Tag Archives: Chocolate

Chocolate Granola

Granola

I have an obsession with breakfast food. Cereals and crunchy granola, in particular. I eat a bowl of either one every morning, and another bowl of either one (sometimes I mix ‘em up in the same bowl) for a late night snack.

I also love eggs, bacon, crepes, pancakes, French toast… oh sorry, this post is not about any of these.

Back to my granola. I love it.

Granola

I mix it up with a bunch of dried fruits, I sometimes add in chocolate chips, and there are times when I use it to dress up my ice cream. Yep. I’ll take granola any way that I can.

The chocolate granola that I make came about because of my husband. He doesn’t care for breakfast, but he cares a lot for chocolate. This was the best way that I could get him to eat his needed amount of fiber for the day. I’m such a good wifey.

granola

Chocolate Granola

You will need:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon wheat germ
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried fruits (optional)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Preheat oven at 325.
  • Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, cocoa powder, walnuts, almonds, wheat germ, ground cinnamon, salt and dried fruit. 
  • In a small saucepan, pour in the water, oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla; bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and toss together until all ingredients are coated.
  • Spread onto the baking sheet and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally so the mixture browns evenly.
  • For a crunchier granola, bake it for a few minutes longer; the browner the granola, the crunchier it will be.
  • Place on a wire rack to cool.
  • While the granola is still a bit warm, break up some of the larger clumps.
  • Once the granola has cooled, store in an airtight container.
  • Serve with milk, yogurt or even ice cream and some fruit.
  • Keeps in an airtight container for weeks.

granola

One more thing you should know about granola; it keeps you “regular”. I’m not even going to try to find a fancier way to convey that message. It is what it is. Smile

Add just one other thing; Store-bought granola can be high in fat and calories. (And in price!) Create your own so that you can control the amount of fat, calories and sugar.

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Pistachio Vanilla Wafer Pudding – Slainte!

 

Dear early 20’s,

I MISS YOU!!!

When I think of St. Pat’s I think of my college days, not too far behind, but behind enough to make me feel a bit of nostalgia. Ahhh – I really miss those days of bar hopping! We would spend the entire week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day just hopping from one bar to the next. I behaved, I promise… 😉

Now, since we’re no longer in college, and because we must act like responsible adults in front of our children, I am not going to present to you the best St. Pat’s drink I ever had… no, I am not going to do that… Ana is celebrating with us.

Instead,  I made a St. Patty’s green pudding that people of all ages can enjoy! Yippee! (sigh) 😉

Pistachio Vanilla Wafer Pudding

  • Thanks to J.E.L.L.O., I used Pistachio flavored Instant Pudding.

You will need:

  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 package (3.4 oz.) Pistachio flavored Instant Pudding
  • 1/2 tub (6oz.) whipped topping, thawed
  • 8 vanilla wafer cookies, crushed
  • shavings of dark chocolate for garnish
  • chopped pistachios for garnish

Directions:

  • Pour milk into large bowl.
  • Add pudding mix and beat with wire whisk for 2 minutes.
  • Let stand 5 minutes.
  • Gently stir in whipped topping; combine.
  • Put half of the crushed cookies on the bottom of a medium-sized serving bowl, or two large glasses, then pour in the pudding mixture.
  • Garnish with the rest of the crushed cookies, chopped pistachios and shavings of dark chocolate.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

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Bajadera (Bah-Ya-Deh-Ra)

The weather outside is frightful, but my cookies look so delightful, and since I have no place to go (because I’m stuck in the kitchen), let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! I have saved the best Christmas sweets for last! These treats are my gifts to all my readers (I really wish that I could give one to each of you) that have given me the confidence and the ability to share my kitchen with the rest of the world. From the bottom of my heart and soul, I thank you all and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


You will need:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 sticks of margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar, or 1 1/2 cups of Splenda
  • 4 cups of Petit Beurre or ETI tea biscuits, ground, or you can also use ground animal crackers
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 12 squares of baker’s chocolate, melted
  • 1 tablespoon margarine

Tea Biscuits

Tea Biscuits, ground

Walnuts, finely chopped

Directions:

  • Place the water, sugar, and margarine in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook and stir until the sugar and margarine dissolve.
  • Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and let it cool for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Stir the ground tea biscuits or animal crackers into the mixture until well moistened.
  • Spread half the mixture into a 9×9-inch pan and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until it sets. I put mine in the garage and it only took 15 minutes for it to set. I live in the midwest – we’re freezing!

