Category Archives: Desserts

The Doughbar Doughnuts

Last week REB and I indulged in a treat he had shipped to our house from The Dough Bar – protein doughnuts! As promised, here’s a quick review on them, what they are, how they tasted and overall thoughts!**

For those of you who don’t know what it is, The Dough Bar was started by a husband-and-wife team in California with a mission to provide a healthy alternative from traditional doughnuts and theirs are handmade, baked, lower in carbs and sugar and full of protein. It’s a great way for people to indulge in something sweet without straying from their fitness goals. They created this company, which will ship a box/pack of doughnuts right to your door.

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Orders are placed on a Thursday through their site, and then shipped on a Tuesday. And they sell out quick! It’s a pretty hot commodity I guess! REB placed the order the Thursday prior, they were shipped on a Tuesday and we received them on a Thursday; so about a week turn around time from order-to-door.

Upon arriving, the packaging was cute! I liked how they looked like homemade, hand packed boxes because they are. I also liked their little note card that explained their mission, how to eat them, store them and how to spread the word of the product and business.

My favorite thing is what they stood for: “We are excited and humbled to share our vision with you – which is defined by nutritious eating, active living, and giving back to others.” They find ways to give back to the community and charities. A portion of sales go towards a charity of their choosing for the month, like helping reduce childhood obesity or helping kids get up and moving. I really liked this about them!

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So now, onto the doughnuts! The doughnuts are in vacuum sealed plastic and the glazes that come with are in little plastic containers. REB ordered a dozen doughnuts in various packs/flavors:
• The Classic Variety Pack with 1 of each: Maple, Cake Batter, Chocolate and Vanilla
• A 4 Pack of Cookies & Creme
• A 4 pack of Vanilla Bourbon

We put half the doughnuts in the freezer to help keep them fresh since we knew we weren’t going to eat them all in that day. We placed them in the fridge to thaw overnight when we were ready to eat them the next day or whenever.

The concept to consume is pretty simple: remove doughnut from plastic, place on plate, warm in microwave for 10-15 seconds. Warm the glaze in the microwave for 5-8 seconds until melted/thinned out, drizzle over doughnut, add garnish if provided. E N J O Y !

We did find we had to warm the glaze up in batches of 3-4 seconds at a time since we didn’t want to melt the plastic container it came in, but other than that, the whole process is pretty fool-proof.

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Cookies & Creme with Oreo Crumble

Now, here’s the thing: you have to take these for what they are. These are not Krispy Kreme doughnuts, nor are they trying to be. You aren’t going to bite into it and taste something from your local bakery. However that said, these are not bad at all.

I will say that there are certain flavors I favored over others. For one thing, the chocolate did not remotely taste like chocolate or look like a chocolate glaze, which was a little bit of a disappointment. The vanilla bourbon and maple were probably my favorites – the glaze was more like an icing and tasted delicious! The doughnuts are pretty dough-y and can seem a little chewy, but again, you’re nuking them in the microwave and they’re baked, not fried.

Here’s the breakdown of Macros per doughnut on average (this includes the glaze):
Calories: 179
Carbs: 21-23g (depending on flavor/glaze)
Fat: 5g
Protein: 11g
Fiber: 2

Overall I am pleased with the product. It was a no-guilt treat for us. I know some of you might think “Well, if I’m going to treat myself, I’m going all out” and that’s totally fine! I’m not a big doughnut person to begin with, but these are something I can feel OK about eating every once in a while if I want that sweet treat or need something with protein post-lifting/working out a shake won’t cut it. They are a little expensive, but they are handmade, hand packaged and shipped from California. Plus, I really like their mission and the way they give back to the community, too! If you guys try them, let me know what you think!

What is your favorite doughnut flavor?

 

 **I was not compensated for providing this review. Nothing in this post was sponsored. The views and opinions are my own!

Grilled Peaches with Honey

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Before I get to the amazingness that is this recipe, you should understand how it came to be, because it’s not as simple as “I wanted to make a fruit dessert and this sounded good.” Don’t get me wrong, that is kind of true, but there’s more to it than that.

