Chocolate Chia Pudding

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Chocolate Chia Pudding

I am craving chocolate. Like, really craving chocolate. Like, I would tackle my own child for a bite of her KitKat kind of craving. And since I have that little issue of dieting going on right now, I could be in a real pickle.

Mmmmmmmm pickle.

Sorry. I’ve got issues.

So, back to the chocolate dilemma. We all know a little chocolate is good for us, but let me be straight with you. An ounce or two just isn’t gonna cut it. I need something chocolaty and substantial. Something that is going to satisfy my taste buds and also fill me up, so I won’t continue to search for something else to stuff in my face afterwards.

This pudding does all that and takes almost no effort, which you know I’m all about. The downside…you do have to wait awhile to eat it. I typically make a couple of these and stick them in the fridge and wait patiently so they are readily available when a craving strikes. Sometimes I make them and take one to work with me and it’s ready for an afternoon snack.

These babies only have two ingredients. Yes, I said two! They also do not use a bowl or a mixer, only a simple mason jar. You can add whatever you want to it, fresh berries or shredded coconut, but I typically use just chocolate. I may add some dark chocolate chips or some sliced almonds on top along with a squirt of whipped cream. You have to have whipped cream! I’m okay with an extra 15 calories for 2 tablespoons. They should really post the serving size as mouthfulls not tablespoons. You know what I mean.

All you do is take a clean mason jar, add 1 cup of Chocolate Almond Milk and 2 1/2 Tablespoons of chia seeds. Put the cover on and shake it. During the next 20 minutes, give it a couple more shakes then place in the fridge to set. It will take several hours to set thoroughly and it won’t be quite as thick as regular pudding, but still delicious. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, cocoa powder, sliced almonds or fresh berries and you have a totally crave-worthy chocolate dessert that won’t bust your diet.

You can thank me later.

Pi(e) Day Chocolate Cream Pie

chocolate creamHappy Pi(e) Day everyone.

I don’t make a lot of pie around here. I don’t know why. I mean come on, it’s pie. Delicious, pretty, sweet, delicious pie. Did I mention it’s delicious?

I’m not quite sure why I don’t make it more often, probably because I’d eat it until it was gone and my jeans would hate me for it.

I explained why it’s Pi Day (March 14 3.14) to the family and they didn’t really care, except for the fact that there would be pie. As my husband says “Nerdy and delicious”.

I’ve got to be honest, all the chocolate cream pies I’ve made in the past have been chocolate pudding in a graham cracker crust with some cool whip on top. Don’t judge me. I can be shoving pie in my face in 10 minutes flat. But for a little more effort this pie was much more satisfying. It is silky and dark and rich, but still lightened up a bit.

So, give your family a treat for Pi(e) day and treat them with a little slice of yumminess.

Check out my Pie board on Pinterest for some delicious pies.

Chocolate Cream Pie
40 graham crackers (10 full cracker sheets)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, melted
1 large egg white
Cooking spray

2 cups fat-free milk, divided
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed
3/4 teaspoon grated semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare crust, place crackers in a food processor; process until crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, butter, and egg white; pulse 6 times or just until moist. Press crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes; cool on a wire rack 15 minutes.

To prepare filling, combine 1/2 cup milk, 2/3 cup sugar, and next 4 ingredients (2/3 cup sugar through egg) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Heat 1 1/2 cups milk in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Remove from heat. Gradually add hot milk to sugar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan. Add chopped chocolate; cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 5 minutes), stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour into prepared crust; cover surface of filling with plastic wrap. Chill 3 hours or until cold. Remove plastic wrap; spread whipped topping evenly over filling. Sprinkle with grated chocolate.

Recipe from Cooking Light

28 Days to a Healthy Heart: Day 6

Today is a NO SALT day! Good thing for me, I am not a big fan of salt. I rarely use it on my food. Gordon Ramsey would call me some sort of “muppet” and tell me to “season”. But I can go without or at the least very little. But sodium is hidden everywhere. Some of the biggest culprits are canned soups, canned tomatoes, baking soda, baking powder, deli meats, cheese, salad dressings, pickled foods, and of course processed snack foods.

