Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts


Paleo Candy: Chocolate Coconut Fudge with ANYTHING YOU WANT Inside

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I know what you're thinking. Girl couldn't even go two weeks enduring the paleo diet without making some fake candy. What can I say? It was the weekend, I had time on my hands, and I figured pre-making some health-ified desserts for post-meal satisfaction couldn't hurt.

I was only partly right. Unfortunately, my husband is not into nuts (don't get me started...), so I was eating these all alone. And I. Could. Not. Stop.

I tried putting them in the freezer to make them so hard I wouldn't be able to have any instant gratification. Didn't work. I just dug right in and ate them frozen.

This stuff is that good. It's like crack or something (I wouldn't know first hand on that one, I'm just saying, it's addicting).

You can pretty much do whatever add-ins and toppings you want once you get the fudge base right. I went with roughly chopped walnuts and almonds, coconut flakes, and cranberries inside and some almond butter topping on top of half of my batch. I have to say, the dried cranberries were amazing and I wished I had thrown more in. 

Other ideas: any dried fruit (dried cherries? yumz), any nuts (pecans? PISTACHIOS? oh my gosh), fresh fruit (obviously this would limit its shelf life, but I think it would be amazing with some fresh strawberries and raspberries in the summer time), cooked unflavored quinoa (crunchy!)... the possibilities are kind of endless, and I can't wait to see what you guys come up with.

Chocolate Coconut Fudge with ANYTHING YOU WANT Inside

Adapted from: This Recipe


  • 1.5 cups coconut oil
  • 1 cup cacao powder
  • 1.5 tbsp stevia or sugar substitute (Note: If your palate is used to natural sweetness as opposed to artificial, you will probably enjoy this treat with even less sweetness. If that's you, start with 1 tbsp and see how it tastes!)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (OPTIONAL)
  • Any add ins you want! Nuts, fruits, etc. 


  • Melt coconut oil in the microwave (60 seconds, then stir, and nuke for another 30 if not dissolved entirely).
  • Stir in cacao, stevia, salt, and cayenne pepper (optional). Whisk until well combined. Taste test to ensure you like the balance, and adjust cacao/stevia/salt balance as you desire.
  • Stir in your add-ins, like nuts, syrups, fruits, etc.
  • Pour into a cake pan lined with aluminum foil, and fold back the foil to make this the desired thickness you want (you can just fold it and it will stay put!).
  • Put in the freezer for 2 hours.
  • To serve, let sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes for best texture... but let's be real, it tastes good no matter what (and it never freezes completely, so it won't break your teeth!).


Naples Pt 1... Somebody Get Me a Juice Cleanse

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I am hanging out in the 80 degree weather in the Naples, Florida area this weekend, and let me just say that I am trying my best to stock up on my Vitamin D so that I can survive the rest of winter in the Midwest... I'm sorry I can't bring any back for you.

My wakeup on Friday morning was 4:30am. The only way to make this happen is with an iPhone alarm and lots, lots, lots of emojis.

I somehow managed to get to the airport with all of my toiletries, limbs, and electronics intact... except for my iPhone charger. I pulled a Carly and left my iPhone charger plugged into the wall next to my bed. What can I say, life is hard at 4:30am. 

Just chilling with Tory, Diane, Apple, Lulu, and Sperry. My travel BFFs.

Another thing that is hard at the butt crack of dawn? (Besides anything, ever...) --> FLYING! We booked the trip last minute, so I flew Spirit on my way into Florida and am flying United back. The thing about Spirit is they do not give you any food or drink. Like, not even a cup of crappy water. You have to pay like five bucks for a tiny water bottle. Not my jam.

So, as soon as we landed, I was on a mission to hydrate. A huge Smartwater did the job.

Are you making me smarter?

After a quick stop to drop my bags off, we headed to the ballpark. We had second row seats, so I really could not complain. The Boston Red Sox played the Minnesota Twins. Despite not knowing (or caring) a bit about baseball, I enjoyed a Bud Light (and a bag of pistachios I smuggled in, don't tell) and had a great time. 

Don't know, don't care, I am loving the sun.

This was followed by a series of shrimp and tuna, which left me extremely stuffed and ready to pass out. I woke up early the next morning to go on a run, but it was only 55 degrees at 6:45am, so I grabbed my lulu jacket since I was a dummy and didn't bring pants.

