Tag Archives: dessert

Vegan Fudge (or Another Super Easy Recipe)

I’ve been testing a few new recipes lately since I’m working on meal planning and cooking at home. I usually am trying one new dinner recipe each week or every other week. I’m trying to find simple recipes since I don’t want to have to buy a ton of ingredients that cost a lot of money or something that takes forever to cook. So my searches tend to be for pretty basic stuff. And sometimes, I need something to inspire me to find a new recipe.

A friend of mine had a loss recently and I wanted to do something nice for them. They are vegan so most of my guilty pleasure foods wouldn’t work for them so I did some searching for good vegan treats. So many of them had lots of ingredients that I don’t have or don’t use. It’s not worth it to buy something that will just be used in that one recipe (the problem I’ve had with cooking in the past) so I just kept searching for something easy to make. And finally I came across the perfect recipe!

I found a very basic recipe for vegan peanut butter fudge that pretty much only had ingredients that I already have! It was so easy and fast to make and so good that I know this will be something I will be making for lots of people in the future! And as I have before, whenever I find an awesome recipe I want to share it with you all!

Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge (from Spoon University)

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup natural nut butter (this was the only ingredient I had to buy because the only peanut butter I had in my house had honey which is not vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened or melted
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

What to do:

  • Combine all ingredients and stir until combined
  • Pour into a container that is lined with parchment paper
  • Put container in freezer and freeze for 45 minutes
  • Take out of freezer, cut, and enjoy!

That’s it! It’s so simple that I can’t believe that I haven’t made this before! I actually have not been able to get the fudge to my friend yet (so they might be finding out that I made something for them by reading this blog), but I know that they will be a hit!

This isn’t necessarily the healthiest thing to eat, but it’s so much healthier than most desserts that I know how to make. And I’m sure this recipe is easy enough to switch things up so the basic recipe can be used for a bunch of different things. I was thinking that this could be a really good topping to the gluten-free brownies I know how to make. Those brownies are sometimes used as the base for triple layer brownies with brown butter frosting. But I think using this fudge as a frosting could really be amazing! I might have to try it out sometime.

Every time I try a new recipe, I’m so anxious that it’s not going to turn out ok. I had that happen a few weeks ago with a new soup recipe that I tried. I thought it was going to be amazing and I was so excited about it. And then I tried it and it was horrible. I tried to fix it but there was no saving the soup and it had to be thrown out. I felt awful doing that because it is a waste of food and money (and I did try to see if any of my neighbors wanted it), but I knew I couldn’t eat it.

Having a recipe go wrong was a blessing in disguise because it wasn’t the end of the world like I thought it would be. It was unfortunate, but nothing horrible happened because I made something that tasted horrible. I’m not as scared now as I was before that I will do something wrong. And more often than not, the recipes will turn out awesome (like this one did) and it will become something that I will want to keep making!

The trial and error in my kitchen continues each week. But I know that this vegan fudge is going to be something that I make over and over again.

Very Belated New Years Cheesecake (or A Birthday Twin Dinner)

My birthday twin Joanna and I really do try our best to have our 2 traditions each year. We always do our birthday dinner at Truxton’s together and we have also done a dinner at the Cheesecake Factory around New Years for the past few years. Joanna and I are both busy people, and somehow this year we missed our New Years hangout.

So Joanna and I were finally able to schedule a dinner this past week at the Cheesecake Factory. Because of where we were both working earlier in the day, we went to the one in Sherman Oaks instead of the one at the Grove that we normally go to. But that actually worked out well because my friend Kelly was our server!

Joanna’s been doing some pretty awesome stuff. She just went on a trip to Paris where her parents have a 1/8th share of an apartment. So they invited her to join them and she had an amazing trip! She’s also going to be an aunt soon so we were talking about that.

She wanted to hear all about the Kickstarter for the short film and the short film itself. We both had some crazy actor and audition stories and those are always fun to share as well! It’s just nice that even if we only see each other a couple of times a year, we always pick back up where we left off. And with social media, it does feel like we’ve been in touch more recently than our birthdays last year.