The current percent daily value for sodium is 2400mg, however, the American Heart Association recommends that people with high blood pressure eat less that 1500mg per day, or less than 3/4 of a table spoon of salt. That really isn’t a whole lot, if you think about it.

Today I am making a point to log in my food journal. I love the food journal on at is easy and has pretty much every name brand and type of food available, which makes it really quick to log in your daily food intake. I have used this in the past, but then put it aside. Today I’m logging back in. I am curious as to how much sodium I’m actually getting. As I said, I typically don’t use a lot of salt. So, I am interested to see if whatever food choices I am making during the day are still too high. Anyone with me?

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Here are some articles for some tips on reducing your sodium intake.

How to Reduce Salt and Retain Flavor
High Sodium Foods and Ways to Reduce Sodium

And if you have a sweet tooth like me, I wanted to share this recipe for Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies and fantastic post from an amazing blogger. Dorothy at Crazy for Crust can relate first hand to women and heart disease. Go check her out.

And don’t forget, tomorrow is National Wear Red Day started by the American Heart Association to bring awareness of the severity of heart diesase in women. More often than not, a heart attack doesn't present itself like it does in the movies. You know the dramatic clutching of the chest, falling to the floor. Especially in women.
Some of the signs include:
■Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
■Back pain
■Jaw pain
■Nausea, breaking out in a cold sweat, or lightheadedness
■Pain or discomfort in one or both arms
■Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.


For a little comic relief on a serious subject, check out Just a little heart attack starring Elizabeth Banks. It just may save your life!

Have a healthy day!

Chocolate Covered Pretzels for Halloween

cookies fall 093

Anyone on the hook for Halloween party baking? Nina has three parties in two days. She’s been singing the “Sugar Rush” song from Wreck It Ralph for a week now. “S-U-G-A-R SUGAR RUSH! SUGAR RUSH!” I think she’s preparing me for the sugar high and the crash that will inevitably follow.

That being said. Here is a simple treat you can put together in no time for all those spooktacular parties. These are great for any kind of party, just switch up the colors and Voila!

Pretzel rods
Miscellaneous colored candy melts (I used milk chocolate, white chocolate and orange)
Pretzel bags

Melt candy melts in the microwave in separate bowls as directed.
Dip the rod halfway in the chocolate (white or milk, I did some of each) and place on a silpat lined or parchment lined baking sheet
Drizzle with additional chocolate in other colors and sprinkle with sprinkles
Let harden and place in pretzel bags and seal with curling ribbon

Easy peasy!

S’mores Pops

Smore's Pops

Smore’s Pops

Last week I volunteered to bake something for my son’s first school dance. I can’t believe my baby is old enough to go to a dance. Waaaaaaa!

So as Friday came around, my son had hockey practice and couldn’t go to the dance, so needless to say I completely forgot about the bake sale. But, I did make a promise so, off I went rummaging through the pantry to see what I could whip together on short notice. Fortunately I had the makings for these little babies. As a matter of fact, you all probably have the ingredients in your kitchen. These take about 15-20 minutes and the kids love them.

If you ever get into a jam, these are your answer. They’re cute, yummy, quick and individually wrapped, so they are perfect for a bake sale or a party.

S’mores Pops
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbls crisco
1 bag large marshmallows
1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed
lollipop sticks
cello pop bags
curling ribbon

1. Melt chips in a double boiler or in microwave, if preferred. In microwave, heat on high 1 minute then stir and heat in 30 second increments until melted. Add crisco and stir in.

