Category Archives: Desserts

BAKED APPLES

Tomorrow my church is hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for international students from a local college. Many of those students don’t know what Thanksgiving is and have never eaten or seen a turkey. Many of the men and women in the church will spend time tomorrow cooking food for students from all over the world. My mother and I started tonight and will finish tomorrow. I am cooking baked apples and she will be cooking a huge broccoli casserole in the morning.
My baked apples taste like apple pie but without the crust.

 Sorry left the cinnamon out of my picture.

Ingredients
2 sticks butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
1 giant can apples in water (104 oz)

Open apples and pour into colander to drain. In a sauce pan over medium low heat melt margarine and both sugars. Once most of the sugar has dissolved add the cinnamon. Turn heat up to medium and allow to come to a slow boil while stirring constantly. Do not leave the pan while sugars are dissolving you can burn the sugar very easily. When all sugar is dissolved remove from heat and add vanilla and stir well.

Set sugar mixture aside. Sort through apples, they will have some peeling or pieces of core left on some slices. You will want to cut those off.

Pour the sugar mixture over the apples.

 Stir apples to coat well.

Refrigerate apples overnight.

Tomorrow I will put the apples in the crock pot and cook them on low for 4-6 hours.
They are delicious with vanilla ice cream or just by themselves.

I will take a picture of the finished product tomorrow as well as my mothers broccoli casserole. I cannot wait to hear how many international students attended the dinner and how many different country’s we introduced to Thanksgiving and turkey.

NOTE: Yes, this is not a healthy recipe. But I wanted to share it because it is a easy recipe to make when cooking for a large crowd or pot luck meal.

FRUIT SMOOTHIES

Forget paying a insane 4.00 to 6.00 for a fruit smoothie at some mega chain restaurant/store. Plus, it is not just the price that might hurt you, the ingredient list for some of those smoothies may make you gain weight without even drinking one. Now don’t get me wrong I love me a good smoothie and I am sadly addicted to the mango-pineapple one at McDonald’s. If I could make one at home that tasted anything like it I would, but so far I have not been able to master that one. I will keep trying though, because maybe I can make it guilt free and have it more often. For now I get one occasionally as a treat.

Now for my homemade guilt-free smoothie. And yes I am using my favorite little GE Rocket Blender

Ingredients:
Frozen fruit (your choice) strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, mango, banana, raspberry, peach, blackberry.
1/2 c yogurt (Vanilla or honey – low fat or Greek)
1/3 c pineapple juice (or approx. 1/3 of a small can)
1 Tbsp Agave nectar
Light Vanilla Soy Milk

I fill the blender cup about 2/3 full of frozen fruit (my fave combo is strawberry and pineapple), then add the yogurt, juice and nectar and enough soy milk to bring it to the fill line on the cup. Then blend for about 10-15 seconds. Remove the blender cup and shake it up to help the fruit to move down to the blades and blend again for about 15-20 more seconds – this usually will be enough. When doing smoothies I do recommend that you blend in short intervals because the blender does seem to want to overheat if you blend too long.

I make these smoothies as a treat after supper and sometimes as part of my breakfast.

Notice my much clearer pictures? I have been using my phone to snap the pictures because it is just so much easier than using my big bulky Nikon when cooking. I just got a new phone with an amazing 8mp camera on it.

Note: Check your Agave before you buy it. Some brands are not 100% Agave. Some have added sugars to them. So check the ingredients list for anything other that Agave listed. The Florida Crystals brand in the picture above only lists Agave.

CHOCOLATE EXPLOSION MUFFINS

This recipe is a variation of a low-fat muffin/cupcake recipe that has been around for a while. There are only 2 ingredients in the original recipe – Cake mix of your choice and 1 15oz can 100% pumpkin puree. You mix the 2 together and fill your muffin cups and bake. Most people use spice cake or carrot cake as those seem to work best with the pumpkin. And I agree as I have tried making all kinds of muffins from that recipe and unless you have a cake mix that can over power the pumpkin then you can taste it. I have always wanted to make a yummy chocolate version, but no matter the cake mix brand or chocolate flavor I use the pumpkin is still there. So I started to experiment with adding things to it and finally combined parts of 2 different recipes to come up with a very chocolate-y tasting muffin. I made two batches this time because I only had a large 29oz pumpkin puree. I also had two different cake mixes, however, both were a version of chocolate.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Ingredients:
1 box of your favorite chocolate cake mix
1 15oz can 100% pure pumpkin puree (be careful not to get the pumpkin pie mix)
2 snack cups fat free chocolate pudding
2 envelopes Swiss Miss diet hot chocolate
4 Tbsp mini chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix everything together. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray and fill each cup to almost full. Put muffins in oven and bake for time on box (each brand differs in time, but there should be a bake time for muffins as well as cake) Approx. 15-18 minutes. 1 box of cake mix will make 12 muffins.

For my muffins I had the milk chocolate cake mix in the picture above and a red velvet cake mix. So this was an experiment for the red velvet to see if it would remain red and taste super chocolate-y and it did. You can eat these as a dessert or do like we do and have them for breakfast.

FROZEN YOGURT SHAKES

Looks like I am sharing 2 recipes tonight. I have been craving a milk shake lately so I decided to make my own. It’s not something I would eat every night or every other night. This is a treat to have once in a while…moderation is key.

You can take this same recipe and make almost any flavor shake you might be craving. Tonight we had peanut butter. Next time I might go for peach….I was good this summer and did not once go to Chick-fil-a for a peach milk shake. But I am still craving one.

Here is how I made the shakes tonight.

Using my GE Rocket

Ingredients
3 scoops Ice cream or Froyo (frozen yogurt)
1/2 – 3/4 c Soy milk or skim milk (depends how thick you want it)
1 T (heaping) peanut butter – wish I had some healthier peanut butter, but we had several big jars of Peter Pan when we started dieting…we need to get rid of them and then worry about some good natural peanut butter – preferably the no stir kind.
I used yogurt tonight, if you use ice cream check the label – get something lower in fat and calories – the slow churn ice creams often have less than ones sold as low fat or light. My vanilla froyo above only has 90 calories for a 1/2 c serving – yes that is a small serving, but you don’t need a lot for a shake.

I don’t really measure since I use the cups that go with my blender, so the measurements are a guess-timate. And I do make the shakes a little thin/runny I would prefer them thick, but that means using more higher fat items. I filled my cup about halfway to the fill line with Silk, then put in about 3 scoops froyo and 1 heaping Tbs of peanut butter and blended until smooth. Putting the milk in first will help it blend, if you put the froyo in first it tends to stick to the bottom, which becomes the top when inverted to blend.
I wanted just plan old peanut butter milk shake so i used the vanilla froyo, my parents wanted the chocolate froyo.
Next time I try this, I think I might get peach froyo and add some frozen peaches to it.

Blogging and enjoying my treat.