Tag Archives: dessert recipe

Delightful Mocha Truffles for your valentine!

mocha truffles

Happy Valentine’s Week!

Yes, it is already Valentine’s week!  It was just the holiday season and here we are already talking about chocolate recipes and ways to spoil your valentine!

Not only am I going to share our go-to mocha truffles recipe but I wanted to let you know that we are doing a live hangout today!  Tuesday Feb. 12 at 4:00pm PST/ 7:00pm EST.

We are going to show you how to make these decadently sinful and rich mocha truffles and we would love for you to come and visit!

Stop by and say hello!  You can go to our event page by clicking here.  We would love to have you there!

You can watch live from our events page and if you are early be sure to mention me in a comment and I would love to have you in our “peanut gallery” so you can talk to us live and get a front row seat. 🙂  You can comment during the hangout and ask questions, make comments or say hello.

mocha truffles for your valentine

Mocha Truffles

1 package of cream cheese 8 ounce, room temperature

4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tbsp. instant coffee

2 tbsp. water

dark chocolate powder for rolling the truffles


Mix cream cheese, coffee, 4 tbsp. cocoa powder and water until well blended.  It is recommended that you use a hand mixer, kitchen mixer or even a food processor to get the mixture a smooth consistency.  


Scrape bowl and mix until color is uniform.

Mixture will resemble a thick frosting and you will want to refrigerate for at least an hour until firm enough to shape.  Form into balls.  Roll truffles in dark chocolate powder and arrange on your choice of serving plate.   Keep refrigerated.  Number of truffles depend on the size that you make your truffles.


Cheesecake Ice Cream with Fresh Peaches


I’ve been on a mission to enjoy more desserts with no added sugar and I confess that this ice cream is the opposite. But it’s soooo good! I did limit my portion like a good girl. Wait-it doesn’t count when I eat it from the machine right?!

I found a substitute recipe for sweetened condensed milk and totally adapted this recipe to the hilt!

I added 2 eggs, 1/8 cup flour, about 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup peach juice leftover from the peaches I simmered for dinner and a couple tablespoons of oil and I mixed it well in a bowl. I combined 8 oz of softened cream cheese and 2-3 cups of milk and vanilla. After combining I added it tithe egg mixture and I tasted it for sweetness. You can adjust the flavor if you wish.

After the ice cream finished its cycle I added crushed graham crackers and folded them in when I put the ice cream in its container.

Pour your leftover peaches on top and serve over crushed graham crackers and for extra crunch, toast them in the oven! 🙂

Doughnut Apparatus & Chocolate Doughnuts


I bought a doughnut iron kind of like a waffle iron and it has it’s upside and downsides.

The good thing is that you can “bake” mini doughnuts instead of frying and they are healthier than frying. They bake (or cook?) quickly so you don’t have to take forever to make a few dozen doughnuts. You don’t use your oven either so you can pretty much take this anywhere!


The downside is that you need a pancake like batter. With a thicker batter it takes too long to load and you either only make two at a time or you burn your poor lovelies.

Depending on the recipe you can crank out some good treats, but I do miss the crispy fried outside of a regular doughnut.

This recipe was meant for a baking pan so the bottoms of these were a little dark, but drench them in glaze and no one even noticed!

My other half loved them because these were not really sweet. I used dark unsweetened chocolate and some sugar but not very much. I didn’t want to cover the chocolate with sweetness.


You can find the base recipe that I used here.  I also added 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and a packet of instant coffee.  I added a little milk to make a very thick batter just slightly less thick than frosting.  (You know, the consistency of thick frosting that won’t stand on its own.)

For the glazes I used a standard white glaze with powdered sugar, water and a few drops of butter flavoring to make a thick drizzle-able frosting.  The chocolate glaze was the same only with unsweetened cocoa powder and a pack of instant coffee.  The doughnuts and glaze won’t be overwhelmingly sweet but you can really appreciate the chocolate flavor!

Maple French Toast & Bacon Cupcakes from Kita of Pass the Sushi

Kita of Pass the Sushi is long overdue for a post in her honor.  A feature on Try Anything Once is not really something that most people would scream and clap over but it’s how I show my appreciation for my friends that inspire me to leave the computer and get in the kitchen!

Kita has done this so many times.  In fact, just yesterday she responded to my plea for a dinner idea and I whipped up Cuban Pork Chops, which were a big hit by the way.  Most of the time when I read her blog and end up making what I find, I have zero time to whip out the camera and figure out how to make it look as good as it tastes.

I did make the Brioche recipe she shared but I didn’t know back then how much I would grow to love this woman.

I admit I am jealous of her photography skills and eye for styling (but not in a way comparable to an ex wife that is everyone’s worst nightmare…) It’s more like a dreamy sigh daydream jealousy.

