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Posts tagged “Chocolate

Skinny Peppermint Mocha Slushie

Skinny Peppermint Mocha Slushie

It’s National Coffee Day … I intended to make it to the coffee shop this morning to buy myself a fancy coffee, but then I got busy with other things … When I finally got home this afternoon, I still had a craving for coffee. I opened the fridge and there sat a pot of cold coffee that my son had made. It’s very warm (almost summer-ish!) for late September, so I decided a peppermint mocha slushie would be a fitting way to celebrate the occasion.

If I had thought ahead, I would have frozen some coffee ice cubes. Oh well, it was still delicious.

Skinny Peppermint Mocha Slushie

  • 1/2 cup coffee, brewed double strength, then chilled
  • 1 cup 2% lowfat milk (or fat free half and half would be even creamier … I am sure almond or coconut or soy milk would work fine for this too)
  • 3 teaspoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoons Stevia in the raw
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • several fresh mint leaves (if you have them)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups crushed ice (or frozen coffee)

Pour everything into a blender and blend till it’s a nice smooth, slushie texture. Add more ice if needed to get it to the desired thickness.

Skinny Peppermint Mocha Slushie

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous FridayShare it Saturday, Scrumptious SundayWeekend Potluck, All my Bloggy Friends and Everyday Mom’s Meals.


Chocolate Pistachio Cannoli Icebox Cake

Chocolate Pistachio Cannoli Icebox Cake

Is it okay to have cake for breakfast? Because I really can’t sit here and look at all this drizzly chocolate and finish this post without eating some … it’s just TOO tempting.

This all started when Justine at Full Belly Sisters shared her recipe for Cannoli Ice Cream. It looked SO good! A few of my foodie friends also made it and they ALL raved about it. I was totally intrigued by the idea of using ricotta in ice cream … and so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and try it too.

I tasted the mixture before it went in the ice cream maker …oooooh yummmm! It tasted SO wonderful! … and when it came out, it was perfectly frozen and I couldn’t wait to dig in.

I discovered something about myself that day. I have a texture issue with ricotta cheese. At least in ice cream. I want my ice cream super smooth and creamy. Crunch from nuts or chewy brownie bits and things like that are ok. But any grainy texture at all … nope. I just can’t to it. Don’t get me wrong: the cannoli ice cream is fabulous, and maybe I screwed up and just didn’t puree it long enough in my blender. I do highly recommend trying the ice cream. Every single one of my friends that tried it totally RAVED about it. But I just couldn’t eat it. And since my kids will not touch anything with nuts in it, they would not eat it either. I put it in my freezer and forgot about it … until I was cleaning out my freezer the other day. I almost threw it out, then I had second thoughts. I stuck it in the fridge instead and started thinking: what could I do with this wonderful mixture? I toyed with the idea of a dessert lasagna, but that sounded like a lot of work.

I don’t know what made me think of it, but somehow I thought of doing an icebox cake. I’ve never ever made one before, but I’ve often marveled at the simplicity and beauty of them. And so began my first icebox cake. I was so incredibly excited to see the beautifully layered result and I cannot believe that chocolate graham crackers and ricotta cheese could transform into such a beautiful, decadent dessert! The crackers become delightfully cakey and they create such a GORGEOUS layered effect … I can’t wait to make my next icebox cake! I already have visions of other flavors dancing around in my head …

Chocolate Pistachio Cannoli Icebox Cake

Chocolate Pistachio Cannoli Icebox Cake

Inspired by Full Belly Sisters Cannoli Ice Cream. I didn’t have the full amount of ricotta mixture shown here because I had eaten SOME of the ice cream, but really it doesn’t matter. Just keep layering till it’s gone! This makes enough for 2-4 desserts, depending on how big your servings are. If you’re making it for a crowd, you’ll probably want to at least double the recipe.

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • small pinch of salt
  • 1 3/4 cups good-quality ricotta (I used lowfat)
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, chopped roughly
  • about 2 ounces dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa, chopped
  • Chocolate graham crackers (or cookies) — I used 4 full-size crackers, but you may need more.
  • additional chopped pistachios and chocolate syrup, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Put the sugar, vanilla, salt and milk in your blender and blend until the sugar is dissolved. Add the ricotta and puree until smooth.
  2. Pour the ricotta mixture into a bowl and stir in the chopped pistachios & dark chocolate.
  3. Spray a small bowl or tray that fits your cracker size/shape, and set a cracker on the bottom. (I used two small square bowls that each fit half a cracker nicely.) Spread a layer of the ricotta mixture on top, then add another cracker, then another layer of ricotta. Repeat until the ricotta mixture is gone, ending with the ricotta mixture on top. Cover your bowl (or tray or whatever you’re using) with a plate that fits tightly (or if you must, use plastic wrap) and refrigerate overnight.
  4. To serve, cut wedges of the “cake” and use a spatula to place them on your plate, drizzle with chocolate syrup and serve. I would highly recommend garnishing this beautiful cake with some roasted, salted chopped pistachios, but alas, I was all out … at least I had chocolate syrup!

