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It’s Summer, So We’re Trying To Eat Healthily. Scratch That. We’re Trying To Eat Bacon Sundaes.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on this blog talking about how sad I’ve been. Sad that I’ve lost touch with some people. Sad that I’ve trusted some of the wrong people in the past. Sad that I’ve been dissed and hurt for no particular reason. Sad that I’m not where I’d like to be in some aspects of life. Just plain old sad.

Well screw all that. Did you not see the title of this post?! There is bacon among us, people. Buck up!

Anyone want to play 6 degrees of Sir Francis Bacon?

So last week I took a few days off to relax. Some call it a “staycation.” I call it a “I’m poor and a little burned out, so I’m going to sit around and eat raisins and listen to an old Smashing Pumpkins record for a few days.” On one of those days, my boyfriend and I made a special trip to Burger King after hearing tales of a new dessert item: the bacon sundae. Believe it or not, it was bleeping delicious, and it needed to be made. Boyfriend had the seriously bright idea to concoct this creature together.

I’m writing this post the day after a spectacular rooftop barbecue we hosted. This means that I am sore, tired and a little foggy. This, I believe, also means the party was a success. Thanks to this lovely event and thanks to my tendency to go overboard dessert-wise, there will be a few posts on deliciousness related to this soiree. Yippee.

Now, we don’t have an ice cream maker, and apparently making ice cream from scratch without one is incredibly annoying. I don’t have time to be annoyed. I want a bacon sundae, and STAT! So, we bought French vanilla ice cream from, where else, Trader Joe’s. And, surprise surprise, it’s friggin’ amazing.

The next step was to make hot fudge sauce. This, I found, was not simple. The first recipe I tried gave me something that quickly resembled, in both taste and appearance, a Tootsie Roll. I have nothing against Tootsie Rolls…except everything. I am not a fan. So having a medium-sized saucepan full of the stuff was not cool with me. After a ton of grossed-out expressions and loads of experimenting, I found the promised land.

Hot Fudge Sauce (makes about 12 ounces)

3/4 cup of cocoa powder

2/3 cup of boiling water

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of heavy cream

4 tablespoons of butter

1 3/4 cup of granulated sugar

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Stir cocoa powder and water to a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and stir until you’ve got a lumpy mess. Stir in heavy cream, butter and sugar until dissolved and fully mixed. Add in corn syrup, stir until incorporated, and then let the mixture come to a simmer and stay at a slow boil– no stirring allowed– for about 5 minutes. Oh, and make sure to brush down the sides of the pan with cold water, to make sure sugar crystals don’t form. You don’t want crunchy fudge sauce. Do you? Really ask yourself.

Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Let cool slightly before tasting, because chocolate gets damn hot really fast.

You can pour this straight into a mason jar like we did and then spoon a bit at a time onto your sundae or straight down your gullet (we did both, and both are highly recommended).

Want to hear how good this was? Stay tuned! (Did that work? Are you intrigued? Be honest, it’s cool.)

Now, no sundae is complete without some whipped cream. Personally I’m not a fan of sweet whipped cream on sundaes, so I made this one unsweetened, light and fluffy.

Whipped Cream (makes a HUGE bowl of it)

1 1/2 pints of heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Keep a large glass or metal bowl in the freezer for about ten minutes before you start this thing. You’ll need a cold bowl to make this. Pour your heavy cream into your bowl and whip with a hand mixer on high until stiff peaks start to form. Add in vanilla extract and whip just until mixed.

Is there such a thing as too much whipped cream? No, right? Yeah, I thought not.

And now on to the bacon. Well, ok, I suck at cooking bacon. It’s always either super burnt or unbelievably rubbery. Boyfriend rocked it, and was therefore in charge. I really have no idea of exactly what he did, but he did do something crazy special to the bacon. Maybe it’s a secret bacon recipe that he has. I’ll ask him if you want. We served about ten people, and therefore needed a package and a half of bacon (So, yeah, everyone got a lot of bacon. I know, I’m sorry I didn’t invite you. Next time!). Am I saying bacon a lot? I know I am. Well, cook, pat dry, USE.

So, a nice heaping spoon of fudge sauce, two scoops of French vanilla ice cream, two or three strips of bacon, a dollop and whipped cream, and yet another drizzle of fudge sauce later, how are we doing?




