are some of my favorite summery projects from this week.
After doing a ton of traveling in the last couple of years and lots of international travel in the past year, there are a few items that I now never travel without. I admit, I used to be an over packer, but now I almost exclusively only use a carryon suitcase and one carryon messenger bag, that doubles as a purse once I’m at my destination. A big part of the slimming down of my suitcase has to do with only bringing the items I know I’ll use and wear.
seven items I never travel without
Passport holder wallet – this wallet is large enough to hold a passport, multiple credit cards, and cash. My favorite feature has got to me the tiny SIM card pocket, which is handy when you’re traveling abroad and need to swap out your phone’s SIM card. It’s RFID blocking too.
Hanging toiletry bag – toiletries have always been the items that take up the most space in my suitcase. I now only bring this bag that’s large enough to hold everything I need but also small enough that I can carry it with me when I’m in an airport lounge.
Travel umbrella – always a must even if blue skies are in the forecast! This one is one of the smallest models I’ve even seen.
Odor eliminator spray – since I almost always wear many clothing items multiple times, a couple mists of this spray really help remove any odors on clothing without adding a perfumey scent.
Deodorant removing sponges – these things work like magic! Perfect for removing deodorant on dark clothing. I’ve found they also remove toothpaste stains pretty well too.
Timbuk2 Sutro messenger bag – this bag looks pretty plain but it’s now my go-to travel bag. It’s loaded with tons of pockets and even has a padded sleeve that fits a 12″ Macbook perfectly. It also has a back pocket that fits and iPad Air too. My favorite feature are the two interior mesh pockets—I use one to hold a water bottle and the other to hold my sunglasses case.
Suitcase bag bungee – this simple looking instantly frees up your hands. It attaches to a roller-bag and can be used to hold another bag on top. I’ve also used then for holding my heavy winter coat on top of my bag too.
I have a big sweet tooth. I love cookies, cakes, fruit, candy, and ice cream. And when one or more is combined into a single dessert I’m a happy camper.
Since the weather is warming up and summer is around the corner, I’m sharing a delicious (and super easy to make) Pocky piña colada ice cream recipe today. It combines the flavors of a favorite summer cocktail with Pocky, one of my favorite sweet snacks. If you haven’t yet discovered Pocky, you need to run out any grab a box ASAP. I can’t remember exactly when I first had the chocolate covered biscuit sticks, but I’m pretty sure my husband first introduced me to them. After all, he loves sweets as much as I do.
In this recipe, I used the Original Chocolate flavor Pocky to add a crunch to the piña colada ice cream. Other flavors, like Strawberry and Chocolate Banana, make great ice cream toppers too.
Watch the video below to see just how easy it is to make!
Pocky Piña Colada Ice Cream
1 can cream of coconut
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup toasted sweetened coconut, toasted
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 box of your favorite Pocky, cut into bite size pieces
Ice cream cones
Before starting, make sure the ice cream maker bowl has been in the freezer overnight. Without this step, you can’t make ice cream!
Add the cream of coconut and whole milk to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the heavy cream, toasted sweetened coconut, and crushed pineapple. Pulse a few times to combine the ingredients.
Turn on your ice cream maker and pour in the pina colada ice cream mixture. Run for 10 minutes and then gradually add in the Pocky pieces. Let it run for 20 minutes, or until the suggested time on your ice cream maker. Once it’s done, it will be the consistency of soft serve. Transfer it into an ice cream container and freeze over night to make it scoopable. Serve in a sugar cone wrapped with the fun printable cone wrappers and garnish with a couple of Pocky sticks.
Look for cream of coconut in the beer/wine aisle of your grocery store (because it’s typically used for making cocktails). It’s already sweetened, unlike coconut cream, which can be found in the baking aisle.