Tag Archives: dessert

A healthy dessert alternative – Dark Chocolate Frozen Coconut Bites

19 Aug

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I love me some coconut. And not just food, coconut everything. Coconut oil, candy, body wash, body spray, shampoo, soap, candles, beverages. You name it. I haven’t met something with coconut anywhere in the description that I didn’t like. Seriously. As many of you have picked up, I am working to lead a healthier lifestyle. That doesn’t mean I don’t eat well or live a good life. I still enjoy food, and the whole act of eating. I just choose to make better choices. Organic as often as I can, growing and preserving as much food as possible, and doing much of my cooking from scratch. I have cut back on my beer consumption since that and too large portions are what contributed to my weight gain (fall beers are starting to arrive though, so I’ll have to be strong!!!) I don’t follow any particular diet or eating fad. I’m not gluten free, paleo or vegan. I like meat. I like dairy. I like bread. I don’t stop myself from eating the things that I like, I just limit myself to how much I’m eating. I’ve stopped boredom snacking. When I have a craving for something that may not be the healthiest food choice, I wait a few days. If I still have the craving, I indulge in a small bit of whatever it is I have a hankering for. Like a slice of pie, or a piece of cake. If the craving goes away, it was just a random craving. I certainly don’t exercise as often as I should. My days have been pretty busy as of late with cleaning, gardening, and taking care of my 10lb back surgery dog. So I’m not sitting around. I have actually lost 10lbs of the 30 that I want to lose, and that is mostly with diet changes. It’s amazing how great it feels when a pair of pants that had previously not fit FIT. Like you can button them up and not struggle to breathe. There is no muffin top or unsightly bulge. It’s a total victory. I’m not FAT, but I’m certainly not at my healthiest weight. So this lifestyle change is working, and I can see results. Therefore I choose to continue making healthy food choices. BUT…that doesn’t mean this girl doesn’t want something sweet from time to time. And I don’t think it’s too much to ask to have it be a healthy sweet treat. Enter in the Dark Chocolate Frozen Coconut Bites – aka Coconut Klondike. Coconut is a healthy fat to ingest. Coconut oil has so many benefits I won’t even go into listing them all here. Dark chocolate is also beneficial. One of these little Coconut Bites satisfies a craving without blowing your daily progress and on a hot day, the frozen texture of them helps give you a mini cool down. I love that they are a 2 bite treat (on if you are a man and toss the whole thing in your mouth), there are no added sugars, no processing, no ingredients that can’t be pronounced or identified. They are actually a HEALTHY treat!!!  Go figure!

Your yield for these can vary depending on how much you fill up those muffin liners. I got 30, but know I could have gotten less if I would have packed in the coconut. I also chose to add in some more of the shredded coconut – probably 1/4 cup more so I got a larger yield. The original recipe called for making these in the standard size muffin papers but I chose to do mini so having 2 would feel like a real indulgence.

If you like coconut, are trying to be healthy, or both definitely give these a try. I’m so glad I did!

Dark Chocolate Frozen Coconut Bites

Dark Chocolate Frozen Coconut Bites

Yield 20-30

Adapted from PaleOMG

 

Ingredients

1 ½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut

½ cup coconut butter

½ cup organic coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1 bag dark chocolate chips

In the bowl of your food processor, add all of your ingredients with the exception of the dark chocolate chips. Blend it until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed and you have a silky texture with bites of coconut.

Line your mini muffin pan with paper liners, adding a scoop of coconut mixture smashing down the mix with the back of a spoon to level it. You will fill your liners ¾ of the way full, leaving room for chocolate.

After filling all of your muffin cups, melt your chocolate chips. To melt, I used a double boiler, but you can also use the microwave if you want to do it quicker.

Top each coconut cup with melted chocolate until tops are completely covered.

When done, place muffin pan in the freezer for 20 minutes until coconut cups are set and firm. Remove from freezer, transfer to an air tight container and store in freezer.

When you want to eat one, remove it from the freezer and let sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes to let the coconut and chocolate soften a little.

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Pumpkin Pie….Smoothie!

5 Nov

Ah pumpkin. And my new addiction to smoothies. Because they offer a sweet treat, without all those pesky calories that usually convert to fat that goes right to my ass, hips and thighs.

I love pumpkin pie, but let’s be honest – that crust is a killer when it comes to calories. And I just can’t bring myself to eat just the filling on a pumpkin pie, leaving behind the crust to be tossed or fed to birds. I blame my childhood. I was raised to clean my plate, and wasn’t permitted to leave the table until my plate was clean of all food. So, ya.