Sad schmad. We had a bunch of awesome people tell us that this was an amazing, amazing finish to a delicious meal.  I couldn’t be more pleased. Well, actually, at this moment, I guess I could. There’s a sundae just begging to be made, and I’m pretty sure the begging’s coming from this belly. BRB!

(Make this, ASAP.)

Desserts with Fruit Easy Baking Frozen Desserts No-Bake Recipes Sort of Healthy Strange and Yummy Vegan Desserts

Deep Thoughts With Sad Shibow [Feat. Avocado Pops]

As you all know, life is rough. As you all also know, I often like to complain about how rough life is. I’m not going to bore you because I’ll seem redundant, and these days if you’d like a refresher on something I’ve said in the past, all you have to do is type some words into the search bar and find your prize. Alls I’ve got to say is that sometimes being an adult is no picnic. Every now and then it’s a ten-course meal at a five-star restaurant. But sometimes it’s just a bowl of cereal from that box of Cheerios you’ve had in your pantry forever.

Wasn’t kidding about those deep thoughts. 😉

Now, let’s be real. Last week was tough on me. In addition to dealing with life’s everyday stresses, I found myself coping with some rather unfriendly behavior from people I believed were in my corner. It was pretty heartbreaking, especially since it involved hurting not only me, but people I deeply love. And no one messes with the loves of Sad Shibow.

So, here I am feeling low thanks to some randoms trying to put together a Bollywood puppet show (Get it? Pulling strings? And I’m Indian? Deep thoughts!) when what do I see on Facebook but Butter Lane‘s latest Blogger of the Week, and it’s…

Sylvapotamus brought to my attention that this says “worldpress.” What the hell, I say, I’ll take it!

Me! You guys, they picked me! Now, this may seem small to a lot of people, and hey, it is sort of small in the grand scheme of things. But to me, it’s huge, and not only because this place has the BEST cupcakes I have ever allowed into my belly. So, what’s the big deal?

Half of the dozen cupcakes we picked up this weekend. You can’t still be wondering why I love this place so.

About a year and a half ago, around my 24th birthday, I was in a not-so-great place, for many many reasons. I was so down that I’d lost the desire to do pretty much anything I enjoyed, including bake. I happened to see something somewhere on the great many internets about cupcake classes at Butter Lane, and decided to woman up and book a class. It was so entertaining and enlightening that it made me finally want to get back into my own kitchen. When my boyfriend recently asked me why I loved the place so much, I told him that it basically made me grateful for things again. So…thank you, BL. DEEP THOUGHTS!

Ok, onto the make-stuff portion. Originally I was going to tell you all about the delicious, easy-peasy cookie dough ice pops I made. While they were, indeed, pretty simple to make, I found them to be kind of gross. This is not the fault of the author of this recipe at all. It is, instead, my bad, for believing that skim milk could, and should, always take the place of whole milk. In life, I’ll usually try to take the healthier route when it comes to my eating habits (I say “in life”  expecting you all to pretty much ignore every buttery post on here for a hot second). I do the whole wheat bread instead of white thing, the no-soda thing, boringboringblah you get it.  I’ve even convinced myself that I enjoyed frozen yogurt much more than I enjoyed ice cream. And while I do like to get my Yogo on every now and then, I recently discovered that I was, to put it as  eloquently as possible, trippin’. Ice cream > fro-yo. Who knows what else I’ve brainwashed myself into believing was right. Wait… so just to check… is steak any good?

Anyway, we’re dealing with another odorous NYC heat wave. Everyone smells like the aquarium (Why doesn’t anyone know what that smells like?!) and I’m super cranky all the time, so obviously you best believe I’m not going near the oven. Oh, and, we did kind of just buy and eat a dozen cupcakes over here, so we need something a teensy bit light. Let’s make avocado pops! Weird enough for you? In case they’re not, check these out!

Now, ya’ll know I’ve been meaning to make these forever, but I guess it got cold again before I could. So…yeah. Let’s just do this.

Avocado Pops (Uh, makes, like, a set number of pops, and that number is determined by what you decide to use as molds)

1 cup of water

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

2 small ripe avocados

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice

I used paper Dixie cups, FYI.

Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Let cool to room temperature. This is known as simple syrup, and can also be used for your boozy mixed drink of choice, should you be 21+ and need such information.

Meanwhile, peel and pit your two avocados, and mash the flesh in a medium-sized bowl until smooth. Add in salt and lime juice, then stir in your simple syrup. You can use a blender or mixer if you’re feeling lazy ;).

