Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

It's not poo.  Promise.

Made with shelf-stable, inexpensive ingredients, this is one of my cheap favorites.


3 tablespoons liquid sweetener (sugar syrup, maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey)

1/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (check that it says gluten-free)

1 package Mori-Nu Firm Tofu (more…)

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A soul cake is a little raisin cake cookie.  They have an incredibly long history in the United Kingdom and the various occupied territories;  the Irish first distributed them to the poor on Samhain, which is the Celtic New Year on October 31st and November 1; and, they’re related to All Souls Day, which is a Catholic holiday–but people also give them out at Christmas. 

(The old Celts did tend to muddy the waters about  various holidays, kind of like some people think eggnog should be served from Thanksgiving to New Years.  These aren’t quite as much fun as the eggnog.) (more…)

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The New York times posted a recipe a lot like this today.  It inspired me to make this incredibly easy fall British dessert.  (I was also hoping for cross-posting, because I am nothing  if not self-promoting.)


1 cup millet

2  cups pecans in the shell

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 tablespoons lemon juice (more…)

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Continuing the tour of the U.K. via food, a common dessert is something called “blancmange”.  Tracing its roots back to the influences of the Ottoman Empire, when almonds were first brought to Europe, this a slightly sweet, nutty dessert.  Sometime in the past several decades a food writer for the L.A. times decided that hazelnuts would be good, too, and hazelnut milk is what was in the pantry, so here we are.

Blancmange is also a really cool British New Wave band from the eighties.


3 tablespoons Argo Cornstarch  (gluten-free)

2 cups hazelnut milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon (more…)

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One of my odd hobbies is checking out the gluten-free sections of the various grocery stores in my area. If you’re in Austin, one of biggest I have seen is at 183 and Braker. They have gluten-free ladyfingers, made by a popular European gluten-free manufacturer called Schar. (That’s with an umlaut, if anyone wants to tell me the HTML for “umlaut”.) I have no idea what you make with ladyfingers other than trifle, but, here is a very cheap version of classic British trifle.


Cool Whip in the pressurized can. (It keeps forever in the refrigerator, while simultaneously being fun because of the nitrous oxide.) (more…)

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Toaster Oven Mix Plum Cake

This is a recipe adapted from CNN’s eatocracy blog.  Part of the reason I chose this recipe is that I wanted to show how easy it is to adapt wheat based recipes.   Basically I added PAM, exchanged their boxed cake mix for a Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cake mix, added a toaster oven, and added about five minutes extra baking time to a very simple recipe–some people have lives; I cook.  (Also, I substituted vanilla for almond extract–you have a cabinet full of extracts?   Would you ever use them?  Really?)


5/8 cup boxed Betty Crocker gluten-free yellow cake mix (Most regular grocery stores carry this.)


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Look Ma, No FlourYou don’t need flour to make cookies.  You don’t even need an oven.   You don’t need a kitchen, real utensils, or, in my case, a man.  That’ll show ’em.

If you’re really, really being cheap (and ecologically sound, and all that gaia-conscious claptrap), the amount of power used to bake is  important, too.  It’s particularly important if you don’t want to pay for the cost of, say, reversing the heat gain from a full size oven.  (Read: the cost of the air-conditioning to offset the heat from an oven in the summer can overwhelm any benefit you might get from baking yourself.) (more…)

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So, I’m back on match.com.  Which I hate.  Have I mentioned how much I hate it?  Don’t even get me started on eharmony.  I didn’t even get to talk to anyone for six months.

Don’t ever let a psychologist be your matchmaker.  They will prove to you that you are, in fact, undateable.


1 can generic coconut milk

4 tablespoons Hershey’s cocoa powder

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

Kitchen apparati:

metal cake pan with deep sides, or any freezer-safe bowl



Mix the ingredients well.  Put in the freezer, and stir every half hour for two hours to whip in more air.

Optional:  Serve with a shot of Kahlua.

$2.50 for four servings. 

Best eaten when not one of eighteen people you have emailed responds.

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