Ooey Gooey Chocolate Rice Pudding

I’m gonna keep this short and sweet, people, because the more time I spend here writing this post, the more time I spending with my fingers typing instead of shoveling spoonful after spoonful of ooey, gooey, creamy, dreamy chocolate rice pudding into my mouth. Yeah, it’s pretty good.

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This steaming bowl of deliciousness is so, so easy to make, with only four real ingredients, plus a few seasonings and whatnot. Plus, it’s dairy-free! (And maybe gluten-free? I’m not actually sure about that. But definitely gluten-lessened!) With no added sugar other than what’s in Almond Breeze’s Chocolate almond milk (and perhaps a drizzle of chocolate syrup at the end… if you’re a glutton like me, hehe), it’s still very rich, hearty, and makes you feel all warm in the tummy.

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Rice pudding in general is actually quite versatile. It’s a dessert that can also be a breakfast food (just think oatmeal, minus the oats), so whatever you’re in the mood for, you’re pretty much covered. I added dried plums (mmm, fiber!) and blueberries to this dish to make it a little more appropriate to eat before 11 AM, but if you’re looking for something even less desserty, you can always just sub in non-chocolate almond milk, too!

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Chocolate Rice Pudding
Makes 2 heaping servings

Ingredients:

3 cups Almond Breeze chocolate almond milk
3/4 cup rice of choice (I used jasmine)
1/4 cup dried plums (or dried fruit of your choice)
2/3 cup fresh blueberries
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of salt
Drizzle of chocolate syrup (optional)

Instructions:

1. In a medium saucepan, heat rice and almond milk until it reaches a soft boil.
2. Add seasonings and dried plums, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. As the milk gets absorbed and the rice thickens, being stirring more frequently. When the desired consistency is reached, remove from heat. Stir in blueberries and serve.
4. Drizzle on a squeeze of chocolate syrup, if desired, and enjoy!

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Nutritional info: Per giant heaping serving (1/2): 345 caloris, 4.6 g fat, 4 g protein. Per normal person’s serving (1/3): 230 calories, 3.1 g fat, 2.6 g protein.

almondbreezelogoThe above post was sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, but all content is 100% my own.

Cake “Truffles”

3 Sibs, 3 Days

In honor of there being merely THREE days until Christmas, I attempted to make cake pops for the first time ever. Well, okay, they weren’t really cake pops as much as cake balls (heh). And as a self-proclaimed lover of all miniaturized and adorable foods, I didn’t know why I had never bothered to make them before.

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Now I do.

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Making cake pops is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for the lazy. I knew the general principle behind them. You mix a baked cake with frosting, shape ’em, refrigerate ’em, stick ’em, and cover ’em with chocolate. It sounds simple, right? Well, having to make an entire dessert in order to make a different dessert should have been my first clue that this wasn’t going to be a cakewalk (badoom-ching!).

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It is an extremely lengthy process. Being that I most definitely fall into the “lazy” category, I tried to make it easy for myself by spreading the steps out. I baked the cake (a box of Pillsbury Holiday Funfetti that I mixed with some green food coloring for funsies) on Tuesday night, then combined everything last night. With the refrigeration and the chocolate and everything though, it still took forevvvver, and by the end I had run out of both chocolate and patience.

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Now, I’ll be honest here and admit that this half-assed dessert effort wasn’t entirely the cake pops’ fault. I couldn’t find lollipop sticks or candy melts at Target or the grocery store, hence the amending of pops to balls (heh) because I was too scared lazy to go to Michael’s, even though I know they carry both there. In and of itself, though, not really a big deal.

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I also ended up with a bag of white chocolate instead of colored candy melts for the coating. This unfortunately, didn’t pan out that well for me because I had to find out the hard way that you can’t just add food coloring to melted chocolate and expect it to turn into colored melted chocolate.

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Nope. You end up with gross, clumpy, chocolate-ish paste. Le sigh.

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Don’t try to get fancy with me, Powell.

For the few truffles that I did actually cover with the leftover, untainted chocolate (thank goodness I was melting it in batches!), it worked really well though. Unfortunately with the chocolate shortage, I didn’t have enough to cover all 50,000 cake balls (heh) — seriously, it makes SO many of them — so I drizzled the it over the rest of them in what I thought was an artistic fashion…

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… but was clearly not. But okay, enough complaining. Let’s focus on the important stuff:

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Like how freakin’ delicious they were, in spite of the hassle. They are just like little doughy balls of Heaven. Nomnommitynom. In the future, however, I’ll probably stick to cupcakes as my miniaturized cake-form and leave the cake pops to the pros.

Have you made cake pops or cake balls before? Any secrets or tricks of the trade I’m missing out on?

Also, holy smokes — yesterday’s giveaway is still blowing up! Get your entries in for a chance to win a Vera Bradley bag!

Vegan No-Bake Chocolate Creme Pie

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They say that some things are too good to be true.

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And generally, I’d say that is usually the case.

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But not this time.

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No, the only thing that will have you roaring in disbelief here is how incredibly easy this recipe is.

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This smooth, rich-tasting a chocolate pie requires absolutely no oven time and is sure to impress! They’ll never even know that you were hiding something all along…

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‘Cause that’s right, not only is this an absolutely delicious dessert, but it’s got a secret, healthifying ingredient that bumps up the nutrition without sacrificing taste. Remember that coupon-fueled grocery shopping trip I did a couple of weeks ago? Well, I came home with three packages of Nasoya tofu courtesy of the company, and I finally got the chance to use one of them up! Some of you may be no stranger to using silken tofu in desserts, but this was a first for me. As you can see, I’m incredibly pleased with the result!