Since the fall starts the pumpkin food obsession in my house, I figured I needed a smoothie option. Hubs and I aren’t the only ones eating pumpkin. The chickens and ducks are enjoying a whole pumpkin. It’s helps keep them from getting bored when they are in their run, and it’s a great nutrient booster to their eggs! It will also supposedly help fend off intestinal parasites, which is always a good thing if you are a chicken. Plus, we’ll get nice orange yolks from all that pumpkin ingestion! Yay!

For us humans, pumpkin is also super beneficial. It’s loaded with fiber, so it’ helps you feel fuller longer, which in turns helps aid in weight loss. It contains beta-carotene, which helps our body prevent cancer, as well as help to keep us looking wrinkle free. 1 cup of pumpkin contains 564 milligrams of potassium, which is a great way to refuel after a workout. They also contain vitamin c, which can help ward off colds. Oh ya, and pumpkin tastes great, sweet and savory!

This recipe tastes decadent. The key is blending it for a longer period of time to get that creamy ice cream like richness without all the fat. Don’t get lazy and only blend it for a minute. Go for 2-3. It makes ALL the difference! For those calorie conscious folks, this recipe is only 114 calories per serving. If you were to drink the whole recipe, that’s still only 228 calories – and you will be so full I don’t think you’ll be ABLE to finish it!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon molasses

1 gram of Stevia sweetener

1tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup non fat milk

1 cup ice

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until about double in size. You want to blend it for about 2-3 minutes. This will create lots of air bubbles and make the smoothie taste rich and creamy like a milkshake! Serve immediately and enjoy!

Double your fun dessert: Strawberry Cake Pie

5 Sep

Nope. You aren’t seeing things. The title of this dessert is in fact Strawberry Cake Pie. The bottom layer is cake which you bake in a pie pan. You then top it with strawberries that have been coated in sugar and let to sit and get juicy for a bit. Then…wait for it…you top it with lattice patterned pie crust. YES! It’s a delicious trick. Because it LOOKS like a strawberry pie. But cut into it and you’ve got that yummy cake layer that has soaked up the juices from the strawberries during round 2 of baking. Bliss.

Now, my crust job doesn’t look that fabulous…and I could totally try to blame it on the fact that I was making this dessert at 7am on the 4th of July. But I won’t. Because when it comes down to it, I don’t put a whole lot of time into making things look bakery quality fantastic. I don’t want to fuss and fret that I’ve made the fork pressed edges of the crust perfectly even and didn’t overlap the fork at all on the way around. So what if it doesn’t look like it’s ready for its glossy magazine cover spread. If it looks decent enough and tastes good, I’m a happy girl. I did use boxed cake mix and *gasp* store-bought pie crust due to time constraints. Next time, I’ll double the strawberries and do homemade pie crust. Skip the lattice top and just use mini cookie cutters to let the berries show through. Whether you make it with from scratch ingredients or punk out and use store bought, it’s still a crowd pleasing dessert. I can see making it with apples in the future…or a blackberry top. Yum.

Strawberry Cake Pie

adapted from Food Network Magazine  July/August 2012

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1lb strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup sugar + 1-2 teaspoons for sprinkling crust
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 rolls of refrigerated pie dough (or homemade)
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9in pie plate. In a medium bowl, add cake mix, eggs, water, oil & vanilla. Beat for 2-3 minutes until all ingredients are combined and no large lumps remain. Pour all of the batter into your greased pie plate (or ¾ full) and bake for 25 minutes, until the edges are set and the center is slightly wobbly. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

While your cake is baking, make the strawberry filling – in a small bowl combine the strawberries, ¼ cup sugar and pinch of salt. Stir to coat and let sit for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle cutting board with flour. Unroll your pie dough and slice into 1in strips and set aside.

Drain your strawberries and top your slightly cooled cake with them, pressing into the cake as you add them. Increase your oven temp to 450 degrees.

You will now top your strawberries with the strips of pie dough, spacing 1in apart. To create a lattice design, lift every other horizontal strip and place a strip of crust vertically. Lay down lifted strips and continue in an alternating pattern. To make the edges of the crust, use the leftover pieces, pressing the ends together to bind them. Use a fork to press the edges. Brush crust with the butter and sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes in your 450 degree oven.

Let cool and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Hope & a Strawberry ShortCake PanCake

8 Aug

Heidi, a fellow blogger over at Lightly Crunchy, has tagged me in a blog relay to write about the subject of hope. What better time to write about it than now?

