Category Archives: Desserts

Piña Colada No Churn Ice Cream, A Baja Flop

I can’t seem to find ice cream (helado, en español) that I like at any of our local grocery stores. I don’t eat ice cream very often but when I do it has to be delicious. My choices in town either have artificial sweeteners snuck in or high fructose corn syrup, ugh. I don’t eat either of those sweeteners. Frankly the HFCC surprised me because you don’t see it in many Mexican foods, unlike the U.S. I find sucralose in many of the Mexican processed foods like sodas and bakery junk food. You have to read the label because it’s hidden there without any mention about reduced sugar anywhere in the title.

La gringa’s struggle is real: I can’t find ice cream and I don’t have an ice cream churner/freezer. In true Baja kitchen hacks form, an Internet search ensued and a recipe was created.

I tried a simple vanilla recipe that uses whipped cream, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. It was like eating frozen whipping cream which should have been delicious but frankly it’s so rich and fatty as to be unpleasant. In my experiments I found that the Mexican brand of whipping cream aka crema de batir doesn’t whip into firm peaks which it turns out doesn’t really matter much.

Back to the drawing room where I searched my cupboards and found coconut cream purchased at the liquor store, limes and pineapple juice and the  piña colada, no churn ice cream was born.
The taste was very good and reminescent of a piña colada and the lime cut through the richness of the creams but the sweetened coconut cream and pineapple juice have more water content so my ice cream was too solid and wouldn’t scoop. The experiment wasn’t a complete disaster because mi gringo cut it into squares and never complained once.
I’m taking my square ice cream to Fiesta Friday with co-hosts Mollie and Ginger

Piña Colada No Churn Ice Cream

2 cups whipping cream (crema para batir)
1 cup sweetened coconut cream (crema de coco)
1/2 cup pineapple juice (jugo de piña)
2 tablespoons key lime juice (jugo de limon)

Chill all ingredients. Whip cream into firm peaks. Whip coconut cream until soft peaks form. Stir pineapple and lime juices into coconut and then fold whipping cream into the coconut cream mixture. Spoon into a shallow glass dish and cover. Freezer until semi-solid or longer. Cut into squares to serve or leave out of the freezer until soft enough to scoop.

I’m tempted to blend a square with some rum for a tasty adult beverage.

Enjoy. I’m taking my ice cream flop to Fiesta Friday.

Whipping the cream. After 20 minutes, I gave up on trying to whip it into peaks. It might have been too warm in the house or the preservatives interfered. I have given up trying to understand kitchen flops in Mexico.

Surprise, the chilled coconut cream whipped better than the whipping cream.

Frozen piña colada squares!

Gluten Free, Vegan, Zucchini, Walnut Brownies

I posted this a week ago for Fiesta Friday #52 than realized that I was a week early with dessert. 😉 So some of you have already read this post. But as I pointed out to Suzanne, life is short, so …. I think we should eat dessert first! So here is my dessert for FF.

Gluten Free, Vegan, zucchini, walnut brownies

Fiesta Friday # 53

Congratulations and much thanks to Angie at The Novice Gardener for hosting 53 blog parties featuring the best recipes on the Internet and the nicest group of food bloggers from around the world. I’m not really a food blogger but they let me tag along with whatever recipe I bring to share.

I do occasionally eat wheat and grain products but I also like to substitute seeds and nuts whenever possible to increase the nutrient value, protein and fiber in my recipes. These brownies are rich but not too sweet with a lower glycemic index than traditional brownies. I hope you will try a batch and comment.

Update: Wow, I refrigerated these overnight and they are even more delicious. They become more dense in texture and are more fudge like. I think they should always be made one day in advance for best flavor and texture.
Gluten Free, Vegan, zucchini, walnut brownies
Gluten Free, Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Walnut Brownies


1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup water
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp flaxmeal
1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup coconut sugar or sugar of your choice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350F, and line a 8 X 8 baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside. Shredded 1/2 zucchini with the food processor shred attachment. Set aside. Combine dry ingredients in the food processor with the blade. Add water and vanilla and combine. Add zucchini and pulse to combine all ingredients except the walnuts. Stir in chopped walnuts.
Spoon batter into the prepared baking dish and spread and smooth down firmly with the back of the spoon.
Bake 19-20 minutes, then pat down hard with a pancake spatula or another sheet of parchment. Refrigerate overnight for a firmer brownie or eat when cooled for a fluffy, soft brownie. Let zucchini brownies sit 15 minutes before trying to cut into squares.

Inspiration from I used only zucchini instead of apple sauce and added walnuts. I used coconut sugar. Check out her other chocolate recipes.

December 12th, Make a Cake and Eat it Too.

Two Ingredient Low Fat Pumpkin Gingerbread

I seriously made pumpkin gingerbread with a box of Trader Joe’s Deep, Dark, Gingerbread Cake Mix and 1 can of organic pumpkin. The cake mix has real ingredients that I can pronounce, no hydrogenated oils and no high fructose corn syrup. The pumpkin tastes great and adds moisture, without fat.

Two Ingredient Low Fat Pumpkin Gingerbread

Easy Shmeasy Recipe:

Mix 1 boxed gingerbread cake mix and one 14 ounce can of puréed pumpkin together until combine. Bake in a greased and floured 8×8 inch pain at 350 F for 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

These two ingredients made 18 small servings with 88 calories per serving. They are fat free if you skip the icing. Enjoy these perfect little bites bursting with ginger and molasses flavor. Gingerbread tastes like Christmas to me.

I dressed these up with a drizzle of melted real white chocolate and cut them into small bars. A sprinkle of powdered sugar or a decadent spoonful of whipped cream would be a welcome addition.

I’m taking these easy, fast, low fat and delicious treats to my friends at Fiesta Friday. I don’t even feel bad about using a mix and a can. It’s Christmas time and I’m busy creating a Holiday Challenge so I have no time to quibble about a boxed mix. I need to think up 12 more challenges, people. Any ideas?
Besides my virtual friends know that I can’t bake and I get my sugar fix every week at Fiesta Friday because these bloggers can bake!

Join in the fun at The Novice Gardener.
Two Ingredient Low Fat Pumpkin Gingerbread

Apple Almond Crumb Pie

Apple Almond Crumb Pie

September is Hunger Awareness Month so stay tuned for posts about food insecurity and inequality in the coming weeks. The Northern Nevada Food Bank is my favorite charity. I feel strongly that we have a civil responsibility to feed our citizens. The Food Bank supplies assistance to seniors, children, poor college students, and many of our neighbors who we would never know are often hungry. If you live in Nevada here is a link to the food bank. You can help by donating time or money to feed Nevadans. If you don’t live in Nevada then Google “food banks” in your community. Consider dedicating one blog post this month to highlight hunger in your community. Together we can make a difference.

Many of us have blogged about being inundated with bushels of fresh fruits and vegetables at this time of year. I have been brainstorming how we might distribute garden surplus to our neighbors in need of healthy produce. I stumbled upon, literally, an idea while I was walking the little man in my own neighborhood. I had to step over perfectly ripe fruit falling unclaimed onto the sidewalk. Continue reading

German Chocolate Cheesecake Cups

German chocolate cheesecake cups

It’s strange how a food can symbolize so much more than just food. We attach people, events and emotions to foods and smells to anchor us to our history. The combination of pecans, coconut, chocolate and caramel is one such anchor for me. Continue reading