Inspiration: Shades of Pink

Some pictures of things I liked that inspired me. Summer is almost here!

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Chocolate Chip Pecan Oatmeal

As hard as I tried, I couldn't achieve the pecan pie taste for my oatmeal, I don't think I did. I tried very hard, let me tell you. This was still good, and the chocolate chips added an extra oomph. But you can certainly omit the chocolate chips (in all fairness, the chocolate chips will dominate the pecan flavor) and find this to be really good too. It's not exactly pecan pie-ish.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Oatmeal
Makes 1 serving

3/4 cups oats
1 and 1/2 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
cinnamon (to taste)
pinch of salt
chocolate chips (or not!)
2 tablespoons Splenda brown sugar
dash of maple syrup

Boil milk and salt in a small saucepan. In a small frying pan melt butter until it becomes bubbly and add the pecans. Stir until pecans are fragrant. Set aside.

When the milk has come to a boil, add the oats and stir. Add the pecans, vanilla, cinnamon, and the dash of maple syrup. Lower the heat and continue stirring. When the oats have almost soaked up all the milk, add the sugar slowly until it reaches your taste.

Serve and if you want, drizzle the chocolate chips while the oatmeal is still hot.


Sugar-free Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have had these cookies on my mind since last week. I have been craving soft and chewy cookies because here, all you can find are the crunchy ones. I hate them. Also, making these cookies has satisfied my other craving: cookie dough. Who cares about salmonella? Ok, maybe I should.

These cookies are soft and chewy and they will probably break apart when you pick them up, which is just how I like them. The secret here is marzipan (or almond paste). Here is where they are not completely sugar-free, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

They don't have an overwhelming almond taste but if you want that, you can add some drops of almond extract. If you want, you can also add some chopped almonds. I wanted chocolate chips, not the crunch from almonds so I didn't add that either.

Another thing that I like about these cookies : portion control. I can't help myself when I'm around cookies. I want to eat them all in one day. I probably could. I adapted the recipe from here. I love her website because she scales down everything. Now if I could only find the recipe for ONE red velvet cupcake, I would be happy. :) 

Anyways, I hope you like these as much as I did. PS, these pictures are not so bad considering they came from my iPhone! yay!

"Sugar-Free" Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Makes 1 dozen cookies

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (preferably at room temperature so they are easier to cream)
2 tablespoons shortening (I used the low fat, butter flavored version)
1/4 cup "brown sugar" xylitol  (I used Ideal® No Calorie Brown Sweetener) 
2 tbsp Splenda® Sugar Blend 
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
1 oz marzipan (or almond paste)  
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp flour 
1/3 cup sugar-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F

In a small bowl, cream the butter, shortening, "brown sugar"and Splenda. I used a hand mixer. Add the egg yolk and the vanilla and keep mixing. Cut the marzipan in small pieces and blend with the mix. I had to use a fork to completely blend it in, otherwise using the hand mixer, small balls of marzipan remained. 

In another bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder and baking soda and slowly add this mixture in to the creamed butter blend. I divided it in 3 parts and added one part, mixed added the other one until it was well combined. 

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and make small balls of cookie dough. Resist the urge to eat it! I didn't. My stomach will probably pay for it later. Put them on the cookie sheet, leaving about 1 inch space between each cookie dough ball. Bake for about 8 min and remove from oven. The cookies will not be completely done when you take them out, but leave them in the hot cookie sheet so they continue to bake there in their own heat until cool. 

OMG... these are so good. I will go eat another one now... 


Healthier Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie

I've been wanting to make this recipe for a while now. Main reason is because I love Chili's Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie. I wanted something that resembles it in flavor but I wanted to make a sugar-free version and also, perhaps something with less fat. I'm not sure I achieved that, but I sure as hell tried.

This is not the same like the Chili's version. I warn you, but it's very damn close to it. Specially considering it's mostly sugar-free. Give it a try! Nobody in my family was disappointed. The house was filled with a delicious cookie scent that I wish it never left! :(

Lola's Oatmeal Cookie Pie 

1 sleeve of graham crackers (about 1 1/2 cup)
6 tbsp butter
1/4 Regular sugar : substitute 2 tbsp Splenda Sugar Blend
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F.

In food processor (or whatever you have to make the graham crackers into powder), put a sleeve of graham crackers and pulse until they have become powdery.

Transfer into a bowl and add vanilla and sugar. Cut butter into small pieces and start mixing it with the graham crackers/vanilla/sugar mix until it combines into small pea-sized pieces. I finally mixed it all by hand to make sure the graham crackers were completely mixed with the butter.

Grease 8x8 baking dish with butter (or cooking spray, which I used), and transfer graham mix and pack it in making sure you cover the whole dish. Try to pack it with your hands and make it as even as possible.

Cook in oven for about 20 min or until the edges become a bit dark. Remove from oven and let it cool.

Cookie filling:
1/2 cup flour
1 cup old fashioned oats (but you can use the quick oats if you want)
1 stick of butter
3 tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
2 tsp Splenda Blend
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a medium bowl, cream the butter with the sugars. I used a hand mixer at medium speed. Add the cinnamon, vanilla, milk and egg and continue to mix. Then add oats, baking powder and baking soda, continue mixing until set and then add half of the 1/2 cup of flour, mix and slowly add the rest.

For the assembly:

1/4 cup of chocolate chips (I used Hershey's sugar free chips and doubled on the chocolate chips because let's face it, it would be yummier)

1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Pour chocolate chips on top of the graham cracker crust and spread evenly.

For my pie, my dad didn't want coconut so I had to make half of it with coconut and half without, so I couldn't mix the coconut right in the batter, but this is what you have to do. You can also add the nuts to the cookie filling mix or you can pour it over the cookie and press them in. I just mixed it all in because I love pecans and walnuts and I thought it would be better if they were cooked right it. Your choice!

Spread the cookie mix on top. It doesn't have to be even, and it will spread when it cooks so don't worry too much about it. My graham cookie crust was still warm when I did this step and the chocolate chips were already melting, so when I was spreading it all out, it mixed a bit with the chocolate. No biggie.

So the layers are from bottom to top: graham cracker crust, chocolate chips, cookie mix, nuts.

Bake at 350F for about 20 min, depending on your oven. I baked until it was fragrant and golden brown on top.

For serving:

You can omit this step if you don't want to have all this butter, but it is what it calls for.

1 stick of butter
3 tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar blend
1/2 tsp cinnamon
vanilla ice cream
chopped walnuts (for garnish)

Melt butter and mix in the sugar and cinnamon.

Cut the cookie bars and serve them in a plate (or a mini iron skillet if you have one!) and you can pour some of this butter mix on top. This is a dish best served warm, so make sure you put the pie in the microwave first or serve it fresh out of the oven. Put a big ball of ice cream on top, garnish with chopped walnuts or pecans.


I know he looks ugly but he's yummy! =D