Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Happy Fourth of July Y’all!!!

I feel so very thankful to live in this amazing country, particularly for the endless BOUNTY that it supplies to a growing nation of people and the world!

Why do I mention bounty in particular? well, I purposefully left out one VERY exciting part of my wonderful Charleston weekend….

As we were lounging around the house on Saturday afternoon, I heard little Winnie burst through the door, shouting something along the lines of “anyone want to come pick figs with me!?”

Despite my confusion and post-sun haze, I knew I wanted to be a part of whatever was going on. I ran back out the door with Winn and sho’ nuff, she pointed out a FIG tree in our backyard  just dripping with beautiful, ripe figs!

I’m tellin’ you, Charleston is Eden on Earth! I ADORE figs—fresh, dried and cooked into just about anything, and I’m so glad Winn discovered this treasure!

Do I dare?

We got to work filling a large Tupperware container with the purple gems, ignoring a few scratches here and there for our much greater cause.

A few were devoured fresh off the vine, and we couldn’t stop ohhhing and ahhhing at how perfectly sweet, tender and juicy they were.

We tried to enlist a few of the others to try one of our spoils, but they didn’t seem quite as excited :).

Nature’s Candy!

Which only meant more for us!

When we packed up on Sunday, I put a handful in a plastic baggie and prayed they’d made it back to NYC without going bad—I’d conjured up a recipe for them based on my pantry, and couldn’t wait to bring it to life:

WHOLE WHEAT PASTA WITH FIG, GOAT CHEESE AND ROSEMARY “SAUCE”

  • 4.5-5  oz log of goat cheese
  • 4 large fresh figs, stems removed
  • 1/2 tsp finely diced rosemary
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste
  • whole wheat spaghetti

Easy as they come: While your pasta cooks (remember to salt the water generously!), toss first 4 ingredients into your blender or food processor and whir away until creamy. Taste and add S&P accordingly.

When pasta is ready, drain but reserve a bit of the cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot and add as much of your TDF goat cheese sauce as you like. If it’s too thick, drizzle in a bit of the reserved pasta water.

Enjoy!

Farm Beach House to Table!

MANNA FROM HEAVEN!!!

This trio of flavors is right up there with pb&j as one of the best, most natural combinations in the culinary world. It was phenomenal creamy and melted into hot pasta, but you could easily use it as a dip for just about anything…including simply a spoon. Despite the sweetness of the figs, the addition of rosemary and salt easily transitions this to a savory dish.

Feel free to experiment with your favorite fruits and spices—just blend with some goat cheese and I’m not sure how you can go wrong?!

I’m off to honor our country by being a productive, contributing citizen and gettin’ some work/errands done! Tomorrow morning I leave for Nashville and then will drive on to Birmingham with my parents for my BIG BROTHER’S WEDDING!!!

Cannot wait to be there, but first I want to have some things wiped off the to-do list. Have a wonderful Independence day!

Read Full Post »

What happens when you take the most famous flavor duo of the Western culinary world, and marry it to the heavyweight champion of grandma’s kitchen?

You black out. And wake up to the smell of….

Peanut Butter and Jelly Banana Bread!

A few days ago, I had some ole’ bananas on their last legs and a serious baking itch, but I didn’t want to have to buy any new ingredients. And for some reason, a recently purchased container of Trader Joe’s crunchy pb was also singing it’s siren song to me…

I think I searched “Peanut Butter Loaf” on Tastespotting.com (get in the game), started browsing the search results, and found THIS vegan recipe for pb&j banana bread!

It looked fabulous, sounded simple and was perfectly tailored to my current pantry!

When you know, you know.

Ohhhhh boyyyy, this is a doozie!

I think I actually heard music when I took my first bite of this bread. ‘Course I’m biased, since I’d eat pb&j if it were sandwiched in sheetrock, but I’m pretty sure this luscious loaf will appeal to just about anyone!

