Book Club, Buddy Reads, and Vegan Chocolate Mousse– OH, MY!

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This weekend has been a blast. We had some good friends over to the house for the first time, which was very exciting. I hosted this month’s book club get-together, and my boyfriend and Cupcakes and Machetes‘ husband went out to one of the nearby breweries so we ladies could have the whole place to ourselves. Which basically involved a lot of snacking, inappropriate conversation, a tour of the house (the reading nook and giant bean bag were both a hit!) and more snacking. Most of the girls in our book club are strictly vegan, so I made a variety of vegan dishes for everyone to nom on and everything turned out great. The chocolate mousse was definitely a success, so I’ll share the recipe at the bottom of this post in case any of you are interested. 😉

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C&M and her hubby brought us an amazing bundle of goodies, which was so sweet and thoughtful. Aaaaand she and I decided to do a buddy read for Kevin Hearne’s A Plague of Giants in August, so there’s that to look forward to as well.

3 Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Mousse Recipe:

This recipe is SO EASY. You just need 3 ingredients:

  • 2 small boxes of Jello brand instant chocolate pudding mix
  • Chocolate almond milk
  • “So Delicious Dairy Free” coconut whipped topping

In a large mixing bowl, whisk your pudding mix and chocolate almond milk together, adding enough almond milk so that it gets to a cake batter consistency. Then, using a rubber spatula, fold in the coconut whipped topping so that it is fully blended but not over-whipped. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

I served ours with graham crackers for dipping and it was seriously addicting. I think it would be great for dipping strawberries or sliced banana into, too, though. The great thing about this mousse, is how versatile the recipe can be. If you want to use vanilla or plain almond milk instead of chocolate, the pistachio, banana cream, vanilla, and lemon flavors of Jello instant pudding are also vegan-friendly, so you could make a mousse in any of those flavors just as easily. The mousse is also great for filling or topping cupcakes, or even just eating plain or parfait-style, so you can really do a lot of different things with it.

And, if you are not interested in making it vegan, just use regular milk and a tub of regular whipped topping instead, and you can use whatever flavor of instant pudding mix you want, so the possibilities are unlimited. Go crazy, this stuff is so easy and delicious.

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Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake

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Deciding to try out a new recipe is always kind of exciting. Will it turn out like you’re hoping? . . . Or will it turn into a radioactive pile of mush even your pets turn their noses up at? Being as sick of winter as I currently am, I decided to go for one of the more tropical kinds of recipes I found online. So here we are, with this delicious pineapple coconut rum cake. I tweaked the recipe I linked above just a smidge since I didn’t have any actual rum extract or pound cake mix. I was also lacking crushed pineapple, but it turned out pretty well even with the “chunks” style. (Which, by the way, who in the hell in marketing decided “chunks” sounded appetizing to begin with??)

Here’s the ingredients I used:

  • 1 box vanilla cake mix.
  • 1 20 oz. can of pineapple (chunks) in 100% pineapple juice.
  • 1/2 Cup shredded sweetened coconut.
  • 1 tsp. Malibu coconut rum.

Following the recipes directions, I mixed it all up, poured it into a lightly sprayed pan, and popped it in the oven for 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It certainly doesn’t rise quite as much as your typical cake might, but it was a good, light cake with a pleasant flavor. Especially when there is whipped cream added on top, as pictured above! 😉 And for those of you who despise coconut, one of my testers who also loathes coconut said that it wasn’t even really noticeable, and also enjoyed the cake. So, all in all, I chalk this one up as a pretty decent success. 🙂 The flavor was good, but I don’t think it will really win many points for overall presentation any time soon. But if you’re just looking for an easy tropical dessert to enjoy at home, it does the trick quite nicely!

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Sunflowers, Sweet Potatoes, Lemon Trees & Cream Puffs Galore!

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Hey, guys! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was a lot of fun. My boyfriend and I went to see the new It movie, so expect a review of that to come soon. 😀 Since my previous post was about scary clowns, I thought I’d mix it up with something a little sweeter before delving back into that. 😛

Speaking of sweet, check out this growing sweet potato bush from the green house. I feel like with Fall quickly approaching I’m running outta time to share these gardening photos so pardon this random post.

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We’re also growing two different types of lemon trees in the green house. They’ve been doing really well so far this Summer, but we’re going to have to move them inside pretty soon so they survive the coming winter.

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So, plant business aside, I’ve been meaning to share the photos of those cream puffs I mentioned making before for my dad’s birthday. 🙂 Here’s some of the Work In Progress pics, and then the final product, topped with powdered sugar and filled with a light and fluffy cream filling.

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Here they are as little dough balls, ready to go into the oven
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Fresh from the oven and ready to cool on the cooling rack.
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Stuffed to the max and topped with powdered sugar.

