My Favorite Summer Cheese Board: Chickpea Salad Recipe and Sweepstakes!

This post was sponsored by Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Ready for a summer cheese board? This one is the BEST and is gluten free too! Also, a chickpea salad recipe and a fun #sweepstakes! #ad #NutThinsContest #IC

You know what I love most about a summer party?

If you’re thinking ice cream, that is certainly a big one. I do love a good dessert platter, but ultimately I am all about a cheese board or plate or platter. Whatever you want to call it, it makes me incredibly happy. And now I make my own!

What are my secret ingredients? Cheese, of course, and I use havarti and swiss and colby jack, and pretty much anything. Then I love pepperoni and salami. I pair it all with a chickpea salad (homemade, of course) and some antipasto – store bought or thrown together easily at home with provolone. When you have all that goodness, what’s the most important food pairing? This is an easy question. It’s crackers, of course. And that’s why I’ve found a love with Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins.

They are my go-to snack for the summer, and also for my summer entertaining, with July 4th, Labor Day, and all of our birthdays crammed into two months of parties. They make for a delicious snack that is crunchy and crispy like a potato chip, but sturdy enough for dips and toppings. That’s why it’s perfect for my summer gatherings because I dip them, put cheese and pepperoni on them, or use them as vehicles for antipasto and chickpea salad. This is important for many of my friends that they are wheat & gluten free, and made with real Blue Diamond® Almonds. There are no artificial flavors and there’s a crispy, crunchy texture that is oh so good. I love that there is a wide variety of flavors to try and enjoy as well.

Right now, Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins are giving away $3,000 in prizes! There’s the Nut-Thins 2 Win Scavenger Hunt – for the chance to win a $1,000 gift card, find Nut-Thins in any grocery store, take a selfie with the product on the shelf, and post it to your public Instagram or Twitter account using the hashtag #NutThinsContest OR upload it to NutThins2win.com!

Then we have the Nut-Thins 2 Win Sweepstakes. For the chance to win a $500 gift card to either Ahold, Kroger, Safeway, or Target, enter your information at NutThins2Win.com. Two ways to win up to $3,000 in prizes! Good luck!

Homemade Chickpea Salad:

What You Need:

2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup Edamame
1/2 cup red and green peppers
1/3 cup carrots, diced
2-4 Tbsp dried cranberries
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & Pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp sunflower or grapeseed oil
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
Seasonings – basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.

What You Do:

1 – In a large bowl, combine your garbanzo beans, edamame, peppers, carrots, cranberries, and garlic.

2 – In a smaller bowl, combine the oils and seasonings and whisk until blended

3 – Pour the contents of the smaller bowl over the beans mixture and toss with salt and pepper

4 – Enjoy!

YUM, right? It is one of my favorite recipes. And I love that it goes perfectly with Nut-Thins. They are crispy and sturdy and every flavor holds my salad well, but I think the original flavor is my favorite to pair with it. They all work!

Ready for a summer cheese board? This one is the BEST and is gluten free too! Also, a chickpea salad recipe and a fun #sweepstakes! #ad #NutThinsContest #IC

What’s your favorite item on a cheese board? Other than cheese, of course!

Ready for a summer cheese board? This one is the BEST and is gluten free too! Also, a chickpea salad recipe and a fun #sweepstakes! #ad #NutThinsContest #IC

Unicorn Fudge as Part of Our Unicorn Series

This is a unicorn party food fit for a unicorn kid, or any kid or adult, for that matter. What's not to love with pretty food in pretty colors + SPRINKLES!

Here is part 3 (of at least 4) of our Scarlet-inspired Unicorn Recipes.

Earlier this week we’ve had Unicorn Smoothie Bowls and Unicorn Pancakes. Both are excellent and colorful breakfasts and now we’re moving onto desserts and party recipes. Stay tuned as well for Unicorn Bark, because a girl can never have too much bark. I seriously tell myself that sometimes. Over here, Scarlet had an awesome birthday! In lieu of our usual giant, back-breaking party, she had a few friends over for pizza, Harry Potter jellybeans (GROSS), and a cool, wonderful cake.

She had started theater camp on her birthday and we didn’t want to give up any of that. Yesterday I picked her up from camp and we did a birthday tour where you get a free rose, a free pin, two free chocolates, and a free ice cream sundae.

Now here’s another Scarlet-inspired Unicorn Recipe. Unicorn Fudge! It’s so good! We love to watch the fudge makers (if that’s the term?) make fudge at Penney Patch Candies in Provincetown on Cape Cod. That’s one of our annual delights. In fact, we’ll be going there really soon. The smell of the fudge is intoxicating. We don’t have the fancy fudge equipment here.

We make do, and you will too!

Unicorn Fudge:

What You Need:

6 oz white fondant
Cornstarch for rolling
2 cups white chocolate
2 cups milk chocolate
1 cup condensed milk
1 cup sprinkles of your choice

Yields: 10 to 12 squares of fudge

What You Do:

1 – Line a rectangular pan with wax paper and set aside. Also, line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside

2 – Start by rolling 12 fondant spheres, about ¼ of an inch in diameter. You can use your cornstarch on your fingers to avoid the fondant from getting stuck

3 – Then, roll each sphere into a long strip, about 1 ½ inch in length

4 – Slightly fold over your strip and start twisting – this will act as your unicorn horn

5 – Gently place each one on your lined baking sheet.

6 – In two separate microwave-safe bowls, microwave each chocolate in 30-second intervals until completely melted

7 – In a small saucepan, warm condensed milk over medium heat but do not allow to boil

8 – Add condensed milk into melted white chocolate and stir

9 – Pour into lined rectangular pan and tap to even it out

10 – Pour sprinkles on top of fudge, place fondant horns, and chill for approximately 3 hours. Cut into 3 inch squares

This is a unicorn party food fit for a unicorn kid, or any kid or adult, for that matter. What's not to love with pretty food in pretty colors + SPRINKLES!

And there you have it. Unicorn Fudge! Colorful fudge. Party fudge. Whatever you want to call it, it’s super fun. And the unicorn horns are the cutest, right? Working with fondant is a lot easier than I ever thought, with such possibility.

This is a unicorn party food fit for a unicorn kid, or any kid or adult, for that matter. What's not to love with pretty food in pretty colors + SPRINKLES!

What’s your favorite kind of fudge?

This is a unicorn party food fit for a unicorn kid, or any kid or adult, for that matter. What's not to love with pretty food in pretty colors + SPRINKLES!