Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

It happened again.  I got suckered in by some good looking produce at the grocery store, and I bought it without having any idea what I was going to do with it.  Luckily, strawberries are a great smoothie ingredient, so my path was pretty clear.  For this smoothie you will need:

  • 1/2 a banana
  • 8-10 strawberries
  • a handful of spinach
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • ice cubes

You might have noticed that this time I gave you all the measurements.  That’s because this is my recipe, so no links to sources!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

Process

Peel the half banana.  If you have a frozen one, awesome!  I didn’t and it turned out fine.  Chunk the banana and throw it in the blender.  Cut the stems off the strawberries and add them to the blender.  Add the yogurt and chocolate chips to the blender.  Throw in as much spinach as you feel like.  I put in about 1/4-1/2 cup, but more or less is totally fine.  Finally, add your ice cubes.  I have one of those ice cube trays that comes with your refrigerator and used 8 of those cubes.  I think that’s equal to a cup or a cup and a half of ice.  Put as much in as you feel like.  Keep in mind that the less ice you add the warmer the final product will be.  Blend everything until smooth.

I really enjoyed this smoothie because it was quick and simple.  It really did taste like chocolate covered strawberries, and I felt fine about the chocolate chips because I also had spinach in there.  I’d love for you to give this a try and tell me what you think!

Guinness Truffles

On the same day that I made the key lime tarts, I also went for these Guinness truffles. I was in a dessert zone, so I went ahead and made both (partially because I wanted to make sure I got to the truffles before we drank all the Guinness).  For this you will need:

  • Guinness
  • Semi-sweet chocolate
  • Butter
  • Pretzels

Check out the full recipe here,or my pin on my Just Desserts board.

guinness truffles

Review

I have made truffles before, so I was pretty confident that the process would be a simple one, and I was right.  Besides letting the mixture cool in the refrigerator, the longest part was waiting for the Guinness to reduce.  Mine took FOREVER, but your mileage may vary.  This recipe is simple, straightforward, and requires few ingredients and will make approximately 16 truffles.  However, I wish I had made mine smaller, because I simply couldn’t eat an entire truffle because it was so rich. If you did smaller truffles, I could easily see this recipe making 2-3 dozen depending on how small you went.

The flavor is good, but not quite what I was hoping for.  I thought that I could taste the Guinness right at the end of the flavor, but my husband disagreed.  He thought that he could taste bitterness at the end, but that it wasn’t necessarily the Guinness itself.  It might just be the small bite of the semi-sweet chocolate.  That tends to be a problem for me with Guinness flavored things-it’s just so hard to get that taste.  I once made Guinness cheesecake and we didn’t really taste it there either.

For me this was a bust.  The truffles were so rich that their size made them difficult for me to finish, the Guinness flavor was more of a whisper, and you absolutely should NOT roll them in the exterior pretzels until right before serving.  Those pretzel chunks definitely lost their crunch.  I’m not saying this is a bad recipe by any means, it’s just not what I was hoping it would be.

Thin Mint Smoothie

Like most people I know, I love Girl Scout cookies, especially thin mints.  Last year I bought something like 10 boxes of them, storing them in my freezer to carefully dole out over the year.  So when I saw a smoothie that claimed to taste like a thin mint, I ran to the store so I could give it a try!  You will need:

  • mint
  • spinach
  • dark chocolate chips
  • milk

For a full list of ingredients and directions, check out the recipe here, or my pin on my Drinks on Me board.

thin mint smoothie

Review

Let’s get straight to the point-does this taste like a thin mint?  No.  It does not.  However, it is fairly close, and it is an excellent chocolate and mint combo.  Honestly, even though it isn’t an exact, liquid replica, I would make this over and over again.  In fact, I am seriously considering putting in some mint in my herb garden this summer expressly for that reason.  It really is amazingly good.  I’ve only made it one more time, but that’s actually because my grocery store rarely carries mint (and then it’s kind of expensive).  Clearly this is another good reason to grow it myself.

