dessert pizza

Kinley and I took a trip to New York City this past January.  I loved it.  I have always loved big cities and this was my first time in NYC – although it had been a longtime ambition of mine to get there.  It’s actually quite funny now, we decided to eat vegetarian when we were there in order to help with cost savings – and now that’s all we do :).  We ended up finding a bunch of really good restaurants even without pre-planning anything.  We had a couple stops in mind, but those were mainly for cupcakes.  One night we were really struggling to find something to eat was the night we went to see a show on Broadway, American Idiot.  We were walking around and around and could only find expensive prix fixe meals that didn’t even sound good!  Luckily, on probably our tenth loop around on side streets, we stumbled upon a small Italian Bistro.  I forget the name of it (I do have their business card somewhere), but I remember it was extremely delicious food.  I had some sort of pasta dish but Kinley had a pizza that was to die for.  And what was even more to die for than her meal pizza?  Dessert pizza of course.  Pizza Crust + Nutella + Marshmallows.  We changed it up a bit due to ingredients we had on hand, but the variability of this idea is what will make anyone happy :).

Dessert Pizza makes 1 pizza

1. Preheat oven to 350′.

2. Pre-bake the crust for a couple of minutes, if desired.

3. Top crust with your desired pizza toppings.

4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until nut butter is warm and marshmallows have melted.  You could also use a broiler to help the marshmallows puff up a bit ;).

Mine was PB2 – Kinley’s was Raw Almond Butter.  Both were incredibly delicious.  To make it even more like the original, break out that Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter.

There will be more of these in the future.  Many, many more.

sorbetto

I’ve talked a little bit about my trip to Italy in May of 2010 on this blog.  I love traveling, if I could find a job that would take me around the world I would be in heaven.  Although even finding a job in general is proving to be a bit of a difficulty, and being paid to travel is definitely not realistic ;).  That is why I loved studying abroad so much.  No, I didn’t get paid for it, but it was 3 1/2 months where I could be somewhere else, experiencing the cultures (and food!) of other countries.

Let me just say that I am so glad that I got the chance to go to Italy when I did without having to deal with any of my dietary intolerances.  Even traveling domestically is difficult.  Heck, it’s difficult to find restaurants that I can go to when I’m at home.  Going to Italy won’t quite be the same without being able to eat gluten, specifically.  I don’t even want to imagine being surrounded by fresh pasta, bread, pizza, calzones, and all of the other delicious gluten-filled goodies I won’t be able to indulge in.

And without dairy, gelato is a no-no as well.  I’m not going to lie, I had gelato at least once every day when I was there – mostly sticking to the chocolate-hazelnut variety that I love.  My family recently went into a gelato shop in Waukesha (just west of Milwaukee), called Divino Gelato Cafe, and I was delighted to find sorbetto.  Fruit-filled, non-dairy gelato.  Oh my word.

Kinley and I shared a pint (it was the same price as the smallest dish and we could get two flavors!).  It was filled up with passionfruit and blueberry and it was absolutely phenomenal.  Fruity, fresh, and just the perfect amount of sweetness.  Of course I had to attempt to make some sort of sorbetto at home.  We have an ice cream maker and I just wanted a simple mix to make that didn’t take much time but had an awesome flavor.

And that’s where Naked Juice comes in.  I only first had Naked juices a couple of months ago and was instantly hooked.  I do find them very sweet however, but I love that their ingredients are purely fruit.

Naked Sorbetto makes 2 servings

  • 1 cup Naked juice (I used mighty mango)
  • 1 cup water
  • fruit toppings (optional)

1. Assemble ice cream maker (according to your own instructions).

2. Pour the juice and water together and put in the ice cream maker.

3. Mix until your mixture has turned icy and looks like sorbetto :).

4. Serve in a fancy glass with a gelato spoon (optional).

This definitely was not as sweet as the sorbetto from Divino’s, but it was delicious and perfect for the summertime.  You can, of course, use 100% juice if you wanted a fuller flavor (but I liked this one just a tad on the icy side).

Garnish with strawberries if you so desire.

At least I know when I make it back to Italy someday, I’ll be able to live on Sorbetto and Wine.

dessert on the grill

I love summer cookouts.  I believe that almost everything tastes better from a grill.  However, up until last week, I had never attempted even turning on the grill by myself, but I am happy that I did since I had the most delicious sweet potatoes come off of it.  Sometimes after a warm, summery day all you want it a frozen dessert, such as banana soft serve, but on nights when the air is cool and you feel more like sitting around a fire than jumping in the pool, a warm dessert is where it’s at.  Especially when it can be made on the grill.