Banana Blueberry Bread + Spring Photos

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Hey, guys! ❤ Just sharing some baking and outdoors photos. This weekend was pretty busy but I managed to squeeze in some yard work and baking. The weather’s been so nice that I even did the little reading I could get in outdoors. (I’m loving Six of Crows so far!!)

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Banana Blueberry Bread
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Fresh From The Oven!
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Lilacs Out Back.
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Cute Little Winged Buddy.
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The Rhubarb is getting HUGE! Hoping to try some new rhubarb recipes this year.
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Firewood.

Last Time I . . .

Decided to do a post about recent “Lasts” because why the heck not? 🙂

Last Thing I baked: Last night I had the chocolate craving to end all chocolate cravings so I baked fudge brownies with chopped up Milky Way candy bar in it. I’d never tried making brownies with chopped candy bar in them, but I will definitely do it again. The bits of Milky Way were so melty and delicious!

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Truer words have never been spoken.

Last Book I finished Reading: I recently got around to finally finishing Golden Son by Pierce Brown (second book of his Red Rising Trilogy). It was so good! I liked it even better than the first one. 5/5 stars!

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Last Photo I Took: Caught Bailey after she had crawled into my travel bag and made a bed out of it. It’s a poor quality pic because I took it with my crap-tastic phone, but it was too cute not to snap a picture of. 🙂

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Last Song Listened to: The Birthday Massacre- In the Dark.

Last Movie I Saw In Theaters: Power Rangers! lol Yeah, I went and paid adult dollars to go see it. (Actually my boyfriend did, but still, don’t you judge me.) 😛

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Last Food I Ate: Nachos! Had them for dinner earlier. 🙂

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Last Outfit I Wore: I’m in my pajamas because whenever you get home for the day and don’t have to go anywhere it is considered “Fuck Pants O’clock”. My pajamas make no sense today, I’ll admit it. I have on an old Cannibal Corpse band T-shirt with light blue Pajama bottoms that have cute little penguins all over them. Murder on the top, Cuteness on the bottom!

If you want to answer the same questions in the comment area, feel free to have at it! Perhaps we have the same tragically mismatched taste in bedtime attire, or both enjoyed a bounty of nachos for dinner? Only one way to find out! 😛

QUESTIONS:

Last Thing You Baked?

Last Book You Finished Reading?

Last Photo You took?

Last Song You Listened To?

Last Movie You Saw In Theaters?

Last Food You Ate?

Last Outfit You Wore?

Festive Chocolate Truffles

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I’ve never tried making truffles before but after stumbling across a recipe for Christmas Sugar Cookie Truffles I just couldn’t resist giving it a shot.

I was pretty happy with how these turned out. Bonus: they were incredibly easy to make. I tweaked the second batch I made by using only one and a half tablespoons cream cheese and then adding one and a half tablespoons peanut butter. Then instead of dipping the peanut butter ones in white chocolate I dipped them in milk chocolate. Variety is the spice of life, and who doesn’t like to shake it up once in a while?

A Sweet Throwback Thursday

Well, I was going to post an update on how that pop cake I made turned out (the triple chocolate fudge / Rock & Rye Faygo combo), and then I remembered that it’s Throwback Thursday which means it’s time to post creative past endeavors. So I’m just gonna post both! 🙂

Onto the first order of business:

The chocolate/Rock & Rye cake turned out great, but the chocolate flavor of the cake definitely overpowered the Rock & Rye soda’s taste (which may or may not be a good thing). I really enjoy the flavor of Rock & Rye, but I was a little hesitant to mix it with chocolate. Turns out I had nothing to worry about since it just tastes like a plain old scrumptious chocolate cake (a very moist one at that!)

If you have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention “pop cakes” see my previous blog post “Let Them Eat Cake”:

https://ignitedmoth.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/let-them-eat-cake/

I should have taken a pic of the cake when it was finished but I assure you it resembled most other chocolate cakes you have seen.

(ALSO: One of my co-workers just made the “spice cake / ginger ale” pop cake mentioned in that post and it was to die for. She ended up making it in a bundt cake pan and drizzling a homemade cinnamon vanilla glaze over the top. Would highly recommend.)

That said, now we can move right along to the second order of business: TBT!

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A birthday cake from a few years back I made and decorated for my buddy, Jared. (Birthday is purposely misspelled as “burfday”.) He greatly enjoys Final Fantasy, so I made him a black mage cake.

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Alice in Wonderland themed cookies I baked for a dark fairy tale themed Halloween party a few years ago. They were pumpkin spice cookies with cream cheese frosting. I’m pretty sure I accidentally baked them too long while running around like a chicken with its head cut off to get things ready for the party. Oh well! 😛