Pour into your molds and send into the freezer for at least 5 hours. I filled my Dixie cups about halfway, and ended up with five pops.

The night we first tasted these was an excellent night. There was champagne, an even split of the last Butter Lane cupcake, and a viewing of Blues Brothers (I’d never seen it! It was so awesome!). So, how’d these pops do?

Yes, those are toothpicks, which are actually useless. Do better than Shibow did, kids. Do better.

I loooooooved these things. LOVED them. They’re creamy, tangy, sweet and unbelievably refreshing. I’m sad I only ended up with five, but happy they are super easy, because these are being made again ASAP.

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May Contain Whiskey. Can I See Some ID?

There’s whiskey in this post, not in me. Okay, there’s whiskey in me too, but to be fair, I’m Indian. Johnnie Walker runs through my veins. It’s science. Doctors are mystified.

My friend and compadre, Mr. J. Walker.

So if we were to put today’s post to a soundtrack, this would probably be the first song on the playlist. I am, and have been for quite some time, enamored with this immensely talented bluegrass band. And even though the lead singer of the Punch Brothers thwacked me in the knee with his bleedin’ mandolin case, I am inviting you all to blast this fun tune whilst making and enjoying the following frozen concoction.

Yes, yes, I am continuing the frozen treat theme. I did warn you all ahead of time in my last post. Since that entry, though, New York City has endured a record-breaking heat wave that would make these popsicles seem, to me, to be a necessity. The whole world is a giant pizza oven right now, it is too sticky to enjoy a proper happy hour, and I need peaches in my life. Enter Peaches and Cream Whiskey Poptails. Exit problem.

So, obviously I needed company for these popsicles. After all, who eats poptails alone (I do!)? Share the wealth, I say. I crashed the twins’ bachelor pad and we went to work. Now, I know the original recipe calls for bourbon, but bourbon’s quite pricey, and since we would only be using a small amount of the liquor (alcohol doesn’t freeze well in large amounts), Jeff and I made the executive decision to purchase a travel-size bottle of scotch whiskey. Actually, we purchased three and now each of the boys has a special souvenir from our adventure.

Here’s what we used:

Peaches and Cream Whiskey Poptails

1 cup of canned crushed peaches (in syrup), drained

2 cups of nonfat plain yogurt

1 tablespoon of honey

1/4 cup of whiskey (just about the contents of one 50 ml bottle, so if you’re taking a trip soon be extra nice to your flight attendant and perhaps you’ll score a free one for this project)

You’re also going to need some mini paper cups and popsicle sticks for this. We purchased Dixie Dinosaur cups because…well, why not? They’re DINOSAURS! Really, though, you won’t want to make these in traditional popsicle molds because they’ll be huge and extra potent. The miniature portion provided by the tiny cup molds will be more than enough to keep you happy without turning you into a sloppy, inebriated mess. Trust.

To start, mash the peaches in a medium-sized bowl until fully crushed. Mix in the yogurt, honey and whiskey. Divide the mixture evenly among the cups. You should end up with about ten. Throw these into the freezer for about an hour, then take them out, stick a popsicle stick in each one, and send them right back in to freeze completely, about 3 to 4 hours. When they’re done, peel off the paper cups and enjoy!

(For my homies who couldn't be here)

Now, there’s an added bonus to making these pops: the cost. Altogether, we spent about 6 bucks to make ten pops. That includes the Dixie cups and cookie sticks (We couldn’t find popsicle sticks. But why are cookie sticks easier to find than popsicle sticks? And what are cookie sticks?).  That’s 60 cents a pop! $2.00 a person! And that’s me showing off my math skills, by the way. Anyway, these were powerful little suckers (haha…suckers…because they’re popsicles…haha), and also pretty refreshing. I highly recommend them for a lazy day of [responsible] imbibing.

Before I leave you all to bask in the glory of a super cheap, very delicious homemade happy hour, I have good news to share: I’ll be officiating two weddings this Saturday, July 30th as part of the Pop Up Chapel! The Pop Up Chapel is celebrating marriage equality by marrying 24 same-sex couples at Merchant’s Gate in Central Park for free. Fantastic, right? I’m excited and honored to be participating in it, and hope some of you can join the festivities to watch and cheer on the lovely couples.