The below is only a suggestion, feel free to change up any of the fillings/toppings to suite your taste.

Chocolate Marshmallow Stuffed Grilled Bananas makes 1 serving

  • 1 banana
  • 1-2T chocolate chips
  • 5-6 marshmallows (vegan or mini)

1. Cut a slit into the banana on the inside curvy side (consult picture).

2. Stuff with desired toppings and wrap in aluminum foil.

3. Place on the grill for 5-10 minutes until the banana is warm and the chocolate and marshmallow have melted.

4. Make sure to take out of the peel before eating!  You can also top with some ice cream, whipped cream, nut butter… In our case, we put a dollop of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter.

Other possible additions: Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, coconut, white chocolate chips, etc.

You (and your guests) will be sure to go bananas over this delicious grilled dessert.

sweet perfection

I’ll write a recap of my race this past Saturday tomorrow – but I wanted to start out the week with a delicious recipe Kinley and I had for dessert yesterday! It was a nice, sunny day outside but still a little chilly. But being from Wisconsin, I could eat ice cream any month of the year! Unfortunately, ice cream is only a memory for me and the ice cream replacements on the market have quite a long ingredient list. This recipe definitely curbed my craving for ice cream and only has TWO ingredients – can you believe it? Adding gluten free cookie dough chunks is the icing on the cake… er topping on the ice cream.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Soft Serve
adapted from Oh She Glows

Ice ‘Cream’ (2 servings)

  • 3 frozen bananas (cut into chunks before freezing)
  • 2T or so unsweetened vanilla almond milk

In a food processor, add the frozen bananas and blend until they break down and start to get creamy, scraping down the sides when necessary.  Drizzle in some dairy-free milk to speed up the process and make a more creamy consistency.  It all came together within 5 minutes!  At this point, scoop into 2 bowls and you can eat it straight up, or add any toppings you would like such as cookie dough pieces!

Cookie Dough Pieces

  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashew pieces
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1t pure vanilla extract
  • 2T pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chunked dark chocolate

1. In a food processor, blend together the cashew pieces and the old-fashioned oats until crumbly.  Add in the oat flour and salt and process to combine.

2. Add in the vanilla extract and maple syrup and blend until the mixture comes together.  It’ll stay sticky.  Scoop into a bowl and add in the chunked dark chocolate.  You can either roll these into balls and stick in the freezer, or press out onto some wax paper, freeze, and then cut into pieces to avoid rolling a bunch of little cookie dough balls.  We may or may not have skipped freezing all of the cookie dough step so we could eat some right away ;).

You can add the cookie dough to the top, blend a few pieces in to the ice cream (which is what we did + added a couple on top with a sprinkling of non-dairy chocolate chips).  The original recipe was created to mimic a Dairy Queen Blizzard, and does the job perfectly.

I can see many more of these in my future!

p[ea]nut love

I am inspired by peas.  Well, one Pea in particular.  Mama Pea.  And when she says that her Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls are the best recipe she has ever made?  Of course I made three batches.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls from Peas and Thank You

  • 1/2 cup earth balance (or any other non-dairy margarine)
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter (naturally, I used Trader Joe’s natural creamy)
  • *1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk*
  • 1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2t vanilla extract
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 3/4t salt
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup + non-dairy chocolate chips (Trader Joe’s definitely makes the best semi-sweet chocolate chips around)

*the almond milk is optional based on if your dough is too dry without it, I found that mine was so after making the first batch I combined it in with the wet ingredients

1. Beat earth balance, peanut butter, both sugars, almond milk and vanilla until fully incorporated.

2. In a smaller bowl combine baking powder, soda, salt and flour.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, a little at a time until almost mixed together.

4. Now add the chocolate chips that you managed to not nibble on during the making of the dough.

5.  Chill dough for roughly 30 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350*.  Roll the dough into small balls.  Roll these in your hands to look more like a dough ball and less like a scoop of ice cream.  Place on a lined cookie sheet (they don’t spread so you can fit a lot on each sheet).

The mini cookie scoop I used made tablespoon-sized balls, perfect for a party.

Bake for 8-10 minutes (mine were small so if you make larger ones the time might be slightly more).  But do not overbake.  I repeat, do not overbake.

Doesn’t that make for an awesome dessert selection.

Peas and Thank You, Mama Pea.