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Tag Archives: chocolate

Some Healthy Food…For A Change!

6 Nov

It seems that lately, when I write about food I am writing about baking I have done. Delicious but completely unhealthy baking. I don’t believe in baking “healthy”, ya know, where you swap out sugar for splenda or use apple sauce instead of, well, whatever it is people take out when they swap in apple sauce. Nuh-uh. If you’re gonna eat a cupcake, or cookie, or piece of cake or whatever than just go for it and eat the real thing! Just maybe not all day every day… πŸ˜›

Don’t fret, the post I am writing after this one is about some Nutella Brownies I made recently but for this post it is all about healthier options that I have made lately, and surprisingly, each one is tasty!

My first happy find was at Whole Foods, which makes me a bit ashamed because I am anti-Whole Foods buuuuut I was in the attached coffee shop with a friend last week, it was pouring rain, I was cold, wet, and super hungry and instead of splurging on a piece of pie or cookie I bought this…

Oatmeal!

Oatmeal!

Ok sure, it would make a better picture if the oatmeal was still in the jar but I had already eaten it lol It is a fake mason jar, it had oatmeal, coconut, pecans and some brown sugar all layered in a pretty way on top of each other. I think it is actually meant to be purchased and taken with you as-is but I had them add boiling water to it and ate it while sitting in the coffee shop with my friend. It was a bit bland, I had to add more brown sugar to it, but otherwise it was good. What I like most about it is the jar, which seems odd but hear me out! Race days always start super early, too early to be eating breakfast at home so usually I end up buying a brekkie sandwich on the way to the race grid and eating it while driving which lets be honest, may be tasty but isn’t a healthy way to be starting the day. Plus eating that fast leaves me feeling icky lol So I brought the jar home, washed it, and will tuck it away until I have a morning where I have to leave early and don’t have time to eat before I leave. I will fill it the night before with oats and whatever toppings I want, add boiling water in the morning, stir, pop the lid on, and bring it with me. By the time I get to wherever I’m going I’ll have a perfect jar of oatmeal! πŸ™‚

My second healthy food is super simple, and I suppose a bit boring but I like it! I’ve been wanting a rice bowl lately, which is unfortunate because I don’t really eat rice anymore. I love rice but I lump it in the same category as potatoes and other “filler” items which means to me they are unnecessary and to be avoided. sigh. Just because something tastes good doesn’t mean it is worth the calories! I was at a Sushi restaurant that I frequent quite often (I looooove sushi!) and I, on a whim, bought a take-out serving of brown rice. Mmm, brown rice! White is tastier but if I’m gonna splurge on rice I figure make it the healthier option…which I just realized is in complete opposition to my feelings in regards to baked goods, weird…

To go with the brown rice I bought some “pulled chicken” which isn’t really a thing. Safeway sells rotisserie chickens and every now and then they strip the meat off of one and sell the meat in a container, it is already in bite sized pieces, the skin has been removed and oh man is it tasty! I really like those chickens but it is way too much meat for me so when I see the containers with the smaller amounts in them I pluck them up from the deli section super fast.

I also bought a sweet potato, cucumber and yellow pepper. I put half a cup of brown rice in a bowl with 38 grams of the chicken and popped it in the microwave for a minute. When it was hot I mixed in 1/2 tablespoon of bbq sauce then topped the rice and chicken with some cubed sweet potato, pepper and cucumber.

Brown rice, chicken, sweet potato, cucumber, yellow pepper and bbq sauce.

Brown rice, chicken, sweet potato, cucumber, yellow pepper and bbq sauce.

Ok so not the most appetizing looking dish but it did taste good, satisfied my yen for the rice bowl and wasn’t too bad calorie wise.

