Skinny Mini Chipwich

May 9th, 2013

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Of the several hundred vices I’ve accumulated in my lifetime (I’m a very weak human being), the chipwich is arguably in the top 20 behind bleeding steak and red wine.  At 400-600(!) calories a pop, I really can’t afford to have a weekday ice cream monstrosity without feeling a bit slow and gross.

Enter the healthy chipwich.  I’ve seen a few recipes for healthy 3-ingredient cookies floating around on Pinterest and decided that those cookies with any frozen yogurt (vanilla, coffee, chocolate, etc) would be outstanding.  AND IT WAS.

Makes 6 chipwiches

Ingredients:

1 large banana
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
vanilla frozen yogurt or low fat ice cream

Directions:

1. Preheat 350 degrees. Mash banana until smooth. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.

2.  Set up greased cookie sheet or sheet with tin foil or parchment paper. spoon out a flat tablespoon for each cookie and place on sheet. Should be about 12 cookies.

3.  Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes then flatten cookies by pressing down with a spatula (more cookie surface area=more ice cream).  Let cookies cool to room temperature.

4.  Using a regular spoon, scoop out frozen yogurt/ice cream to desired thickness and form with fingers (think: hockey puck). Place on one cookie and press second cookie over ice cream.  Wrap chipwiches in saran wrap and put in freezer for at least 2-3 hours. Enjoy!

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I calculated these to be about 100-120 calories each.  So that’s pretty good, right?

I can’t wait to make several variations of this including:

  • banana-oat-walnut with chocolate yogurt
  • banana-oat-peanut butter with vanilla yogurt
  • banana-oat-butterscotch chip with coffee yogurt

Welcome to the Summer of the Chipwich, everyone.

mango carrot smoothie

March 13th, 2013

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Ingredients:

1 cup ice
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup Bolthouse carrot juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup skim milk
2 tbsp plain greek yogurt

Directions:

Blend that shit.

—the end—

Oh and enjoy! It’s quite delicious. Lots of vitamins in this fella too. Including several hundred percents of Vitamin A and C.  Feel free to justify the hell out of whatever you eat for the rest of the day. Commence Homer Simpson bacon doughnut fiesta feast!

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Leave it to Friday Night Lights to be super dramatic about smoothies:

do you feel like you DESERVE A SMOOTHIE?

Irish Sherry Trifle

March 11th, 2013

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Sherry Trifle is a traditional Irish dessert that has become quite (in)famous in my family.  My dad had his first trifle in 1967 at a small hotel in Dingle, Ireland.  I guess he was smitten because since then, he has been on a mission to recreate that perfect trifle he had at 18.  A steadfast pursuit for the holy grail of booze-laden desserts.

The trifle combines creamy custard, liquor, berries, and ladyfingers to create a stunning, delicious dessert. Slightly different from it’s British cousin, it involves fresh berries and ladyfingers rather than jelly, berries, and spongecake.  They tend to get mixed up, but THIS is the one my Dad so fondly recalls:

Traditional Irish Sherry Trifle

Prep time: 6+ hours (don’t let this deter you- it’s mostly down time!)
Cook time: 40 minutes

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS:

CUSTARD*:
3 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract

TRIFLE:
1+1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup water
20 ladyfingers
1/4 cup sherry

WHIPPED CREAM:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp powdered sugar

DISH:  Glass bowl, circular dish, or shallow vase

*You can absolutely use instant vanilla custard or pudding instead- that’s a route I most often take for something like this. Although if there is still room to sway you,  this custard is SO worth the extra effort. Seriously great stuff.

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Custard: Whisk yolks, milk, sugar, cornstarch in a medium mixing bowl and transfer to a large saucepan on medium heat. Stir constantly but gently for 15 minutes or until mixture has thickened.  Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate.  DO AHEAD. Can be made a day before , otherwise custard needs to chill for at least 2 hours.

2. Combine raspberries, sugar, and water in a small bowl.  Stir with a spoon. Coarsely mash half of the raspberries but leave the rest whole/in tact-  this makes a sauce similar to that of strawberry shortcake topping- whole pieces but with a bit of a sweet fruit syrup!  Stir. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or more.

3.  Whipped Cream: In a large bowl, beat cream and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy- about 2-3 minutes.

4. Trifle time!  Add 2 layers of  5 ladyfingers-10 total, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sherry, spoon half of the raspberries, vanilla custard. Repeat! Let’s say it again: 10 ladyfingers, sherry, raspberries, vanilla custard.  Top with a generous heap of whipped cream.  FYI You will definitely have some vanilla custard and whipped cream left over- so don’t fret if you didn’t use it all. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours- gotta let the booze soak in.

5. Serve with a large spoon or serving wedge. For nerdy extra-credit, top with a candy clover

Enjoy!