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I promise you cannot taste the tofu at all (and my roommate verified!) and instead, you’ll be amazed at the incredible texture it provides. Outside of my mom’s amazing Chinese cooking, I don’t see silken tofu used in dishes very often. It doesn’t taste like much of anything on its own, but soaks up flavors like a sponge and has a consistency that I would liken to flan.

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And the best part? By using lite silken tofu you’re keeping calories fairly reasonable for a piece of chocolate pie. I mean, don’t get me wrong. It’s still chocolate, and it’s still pie, and since I don’t have magical powers, it still has some weight to it. But for a holiday dinner or special occasion? Heck yes!

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Pull this puppy out at your next dinner party and surprise your guests with the secret ingredient after they’ve downed their first slice. In fact, I would bet money that they’ll be clamoring for seconds anyway!

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Vegan No-Bake Chocolate Creme Pie
Print this recipe!

Adapted from Alton Brown’s Moo-less Chocolate Pie
Serves 8

Easy? Check. Delicious? Check. Healthier than your average bear pie? Check! This creamy dreamy chocolate pie will have your dinner guests in disbelief when you admit to the secret ingredient. Looking to save even more calories? Skip the crust and serve it custard-style in individual ramekins!

Ingredients:

1 12 oz. bag of vegan semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
1 package lite silken tofu
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)
1 graham cracker pie crust, store-bought or home-made

Instructions:

1. Combine chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and water in a heat-safe bowl. Melt together using a double-boiler (resting the bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stove) or in small batches in the microwave (10 seconds at a time), stirring frequently.

2. When chocolate is melted and smooth, remove from heat and add tofu and sugar, if using. Blend until smooth in a blender, food processor, or with an immersion blender. Pour into pie crust and refrigerate.

3. Refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours (the longer it sits, the firmer it will get), and serve solo or with homemade cinnamon whipped cream!

Nutritional info per slice: 382 calories, 20 g fat, 47 g carbs (3 g fiber), 8 g protein.

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Done.

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And done.

Mini Pumpkin Pies with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Pumpkins Pies

I don’t think these need a big setup.

Ingredients for Success

They pretty much speak for themselves.

Cookie Cutter?

Say hello to the classic holiday favorite, miniaturized.

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Baker at Large

Bite-sized, in fact. Well, if you’re me, that is. If you’re a regular person with regular table manners, perhaps it’d take two or three bites.

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These little tarts are the perfect portion size for Thanksgiving, dinner parties, or simply for the knife-averse. No pie-dividing necessary!

Pie

And bonus? They do nothing but reinforce the idea that yes, if it’s adorable, it just tastes better.

Mini

Mini Pumpkin Pies with Cinnamon Whipped Cream
Print this recipe!

Makes ~36 individual tarts.

Prep time: 10 – 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes per batch

These delightful and, needless to say, adorable individually-sized pumpkin pies are accented with just the right amount of sweetness. Top them with decadent homemade cinnamon whipped cream for dessert or a party dish that’s guaranteed to please!

Cuter is Better

For the Tarts:

– Pumpkin pie filling, enough for 1 pie (I made mine using a variation of the official Libby’s recipe.)
– 1 box refrigerated pie dough (the kind that comes with 2 in the box), or your favorite dough recipe.
– Round cookie cutter, bowl, or cup with a 3-inch (ish) diameter

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out your pie dough, then cut out small circles of dough. Press them into a non-stick sprayed muffin/cupcake pan.
2. Fill the cups with the pumpkin pie mix (I poured mine into a measure cup to make it easier), filling them to the top of the dough. (You have may extra filling left over once all the tarts are filled.)
3. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
4. Allow tarts to cool completely, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with whipped cream!

Whipped

For the Cream:

– 1 cup heavy whipping cream
– 2 tablespoons sugar
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. In a chilled bowl, whip together cream, sugar, and ground cinnamon, about 2 minutes or until firm peaks begin to form. Do not overwhip! I used an electric hand mixer, but you can do it by hand using a whisk, or use a standing mixer instead.
2. That’s it. There’s really just the one step. 🙂

Just a Bite

I like my pumpkin pie cold, which makes it even easier because I can make these the night before and refrigerate them until it’s time to consume! Make them now, thank me later.

Daily Eats – 7/21/11

Breakfast

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Apple with PB

Lunch

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Like, 2 bites of salmon and brown rice leftover from yesterday’s lunch at PF Changs. My stomach was still queasy though from my food poisoning so it really wasn’t cutting it.

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I went downstairs to get something bland from the deli, and grabbed a ginger ale to help settle my stomach as well. Too bad this green tea ginger ale stuff tasted disgusting! I should have just gone for the normal stuff, but I was trying to be adventurous. Rookie mistake, Powell. 3 sips was all I could take before it went in the trash.

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Luckily the mashed potatoes and corn did the trick, haha. Any excuse to eat nothing but carbs for lunch, I guess!

Dinner

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Yet another round of pantry roulette was played, resulting in a stir-fry that included TJ’s broccoli slaw, TJ’s apple chicken sausage, apples, onion, EVOO, and salt & pepper. Deets on the dish to come tomorrow.

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I also ate about a bajillion blue corn chips (just a couple with guacamole snagged from Erin‘s bowl, haha).

Dessert

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And I capped off the night with a couple pieces of mango and a chocolate-hazelnut butter spoon.

My stomach is definitely feeling much more back to normal — just in time for the weekend!