Kita is funny, supportive and such a sweetheart.  She seems very passionate about her interests and is creatively artistic.  She food blogs, loves comic books and makes aprons that would make anyone feel inspired in the kitchen!  (Guys, give it a try!)  I just found her Facebook page…want to like it?  For me?

Last weekend was a birthday celebration for my dad, my step son and myself.  Due to family emergencies and selfish mothers (not mine) we were unable to celebrate my dads and my stepsons birthday anywhere close to the real thing, but like we say at home…betta late den neva!

They neva stay still. That's why blurry.

We loved spending the day together and my mom and dad cooked absolutely everything and had it all ready by 1:30 in the afternoon!  I bet they were exhausted!

So many presents and so much thoughtfulness, one of them was moved to tears.  I won’t say who. 🙂

My dad had his Arabee spice cake that his mother used to make him every year for his birthday, so I thought Ethan should have something special too!  I went outside the [chocolate] box this year and made him something with his second favorite thing on desserts…bacon!

I’m glad I saw this post when I did because it was the perfect addition to our emotional family day!

The bacon inside the cupcakes adds the perfect texture and flavor to the cupcakes.  The rich cream cheese frosting adds an ideal contrast to the crispy bacon!  I added at least 3 pieces atop every cupcake to give every bite three bites the perfect balance of fluffy cupcake, creamy frosting and crispy bacon.

Thank you Kita for being a part of this special day.  Everyone loved the cupcakes and anyone that wants to make these can go here for the post and the recipe.

I hope this blog post finds you in good health and happiness as you prepare for the upcoming holiday.  If this time of year makes you sad because of things that have happened in the past, enclosed you will find hugs from me, Yannick, Ethan and Taylor.  If we cannot be together this Christmas know that we are thinking of you and we are grateful that you came to visit!

Outside the Box Peanut Butter Bread Pudding Served Cold

I love it when people think outside of the box and I really love it when the idea works.  Does cold bread pudding work though?

I’m not ready to let go of peanut butter month yet, so here is one final post that I just had to share with you.

Another Food Network show I love to watch is Sugar High.  I am known for my sweet tooth, in fact people say, “Oh I bet Dionne would love this!  She has such a sweet tooth!”  Cookies especially.  Cinnamon rolls mostly.  Cake with frosting of course.  Lindsay’s blondies (any of them) and Kita’s Maple French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes, which are on my to do list. 🙂

Anyway, I like to watch Sugar High.  One place that caught my attention is Shulzies Bread Pudding.  Sarah created these bread puddings that are served cold instead of the traditional warm and dripping with gooey frosting.

I had some leftover cookies from Thanksgiving and I had to hide a few so I could put together my attempt at a replica of one of Sarah’s creations.

I baked a fresh loaf of bread, chopped up some cookies and started to think about how I was going to pull this off.  Fortunately, Sarah allowed the Food Network to share a recipe for me to go off of!

A few things Sarah mentioned she uses in her bread pudding is fresh bread (instead of not-so-fresh) and if I remember correctly she doesn’t soak it ahead of time and she doesn’t serve it warm.  If my memory serves me correct, after baking she puts the bread pudding in the fridge overnight.  Hmmm.  Curious.

I would never imply that I could come close to something she has taken much time to perfect but I merely wanted to taste for myself what cold bread pudding made Sarah’s way tastes like.

After letting the bread pudding sit in the fridge overnight, she breaks it up into pieces and scoops it into serving dishes.  That’s pretty much what I did.

For my recipe I used fresh bread, chopped cookies and peanut butter as the stars of this dessert.  After baking and cooling I tasted my bread pudding cold.  It was…different.

Letting it sit overnight was fine, I crumpled the bread pudding and I could see pieces of the now soft cookies looking up at me.  So I bit one.  I’m not a huge fan of the texture, but I don’t think I got it right.  Sarah’s bread pudding wasn’t solid when she took it out of the oven (again, if I remember right) and mine was so I think mine is more firm.  Not gooey.  Boo.  😦

When I tasted mine I was soooooo disappointed that I don’t live anywhere close to Schulzies.  [sigh] I will never get an accurate opinion this way! And I didn’t like my bread pudding.

But I never give up.  Never.

I sprinkled chocolate chips into the bread pudding mess, scooped it up the best way I could into little serving dishes and I tasted it.

My less-than-par bread pudding was quite different with the hard semi-sweet chocolate chips!  I loved the soft texture of the bread and the firmness of the chocolate.  Win!

Since it’s a known fact that most bread puddings need a frosting to make them complete I crossed my fingers hoping I could take this over the top.