  • Stir the cocoa powder and ground walnuts into the rest of the mixture; mix until well combined.

  • Spread the entire mixture over the first layer; put it in the fridge for 20 minutes.

  • In the meantime melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Add in a tablespoon of margarine only after the chocolate has melted. Continue to cook until the margarine is melted.
  • Pour and spread the melted chocolate over the entire bajadera.

  • Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight (even better).
  • Cut it into 16 pieces and serve!

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Mini Peanut Butter Cups

I have been craving these little gems for over a month now. I kept putting it off because I had other food orders to fulfill, but I couldn’t put it off any longer – today was the day – and they need to be delivered by 3 pm. Did I mention that I had an order for 250 cookies for this weekend? Yeah, you can say that I’m sort of busy these days, but I don’t mind – it’s all for a good cause.

Do you remember how badly you wanted these when you were a kid? Well I want them just as bad even now – I find it hard to share them. I’ve already had 4 – I feel kind of sick, but I know that in about an hour I will go for more. I have to deliver 40 of them, but I made 60 because I know how I am. 🙂 And, I made them in a mini muffin pan because, 1) the order was for bite-sized sweets, and 2) I ate 4, but in reality I only ate 2! That’s how I play tricks with my mind. Whatever works!

Lets get to these beauties! (Makes 12 mini peanut butter cups)

You will need:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Set a pot with an inch of water on the stove over high heat. Bring the water up to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Set another pot on top of it.
  • Add in the chocolate chips and shortening.

  • Stir occasionally until melted.

  • Line a 12-cup mini muffin pan with liners. I didn’t have any mini muffin liners so I made my own with a thin aluminum foil.

  • Put a spoonful of the melted chocolate in each cup.
  • When done, put the muffin pan in the fridge for about a half an hour.

  • In the meantime prepare the peanut butter mixture.
  • Again, set a pot with an inch of water on the stove over high heat. Bring the water up to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Set another pot on top of it and pour in the peanut butter, margarine, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until melted, about 5 minutes.
  • Take  the muffin pan out of the fridge and begin by putting a small lump of peanut butter filling in the chocolate cup, but don’t spread it. You want to leave the sides empty so that the chocolate which goes on top will cover up the entire cookie.

  • But, before you cover them with the rest of the melted chocolate, put them back in the fridge for another 15 minutes so that the peanut butter can set just a bit.
  • Pour the rest of the melted chocolate on top of each cup and put them back in the fridge for another half an hour.

Indulge!

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Vegan Chocolate Raspberry Cake

By now some of you know that I’m Fasting for Christmas and that my Fast includes a strictly vegan diet for six weeks. I do this every year before Christmas and before Easter. For that reason I happen to have an abundance of vegan recipes. This one though is my favorite  (of course, it’s chocolate cake!). And I made it this morning so I could surprise my hubby with a chocolate breakfast! He loves chocolate, BUT never ever tell him that something is fat-free, low-cal, vegan, etc… – he cringes. So, I didn’t tell him that this was vegan until after he ate 3 pieces of it; he then went for another piece. Mission accomplished!

I came across this recipe a couple of years ago when I was pregnant with munchkin. I was craving chocolate cake really bad, but I was Fasting! My cravings could care less about Fasting – they needed to be satisfied! Then I found what I was looking for at ochef.com – thank goodness!

You will need:

  • 1-1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of ice coffee
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries (optional)

Icing:

  • 1 stick of Earth Balance Margarine, softened, not melted
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1/8 cup of soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 drops of food coloring (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven at 375.
  • In a small brownie-sized pan (does not need to be greased) add in all the dry ingredients.
  • Mix all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl except the vinegar.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well until all dry ingredients are combined.
  • Add in the frozen raspberries and stir.
  • Pour in the 2 teaspoons of vinegar, stir, and immediately put the pan in the oven.
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
  • Cool thoroughly.

In the meantime prepare the icing.

  • In a mixing bowl, add the margarine, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.
  • Mix (with a mixer) and add more powdered sugar or milk if needed to get the right consistency.
  • Once you have the right consistency, add in the food color and mix it all together.
  • When the cake has completely cooled off, spread on the icing.
  • Put the cake (or cupcakes) in the fridge for about an hour before serving.

We’re going to a little girl’s birthday party tonight, hence the pink icing. I wonder if I should tell the kids that these cupcakes are vegan? I don’t think they will care; sugar is sugar! 🙂

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