I copied the instructions from a video I found on YouTube for cooking the sweet potato and it worked great! Here is the video…

The third food is sort of a two parter. I was watching a different YouTube video and this girl made a banana smoothie. All she put in the blender were two sliced and frozen bananas and two “splashes” of milk. I hate when people don’t use measurements, sigh. The result was a frothy, creamy, tasty looking smoothie that she swore tasted good. I decided to give it a try but just did one banana and half a cup of milk. I didn’t want to commit to a larger smoothie drink in case I didn’t like it. Well, turns out I liked it, it was good. The size I made was perfect if you want to use the smoothie as a treat or dessert instead of a meal.

Now, on a whim I bought some Special K Protein Shakes (chocolate flavour). Don’t judge! I was in line at the grocery store, the line was massive and wasn’t moving and I was standing right beside a display for these things and they were on sale. Total impulse buy! I put them in the fridge and had yet to work up the courage to try one, I was kinda worried they would taste super gross and I’d be stuck with them anyways lol

2015-11-07 00.04.51

I decided to use the chocolate protein shake instead of milk and a sliced, frozen banana to make a shake this evening and figured the addition of frozen raspberries could only make it better, right? Right! The result turned out like this…

Chocolate protein shake, frozen banana and frozen raspberries. Mmm!

Chocolate protein shake, frozen banana and frozen raspberries. Mmm!

It is delish! I used about 3/4 cup of frozen raspberries, one small banana (sliced and frozen) and one container of the Special K Protein shake which is about 1 cup. One thing I didn’t anticipate is that the chocolate shake is thicker than milk so the resulting drink was super thick. I could have thinned it out by adding some milk I suppose but I opted to try it as-is. I ended up eating it with a spoon lol Next time I just might put it in a bowl, it was like ice cream after you stirred it all around in the bowl with a spoon and it is smooth and creamy. Definite dessert material! The shakes also come in vanilla and strawberry and there is no end to frozen fruit to try, I’m looking forward to experimenting and trying all sorts of new flavour combos. πŸ™‚

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More Baking!

2 Oct

Someone who wanted to try a brownie last week but couldn’t (because they all got eaten lol) was joking with me about what I was going to bring to work this week. For some reason I said Banana Bread. Throughout the rest of my work week they periodically reminded me that I said I was bringing Banana Bread and I feel that if I don’t take it to work tomorrow I may be letting that person down.

Never let down a senior citizen, you don’t know how much more time you will have with them and you might not have a chance to make it up to them! And frankly, that goes with anybody, not just seniors, cause who knows what horrible thing might happen tomorrow?

Well this started heading towards a dark place rather quickly lol

Back to Banana Bread!

It is a standby for me, I can practically make it in my sleep, the only thing that ever stops me from making it is having some dead bananas in the freezer. Lucky for me I had enough dead bananas, and then some!, so banana bread became a thing in my kitchen today.

Mmm!

One batch makes two loaves and as always I added walnuts to one loaf. Personally I love walnuts in my banana bread but not everybody does so I leave one loaf without, cause ya know, I am accommodating like that lol πŸ˜‰

My Banana Bread also has chocolate chips in it, always, no matter what! That is one thing I will not alter because frankly, chocolate makes everything better! πŸ˜›

2015-10-01 16.33.33-1

The loaf on the left is Banana Chocolate ChipΒ Bread, the one on the right is Banana Chocolate Chip Bread with Walnuts. πŸ™‚

The Classis - Banana Chocolate Chip

The Classic – Banana Chocolate Chip

Banana Chocolate Chip with Walnuts Bread

Banana Chocolate Chip with Walnuts Bread

So yeah, my apartment smelled delicious today lol I ate one slice for quality control purposes and I must say, it turned out quite well. I know people shouldn’t say things like that about their own baking but it did turn out well so what else am I supposed to say? Not like I am going to lie and say it ended up tasting gross lol

I gave a couple of slices to a friend this evening and the rest is packed away in tupperware containers waiting for me to take to work tomorrow.

My co-workers are gonna hate me lol two weeks in a row bringing in goodies, I’ll be the one blamed if they gain weight! lol

Baking! Baking! Baking!

30 Sep

The only problem with being someone who likes to bake and doesn’t get to do it often is that when an occasion comes up that gives you an excuse to bake you maaaay go a tad overboard and want to bake every single recent baking recipe you have been hoarding.

