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

archimedes-book-gif

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. 😉

anna-chocolate-disney-elsa-Favim.com-1693606.gif

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.

anigif_enhanced-13384-1435046664-2

Advertisements

The Christmas Tag!

I’m feeling festive this year, so when I saw this cute little Christmas tag posted by The Happiest Pixel I decided to join in on the holiday fun! 🙂 Fun Fact: I used to be a total Grinch til Cupcakes and Machetes made it her personal mission to show me the joys of the holiday season. I was skeptical at first but have slowly come to enjoy Christmas and the chaos that comes with it. 😛

original

1.) What is your favorite Christmas film?

I actually have a few. 🙂 It’s no secret that I love The Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s definitely a holiday staple. I’ve also always enjoyed Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas Celebration and the more recent Krampus film from 2015.

ccc1
Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas Celebration

2.) Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

It’s always been fake, except for one year. That was the year my cat turned into the Hulk and took down an entire pine tree, bringing it and all it’s decorations crashing to the floor. Cats seriously up their dickhead game this time of year.

Cat-Wrecks-Christmas-tree

3.) What is your favorite Christmas song?

Carol of the Bells has been my favorite for a good while now. 🙂

4.) What is your favorite Christmas scent?

Hmmm . . . I really like cinnamon scented things, especially around Christmas. It reminds me of when my mom helped my brother and I make cinnamon ornaments for the tree when we were kids. For several years I was pretty obsessed with Bath & Bodyworks’ Vanilla Bean Noel scent, but I kind of burnt myself out on it.

5.) Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

It’s usually pretty laid back. I pretty much just enjoy the company of who I’m with and we open one present that night. I’ve always done that since I was a kid. I think a lot of people do it, too.

6.) Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?

See the above question. 😉

7.) What tops your Christmas tree?

Well, this year the only tree I’ve decorated so far is the one my room at work decorated, and we have a big beautiful silver bow on top. We’ll see what the other two trees I have yet to help decorate will be topped with this go around.

8.) What is the best thing about Christmas for you?

Spending time with my loved ones and doing all the festive activities with them leading up to the actual holiday. Also, the book club I’m in always has a fun Christmas party to look forward to.

9.) What is your favorite festive food or treat?

As of this year, I’d have to say that damn tasty Christmas Kronut I was just raving about in my last blog post. Other faves include the chocolate candy cane doughnut from Tim Hortons, the Bigby Peppermint Mocha Latte . . . basically anything chocolate and peppermint, apparently.

Funny-Christmas-Meme-Image-23

10.) What is on top of your Christmas wish list this year?

Trump’s removal from office. A girl can dream, can’t she? 😛

1fbwei

If you’re up to doing this holiday tag, have at it, and please let me know because I’d love to read your answers! 🙂

Festive Chocolate Truffles

xmas1

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?

Let Them Eat Cake

16f12f4c5a9694ca203ef57d6defe4256fecb6feca49bebbe805d35b41d30ae7

Oh, Chocolate, you foxy seductive minx, you. You know I can’t resist ya, baby. Not now. Not ever.

Thank goodness for easy baking recipes. After working all day I came home, did some dishes and BAM! chocolate craving! The only thing that could be done was clearly to bake some damn cake. Luckily for me, a co-worker recently turned me onto the whole “soda pop cake” trend going on. For those of you who don’t know about pop cakes already, these super easy baked goods somehow manage to make those handy boxes of ready-to-go cake mix even simpler, aaaaand they allow you to make dozens of more delicious flavor combinations than you’re bound to find on the shelves of your local grocery store.

We’re talking two dirt cheap ingredients:

12 oz. soda

1 box of cake mix.

No eggs. No water. No oil. It doesn’t get much simpler than that, people. 😉

So far I’ve only tried the following combinations:

Cherry chip cake mix + Faygo Redpop = yummy strawberry cherry cake that we just went ahead and topped with whipped cream. It turned out very moist and was quite sweet so a simple topping like whipped cream paired nicely with it. (I’ve also tried strawberry cake mix combined with Faygo Redpop, which was also good!)

Vanilla cake mix + cherry Dr. Pepper = very good cake that had an attractive dusty rose color to it. My co-worker actually made this one and she topped it with some white sugar sprinkles.

The cake I just pulled from the oven is a triple chocolate fudge cake mix combined with Faygo Rock & Rye soda. I have yet to try it, but it seems like it could be A.) really good, or B.) really bad. We’ll see!

These cakes always seem to wind up being nice and moist, and due to the freedom of mixing whatever soda flavor you choose with whatever cake mix you decide on, there are so many flavor possibilities you can try out. Some flavor combos I’ve heard good things about include:

French Vanilla cake mix + Orange Sunkist = creamsicle cake

Spice cake mix + Ginger Ale = ginger spice cake

Lemon cake mix + Sprite = lemon cake

Chocolate cake mix + Root Beer = chocolate root beer float cake

Strawberry cake mix + Cream Soda = strawberry shortcake

So, to sum it up: mix 1 box cake mix with 12 oz. soda and follow the baking directions on the box of whatever cake mix you are using. You won’t regret it. Unless you hate cake. And delicious things. (Like delicious cake.) In which case, what the heck are you doing reading a blog post about cake to begin with???! 😛

csj7p