Look who's excited to wear shorts outside!

I ended up doing a combination of sprints and walks. I have been planning on a Paleo/Primal March for quite a few weeks now, so I was determined to make my March 1st workout count. I sprinted all out and then walked or jogged for a while in between.

Other things that happened: Amazing swordfish on the beach.

Oh yeah. Swordfish is dreamy. 

Shrimp. More shrimp. The image below used to be a plate of coconut shrimp, but... well, then they all disappeared. I truly do not know what happened.

I would do it all over again.

Hanging out in Olde Naples.

And eating far, far, FAR too much dessert. No I did not eat all of this... but I am going to be stuffed for a while. Don't get mad at me when I go on a juice cleanse upon returning to the Midwest...

Let's talk about dessert.



  • Do you indulge in dessert or are you healthy on vacation?
  • Do you try to get in workouts while on vaca or just live by 'when in Rome?'


Chili Chocolate Almond Truffles

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The rich sweetness of chocolate, the slight kick of chili powder, and the delicious crunch of almonds... what's not to love?

Warning: You're going to want to make these. I would advise trying to make them before a social gathering, so that you don't blink and accidentally eat them all. I also should warn you that you may inadvertently "taste test" far too many heaping tablespoons of the melted chocolate mixture. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Another warning... as I made these, I started singing a little song. The lyrics are simple, so you should probably join in: "Everyday, I'm truffling... Everyday, I'm truff-fa--fa--faling." <--There you go. Now you have an awful song stuck in your head. You're very, very welcome.

I made these for blogger book club this month. I hadn't spent much time thinking of recipe development for the group, so I had to kind of scramble the day before. I found a recipe online that looked pretty good, but I didn't have all of the ingredients, so it turned into a bit of an experiment.

This recipe is adapted from this Chocolate Chili Truffles recipe from Elana's Pantry. I love her recipes and would have followed it to a "T," except that I didn't have all of the ingredients on hand, so I had to improvise. Since I was bringing this to a book club where I know at least one person has a coconut allergy, I omitted coconut milk in exchange for almond milk (with almond extract already in the mix, I figured anyone with that allergy was already out!). Also had run out of agave, so I subbed honey for that. And had no finely chopped almonds (and no desire to chop whole ones), so I just subbed chia seeds there.

Chili Chocolate Almond Truffles

Ingredients... For Truffle Base:

  • 2 cups Chocolate Chips
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Almond Extract
  • 2 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 3/4 cup Almond Milk
  • 1 tbsp Chia Seeds

...For Truffle Powder:

  • 2tbsp Cacao Powder
  • 3 tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder


  1. Melt Chocolate using a double boiler or the microwave. I put it in the microwave for 90 seconds, take out and stir, then again for 30 seconds, and take it out and stir.
  2. Add honey, almond extract, chili powder, chia seeds, and almond milk and mix well. If the almond milk is not mixing in with the chocolate, try heating it for another 30 seconds with all ingredients in the bowl, and then stir again.
  3. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, until it reaches a frosting-like consistenct.
  4. Scoop into balls and place on parchment paper-lined sheet. Set aside.
  5. Combine ingredients for truffle powder (Cacao Powder, Chia Seeds, more Chili Powder). 
  6. Roll balls in truffle powder.
  7. Serve.


Bruleed Bananas and Dates in Chobani

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I used to focus so heavily on recipe posting that my recipe list would grow by 2 or 3 each week. Now? As I focus a bit more on real life, the recipes have been few and far between.

#Oops. I guess this blog is as versatile and changing as real life. #SorryImNotSorry

That said, sometimes I make something that is just so delicious, it pretty much comes out of the oven screaming "SHARE ME ON THE BLOG!" Like a mandrake root kind of scream (Harry Potter for the win). A girl has to oblige.

This recipe is an awesome breakfast, mid-day snack, or even dessert. Don't hesitate to swap out ingredients, like using a different greek yogurt (or regular yogurt, if you must). If you want it a bit sweeter, feel free to use vanilla instead of plain yogurt.