So, why’d I decide to do it? Well, my first answer to that question, no matter what it’s in reference to, is always “why not?” The general answer is, “Dude, we all pay the same taxes. Come on, now. It’s a no-brainer.” The more specific answer is that my very best friend is gay and it used to confound me that she didn’t have the same rights that I did. I’m fortunate enough to have a best friend whom I’ve known for most of my life and who’s seen Super Duper Sad Shibow more times than I’d care to admit. She’s stuck by me anyway. (She’s also seen Very Adventurous Shibow, since we have an annual Risk/Death Wish Day that I’ll get into in a future post). If anyone deserves even the option of this institution, it is her. I won’t go into that much more detail about this, and I’m not even sure she knows that that’s why I’m doing this, but yeah…there it is. Well, this entry got heavy pretty quickly, huh? Maybe the soundtrack to this part of the post should be the tiniest violin in the world.

Desserts with Fruit Easy Baking Frozen Desserts No-Bake Recipes Sort of Healthy Strange and Yummy

I Will Make You a Popsicle. And Then I Will Marry You.

It’s been a strange couple of weeks. Good things and bad things, sad things and rad things have all happened in quite a short span of time. Here’s a list:

1. I am an ordained minister and am registered with the City of New York! Yes, really! Yes, I’ll marry you! (good/rad thing)

2. One of my favorite coworkers is leaving for something called Utah (Ok, I know what/where Utah is. I found it on my world map shower curtain!). She’s the best. She also subscribes to this blog and always has nice things to say about it. She’s also just generally awesome. I could give you specifics, but then I will cry and this will become a whole different post. I am not happy about this development. (bad/sad thing)

3. Apparently my mom’s been handing out my email like it’s candy (or curry?) to the mothers of random Indian boys looking to wife me up. Inappropriate! (VERY bad/VERY sad thing)

4. I’m running my first 5K in September! It will probably take me all day, but it’s for a good cause, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Support us! (good/rad thing)

So, #4. That’s a very bad thing she did. And I am punishing her by writing about it on this blog. So bad, right? She might as well have posted an ad on Craigslist. Oh, that reminds me of my Craigslist story! But that’s another post. Anyway, I’m on sabbatical from that whole game. Single Shibow. The Lone Wolf. And being The Lone Wolf rules. In short, I’d rather marry other people to each other right now. Unless this guy comes a-proposin’. Ma, quit blowin’ up my spot.

So, in addition to avoiding my mother and very carefully screening my emails, I’ve been trying to think of more light, sweet summer treats that will also help cool me down in this hot-as-an-overbearing-Indian-motha heat. I came across quite a few that have sort of helped, but none that have had quite the impact of these Blackberry Greek yogurt pops. They require a bit of time, love, tenderness, and Michael Bolton (last one’s optional) but they do not require an oven! By the way, I am all about trying those avocado pops at a later date, but if anyone gets to them before I do, please tell me how they are! In the meantime, let’s work on the yogurt ones:

Blackberry Greek Yogurt Pops

– Peel of 1 lemon

– 1/2 cup of water

– 1/2 cup of sugar

– 1 1/2 cups of plain nonfat Greek yogurt (Fage or Chobani are your best bets)

– 2 tablespoons of honey

– 2 cups of fresh blackberries (feel free to sub in your very favorite berries if you’re not a fan of the tartness of these)

To start, make sure you’ve got either a peeler or the hands of a surgeon while going at that lemon. I have neither. I and all nine and a half of my digits (I have a wonky thumb, which I’ll explain some other time…maybe when I tell you my Craigslist story) miraculously survived anyway. Throw the water and sugar into a saucepan and fire it up to medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar’s dissolved and the mixture has come to a boil. Toss in the lemon peel, then lower the heat to a simmer for about five minutes. Let it cool, then strain the syrup through a sieve and refrigerated until chilled.

Mix the yogurt and honey together in a bowl, then stir in the syrup until fully blended. Use your blender if you’re lazy. I did not use mine because I am a different kind of lazy. I do not like doing dishes. Pour a little bit of the mixture into each of your popsicle molds, then throw these into the freezer until the mixture just starts to set, about 40-45 minutes.

Take the molds out and divide your berries evenly among them. Pour in the rest of the yogurt mixture, snap the lids of the molds shut (some of the yogurt will likely splatter and land on or near your face, so feel free to lick it away), and freeze for at least three hours.

Sylvia enjoying her second pop in a row.

