Red, White, and Blue Trifle

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In honor of the Olympics, I decided to make my red, white and blue trifle for dessert last night.  It’s so easy to make and I used all sugar free products so that I could have some.  This recipe uses lots of help from the grocery store but you can always make homemade versions instead of store bought. I end up using the pint of blueberries and a whole package of strawberries and I never add the banana.

This is also a nice dessert to make for the Fourth of July or any patriotic holiday.

Red, White, and Blue Trifle

1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 (4 ounce pkg.) cheesecake flavor instant pudding
1 (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
16 ounce frozen pound cake, thawed
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup sliced banana

Mix together the milk and pudding mix and beat with a wire whisk for 1-2 minutes or until well blended. Gently stir in the thawed Cool Whip.

In a trifle bowl or large glass bowl, layer half the cake cubes, half the fruit, and half of the pudding/Cool Whip mixture. Repeat layers, ending with pudding/Cool Whip mixture.

Chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Makes 12 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Raspberry Delight

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I was looking for a sugar-free, fat-free dessert after all the dessertiness of the holidays, and I found this in the recent issue of Kraft’s Food and Family magazine.  The recipe didn’t call for sugar-free, fat-free ingredients but I subbed them in and it worked great!  Even my full sugar, full fat loving DH couldn’t tell.

Now if, like lots of people, you don’t like Cool Whip, just sub in whipped whipping cream but just know that it will no longer be fat free.  You can alsochange the jello flavor and fruit to any you like.

This would be a terrific dessert in the heat of the summer!

Raspberry Delight

1 3 oz pkg sugar free raspberry jello
3/4 cup boiling water
2 cups frozen raspberries (do not tha)
1 cup fat free Cool Whip, thawed

Mix boiling water and the package of jello in a large bowl and stir until the jello is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes or so.

Stir the frozen fruit into the jello and keep stirring until jello starts to thicken. Add 1/2 cup of this mixture to the cool whip and stir until blended.

Spoon cool whip mixture into 4 dessert dishes and cover with the remaining jello mixture.

Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or until set.

Makes 4 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Winter Fruit Salad

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My house is so quiet today ~ I don’t like it one bit!  We had a great Christmas and I hope you did, too.  Lots of great food, that’s for sure.

I’ve been making this fruit salad for a long time.  It’s easy to make and I always make it a day ahead.  It’s our standard fruit salad for winter holiday breakfasts. I usually try to pick a large tart green apple and two sweet red apples. You can also add a couple of bananas, sliced, but I don’t because that’s not one of our favorite fruits.

Winter Fruit Salad

1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsps cornstarch
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
3-4 medium apples, chopped

Drain the pineapple, reserving 3/4 cup of the juice from the can.

In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Add the pineapple juice, the orange juice and the lemon juice and whisk until smooth.

Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbling; cook and stir for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a large serving bowl, combine all the fruits. Pour the sauce over the fruit and mix gently. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Makes 12-14 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Vanilla Tarts

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I had a bunch of the Fruit Salsa leftover from our party and I wanted to find a way to use it up that didn’t involve me eating it by the spoonful.

This recipe is very easy.  I think it would also taste yummy with lemon pudding instead of the vanilla.  I made half of the recipe but I am posting the entire recipe ~ it’s easy to make half the amount of tarts.

Vanilla Tarts

1 pkg Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
1 egg, beaten
1 box instant vanilla pudding (4 serving size)
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup fresh fruit or berries, cut-up if necessary

Heat oven to 375º and lightly grease 24 muffin pan cups.

Unfold one sheet of the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 9×12 rectangle. Cut into 12 (3 inch) squares. Repeat with other pastry sheet. Press the squares into the muffin pans. Brush with beaten egg.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the cups are puffed and golden. Remove from the cups and let pastry cool completely on wire racks.

Make the pudding with the above amount of milk according to pkg. directions. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Spoon 1 tbsp pudding into each tart shell and top with fruit. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. We also put sugar free whipped cream on some.

Makes 24 tarts.

Happy Cooking!

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

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I am sorry for the absence ~ I just haven’t been cooking anything exciting.