Bruleed Bananas and Dates in Chobani


  • 1 Banana
  • 1 tbsp Sugar, for sprinkling
  • 3 Dates
  • 2 tbsp Organic Shredded Coconut, No sugar added
  • 1 tbsp Sliced Almonds (Walnuts, Pistachios or Pralines would be delicious here, too)
  • 1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Parchment paper


  1. Slice banana into 1/2-1/4 inch pieces. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and sprinkle sugar on top of banana pieces. Broil for a few minutes, until the sugar has browned. Set aside.
  2. Chop dates.
  3. Scoop yogurt into a bowl or cup. Add banana slices, then sprinkle with dates, shredded coconut, and almonds.
  4. Enjoy the heck out of that bowl of delicious goodness.


Go Big or Go Home

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More than a few times this week, I've made the decision to Go Big. On Saturday, at CostCo, I spotted my favorite white roses. It's not the biggest splurge of my life by any means, but it's still not something I do every week. But, into my cart they went. Now I'm enjoying them in three rooms in my house. Well done, Carly.

Example two... Pizza and wine. On our way home one afternoon this week, we walked past our favorite neighborhood pizza place and saw that they had half priced wine. Delicious coal-fired pizza and discounted vino? Not a hard decision. Done and done.

White pizza with lots of cheese, basil, and extra parm. Winning combination. So worth it. 

Part three... the next day, my fiance got a text inviting us to watch the Cubs game that night from the skybox at Wrigley. Yet another easy decision... free seats, free food, free drinks, and great company? Done.

And then there's the dessert cart. I had a peanut butter cookie (peanut butter with peanut butter cups in it, omg) with a scoop of ice cream on top and a side shot of kahlua in a chocolate shot glass. Yes, I ate the whole thing. Yes, I enjoyed every bite. #GoodDecisions

Do you go big every once in a while?

What are your big "splurge" items?


Protein Honey Cheesecake

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My Dearest Readers,

I am writing to let you know that I think you deserve the best. We're talking the absolute best. No cheap imitation, no dishonest fakery, nothing that pretends to be one thing and turns out to be another. Just the pure, honest to goodness, delectable best.

I think you deserve to eat something that is utterly delicious. You deserve to drool over the mere thought of such a sweet, tasty bite... and then, you deserve to consume it.

You also deserve to have all of these things without feeling guilty. After all, where is the beauty in consuming something so deeply gratifying, only to be left with regrets? I contend that it would be much more beautiful to ditch the guilt in favor of satisfaction. Contentment. Joy. Thankfulness.

And so, I made you this cheesecake. So that you can not only indulge your senses and give in to temptation... but feel proud of it. That's right. I said proud. You can eat this for breakfast to start your day out with a butt kicking of protein. You can eat it after a workout to repair your muscles. You can eat it day and night without feeling guilty, because you're not consuming empty, sugary calories.

It's just plain good.



Protein Honey Cheesecake
Adapted From: Blogilates (Her recipe includes berries - head on over and check it out if you'd like!)
Prep Time: <5 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: <25 Minutes
Ingredients for Cheesecake:
  • 1 cup 0% Fat, Plain Greek Yogurt (Oikos, Chobani, or Fage will all work, among others. I tried out Oikos for this recipe)
  • 2 tbsp Low Fat Cottage cheese (I used 1% milk fat)
  • 1 tbsp Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Whole Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Vanilla Whey
  • 1/4 Cup Stevia

Indredients for Crust:
  • 6 pitted Prunes
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds (they break up faster than whole ones)

  1. If making a crust, combine prunes and almonds in a food processor and blend until they form a rough gravel. If you don't have a food processor, you can finely chop the prunes and break up the slivered almonds with your hands into tiny pieces and then mix well with your hands. Then, distribute crust into a greased cupcake pan and press down to make it a compact layer.
  2. Combine all cake ingredients in a blender and blend for about 20 seconds or until smooth. 
  3. Pour the mixture into the cupcake pan (if you included a crust, you'll pour this over that), filling to about 3/4 full. This mixture will not rise the same way a real cupcake would.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.

  • Blogilates includes a recipe for the crust. While I did make a few of these with crust, I contend that it's not particularly necessary. They're just as delicious without the crust. That said, I did modify the crust recipe to make it slightly lower calorie. It's a very thin crust that pretty much only serves to add just the tiniest bit of crunch.


DIY Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark

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A no-nonsense way to cure your cravings. Go ahead. Indulge yourself.

Years ago, I babysat for a family that seemed to always have a tin of chocolate bark sitting out. In between playing with the kids and loading the dishwasher, it was part of my tradition to sneak a piece. It made my night.