This past weekend, I embarked on what my best friend Jackie and I call “BFF weekend”. She lives about an hour away in Metro Detroit and while you would think that’s not too far and we see each other all the time – we don’t. She and I have been friends since we started college (lived on the same floor our Freshman year) and though we had our ups and down, she’s my girl and we’ve always been the best of friends. So now instead of just hanging out for a few hours, we make a whole weekend out of it. And since the price of gas is ridiculous, I found an Amtrak ticket for $30 round trip and decided to use that as my way there and back. Best. idea. ever.

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Jackie, her hubby and I decided to have a day of culture in Detroit and be tourists in our own city. Detroit gets such a bad rep and while there are areas that aren’t the safest, any city can be like that. There are areas of Detroit I never feel unsafe or weird around, and if you really look, the architecture and culture is just beautiful. So we spent the day at the art museum (DIA) and then walked around. We ended the night at the MGM Casino, where I lost $12 once again proving my point that 1). I bring bad luck to all those around me in a casino 2). I suck at gambling and 3). It’s a good thing I don’t really like gambling because I suck at it. My wallet and I stay happy that way ;)

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The entire time we were at the museum, we kept saying, “We should make grilled peaches for dessert.” But then we basically ate our way through Detroit and by the time we got back to their house, we were too full to even think about dessert despite stopping at the store to pick up the ingredients for it. Fail on us.

The weekend came to an end and I was still thinking about grilled peaches, but the thought quickly vanished when I saw my boys who came to pick me up from the train station. I came home and saw a package had arrived from one of my other best friends – Allison in MS. She sent me a southern care package of all local items in and around Oxford, MS!!

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From top right to bottom right: Two jars of honey from their honey bees. Uh yeah, did I forget to mention Allison and her hubby harvest bees?! One honey was from kudzu blossoms and the other wildflowers. She also sent me grits, and how-to guides on growing herbs. And finally kudzu jelly and hot sauce. I was in heaven.

But what caught my attention was that honey, because almost instantly my mind went back to the idea of grilled peaches. And with grilled peaches came the rest which included the frozen vanilla Greek yogurt we had in the freezer, the ginger snap cookies in the cupboard and that glorious, beautiful honey that kept staring at me from the counter.

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So I made grilled peaches for dessert, and thought about all my friends and what they mean to me. I might have also been thinking, “Damn, why didn’t I grill up two peaches instead of one?” but that’s just an afterthought.

Grilled Peaches with Honey
 
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A dessert so perfect for summer, you will make it year round!
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Cuisine: summer, peaches, honey
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 peach, halved
  • ½ tablespoon butter (optional)
  • ½ cup frozen vanilla Greek yogurt (or ice cream of your choosing)
  • ¼ crumbled cookie of your choice (I used ginger snaps, about 2-4 mini cookies)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (I used wildflower and kudzu blossom) to drizzle
Instructions
  1. Heat grill or stovetop grillpan over medium heat
  2. Add butter to melt (optional but it will help the peaches from sticking to the grill pan)
  3. Cut the peaches in half around the pit
  4. Place peaches cut side down on grill and grill for 5 minutes on one side
  5. Flip and grill on the peel side for another 5 minutes
  6. The peaches are done when you see those beautiful grill marks
  7. Place peaches in bowl or plate
  8. Top with frozen vanilla Greek yogurt and crumbled cookies
  9. Add drizzle of honey
  10. Enjoy!

Daddio

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I know I always talk about how my mom is my rock, my best friend and I don’t know what I would do without her. While all that is very true, it doesn’t mean I don’t feel the same way about my dad.

He is one way rad dad.

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Growing up he was pretty strict with both my sister and I – more so with her than with me. I did get away with a lot more, but he was still very strict about schoolwork, having fun vs. studying, being prepared for college and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life.

And it always amazes me how after almost 30 years, he still remembers the tiniest details about my likes and dislikes. I wanted to make sure he knew I remembered one of his likes: blueberries. So I made him scones; the kind he can enjoy with his morning coffee while talking to my mom, or afternoon tea, or sneak a snack in, in between his classes at the university.

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While baking them, I kept thinking about how he and I were when I was growing up. There were a lot of times I wanted to be a stupid, rebellious teenager (and I was at times I’m sure) because I wasn’t allowed to go to dances, or go see my friends band play in downtown Flint while all my other friends went. But when I think back on it now, I realize, “Hmmm…so he didn’t want his 15-year-old daughter hanging out in downtown Flint at 10:30 p.m….and I thought that was weird?” If anyone knows Flint, it’s not horrible, but it’s also not the safest place, especially if you’re rather new to the area, like we were.

