Monday, September 1, 2014

Light Whipped Fruit Mousse Parfait

HAPPY LABOR DAY!

This recipe is an oldie but a goodie.  We used to always make this as a pie with a low fat graham cracker crust.  Now with so many of us not eating carbs we have adapted this family favorite to a yummy, refreshing mousse parfait.  This is great for a BBQ dessert or to serve at a Brunch in the summertime.  I've also served the mousse in a large bowl with graham crackers for dipping for those who want to have some carbs ;)

Ingredients:

1 box sugar free strawberry Jello (or any other flavor you like)
2 containers of light strawberry yogurt (or any flavor to match your Jello choice)
1 tub of light cool whip, defrosted in the refrigerator
1/4 cup water, boiling

Preparation:

Dissolve Jello with 1/4 cup of boiling water.  In a large bowl add the yogurt and the dissolved Jello and mix to combine.  Once combined, add the entire tub of cool whip and fold in until thoroughly incorporated.   Assemble into a parfait by alternating whipped cream with each layer of fruit mouse. Top with fresh fruit and then refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours but I prefer overnight.  Serve cold. 

Make other flavors if you want to have a colorful, multi layered parfait.  For this parfait we used strawberry and orange/peach - Great combination!

Orange/Peach: Orange Jello and Peach yogurt
Lime: Lime Jello and Key Lime yogurt
Lemon: Lemon Jello and Lemon yogurt
Raspberry: Raspberry Jello and Raspberry yogurt

Really the flavor combinations are endless!




Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cups



Happy Labor Day
I saw this super simple "recipe" on an episode of the Pioneer Woman.  My son begged me to make them.  Really so simple, just 3 ingredients and what could be yummier than ice cream and Oreos? Great little treat to keep in the fridge for the kids.  You can find the original recipe here.

Ingredients:
2 pints of vanilla ice-cream, slightly softened
1 package of Oreo cookies
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preparation:
In a food processor pulse 15 Oreo cookies until they are small crumbs. Add melted butter to cookies crumbs and mix until combined.  Press a tablespoon of the cookie mixture into the bottom of each muffin tin and press up the side.  Freeze until set, about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile take 8-10 more Oreos and put in food processor and pulse into crumbs.  Put softened vanilla ice-cream in a large bowl and add cookie crumbs and mix to combine.  Spoon ice-cream mixture into each muffin cup on top of cookie crumb crust.  Top with some extra crushed Oreos and place muffin tin in the freezer overnight to set.  I used a silicone muffin tin which made it very easy to pop out each ice cream cup.  Pop out cups and store in a ziploc bag in the freezer.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies


There is nothing better than a good classic peanut butter cookie.  I always loved to make these when I was young and not much has changed.   You can add chocolate chips or nuts and even oatmeal to this recipe but I always just prefer them plain.....simple and delicous!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus a small bowl of extra sugar for finishing cookies)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup flour

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl cream together softened butter and peanut butter.  Beat in both sugars until light, about 2 minutes.  Beat in egg and vanilla until incorporated evenly.  Add salt, baking soda and flour and beat until just combined.

On a prepared cookie sheet (lined and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray) Roll dough into small balls and place 1/2 inch apart.   Using the back of a fork first dipped in water and then dipped in granulated sugar, gently flatten each dough ball and make a crosshatch pattern.  (press fork down in one direction and then lift up.  Then press fork down in other direction across the lines to make pattern).  

Bake for 10 minutes until cookies are slightly browned on edges.  Let cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet.  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lemon Zucchini Muffins with Lemon Glaze


We just returned from spending the summer in sunny California!  What a nice extended vacation.  We stayed with my Aunt who has the most fabulous fruit trees in her backyard.  How nice to go out and pick a lemon, orange or apple anytime we wanted.  I use lemons ALL the time when I cook and bake so this was just super convenient.  Also since it was so nice and hot where we were and you pick the lemons fresh off the tree you get this warm very juicy piece of fruit to use which was so easy to extract juice from.  The kids made fresh lemonade a few times which they absolutely LOVED.  The recipe that I made, Lemon Zuchinni Bread was super delicious and light and refreshing.  The perfect summer treat.