I mixed 1 tbsp. Nutella, 1 tbsp. softened cream cheese, 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 3/4 cup powdered sugar with a wisk until smooth and I drizzled it over my poor bread pudding.  I crossed the fingers on one hand and I spooned a bite with the other…


Somehow the Nutella really brought out the peanut butter flavor of the bread pudding, the chocolate gave it the much needed textural contrast and the sauce brought this b. p. together in perfect harmony.

I can’t make a good cold bread pudding like Schulzies, but I can make an impressive substitute good enough to satisfy curiosity.  Still, it’s not the real thing….

But it will have to do.

Here are my modifications for cold bread pudding:

  • The bread recipe I baked for this bread pudding is here.
  • I used two bread loaf pans to make this bread pudding and split the ingredients.
  • I used a total of 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar and 6 eggs for the liquid mixture in addition to the other ingredients.
  • For the peanut butter rendition mix 1/2 cup peanut butter into the wet ingredients and wisk it together until there are little peanut butter clumps in the mix.
  • I added 1 cup of chopped cookies per loaf pan.
  • Don’t forget to add the chocolate chips right before serving.

You can find the recipe for Celestial Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding here.

If you are even close to Venice California stop by Schulzies and try some of Sarah’s bread pudding and tell her there is a lady in Washington she doesn’t even know that is a big fan of hers! 😀  I want to try the Cookies N Cream Dream, the Eggnog Experience and the Gracious Grasshoper Cookie!  I’m really curious about the Biggie’s Figgie Pudding too.

I am not being compensated to endorse Schulzies or any other entity.  I am just giving credit where it is due and sharing with you something that I cannot yet try.  My knockoff doesn’t cut it.

Is there something you’ve seen lately that you wish you could recreate just to see what it might taste like?

Peanut Butter Cup Blondies for Peanut Butter Lovers!

I bet you thought I was kidding when I told you how much I love that sticky, gooey beautiful thing we call peanut butter!  I have had the best time trying new peanut butter recipes and celebrating the old familiar ones.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwich is my favorite sandwich, by the way. 😉

I found these Peanut Butter Cup Blondies on a blog called Gingerbread Bagels.  Lindsey is sweet, funny and quite an impressive baker!  She loves sharing her recipes with her readers  (myself included) and I have had this one tucked away for awhile.

Every blog post that Taylor sees ends with, “Mom, do we have the ingredients to make that?”  I think it’s obvious by now that we are not a pioneers at making new recipes and showering our talents with the world.  We are recipe testers!  And I love every tasty-morsel-mouthwatering minute of it!

We didn’t trick-or-treat on our own neighborhood so I didn’t stock up on candy as much as most people did.  I happened to buy one bag of peanut butter cups.  What a shame- I had to find something to do with them!  We didn’t have one single trick-or-treater. 🙂  So I had to be a martyr and find a delicious use for my favorite candy.  The fact that it’s Peanut Butter Lover’s Month is merely a bonus.

I did actually go straight to Lindsey’s blog and see what she had.  I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.

These blondies are so meltable, moist sweet and perfect.  Soft and chewy, these blondies are sweet and the peanut butter cups give it just the right peanut butter flavor.  They are so good I ended up taking more pics than I originally intended!

Now marvel at my self control when I tell you that I only ate one blondie.  Just one.  I didn’t lick the spatula, I didn’t bite one of the peanut butter cups and I didn’t even bite them as they came out of the oven.  I’m even impressed at my own willpower!  What’s happening to me?!?

Please stop lusting after my blondies for a moment while we continue our discussion about getting yourself “out there” with your blog or business.

If you remember my previous post, I shared a video (although I’m not in it) it was inspiring and an eye-opener for sure!  I have been writing, taking notes and thinking about the message that I am sending.  I want to send the right message and convey it effectively.  Do I expect to be the next big thing to take over the blogging world?  No!  In fact, I really hope not!  I’m not the kind of person that enjoys being the center of attention…another fact about me.

Am I trying to be the next hot featured entrepreneur that is known for her real estate investing skills?  Or even a household name that represents hunger solving super powers?  No.  Believe me I don’t want that kind of attention.

I do want to be known for my hospitality associated with cooking and baking, which also transfers into my business efforts.  I want my hospitality and caring attitude to be very obvious the second someone shakes my hand and makes eye contact with me.

I am a person to be trusted to solve problems even if I am not the one wearing the cape and being the hero.

All of these things can be shown using those simple concepts.  If you didn’t have the pleasure of reading my last post yet, here is the video for your viewing pleasure:

Next week let’s swap ideas and see what you’ve come up with since my last post.