In the span of three days I baked:

  • one batch of chocolate fudge cheesecake brownies…think chocolate brownies with a top layer of cheesecake, Mmm!
  • a three layer cake with the middle hollowed out and filled with M&M’s
  • a pull apart cake using cream cheese and chocolate

My entire apartment smelled delicious for daaaaaays! πŸ™‚

Why was I all of a sudden baking?

My dragon boat team was having our season wrap party, it was a pot-luck and the only food group I can consistently make is dessert so I said I would take a dessert. Thing is, how do you pick just one recipe? And why should you pick just one? I mean, there are a lot of people on the team, you can’t share one cake with over 20 people and it wouldn’t be fair to not take enough for everybody so the only logical decision is to make two different desserts. However, I had three recipes I really wanted to try…

It seemed like some sort of overkill to take three desserts but lucky for me a friend was coming over Thursday so I made the cheesecake brownies Thursday, we each ate one, then I took the rest of them to work the next day. Then the other two desserts were made over the span of Friday and Saturday and well, sadly, I now have no reason to bake anything so my apartment no longer smells yummy. sigh.

Although I’m thinking of making banana bread tomorrow and that smells good! πŸ™‚

chocolate fudge cheesecake brownies

chocolate fudge cheesecake brownies

Pull Apart Cake - each dough ball is filled with cream cheese and chocolate chips then coated in sugar and cinnamon. Then the dough balls are topped with walnuts and a brown sugar glaze.

Pull Apart Cake – each dough ball is filled with cream cheese and chocolate chips then coated in sugar and cinnamon. Then the dough balls are topped with walnuts and a brown sugar glaze.

Three layer cake decorated with M&M's and Cadbury's Chocolate Fingers

Three layer cake decorated with M&M’s and Cadbury’s Chocolate Fingers

The inside of the three layer cake, it is filled with M&M's.

The inside of the three layer cake, it is filled with M&M’s.

Brownie Strawberry Trifle

3 Jul

This my friends is not a healthy living friendly desert…consider this a fair warning! πŸ˜‰ It is however quite tasty sooooo if you’re willing to eat outside the boundaries of whatever diet, or healthy living plan, or life change you are currently following than read on!

You will need:

– brownies (yeah, you’ve gotta make those)

– 1L (12oz) Cool Whip (I used Light Cool Whip)

– 1 135g (5oz) package of Vanilla Instant Pudding

– 2lbs fresh strawberries

Instructions:

Bake brownies. You can use your own recipe or a brownie mix, whatever floats your boat.

Slice the strawberries, seems fairly obvious and yet it is mentioned in the original recipe so I thought I’d tack it on here also.

Make the pudding, once it is set fold in the Cool Whip. You’ll need a large bowl for this. It makes what the original recipe refers to as a custard. This is not technically a custard, duh, but who am I to judge the original recipe person? Well, ok, I am judging a little bit lol

Once the brownies are completely cooled cut them in to small pieces, I tore the brownies in to small pieces instead of cutting them because that’s how I roll over here. I’m sure Martha Stewart would not approve. πŸ˜›

Put half the cut brownies in the bottom of your trifle bowl, pour half the custard on top of the brownies and spread it around so all the brownies are covered. Layer half the strawberries on top of the custard. You can stand up some of the cut strawberries around the edge of the dish so it looks prettier, ya know, if you want, no pressure to make this presentable or anything…

Repeat the layering. Brownies, custard than strawberries.

The original recipe also wanted you to melt chocolate chips and drizzle it on top, I chose not to do that because I thought it would be sweet enough and I was right. Not saying it wouldn’t be an extra level of delish with the melted chocolate, and I’m sure it would look even more impressive but I liked how it looked with the fruit on top, easily seen, not covered by anything and hey, I’m making it so I get to make these oh so important decisions. Ooooooh the power of me!