But that didn’t mean he didn’t have a sweet spot for kids, because he did! When I look through old albums and see pictures of he and my sister, or he and I, it melts my heart. He really was – and still is – a loving, caring, sweet dad who just wanted the best for his daughters.

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I have really fond memories with my dad, like when he taught me how to skip stones, introduced me to photography, how we’d sing along to The Carpenters in the car on family road trips to national parks, and when I’d take his video camera and conduct interviews with our friends at parties (a journalist from the ripe young age of 8!)

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Regardless, I want to make sure he knows that despite being strict and and the fact that we didn’t always get along when I was growing up because I was a typical pain-in-the-ass teenage girl, he shaped me into the person I am today. I wouldn’t be as neat, clean, a bit of a perfectionist, motivated or driven in my job or life the way I am if it weren’t for the values both he and my mom instilled upon me. I’m a better person because of him and he and I have really grown to appreciate the things we both do.

Blueberry Lemon Scones with Lemon Glaze
 
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Scones bursting with blueberries with a light, refreshing lemon glaze drizzled on top.
Author:
Recipe type: scones, breakfast, baking, blueberries, lemon
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • FOR THE SCONES:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for sprinkling on scones
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cups blueberries
  • 1 tablespoons lemon zest (1-2 lemons)
  • 1 cup half & half, plus 1-2 tablespoons for brushing on scones
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • FOR THE GLAZE:
  • ½ cup confectioners sugar
  • Juice of two lemons (5-6 tablespoons)
Instructions
  1. FOR THE SCONES:
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large, mixing bowl
  4. Add the cold butter cubes and mix with hands or pastry cutter. The mixture should look like a crumble when you are finished
  5. Fold in blueberries and lemon zest
  6. Make a well in your mixture, and add the half & half
  7. Mix well – the mixture will be very sticky!
  8. Pour mixture out onto a well floured board or surface
  9. Using your hands press out the dough into a rectangle
  10. Cut lengthwise once, then horizontally three times. You should end up with 7-8 squares. Cut the squares diagonally so you end up with 10-14 triangles
  11. Place scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  12. Mix 1 tablespoon half & half with vanilla extract, mix and brush on each scone
  13. Sprinkle the scones with some sugar
  14. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and blueberries are bursting.
  15. FOR THE GLAZE:
  16. Mix the confectioners sugar with the juice of 2 lemons. Mix well until kind of runny. If too thick, add more lemon juice. If too thin, add more sugar until consistency to be pourable.
  17. Drizzle glaze over scones once they have completely cooled

 

Chocolate Mint Cookies Redux

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I’m not a holiday baker. I think a few years ago when I initially posted about holiday baking, I said something stupid like, “I love it! I should really do it more!” or something equally lame.

I’m not being a scrooge either. I just prefer cooking over baking. The thing with baking, for me, is that the majority of it is all precise and has to be. That seems kind of silly to me. I don’t like math and I don’t like using math excessively in the kitchen.

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However, there are recipes that I make all the time. Especially cookies. Like this one. I’ve made these chocolate mint cookies almost every Christmas. It started a few years back when one of my best friends and I decided to make them. It started out as a baking disaster, but over the years, we’ve sort of perfected the whole thing.

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I should also mention, I never make cookies for myself and REB. These little tasties aren’t allowed to stay in the house. We might enjoy one or two…ok maybe four or five, but then they go to people outside of our home. In this case, my parents got a few to take on their 28-hour flight overseas.

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In any case, I revisited this recipe of chocolate mint cookies, and decided to change a few things. I had first started with white chocolate, and then was informed by REB that white chocolate “isn’t really chocolate” when the cookie dough (which really looked like batter) turned into goop. I wish I had known this before. Again, I never bake so would I know this? The kitchen disaster went into the trash after a horrible batch of flat, gloopy cookies came out of the oven.

After that, I decided to keep to the original recipe, but changed four things: adding peppermint extract and chopped up Andes mints to the dough, and topping them with a different Andes mint and candy canes. The different Andes mint didn’t melt too well on a lot of the cookies because again, they were white “chocolate” with candy canes in them. BUT I was all, “Tis the season” so decided to go with the seasonal variety. I’ll probably refrain from this next time. Although, REB did say they tasted better to him than the norm.

