Tag Archives: dessert

Chocolate in all forms

There are some times of the month when I swear I can eat chocolate at every meal. While I could definitely put down a pint of Haagen Dazs every night, I try to find healthier ways to control my cravings.

Chocolate ZICO coconut water

When I first heard that ZICO was coming out with a chocolate coconut water I thought – blech! That cannot possibly be good. I’ve tried the other flavored varieties before and they are way too sugary or taste odd to me. So I stuck to plain.

This stuff tastes almost exactly like chocolate milk. Or at least Yoohoo.

Plus it’s only 110 calories for a big bottle, and since it’s so yummy I can take a few sips and put it back in the fridge, unlike plain coconut water which I basically chug so fast I give myself the hiccups.

I need to order a case of this right away.

(source)

Lindt chocolate with a hint of sea salt

I had seen some rave reviews of this chocolate on other blogs, but I’m not usually one to just buy a big honkin car of chocolate from the store. Well, desperate times call for desperate measures.

At first it tastes just like a good piece of dark chocolate, but then, when you get a little rock of salt it causes this little flavor burst that’s so cool! It basically amplifies the effect that you get when you add salt to sweet chocolate chip cookies.

Luna chocolate-peanut butter protein bars

When I was at Target the other day, I picked up a box of these and noticed that they are now labeled gluten free. I guess they just started labeling them, which is great because it clearly differentiates them from the normal Luna bars, which are not gf because of the oats.

“Our ingredient suppliers have confirmed that all ingredients are gluten free, so they contain no gluten from wheat, rye or barley. The location where we make our food is capable of making a gluten free food and we test our finished products to confirm that they are gluten free.” (source)

I can’t say that these taste all that great. They’re protein bars, so, they taste like protein bars. But, half of one out of the freezer works for me if I have a sweet tooth after lunch.

And when all else fails, I can always turn to…

Skinny Cow Chocolate Truffle bars. Because they taste like creamy frozen pudding.  Also, their website is confusing because it says “Does not contain” and then in the list it says “gluten free”. So it does not contain gluten free? Hmm…

Either way, they are gluten free and I can eat a box in two days. Or one day, or one hour.

So, there you have it. Some slightly healthier options for when you feel the need to have a constant stream of chocolate in your diet.

Do you have any other healthy gf chocolate dessert options?

Soft shell crab at Ripple

After a long day of work yesterday, nothing sounded better than a glass of wine and french fries from Ripple in Cleveland Park.  I found out via Twitter that their fries are “100% gluten free and delicious”, as well as their soft shell crab (fried in tapioca flour).

While my girlfriends enjoyed these crazy breadstick things and some cheeses, I tried to make a decision between all of the yummy dishes on their menu.

I wanted one of everything, especially the roasted shrimp, heirloom tomato salad, and the bluefish (no quail for me, thankyouverymuch!).

But that crab was calling my name.

It came on top of green beans with some kind of crazy cumin marinade.

Guess the fries will have to wait until next time.

Afterward we needed something sweet to fuel our trip to the National Cathedral, so we hopped over to Cacao, where they had a nice selection of French macaroons.

An Americano and a vanilla one for me. Usually I go for the more exotic flavors, but this was really good.

I don’t know if there’s a soft shell crab “season”? Either way, I need more of it. Immediately. For every meal of the day.

The bartender at Ripple was really great and knowledgeable about the menu as well, which is always a plus. He said that on any night about 90% of their menu is gluten free (in yesterday’s case, everything but the gnocchi).

I think I’ve found my neighborhood wine bar 🙂

Ripple

3417 Connecticut Ave NW, DC

Nut butter monster bars – Cocomama recipe contest

Today’s the day!  It’s the Cocomama Recipe Contest! They will be posting all of the recipes on their Facebook page, and the one with the most likes wins.  So, you should probably go there and hit the “Like” button to vote for me.

This is my first ever recipe contest, and I think I have a winner. I’m calling them “Nut Butter Monster Bars”.

And don’t they look good for their big judgment day?

Ingredients:

  • 3 3/4 c. gluten free cereal (I used Nature’s Path Honey’d Corn Flakes, but you could use Chex or rice cereal too)
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 T. butter
  • 3/4 c. crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/4 c. plus 1 T almond butter
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • 1/3 c. white chocolate chips

Directions:

1. In a saucepan over low/med heat, stir together honey and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved.

2. Stir in nut butters, butter, and cinnamon and stir until the mixture is smooth

3.  Stir in cereal (depending on the size of the cereal you may want to crunch it up a bit first)

4.  Stir in raisins and chocolate chips (this would also be great with regular chocolate, and any kind of dried fruit)

5.  Press mixture firmly into an 8×8 or 9×6 baking dish (I have a weird Ikea pan)

6. Put in fridge to set, then cut up into squares and freeze the ones you don’t eat right away!

I’m excited for the contest to start!  You should check it out on Facebook and hit the like button for me!

Cheesecake for breakfast

No, I’m not going to post a recipe for some kind of healthy breakfast cheesecake.

Just needed to document that I made a rational, grown-up decision to eat cheesecake this morning for breakfast.