WHOLE WHEAT PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY BANANA BREAD

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (I only have WW right now, but you can use all-purpose or a mixture if you like)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 large, uber-ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (decreased from 1 cup and it was still PLENTY sweet)
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 milk (I used almond)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider or white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup good quality jam

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 F. Generously butter a 9″ x 4″ loaf pan, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, smash together bananas, sugar, and peanut butter until well combined. Add milk and vinegar, and whisk again to combine.

My favorite flavors. Plus sugar. Oh spoon, you willing enabler!

Using a spatula, gently fold in the dry mixture, stirring until no streaks of flour remain. Lumps are ok and don’t overmix! Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top.

Dollop jam over the top, and use a sharp knife to try to marbelize it into the batter (this didn’t go so well for me).

If someone figures out how to do this correctly, I’m all (green) ears

Transfer to oven, and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out free of batter (don’t confuse batter with jam!). Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then run a knife or spatula around the side and turn out to cool completely.

This bread came out even more delicious than I possibly could have anticipated, and my expectations were SKKKYYY HIGH with such a slammin’ ingredient list!

Plus it’s dern healthy t’boot!

I’ve been munching on this bread everywhichaway and at every opportunity I can finagle.

pre-commute snack, lightly toasted with buttah

Post-workout energy boost with Protein Frosting 2.0

Just making good that much better. Tonight’s dessert!

I’m so pumped to be able to add this recipe to my baking lineup, and I’m thinkin’ this will be my new go-to for potlucks and such. A triumvirate of peanut butter, jelly and banana in one perfectly moist, sweet and heart-healthy loaf?!

It’s almost unfair.

Almost :).

I’m off to get my beauty rest because I have a verrryyyy exciting weekend coming up! One of my dearest friends is getting married in Florida, and I am just ITCHING to get myself to the beach!

I probably won’t have a chance to post again until Monday, but I hope y’all have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll be sure to capture my fun in the sun for ya!

Read Full Post »

Before I dive into this post, I want to share something I read on a card that I received recently:

“To believe is to know that life is happening exactly as it is meant to be…

Stay true to yourself and don’t give up,

Because dreams really can come true.

Lovely, eh? As I have noted before, I do not believe that things ‘happen for a reason’ in the sense that some divine or supernatural hand is moving the elements of our lives around like pawns in a chess game. What I do believe is that we often make decisions for reasons we can’t recognize at the time. Our subconscious takes care of us, sets us (albeit shakily) on the right path, even if we can’t appreciate why immediately.

For example, we may not understand why we feel compelled to eat cake as a pre-work morning snack, but clearly our body knows something we don’t…

Oh, wait, think I figured it out.

A few weeks ago I was researching easy chocolate cake recipes, and I came across a recipe for something called Wacky Cake. Have y’all heard of a Wacky Cake?! Apparently, this brilliant cake resulted from a need to ration during the Depression and World War II, as milk and eggs were scarce.

Miraculously, the unconventional ingredient list still yields a fabulously delicious result! I was blown away by the rave reviews online, but a lil’ tickle in my brain told me I could take it a step beyond wacky and make it yummier AND healthier...

Insane Chocolate Banana Cake (Wacky Cake 2012 Style)

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 ripe banana, pureed in a blender or mashed reeealll good (Note: if you want the extra moisture that this provided but don’t like banana flavor, add another tbs of oil OR you could try adding 1/4 c yogurt or applesauce)
  • 4 generous tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cider or white vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup cold brewed decaf coffee, 1/4 water
  • Generous 1/2 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (I used TJ 72% Pound Plus obvs)
Since I didn’t have time to wait for brewed coffee to cool in the fridge, I tested something out that prolly everyone already does except me, and it was a great success!

Just iced up me coffee pot! Call me Captain Obvious, but I may or may not have done a happy dance when I poured cool coffee outta this thing.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Grease an 8×8 inch cake pan with some melted buttah.
  3. In one bowl, gently mix your flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and cocoa.
  4. In another bowl, mix your oil, pureed banana, vinegar, coffee and vanilla. Slowly add your dry ingredients into the wet and mix until barely incorporated.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and give just a few more stirs.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Ain’t nothin’ depressing here.

PEOPLE—this cake is SO chocolately, SO moist, SO delicious! AND it is absolutely a top nutritional contender in the baked goods world. Plus it’s easy peasy.