2. Place graham cracker crumbs in a bowl.

3. Prepare a large cookie sheet with waxed paper or silpat

4. Place a stick in each marshmallow, swirl into chocolate and using a spoon, coat the top of marshmallow (around the stick) so it adheres. You don’t want the chocolate too thick, so wipe some of the chocolate off with your spoon before dipping in the graham crackers, or you’ll have choclate drippings in your graham cracker bowl and it will get clumpy. I hold the dipped marshmallow over the cracker bowl and sprinkle with my fingers. It helps with the clumpiness.

5. Place on a baking sheet and pop them in the fridge for 20 minutes or so to set. Then place each in a bag and tie with curling ribbon.

Voila! Easy peasy and you look like a rock star.


Candy Brownies

Candy Brownies

Looking for a quick, last-minute Halloween treat to send to school? I asked my son what he wanted for his Halloween party and he said “Brownies with Reese’s, M&Ms and Marshmallow. Can you do that?” Sometimes I think they just try to test me. Who knows? But I gave it a shot and they were excellent, or so I’ve been told (due to the diet).

These are so easy and I feel pretty confident they’ll be a hit. I know some schools do not allow peanut butter, so feel free to leave them out, but if you can keep them in, you’ll be ever so happy you did.

Candy Brownies

1 box brownie mix
1 bag Reese’s peanut butter cups (chopped into large pieces)
2 c. mini marshmallows
1 1/2 c. M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350F and prepare 9×13″ pan
Mix brownies as directed on box.
Stir in chopped Reese’s
Pour into pan. Sprinkle marshmallows and 1 c. M&Ms over the top and press lightly.
Bake as directed, approximately 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining M&Ms again pressing lightly so they have something to stick to.
Cool completely and cut into squares.


National Wear Red for Women Day and a Heart Healthy Sweet

February is National Heart Month. Makes sense, right? Valentines. Hearts. Duh.

But today, February 3rd is National Wear Red Day. Are you wearing red today to show some love in honor of women’s heart health?

Did you know that heart disease is the number 1 killer of women causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. That means women like your mother, sister, aunt, BFF are dying at a rate of 1 each minute.

In the past 2 weeks, I have had 2 friends have heart attacks. They are 34 and 41 years old. They are vibrant, beautiful women. They are mothers, sisters, daughters, friends. Because of quick response and projects like Go Red for Women, they are both still here and are doing extremely well.

Throughout the month, and in honor of the women I love and have lost to heart disease, I’m going to be keeping it heart healthy. Don’t think that means boring or tasteless either.

Take these delicious dark chocolate dipped strawberries for instance. These are “Oh my God” good and easy to boot. Oh yeah, and good for your ticker.

Strawberries. Their heart shape is the first clue these babies are good for you. They protect your heart, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and guard against cancer. They are loaded with vitamins, fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols. They are also sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and low in calories. These pretty little berries are packed with antioxidants and are a good source of manganese and potassium. Just one serving — about eight strawberries — provides more vitamin C than an orange.

Dark Chocolate. I always buy Dove Dark Chocolate. Did you know that this particular brand contains more Epicatechin than other brands of dark chocolate. Epicatechin is a very active flavonoid which helps to keep cholesterol from gathering in blood vessels, reduce the risk of blood clots, and slow down the immune responses that lead to clogged arteries. Remember portion control though, chocolate is still high in calories.

Walnuts. These nuts contain fiber, along with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and phytosterols, which seem to decrease blood cholesterol.

Put these three ingredients together and you have powerhouse sweet treat you can feel good about eating.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Dove Dark Chocolate Squares
Walnuts, finely crushed

There are really no measurements here. Make a couple for yourself or a whole bunch for a gang (if you can share). If making them for yourself, just remember portion sizes. One serving of Dove chocolate is 5 pieces.

Cover a baking sheet with waxed paper.

Put crushed walnuts in a shallow dish.

Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl at 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted.

Cut the bottom tip off each berry so it stands up.

Dip the berry into the melted chocolate then coat with crushed walnuts. Put in the refrigerator until chocolate has hardened.