Tag Archives: Chocolate

Tasty Tuesday: Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Side note: I will have a recipe today, so as not to satisfy a terrorists hunger to be the center of attention. But, please see the bottom of this post for my thoughts…

And now, on to the frosting! Mike is out of town for a couple of weeks 😦 so I have been ultra productive in his absence. It’s amazing how a lack of company will get me motivated. So I made a chocolate fudge cake and had no idea what to use as frosting. The packaged stuff is so full of sugar that it makes me nauseas. So I made my own! And holy bajolies it is delicious.

When warm, it’s melt on your tongue chocolatey goodness. When cold, it hardens into pure chocolate bliss on top of your cake. Also, because I use coconut sugar, it doesn’t spike your blood sugar. Sweet!

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Fun Times Friday: Date Night Creativity

If you’ve been following this blog for a bit, you know that Mike and I go on a date every Saturday night. Each week we switch off planning and paying for them and, if possible, we make it a surprise. So last week was mine and, considering I’m on a VERY tight budget I’ve had to get pretty creative with what we do. My budget most weeks is about $25 for both of us. How the heck do I figure that out??

Well if you keep an eye out for free events going on in your town, you never know what you’ll find! There’s a nice, upper class area called Peoria Heights that I drive through every once in a while and I saw a sign for “Chocolate in the Heights.” You know those signs that you tend to ignore because you’re just too busy going about your day? This was one of those. But since I’ve come to realize my not awesome financial state, I’ve started actually looking at those signs! There was no description of what it was, just that it was the next Saturday (yes!) from 10am-5pm. I did a little searching and found a slightly more detailed poster for the event.

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Using my deductive reasoning, I assumed that each boutique and shop on the main street would have some kind of deal on chocolate and/or something free to offer. Done and done!

As usual, I planned to take him to this event and then bring him home and cook a nice, sit-down meal for us both.

I kept it a surprise until we parked in the Heights and let’s just say Mike looked less than excited. However! I kept the energy going. I gave us $15 to spend on chocolate and whatever else we wanted and, because I had to work late, we had an hour to do it.

It ended up being REALLY fun. Of course we only took one picture because I was too excited to remember to take more. But we discovered a whole street of awesome shops we didn’t know were there: an oil and vinegar shop with about 30 different types of gourmet vinegar (cool!) and a few more specialty shops with random but also really unusual knick-knacks. We got some great gift ideas for Christmas.

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^ Yep, I look like I’ve just discovered gold.

We used this as our food vacation day and got lots of delectable treats. Free stuff we indulged in: chocolate fountain (see above), chocolate pretzel clusters, oil and vinegar samples, cheese, wine, beer, and chocolate cupcakes. With our $15 we bought an amazing triangle of cheese, a bar of specialty chocolate, and some Pear Balsamic Vinegar. And we had such a good time scoping out the options and then going back to the shops to purchase what we wanted.

So it’s possible! To have a few hours of fun and still stick to your budget. You just have to keep an eye out for free things around your town.

Happy Friday everyone! 🙂

Thirsty Thursday: Spiked Peppermint Hot Cocoa

I don’t drink very much. In fact, I really dislike being drunk. So when I do drink, it’s because I love the taste and the calmness it can sometimes give me. Anyway! I get lots of questions from patients (whispered of course) along the lines of: please please please tell me I can still have a glass of [insert alcohol here]? Good news! While the company I work for may not condone it, I whole heartedly support a solid glass of something alcoholic every once in a while.

Wine is great, beer is great, and liquor is great BUT (you knew it was coming) there are a few rules to remember when drinking:

1. Alcohol is very high in calories and while I don’t think ANYONE should be counting their calories, they should be monitoring the amount of bad calories they take in. And yes, alcohol counts as bad calories. So if you’re trying to lose weight, limit the amount you consume.

2. Most mixed drinks are loaded with sugar. And I mean loaded. If you’re going to have hard alcohol, mix it with soda water, tonic, or just drink it straight. This keeps the calories and the sugar content down. My drink of choice is tequila on the rocks with lime. Delicious, effective, and relatively healthy.

3. Normal beer contains lots of gluten. Some people are unknowingly gluten-intolerant. If you’re getting outrageous hangovers, a bloated belly, stomach pains, or headaches while drinking it may be time to consider the gluten-free option of drinks. Redbridge is my favorite.

4. Non-organic wines have added sulfites and lot’s of people react to it without knowing they’re having a reaction. If you experience any of the symptoms from #3 while drinking wine. Try organic wine and see if they go away. Organic wine has no added sulfites. Any sulfites in organic wine are naturally produced through the fermentation process. If you find that you have less of a reaction with organic wine, try sulfite-free wine next and see if that feels even better.

Side Note: If you feel at risk for addiction, there are special rules that apply. You should limit or completely stop your intake of alcohol until you speak to a psychology professional.

With that said, I recently made one of my favorites. A delicious, holiday drink:

Spiked Peppermint Hot Cocoa (1 serving)

Ingredients

2 cups coconut/almond/raw milk

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1 oz (half a nip) of peppermint liquor

Instructions (not sure why the photos are so crappy, sorry!)

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1. Heat the milk in a pot on medium heat. Stir in cocoa while heating.

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2. Remove from heat, stir in liquor.

Enjoy! 🙂

What’s your favorite holiday drink? Let me know and I’ll try to make a healthy version.

Thursday Recipe: Sugar, Gluten, and Dairy Free Chocolate Macaroons

Macaroons are one of the most deliciously allowable foods for those of us that are gluten, dairy, and sugar challenged. I have yet to really explain to you all why I try to be sugar-free but you’ll just have to trust me on this one, sugar is really not good for you. You can substitute Stevia or Xylitol for sugar but sometimes it can taste a bit wonky. In this recipe, it just works!

So I made these macaroons and they are so flippin’ delicious. There are a few more steps than I’m used to but SO worth the brain power.

Chocolate Covered Macaroons

Cookie Ingredients:

4-5 egg whites

14 oz of unsweetened coconut, shredded

2 Tbsp butter, melted

Xylitol or Stevia to taste

Chocolate Ingredients (this chocolate covering is optional):

3 squares unsweetened chocolate

2 Tbsp coconut oil

2 Tbsp butter, melted

Xylitol or Stevia to taste

Instructions:

^ Beat egg whites until frothy.

^ Stir in coconut, butter, and sweetener.

Roll into tablespoon sized balls and drop onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes. Cool in fridge until firm.

The chocolate is optional but SO good, just do it:

^ Melt chocolate, coconut oil, and butter together. Add sweetener. Dip macaroons in chocolate. Cool on wax paper. Keep refrigerated.

Like an idiot, I got so excited to eat these babies that I didn’t take an after picture. DOH! But you can imagine how pretty AND tasty they were. And so easy to make. Try it, you will amaze yourself.

Does anyone have plans for a nice meal this weekend?

Who are you gonna smile at today?