From the initial snap as you break off a morsel to the melting sensation as the chocolate dissolves in your mouth... sometimes something simple is hard to beat.

Especially when you add crushed peppermint on top. Which I obviously had to do.

I know what you're thinking. And no, this won't ruin your new years resolution diet. At least, not if you have self control and use the right ingredients. Here's why:

First, dark chocolate is good for you. It can cure your sweet tooth without causing a spike in your blood sugar -- which means it won't leave you high and dry thirty minutes later, which would cause you to eat more. Add to that the powerful antioxidant qualities of dark chocolate (and a laundry list of other benefits which you can read about here) and you've got yourself a good deal.

The key? Make sure you're finding dark chocolate. Most store bought barks don't use dark chocolate, and frequently companies add oils to the mixture to help keep the melted chocolate texture consistent. Those changes degrade the health benefits while adding extra calories. So, take it from me: find some dark chocolate to melt!

If you don't eat it all, this is a great treat to share. Bring it into the office and leave it out for your coworkers, or place it in a beautiful glass jar to give as a gift.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Recipe Size: Fills one pan
Serving Size: ~2 pieces
  • 3 cups dark chocolate morsels (or chopped up)
  • 1 cup soft peppermint - Peppermint can be in stick or small candy form, and can use soft or hard peppermint. soft peppermint is easier to break, so if you can find it, I suggest that.
  • Parchment paper
  1. Line a pan (preferably a deeper pan, like a cake pan) with parchment paper. If possible, try to make sure the paper lines the sides as well. If you need to use multiple sheets to do this, go ahead.
  2. Break peppermint into small, crumble size pieces. To do this, I used sticks of softer peppermint and put them inside three layers of plastic bags. Then, I placed them on a wood cutting board and used a mallet (a blunt meat tenderizer would also work) to hammer the pieces until they break into small pieces.
  3. Melt chocolate in a medium or large bowl. Put the bowl in the microwave for 90 seconds, then stir before putting it back in the microwave for 15 second intervals (only do one or two of these 15 second intervals, and be sure to stir well in between). Once most of the lumps are gone after stirring, stop microwave intervals and stir until the lumps dissolve.
  4. Pour melted chocolate onto the parchment paper. Spread and even out the chocolate using a large spoon.
  5. Sprinkle peppermint pieces on top. If you want the pieces to be deeper in the bark, feel free to press them down with clean fingers.
  6. Place in the freezer to cool until hardened. Remove from the freezer and wait an hour before breaking into small pieces.

P.S. What's your favorite wintertime snack?


Skinny Tiramisu (139 Calories Per Slice)

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Tiramisu that tastes so gourmet, you won't believe how it's made. It's rich and creamy, with just the right edge of coffee, cinnamon, and chocolate. Will keep in the fridge for days, so it's perfect to make ahead! And at only 139 calories per slice, it's pretty hard to pass up...

 Pin this recipe if it looks delish!

 Be kind and pin!

On Friday, I asked my Facebook fans what dessert they'd like a skinny version of. There were a few answers... Cheesecake, Creme Brulee, Tiramisu... and I promise, I'll take a crack at all of those recipes. 

First on my list was Tiramisu. For no reason other than that it sounded insanely appetizing when you guys suggested it! And my recipe ended up ringing in at just shy of 140 calories per slice -- sounds like heaven to me!

But really. Bf couldn't believe how gourmet it tastes, for something made with a combination of Nilla Wafers, Greek Yogurt, and Whipped Topping (among other things). It tastes incredibly gourmet, like you're ordering it at a tried and true Italian restaurant.

Not to mention how easy it is. I made two large tupperware bins of it so that we could eat it for days or bring it to work to share. With such good ingredients, I might even have some for breakfast...

