Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Pantry Foraged Valentine Treat


So, you know that feeling when you realize that you totally forgot to get any special treats to put on the kids' plates at dinner the way your mom always remembered to do and she had three more children than you do and how the heck did she do that and why am I failing at so many things?  No?  Oh.  Well then.  File this tidbit away for next time you may need a quick and easy way to fancy up a dessert.  But if you did in fact, happen to realize that you forgot said act of love, then be not afeared.  My good friend shall save your day.  My friend has come through many a holiday for me, food hacking my way into my children's hearts.


Meet chocolate chips.  In raw form, this gift from God has gotten me through many an exhausted day, motivated potty training toddlers and nursed me through child meltdowns.  When melted, they become capable of miracles.  Melt these dear ones in the microwave.  Don't burn them.  In order to avoid burning them you usually have to heat in small increments, stirring them in between until they liquify.  I usually do twenty seconds in, stir, twenty more and repeat until melted.  I did about quarter cup...a little goes a long way.


Put that deliciousness in a pastry bag with a number 3 or 4 piping tip on it.  You could also microwave the chips right in a plastic Ziploc bag and squish them around to stir them then cut the TINIEST hole in the corner from which to pipe.  However, plastic in the microwave is not a good thing...so I won't recommend it and I won't mention that I've definitely done this when feeling especially lazy or busy.

Set up some wax paper and write something super creative.  Like...their names.  Or hearts.  Whatever.  Creativity isn't my strong suit.


Put the paper in the freezer to harden.  (Use a baking sheet or something solid underneath to keep it firm.)  This only takes a few minutes but I keep the designs in there until I'm ready to use it to protect them from my klutziness, curious little boy fingers, and my mouth.

Be ultra careful when peeling them off the paper so they don't break.  Put them directly on their plate or use it to garnish another dessert to make it look all fancy.  Me from a few months ago was super smart when I had my mini Advent breakdown trip to Trader Joe's and bought a can of coconut milk and a carton of this whipping cream (shelf-stable whipping cream?  Who knew?).  They've been sitting in the cupboard waiting for an opportunity such as this.

Worst food staging pic, evah.

I blended up five bananas, half a cup of the coconut milk, half a cup cocoa powder, and a tablespoon of peanut butter (inspired by this recipe but with less cocoa) and froze it.  I tasted it and it doesn't take like real ice cream.  Not even a little bit.  Don't make this.  People who have been eating vegan a long time and forgotten what delicious food tastes like might be fooled.  (Kidding, vegan friends.  I love you and cheese very very much.)  It's not bad but it's not ice cream.  But the boys will like it anyway since they're used to me making healthy versions of good things.  Brian will pretend.  I whipped up that cream as a topping and now my little valentines tonight will be treated to this:

Personalized Valentine Sundaes

Not bad for pantry foraging.

Happy St. Valentine and Cyril and Methodius' Day!  Hope it's a good one.




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8 comments:

  1. You are a wonder mom. I could never write that pretty with a pastry bag. I think I will make dark chocolate, macadamia nut, coconut bark for dessert tonight (gluten free!)

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  2. Cute post and beautiful desserts! Love it!

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  3. Those are so cute!! I agree with Colleen, I would not be able to write that well with a pastry bag either. The ice cream sounds yummy! We have a Yonanas "ice cream" maker. It whips up frozen bananas . . . It has all, but one of my kids fooled.

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  4. What a thoughtful idea! I may have to try it, but I'm afraid my names will break apart.

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  5. so cute and so CREATIVE as you may think you are not! and we were so blessed to have a wonderful mom who remembered all those "little" things!

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  6. best.mom.ever that is all there is to it. And, once again, I want to live in your house.

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  7. darling treat for your loves.

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