Tag Archives: chris castro

Summer Berry and Marshmallow Cereal Bar

Summer Berry And Marshmallow Bars

Summer evenings at our house typically consist of an easy dinner outside with drinks and activities lasting well into the sunset hours. We might as well live on the back patio. We like to keep our meals simple, and follow them with something light and sweet. One of my favorite ways to end a meal is with a summery take on the marshmallow cereal bar. Our entire household loves Rice Krispy Treats, for their simplicity, nostalgia and, they are so good!  I thought it would be a fun idea to try a few different versions of an old favorite. We bought a bunch or cereal one day and began experimenting, I bought come Cap’n Crunch (the plain variety) and immediately had an idea. I went over to the dried fruit section at the store and purchased a bag of mixed freeze-dried berries. I made my cereal treats as usual, which at out house means lots of vanilla and mixed in the entire bag (even the fine powder at the bottom) of freeze-dried berries into the cap’n crunch marshmallow mixture. I poured it out onto waxed paper, shaped and let it cool. The kitchen was filled with the really concentrated berry smell that was so wonderful and summery – I could hardly wait to cut into those bars. When they finally cooled enough to cut, I did so and took a bite…WOW! So much berry flavor in a bite, so summery and somehow nostalgic. They are a delicious treat to take down to the beach when you’re in Rosemary Beach, or pack them as a snack when wandering through the woods in Seabrook. Better yet, bring these festive red and blue berry goods to your Memorial Day cookout and watch them disappear.

Summer Berry And Marshmallow Bars Perfect Grab and Go Snack for the Beach or Hike

Summer Berry And Marshmallow Bars


  • 1 20oz box of Cap’n Crunch
  • 1 3.5oz or so bag of freeze dried berries
  • 2 10oz packages of mini marshmallows
  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • Waxed paper or parchment (greased)

Summer Berry And Marshmallow Bars


In a stockpot carefully melt and slightly brown the butter over medium heat. Add both bags of mini marshmallows and stir until they are almost completely melted. Carefully add the vanilla, stir once more and remove from heat. Add the box of Capn’ Crunch and the freeze dried berries and stir. Quickly pour onto a greased sheet of waxed paper or parchment and pat down to shape into a rectangle. Allow to cool about 5 minutes and cut into pieces. I like to cute the ragged edge off so you have really nice square pieces. Eat the edges you cutoff when no one is looking.

S’mores Pie for Memorial Day Weekend

S'mores Pie Memorial Day

This time of year we’re making s’mores just about every time we gather. They are timelessly perfect for a Memorial Day barbecue, a Friday night fire pit on the porch, or a beach bonfire while on vacation.


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We absolutely love s’mores. So much, we needed a simple s’mores alternative for when a fire is too much fuss.  Since we’re straying from the traditional fireside s’more, we decided now is as good a time as any to implement another substitution: enter the delicious, butter saltiness of the ritz cracker. I was inspired to make a crust in the style of a graham cracker crust using ritz. It seemed like a great balance for a really sweet dessert. The cracker crust was a little delicate for melted marshmallows, so I opted for marshmallow cream. It torched beautifully and had the perfect consistency. This dessert is a simple yet sophisticated take on an old favorite.

S'mores Pie Ingredients Memorial Day S'mores Pie Memorial Day



  • 6 1/2 oz of Ritz crackers (almost 2 sleeves)
  • 1 stick of butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt



Preheat oven to 350ºF. Pulse Ritz crackers in a food processor until they turn into crumbs, add butter, sugar and salt and pulse until combined.

Firmly press mixture into bottom of an 8×8 dish. Bake until edges are golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.




  • 2 cups of quality chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil


Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler or carefully in the microwave. Once it is completely melted, stir to make sure they a are combined, remove from heat and set aside to cool a bit.



  • 2 jars of marshmallow cream or 2 10oz bags of melted marshmallows
  • 1 recipe of homemade magic shell
  • 1 ritz cracker crust
  • flaked salt



Pour enough marshmallow cream on top of the ritz crust to give you a nice thick layer. Toast the marshmallow cream using a kitchen torch or carefully broil until nice and toasted like a good campfire marshmallow. Set the crust with the torched marshmallow in the freezer for a bit to cool it off a bit(not necessary but it will help the magic shell a lot quicker since you usually pour it over frozen ice cream). Pour the magic shell over the dessert and before it sets up sprinkle it with flaked salt if desired. Cut into to squares and serve.

Fresh Florida Strawberry Pancakes



Pancakes are a family favorite at our house, so much so that our son has declared every Sunday to be Pancake Day. To keep it interesting, I usually try to make a new pancake every week. It has been lot of fun to have this tradition and still keep it fresh. When we take family vacations to 30a or Seabrook, it’s fun to try to incorporate local flavors into our pancakes. One of our favorites that we picked up while visiting Florida in the spring is strawberry pancakes. They have the most delicious aroma that you can only get from fresh strawberries. This time of year, strawberries are making their way back into the markets and may even be starting to pop up in your strawberry patch at home, so good fresh strawberries should be easy to find. And make sure to save some for the topping as well. These will definitely be a family favorite!

