Make Room for Dessert

“Mommy! We have to hurry up and eat a bunch of desserts before Lent starts!”

Says my 8-year-old daughter, upon realizing that Lent begins next week. My thoughts exactly.

""I know, its a cake-y... There’s a hole in this cake." -My Big Fat Greek Wedding

We always give up desserts as a family during Lent.  So, in order to capitalize on the remaining dessert nights, I will share with you some of my favorite easy, weeknight desserts. The kind you can quickly throw together and then be named The Very Bestest Mom in the World.

My favorite is apple crisp. It is so easy! And it’s healthy! It’s apples! So what if there’s a little sugar involved? Sugar is natural. So it must be good. Right?

I use this recipe from Betty Crocker.

Apple Crisp

  • 4 medium apples, sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnammon
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving
  1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.
  2. Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients (except ice cream) until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.
  3. Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with ice cream.

"Well, let's say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of psychokinetic energy in the New York area. Based on this morning's sample, it would be a Twinkie... thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds." -Ghostbusters

Another favorite fast dessert is brownies. I don’t usually keep brownie mix on hand, but I usually have chocolate baking bars, and can whip up a batch of chocolate brownies in no time. I love brownies. I usually set aside enough for us to eat for dessert and then quickly freeze the rest. Otherwise I’ll eat them all before morning!

And a frozen brownie packed into a lunch box will defrost just in time for good little girls and boys to have a lunch dessert.

I like this recipe from Hersheys.

Quick & Easy Fudgey Brownies

  • 1 package (4 oz.) unsweetened chocolate baking bar, broken into pieces
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, optional*

*sometimes instead of nuts I add chocolate or peanut butter chips, or toffee pieces. Sometimes instead of vanilla I’ll use mint or almond extract. It’s fun to experiment, and really hard to mess up a brownie!

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  2. Place chocolate and butter in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Add sugar; stir with spoon until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add flour and nuts, if desired; stir until well blended. Spread in prepared pan.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares.

"We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.” -Elf

One thing I’ve really learned to love is crock pot desserts. I used to have two crock pots, and I could cook dinner in one and dessert in the other. But my old one broke, so I’m back to only using one at a time. Gasp! If dinner is NOT in the crock, then it is free to make one of these fabulous desserts:

Peanut Butter Cake

Dulce de Leche


Triple Chocolate Cake

  • 1 package chocolate cake mix
  • 1 4-oz package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • 16-oz container sour cream
  • 6-oz chocolate chips
  1. Spray slow cooker insert very well with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, water, eggs, and sour cream. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Scrape batter into prepared slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hour or on high for 3-4 hours.

Olive: Can I get the, uh, waffles? And, um, what does "a la mode-y" mean? Diner Waitress: Oh that means it comes with ice cream! Olive: Ok. A la mode-y then. -Little Miss Sunshine

The crockpot recipes come from Stephanie O’Dea’s website and/or books (; Make it Fast, Cook it Slow; More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow). I love, love, love Stephanie O’Dea. She is amazing. I consult her books not quite daily, but close to it. I used to think the crockpot was only for soups and stews.

But now I know it is also for chocolate cake.

Marty: Twinkies and wine? Oh, that's real class, Jan. Jan: It says right here it's a dessert wine. -Grease

I will warn you now, so you don’t call me on it later. There is an exception to our No Desserts During Lent rule. St. Patrick’s Day falls during Lent, so we make a teeny allowance for 1. Irish candy potatoes and 2. Shamrock Shakes. Not at the same time. So technically, there are two exceptions.

But my sister did promise me that if I do a 3-mile run with her on Saturday then I can have a Shamrock Shake as a reward. And that’s still before Lent starts.

"But I'd like the pie heated and I don't want the ice cream on top, I want it on the side, and I'd like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it, if not then no ice cream just whipped cream but only if it's real; if it's out of the can then nothing." -When Harry Met Sally

Oh, I almost forgot. The critics are always unanimous about dessert. “Yummm!”

As if there was any doubt 🙂

Happy Dessert-ing 😀


2 responses to “Make Room for Dessert

  1. Mmmm Desserts! I’ve been waiting for a post like this.

    Love the movie quotes you used for this one btw.

  2. Get Ready to get your shamrock shake on!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s