Desperate Desserts

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So… I imagine that most of us have had that one night where we really want something sweet to eat after dinner (and an effing fruit popsicle or whatever is not going to cut it) but don’t have anything readily available (usually on purpose). What do you do? Improvise with whatever you can find out of your pantry.

This was my night a few nights ago. What did I do? I threw butter, raw coconut sugar, white sugar, chopped hazelnuts, and shredded coconut in a skillet and cooked it until all of the sugar was melted and slightly bubbly. Next, I poured the mixture onto wax paper and put it in the freezer until it was firm. I would just like to point out that I had no idea what I was doing. I’ve never made a brittle or anything like it before. I completely guessed on the amounts of everything. I just kept adding things until it looked like there was enough of a melted mixture to harden up nicely. I just figured you can’t really go wrong with those ingredients as long as you don’t burn your sugar.

It turned out pretty damn good (very sweet of course). Some parts were more crunchy than others, the more shredded coconut, the chewier the final product is. I had a light bulb moment while I was waiting for my “desperate dessert” to set in the freezer. I realized I had some unsweetened Ghiradelli cocoa powder and that an unsweetened hot chocolate would pair perfectly with my mutant brittle thing-a-ma-bob. They were great together. If anyone remembers the last “desperate dessert” they made, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear about it.

Dessert: Easy and Light

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I am always scheming and searching for desserts (beyond eating just straight up fruit, or baked fruit) that are relatively low calorie… this is my latest effort. I ground up low fat graham crackers and chopped hazelnuts in the food processor and put the mixture on the bottom of my little plastic ramekins. Next, I layered a tropical yogurt, fresh pineapple pieces, and fat free whipped topping. I topped everything with some fresh toasted coconut. I had bought a coconut a few days before to eat the flesh and happened to have some extra. By the way, fresh coconut flakes toast really fast. I burned half of the first batch. Finally, I stuck my ramekins in the freezer. I would take one dessert out about a half hour before I wanted to eat it. It is best enjoyed when it is still slightly frozen but you can easily work a spoon or fork through it. The beauty of a dessert like this is that the possibilities are endless. You could use nilla wafers instead of graham crackers. You could use chocolate graham crackers and chocolate chips. You could use any kind of yogurt and fruit pieces… I’m getting hungry again writing this… I’m sure you get the point.

Coconut Milk

I love a can of coconut milk for a lot of reasons but one of my favorite things to do with it is add a can to my turkey or chicken noodle soup. I’ve already made soup this way about three times in the past few months because I just cannot get enough of it. Homemade soup is the best. Just put your leftover chicken or turkey carcass in a large pot, fill with water, add a fair amount of salt, and boil to make your stock. Strain out your stock and pick off all the meat from the bones and return it to the stock. At this point I’ll check the salt content and I usually add a can of chicken broth or possibly some bullion to round out my stock. Finally your mirepoix and whatever else you want in your soup goes in. I love making a traditional noodle soup and adding the can of coconut milk and a few spicy dried thai chilies for some heat. The coconut milk provides a unique flavor that blends perfectly with the flavor of a traditional noodle soup and it is not too sweet. SO GOOD!

More Simple Fun… Strawberry Edition

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I just cannot get enough of dipping food in chocolate. After the apples I couldn’t wait to get more chocolate to melt. I could’ve made tuxedo strawberries since I had the white chocolate bar and the semi-sweet chips but that would require more work and I try to be nice to my dishwasher since it’s always so nice to me.