Chocolate Pistachio Cannoli Icebox Cake

This recipe was shared at Kitchen Fun FridayWeekend PotluckFriday Favorites, All my Bloggy Friends, Melt in your Mouth MondayTotally Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Wonderful Food Wednesday and Scrumptious Sunday.


Chocolate, Fruit & Nut Energy Bytes

Chocolate Fruit & Nut Energy Bites

Chocolate craving! Time for something chocolatey good. With nuts. Yes LOTS of nuts. Oh and some peanut butter. Dried fruit in there … ah yes. And to add a little bit more healthy yumminess, some oats.

Roll it all into a little ball and what do you have? A quick, healthy snack. Not one you want to eat a LOT of at one sitting because they are a bit calorific, but something you can grab on the go when you need a little energy, especially before or after a good workout. An energy byte! (Terrible geeky pun intended.)

I like to eat one of these for a bit of dessert after a good meal, or when I am running out the door and need something fast to grab for a quick bit of energy. Or when you need a quick chocolate fix, but you don’t want to totally destroy your healthy eating plan. A little bit of chocolate and a few nuts every day are very good for your health.

Chocolate Fruit & Nut Energy Bytes

Chocolate, Fruit & Nut Energy Bytes

You could use a good quality dark chocolate in place of the almond bark and cocoa powder. I just didn’t have enough on hand, so I decided to make my own “chocolate”!

  • 2 squares of almond bark (or white chocolate)
  • 4 Tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoons of Chocolate PB2 powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2/3 cup nuts (I used a mix of peanuts and cashews)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped into bits
  • Coarse sea salt

Directions:

  1. Melt the almond bark in a medium mixing bowl in the microwave by microwaving on high for 1 minute, stir, microwave for 30 seconds, stir again, keep microwaving for 30 seconds/stirring until the white almond bark is completely melted.
  2. Stir in the dark cocoa powder, PB2 powder, vanilla and peanut butter and stir until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Stir in the oats, nuts, cranberries and apricot bits until everything is coated in chocolate. Form the mixture into balls and set on a tray. Sprinkle the bytes with a bit of coarse sea salt.
  4. Set it in the fridge until the chocolate is set, then transfer to a covered storage container. You can store these at room temperature or in the fridge, as you prefer. I like to eat them at room temperature so I’m not bothering to refrigerate mine. They aren’t going to last that long anyway!

Chocolate Fruit & Nut Energy Bytes

This recipe was shared at Katherine Martinelli’s Nut BloghopShare it SaturdayLunch Box Linky and Scrumptious Sunday.


1,2,3 Chocolate Zucchini Cake {Lowfat}

123 Chocolate Zucchini Cake {Lowfat}

This is a luscious, moist and healthy chocolatey cake that takes only takes a few minutes to put together (most of that time is grating the zucchini) and it’s so yummy! I made it years ago when my daughter-in-law first came to visit and we topped it with strawberries (or was it raspberries?) and whipped light cream and reveled in it. She mentioned to me not long ago how good it was and I had completely forgotten that I’d made this cake for her. I’m so glad she mentioned it because this cake is way too good to be forgotten! I got up this morning eager to look up the recipe and make it again since my sis brought me some gorgeous zucchini.

My sweet daughter just had some of this for breakfast, so I asked her if she would take the photos for me. I think I might let her do the photography more often. She has a good eye and a different style and perspective and it makes me so happy when she helps me with my cooking and blogging projects.

A little note about fat: it is true that the low-fat diet led to a lot of health problems. I don’t advocate cutting fat out of your diet (especially not if you’re going to replace it with sugar!) Include healthy fats like olive oil, cheese, nuts and avocados, but also include lots of fiber and grains, fruits and vegies and watch your total calorie intake. I like to reduce fats and sugar in baked goods and desserts because it reduces the calories, but then I also try to add whole grains and fiber to make treats that are truly health conscious, but still satisfy my desires for a decadent dessert.

123 Chocolate Zucchini Cake {Lowfat}

1,2,3 Chocolate Zucchini Cake {Lowfat}

Adapted from Food.com. I cut down the sugar, replaced some of the oil with yogurt and replaced some of the flour with whole wheat flour and flaxmeal.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour + 1/4 cup flaxmeal (or 1 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup lowfat or nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups grated zucchini

Directions:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients.
  2. Add the liquid ingredients and stir it all together.
  3. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray, pour in the batter and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

123 Chocolate Zucchini Cake {Lowfat}

This recipe was shared at Weekend PotluckScrumptious SundaysFamily Fresh MealsManic Monday, Cast Party Wednesday, Thursday’s TreasuresTastetastic Thursday, Fit & Fabulous Fridays, and Foodie Friends Friday.


