dessert….sans alcohol

Thanks to Duncan Hines for sponsoring my writing. There’s no limit to the baking possibilities, so grab your favorite Duncan Hines mix and Comstock or Wilderness fruit fillings and Bake On!

I L-O-V-E dessert.

I’d eat dessert over dinner.

(well, caveat. now I want meat over anything, but I blame that on pregnancy)

And do you know what is super delicious and completely off limits to my preggo self?


Plus chocolate.

Or one of my most favorite meal (which is really dessert disguised as a meal): a fantastic red wine, a variety of cheeses, crusty bread and dried fruit.



I love it so much Tim has made this exact “meal” (dessert) for me for my birthday dinner.

I was the happiest girl on the planet that day.

Except, I haven’t seen this kind of wine/fruit/cheese heaven since the spring, thanks to those lovely (three) positive pregnancy tests back in May.

Being on alcohol restriction during the holidays is one of the worst forms of torture one can submit to. I mean, I’m not some kind of crazy wine-o or anything but it would be nice to be able to indulge. I can’t even say “without guilt” because it isn’t even guilt we’re talking about, here.

It’s a baby.

And his brain.

So, what’s a girl to do when she is surrounded – literally – by decadent desserts and not a wine (or mixed drink) glass to be found?

She improvises!

My new most favorite drink to pair with dessert?

Homemade hot chocolate.

I know…it sounds completely counterproductive BUT hot chocolate with a candy cane?

(I found this on Pintrest and I’m drooling)

Simple and delicious and perfect to stir up all of that chocolatey goodness that sinks to the bottom of my mug. I don’t know what it is about mint in my chocolate but mmmmmmmmmm.

Have you ever tried one of those melt-in-your-mouth type candy cane sticks with hot chocolate? OMG. Flavor and texture explosion in your mouth.

And how about milky flavored hot chocolate with a few squares of a good dark variety?


There can never be enough chocolate.

Hot chocolate with cookies?….Any type of cookies?

Need I say more?

The only other beverage that – to me – can really compare to hot chocolate when it comes to dessert is coffee…except…I’ve been trying to stay away from any and all coffee – including decaf – because it would be too much of a temptation to go all out if I kept “allowing” myself the *almost* coffee (aka decaf). Now, I’ll admit I definitely had a decaf pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks during the fall. I couldn’t resist. That drink is my most favorite Starbucks drink ever, ever, ever.

But I only had one.

Go me.

Oh! I completely forgot about this (pregnancy brain strikes again) and it has nothing to do with chocolate. Hot apple cider and real ginger snaps. I have to be clear on this: the snaps have to be 100% real – none of the super sugary kind.

That simple and easy pairing is definitely a go-to when I’m all chocolate-ed out (hey….it happens)

Another drink combo I’ve yet to try but am kicking myself because I haven’t is fruity flavored sparkling water and dark chocolate.

I’m a dark chocolate kind of girl all the way – the darker the better – and fruity sparkling water is kind of like fruity wine, right?

It’s worth a shot, anyway.

That’s going to be my Christmas goal (I’m so simple it’s ridiculous): sparkling water + dark chocolate

I’ll have to report back, as I’m sure preggo’s everywhere are looking for a substitute – any substitute – to their wine.

Also? I’m always looking for help, especially in the food department, so do you have any other suggestions for nonalcoholic drinks paired with desserts…of any variety?

I’m not picky.


Remember to check out Duncan Hines’ website to find some great recipes for your holiday get-together! I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective.


8 Responses to “dessert….sans alcohol”

  1. 1 When Harry Met Celery December 12, 2011 at 9:05 am

    That image is in complete sync with the season. Loved it 😀 When you have the time, do drop by my space. I’d love to hear from you.

  2. 3 hellesbelles86 December 12, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Omgeez I want that hot chocolate so bad! I’m having a hard time of it because all the pregnancy books say eat crackers and other carbs to help with morning sickness and I’m gluten intolerant so that’s out, but I think I could be happy for just a little while if I could have some hot chocolate like that. *drools*

    • 4 Jessica December 13, 2011 at 9:17 am

      That SUCKS! The nausea…SO GLAD I’m not dealing with that on a daily basis anymore…it was like I was a walking zombie…I felt horrid all. day. long.

      Hope you start to feel better soon!

      PS: I don’t know how I’d survive without gluten…even though there seems to be more and more on the shelves “gluten free.”

  3. 5 Maureen December 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Oh my gosh I want hot chocolate so bad right now.

    The one drink I always enjoyed as a kid was a fruit punch mixture my mom made for parties. It was basically: Hawaiian punch mixed with Sprite (or 7-Up, something along those lines) and several scoops of rainbow sherbet (I think that is how it is spelled?) It was quite awesome and delicious.

  4. 7 Oregon Sunshine December 12, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Caramel Apple Cider from Starbucks. Or, make your own at home! A tequila sunrise, minus the tequila part? Orange juice with a splash of grenadine is great! Or, make it orange juice, a couple ounces of pineapple juice and that splash of grenadine!

    Hellesbelles86- what about GF crackers? I know they make them out of rice and what not. Would that help your morning sickness?

    • 8 Jessica December 13, 2011 at 9:19 am

      I’ve been hearing good things about that from Starbucks…I’ve yet to try it, though!

      Your other drink suggestions make me think of POG…my most favorite summertime drink EVER that is really only good in Hawaii: A mix of pineapple, orange and guava juice. OMG. SO. GOOD!

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