Here is how it turned out…

Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Trifle

Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Trifle

I added some raspberries to the strawberry topping because who doesn't like raspberries?

I added some raspberries to the strawberry topping because who doesn’t like raspberries?

Side view!

Side view!

A couple side notes:

– Keep the trifle in the fridge until it is time to serve it, otherwise the custard melts and stops looking so pretty.

– I doubled the amount of brownies I made, so two batches instead of one, which turned out to be a good thing because it took one entire batch for each brownie layer. Depending on the size of your trifle bowl you may also need to make two batches of brownies.

– I did not double the amount of Cool Whip or Vanilla Pudding used. I realized once it was too late I probably should have, especially when I had poured half of it on for the first layer and I was struggling to get all the brownie covered. You’d never know it from the picture though, shrug. When eating the trifle the ratio of chocolate to custard was a good one so flavour wise it turned out I didn’t need to double the Cool Whip and Vanilla Pudding, just be prepared to use slices of strawberries to help cover thin custard coverage areas.

– I did not use the entire 2 pounds of strawberries, despite my going to all the effort to clean, and destem, and slice them. I used a good chunk of them, as you can see. The way the hidden layer is placed is identical to the top layer, only minus the raspberries so not like I skimped in the middle with my strawberry usage. But hey, rejoice, this just means extra strawberries for you!

– I added the raspberries on a whim because they were on sale and because they are a personal favourite. I had originally intended to make a little design with them but I was running late so I just popped some on where there was space between strawberry slices. I didn’t get to use them all so oh gee, I have leftovers of those also, what a shame! πŸ˜‰

– The original recipe is from an American site so the quantity of everything was a little off to the size of things here, except for the strawberries because, well, I don’t know why to be honest. Normally I do all the conversions before I go shopping so I know what size packaging to look for in my grocery store but I didn’t this time so I winged it. It turned out ok.

– I would recommend making the brownies the night before, I made them the morning of and it seriously cramped my style. I had everything else all ready to go and I was stuck waiting for the stupid brownies to cool completely, it took forever and that’s with me living in a basement suite apartment!…In case you don’t get the significance of that, my place is always cold, it will be 29C (84.2F) outside and I will be inside wearing a sweater and sweat pants with a little throw over my feet. It’s like I live in the place that summer forgot.

I calculated the Weight Watchers Points Plus points for the trifle, a portion of my trifle comes out to 12 points. If you make it I would recommend calculating your own points because you will be using your own brownie recipe, and may be using only one batch of brownies, or maybe you doubled the amount of custard, or perhaps you decided to drizzle the melted chocolate, who knows! Β Then there is always the trifle bowl size to take in to account…The point is this strikes me as a desert where every person’s version will be slightly different which means so will the nutritional information be. But that’s ok! This is a super easy recipe that is also super easy to personalize, which makes it great for everyone, enjoy! πŸ™‚

Oh, the original recipe can be found here

Nutella & Go

8 Nov

Sometimes it’s the little things that make ya smile. πŸ™‚

I was grocery shopping after work this evening and came across these little gems…

Mmm!

Mmm!

Yes I bought four, try not to judge me too loudly k? πŸ˜›

I loooooove Nutella but I never buy it because hello? Having an entire jar of the stuff in my kitchen cupboard is one thing and one thing only…dangerous! But these, these are the perfect size! Just the right amount of Nutella to placate a chocolate craving but not so much you feel overly sugared. πŸ™‚

My excuse er, reason, for buying four of these little gems is because they were on sale. They are new, and new stuff always goes on sale, yay! I figured I might as well buy multiples of them now before they are priced at whatever their real price will be and I feel they cost too much lol It’ll be the whole Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich fiasco all over again! Man, those suckers were on sale for the longest time then boom! put up to their full price and they instantly became something I wouldn’t buy cause of being too costly.

Yes, I know I am cheap, try not to judge me too loudly for that either, k? πŸ˜‰

Halloween Candy Can Be Your Friend, Honest!