I’ve been working hard at eating better, but obviously I knew that going to the Cheesecake Factory that I would have to be ok with not making all the best choices. I’m glad they have a skinny menu where everything is closer to a reasonable calorie count (600 instead of over 2000 for a meal). I actually really like their skinny salads and since those are about 600 calories it wasn’t the worst choice possible. Joanna got spring rolls and we both were feeling like we had at least tried to eat properly before we indulged in cheesecake.

I think we have both agreed that the red velvet cheesecake is one of the most amazing things out there. It’s a total calorie bomb, but totally worth having it once a year. We have done a couple of other cheesecakes too, but since we’ve had a couple of bad tasting ones we don’t usually stray too far from what we normally order.

But this time we tried to find something new and we asked Kelly for her help. She told us some of the cheesecakes that she likes and that she notices a ton of people order, and we ended up deciding on getting the banana cheesecake and the red velvet one.

Before we split them so we each got half, I got a picture of our insane desserts (since I totally forgot to get a picture of my salad before I dug into it).


Since we each get half of each piece, it’s still the same as eating one giant piece of cheesecake. We both made a good dent in our pieces, but neither of us could finish. It think that the banana one was a good choice to go with the red velvet since the red velvet is so heavy and the banana one reminded us both of a banana creme pie. We have thought about skipping real food and only getting cheesecake, but I think that I really don’t need that much cheesecake and at least I was filled up on a salad instead of a dessert.

After we were done at dinner, Joanna had a coupon for DSW and was going to check out what shoes they had on clearance. I decided to tag along and tried to help her find some really cute shoes. She ended up with some adorable blue suede flats that I’m thinking I might want to try to find in my size too!

After shoe shopping, we were both super full from dinner and knew it was time to say goodbye. It was awesome getting to hang out with Joanna for the evening and since our birthdays aren’t that far from now, I know I’ll get to see her again soon. We’ve said for a while that we want to add a fun fall and spring adventure so we get together more than twice a year. But I’m still just so happy that I’ve got these traditions with her and that even if we are very belated in doing them, we both love these hangouts!

Continuing The Birthday Celebrations (or A Birthday Twin Adventure)

On Friday evening, I got together with my birthday twin Joanna. It had actually been a while since we had seen each other.

But besides wanting to hang out again, we had a birthday tradition to uphold!

It was time for our free birthday meal at Truxton’s!


This might be one of my favorite birthday traditions. Joanna and I have been doing this for years, and both of us look forward to it each year.

Truxton’s really does have one of the best birthday deals around, and it would be a shame if we didn’t take advantage of it.

So when Friday came around, I was ready to have an awesome meal (I had also saved up my calories so I could afford to have a meal like that).

Since we knew that our meal was going to be free, we both ordered without looking at the prices. I got a 1/4 chicken with some garlic fries (and they were super garlicky) and Joanna got the salmon.

While we waited for our food, we spent some time just catching up on each other’s lives. Since we are both actors, we both live pretty crazy lives. We both are always changing things around like our day jobs, representation, or other things like that.

Both of us have had some changes in our lives, so it was nice to have the time to fill each other in on what’s been going on. Since right now we only have 2 annual traditions (birthday and Christmastime) and somehow we never have the time to get together, over dinner we also decided that we are going to add a fall and spring tradition hangout. Right now we only know what we are doing for fall (Disneyland), but we have some time to plan out spring.

After dinner, we ordered our free desserts. We always get this one ice cream dessert that comes with churros so we only had to decide on the second dessert. We opted for a giant freshly baked cookie.

We each had 1/2 of each dessert, and I have to say that saving my calories (and working out like crazy at Orangetheory) was totally worth this splurge. It was so yummy!

When the bill came, we had a bit of a laugh at the difference between what Joanna’s meal would have cost versus my meal.


Thank goodness it was all free! And since it was free, we were able to leave a nice tip (we left $30).

All in all, it was an awesome evening out. Not only was it a free meal, it was a meal with a good friend who I don’t see nearly often enough!

I’ve still got a few more birthday deals that I’m planning on taking advantage of, but my birthday month is going to be over before I know it!

The Pie Hole (or Discovering Deliciousness in Downtown LA)

I was very lucky this past week to get to try out some pies at The Pie Hole. I’m usually not in downtown LA, but on this particular day, I was out there to help out with an interview for Inside Acting.