So, were these any good? Um…well…YES. I was a little uneasy about these at first because of both the tartness of the yogurt and the tang of the blackberries, but these were pretty phenomenal. My sister was in love, as you can see. This recipe will most certainly be used and tweaked a million times over the next couple of warm, steamy summer months. I see chocolate pops, raspberry pops, avocado pops and booze pops in my future. Lone Wolf baby!

Chocolate Cheer Easy Baking Frozen Desserts No-Bake Recipes

Icebox Cake… Because It’s Easy, We’re Lazy and I’m in a Fight With My Oven.

Holy Stink City, Batman*! Did we ever really have a spring in NYC? I mean, it went from monsoon season to one big bikram yoga room. And it smells like a bikram session about half an hour in. Come on New Yorkers…I know you’re well aware of that, um, aroma, that envelops the city come summer. I started whiffing it weeks ago. At first I thought it was just me, but I smell like friendship and butterflies all the time. So there’s no way it’s me.

Anyway, because it’s hot as the Devil’s playground outside, it is EVEN HOTTER inside of my apartment. I’ve basically been living in my bedroom– the only room with an air conditioner– and enduring the stifling heat of the rest of my crib only when absolutely necessary. Know what’s not necessary? An oven. So I’ve been trying to avoid using mine as much as possible. That means lots of made-up stir-fry dishes featuring special guests from my pantry. It also means I need to figure out a new way to get my sweet tooth on.

Enter icebox cakes. Icebox cakes! How awesomely brilliant are these? Well, let me tell you how awesome. They involve your freezer, a bunch of yummy ingredients, and, typically, very little prep time. This cake in particular only calls for four ingredients. Four!

Basically, I was having a weeknight dinner party and needed a dessert that would be easy, delicious and would not require the use of my oven, which I obviously have a beef with right now (A beef. There’s no beef in it, though. I don’t even eat beef. Why am I telling you this?). Enter Martha Stewart (not really, since she wasn’t invited to the party) and the Chocolate Ricotta Icebox Cake. Behold, fellow lazies!

Chocolate Ricotta Icebox Cake

– 14 oz of semisweet baking chocolate

– 30 oz of part-skim ricotta cheese

– 3/4 cup of heavy cream

– Pretty much an entire box of Chocolate Teddy Grahams

Ok, so, the Teddy Graham situation. Basically, I couldn’t find chocolate wafers anywhere. Admittedly, I didn’t really scour every market in the whole world (read: Queens) for them, but you’d think they’d be easier to find. I used Teddy Grahams instead, which proved pretty painstaking, but ultimately delicious. Use the wafers if you’re cool enough to find them.

Start with a 9-inch springform pan. Remove the sides and lay a sheet of parchment paper over the bottom. Then lock the sides back in. It’ll look like your pan has a cape. Hehe. Spray the pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

On to the good stuff: the chocolate and ricotta! Melt 12 ounces of the chocolate in a microwaveable bowl at 30-second increments, stirring after each nuke, until it’s smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the ricotta until it’s fluffy and smooth, then stir into the melted chocolate. In another bowl (yes, lots of bowls, I know, still no oven though!), beat the heavy cream with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold this into the chocolate-ricotta mixture until fully combined.

And now, my favorite part (sarcasm): the crust. Arrange the Teddy Grahams/wafers in the bottom of the pan so that they overlap. If you’re using Teddy Grahams, you now know why you’ll need the whole box. Congratulations and best wishes to you.

Check out my menacing shadow. These grahams don't stand a chance, man.

Once the bottom’s swimming in Teddies, pour half of the ricotta mixture into the pan, smoothing the top. Lay even more chocolate wafers/Grahams over this mixture until it’s completely covered, then finish with the remaining chocolate-ricotta goodness. Smooth the top, and shove this into your freezer for at least 6 hours, and preferably overnight.

Before you serve it, remove the sides of the pan. Then, using a vegetable peeler or a grater, shave the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate that you kept and most certainly did not eat because you thought Shibow had messed up the measurements on this over the top of the cake. When slicing, try to keep a bowl of hot water nearby. Dip your knife into the water after each slice. I did not do this, and because I had also had a heaping glass of chocolate-infused wine, some of my cake ended up on the floor and on my sister’s foot. She said it “felt mighty nice” though. It tasted even better. Oh, also, I don’t have a picture of the finished cake because I was busy drinking wine and dropping pieces of it on the floor. Feel free to check out Martha’s obviously perfect picture though by clicking over to her site.

*I will never stop finding “Holy _____  Batman” phrases entertaining. Sorry, folks.