Either way, they did turn out OK and I think these slight changes made a world of difference. The mint flavor was taken to the next level and the added surprise of biting into a chocolate mint as you eat the cookie made them soft and full of flavor.

I’m bummed the white chocolate didn’t work out. Oh well. Lesson learned. Only use white chocolate to make bark ;)

Chocolate Mint Cookies Redux
 
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A twist on the original chocolate mint cookie. A staple during the holidays!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, cookies, sweets
Serves: 36-42 cookies
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1½ light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chip
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2½ cups flour
  • ¼ cup chopped Andes mints
  • 24 individually wrapped Andes mints, cut in half
  • 6 whole candy canes, crushed
Instructions
  1. Start by adding butter to a large saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add the brown sugar and water, and stir until butter and sugar are melted.
  3. Next, add the peppermint extract and stir well.
  4. Add the chocolate chips and stir until mostly melted.
  5. Remove the pan from heat and continue stirring until all the chocolate is melted.
  6. Pour butter mixture into a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment. Leave to sit and cool for 10 minutes.
  7. When the mixture has cooled slightly, turn onto medium speed and add the eggs, one at a time until combined.
  8. Next add the baking soda, salt and slowly add the flour until dough forms.
  9. Turn the mixer off and scrape the whisk with a rubber spatula to get all the batter into the bowl. Fold in the chopped Andes mints until combined.
  10. Put dough in fridge, uncovered for at least 1 hour.
  11. Preheat oven to 350°F
  12. Scoop a tablespoon or so of dough into your hand and roll into a ball.
  13. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and arrange balls about 2 inches apart.
  14. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies have spread out a little and are slightly cracked on top. If they feel soft, this is OK.
  15. While they are baking, unwrap the Andes mints and break in half, set aside in a bowl.
  16. Place candy canes in a ziploc bag and crush with a glass or rolling pin.
  17. Remove cookies from oven, and carefully remove from hot sheet to cooling rack.
  18. Top each cookie with ½ a Andes mint and wait 5 minutes until they are melted. Use a spoon to help smooth the chocolate over each cookie. While the melted chocolate is still warm, sprinkle with crushed candy canes.

Vanilla Poached Pears

International eating is what took place in our home tonight. It all started with REB and I wanting to do something with the leftover block of tofu we had. We hadn’t made any kind of Asian food in a while, so we decided to do our recipe of General’s Tofu. We used up some mushrooms we had which made it even more filling and delicious! The problem? No fresh ginger. I don’t dare use ginger powder – call me a snob if you want – when it comes to Asian or Indian cuisine. Fresh grated ginger is the way to go. Luckily we live across the street from a Whole Foods so he ran over there while I started cooking.

When he came back he did come back with a ginger root, but he also came back with two Anjou pears (we already had one Bosc pear sitting in our fruit bowl), vanilla bean and a bottle of Riesling. I gave him a questioning look and all he said was, “Poached pears.” Ah, but of course.

We talked about making poached pears the other night, but we didn’t have all the ingredients we needed. At least not for the recipe he wanted to use. So anyway, after our vegetarian, VERY spicy variation of General Tso’s chicken, we decided to make the pears.

We adapted the recipe from Mr. Alton Brown. Don’t freak out when you see the recipe – you aren’t reading incorrectly. It does in fact take two hours from start to finish. However, this was one of the easiest recipes even if it took that long to make. I don’t think we realized the time frame, but once we started we just had to finish!

It’s a good thing he and I enjoy hanging out with each other ;)

The wait was worth it. Our place still smells like the sweet syrup. The sweetness of the pears was absolutely decadent. Who says you need to fly to Paris to enjoy a really good dessert? I can enjoy something sweet with my sweets right here and just in time for Valentines day :)

Vanilla Poached Pears:
•3 pears (We used two Anjou and one Bosc. You can also use Bartlett)
•1 bottle white wine (Riesling or any sweet wine will work best)
•1 whole vanilla bean, scraped and save the pod
•3/4 cup vanilla sugar
•1 cup water

Start by making the vanilla sugar. It’s nothing scary! Just take 3/4 cup granulated sugar and add in 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and mix well. You could also take another vanilla bean, scrape it, add that and some granulated sugar into a food processor and get it really fine. But the former is the easiest way to go in my opinion.

Next, in a 4-quart saucepan add the water, sugar, vanilla, vanilla pod and bottle of wine and bring to a boil.