30 Oct

I know a lot of people who get all “omg keep the halloween candy away from me! danger! danger! ack!” but it doesn’t have to be like that, honest! πŸ™‚

Unless you have the most amazing willpower ever you will, at some point, have a treat. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you aren’t over indulging and in general are eating in a healthy manor, treats can be your friend. If you don’t feel deprived, or like you aren’t allowed anything treat like, you’ll be less likely to ditch the diet or healthy eating plan (or whatever you want to call it) so that you can plow your way through a cake or a tub of ice cream.

The trick is to find ways to give yourself little treats that don’t completely derail your eating plan. There are lots of ways to do this! Think of small, portion packaged treats. πŸ™‚

Weight Watchers makes all sorts of portion packaged treats, from chocolates to mini cakes to ice cream to, well, almost anything. I used to buy these…

So yummy. So hard to find.

So yummy. So hard to find.

They are by Whitman’s and it says right on the bag how many points per chocolate, within the bag each chocolate is individually wrapped so you don’t have to worry about the chocolates going stale if you don’t eat them quickly. They have a wide variety of flavours (as you can see from the above picture) and they are goooooood. Mmm! However, they are hard to find, at least where I live, sigh. There are a lot of Weight Watchers foods out there, but most of them are not in Canada. Why? I’m going with the world is a cruel place. πŸ˜‰ lol Β Really, I have no idea why every other country seems to have a wider variety of Weight Watcher’s foods in the stores than mine. When I would come across these I would stock up because there was no telling how long it would be before I would find them again.

Another option are these cute little mini ice creams. Ben & Jerry’s, Haagen-Daz and even Magnum all do mini sizes. I haven’t tried any of them because I have never seen them in stores. There is however a mini ice cream I have tried and really liked. It is by Nestle and looks like…

nestle sundae

Most of the flavours shown in that picture have not been in the stores when I’ve seen the Nestle ice creams lol and I can’t recall right now which of the flavours I have tried but they were good, and the perfect size. I would lean towards trying the ice creams that don’t have smarties or oreos or rolo etc in them as the added candy will just make it that much worse for you lol the ones I’ve eaten were more traditional flavoured ice creams.

Something I discovered at my friend’s place was a Costco find. I absolutely love the Brookside chocolate covered fruit, well, let’s be honest here, “fruit” pieces lol But whatever, they are so good! I have tried the pomegranate and the acai berry.

brookside

Only problem is they come in a fairly large bag and if you have problems with mindless eating, or aren’t good at portioning your food, or just kinda go over board, you could very easily eat waaaaaay too many of them. Well, my friend was at Costco and discovered Brookside sells their chocolate covered “fruit” in packages sized to put in lunch boxes. So you can grab one small package and have yourself a little treat while watching tv, or sneak it in to a movie theatre or have it as a snack at work.

I could go on with all these awesome mini food finds that are available year round but the point I am wanting to get to is this. Halloween candy is mini. It is perfect. If you are someone who likes chocolate bars, or tootsie rolls, or really, almost any type of candy, halloween can so be your friend. Think about it. Instead of indulging in a full sized Twix bar you can eat a mini one from the halloween candy stash, get the same yummy taste and enjoyment as the full sized bar but none of the guilt and nowhere near the same amount of calories. I know for a fact halloween candy can last an entire year. I don’t mean because of rationing it, I mean it will still be ok to eat in a year…which if you think about it, is kinda freaky…anything that lasts that long is unnatural, but hey, like that’s gonna stop any of us from occasionally eating it? Ha! πŸ˜›

So why not wait until the day after halloween, buy a big ol box of discounted halloween candy and use it throughout the year as your treat to yourself every now and then? When you really want that Kit-Kat, or Skittles or some other candy you can easily grab a mini version, enjoy, and not have any worries afterwards…just make sure to not eat it all at once! πŸ˜‰

halloween candy

Chocolate Madness!

21 Apr

For the love of gawd, stop with all the chocolate! Just…Stop!