I knew that we were all meeting at The Pie Hole to interview Lindsay Hollister. What I didn’t realize was that Lindsay was one of the owners of the bakery! It was a little too noisy to do the interview in there, but we did make a stop afterwards to try out some pies (and do a little recording to review the bakery for the podcast).

First of all, I have to say that Lindsay was so generous to let us try all of these pies. I would have been more than happy to pay for them, and I know that I’ll be going back in the near future to purchase some (I’m thinking of getting one and bringing it to Thanksgiving this year).

I was a little too focused on trying the pies, so I only have one picture.


Starting in front and going counterclockwise we have a chocolate crostata, mushroom and spinach pie, mac and cheese hand pie, maple custard pie (slightly hidden), and a side salad (the guest co-host can’t have gluten).

I didn’t try the side salad, so I don’t have a review on that, but I have lots of yumminess to say about the other pies!

The chocolate crostata was so rich! It was like a fudgy chocolate brownie on top of a pie crust with caramel and sea salt on top of it! I really loved the crust on it, it was so nice and flaky.

The mushroom and spinach pie was a really great savory pie. I didn’t try much of the crust on this one (I was sharing it with a couple of people and just dug into the filling). The mushrooms are so nice and chewy (like a perfect piece of steak). It wasn’t too rich but it was nice and filling.

The mac and cheese pie was my favorite of the savory options. The crust reminded me of the nice crusty top of a mac and cheese casserole (my favorite part to eat). The pasta inside was perfectly cooked and it wasn’t runny (a problem I’ve seen before). When I go back, this is something I know I will be getting.

And finally, the best pie (possibly ever!): the maple custard pie. This is seriously the best pie ever. It is like a creme brulee inside of a pie crust. It’s not overly sweet and the maple flavor is a wonderful touch. Even though we were sharing all of the pies, I know I ate a good portion of this one! It was addicting! I really want to go back to have this again, but since it is a bit of a drive away, I won’t be going too often.

I highly encourage all of you to go and try The Pie Hole. It’s seriously a gem in downtown. And no, they aren’t paying me to say this. They don’t even know I’m writing a blog post about this. I had no idea that when I was going to work at the interview that we were going to get a tasting too. But I’m so glad that we did because now I’ve discovered my new go-to place for desserts!

Rita’s Ice (or Trying An East Coast Food In The South Bay)

Over the weekend, I was invited to a preview of Rita’s Ice. I said yes first, and then looked up what Rita’s Ice was afterwards.

Rita’s Ice is water ice and custard. It’s pretty big on the east coast, but until this week, there were no stores on the west coast. But now there is one in Redondo Beach!

Rita’s Ice is in a shopping center, so there was lots of free parking (a huge thing for me!). I walked right up and it was nice and crowded for the preview inside.

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I got a menu of what was available.


And while I was deciding, there were a ton of free samples to test out.

This was a Misto with strawberry ice and vanilla custard.


This is the lemonade ice (which was amazing!).


I also tried a chocolate custard milkshake, but I finished it before I took a picture.

There were a ton of other ice flavors to try, but I didn’t want to get full before ordering.


I decided to get a Gelati with strawberry ice and vanilla custard.


Honestly, everything I tried was delicious! If you haven’t had water ice, it’s tough to describe the texture. It’s like a mix between a slushy and snow cone, but a softer texture (if that makes any sense).

I loved my Gelati! I ate all the custard off the top first and then worked my way down the water ice. I wasn’t able to finish it, so I dug out the custard from the bottom and mixed it in with the ice and had a few more bites. Sadly to say, I ended up throwing some of it out because I couldn’t finish (and this isn’t exactly a treat to enjoy while driving).

Even though this location isn’t the most geographically desirable for me (I’m hoping they will open one up closer to my house), I know I’ll be back, especially over the summer. When it’s super hot out, one of my guilty pleasures is having frozen yogurt or a slushy for dinner. I know it isn’t the healthiest, but when it’s so hot outside you can’t think about eating, you have to cool down somehow.

So if you are in LA, I highly recommend making the trip down to Redondo Beach to try Rita’s Ice. Maybe you loved it on the east coast and want to have it again, or maybe you are like me and have never tried it. But in my opinion, this is a great treat to have in LA.