Tag Archives: dessert

The Sweet Side of Barley

For the recipe to this variation of the traditional oatmeal cookie, visit us at our new location http://bit.ly/9JpLcM


Leave a comment

Filed under baked goods, dessert, Recipes

Sweet and Savory Saturday – Star Spangled 4th of July Fruit Platter

Celebrate the 4th of July with this simple patriotic display of fruit and cheese.

Simply patriotic – that’s the message conveyed by this quick and easy way to present fruit and cheese during your 4th of July celebration this year. Choose from an array of your favorite fresh fruits that naturally boast the colors of our great flag and serve them with a sweet and tangy lemon-coconut dip (recipe below) for that extra kick.  Complete the array by adding bite-sized cubes of different white cheeses, such as monterey jack, white cheddar, and mozzarella and you will have the perfect appetizer or after-dinner snack to serve to your guests.

Lemon-Coconut Fruit Dip


2 (6 ounce) containers of low-fat lemon yogurt

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

3 TBS candied lemon peel

1 TBS honey

ground nutmeg (for garnish)


Combine yogurt, sour cream, and honey in small bowl.  Fold in lemon peel and coconut flakes.  Garnish with a sprinkle of ground nutmeg.  Transfer to serving tray.

What is your favorite way to celebrate the 4th of July?  Share with us, we want to know?


Leave a comment

Filed under 4th of July, dessert, easy meals, fruit, healthy food, picnic recipes, Recipes

A Box of Strawberry Cake Mix and a Little Imagination!

A box of strawberry cake mix and a little imagination equals "Gracie Cakes."

We are always experimenting with recipes at my house.  We like to try different flavor combinations and textures.  Cooking and baking together as a family is something that I have done with my children since they were toddlers.  It is an activity that they thoroughly enjoy.  Even when we are away from the kitchen they think about different recipes that we can try the next time we cook.  Earlier this week, my daughter handed me a recipe that she came up with for strawberry cupcakes.  Although her measurements were a bit off (2 TBS of salt makes for one salty cupcake!), her flavor combination – strawberry, orange, and vanilla- was quite remarkable.  After a few tweaks to measurements and a few additions of healthier ingredients we devised a doable and tasty recipe that would be a great dessert for a 4th of July celebration.

Recipe for Gracie Cakes (Crumb-Topped Strawberry Cupcakes)


1 box of strawberry cake mix (reserve 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup unbleached whole-wheat flour

3/4 cup egg whites

1 TBS dried orange peel

1/2 TBS pure vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal

1 cup water

1/3 cup reduced-fat or nonfat sour cream

crumb topping (recipe below)*


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray mufiin tin wells with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.  Combine strawberry cake mix (minus 1/2 cup to be reserved for crumb topping), whole-wheat flour, baking powder, salt, orange peel, and flaxseed meal in large bowl.  Add egg whites, sour cream, water, and vanilla.  Blend on medium-low until combined.  Fill muffin tin wells 2/3 full with batter.  Spoon 1 TBS per well of crumb mixture on top of batter.  Bake in oven for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Yield: about 20 cupcakes.

*Crumb Topping Ingredients:

1/2 cup strawberry cake mix

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 TBS sugar

1 TBS orange peel

1/3 cup trans-fat free margarine, melted

Crumb Topping Preparation:

In a small bowl, combine cake mix, graham cracker crumbs, orange peel, and sugar.  Add melted margarine.  Mix until margarine is incorporated.  Mixture will be crumbly.

Do you have a great dessert idea for the 4th of July?  Share with us, we want to know!


1 Comment

Filed under 4th of July, baked goods, cupcakes, dessert, Recipes, strawberries

Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA – Easy Father’s Day Dessert

A broiled peach topped with reduced-fat ice cream makes for a healthier, yet sweetly satisfying, dessert.

I decided to get a little “peachy” with the Father’s Day dessert this year.  My choice? Broiled peaches with reduced-fat vanilla ice cream.  Why? I wanted to make something that could be prepared in individual servings to prevent overindulging on leftovers later (as would happen with me and a pie).  Yet, I wanted the dessert to be satisfying enough that there wasn’t a residing feeling of being “cheated” out of dessert.

I used my Evincii/PICKKA “Eat This?” app for the iPhone to help me find the right ice cream and granola for my goals.  My first choice for ice cream fell into the “Not Too Bad” category.  I wasn’t pleased with this.  I wanted an ice cream that fell into a healthier category because the main course would be higher in calories because of the special occasion.  Therefore, I used the “View Healthy Alternatives” option of the app and found an ice cream that was categorized as a “Good Choice.”  Next, I used my “Eat This?” app to find granola.  My choice fell in the “OK Choice,” but I saw on my app that three other consumers gave it a five star taste rating.  Because only 1 tsp would be served to each individual, I decided it was an acceptable choice, especially since other purchasers indicated it was tasty.

