Category Archives: Desserts & Sweets

Dora Cupcakes

As you can see, I decided to have a little fun with my kid brother.

And I’ll admit, this was a little creepy for my taste.

However, it was a fun, how shall I say, learning experience. It was the first time I worked with chocolate in this way! And really, I wasn’t even planning to bake anything. Mom just spontaneously asked me to bake these Dora cupcakes with Johann, which is rare because I usually jump at any chance to bake- so, there’s never any need to ask me.

Oh Dora, with those round chocolate eyes and that perfect stiff bob of brown hair. Lo siento, but I just don’t think that I did any justice for you here today (And that, my friends, was the extent of my Spanish). I’ll just assign this to my prototype heap of recipes, and try again next time. I’ll keep a mental note of trying to give her skin a little more of that exotic tan, and I definitley need to do something with those big eyes of hers (which are made out of chocolate chips). Well, at least the inside was what counted- the cupcakes tasted, well, like cupcakes! To tell you the truth, I’ve always been more of a cookie person.

Oh, I feel bad now. I’m hating on my Dora cupcakes too much. Well, it is a bit unsettling to eat something with a face on it, especially a face that you associate as an important part of your childhood…

And on that note, here’s the recipe :).

 

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M & M Cookies

I baked these awhile ago, so I don’t really have a story to go with these cookies. But what I do remember is how delicious these cookies tasted. I love the candy-coating of the m & m provides a sweet crunch to the cookie, and how the m & m gives way to a chocolate, melty center. When I stack them up in piles such as these, its almost as if they could go for a delicious form of currency πŸ™‚ Here is the recipe.

* I replaced the shortening with butter

 

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Raw Blondies

 

As you may know, during Lent, you have to give up something you particularly enjoy doing (or eating). And lucky for me, my friend came up with the most ingenious plan concerning me and the next 40 days: Giving up sweets.

And as I stare at that phrase, I am feeling an intense hatred and gratefulness for that friend right now ;).

I will say the truth- though I may have denied it back then, now that I look back on how I ate a week ago, it was bad. It got to the point where I was baking something nearly every night. I truly enjoy the process of baking, but on the other hand, I just as much love the raw cookie dough that comes with it. Every time my friends would come over, it meant baking time! I would always use them as an excuse to eat as much sweets as I wanted. The basic healthy eating rule of treating myself every once in a while had been thrown out the window.

That is, until my friend, Kaylynn, called me out on my insanity.

(Looking through all the new baking books I got from the library). “Oh, this looks so good! I have all the ingredients, I can make everything from this book, we can make this today, and-”

“Isabel,” Kaylynn says.

“What?”

You should definitely give up baking sweets for Lent.”

And at that moment, I knew that it was the perfect thing to give up. I was practically addicted to baking unhealthy treats, and to top it all off, I did it everyday. Giving up something like this would be the ultimate challenge. It was practically a game-changer in my mind. The only problem was, was that I would have nothing to eat anymore. Just kidding..but it’s what I felt.

“And just what are you giving up?” I said.

“Rice, saying stupid words, you know. We are already three days into Lent, and you still haven’t actually given anything up- you screamed at your brother, like,five minutes ago.”

To tell you the truth, I hadn’t really planned on giving anything up,” was what I wanted to say. But then she said:

“I just wanna see if you’ll actually be able to do it.”

She scoffed.

And that was it. She just flipped on my competitive switch on like there was no tomorrow, and I was determined to see her through that proposition. So as usual, I jumped in head first.

I decided to get rid of baking unhealthy sweets, and I also decided to give up anything with added sugars. I haven’t eaten any of the Biscoff or Nutella spread in the cupboard, and I turned down several unexpected treats during school. I am on this challenge! Oh, and I also decided, what the hell, I might as well give up my favorite peanut butter too. This craziness is going to be fun.

Giving up sweets for Lent wasn’t only for my religion, it also served as a way to get healthier. Of course, I won’t give up sweets for the rest of my life, but this will hopefully serve as an intervention of sorts, and teach me how life is like without all the extra junk.

This recipe has definitely helped me calm my cravings, and has also taught me to love the natural sweetness and flavors of unprocessed foods. I love how raw desserts creatively combine fruits and nuts to make new and healthier creations of comfort foods! This raw blondie was quick and easy to make, and has a chewy texture and a nutty, caramel taste. Don’t leave out this vanilla extract; it makes a world of difference!