Raspberry Cream Brownie Truffles

Raspberry Cream Brownie Truffles

One of my girlfriends, when she tasted these truffles, told me (in a quiet voice so the “boys” wouldn’t hear) that these truffles are almost better than sex. I laughed, and she said, “I’m serious!” … since then, a couple of my other girlfriends have confirmed her opinion … and I’m quite curious to see what my male friend says about them. He better hurry though, or he is totally going to miss these truffles!

There is a story behind this recipe … I started out to make brownie bites for the party, baking them in my mini-muffin tin. The first batch I put raspberries in the middle of the brownies and I undercooked them. They tasted really good, but they were just too gooey to eat. I didn’t want to throw them out … what a waste of good chocolate that would be!

So I decided to make my brownies into truffles. And while I was thinking about how to do this, I was chatting with my friend online … he had just gone to the vending machine to find something to eat:

Me: so what did you find to eat?
Him: Peanuts and Coke.
Me: lol peanuts are good
Him: I needed some fluids and sugar. I was getting the shakes really bad.
Me: Shakes are not good …
… unless they’re chocolate
Him: Chocolate and raspberry

Something about him saying “chocolate and raspberry” in the context of a milkshake while I was in the midst of figuring out how I was going to make my chocolate/raspberry truffles made me think “raspberry cream” … and that’s how they got the raspberry cream center.

Raspberry Cream Brownie Truffles

Raspberry Cream Brownie Truffles

  • 1/3 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen … if you are using fresh, pack them into the cup a bit … thaw out the frozen ones before adding them)
  • 8 oz light cream cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon rose vodka or Chambord (raspberry liqueur) … (optional)
  • 2/3 cup good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 1 2/3 cups brownie “crumbs” (about 10 brownie bites) … mine wouldn’t exactly make crumbs. I just broke them into small pieces as best I could. I do recommend you undercook your brownies just a bit so they are a little soft and gooey for the truffles.  Here’s the brownie recipe I used.
  • 1 1/3 cups crushed chocolate graham cracker crumbs, ground into a fine powder in a handi chopper or food processor (if you can’t find chocolate graham crackers, just crush up some chocolate cookies)
  • For dipping: 2 high quality chocolate bars (4-oz. each) … (I used Ghirardelli)

Directions:

  1. First, make the raspberry cream: mix the raspberries with the cream cheese, honey, vanilla and liquor. Divide this creamy berry mixture in half, putting half of it in a container in the fridge for later.
  2. In a small microwave-safe bowl or double boiler, melt the chocolate chips. (Microwave on high for one minute, stir, then microwave 30 seconds, stir … repeat until you can stir out all the lumps of chocolate.)
  3. Mix the rest of the cream mixture with the melted chocolate chips, the brownie “crumbs”, and the chocolate graham cracker crumbs. Cover the bowl and set in the freezer for an hour or so to chill or in the fridge for several hours.
  4. When the chocolate “dough” is good and cold, it’s time to form the truffles! Choose a cookie sheet or other flat pan that will fit in your freezer. Take a small spoonful of the dough and shape it into a little cup in your hands. Put about 1/2 teaspoon of the raspberry cream mixture into the cup, then add a little more chocolate “dough” on top to cover the cream and form it into a ball shape. Set the ball on the pan and repeat until you’ve used up all the dough. Somehow I came out just about right … there was enough cream and chocolate to make a bunch of truffles (I’m not quite sure how many there were, though.) Don’t worry if the cream isn’t covered all the way or if some of the balls are bumpy. We’re going to dip these in chocolate anyway.
  5. Put the balls into the freezer and let them chill for several hours or overnight.
  6. When you are ready to dip your truffles, prepare an area to set them by laying out some waxed paper. I like to put them on a cookie sheet so it is easy to move them or stick them in the fridge if I need to (which is sometimes necessary on a hot day like it was the day I was making these!).
  7. Break the chocolate bars into pieces and melt in the microwave or over a double boiler, taking care to melt just till the chocolate is smooth and no longer. Dip each ball in the chocolate, rolling it around with a spoon to cover all the sides. I then stuck a toothpick in the ball and shook it a little (so there’s some chocolate left for the rest of the truffles!) and then put it on the waxed paper, sliding the toothpick out when quickly before the chocolate sets up. You can use the spoon to remove it too, or your fingers … no matter how you do it, it’s going to be a little messy (but hey, who doesn’t like to be covered in chocolate?).
  8. Once you’ve dipped all the truffles, let them sit until the chocolate is set. You may need to put them in the fridge to get the chocolate to set up … once it is set, transfer the truffles into a covered container to store in the fridge.