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Lady fingers on ladyfingers. Prob not ladylike.

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Blueberry Lemon Ginger Smoothie

January 15th, 2013

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I’ve been drinking smoothies a lot these days, hoping it’ll shorten my lingering cold. Also, I associate smoothies with fitness, so I’m hoping that drinking these will create an involuntary trigger in my head to go running or something.  So far it has worked 50% of the time- a big improvement from the former 0%.

Anyway, this one is my favorite.  It’s sweet with a little zing-blam-pow of ginger and lemon!

Serves: 2

 Ingredients:

1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup milk (I use 1% milk)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp ground ginger

Add all ingredients to blender and pulse until smooth.

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something good

pear apple gingercrisp

January 10th, 2013

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I combined a classic apple crisp with the pear cranberry gingersnap crumble I made last year. It is a perfect 50/50 of the crisp cousins and of the warm, gooey greatness that they share.  As my friend Christine would say, it’s the amalgamation of my dreams.

Ingredients:

Filling:
5 large apples , peeled and sliced
5 anjou pears, peeled and sliced
1 cup cranberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Crumble:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup gingersnap crumbs (about 8 store bought cookies)
1 stick butter, melted

Directions:

1. Preheat oven 350 degrees

2. Crush gingersnap cookies using whatever you have available. Stir together the flour, brown sugar,  oats, and gingersnap crumbs. Stir in the melted butter until evenly mixed.  Set aside.

3. In a 2 quart baking dish, mix the pears, cranberries, lemon juice,and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together then toss it with the fruit mixture in a 13x9x2 pan.

4. Sprinkle the gingersnap crumble over the fruit. Bake it for about 45 minutes. Let cool for 10.

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boyfriend birthday budino

January 3rd, 2013

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Today is my boyfriend Patrick’s birthday and to celebrate I made his favorite dessert of all time: budino.  Budino is a sweet, rich Italian pudding. I found a recipe in Bon Appetit, but added almonds and used caramel syrup instead of making the sauce. Okay here we go:

Salted Caramel Budino with Caramel Syrup and Almonds

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

3 cups whole milk, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
5 large egg yolks
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp dark rum
1 tsp salt
caramel syrup
whole almonds

Directions:

Whisk 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch in a small bowl; set aside. Heat remaining 2 1/2 cups milk in a small saucepan just to a simmer; set aside. At the same time, stir sugar and 3/4 cup water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; cook without stirring for 3 minutes then lower heat-this makes the caramel!

Whisk egg yolks in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in hot milk, then cornstarch mixture. Slowly whisk in caramel. Return mixture to the stovetop. Whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in butter, rum, and salt.

Pour 3/4 cup budino in each jar. Cover; chill until set, 4–5 hours.  Right before serving, add 1 ounce of caramel syrup to each jar then top with almonds and a dash of salt. Enjoy!

Adapted from here

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Happy Birthday Patrick :) Love you

rum milk punch

December 26th, 2012

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This is a great holiday party recipe.  It’s a fantastic alternative to the thick-as-molasses eggnog drinks for those of us who want to avoid diabetes for a little longer.

Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

6 oz. light rum (can also be made with bourbon)
3 cups of 2% milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
cinnamon and nutmeg, for garnish

Directions:
Combine milk and rum in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and stir occasionally for 5 minutes. Take off heat and let sit until cool.  Pour rum punch into four chilled glasses and garnish with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Serve!

*Extra credit: Put tinsel on top of a cocktail straw.  My old roommate Lizzie, who I miss terribly, used to do this for holiday parties and it’s as dorky as it is adorable.

Enjoy!

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This right here is my post for kitchendaily and JELL-O.  This was such a fun project and super easy to make.

I really enjoyed using JELL-O. I was impressed with how versatile it can be. Mixing it with cold milk and Cool Whip gave it this airy, mousse-like consistency that totally blew me away.  It was so fluffy and I only stirred it for a minute or two.  The pudding truly works with you, rather than fighting with sugar, cream, and egg at various temperatures to make chocolate mousse.

I was immediately drawn to this recipe. I don’t think I’m alone in loving chocolate, peanut butter and pretzels.  Adding jelly, jam, or preserves to it added a sweet tartness that gave the bars a little more depth.

I think this recipe is interesting because it’s nostalgic.  JELL-O pudding and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are like the sandbox soul foods of our youth.. this dessert takes you back.