Meanwhile, I want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving with people you truly want to spend time with.  I’m going to get sappy for a second and tell you that I am so thankful that you took time out of your day to read my blog.  I appreciate you and all the friends I have made since I started blogging.

I am endlessly thankful that both of my parents are healthy and with us to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Although we won’t all be together on the actual day, I love my family more than I love cinnamon rolls.  Way more.

Please don’t forget to stop by and say hello to Lindsey over at Gingerbread Bagels!  You can find her recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Blondies here.

What is your favorite peanut butter recipe?

Peanut Butter Fudge for National Peanut Butter Fudge Day & Tips for Success

Yes, it is National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month and this is one of my most favorite food-themed months! I’ve had an unconditional love for peanut butter as long as I can remember. I used to get my own jar of peanut butter when I was growing up (still in progress) so that I wouldn’t double-dip the spoon knife whenever I dug into the jar of creamy, dreamy bliss!

Sadly, my beloved other half does not share my feelings on peanut butter. 😦 That means more for me. 🙂 Peanut butter is not only delicious and nutritious but it is so versatile. You can cook with it, bake with it, spread it on things to make it more substantial, dress-up a snack but I truly believe peanut butter was invented to provide a sticky substance that chocolate chips can adhere to!

November 20th is National Peanut Butter Fudge Day and because the star flavor contributor is my favorite thing, that is a great reason to celebrate! I’ll provide the fudge, confetti, coffee and tea. You only need to bring your sweet tooth and some silly string!

You may or may not remember a previous post I shared with this very same peanut butter fudge, but it really deserved a special celebratory post! Sweetness and peanut butter…it doesn’t get much better than that.

Last year during the holiday season, Taylor and I made this fudge several times and shared it all over the place. Everyone raved about how delicious it was and they tried to pry the recipe out of her. We had decided to pull everyone’s leg and tell them it was a secret family recipe. That girl was a vault! She reported to me everyone that tried to buy, trade or bribe that recipe out of her and she was quite irritated but it added to the humor of the situation.

First of all, the recipe only has two ingredients. No cooking or baking just microwaving is involved. Secondly, it isn’t even my own recipe! I have provided the link to the recipe at the end of this post.

Don’t go there yet! I have something very important that I want to share with you that Rob Russell of The Real World Investor shared with his group. Rob and Kristi Russell are real estate investors that have been passionate about helping people for over a decade and I admire the work and time they have spent building a company around their purpose.

Remember in a recent edition of Ask Chef Dennis when he suggested we map out a plan and determine what we went to accomplish? His target audience is and was food bloggers but I am talking to YOU. Food blogger, Etsy shop owner, mechanic…what do YOU want to get out of your hobby or your business? Perhaps a new Facebook group?

I strongly advise you to make a few minutes of time to watch this video.

I was ready to buy whatever this guy would have been selling. Besides the fact I love how much information was packed into that short amount of time, there was no hype or b.s. It makes sense and I know that this is totally 100% the way I operate. I am self aware and I can admit it, in fact I am always saying that I support people that have a passionate “why” they do things.

This strategy appeals to the heart and sole of what drives people to take action. The part that we seldom think about or focus on is why we bother doing it in the first place. Think about your product, your talent, your services.

If you aren’t yet sure about why you are doing something, then your target audience may be picking up on that and subconsciously wondering why should I follow you?

If you are actually taking action and working towards your end result (and not just talking about it) and you haven’t reached your goal that can be disheartening and very discouraging. If your efforts are not progressing it can be very disheartening and discouraging. Maybe there needs to be a small change of strategy?

I can apply this to my blogging as well as my company. As co-founder of Unique Home Options, I can use this information to communicate with potential private money sources, sellers and buyers who would love to support my company and the very reason it exists. As a blogger I can think about what I want as an end result of my food blogging efforts.

My assignment this next week is to answer three questions:

  1. Why does this blog/business exist?
  2. How will I carry out its purpose to fulfill the why?
  3. What do I have to offer? Product, service, content, etc.

If you want to participate, let’s think this over and write down the answers. I don’t care if you have a blog, company, organization, eBay business or if you are an extreme couponer! You can totally participate and have the opportunity to share your answers at a later date.

Think about it, sleep on it, make sure this is the heart and soul that you want to convey and we’ll share our results next week.

Thank you so much to Rob & Kristi for sharing this video on their blog and for being so supportive!

I will also be handing out samples of peanut butter fudge to celebrate Peanut Butter Fudge Day!

I found the recipe for Peanut Butter Fudge here at the Vintage Sugarcube. Be sure and leave her some comment love! She really is a sweetheart. 🙂

You can visit Rob & Kristi at their Real World Investor website and see what they are all about. They are both down to earth and not a bit pompous. 🙂 I love that.