Prepare your pears: core the pears from the bottom. The easiest way to do that is to cut off a tiny bit from the bottom of the pear, take a vegetable peeler, poke in, turn and cut out the core.  Lower the heat, add the pears to the pot, cover and let the whole thing simmer – a gentle simmer – for 30 minutes or until the pears are tender, but not too mushy.  Remove the pears and place in a serving dish and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Increase the heat back to high and let the sauce boil and then reduce until approximately one cup is left – this will take about 20-25 minutes. Pour the syrup into a heat-resistant dish (we used our Pyrex measuring cup) and refrigerate for one hour.

Long process? Yes.
Worth it? Absolutely.
Place a pear on a dish, pour the syrup over it and enjoy!


Are there nights you decide to make dessert last minute?

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Gingerbread cookies

We made gingerbread cookies today! Mostly because we were bored. We followed a recipe from a book my future brother- and sister-in-law got me for Christmas. They turned out pretty well! The only thing we noticed after the first batch came out, was that they were incredibly hard! We both prefer cookies that are on the softer side (call us old haha), so we shortened the time by one or two minutes so they came out soft but were still cooked.

Here’s what you need:
•3 3/4 cups flour
•2 large eggs
•2 teaspoons ground ginger
•1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
•1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
•1 stick unsalted butter (at room temperature)
•3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
•1/2 cup molasses

In a large bowl, combine the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cloves and ginger. Set aside.

Using your electric mixer (or a separate large bowl), cream the butter and brown sugar together on low speed until combined. Next add the eggs and molasses until combined and smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients until the cookie dough is formed.

When it’s all combined, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and cool in the fridge for up to 1 hour or until firm.
After an hour, let the dough sit for about 15 minutes so you can work with it.

Preheat your oven to 350ºF.

Take a 1/2 cup of dough at a time, roll it out until it’s about 1/4-to-1/8 inch thick, then cut out what ever shapes.

Place the cut outs on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Like I said earlier, we baked them for 10 minutes, but they were too hard for our taste. So we ended up baking them for 8 minutes or so, and they turned out perfect!

Transfer them to a cooling rack and let them cool completely before you decorate them.
The recipe said it would make 18-24 cookies, but we easily got about 30 cookies out of the dough. We weren’t making big shapes though and we also made them a little thicker than what was probably called for…so do what you want! That’s half the fun.

Happy holidays!

Mint Chip Cookies

The holiday season brings out the Holly Homemaker in me. Well OK, not really, but I seem more inclined to bake during the holidays. REB and I have wanted cookies for a few nights now. I realized I had everything in my pantry to make cookies, so why not?

This is based on the typical chocolate chip recipe, but has a few little twists. The end result was perfection.

Sorry Santa. These cookies are not for you ;)

Here’s what you need:
•2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
•3/4 cup granulated sugar
•3/4 cup packed brown sugar
•2 sticks butter, softened
•2 large eggs
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•2 teaspoons instant espresso
•3/4 cup chopped walnuts
•1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
•1 1/2 cups Andes mint chips

Preheat oven to 375ºF

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, or in your stand mixer, cream the granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, the vanilla and espresso. Beat until smooth. Slowly add in the dry mixture until the entire batter is smooth and combined.

Turn the speed up to medium and add the walnuts. Then turn off the mixer and fold in the chocolate chips and mint chips until combined.

Let the batter chill in the fridge, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes.

Scoop a tablespoon of batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 9-to-11 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool completely before serving. Enjoy!

Mango burfi

Indian sweets are really sweet. I don’t care for a lot of them, but there are some I absolutely I can’t resist. I did a recipe earlier this year for kheer (Indian rice pudding), which is REB’s absolute favorite.

Yesterday, my awesome sister showed me how to make mango burfi. Burfi is basically a solid mixture of sugar, condensed milk and spices until it solidifies. It’s sweet and has a nice, soft texture. There are many variations: plain, pistachio, cashew, etc. What we made was mango, because face it, mangoes are delicious.

Here’s what you’ll need:
•2 cups ricotta cheese
•2 tablespoons butter
•3 cups dry milk powder
•1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
•2 cups mango pulp (Canned)
•1 pinch ground nutmeg

Start by toasting the ricotta cheese in a saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes. You need to stir it the entire time.
Once it starts drying out, add the butter and the dry milk powder and stir.
Once that’s incorporated and starts drying out, add the mango pulp.