Raw, vegan, gluten-free cheesecake from Cafe Green!  That kind of makes it okay, right?

Agave sweetened, with a cashew crust that tasted just like a crumbly Larabar!

I’m guessing that the filling was tofu?  It tastes like a really dense chocolate mousse.

This is it before I got my grubby paws on it:

Cafe Green, you have almost made up for the bland-wich that I got from your sister restaurant, Java Green.

What a great way to kick off a Friday 🙂

Sticky Fingers Bakery – DC

Yesterday after work I needed to pick up some things in Cleveland Park, which conveniently has a gluten free bakery, Sticky Fingers.  Sticky Fingers is a vegan bakery, but they also have a full menu of savory dishes.

I was very excited to see on their menu that they serve gluten free bread and wraps, as well as gf pancakes on the weekends (before 2:30pm).

I think I’ll have to go back for lunch and try the black bean quesadilla, hummus wrap, or Mac n’ Teese (gluten free pasta and daiya cheese).  Their menu isn’t incredibly easy to navigate, since things aren’t marked clearly as gluten free, but they do provide a list of all the ingredients in their sweets online which is helpful.

Since it was dessert time, I was looking for something with sugar in it.  Unfortunately they sold out of their gluten free cookies for the day, so the only option was cupcakes.  They had three gf varieties, all with chocolate cake, and your choice of mint, vanilla, or chocolate frosting.

I nabbed a chocolate one with vanilla frosting, mostly because I’m a sucker for rainbow sprinkles.  They’re like edible confetti.

Now don’t get me wrong; it’s impressive that anyone can make a vegan cupcake taste good at all.  Sticky Fingers uses tofu in their chocolate batter, and soybeans, and a whole lot of other stuff that sounds complicated.  So I appreciate the work that they did that I didn’t have to.

However… this cupcake was no match for Red Velvet Cupcakery’s chocolate one.  The frosting was really good, but the cake itself was just so-so.  I only ended up eating half of it and throwing the rest out 😦

I’m looking forward to going back to Sticky Fingers to try their savory dishes and get my hands on one of those cookies.  The people there were super nice and helpful, and I’m excited that there is even an option within walking distance of my apartment.

Sticky Fingers Bakery

1370 Park Rd NW
Washington DC 20010

(202) 299-9700

Order online

 

Bananas and Pears Foster

Have you ever seen the show Chopped on Food Network?  It’s a show that challenges chefs to make a dish with a basket full of mystery ingredients, and Nick really likes watching it (I think it’s a tad boring, but the concept is pretty neat).  So, we decided to do our own challenge, and choose the ingredients for each other.  He gave me quince, dark rum, and heavy cream.  So, what else to make but everyone’s favorite – bananas foster?  

I adapted the recipe from the famous one from Brennan’s in New Orleans.  They didn’t have any quince at Whole Foods, so I had to settle for Bartlett pears.  I also used a red banana, which I’d never had before, but tasted just like a normal banana so it didn’t make that much of a difference.

Bananas and Pears Foster 

1/4 stick butter

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 t. cinnamon

1 banana and one pear, cut into “big bite” pieces

1/4 c. dark rum

Fresh whipped cream

Vanilla ice cream

Crumbled ginger snap cookies 

Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet. Place the pan over low heat, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Place the bananas and pears in the pan. When the fruit starts to soften, carefully add the rum. 

Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum. When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place over ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream, top with whipped cream and ginger snaps, and serve immediately. 

Let the sugar high begin!

Paying Homage to Rainbow Jello – Naturally Gluten Free

For Easter weekend, I went home to Michigan to celebrate and eat with my wonderful, loud family.  One of our Easter traditions is the Jello Ribbon Salad.  My grandmother made this salad every year to perfection, and I don’t think that any of us appreciated the labor that goes into it until this year, when we had to fend for ourselves.  My cousin graciously offered to make the dish this year, and I think that she’ll pass the torch to me for next year.  Considering this takes about 48 hours and almost constant monitoring to make, it is definitely a labor of love.

This is one of those 1950s hold overs that’s reminiscent of women wearing aprons, men with crew cuts, and kids hula-hooping in the backyard.  If you have idle hands, or want to make a crowd-pleaser dessert – take a stab at it!

Update (7/2011) – This is the original recipe from my grandma’s cookbook.

Happy (belated) Easter, and may your family traditions live long and prosper 🙂

Rainbow Jello salad

Rainbow Jello Salad:

5 (3 oz. each) pkgs. Jello, any 5 different flavors
5 c. boiling water
10 tbsp. ice water
10 tbsp. sour cream

Dissolve one package Jello in 1 cup boiling water.  Pour 1/2 cup into bowl and add 2 tablespoons ice water.  Chill until set in ring mold or pretty glass serving dish (we use a glass brownie pan).  Blend 2 tablespoons sour cream in remaining Jello and pour over gelatin in mold.  Chill until set, about 20 minutes.  Repeat with each flavor of gelatin remaining.  Pour into mold until ribbon is completed.

Time: about 48 hours.

Serve with a big dollop of whipped cream.