Friday Friday, lovely to see you again! And, lovely to see you as well. Seems like I'm just happy to see everyone this week, especially Matt, who returned from his guys' beach trip late on Wednesday evening. I could play it cool and say I had a blast ruling the roost and doing/eating whatever I wanted while he was away, but the truth is that all of that got old quickly. Turns out that a) I can pretty much do whatever I want, whenever I want anyway, and b) I really missed my husband and best friend!
Speaking of friends, have I ever mentioned that I've got the best in the world? On Saturday night, I had the pleasure of accompanying one on her first trip to Sarris Ice Cream Parlor. Though few people are as enthusiastic as I am, I can easily say she loved it. Her combination of deep dish apple and peanut butter cookie dough ice creams was brilliant, too!
Later that night, we spent time at her house chatting with friends who stopped by. (A sign that you're getting old: When talking around a kitchen table is a welcome and enjoyable Saturday night activity.) One mentioned that she wished she could've joined us at Sarris but has recently had trouble digesting dairy. After a pathetic attempt to make her feel better by saying that ice cream season is almost over (I tried!), I started thinking about all of the great desserts there are that don't contain any dairy whatsoever. Angel food cake, a rainbow of sorbets, and the myriad of summery cocktails that totally count as liquid dessert, just to name a few.
For her and for you, here are five of my favorite dairy-free desserts, just in time for the weekend. Hope it's extra sweet!
1. Meringue "cloud" cookies - Light as a feather and sweet as can be. Crunchy and chewy at the same time. Omit the chocolate chips and try experimenting with adding other flavors, like mint or almond extract, or the zest of a lemon, lime, or orange. A drop of two of food coloring will make these even more playful.
2. Frozen banana custard - Cool, creamy, and delicious! Try it jazzed up with the addition of some strawberries or a scoop of peanut butter.
3. Coconut macaroons - These require only a handful of ingredients and are probably the easiest cookie recipe I've ever seen. Crispy, chewy, and sweet. All the things! (Bonus: they're totally fat-free!)
4. Zucchini bread - Still can't believe I haven't made zucchini bread yet, but you better believe enough is enough. It's funny that people, myself included, still think of this as a breakfast food when, in fact, it's totally dessert in disguise. Oodles of brown sugar, warm spices, and yummy additions like nuts and dried fruit can't be wrong!
5. Pies - My favorite is the sticky sweet and crunchy pecan pie! Made dairy-free with two simple swaps: omit the chocolate chips and use vegetable shortening in place of butter when making the pastry for the crust. Or sour cherry pie, the poster pie of summer. If cherries aren't your jam (see what I did there?), take advantage of the huge bounty of fresh fruit in season and make whatever flavor tickles your fancy. Like individual blackberry crumbles!