Stir for 15 minutes then add the cardamom and the nutmeg. Taste the mixture to see if you need to add more sugar. Mango pulp is relatively sweet, so you shouldn’t need a lot of added sugar.  However, as I said, Indian desserts are sickeningly sweet, so feel free to add sugar to taste! Stir and cook this mixture until it starts pulling away from the sides of the saucepan, or until it starts taking shape. Oh! Another note: you’re stirring this the entire time, so use a spoon that won’t cramp up your hands.

To test it, take a little bit of the mixture and drop it on a plate. If you can touch the mixture without it sticking to your fingers, it’s done. You don’t want it to be sticky.

Pour the mixture into a greased pie pan or sheet pan and spread into an even layer. Cover and put it in the fridge to harden for 2-3 hours.

Optional garnishes are slivered almonds, crushed pistachios or edible foil.
Cut into squares and serve.

White Chocolate Bark

Had a late night craving for some chocolate. Don’t you hate when that happens? Luckily, with a few ingredients from the pantry that needed to be used up, we were able to calm the craving and our sweet tooth. It’s probably the easiest thing to make too. We made two batches. One with slivered almonds and dried cranberries, and one with instant espresso and chocolate cookie wafers. Both were delicious!

What you’ll need:
•12 ounces white chocolate chips (I guess any brand would do. I don’t skimp on chocolate so I buy the good stuff)
•2 teaspoons vegetable oil (1 for each batch)
•2 tablespoons slivered almonds
•1/2 teaspoon dried cranberries (REB isn’t a fan of fruit in chocolate, so I only sprinkled this on top instead of stirring into the chocolate)
•4 chocolate wafer cookies, crushed up
•1 teaspoon instant espresso

Start by cooling a cookie sheet in the fridge (will help harden the chocolate faster)

In a double boiler, add half the chocolate chip and stir with a rubber spatula until it starts to melt. When it’s almost melted, add in 1 teaspoon vegetable oil to help smooth the process. White chocolate melts at a higher temperature. Add in the slivered almonds and stir. Spread onto the cookie sheet and add some more slivered almonds and the dried cranberries on top.

Return the bowl to the double boiler and add in the rest of the chocolate chips. Once almost melted, add in the other teaspoon of vegetable oil to help it become smooth and melted. Add in the crushed chocolate wafers and instant espresso and stir.

Spread onto the other side of the cookie sheet. You can add the remainder of the chocolate wafers on top for some added texture.
You can really add what ever toppings you want in this though. I just happen to love dried fruit and nuts with white chocolate. The possibilities could be endless!

Put the cookie sheet in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
Then break it up into chunks and serve!

Kheer [Indian Rice Pudding]


I made Kheer tonight, which is Indian rice pudding. I don’t eat a lot of Indian desserts because they can sometimes be too sweet, but kheer isn’t so bad. This Indian dessert happens to be REB’s favorite. It’s velvety and rich, and has a nutty bite to it. It’s also incredibly easy to make!

He started his new job today so to celebrate, I made my mom’s kheer recipe just for him.

What you’ll need:
•1/2 cup uncooked Basmati rice, washed and drained (Basmati rice is long-rain Indian rice. The typical rice used in Indian cooking)
•4 cups milk
•3 tablespoons sugar
•5-7 cardamom seeds (in pod)
•1/2 teaspoon slivered almonds
•1/2 teaspoon crushed pistachios

In a saucepan, add the rice, sugar and milk and let it come to a boil (will take about 15-20 minutes). Since I’ve never made it before, I kept stirring it the whole time. You don’t want the milk to burn or it basically ruins the whole dish. Plus, if you let it sit around for that amount of time, it’ll get that nasty skin on top (not a fan of that), so I kept it moving.

Once it has come to a boil, you want to let it simmer gently until the rice is cooked and the milk has thickened. You’ll see the rice plump up and you can taste it to make sure it’s cooked. This took about another 15-20 minutes.

Add in the almonds, pistachios and the cardamom (in the pod and all!) and stir. Some optional ingredients you could put in to add a rich flavor include: rose water, ghee (clarified butter – very big in Indian cooking) or golden raisins.

It’s best and typically served warm, but you could serve it cold. Garnish with pistachios, almonds, cardamom, mint and enjoy!