Once again, I used my taste tester (roomie Carina) as a gauge, and this cake elicited a this is so ridiculously good I can’t help but giggle burst of laughter. So laugh and eat…insanely…we did!

Lemme know if you give it a try, and don’t forget to enter my GIVEAWAY for your chance to win an entire box of my favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter Grab the Gold snack bars! Click HERE for details. The giveaway ends Sunday night!

Read Full Post »

I…

well, I…

Ok, I’m just going to come out and say it…

I LOVE QUICHE!

It’s warm and cheesy and has a flaky crust (more crust always try to sneak more crust!) and I just LOVE LOVE it!

Yet for some reason, It seems that quiche has fallen into the black hole of  gummable, bland, unsophisticated ‘old people’ grub, along with porridge and canned fruit. It’s not even cool enough these days to make its way onto most comfort food restaurant menus, and I fear that the beauty of a great quiche has been lost forever. Maybe it’s the name? (Sort of It’s an awkward name).

Regardless, I submit that quiches are truly a marvelous culinary invention. One quiche can not only provide multiple meals for the busy or budgeting, but it can be a complete meal in itself—protein from eggs, fat from cheese, crusty carbs and veggies from whatever you like! They’re absurdly easy to throw together, offer endless variations, and they taste darn delicious!

What.is.not.to.love.you.tell.me.this!

I’ve been wanting to make a quiche for a while, and I finally mustered the courage to manifest my quiche love two nights ago. I used this recipe by Ellie Krieger for inspiration, but made a fair amount of modifications based on my pantry and taste (they’re versatile so versatile!).

Hot pie in the city.

My quiche turned out marvelously! I have not been able to stop going back for forkfuls!

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Cheddar Quiche:

Ingredients:

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced thinly into half moons
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp sharp mustard (Dijon, Grey Poupon etc.)
  • 2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 4 extra large eggs
  • 1 cup evaporated fat-free milk (not condensed milk)
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (about 1-ounce)
  • Store-bought pie crust (can’t help it, I love these!)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375.

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large nonstick pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and 2 tsp of Balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes.

Ideally I would let my onions caramelize for at least 40 minutes, but in the interest of time and my belly, a touch of balsamic adds that ideal sweetness.

Transfer the onions to a bowl. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan and heat over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have released their water and begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the onions back to the pan, stir in the salt, pepper and mustard.

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, evaporated milk and nutmeg.

Sprinkle the cheese into the pie crust. Top with the mushroom-onion mixture and pour the egg mixture on top.

It aches that I cannot pop those bubbles.

Bake for 35 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

U F Oh my god it’s good!

Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting into 6 wedges and serving.

This is a super easy recipe, and I recognize that quiches are tough to screw up, but this particular flavor combination is outrageously yummy!! Props to Ellie for the addition of mustard (although she calls for dry), and maybe a little prop to Bean for the balsamic and nutmeg—they really do add a layer of flavor! 🙂

Truthfully though, if any of these ingredients doesn’t suit your fancy, you can take the basic recipe and add whatever you like. I might try sausage, spinach and Swiss next mmmm.

I adore recipes like this, where I so look forward to the next opportunity to enjoy it. Served hot or cold, as breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a snack, this recipe proves that QUICHE deserves a place in the culinary spotlight!

BON SOIR!

Read Full Post »

HAPPY THURSDAY!

We’re almost there!!!

The meat of today’s post is a review for the May Peanut Butter Fingers Book club book, hosted by the blog’s mastermind Julie!

I absolutely adore Peanut Butter Fingers—Julie has a positive, balanced outlook on life that is rare to come by these days, and her site is truly a wealth of food/fitness/mental health knowledge!

Fair warning: This is a wordy review. If that’s not your thang, go ahead and scroll on down to the gem at bottom :).