We did have our annual Christmas party this past Saturday so I’ll be posting some of those recipes ~ at least the ones I remembered to take pictures of.  I like to have at least one fruity appetizer on my table and this one is so good ~ I could just eat the fruit with a spoon!

This recipe can be found all over the internet with all kinds of ingredients.  I like this combination best.  I think this started out as a Pampered Chef recipe but I’m not positive.

Tomorrow I’ll post a recipe showing what I did with the leftover fruit salsa.

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Salsa:
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
1 large Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored, and diced
8 ounces raspberries
1 pound strawberries, washed, cored, and diced
2 tbsps white sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsps fruit preserves, any flavor (I used a blackberry, raspberry, blueberry combo)

Cinnamon Chips:
8 (10 inch) flour tortillas
butter flavored cooking spray
2/3 to 1 cup cinnamon sugar

In a large bowl, gently mix all the salsa ingredients together. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350º.

Coat one side of a flour tortilla with the spray and sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar. Cut into wedges with a pizza wheel. Carefully place wedges on a cookie sheet and spray the wedges again with the spray. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until crisp. Continue until all tortillas are used up. Let cool completely ~ about 15 minutes.

Serve with fruit salsa.

Makes at least 10-12 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Candy Apples

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A Halloween/County Fair staple when I was a kid, I much prefer candy apples over caramel apples.  Something about the hard, sweet coating and the tart apple underneath.  These aren’t hard to make but you do need a candy thermometer.  I made 6 smallish apples with this recipe (I used McIntosh).

Candy Apples

Candy Apples

6 smallish apples
6 skewers (I used cookie pop sticks by Wilton)

2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup (I used the less sugar kind)
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup cinnamon candies such as Red Hots

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using clean apples, stick the skewer in the stem end.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup and hot water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and then continue to cook until the thermometer reaches 250º. Add the cinnamon candies, stir briefly, and continue to cook until the thermometer reaches 280º.

Remove from the heat and stir so that the candy is smooth. Hold an apple by the skewere and dip in the candy and swirl to coat, tilting the pan as needed. Hold apple over pan so that excess candy can drip back in the pan. Repeat until all apples are covered.

Cool at room temperature. After about 24 hours they start to get a little wimpy so try to enjoy within 24 hours or store in the refrigerator for longer storage.

Makes 6 apples.

NOTE: The candy is HOT and will burn. This is really NOT A RECIPE FOR CHILDREN to help make.

To get the candy out of your pan, boil some water in the pan and then let it soak and the candy should melt and come right out.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Halloween!

My Signature

Apple Bundt Cake

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I was searching around the internet for fall-type recipes and came upon a blog called Fresh Approach Cooking .  There, I found this super yummy apple bundt cake recipe.  It is one of the most moist recipes I have ever made.  The brandy really gives it a great flavor.

You can add 1 cup pecans (or any nut) with the apples if you want.  I used 2 Granny Smith apples and 2 Fuji apples ~ both peeled.

Here is the link to the original recipe ~ Apple Bundt Cake

Apple Cake

Apple Bundt Cake

2 cups flour
2 tsps cinnamon
1 1/2 tsps nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
pinch of salt
1 cup of butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I used light brown but the author suggests dark)
4 large eggs
1/4 cup brandy
1 tsp baking soda mixed with 1 tbsp warm water
4 apples, cut into large chunks
1 cup nuts, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350º. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray and then sprinkle with white sugar.

Combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt together and set aside.

Using a mixer, beat butter until creamy. Then beat in the both sugars. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the brandy, baking soda and water. Stir in the flour mixture and then add the apples and nuts until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Let cake cool completely. It’s delicious with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Makes 12 servings.

Happy Cooking!

My Signature

Sugar-Free Blueberry Muffins

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These muffins are very good ~ I bet you won’t even miss the sugar especially if your blueberries are are nice and sweet.  The muffins were very easy to make and I’ll be making them again since I am trying to eat as little added sugar as possible.

The recipe calls for fresh orange or tangerine juice so I used Simply Orange Juice since that’s what we drink.  There is a notation on the recipe that says that using frozen juice will make the muffins bitter. The walnut oil adds a nice touch.