Skinny Tiramisu

Calories Per Serving: 139
Servings: 10

  • 14 Oz Greek Yogurt, Plain (I used Chobani Plain 0%)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 4 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 tsp Shaved Chocolate
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 2 tbsp Dark Rum (Optional)
  • 45-50 Nilla Wafers Reduced Fat (My pan fit 3 layers of 16 just perfectly, so I used 48)
  • 6-8 oz Light Whipped Topping (Depends on how thick you want your whipped layers to be)

  1. Mix together greek yogurt, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and 2 tsp shaved chocolate. Freeze for an hour. Remove from freezer and stir before using in recipe.
  2. Brew appx 1 cup of strong coffee. Add 1 tbsp dark rum and stir well, then freeze for 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and stir before using in recipe.
  3. In a tupperware or pan (I used a 9x9 tupperware), begin layering. First, dip Nilla wafers into the coffee/rum mixture and place into the pan, side by site, laying flat. Spoon a few drops of coffee/rum over the Nilla wafers, if desired.
  4. Next, spoon in one layer of whipped cream. Be careful to spread the whipped cream (to cover all of the wafers) without disturbing the Nilla wafers too much. On top of the whipped cream, add a thin layer of chocolate shavings.
  5. Add another layer of coffee/rum-dipped Nilla wafers, then spoon a few drops of coffee/rum over, if desired.
  6. Spoon in one layer of greek yogurt mixture (you'll probably use about 2/3 of it here). Spread the mixture over the wafers the same way you did with the whipped cream. On top, add a thin layer of chocolate shavings.
  7. Next, add another layer of coffee/rum-dipped Nilla wafers, then spoon a few drops of coffee/rum over, if desired.
  8. Next, drop in a few spoons full of the greek yogurt mixture and a few spoon fulls of whipped cream, dispersing fairly evenly. Spread over the Nilla wafers, mixing as you do so. Don't try too hard to mix it perfectly - it should look a bit swirled.
  9. Finally, add another thin layer of chocolate shavings.
  10. Freeze for one hour, then refrigerate until serving!


Frozen Tapioca Brownie Cups - Perfect Party Food!

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Frozen Tapioca Pudding that is thawed just enough to make it ice cream like. Small brownie bites. And whipped cream. What's not to love?! Here's a unique and delicious treat that will have your guests peppering you with questions - What's in it? Where's it from? How'd you make it taste so delicious? 

We had a first here, people. Well, a "first" since I started this blog, at least. For once, I actually followed the directions on the back of a box. I'm usually trying to make substitutions, like swapping a can of La Croix for eggs, oil, and butter or adding applesauce instead of oil. It's fun!

For this recipe, I was a good girl and followed the directions on the boxes. First, I made a pan of brownies. As they were baking, I made one batch of Tapioca pudding using Instant Tapioca granules. As usual, they overflowed. I have a Tapioca curse, I swear, which means that every - and I mean EVERY - single time I make Tapioca, I manage to boil it over and make a huge mess. This is how my kitchen looked:

Yeah, I know. Somebody save me. Bake on!

Frozen Tapioca Brownie Cups

Servings: 20 (This recipe makes enough for a whole party. If you like Tapioca Pudding and Brownies, though, feel free to make it all and eat the leftover ingredients as separate treats!)
  • 1 box Brownie Mix and necessary ingredients (See box)
  • 1 batch Tapioca Pudding Instant Granules and necessary ingredients (See box - probably 1 egg, 3 cups milk, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp Vanilla)
  • 1 can Whipped Cream
  • 1/2 cup Almonds

  1. Make the brownies. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or other temperature, as listed on brownie box). Mix brownie batter and pour into a greased cake pan, then bake for time prescribed on box. Make Tapioca while it bakes, then remove from the oven and let cool.
  2. Make Tapioca. Mix your Tapioca batter and bring to a boil. Watch it carefully! This is where I always mess up because I get so impatient that I go to do something else. Once it boils, remove from heat and stir in Vanilla, then let it cool.
  3. Once everything is cooled, cut the brownies into small, bite-sized pieces. This is not an exact science, just make them very small. Mine were about 1/2 inch by 1/4 inch.
  4. In small cups (or martini glasses - someone try that, please, and send me a picture!), start with a heaping spoon full of Tapioca pudding. Next, add a layer of whipped cream, then the brownie bites, then more whipped cream, and then some sliced almonds. Feel free to continue layering if you'd like to fill the cups up even higher!
  5. Optional: Freeze for 2 hours, thaw for 5 minutes before serving. I initially did this on accident -- I wanted to keep them cold but planned to thaw them fully before serving. Instead, I ended up serving them straight from the freezer... but my coworkers seemed to love it and enjoyed the temperature and consistency. Apparently, frozen-and-slightly-thawed Tapioca pudding is to die for. Who knew?! Hey, kind of like how they discovered chocolate chip cookies...

Oh, and because I love you...

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