I don’t do the whole Easter thing but the amount of chocolate I have somehow ended up with is ridiculous! It is all gifted-to-me chocolate and I have done my best to re-gift some of it but I still have a whole bunch of it. And before you say something silly like “why don’t you throw it out? or give it all away” please remember that I am a girl and therefore love chocolate and some things you just don’t throw out, I mean c’mon, what a waste! It’s bad karma to waste food I’m sure of it! lol πŸ˜‰

Just today I got given an adorable little basket with lots of chocolate eggs in it. It was given as a thank you gift and while she was giving it to me she was apologizing for it being a day late, I loved her reasoning, she said the Easter Bunny got lost and couldn’t find me but he kept trying and voila! he found me today, well, found me via her lol

cute little basket

cute little basket

with chocolate inside, Mmm!

with chocolate inside, Mmm!

There’s actually a lot more chocolate in there then it looks like in the picture and just by looking at it I can feel my ass getting bigger, sigh.

I also have a Lindt chocolate bunny, he’s got a cute little collar with a bell on it. I fully intended to give it away Easter weekend I just didn’t know who to give it to so it is still here, with me, staring at me, judging my willpower against chocolate. Thing is, I can’t eat that, and not because I have some semblance of willpower, it’s too large for me to eat in one sitting but if I eat it’s ears (which seem the most logical spot to start) and then set it aside I am leaving the poor bunny maimed and deaf and that just seems cruel…

awwww, such a cute little bunny rabbit

awwww, such a cute little bunny rabbit

Oh and get this, in some weird twist of logic I don’t want to give the bunny to someone I care about because it’s basically giving someone a present that is super bad for them, I wouldn’t give someone a pack of cigarettes so why would I give them a chocolate bunny that has the potential to make them fatter, increase their BMI and entice them away from a healthy food choice? sigh, pathetic huh? I’m gonna turn in to that lame person that thinks bringing raw veggies without dip is an acceptable potluck snack…oh wait…I already think that, crap… πŸ˜›

I also still have the care packages from England that I am making my way through, Mmm! I opened these tonight…

omg sogoodsogoodsogood

omg sogoodsogoodsogood

The bottom is crunchy, like a cookie, then the soft gooey traditional Cadbury Creme Egg centre all surrounded by milk chocolate. Holy hannah! Cadbury is a genius! I usually buy myself one, yes that’s right, One Cadbury Creme Egg for Easter and thoroughly enjoy it. I don’t eat the chocolate though, I open up the top, use a finger to scoop out the yummy gooey centre then throw the chocolate away…one of the super rare times I won’t eat chocolate lol. These don’t give you the option, you kinda have to eat the chocolate but they taste so good I don’t mind. These will not last long, of that I am already certain lol

I have loads more chocolate around here but don’t want to bore you with pictures of all of it lol

On top of all these ticking-chocolate-timebombs I also ate an incredibly large quantity of food yesterday at the Easter brunch my work held, my stomach may never recover, omg all so tasty, all so fattening, all of it in my tummy…or at least that is what it felt like yesterday lol When I make food I plate it not on a dinner plate but on the small plate that comes with your dish set but at the buffet they were using large dinner plates so I had one of those and I, get this, actually covered the entire bottom of the plate with food! Normally you can see a good chunk of my plate when I use the little plate but yesterday I covered the entire bottom of a large plate! How is that even possible?? I didn’t eat all of it but truth be told, the food I didn’t eat was left behind only because I didn’t much care for it, so I can’t really take credit for resisting some of the food on the plate lol Then there was dessert…let’s not go in to details about that k? It’d just be embarrassing. Let’s leave it at there was dessert, I ate it. πŸ˜› What amazed me was how there I was, silently appalled at how much food I had put on my plate but most of the people there had pyramids of food on their plate, towers of food, basically a whole lot more food than I, and they ate it! People *shakes head* we are all gluttons at times lol

So here I am, someone who doesn’t generally do anything for Easter and I over-indulged in a huge meal and am surrounded by Easter themed chocolate. It’s like I crossed over to an alternate dimension…

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