Beautiful Lemon Tree



Ingredients:

1 c grated Zucchini
Zest of 1 lemon
2 TB lemon juice
1 c sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk (or scant 1/2 c of milk with 1 TB lemon juice mixed in)
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tap salt



Lemon icing
1 c powdered sugar
2 TB lemon juice
1 TB milk

Preparation:

For cake mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) together and set aside

In large bowl beat eggs, add sugar and oil and mix until combined.  Next add buttermilk and lemon juice and lemon zest. Fold in grated Zuchinni.

Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until well combined.

Pour into prepared lined muffin tins to make muffins or a greased loaf pan to make a cake.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 min for muffins or 40-45 min for loaf pan.

For the icing combine powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk together.  Drizzle over warm cake.

Enjoy!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Coconut Macaroons



I make these cookies A LOT!  They are a big hit everywhere I bring them.  If you are a fan of coconut, these are the cookies for you! It's one of those recipes that I don't need to bother measuring anymore and it always comes out delicious.  The trick is to let them get pretty dark and toasted and then the sugar and coconut will caramelize on the bottom of the cookie......so good!

Ingredients:

cups sweetened coconut
½ cup sugar
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt

Preparation:

Line a baking sheet with a silpat baking liner or parchment paper. Mix together all ingredients in a medium bowl until moistened. With damp hands form small haystack shapes on prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until cookies are golden brown. Let cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack. They are also delicious if you dip the bottoms in melted chocolate. Just let harden well before packing up.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wheat Free Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies


I've been trying to eat wheat free as much as possible and the hardest part is dessert.  I still need something sweet to eat every once in awhile.  These cookies are the perfect sweet bite and only 5 ingredients.   Now I have to try not to eat them ALL by myself!  So if you like bananas, chocolate and almonds these little cookies are just for you!

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups almond meal (almond flour)
1/3 cup almond butter
1/4 chocolate chips (extra minis for garnish, optional)
1 tablespoon coconut sugar (also optional - I like the added sweetness)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In medium bowl, mash bananas.  Add almond butter and stir to combine.  Next add almond meal, coconut sugar and chocolate chips and mix until incorporated.   On lined cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray drop cookie batter using two teaspoons.  Sprinkle the tops with mini chocolate chips if desired.  Bake for 22 minutes until cookies are slightly browned on top and bottom.  Let cool completely before serving.  Enjoy!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Red Velvet Cake Dip Ball


Here's another fantastic, delicious dessert dip!  What's better than Red Velvet?  This one is really fantastic.  It was the most popular one I served at my New Year's Eve party and a HUGE hit with the adults.  You can serve anything with this dip, pretzels, graham crackers, cookies etc.  I love pretzels with it, something about the sweet and salty aspect of that combo is a winner with me.


Ingredients:

1 package (8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups red velvet cake mix,dry
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar 
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Vanilla Wafers, pretzels, graham crackers, or other cookies for dipping
 
Preparation:
 
In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer beat the cream cheese and butter together until combined. Add in the Red Velvet cake mix, brown sugar, and powdered sugar and beat until combined.   Mixture will seem extremely dry and you will think it will never get creamy but I assure you it will.  Just keep beating it together and have patience.

Place the mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap.  Bring up all the corners of the plastic wrap and wrap into a ball.  Refrigerate the ball for about 1 hour or until it is firm enough to keep its shape.  You can also put it in the freezer for quicker results.

Place the rainbow sprinkles on a flat plate and roll the unwrapped cheese ball in the sprinkles.  Make sure to press the sprinkles into the cheese ball until it is fully covered.
 
Place the ball on a serving dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.  The cheese ball will be very firm straight out of the refrigerator so let stand for about 10-15 min before serving.  Also you may want to place a few small spreaders on the platter to make it easier to serve.