What better place to start than with the definition of hope?

hope/hōp/

Noun:
A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

* I hope that my garden does well because I am so looking forward to using my pressure canner to can pasta sauce for the first time (now that I’ve gotten over my fear of it exploding, covering myself and every kitchen surface in molten hot food lava)

* I hope my chickens start laying some eggs soon, because buying them from the store is for the birds. badum-bum. I’ll be here all night.

* I hope that I am able to find the motivation to get myself back into the swing of exercising so that I can lose that 10lbs of fat from overindulging in homemade beer. Whoops.

* I hope that the hubs and I can take a long weekend soon just to kick back and relax and not worry about having to DO anything!

* I hope that my dad being home on the one year anniversary of my mom’s passing helps to make it a less heart wrenching experience.

* I hope that my blog inspires other to cook, craft, and make as many things from scratch as they can.

I think that hope means different things to different people. That having hope makes you feel a little less lost out in this great big crazy world. That hope brings people together, just like food does.

I hope that you enjoy this Seasoned with Sarcasm original as much as I do.

Strawberry ShortCake PanCake

serves 6

1 box white cake mix

2 cups frozen strawberries, chopped (do NOT drain the juices from them) *see note

1 egg

1 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon vanilla

powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 9 inch round cake pans. In a medium bowl, add cake mix, strawberries & juices, egg, water & vanilla and mix until no large lumps of cake mix remain. Split the batter between the two cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick pierced in the center comes out clean. Let cool to room temp and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, or all by itself.

Note: If you are using fresh berries, chop them up and then place them in a bowl with a teaspoon of sugar. Let them sit for 15-30 minutes until you see them getting nice and juicy. You don’t want to skip the strawberry juice portion because it gives the cake a really nice well-rounded strawberry flavor and helps with the moisture. If using frozen berries, chop them up and make sure they are totally thawed. Once you chop them up and let them defrost there will a nice juicy puddle in with them.

And now it’s my turn to pass the torch to 3 fellow bloggers.

The Food and Wine Hedonist – because his posts are witty, funny, and down to earth.

Bonnie, over at Recipes Happen – she’s a new wife finding her way around the kitchen getting creative and crafty, willing to try new things.

Emily, also known as Yinzerella over at Dinner is Served 1972 – I love her wit, sarcasm, and the fact that she is on a mission to work and eat her way through all the DiS recipe cards. No matter how weird the recipes are!

 

Campin’ in the Kitchen – Campfire Biscuit S’mores

2 Jul

Have I ever mentioned my love of s’mores? No? Well, I love me some s’mores, in all their melty chocolate, gooey marshmallow messy goodness. They go hand in hand with campfires and camping…and even the upcoming 4th of July holiday! But why should we only enjoy them in certain situations? And why should we have to enjoy them only outdoors??? We shouldn’t. So now when I have a hankerin’ for a s’more, I think this will be my indoor twist. I found it in my Food & Wine magazine. I’m not going to lie. This is the first recipe I’ve seen in the magazine that made me want to make it. Don’t get me wrong – the photos are beautiful, they have great articles on where to go when you’re in a certain place, but for me, their recipes are not up my alley. But s’mores? Those are something I can get behind. There was actually a whole great article called “Campfire Cuisine” that featured a host of camping friendly recipes to help make the experience a little more gourmet. Without breaking the bank on ingredients or causing you to have to purchase hard to find items. If you get a chance, check it out.

This recipe is my adaptation, and will provide dessert for 2. I was on the fence about the jam (the original recipe called for raspberry) but it takes your standard s’more to the next level. Try to use homemade jam if at all possible. I cheated and used store bought marshmallows, but will be whipping up a batch of homemade  to try out so everything in the recipe is from scratch good.

Next time I have a cookout, I may make a bunch of these up as dessert. Everyone can grill or roast their own marshmallows and I’ll provide the biscuits.

Campfire Biscuit S’mores

adapted from Food & Wine June 2012

¾ cup Quick Biscuit Mix (recipe below)

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ cup water

½ cup chocolate chips

1 tablespoon butter

4 tablespoons strawberry jam (homemade is best)

4 marshmallows

Marshmallow fork

In a small bowl, combine the biscuit mix, sugar, water and chocolate chips. The batter should be thicker than a pancake batter.

Preheat a skillet and add the butter. Once the butter is melted, spread it around the pan and reduce flame to medium-low. Scoop the batter into the pan in 4 mounds, spreading it out in a circle to form little pancake like biscuits, 3-4 inches in diameter. Cook for 2 minutes and flip. Top 2 of the biscuits with strawberry jam.