I decided to use fresh peaches, rather than canned.  Although most of the recipes that I have come across for broiled peaches require you to sprinkle sugar and/or butter on the peach halves prior to broiling, I decided against it.  I chose to rely on the natural sweetness of the peaches combined with the creaminess of the ice-cream to give appeal to this dessert.  Therefore, I broiled the peaches “au natural.”  Here is how I prepared the dessert:


  • 3 medium ripe peaches, cut in half, pits removed, and skin left on (use more peaches if serving more than 6 people; figure a 1/2 peach per person)
  • Reduced-fat vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt (enough for one scoop per person)
  • Reduced-fat Granola (1 tsp per person)
  • Cinnamon (enough for garnish)
  • Honey (about 1/2 TBS per person)


Preheat the broiler.  Wash and pat dry peaches.  Carefully slice each peach in half and remove the pit.  Place peaches, cut-side up, on broiler pan lined with aluminum foil.  Place in the oven about 3 inches from the heat.  Cook until juices start to bubble and peaches are browned (about 3-5 minutes).  Remove from the oven.  Let cool for 3-5 minutes.  Place peaches on individual dessert plates.  Scoop reduced-fat vanilla ice cream on top of each peach half.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and granola.  Drizzle honey over the top.  Serve immediately.

What will you be serving for dessert this Father’s Day?  Will you use your “Eat This?” app to help you find the right ingredients?  Share with us, we want to know!



Filed under dessert, easy meals, Eat This?, Father's Day, Father's Day Dessert, fruit, gourmet, healthy food, homemade meals, low-fat, men, PICKKA, Recipes

Last Minute Dessert Idea for Memorial Day!

A store-bought angel food cake garnished with fresh raspberries and homemade icing is an easy, low-fat dessert option for Memorial Day.

Do you need a quick and easy dessert dish that is on the healthy side for Memorial Day?  Try this recipe using a store bought angel food cake, sliced almonds, and fresh raspberries.


1 store-bought angel food cake

1/2 pint (or enough for garnish) of fresh raspberries

1/4 cup sliced almonds

favorite homemade icing recipe (or use one below)


Remove angel food cake from carton and place upside down on a serving plate.  Drizzle icing over the top and down the sides of the cake.  Sprinkle sliced almonds on top of the cake.  Garnish the top and bottom of the cake with fresh raspberries.  Serve.                                                                            Yield: approximately 8 slices.

Quick Vanilla Icing Recipe

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 TBS corn starch

1 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 TBS vanilla

2-3 TBS boiling water

Combine sugar, corn starch, and cream of tartar in a medium-sized bowl.  Add vanilla.  Add boiling water, 1 TBS at a time, stirring in between additions until smooth.  Icing should be thick in consistency and slowly flow off of a spoon dipped in it and then lifted.


1 Comment

Filed under fruit, healthy food, healthy picnic ideas, low-fat, Memorial Day, picnic recipes, Recipes

Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA – A Light and Fresh Dessert For Memorial Day

Cream-filled Dessert Cakes with Fresh Fruit.

Memorial Day is fast approaching.  As is the case with many families on this day of remembrance, my family and I like to celebrate with a special meal that includes an after-dinner dessert.  I usually bake these special occasion desserts from scratch.  But, this year, I will be leaving for a trip shortly after our celebration; therefore, I need to make something that doesn’t require a lot of time.

I want to make a dessert that will be fresh and light.  My choice is to make Cream-filled Dessert Cakes with Fresh Fruit. I know I can buy pre-made ingredients (e.g., mini dessert cake shells) for this dessert to help me save time in preparation.  Because I want this dessert to be lower in fat, I have chosen to use my Evincii/PICKKA’s Eat This? app for the iPhone to help me find ingredients that meet my health goals.

Store bought mini dessert cake shells decrease preparation time.

Thanks to my “Eat This?” app, I was able to find pudding mix that fell within the “Alright Choice” range and the remaining ingredients in the “Very Good Choice” category.  Here is how to make a low-fat version of Cream-filled Dessert Cakes with Fresh Fruit:


3.4 ounce package of fat-free instant vanilla pudding

3/4 cup low-fat sour cream

2 cups fat-free whipped topping, thawed

12 pre-made mini dessert cake shells

flaxseed meal* (enough to garnish tops of cakes)

pre-made strawberry glaze (found in baking aisle next to canned fruit pie fillings)

fresh blueberries (or your favorite type of berries)


In a medium-sized bowl, combine sour cream and instant pudding mix (see picture).

Once combined, the sour cream/pudding mixture should resemble this.

Next, blend in two cups of thawed whipped topping at medium speed until smooth.

Blend whipped topping into sour cream/pudding mixture until smooth.

Fill cake shells with cream mixture.  Sprinkle flaxseed meal to garnish.  Top each cream-filled cake with 3 blueberries.  Next, pipe strawberry glaze over dessert to decorate (Tip: Fill plastic sandwich bag with glaze.  Seal top and cut tip off of one of the bag’s bottom corners.  Gently squeeze glaze onto dessert).  Makes 12 mini Cream-filled Dessert Cakes with Fresh Fruit.  Keep chilled until ready to serve.

*flaxseed meal can be replaced by wheat germ or chopped nuts.



Filed under health, healthy food, low-fat, picnic recipes