Raspberry Cream Brownie Truffles

This recipe was shared at Foodie FridaysScrumptious Sundays, and Made it by Monday.


Chocolate Chia Brownie Bites

Chocolate Chia Brownie Bites

It’s my one-year blog-iversary today. I am having a party in the real world tomorrow to celebrate. I’ll have a party in cyberspace too and I’ll invite all my foodie friends to bring wonderful things. There will be much revelry and champagne (with watermelon sorbet!) and good food shared.

I made these brownies for the party. I suppose you could say I made these brownies for both parties because this I will surely bring them to my virtual party too. I have to thank my sweet foodie friend Robin from Knead to Cook for the recipe for these … she made hers with raspberries. I started out doing that, too, but dropped the raspberries after the first batch because it just took too much time. I am a bit rushed this week …  (by the way that first batch turned out bad because I undercooked that batch … ooops! so I turned them into something else … another post coming soon about that … )

I also substituted some low fat cream cheese for some of the butter. I was running low on butter but had plenty of cream cheese, and besides, it just sounded good. And I used chocolate chia pudding in place of the eggs. I had some in my fridge that I needed to use up to make room for party food! Chia pudding does make a nice substitute for eggs. It even rises like eggs! Those little chia seeds are magic, I tell you.

A year ago I didn’t even know what chia seeds were … things have changed a LOT in a year. I’ve learned so much, met so many wonderful people, shared so many wonderful foods. It’s been a fantastic journey so far … and I plan to continue this journey for a long, long time. Because food is meant to be shared. It’s the most basic human connection.

Chocolate Chia Brownie Bites

Chocolate Chia Brownie Bites

Adapted from Knead to Cook

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter (or light butter spread … I actually used a mixture of both)
  • 4 oz light cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chocolate chia pudding (recipe here … or substitute 2 eggs and add a little extra cocoa + 1 teaspoon cinnamon)
  • 1/2 cup of non fat greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup of dark or Dutch processed cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli cocoa powder)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • if you want: fresh raspberries (make sure they are very dry, not wet … put one or two berries in the middle of each brownie bite)
  • for the top: mini chocolate chips (or other little candies or sprinkles)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line 3 mini muffin pans with mini-cupcake liners or spray them with cooking spray (or spray an 8×8 pan if you prefer). (I only have one mini muffin pan, so I ended up doing this 3 times.)
  2. In a mixing bowl, blend the sugar with the cream cheese and the butter until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla, chia pudding and greek yogurt.  Blend well.  Add the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and stir till everything is mixed together well.
  3. Pour the batter into your mini muffin pans, filling them about 2/3 – 3/4 full and sprinkle each one with a few mini chocolate chips. (If you are using raspberries, put a small spoonful of batter in the bottom, add a couple berries, then top with more batter.) Bake at 350 for 15 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the biggest one comes out mostly clean.

Chocolate Chia Brownie Bites

This recipe was shared at Foodie Friends FridayMy Sweet PartyFit & Fabulous Friday and Crazy Sweet Tuesday.


Chocolate Banana Pecan Baked Oatmeal

Chocolate Banana Pecan Baked Oatmeal

Since my first baked oatmeal turned out so good, I wanted to try another version. I meant to make this one banana pecan, but once I got into the kitchen, well, I couldn’t help but add chocolate. In the end, I’m glad I did … this oatmeal is SO deep dark chocolate decadent. I almost want to try making it again without the banana … or maybe use berries instead? Yeah, it’ll happen.

This could be breakfast or dessert. Mid-afternoon snack. After dinner treat. Whenever you eat it, it’s delightful.

Chocolate Banana Pecan Baked Oatmeal

Chocolate Banana Pecan Baked Oatmeal

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup (100g) old fashioned oats (not instant oats)
  • 1/3 cup (30g) pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened quality dark cocoa powder (such as Ghirardelli)
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 2 Tablespoons of Chocolate Chia Pudding or 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Frangelico (optional)
For the top:
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons pecans
  • 1/2 Tablespoon or so of raw (Turbinado) sugar
  • A few chocolate chips
  • A few banana slices

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 F. Spray a small casserole dish or 8×8 inch square baking dish with cooking spray and make a layer of banana slices on the bottom.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the oats, chopped pecans, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Sprinkle half the oat mixture over the bananas, then add another layer of bananas and cover with the remaining oats.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, chia pudding (or egg white), vanilla, and Frangelico. Pour this liquid mixture over the oats, trying to coat all the oats with liquid. Sprinkle the top with the toppings, then set in the oven.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until the dish has set. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Banana Pecan Baked Oatmeal

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday, Thursday’s TreasuresTastetastic Thursday, My Sweet Party and Fit & Fabulous Friday.


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