Archive for the 'quasi-cooking' Category

Completely Random Icebox Dessert

I always have a sweet tooth after a meal…no matter how full I am. So after lunch, I was rummagging around the kitchen for something, anything that I could eat for dessert.

I saw half a package of reduced fat graham crackers, boxes of pudding mixes, and lots of random little things in the freezer. So what did I make? You guessed it. Another icebox dessert.

I made the sugar-free, fat-free chocolate pudding according to the directions, with two cups of skim milk and a dash of instant coffee. I didn’t lighten this one with whipped topping, mainly because mine was frozen and I didn’t feel like waiting for it to defrost in the fridge.

I placed some graham crackers in the bottom of a dish. I skipped the step of dunking these in milk, but you can definitely do that if you need then to soften quicker.

Graham crackers make awesome fodder for icebox desserts…especially if you make the Boston Cream Pie dessert for a crowd in a large dish!

Spread 1/3 of the pudding on the graham crackers.

Does this look familiar?

Last time I made the Butterscotch Bark, after all of it was devoured, the platter had about 1 cup of the topping that did not stick to the graham crackers. I put it in a ziplock baggie and put it in the freezer thinking that it would make a killer topping for some vanilla ice cream…but then it found its way into my icebox dessert.

Sprinkle some of that onto the pudding.

Repeat this 2 more times, for a total of 3 layers.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. If you dipped the graham crackers in milk, it’ll be softened and ready to eat in less than 2 hours, but if you did not soak the crackers, you can leave it in the fridge all day and eat it for dessert after dinner!

Enjoy!

Mocha Icebox Dessert

I know, I know…I need to stop with all this icebox stuff. Don’t worry, I’ll start using my oven again very soon (maybe even tomorrow)!

Here’s my last icebox creation for a while…

Start with some coffee in a shallow dish. Dissolve a heaping teaspoon of instant coffee in about a cup of warm water. I added a splash of cold milk for a quicker cool down. I did not sweeten the coffee because the cookies and the pudding mixture are already sweet!

I happened to have a box of Anna’s Cappuccino Flavored Thins on hand. I was glad to have found a use for these because they are very unexciting on their own. You can buy these at most grocery stores and even in Ikea because they’re Swedish!

I would like to stress how flexible icebox desserts are. You can just use whatever you’ve got on hand as long as the flavors go well together. You can even use graham crackers!

Quickly dunk them in the coffee mixture and place them down in your dish. And I mean super quick because these are called THINS. They will soak up enough coffee in a millisecond! If some break, that’s okay. No one will know.

Drizzle some ganache or chocolate syrup on there too.

Top with dollops of your pudding mixture* and then spread it out evenly.

Again, anything goes. You could have used chocolate pudding mix, or chocolate-flavored whipped topping. You can sprinkle in some instant coffee for an extra mocha boost. Whatever you want!

Also, this was the other half of the pudding mixture from when I made the Boston Cream Pie parfaits for two. You can make dessert for one, or two, or a crowd. It’s up to you!

Repeat those three layers (soaked cookies, ganache, pudding) and end with another layer of soaked cookies and ganache.

Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Enjoy!

*”pudding mixture” means a 1.34 oz pkg of sugar & fat-free instant vanilla pudding made with 2 cups of skim milk and then lightened with half a tub of sugar & fat-free whipped topping…but if you’ve been reading the last few icebox posts, you’d know that! 🙂

Icebox Tiramisu

I make a pretty mean tiramisu from scratch, but considering my current icebox obsession, I thought I’d continue the theme!

Here’s what I’d call Quick-and-Dirty Tiramisu.

Microwave 1 cup of water in a mug for 60 seconds. Add 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips:

1 tablespoon of instant coffee granules:

1 heaping teaspoon of sugar substitute:

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract:

1 teaspoon of sweet Marsala:

Place that in the fridge to cool downl.

2 tablespoons of sweet Marsala, then fill it to the 2 cup line with skim milk to make the instant vanilla pudding (3.4 oz package):

Lighten the pudding with half a tub of fat-free whipped topping (you know the drill):

Quickly dunk the vanilla wafers in the chilled coffee mixture and place them in a 8×8 square dish. I say quickly because you don’t want them to turn into mush. If you’ve got ladyfingers, by all means, use them. I was just trying to use ingredients I had on hand. Ladyfingers can linger in the liquid for 1-2 seconds, but not the wafers!!

Top with 1/2 of the pudding mixture, more dunked wafers, and the second half of the pudding mixture.

I topped it off with the 9 remaining unbroken wafers in the box and a dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder:

Cover and chill for at least 2 hours (up to overnight). If you used ladyfingers, you’ll need to chill it overnight.

This was SUPER DELISH!! It’s obviously not real tiramisu, but the flavor and texture is absolutely phenomenal. You can’t beat that for something that only took 10 minutes to throw together!! No zabaglione, no mascarpone cheese, no problem!!

Boston Cream Pie Parfaits (for two)

Now that the weather is so warm and I had success with the Dulce De Leche banana pudding, I have become completely obsessed with icebox cakes/desserts. The concept is basically a cookie, layered with some kind of pudding and/or cream, and when left in the refrigerator; the cookies will soften into a sumptous cake-like texture. One of the most notable icebox cakes being the “Famous Chocolate Icebox Cake”, made from Nabisco’s Famous Chocolate Wafers.

This morning, I had a terribly unsatisfying Boston Cream Pie flavored fat-free Yoplait yogurt. I decided for dessert, I’d make a tastier version.

Make some vanilla instant pudding (3.4 oz box) with two cups of skim milk.