Made out of a few main ingredients, including walnuts, dates, and cashews!

You can get the recipe hereΒ at Vegan Piggy.

 

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Blackstrap Molasses Chews

I was in a rut.

That’s probably the simplest way to put it. You get stuck sometimes in life, and there was a point in time where I felt like I didn’t want to continue this blog any more. I kept on making excuses like “I’m too busy with homework” or “there is no good light to take photos today”, when in actuality I was just too lazy.

But then my mom told me that I had already inspired two of her friends to start their own blogs. So I thought to myself, “Hm, I must be doing something right.”

So here I am right now, and I’ve just as quickly caught on to my blogging rhythm once again. Being proud of something that you’ve created all on your own power feels amazing.

So, let’s celebrate with Rise and Shine’s Blackstrap Molasses Chews!


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Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Ah, the sun. The nice, bright weather has gotten me outside almost everyday, walking, running (not really because it’s WAY too hot out-I’m a fall person!), biking, volleyball-ing (smite me for using incorrect words), and swimming! Plus, Mirielle Guiliano’s book French Women Don’t Get Fat has further inspired me to eat real, seasonal foods in moderation. I feel great!

On the downside, I haven’t posted in so long. Things have started happening, like schoolwork, food FAILS, and just plain laziness. But hey, you can’t have good times without the bad (and slightly discouraging). But I don’t really care because the next month is going to be AMAZING!

It’s memorial weekend, so we have Monday and Tuesday off from school. Then there’s the Spanish fiesta, the Six Flags band trip, The Hershey sleepaway trip, the Broadway trip, and then…8th grade’s over! Then the day right after the last day of school I’m off on a Caribbean cruise. Life can treat you well like that :).

Now, in an attempt to connect the cookies to what I’m talking about, I’ll say that these cookies are as glowy as the sun. Not really. But there’s not much to say about these cookies. The bananas make them soft and sweet, and they are aromatic little things. It was my first time working with Crisco shortening! Up until now, I’ve managed to avoid it by using butter, because frankly, the white stuff scares me. And if you take a look at the nutrition facts, that’s a whole ‘nother story. But I did it, and it truly did make the cookies worthwhile!

You can get the recipe here.

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Peanut Butter Energy Balls

These cute little things are crammed with energy and protein. Feeling drained? Simply pop one and go. Running out the door in the A.M.? Grab a few as a quick breakfast of protein and carbs. Not only are they good for you, but they are sweet and nutty and as full of flavor as they are energy. I usually eat them before or after working. And feel free to make them into an anything-but-the-kitchen-sink type of thing! Wonderfully customizable, so get as creative as you wish.

Mix of ingredients going into the nut butter.

Mixture of ingredients and peanut butter all combined into one hot mess. If you eat this while it’s nice and warm with a spoon, you almost feel like you’re eating raw cookie dough….Just a thought πŸ™‚

Rolled into neat capsules of energy.

It seems that good things really do come in small packages.

Peanut Butter Balls

based off of Keepitsimple.com

  • 1 cup nut butter (I used a combo of cashew and peanut) Try to make it unsweetened since sweetener will be added
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 cup old-fashioned uncooked rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup sliced nuts (I used almonds)
  • 1/2 cup dried fruits (I used raisins)
  • dash of cinnamon
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, mix together the nut butter and agave until combined. Throw in the remaining ingredients and stir.
  2. Let the whole thing cool in the fridge for a few minutes or until easy to handle.
  3. Roll tablespoons of the stuff into balls and store in a container. Keep in the fridge.

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Banana Bars

I’ve never in my life experienced so much schoolwork in one day. You don’t know hard work until you spend the entire day working on just one thing-namely my book report. I’m not one to procrastinate, but even though we’ve been given five days in school to work on it, I’ve just been telling myself that I work better at home. It turns out that I do- that way I can also whine and complain about how much my hands hurt from gluing and pasting. Why does everything have to be due on Monday?

On the brighter side, it’s 10:40, and I get to relax after a hard days work. All the stress, GONE. Thank goodness, I would sigh a thousand sighs a thousand times.

Every time I eat these banana bars, my mind just reverts to either carrot cake or honey bars. It must be the cream cheese frosting. I love the slight tang in the frosting that only cream cheese can give it! The bars are a little on the thin side, so it gives you way to eat two more :). They are from the Betty Crocker website.


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