Tag: dessert

Too Many Apples? Make an Apple Tart

by in Uncategorized, February 4, 2013

apple tart
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life gives you apples, you make apple tart! Here’s the back-story: I had a  bushel of apples in my kitchen recently and thought, “I’m heading out of town, will my family really eat all these apples while I’m gone?” I didn’t think so . . . since I hate wasting food, I decided to turn 6 of the apples into a tart. “A tart?” you say. “Too complicated”, you huff. Actually, not complicated at all. And since there are just 5 ingredients, it’s easier to prepare than most main dishes we conquer on a hectic weeknight. Read on and enjoy those apples. Oh, and by the way, you can also make the tart with sliced pears or peaches.

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Homemade Holiday Gift: Rum Balls

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, Healthy Holidays, December 13, 2012

rum balls
These deliciously decadent chocolate-flavored balls have been a family favorite for decades. Whip them up this holiday season for the ones you love.

Food Safety Note
These rum balls have been modified from the version my mom made when I was younger. The original version calls for a raw egg (the batter isn’t cooked). To make these rum balls kid-friendly and adhere to prevent salmonella, I use a pasteurized whole egg and swapped in rum extract for the real stuff. This means the egg was heat treated to kill pathogens, though it looks like any other raw egg. Many markets carry them—look for the word “pasteurized” on the label.

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Which is Healthier: Pumpkin or Pecan Pie?

by in Thanksgiving, November 22, 2012

pumpkin and pecan pie
These super-popular Thanksgiving desserts are going head to head. With both having single pie crusts and packed with good-for-you ingredients, the competition is fierce. Which gets your vote?

Pumpkin Pie

Pros:
According to the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we should all be eating 2 cups of orange veggies each week. Pumpkin pie can help meet these recommendations plus that brilliant orange color provides the antioxidants vitamin A and lutein.

Cons:
Fatty ingredients like traditional pastry crust, butter, cream cheese, half-and-half, or shortening can sabotage the nutritional value. Mountains of sugar from canned pumpkin pie filling and spoonfuls of sugary toppings can also send calories through the roof. Topped with whipped cream or a la mode, a slice can weigh in at close to 500 calories.

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Tips:

  • Use gingersnap cookies for a lighter crust made without partially hydrogenated oils or make your own canola oil pie crust.
  • No need for mounds of sugar—let the sweetness of the pumpkin take over.
  • Steer clear of sugary or heavily-sweetened pumpkin pie filling. The canned pumpkin puree should have one ingredient; add your own spices from there.
  • Serve with one heaping spoon of freshly made whipped cream and fresh fruit like apples, oranges and pears.
  • Try Food Network Kitchens slimmed version.

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10 Healthy Thanksgiving Desserts

by in Thanksgiving, November 9, 2012

pumpkin cheesecake
Planning your turkey day menu? We’ve got something for every kind of sweet tooth, all filled with fall flavors.

Cheesecake
A lower-fat cheesecake that’s not low on flavor. If you’ve never tried this combination before, now’s the time.
Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake

Turnovers
Cut the calories on apple pie with this lightened pastry.
Recipe: Apple Cranberry Phyllo Turnovers

Caramels
A bite-sized treat, filled with pumpkin goodness.
Recipe: Pumpkin Caramels

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Ultimate Frozen Citrus Pie

by in Uncategorized, June 17, 2012

Frozen Citrus Pie

Hot days call for frozen pies. Cool, creamy and smooth — they’re like instant air conditioning for your mouth. When I was little, my grandmother lived in the Florida Keys and I visited every summer. The best memories I have include cooling off in the crystal clear Atlantic and taking heaping spoonfuls of her velvety key lime pie.

My grandma had key limes growing in her backyard, so making pies was a breeze (a very warm breeze, but a breeze nonetheless). For those of you without the green gems in your market, I’ve got the perfect solution. I’ve made the pie countless ways and discovered that you can make it with ANY citrus juice and zest. Pick your favorite – lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit – add a few simple ingredients, and you’re in frozen pie heaven.

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Super Awesome Chocolate Cake

by in Uncategorized, June 11, 2012
chocolate cake
It's super awesome.

What’s not to love about chocolate cake? One of my most vivid childhood memories involves sneaking slivers of my mom’s rich chocolate layer cake iced with a killer fudge frosting. For some reason, the cake tasted better the second day, when I ate it directly off the serving plate (with the refrigerator door wide open).

In my opinion, there’s always room for decadence in a healthy diet. Enjoy what you love once in awhile and eat healthy most of the time. If you want to know why you should relegate chocolate cake to “once in awhile,” consider that one unfrosted slice, can have 650 calories and 33 grams of fat.

So what about those everyday chocolate cravings? I’ve developed a sinful-tasting chocolate cake – one that tastes naughty but is nice nutritionally. In fact, I wanted THIS cake for Mother’s Day this year (after considering all my store-bought options). I prepped the ingredients 2 days ahead (dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another) and waited until Mother’s Day to mix and bake. Easy breezy. And so heavenly. I hope you love it too!

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Easter Desserts for Everyone

by in Easter, March 30, 2012
easter cupcakes
Make festive, portion controlled cupcakes for kids and grown-up kids.

Whenever a crowd gathers for a holiday celebration, there are bound to be guests with various dietary considerations or food allergies. Accommodate everyone on your Easter celebration guest list this year with these seasonal treats.

Gluten Free
Creamy rice pudding is teamed up with sweet cherries for a magical (and gluten free) combination.

Recipe: Rice Pudding with Cherries (*see note)

Heart Healthy
Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, this down-sized classic will make your guests swoon.

Recipe: Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

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Bread Pudding, Lightened Up

by in Meal Makeovers, January 26, 2012

bread pudding
Soaked in sugar, eggs and half-and-half, bread pudding is decadent to say the least. Good news – it’s possible to cozy up with a tasty version of this comfort food for less calories.

Nutrition Facts
Classic bread pudding recipes can have over 600 calories and 30 grams of fat per serving. If you’re using doughnuts and buttery croissants instead of bread, you’d be lucky to keep things under 1000 calories.

The basic recipe is simple, combine bread with custard and bake. To lighten things up, use smarter ingredients at each stage of the recipe and keep portions to about ½ cup per person.

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12 Days of Holiday Gifts: Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sticks

by in 12 Days of Holiday Gifts, December 1, 2011

pretzel sticks

We’re kicking off the holiday season with 12 Days of Holiday Gifts — gifts that are both homemade and gifts you can buy at the store for your loved ones this season. Day 1: Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Sticks that you can make with your kids.

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