just a smidgen

Dirty Chai { Espresso } Chocolate Pudding ~ Raw+Vegan

Dirty Chai Espresso Chocolate Pudding 3

I felt it Sunday morning, when the clock ticked far past my usual wake up time. Rolling over I could spy the sun peering through the curtains. Opening the door for Bella, I felt a rush of warm and I could hear the celebratory song of little prairie house sparrows, black-capped and boreal chicadees and the trickle of melting snow. Bella could feel it too, she ran away from her dog run and straight to her gate, eager to go for an early morning walk. This is her First Spring, so the strangeness of grass, heat and rain will all be new.. and that makes it new all over again for us!

A quiet lunch with Dave and my mother-in-law, Jane was just so lovely with laughter, BLT’s and hot sweet tea with milk. We walked our dogs at the Bowmont Park off-leash area and had to dodge the deep pools of water and slick ice. Both pups had soaked undercarriages, but it was worth every second. We walked high on the bluffs of the Silver Springs escarpment above the Bow River that had been so menacing last spring. The two ponds that were to capture sediment were overwhelmed. Houses were flooded for days, water reaching to the midway point on the main levels, basements completely engulfed. Today it was an innocuous, icy turquoise, rambling unpretentiously around the curve of those same park-like yards and homes.Dirty Chai Espresso Chocolate Pudding 5


The breeze teased with the promise of spring, of pungent new grass and crocus heads nodding under the sun. The lower paths were closed while the city makes repairs and changes. I look forward to returning to photograph the natural waterfalls tumbling over a six meter wall of sandstone left behind by glaciers. The bedrock you’ll see is the 65 million year old Porcupine Hills Formation that contains calcium carbonate. The calcium carbonate is gathered by water flowing over it, is then deposited on the algae covered cliffs of Waterfall Valley which forms spongy Tufa. I’ll capture photos of it for you this summer when the paths are reopened.

I took photographs yesterday when we went back for a second walk but I managed to delete them all from my camera. If I can get there again today (it’s such a lovely walk) I’ll come back and add those photos here.

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Arriving back home, I was seized with an urge to spring clean. Arms wide on hips, I appraised the disaster our pantry had become. Opened, half-empty cello packages were wedged in between the containers I’d so carefully labeled a year ago. Despite the disaster, it didn’t take long to reorganize. That’s the advantage of starting out with an organized pantry.. and spice rack.

I’m already sounding embarrassingly OCD, but I will admit to having spices in my spice drawer organized alphabetically. I couldn’t stand it any other way.

My kitchen’s disgrace wasn’t entirely my fault. We had to bring home duplicates of almost everything from the lake last summer. We are almost through that second set of cleaning products, but the spices were another issue altogether. The small shelves above our stove are so high, it’s difficult for a short smidgen of a person to see what’s lurking at the back. I decided my spices needed organizing “Once and For All” so off to my favorite organization store I went: IKEA!

Turquoise Spice Rack 3Ikea has these perfectly sized little jars with lids. All I needed was a place to put them and I fell in love with this little turquoise unit. Spices in my drawer next to the stove were topped up and all the extra packages filled the jars.. all alphabetically, of course;) I know spices have a shelf life, but I couldn’t bear discarding them. “Waste not, want not.” my mother’s words always ring in my ears. I believe spices just lose their pungency, so that may mean adding more to a recipe than would normally be called for. If you know more about this, I’d love to hear!

Turquoise Spice Rack 1I made one other organizational change in my pantry because it was jammed with cans and jars that were difficult to see behind. I reorganized and put similar tins together (soup, tuna, etc) and typed a list of each item and how many we have. I’ve printed it and stuck it to the cork board in our pantry.

Now when I plan a recipe, I can see at a glance what we have, and cross it off as we use it. I cut and paste the list into my Notes on my phone and now when I shop, I can check to see what we have. Keeping a digital format on my computer is best, but with others using the pantry, just scrawling on this sheet works. So often I duplicate ingredients because I’m running into the grocery store before I can stop at home to see what we have stocked already. The added benefit for me is that I can now plan recipes that use up some of the excess stock or bundle some of it up and take to the food bank.

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Dirty Chai Espresso Chocolate Pudding 2

I found 4 extra ripe avocados and was excited to try this recipe that I’ve seen on NancyCreative’s blog { Please drop by her blog, it’s beautiful! } and Pinterest for some time. Eva at Kitchen Inspirations made a yummy chocolate avocado ice cream pudding by adding a frozen banana, brilliant! I had to change it up, Nancy made a beautiful mousse and I decided to go for a pudding texture and to change up the flavors. You start with avocados and cocoa powder and from there anything goes. I love ordering Dirty Chai at the coffee shop, so this pudding is a Dirty Chai { with espresso } flavor.

Dirty Chai Espresso Chocolate Pudding

Raw + Vegan Dirty Chai { Espresso } Chocolate Pudding
  • 4 large avocados, ripe
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar*
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp chocolate almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 pinches sea salt
  • 1 tsp fine espresso grounds
  • 1 tsp Chai Spice Blend { below }
  • Toppings
  • cacao nibs
  • raspberries
  • banana slices
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
Chai Spice Blend (mix together)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  1. Scoop the avocado into a food processor or blender. Measure in the agave nectar, cocoa powder, almond milk, vanilla and sea salt. Pulse and blend until silky smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Scrape into a large bowl and stir in the espresso grounds and chai spice mix. Taste and adjust espresso and chai flavoring as desired.
  2. Scoop into smaller ramekins, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight to set.
* Agave Nectar can be substituted with maple syrup. If you do this, you may need to decrease the amount of almond milk you use to keep the pudding thick.

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