This recipe calls for a LOT of spinach.  I was worried about that, but I shouldn’t have been.  Because you pack in so much mint, you cannot taste the spinach at all.  Would I make this again?  Absolutely!  I want to drink this every morning!  Time to put in that mint garden…..  If YOU have access to mint, what are you waiting for?  Make this today!

Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie

I love a good smoothie.  It never ceases to amaze me just how much flavor can come out of mixing a few things together in a blender.  The majority of my Drinks on Me board is smoothies because I can’t get enough.  Chocolate and raspberry can be very hit or miss for me, so I was curious how this was going to turn out.  You will need:

  • Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • Milk
  • Cocoa powder

Check out the full recipe here, or my pin on my Drinks on Me board.

Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie

Review

The original recipe is vegan and calls for almond milk.  I used soy milk (because that’s what we have at our house).  I also halved the recipe as it makes two and I was only making this for myself.  I threw everything in the blender and hoped.  I tend to think that cocoa powder doesn’t give me a fabulous chocolate taste, and I feel like that continued to be the case here.  Sure it did have chocolate flavoring, but it was very powdery in my mouth.  I honestly had to force myself to finish it.  As is, I wouldn’t make it again.

But then I got to thinking.  I have dark chocolate chips in my house, so what if I switched them out?  So, the next day I set out to try again.  The results this time were much better.  I actually enjoyed sipping this smoothie.  The consistency was much better as was the overall taste.

Let’s talk numbers for a moment*.  I found this recipe inside another list of “healthy low calorie smoothies.”  So what are those numbers?  1 cup of soy milk is 110 calories, 5 oz of raspberries is around 47 calories.  So that means 157 calories before we add the chocolate.  1/4 cup of cocoa powder is 4 tablespoons, but I halved the recipe, so I only used 2 Tbsp.  Each Tbsp is 15 calories, so that’s 30 total.  So, for the original recipe, one serving would be 187 calories.  As for my modifications, I used 2 Tbsp of dark chocolate chips.  Each Tbsp is 70 calories, so that means an additional 140 calories get added.  This makes my modified recipe 297 calories.  Obviously that’s a big caloric difference, but I’d still rather drink my modified version.  Maybe I could compromise with myself and do one tablespoon of each?

 

*These numbers are all based on the calories listed on the packaging of my specific ingredients and any necessary math to get the serving size to match with my actual usage.

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

Baking is one of my favorite things. Back when I lived in IN, I would bake a batch of something and take it in to work to share.  Here in AZ, I bake a lot less frequently because I don’t have coworkers to share with.  When I do bake, I tend to half the recipe so there’s not as much.  This recipe, though, looked too good to not make a full batch. For these cookies you will need:

  • Flour
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Sugar
  • Cream Cheese

Yes, that’s right-cream cheese!  Get the full recipe here, or check out my pin on my Just Desserts board.

soft chocolate chip cookies

Review

Even though it looked delicious, I was a little bit wary of this recipe because I’ve been burned before by recipes that claim to make “soft” cookies or “the best” cookies.  I really wanted these to work out, though, so I went for it and made the full batch instead of halving it.  (Also, my judgment might have been impaired by a serious cookie craving.)  So, I went to it, hoping for the best.

Turns out, I didn’t need to worry at all because these cookies are seriously amazing!  They absolutely make wonderfully soft cookies.  A full batch of cookies takes a while to eat around here, and days later they were still soft and delicious.  They practically melted in my mouth.  This recipe made me a believer-cream cheese CAN go in cookies, and it will rock your world!

My mom used to host a holiday cookie party every December.  The idea was that you come with dozens of one type of cookie (one dozen per participant), and go home with just as many cookies, but all different dozens.  Every year someone wouldn’t show up and there would be an extra dozen or two of a cookie and everyone would “fight” for the best ones.  This would definitely be one of those cookies everyone would fight over!

I absolutely will make these again when I am dying for a chocolate chip cookie.  If you’re looking for a cookie to make this holiday season, give this one a try!