Synopsis: on the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a thirty-two-year-old Realtor, had three goals: sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she’s about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all. Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent captive in a remote mountain cabin — which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist — is a second narrative recounting the nightmare that follows her escape: her struggle to piece her shattered life back together, the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor, and the disturbing sense that things are far from over. The truth doesn’t always set you free. Still Missing is a shocking, visceral, brutal, and beautifully crafted debut novel about surviving the unsurvivable — and living to bear witness. (Source)

 I hate to be a Negative Nancy two reviews back to back, but the above description, though technically accurate, makes this book out to be way more glamorous than it actually is.  Like Sarah’s Key, there are two stories running in Still Missing, and I felt differently towards but equally disappointed by both.

The primary narrative takes place through a hokey construction of conversations with her anonymous therapist. I assume that the author intended this as a way to follow Annie’s recovery from a uniquely personal point of view. Unfortunately, it did nothing for me, except to add another character with an ill-defined role into the mix.

Annie’s pre-abduction boyfriend Luke and best friend Christina begin as promising antidotes to her relentless negativity. But the undercurrent of competitiveness between Annie and Christina isn’t convincingly absolved by their cheap declarations of friendship in the last chapter. Luke is promoted as her “rock” throughout the novel, and then she ditches him at the end to pursue a sickly Freudian relationship with the silver-haired officer that solves her case?!

And her mother—oh, her mother—is such a painful caricature from the very beginning, that I could barely muster an eye-roll when she is eventually pegged as the mastermind behind her daughter’s abduction.

Stevens tries to make Annie’s struggle to regain her life poignant, with moments such as the following:

 “There are all these books that say we create our own destiny and what we believe is what we manifest. You’re supposed to walk around with this perpetual bubble over your head thinking happy thoughts and then everything is going to be sunshine and roses. Nope, sorry, don’t think so. You can be as happy as you’ve ever been in your life, and shit is still going to happen.”

Suspending my personal opinions on the matter, I might have found this credible, if Annie were presented to us as ever having been a positive person. You get the sense that she’s, well, always been a sourpuss! Even before the death of her father and sister, Annie admits that she was the shadow behind her happy-go-lucky sister.

Perhaps I’m being unfair, but the bottom line is, I wasn’t on Annie’s side from page one. And I happen to believe very strongly that positivity begets positivity, which isn’t to say that terrible things don’t happen to good people—they sure do. However, I am convinced that maintaining a hopeful mindset through the tough times does, in fact, make them easier and help to breed happiness out of them.

Now, regarding the other narrative that takes place in this book—the grotesquely exhaustive account of Annie’s abduction…

Honestly, as a curious human being, I was riveted by the dirty details in a car-crash-can’t-close-my-eyes sort of way. But, other than to quicken my commute for several days, the dark, meticulous narrative did not help me to understand Annie’s “deeper” struggles.  In fact, I think the extensive detail takes away from the (intended) seriousness of her recovery, as the reader can only focus on what act is next in the “Freak’s” carnival show.

Perhaps I need not say it, but I would not recommend this book. Even for the thriller aspects of it. This is simply because I cannot promote  a book that calls to and indulges our basest instincts without some sort of redeeming quality.

Now, to quickly lighten things before you vow never to return to my blog—may I share with you the INCREDIBLE recipe that I whipped up last night?!

I had a ton of basil leftover from my Basil-Peach Chicken Breasts, and pesto immediately sprung to mind as a way to use it. However, I reaaally didn’t want to have to buy anything else! Using the magic that is Tastespotting.com, I found the perfect solution:

Almond-Basil Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup ground almonds
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • scant 1/4 tsp salt
  • plain unsalted almond butter
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • juice of 1/4 – 1/2 a lemon

Instructions: Skin and squash the garlic. Add everything except the oil into a food processor and process until a green mush forms. Scrape down once and add your olive oil. Blitz again until oil is fully incorporated. I like my pesto chunky and not super-oily, but feel free to continue to add oil and run machine until you reach your desired consistency.

Voila!

I had a feeling that this stuff would be good, but nothing could have prepared me for just how absurdly delicious it is! The almonds/almond butter provide a creaminess that I worried might be missing without Parmesan cheese. I am a pesto-fanatic in general, but I think this combination might be my favorite yet.