Lighten the pudding by adding half a tub of fat-free whipped topping:

I know this sounds retarded, but get a big shot glass and fill it with skim milk.

Dunk three vanilla wafers in and place them at the bottom of the glass. They’ll be nice and evenly coated with milk…wayyy better than trying to spoon milk over the wafers.

I always keep some chocolate ganache in the fridge (don’t ask me why), but if you don’t have any, just melt some chocolate or you can use chocolate syrup!

Drizzle some over the wafers:

Top that with some of the pudding mixture:

Repeat…milk-dipped wafers, ganache drizzle, pudding….end with milk-dipped wafers and another drizzle:

By the time you’re done just making two, you will have used only half of the pudding mixture. I’m sure I’ll come up with another icebox dessert later this week!!

Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours:

Double yummm…

This dessert was AWESOMELY delicious! I will definitely be making this one again and again! I want one right now!!

Dulce De Leche Banana Pudding (for two)

I am a firm believer in the idea that there is always room for dessert. I get it from my mom who, no matter how full she is, can always have some sweets after dinner.

I had a craving for banana pudding…the kind you’d find at barbecue joints like Rudy’s. Layers of vanilla pudding, softened Nilla wafers, and whipped cream…Yummm.

Suddenly, I had a bright idea. I always keep Jell-O Dulce de Leche pudding in the fridge.  The awesome thing about this recipe is that you can make as many as you want…just one or six…It’s a make-ahead and it’s healthy!

Here’s my quickie dessert fix:

All the ingredients. Reduced fat vanilla wafers, skim milk, a banana, and two Jell-O sugar-free dulce de leche pudding cups…yes, I buy store brands! haha

Place 3 vanilla wafers in the bottom of the glass. Spoon on a tablespoon or so of milk to moisten the wafers.

Scoop out half of the pudding cup and place it on top of the wafers.

A layer of banana:

Another layer of wafers and milk, then the second half of the pudding cup. Top with more banana, wafers and milk.

Top with fat-free whipped toppping:

Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Enjoy!!

I hated this dessert. 😛

Cake Balls aka Cake Truffles aka Cake Bon Bons

Happy Friday! Sorry it took me so long to post this one!

A while back, friend of mine sent me the link to these awesome looking Hello Kitty cake pops made by Bakerella.

I was intrigued.

I kept reading…and reading…and before I knew it, I was way back in the archives of her blog and I was hooked!

Before I delve into the world of cake pops, I thought I’d try it’s precursor: the cake ball.

Well, to be honest, the concept of cake balls was really odd to me. To mush up a perfectly yummy cake seemed somewhat blasphemous, but when I read that even Martha Stewart was on board with the cupcake pops, I was sold.

Well, don’t knock it ’till you try it! I got rave reviews about these things!

First, bake a cake from a mix. Any flavor will do.

Once it’s completely cooled, crumble it up in a bowl with your hands.

Next, dump in a can of frosting. Again, any flavor will do as long as it compliments your cake flavor. I would hold back a few tablespoons. You can always add more, if neeed.

Mix it with a wooden spoon until the frosting is completely absorbed by the cake…wow, that looks like ground pork!

I used my spring-loaded disher to get uniformly sized balls. Then roll those balls between your hands so that the surface smooths out. You will yield about 50.

Put them in the freezer and chill until firm.

Melt some chocolate or white chocolate coating and contemplate the decor.

Drop the chilled balls into the melted coating.

Scoop them up with a spoon and tap it on the side of the bowl so that the excess drips off.

Place on a baking sheet. If you want to decorate them with sprinkles, now is the time to do it. The coating will set up very quickly because the cake balls are cold! If you want to drizzle chocolate or colored coating on top, you can do it later.

I decorated these with spring time in mind!

Pink!

Yellow!

Green!

Blue!

Purple!

Clear sparkling sugar!

I decorated the last batch like truffles using pink-tinted white chocolate to indicate that there was strawberry cake inside.

Asian Coleslaw

I was heading to a potluck and decided I was way to busy to make anything complicated. I love this coleslaw because it’s fresh, crunchy, delicious and you can make it the day before (in fact, you must make it the day before).

First, crumble the ramen noodles in the bottom of the bowl. I used a vegetarian flavor. It’s best to crush it while it’s still in it’s package. Don’t pulverize it! Put the seasoning packets to the side.

Next, the broccoli slaw:

Then, the angel hair coleslaw OR you can spend 23 cents on a small head of cabbage and shred it yourself on a mandoline:

Green onions

Slivered almonds

Sunflower kernels

Get a plastic food storage container or a jar and place the oil, vinegar, sugar and both seasoning packets in there. You can change it up with some rice vinegar or sesame oil…

Shake it vigorously until the mixture is combined thoroughly.

Pour the dressing all over the coleslaw. Cover and chill overnight.

Mix just before serving!

Asian Coleslaw

2 pkgs. Ramen Noodles (any flavor)
1 bag Angel Hair Coleslaw Mix
1 Bag Broccoli Slaw Mix
1 bunch green onions
1 cup sunflower kernels
1 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar

Crumble uncooked ramen noodles in the bottom of the bowl. Put both bags of slaw on top. Then the green onions and nuts. Mix the 2 seasoning packets from ramen noodles with oil, vinegar & sugar. Shake in a jar or whisk together in a bowl. Pour the dressing on top. Resist the urge to mix. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Stir just prior to serving.

I recommend making this in a large, low and wide bowl instead of a deep bowl so that the dressing has a chance to make contact with all of the ingredients instead of sitting at the bottom.