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  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 6-8 strawberries hulled
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • vanilla extract



In a medium mixing bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture; set aside.

In another medium mixing bowl combine the beaten egg, vanilla extract and olive oil. In a blender blend half of the strawberries and milk and add to the egg mixture. Add egg mixture all at once to the dry mixture. Stir just till moistened. Dice the remaining half of the fresh strawberries and fold into the batter (batter should be lumpy).

For standard-size pancakes, pour about ¼ cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat about 2 minutes on each side or till pancakes are golden brown, turning to second sides when pancakes have bubbly surfaces and edges are slightly dry. Serve warm. Makes 6 to 8 standard-size pancakes (6 servings).

  • Toppings
  • strawberries
  • Greek yogurt
  • fromage blanc
  • maple syrup


Toast with Radishes and Butter



After celebrating the holidays in their full decadent fashion, it’s always nice to return to a bit of simplicity when they’re over, especially when it comes to food. One of my favorite ways to embrace simple eating for our post-holiday detox is by adding one of our most loved breakfasts to the menu, radish and butter toast. The epitome of simplicity, but full on the flavor, it’s a fantastic way to start your day. Plus, it’s a great use of all of those gorgeous winter radishes tempting you from your supermarket shelves. All you need is a good crusty loaf of bread, high quality butter, radishes and, of course, a sprinkle of herbs and coarse salt and you’ve got a perfectly simple and delicious breakfast. Enjoy!



  • 1 loaf of crusty bread, (we used pugliese bread)
  • 1 package of good quality butter (we love Vermont Creamery cultured butter)
  • 1 bunch radishes (we prefer French Breakfast radishes)
  • chopped Italian parsley
  • flaked finishing salt such as Maldon



Slice enough bread for each person you are serving. Carefully toast the bread under the broiler until it has reach desired doneness. Remove toast from broiler and smear a generous amount of butter on each piece, you don’t want the butter to melt too much, let the bread cool a bit if needed.


Wash and dry your radishes, discard the greens. Thinly slice the radishes and cover the entire surface of each piece of toast with radish slices. Sprinkle the tops with sea salt and chopped parsley. Makes a great appetizer, although two pieces makes for the perfect breakfast! Enjoy.


Home for the Holidays – Winter Squash Rolls Recipe

Winter Squash Rolls Recipe - Home for the Holidays with Anthology

Winter Squash Rolls Recipe - Home for the Holidays with Anthology

As soon as the holidays roll around, I really get in the mood for baking. Something about the house filled with the smell of freshly baked goods, the warmth of the oven and time spent in the kitchen with loved ones captures the memories and spirit of being home for the holidays. I’ve got to admit, the slower pace and process  of baking with yeast is my absolute favorite – theres something about waiting for the dough to rise that builds anticipation and makes the final product that much more enjoyable. Working with yeast can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with it, but the simple trick is not to rush the yeast and to make sure the yeast you are working with is still alive. Yeast can be easily killed by using water that is too hot, that is why a lot of recipes will specify a temp of about 110ºF. Proofing the yeast (adding it to warm water, mixing a in little sugar and allowing to rest for about 5 minutes) really helps avoid any big failures that come from non-viable yeast.

Baking rolls for the holidays is my favorite and most satisfying thing to make. They add so much to a beautiful spread of food and make for a great snack in the days to follow. These winter squash rolls are sure to please, they have a soft pillowy texture and just enough squash flavor to add a welcomed sweetness and the color is a plus as well. Be sure to make a lot because they will go fast. The recipe below makes 2 dozen, but I have been known to triple the recipe for large gatherings. If you would like really big rolls just cut the dough slightly bigger to about 16 balls and bake a little longer. And, If you are feeling really inspired try making a batch of your favorite cinnamon rolls with this dough, you won’t be sorry. Enjoy!

Winter Squash Rolls Recipe - Home for the Holidays with Anthology



  • 4 1/2 teaspoons of yeast (2 packages)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup warm water (about 110ºF)
  • 3 tablespoons browned butter (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (may need to knead in more)
  • 1/2 cup cooked and pureed winter squash (pumpkin, butternut, kabocha)

Wash for rolls

  • I egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • flaked sea salt (like Maldon)
  • roughly chopped sage leaves (optional)

Browned Butter

  • Add butter to a warm skillet and carefully brown over medium heat until it has a nice caramel color, set aside.


In a small bowl combine yeast with 1 tablespoon of honey and warm water, stir with a fork allow to sit until foamy about 5 minutes. Set aside

In a large bowl add honey, browned butter, salt, and beaten eggs, dump in the yeast mixture, then stir to until blended. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, stir in the squash.