SF Blueberry Muffins

Sugar-Free Blueberry Muffins

1 3/4 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsps cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup walnut oil
3/4 cup fresh orange or tangerine juice
3 large eggs
2 cups fresh blueberries or unthawed frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 375º. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or use cupcake liners. I spray my liners with cooking spray, too, and it helps the papers to come off easily.

Combine the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt in a large bowl. I run a whisk through to combine it all.

In a measuring cup put the walnut oil and juice to equal 1 cup liquids.

Make a well in the flour mixture and break the eggs into the well and pour the liquids over the top. Mix all together for just about 1 minute until just combined. Using a spatula, fold in blueberries.

Spoon the bater into the muffin pan, filling cups to the rim. The recipe said it made 10 muffins but I was able to make 12. If you have some empty cups, fill halfway with water so the muffins bake evenly.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean. Do not overbake or the muffins will be dry.

Remove pan from oven and let cool on a rack for 5-20 minutes then remove muffins to a rack to cool to room temperature.

Store extra muffins in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Happy Cooking!

My Signature

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars

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Strawberry and rhubarb is such a great combination and these bars are a very good way to use them.  They are easy to make but you do have to make the filling up first and let it col some before proceeding with the recipe.  I subbed Splenda blend for the sugar and left off the drizzle.

Straw & Rhubarb Bars CW

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars

Filling:
1 1/2 cups fresh rhubarb, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Splenda blend or 1/2 cup regular sugar
2 tbsps cornstarch

Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/1 2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Drizzle:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk, use more (1 tsp at a time) if needed

Combine the rhubarb, strawberries and lemon juice in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 8 to 12 minutes or until the fruit is tender.

In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup Splenda (or 1/2 cup sugar) and the cornstarch and stir this in the fruit mixture in teh pan. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a full boil (about 1 minute). Continue boiling until fruit is thickened. Removed form heat and set aside to cool.

Heat oven to 350º.

Combine all crust ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at low speed until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture aside. Press remaining crumb mixture onto the bottom of the a greased 13×9 pan. Spread cooled filling over the crust and then sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture over the top.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Combine drizzle ingredients and drizzle over cooled bars. Cut into squares.

Makes 36 bars.

Happy Cooking!

My Signature

Raspberry Coffeecake

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My very favorite berries are raspberries.  I’ve been known to buy a package and eat the whole thing in one sitting.  They are just so good.

This is another cheaters coffeecake using crescent rolls for the dough.  It’s not hard to make but takes a bit of time.  It makes a large coffeecake so this would be good if you are having weekend company.  I adapted the recipe from the Pillsbury website and used low fat cream cheese, Splenda blend and low fat crescent roll dough.

Raspberry Coffeecake CW

Raspberry Coffeecake

Cake:
2 (8 ounce) cans crescent rolls
1 tsp sugar or Splenda blend

Filling:
1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar or 2 tbsps Splenda blend
2 tsps grated orange peel
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 pint fresh raspberries

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp butter, softened
2 tsps orange juice

Heat oven to 350º.  Spray a pizza pan with cooking spray.

Separate dough into 16 triangles; reserve 4 triangles for the top of the coffeecake. On prepared pizza pan, arrange 12 triangles in a circle with the points to the center, leaving a hole in the center. Press dough to form a ring, pressing the perforations together to seal. Fold outer and center edges up 1/4 inch.

In a bowl, combine all the filling ingredients except for the raspberries and mix well. Very gently stir in the raspberries (try not to break them up). The mixture is fairly thin. Spoon mixture over the prepared crescent dough.

With scissors, but the reserved triangles into thirds. Put the 1 tsp sugar on a plate and press each third into the sugar (you may need more sugar). Arrange pieces into a spoke fashion on top of the filling; carefully pressing to seal at the center and the edges.

Bake at 350º for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Mine took 25 minutes exactly. Cool for 10 minutes.

While cooling, mix up the glaze by combining all the ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over the top of cooled coffeecake. Serve warm.

Makes 12 servings.

Happy Cooking!

My Signature