Ingredients:

BARS
2 cups finely crushed pretzels
2/3 cup butter
2 tbsp sugar
2 pkg. (3.9 oz. each) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
2 cups cold milk
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1-3/4 cup thawed Cool Whip
1 cup jam or jelly
1/4 cup water

TOPPING
24 miniature pretzel twists
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
3 tsp jelly or jam

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a food processor , FINELY crush pretzels (think sawdust)
NOTE: You will need 6 cups of pretzel twists to make 2 cups of crushed pretzels
2. Mix pretzels, sugar, and butter until well blended. Firmly press onto bottom of 13×9-inch pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely
3. Meanwhile whisk dry pudding mixes, milk and 3/4 cup peanut butter in medium bowl until well blended, then stir in 3/4 cup Cool Whip. Set aside.
4. Mix 1 cup of your favorite jam (I used raspberry) with 1/4 cup of water and lightly spread over crust
5. Spread chocolate pudding mixture over crust
6. Beat remaining peanut butter and half the remaining Cool Whip in separate medium bowl until well blended. Stir in remianing Cool Whip.  Spread over dessert.  Refrigerate 2 hours.
7. Microwave 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter on HIGH for 60 seconds or until melted.  Stir chocolate. Dip 24 miniature pretzels one at a time and place them on parchment paper.  Let cool for 20+ minutes
8. Right before serving, drop 1/8 tsp of jam in the center of each bar and top with pretzels. Enjoy!!

 

View slideshow here

 

 

 

Gingersnap Truffles

December 3rd, 2012

 

Ingredients:

1 box of Pepperidge Farm gingerman cookies
6 oz. cream cheese (3/4 of a package), softened
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cups white chocolate wafers

Directions:

1. Finely crush cookies using a food processor or whatever you have available.  Put crumbs and cream cheese and cinnamon in medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until well blended.

2.  Using your hands, roll batter into balls roughly 2 inches in diameter.  Place on parchment paper and freeze for 30 minutes to an hour.

3. On low heat, melt white chocolate wafers in a small pan. Individually dip each truffle in the chocolate with a spoon and roll around until completely covered.  Place back on parchment paper and decorate if you want.  Let sit for at least 20 minutes.  Best if kept refrigerated.

Real talk: I almost posted title as Gingerman Balls. One lightning speed redaction and five minutes of snickering by myself later, we have Gingersnap Truffles.

Hilarious near-miss aside, these are incredible.  They will definitely be a mainstay for all our future holiday parties!

 

Holidays can be a bit of a bummer if you have food allergies or dietary restrictions.  This comes as no surprise, but gluten and sugar are the building blocks of most (and best) of the traditional holiday foods. Crazy right? flour and sugar? Obviously not shocking anyone here.

Thanksgiving is certainly no exception: pies, cranberry sauce, stuffing.. I mean.. that sucks.  Since a few members of my family have to deal with gluten and sugar-intolerance, I thought it would be cool to make a pie that everyone can eat that would be supremely delicious as well.

This was way easier than I expected.  Finding the ingredients and then baking the pie was a breeze.  I think the awareness of gluten intolerance is far more ubiquitous than it once was, hence making alternative options available nearly everywhere without having to drop major cash money/driving around looking for it. And gluten-free, sugar-free baking is all over the web.

Sugar-free is a bit of a misnomer, at least for me. While I know that means no refined cane sugar, some little kid part of me thinks that means it’ll be tasteless and gross- but it’s not!  The amount of sugar substitutes currently out there are both plentiful and diverse. Spending time in the grocery aisle I routinely avoided was an eye-opener.  I had no idea that sugar-free baking could really actually work. I always thought people were kidding themselves and quietly weeping into their fake cookies “no this is really delicious guys, I swear” (siiighh).

I was so so wrong.  Using agave nectar for the pie filling actually tasted better and was a better consistency than white sugar. Also coconut sugar tastes exactly like brown sugar-so it was perfect for the crisp topping.   These conversion charts were very helpful.

Ingredients:

Crust:

gluten-free pie crust mix (this kind)
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp light cream
1/2 cup butter
rice flour (for kneading ze dough)

Filling: 

16 oz frozen blueberries
12 oz fresh cranberries
2/3 cup agave nectar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon

*based on this recipe

Topping:

1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup gluten-free oats
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Mix egg yolk and cream, set aside.  Put pie crust mix and butter in a medium bowl. With an electric mixer, beat at low speed until blended. Add egg mix and continue to beat at low speed until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.  Form into a ball and place on a sheet.  Using a rolling pin and a few pinches of rice flour, smooth dough using even strokes, until pie crust  forms a circle approximately 12 inches wide. Place dough in a 9 inch pie pan. Set aside.

2.  Combine all filling ingredients in large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and begins to boil, stirring occasionally, 12 to 14 minutes. Continue to boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Take off heat. Set aside.

3. Mix topping ingredients together, stirring in the melted butter last.  Now it’s time to put the pie together!

4. Pour filling onto crust, then sprinkle topping over filling- ensure that berries are completely covered.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Cool on rack. Best if eaten within 3 days.

 

 

 

 

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!