Winter Squash Rolls Recipe - Home for the Holidays with Anthology

Turn out the dough onto a well floured surface. Sprinkle with more flour if needed, knead until smooth. Only add flour to prevent dough from sticking to the surface. Once the dough is nice and smooth, shape into a ball. Place in an oiled bowl, smooth side down and flip to coat the dough with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest in a warm place until doubled in size.

Winter Squash Rolls Recipe - Home for the Holidays with Anthology

Punch down the dough and shape into 2 dozen balls. Place them on a baking pan with lined with parchment. Lightly butter the parchment and place 2 inches apart, closer if you like pull apart rolls. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to read until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush the rolls the wash and sprinkle with flaked salt and sage leaves.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

S’mores Cake, Y’all.

S'mores Cake

S’mores, no dessert captures the magic of the door closing on summer and swinging open to fall, camping and childhood quite like toasted marshmallows between two graham crackers and melted chocolate. It is the perfect combination of flavors. Enter the s’mores cake. This cake is a favorite at our house, combining all of our old favorites from childhood in a much more grown up package.

The first step is to capture that taste that only a graham cracker has. A simple way to do that is by steeping graham crackers in milk over night and straining it out in the morning. Be sure to make a little extra of this wonderfully flavored graham cracker milk because once you try it, you will have a hard time not pouring yourself a big glass to drink. This “graham cracker” milk is used to make your cake.

S'mores Cake

Next comes the chocolate part, we keep it simple and go wth a dark chocolate ganache, it has just the right texture for that slightly melted chocolate we have grown to love in s’mores. It is important to make it with dark chocolate so the cake doesn’t become too sweet

S'mores Cake

Lastly and possibly the most important part – the marshmallow! We go with a vanilla swiss meringue for this part that is later torched to give it that campfire taste you expect. Swiss meringue is a beautiful glossy topping that torches very beautifully and is easy to work with to get nice peaks or swirls. It is made by simply taking eggs whites and sugar and cooking them in a mixing bowl over boiling water, whisking frequently until the sugar has dissolved and it is warm to the touch. Beat it for about nine minutes until in turns in to a gorgeous bowl of marshmallow-y fluff. I warn you, once you make this meringue it will be your go to. Our banana pudding and pumpkin pies have never been the same.


It’s never a bad time for this cake, but we love it most on crisp fall evenings around the courtyard fireplace at Togadera in Seabrook after we’ve spent a day of hiking in Olympic National Park. We hope you enjoy this cake as much as we do!

Graham Cracker Milk


  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk (this will yield enough milk for one 2 layer cake)
  • 2 sleeves of graham crackers


Break up graham crackers and place in the bottom of a clean jar, pour in milk, cover and allow to steep in the fridge overnight. Taste and see if it tastes like graham crackers, if not steep a little longer. When the ready, strain the milk into a clean jar and keep in the fridge until ready to use. You could drink it all but then you will need to make more.



  • 1 1/2 sticks of softened butter
  • 1 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 3 eggs (room temp)
  • 2/1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups of graham cracker milk


First make sure your butter and eggs are room temp. Grease and lightly flour 2 round cake pans (I used 9”). If you really feel like going the extra mile and want ensure your cake completely comes out, cut parchment circles the same size as your pan and place them at the bottom.  Grease and flour those too! Set the prepared pans aside. In a bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and the salt and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375º. In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer, beat the butter on high speed for about 30 seconds (it should look fluffy). Gradually add the sugar with the mixer still on, be sure to scrap the sides with a spatula occasionally. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes so you really incorporate some air into the mixture. 1 at a time begin to add the eggs, making sure they are properly mixed in before adding the next. Add the vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and graham milk to the butter mixture. I split it into 3 additions of each ending with milk. Beat on low speed until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and spread it out so the surface is even.

Bake in a 375º oven for about 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing the cakes from the pan. Set aside.



  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 lb good quality dark chocolate finely chopped (you can use chips if they are good enough quality to eat on their own)

S'mores Cake


In a small saucepan bring the cream to a boil over medium high heat. Add the chocolate to the cream, be sure it is completely covered by the cream. Allow the chocolate to sit in the cream for about 5 minutes then whisk until smooth. Allow to cool about before using for cake.

S'mores Cake

S'mores Cake



  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla


S'mores Cake

In the bowl of your mixer add all of the ingredients except for the vanilla, place over a pot of boiling water and cook while whisking until the egg white mixture is hot to the touch and the sugar is dissolved. Attach bowl to mixer and whisk on low speed for 2 minutes. Turn to high and whisk for about 7. Use right away.


Place a little ganache on a cake plate or platter, center 1 layer of cake on it. Add cooled ganache (be sure not to let it cool so much that it can’t be spread) If it does cool too much carefully heat it over a pot of boiling water whisking until smooth. Spread and even layer of ganache over the surface of the cake, top with the second layer. Add ganache to the top of the second layer. Carefully spread the meringue over the entire cake, once coated make peaks or swirls. Carefully brûlée the meringue with a propane torch. Enjoy!

S'mores Cake frosting2S'mores Cake