We were all having a chocolate craving last week and no one was disappointed with this treat. I was a little worried the kids wouldn’t eat it, because it did have a mild texture difference from regular mousse, but they surprised me and couldn’t get enough. In fact, they’ve both asked for it a week later, so I’m sure I’ll be making it again.
And as for the texture thing? If you’ve ever eaten a cannoli, you’ll know what I mean. It was kind of a silkier chocolate version of cannoli filling, to me. To the kiddos, however, it was chocolate mousse through and through, and perfectly delicious.
Recipe: Chocolate Ricotta Mousse
(adapted from Everyday Food)
2 c. fat free ricotta cheese
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 c. granulated sugar
pinch of salt
mini chocolate chips and whipped cream, for garnish
In a food processor, pulse ricotta and cocoa powder until completely smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Place egg whites, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a medium heatproof mixing bowl, set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk and cook until sugar dissolves and the mixture is warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and beat mixture on high until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes. With a rubber spatula, gently fold egg white mixture into ricotta mixture. Divide mousse among 6 ramekins. Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours. To serve, top with whipped cream and mini chocolate chips or shave chocolate.
I made cupcakes in ice cream cones once quite a while back, and it was a disaster. The cake mix baked over the tops and ran all over the place. It did nothing but make a big old mess in my oven and I had to throw them all away. When I walked by these teeny, tiny ice cream cones when I was grocery shopping the other day, I couldn’t resist the urge to buy them and try again.
I have to admit, that the first batch went straight to the trash. Major flashback. But I persevered and ended up with these adorable little cupcakes. How stinkin’ cute are they? The trick for me was definitely to only fill them halfway full. They baked up just a little above the tops of the cones and were perfectly baked inside. And with a nice swirl of frosting on top, they even look like ice cream cones. Love!
Recipe: Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
boxed cake mix (and necessary ingredients) or favorite cake recipe
ice cream cones
Make cake batter, as per directions on the box or your recipe. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set ice cream cones inside the cups of a muffin pan. (I used a mini muffin pan for these little cones.) Spoon batter into cones, filling halfway. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (If using regular sized cones, baking time will be 18-20 minutes.) Allow to cool completely before frosting.
For those who need to know….
If you don’t already have a love of lentils, I really urge you to get to know them better. Invite them to lunch. Then have them over for dinner. You’ll be so glad you did, because they bring loads of protein, fiber, and important vitamins to the party.
We had these beef and lentil sloppy joes for lunch over the weekend, and had enough leftover for a couple workday lunches. I suggest serving them on a toasted roll with some melted cheese and a handful of crunchy chips on the side.
Sharing the lentil love with some of my favorite lentil recipes …
Recipe: Beef & Lentil Sloppy Joes
(from Can You Stay for Dinner?)
1 cup uncooked green lentils
4 cups water
½ lb lean ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
15 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 c. tomato paste
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
“Put the lentils in a small sauce pot and pour in 4 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.
About 10 minutes before the lentils are done boiling, set a large frying pan over medium heat. Saute the ground beef and onion for about 7 minutes, crumbling with a spatula as you cook, until the beef is no longer pink. Add the garlic and saute a minute more. Add the cooked lentils, the chili powder, oregano and salt and mix. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes.
Add the brown sugar and mustard and heat through. Turn the heat off and let sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors can blend.” Broil or grill rolls before filling with sloppy joe mixture.
My brother-in-law threatened to remove me from his favorites list yesterday because I haven’t posted anything new in almost a month. Seemed a little harsh to me, but, just for him, I ran straight to the kitchen and mixed up these s’mores treats.
(Well, not really. I really made them for my Claudia, but I know she’d share with Uncle Jim if he were here!)
Recipe: S’mores Treats
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 (10 3/4 oz.bag) of marshmallows
6 cups of Golden Grahams cereal
handful of milk chocolate chips
handful of mini marshmallows
Pour chocolate chips into a bowl and allow to chill in the freezer. Spray an 8″ square pan with cooking spray and set aside. Melt butter and the bag of marshmallows over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in Golden Grahams until coated. Wait one or two minutes and stir in chilled chocolate chips. Then add mini marshmallows. Press mixture into the baking pan with the back of a spoon you’ve sprayed with cooking spray. Cool completely and cut into squares.
Yum, yum, and yum. Three layers of goodness. A brownie topped with peppermint frosting, finished off with ganache and crushed candy. I am such a lover of all things peppermint and this fits the bill perfectly.
If you want to go the full homemade route, by all means, make your brownies from scratch. I was definitely going for quick and easy, so I used a boxed mix. But with the peppermint layer and the creamy ganache, even my humble boxed brownies reached great heights.
Recipe: Peppermint Patty Brownies
(adapted from how sweet it is)
your favorite boxed mix and necessary ingredients
Peppermint Patty Layer:
2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
3 Tbsp. evaporated milk
1/4 tsp. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
2-3 Tbsp. evaporated milk
chopped candy cane Hershey kisses or crushed candy canes
Prepare brownies according to package directions, or make them using your favorite brownie recipe. While brownies are cooling, mix peppermint patty frosting. Combine powdered sugar, butter, evaporated milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until smooth and creamy. Spread over brownies and place in refrigerator until set, about 30 minutes.
To make ganache, gently heat evaporated milk until warm and pour it over chocolate. Stir for a few minutes until smooth and creamy. Spread on top of the peppermint layer. Sprinkle with chopped candy cane Hershey kisses or crushed candy canes.
I discovered chia seeds and hemp seeds over the summer, and I can’t rave about them enough. The health benefits are incredible and they really are one of nature’s perfect foods. I loved the blueberry chia jam I made, but with the arrival of Fall weather and pumpkin recipes everywhere, I got a little creative and made pumpkin chia butter. It’s delicious on top of toast, but I also love it stirred into Greek yogurt or as a topping for waffles or pancakes.
Recipe: Pumpkin Chia Butter
(inspired by and adapted from skinnytaste.com)
1 29-oz. can of pumpkin puree
3/4 c. apple juice or apple cider
1/2 c. light brown sugar (If you have more of a sweet tooth than I do, you can add another 1/4 c. of brown sugar.)
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3-4 Tbsp. chia seeds
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Combine pureed pumpkin, apple juice, brown sugar, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium saucepan. Mix well. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add chia seeds and continue to simmer until thickened, about 10 more minutes. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Allow to cool slightly and transfer to small mason jars or reusable containers. Pumpkin chia butter should be stored in the refrigerator. Pumpkin chia butter can also be frozen, but be sure to leave a little space in the top of the jar if freezing to allow for it to expand a bit.