I couldn’t resist adding a blob to my basil-peach chicken last night, but it would also be fabulous on fish, vegetables, crackers, or mixed with a bit of extra olive oil and tossed into couscous or salad greens. Frankly—it’s tasty enough to have been be eaten by the spoonful!

I hope this recipe has redeemed me every so slightly from my scathing review above. Trust me though, just as you KNOW when I like a food, you will hear equally lavish praise when I adore a book.

Have a lovely night, all!

Read Full Post »

Summer Kickoff Recipe

Is there any greater harbinger of summer than that first appearance of fresh peaches? Good peaches—juice bursting beneath the fragile velvety skin, vine-ripened, sun-warmed and fragrant?

Where I come from, I’d wager than the answer is no.

Do I dare?

I squealed with glee (no, not inwardly) when I noticed peaches at the fruit stands  this weekend! I immediately purchased three of them (3/$1 love those vendors) and enjoyed one practically on the spot.

I originally intended to simply eat them as ambrosial snacks, but then I noticed this recipe for Basil-Peach Chicken in the May edition of Southern Living…

Sold like a pig at auction!

Basil-Peach Chicken Breasts

  • 4 skinned and boned chicken breasts (about 2 lb.) (I used three large)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger (I used 1/4 tsp ground)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium fat-free chicken broth (I used 3/4 c to compensate for my missing breast!)
  • 4 large peaches, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 2 cups)
  • Garnish: fresh basil leaves

Instructions:

First, preheat the oven to 350° and set up your mise-en-place!

My mama taught me a trick for chopping basil that I put to use in this recipe. Simply stack your basil leaves on top of each other and roll the leaves length-wise like you’re rolling up a tortilla.

Holding the tail end with one hand, used the other hand to slice up the roll! Not only does it speed up the process, but it creates lovely basil ribbons :).

Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Cook chicken in hot oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes on each side or until browned.

Remove chicken from skillet, reserving drippings in skillet.  Reduce heat to medium. Add shallot to hot drippings in skillet, and sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 45 to 60 seconds or until fragrant. Add basil, chicken broth, and peaches.

Return chicken to skillet, and turn to coat. I transferred the mixture to a Pyrex baking dish because I’m not sure if my skillet is oven-proof!  Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is done.

Hold yourself steady while the scent tries to knock you sideways.

Truly—the fragrance of warm muddled peaches and basil is other-worldly! I made sure to pair every bite of moist chicken with a bit of each.

I paired the dish with whole wheat pasta and sauteed spinach. Couscous or brown rice would also be fabulous.

This recipe is the perfect meal to kick of summer and honor one of it’s most glorious edible achievements.

If you give it a try, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did (and will continue to do this week!)

Welcome, summer! You’ve been sorely missed 🙂

Read Full Post »

How was everyone’s Memorial Day Weekend?!

My leisurely weekend in the city was lovely, and I look forward to the few more that I have ahead of me this summer! I will certainly relish each and every one.

Before diving into this post, I want to take a moment to reflect on what this holiday truly means, and thank all of the men and women who have served and are serving this country. It is because of your continued sacrifice that I have the freedom to express myself on this forum.

And it is certainly something to celebrate! Which is why I’d guess that healthy food and fitness are just about the LAST two things on your mind right now…

Try to remember us?

Well, great news! The recipe I have for you today is healthy, but it tastes anything but! And isn’t that the best of both worlds?

We’ll get there soon, but I first want to share just a few snippets that encapsulate my wonderful weekend:

Breakfasts always—I decided this weekend that I demand a bit of chew with my Green Monsters. Smoothie: 1 container Raspberry Chobani, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 frozen banana, 3 ice cubes, 2 large handfuls spinach; piece of Great Harvest 9-grain toast with butter.

Smoothie: 1 tbs pb, 1 frozen banana, 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup almond milk, cinnamon, 1/8 tsp vanilla extract, 2 large handfuls spinach; piece of Publix Breakfast bread toasted with butter.