Meanwhile, add 2 marshmallows to your marshmallow fork and warm them over an open flame (I used my stove burner), letting them bubble and crisp up on the outside. Place the 2 marshmallows on top of one of the jam topped biscuits and repeat the process for the other. (alternately, you can put them on top of the biscuits and under the broiler to toast more evenly for gooey deliciousness!)

Once you’ve added your toasted marshmallows, place the jamless biscuits on top of the marshmallows, creating a sandwich. Plate up and serve, eating immediately!

Quick Biscuit Mix

Adapted from Food & Wine June 2012

1 cup self rising flour (I mixed up my own batch)

3 tablespoons whole milk powder

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons olive oil

Place all ingredients in a small bowl. Using your hands, work the oil into the flour until combined (it will resemble bisquick). Use for the s’more recipe above, or store for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.

Mason jar obsession – No bake cheesecake

12 Jul

If you know me, you know that I am obsessed…i mean OBSESSED with mason jars. of all types. My fave happens to be the aqua blue jars from my great gram’s days of canning, which are becoming harder to find. Oh how I covet them! So when i saw all of these desserts in mason jars being listed on the food blogs, I scolded myself for not already having done this! This is by far one of the most simple recipes to make. And the fact that they are individually sized as well as so easy to take somewhere makes them even more awesome. And you can top them with whatever you like! I chose pie cherries because that was what I was wanting. I also added some mini choc chips to them once everything had chilled down. I highly suggest you make these. Take them to a picnic. Take them to work. Take them to a party. Just make sure you get your jars back so that you can make them again!

Individual No Bake Cheesecakes

4 1/2 pint mason jars

1 package cream cheese (8 oz)

1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)

2 tablespoons lemon juice (can be modified to taste)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping of choice (cherry pie filling, apple pie filling, oreo topping, etc)

graham cracker crust (follow directions on box)

Combine cream cheese, juice and condensed milk until creamy and smooth. Pour onto prepared crust, top with fruit of choice, and chill at least three hours.

Margaritas in cupcake form

12 Jul

Margaritas to me mean summer as much as burgers and hot dogs on the grill.

Hot day + tequila + lime juice = frosty glass of limetastic adult goodness.

Whether you like them frozen, on the rocks, with salt, without salt, standard lime or something more exotic lime watermelon or berry, most people like to partake in a ‘rita or two (or three, or four…) in the summer months. Or on a cold winter night when you’re snowed in and dreaming of a tropical beach somewhere and warm water lapping at your toes…

So why not enjoy some Margarita’s in a CUPCAKE???? I know, OMG. Please don’t pass out….and know that these ARE as fabulous as they look. The icing is to die for. The cupcake is moist and tangy and sweet and delish. Angels will sing when you bite into these.

I made them up for a work party and kept them in the fridge to keep the icing from getting all melty and gross. But you def want to let them sit out and come to room temperature for them to be at their tasty best. Otherwise the buttercream will be too hard and not very appealing. These also freeze very well. I just put some in a sealed plastic container and they are still good. It’s nice when you have company and you can just grab a few and let them thaw for a sweet treat!

I hope you enjoy these as much and all of us did!

Margarita Cupcakes
yields 24 cupcakes
1 vanilla boxed cake mix

4tbsp lime juice

zest of 1 lime

1tbsp tequila for brushing tops of warm cupcakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Line muffins tins with paper liners.

Follow directions for boxed cake mix. Add in the lime juice and zest and beat just until incorporated.

Divide the batter among the paper liners, filling each about 3/4-full.  Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and brush the warm cupcakes with tequila.  Let rest for about 5 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely before frosting.

Tequila-Lime Buttercream
adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Easy Vanilla Buttercream

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 3/4 – 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2-4 tablespoons tequila
pinch salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.  With the mixer on low, slowly add 2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar a little at a time until completely incorporated and the mixture is smooth.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl then beat in the lime juice, 2 tablespoons of tequila and the salt.  Increase the mixer to medium speed and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Taste the frosting and decide if you want to add the remaining tablespoons of tequila.  If so, beat to incorporate.  If you want a slightly firmer consistency for piping, add the remaining 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar to the frosting.

The frosting can be made a few days ahead and refrigerated.  When you are ready to use it, let it come to room temperature and then beat briefly before piping.

Frost the cooled cupcakes with the buttercream.  Garnish with lime zest or lime wedges, if desired.