Even more of these! I’ve perfected my order—medium iced coffee with 3 pumps whole milk, 1 Splenda packet, 1 dash cinnamon, 2 dashes cocoa powder (give or take :)). HITS.THE.SPOT

Views from up close. Nutellin’ what kind of trouble I got into over here 🙂

Views from afar. Taken on the roof of my 37-floor building, overlooking the East River

Eats healthy for my bod! SEASONAL SALAD at Telepan Restaurant:
greens, vegetables & lemon vinaigrette

Eats healthy for my soul :). My favorite ice cream in the city! Grasshopper Pie from Emack and Bolio’s: Creme de Menthe with Chocolate Chips and Oreos (not my picture but same flavor; I had my scoop in a cup)

Greatest of all—many quiet moments in my nest. I adore my room, and cannot stress the value of having a place all your own that you find comfy and aesthetically pleasing!

Looking back through these pictures, this was truly a special weekend, and I love that I feel energized going into the work week  rather than drained!

Thank you for indulging my rerun, and now I shall reward you with an indulgence of your own!

I’m back with an 808 cuz I’m gloss-ay!

CHOCOLATE 1-2-3 CAKE BALLS!!!

You’ve probably heard of cake pops, and you’ve certainly heard of truffles. Well, these bad boys are a happy hybrid of the two!

I made a Chocolate 1-2-3 Cake several weeks ago and decided to freeze half, since I had so many other goodies lying around my pantry. I spied the leftover half this Saturday morning while grabbing some frozen naners and decided I couldn’t let it go to waste!

A coworker of mine made cake pops a while ago, and I remembered her saying that the filling was a mixture of cake and icing…

Well, hey, I thought blithely—I have a healthy chocolate sauce recipe in my repertoire that could easily sub as frosting! And what about the candy coating on the outside?

They don’t add in the PLUS for nothin’!

TJ’s Pound Plus for the win!

Sound a little too easy? A little too convenient? Maybe, but I knew I had a winner before I even rolled up my sleeves.

Chocolate 1-2-3 Cake Balls:

For the Cake: Follow my 1-2-3 Cake recipe HERE, using chocolate cake mix and chocolate sugar-free instant Jell-O pudding. Allow cake to cool completely before using.

For the Balls:

  • 1/2 Chocolate 1-2-3 Cake, approx 2 cups packed with cake
  • 2 tbs coconut oil or canola oil
  • 2 tbs brown rice syrup or honey
  • 8 squares Trader Joe’s Pound Plus 72% Chocolate Bar, approx. 4.5 oz
  • Optional—topping of choice. I used crushed peanut butter-filled pretzels, but coconut flakes, chopped nuts, crushed peppermints etc. would all be fun—whatever tickles your fancy!

Instructions:

Line a baking tray (small enough to fit in the fridge) with parchment paper. Crumble cake into a large bowl with your fingers. Add oil and sweetener to the cake (melt coconut oil if using) and get to mixin’! Squish and knead all the goodness together until it forms one large sticky ball. Then, form truffle-sized balls from the mama ball, rolling dough between your palms to help create a circular shape. Set balls onto baking tray.

In a microwave-safe dish, nuke chocolate on 30-second intervals until almost completely melted. Stir with a spatula until remaining chunks melt. Add dough balls one by one into the melted chocolate. Roll ball gently around chocolate, nudging with a spoon, until coated. Use spoon to carefully lift balls out of chocolate and back onto the baking tray.

When all of your balls are dipped and lined onto the tray, sprinkle on your toppings (if using), cover tray very loosely with saran wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour before handling. Keep balls refrigerated.

Now dig in! Remember to Chew.

Because this will probably be your only opportunity to see the inside of one if you make them.

The picture above doesn’t begin to do these suckers justice. I’ve shared them with two people thus far, and being the creep that I am, noticed that they BOTH closed their eyes and mmmm’d their way through! Compliment paid, no words needed.

I don’t know their nutritional stats, but I do know that they’re significantly lower in sugar than your average cake pop or truffle, and the bit of fat they have from the coconut (or canola) oil and dark chocolate is the good, heart-healthy kind! Not to mention that they’re super easy to throw together.

So do yourselves and favor and nurse your hangover with something that tastes fabulously sinful, has built-in portion control, and won’t make you feel worse (but easily could improve the situation)!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »