Mixed-Berry Cream Parfaits

Usually for breakfast I’ll have a bowl of Fiber cereal or a container of yogurt.  But I had some frozen mixed berries on hand, bought some yogurt and a box of the granola cereal and had a craving for a parfait.  So here it is!  Quick.  Easy.  Tasty.

Ingredients

3/4 cup of frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries) thawed

3/4 cup low fat Vanilla Yogurt

1/4 cup of granola (I used cereal)

This is super easy to make but I couldn’t pass on sharing it.  I had this for breakfast the other day and loved it.

Put the fruit in the bottom of a glass/cup, pour the yogurt over the fruit and top with the granola.

Nothing fancy, smancy about this.  Just a fun thing to have for breakfast or a dessert.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking  ; )

Gotta love this quick, put together, good tasting nummes!  (Yep, I said nummy!!)

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Lemon Meringue Pie

I wanted to make some little mini lemon pies in my new tart pans, but it didn’t happen to work out that way.  I just so happened to have an extra box of pie crust in the fridge so I made a whole pie instead of the mini pies.  The reason is because  I “assumed” the pie crusts would stand up against the tart pans or possibly rise, but it didn’t, the almost fell flat.  So I rolled out the new crust and put it a pan and came up with a pretty pie!

 

Ingredients list

  • 1 cup – Domino® Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 cup – cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp – salt
  • 1 1/2 cups – boiling water
  • 3 – eggs, separated (reserve whites for meringue)
  • 2 tsp – finely grated lemon rind
  • 1/3 cup – lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
  • 2 Tbs – butter or margarine
  • 1 – baked 8-inch pie crust or 6 tartlet crusts
  • 1/8 tsp – salt
  • 1/8 tsp – cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup – sugar

Instructions

In medium saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar, cornstarch and 1/4 tsp salt. Gradually stir in water and cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes, until mixture is clear and thickened. Remove from heat.

Combine egg yolks, rind and juice; stir into hot mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes longer. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Pour into crust or divide evenly among individual tartlets. Preheat oven to 350°F. In large glass or metal bowl, beat egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar until stiff and glossy peaks form. Swirl meringue over pie. Bake 12 to 14 minutes until golden.

My other “Girl” isn’t a fan of lemons, but you could switch it up and use lime instead!!  Hint, hint Jodi!

I think I may have cut the pie a bit too soon.  The lemon curd didn’t settle quite enough, but it tastes just fine!

Craig happened to bring home Apple Crust and offered some to Caleb.  I asked Caleb to choose between my pie and Craig’s pie.  Ok so he chose Craig’s, but that’s because he likes to make side with Craig.

Either way, this is good pie.  I ate only half a piece!  Only because I’m trying to be good!

Happy baking and cooking!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source

Domino Sugar

Raspberry M&M Bars

 

I was in the mood to have some chocolate chip cookies.  I just so happened to be at the store the other day and saw Raspberry M&Ms right before my eyes.  Then I thought to myself that bars would be a better choice with those bright pink pieces of candy.  I haven’t even tried these M&M’s before but thought you can’t go wrong with Raspberry anything.  Or candy if you ask me!!!

I found this pretty basic recipe for the bars and here they are.  Pretty, dang, good.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vanilla or white chips
  • 1-3/4 cups plain M&M’s, divided

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Bear in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in chips and 1 cup of M&M’
  • Spoon into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan; spread evenly in pan. Sprinkle with the remaining M&M’s. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield: 2 dozen.

Cookie bars are good for just about any occasion.  I have no special occasion other than I wanted to eat some!  I’ve been doing really well this past week so we are due for a good, sweet treat.  These M&Ms are the best!  I’d have another one if it wasn’t near 10:30pm…not supposed to eat this late.  But they are really good.  The picky man says so too.  Of course he loves the sweets!

We enjoyed these with some fruit smoothies tonight!

Happy Baking.

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 each) equals 232 calories, 10 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 32 mg cholesterol, 128 mg sodium, 34 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking  😉

Source

Taste of Home

Orange Chocolate Mousse

I have no idea how I came across this website that had desserts with artificial sweeteners.  I really don’t.  I do know that I haven’t switched out my sugar as of yet and may not, but this sounded so good I couldn’t not make it.   Click on the link below under source and you’ll find amazing recipes that are low carbs.

I’ve been making healthy milkshakes or smoothies with dinner a lot lately, so when I gave these to the kids, they thought they were supposed to drink it!  They started to lick the whipped cream off the top.  When I saw then doing that I told them, hello, this is a dessert, not our dinner drink.  Gave me a little smile.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1/2 Tbsp. orange extract

Add all ingredients into a deep mixing bowl. Mix with electric mixer until stiff. Spoon into 4 ramekins. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with artificially sweetened whipped cream if you like.

This is a great dessert or an after dinner snack.  Light and fluffy.  Oh my goodness we’ve been eating well in our house lately thanks to all of these awesome findings online!

This couldn’t have been more simple to make.  No baking involved, which means less of a chance of me having to re-make it!!  ; )

Makes 4 servings

Enjoy your desserts

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source

Low Carb Luxury

Canadian Bacon Pizza Monkey Bread

I was looking this past weekend for dinner ideas again and somehow found this awesome recipe that originated from Annie’s Eats.  Annie makes hers in baking dish, but site that I got this from used a bundt pan.  And I know the kids would have more fun putting this in a funky pan than just using a cake pan.  Get ready to have yourself some fun!

I made some slight changes to the recipe, but followed pretty close.

Ingredients

  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  • garlic salt
  • 2 cans of Pillsbury Pizza dough
  • 6 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes (you’ll need ~48 pieces) (I used fat free)
  • package of canadian bacon
  • 2-3 cups marinara sauce, warmed, for serving

Instructions

Spray bundt pan with cooking oil and sprinkle pan with garlic salt.

Pull off large marble-sized balls of dough and flatten (~2/3 of an ounce, a kitchen scale makes this very easy). Top with a slice of canadian bacon and cube of mozzarella.

 

Wrap the dough around the canadian bacon and cheese, pinching well to seal.

Very lightly spray the pizza balls and sprinkle with more garlic salt and place into the bundt pan.

Repeat until all of the dough is used.

Cover and let sit for 30 minutes, while preheating the oven to 400.

Bake for ~35 minutes, until the top is very brown.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes.

Turn out onto a platter and serve with warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

When I bring the kids in the kitchen with me to cook, it has to be something they are going to enjoy making and have even more fun eating it!  And this came out of the oven prettier than ever.  The kids are quite proud of this one!!  Finding a nice little surprise in each bite is awesome to them (ok to me too!!).

Well done kids.  We will be making this again and again.  Even the picky eaters will like this one!!

Have an awesome day.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source

Jason and Shawnda

Peach Cobbler Tarts

 

Peach Cobbler Tarts.  Why?  Well, I’ve wanted to try something new with my tartlet pans and the first thing that came to mind were actually some mini apple pies.  I had some pre made pie crusts and apples in the fridge, how easy could that be?

But then I started thinking that’s playing it a bit safe.  And I’m trying to move away from being safe when it does to baking right??  Right!

I stumbled upon this recipe for some Peach Cobbler tarts.  I used a portion of the recipe from that site and then the tart crust from the Blueberry Tartlets that I made earlier this month.  I loved, loved the flavor of that crust.  The cobbler recipe called for drop biscuits.  I wasn’t planning on adding those until the last minute.

Peach Filling and Biscuit Topping:

1 pound sliced, peeled peaches (fresh or frozen, slightly thawed)

1/4 cup good quality peach preserves

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold heavy cream

2 tablespoons granulated sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

  1. For the crust please check out the Blueberry Tartlets from a previous post:

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons (about) chilled whipping cream
  • 1 large egg yolk

For crust:

Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor 5 seconds. Add butter and cut in, using on/off turns, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 2 tablespoons cream and egg yolk. Using on/off turns, blend until moist clumps form, adding more cream by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Shape dough into log. Cut crosswise into 8 equal rounds. Press each round over bottom and up sides of 3 3/4×3/4-inch tartlet pan with removable bottom. Pierce crusts with fork. Chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake tartlet crusts until lightly golden, pressing any bubbles with back of fork, about 15 minutes. Cool crusts completely on rack.

  1. For Peach Filling: In a food processor, pulse peaches and preserves until mixture is coarsely chopped. Place peach mixture in a medium saucepan; add the peach nectar, bourbon, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the consistency of jam, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake crust until light golden brown around edges and dry to touch, about 15 minutes. Transfer pan to rack to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Spread filling over crust, leaving a ¼-inch border around edge.
  3. For Biscuit Topping: In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender or fingertips cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in heavy cream, mixing until just combined. The dough will be slightly sticky, but manageable. Do not over work. Drop biscuit topping over peach filling. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until topping is light golden brown and fruit is bubbling. Transfer to wire rack and cool 30 minutes.
  4. To Serve: Remove sides of spring form pan. Cut tart into 8 wedges. Dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm or at room temperature. If desired, serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

The house smells amazing.  I think I say that anytime there is cinnamon added to any dish!  At this time of the day the kids are in bed so they didn’t get a chance to help me bake it or a chance to taste it fresh from the oven.  They will be asking for one when they walk in the door from school tomorrow, that much I know!!!

These cobbler tarts are amazingly good!  I am honestly not a sweet eater.  I love my candy, I love some soda, but I can pass on the cakes and pies over chips and salsa any day.  But these…these are really good.  I am so glad that I skipped over the mini apple pies and stumbled upon these.  I can’t say that these are on my sugar free friendly list.  I can say that I will eat one and be satisfied with that.  Be strong or indulge completely.  I will be strong while I do indulge!!

Try, try, try these.  They will not disappoint at all.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Sources

Food52

Epicurious

Is Sugar Addicting?

I recently posted 20 low sugar snacks that I got from iVillage.

I got another email this week with an article about sugar and if it’s addicting.  I know there are others out there that have the same concerns as I do.  These posts aren’t something that I’ve cooked, but they are ideas that give me and hopefully you things to think about when finding recipes or just shopping for food.

I’ve copied all pictures and statements from iVillage’s website.  None of these are my ideas.  May give me ideas on what to make next or not ; )

limit your daily intake of added sugars

 

There’s naturally occurring sugar — fructose in fruit and lactose in milk — and there are added sugars that areput into food and drinks during processing. According to the American Heart Association, women should have no more than 6 teaspoons per day of added sugar, which is 24 grams. Most of us get more than 22 teaspoons per day. “It’s not that sugar has to be avoided completely,” says Marisa Moore, a registered dietician based in Atlanta and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “You just need to be mindful that it’s added to many foods and beverages, and excess sugar can lead to weight gain.”

 

 

learn to spot the sugar on an ingredients list

 

Sugar goes by many different names. You may see it listed as brown sugar, turbinado sugar, raw sugar, evaporated cane juice, molasses, honey, corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates, agave nectar or barley malt syrup. You’ll also find sugars that end in “-ose” such as maltose or sucrose. Some foods may have more than one type of sugar listed. “They all impact blood glucose levels the same. The goal is to reduce all added sugar sources,” says Moore.

 

 

 

look beyond the nutrition label

 

In order to understand how much added sugar is in a food, you have to read the nutrition facts panel as well as the ingredients list. “The nutrition facts panel tells you how many total grams of sugar are in the food, but it doesn’t distinguish what’s a natural sugar versus what’s an added sugar,” says Constance Brown-Riggs, a registered dietician based in Massapequa, New York and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In addition, the higher up in the ingredients list, the more of that ingredient is contained in the food. A basic rule to limit the amount of added sugars: Look for foods that list sugars fifth or later in the ingredients.

 

get to know your food

 

Not all sugar is bad. “You have to become familiar with what’s natural sugar and what’s added,” says Moore. For example, fruit or 100 percent fruit juice is all sugar, but it’s naturally occurring. Dairy products such as skim milk list 12 grams of sugar but it’s naturally-occurring lactose. On the other hand, a can of soda may contain up to 35 grams of sugar and no nutrients.


 

 

watch for hidden sugar

 

You know sugar is in cakes, cookies, pies and candy. But added sugar also appears in foods where you might not expect it such as breads, tomato and barbecue sauces, salad dressings, marinades, nut butters, condiments such as ketchup, and canned fruit. It’s hiding in “healthy” foods, too. “Even whole-grain cereals may contain a lot of added sugar,” says Moore. Trail mix may seem healthy, but you’ve got to avoid those that contain candy pieces. Apple sauce may seem like a sensible snack, but you have to choose those that say “unsweetened” or “no added sugar.” Yogurt contains natural sugars, but it may also be loaded down with extra sugar if it’s a flavored variety.

 

be wary of beverages

 

Bottled lemonade, iced tea, iced coffee, protein, energy and some sports drinks typically contain enough added sugar to put you well over the recommended daily intake. “Some beverages may have 40 to 50 grams of sugar per serving,” says Moore. “That means you have to treat them as a dessert and splurge occasionally. They shouldn’t be a part of your daily diet.” If you’re looking for refreshment, get a plain iced tea or iced coffee and add a teaspoon of sugar, which is far less than bottled beverages contain. If you like the carbonation in a soft drink, try flavored sparkling water or plain seltzer with a drizzle of juice.

 

 

compare brands

When it comes to foods in cans, bottles, boxes, and bags, compare labels to find the brands with lower amounts of added sugar, says Brown-Riggs. Buy cereal with the least amount of sugar. Choose canned fruits without added sugar or heavy syrup. Look for low-sugar, no-sugar or all-fruit varieties of jams and jellies. For salad dressing, make a vinaigrette from pungent vinegars such as balsamic and citrus-flavored oils. At your next party, mix your favorite liquor with pureed fresh fruit instead of store-bought mixers. And be careful about fat-free and “light” foods — manufacturers often add sugar to compensate for the loss of flavor from fat.

add your own sweetness

If you crave sweetness, mix it in yourself. “You’ll add far less sugar than the manufacturer,” says Moore. For example, instead of buying prepackaged instant oatmeal, which may contain up to 13 grams of sugar, buy the plain variety. Add your own mix-ins such as dried cranberries or blueberries, mashed bananas, a drizzle of maple syrup or a pinch of brown sugar. If you add aromatic spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, you may not miss the sugar at all. You can also try alternative non-caloric sweeteners such as stevia or sucralose (Splenda).

monitor portions

Like everything else when it comes to nutrition, stick with a sensible portion, says Brown-Riggs. Use a small glass if you’re drinking juice or absolutely have to have a little soda. If sweets are your weakness, deprivation never works, so have a few bites of a small dessert, share with a friend or opt for natural sugars from frozen grapes or fresh pineapple. You can also reduce the amount of sugar in home-baked goods if you substitute unsweetened applesauce or pureed prunes for part of the sugar (you may have to experiment, but try reducing sugar by about 1/3 for starters).

give your taste buds time to adapt

You’re used to sugar in everything from cereal to pasta sauces, but you can learn to eat less sugar in time. Cut back gradually. For example, says Brown-Riggs, “if you typically use three teaspoons of sugar in your coffee, cut down to two, then one over a month’s time”. If you’re a regular soda drinker, reduce the number by one per week. In a matter of weeks you probably won’t even miss the sugar overload.

are you a sugar addict?

 

Can’t get enough sweet stuff? You could be addicted to sugar, says Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., author of the book Beat Sugar Addiction NOW! But realizing you’re hooked doesn’t mean you have to give sugar up.  Instead, Dr. Teitelbaum says, “You have to figure out what’s causing your sugar cravings, then treat that underlying cause. Not only will your sugar cravings go away, but you’ll feel dramatically better overall.” To find out where you stand, take the following quizzes (adapted from Beat Sugar Addiction NOW!) to see if you’re addicted to sugar and pinpoint your sugar addict type (from Quick-Fix Sugar Fanatic and Sweet Tooth Soother to Sugar Self Medicator and Hormonal Sugar Hunter). Then, learn the life-changing tips you need to feel better fast.

 

 

true or false?

My favorite jeans have gotten too tight over the past year.

true or false?

I’m generally not cranky, but when I am about to get my period I get the blues or feel really anxious.

true or false?

I find it very hard to say no to sweets that are offered to me.

true or false?

My go-to mood booster is usually ice cream, cookies, or something else I know I probably shouldn’t be eating.

true or false?

I try to slim down — but the scale won’t budge.

true or false?

I eat sweets or simple carbs (like bagels or white bread) at least three times a day.

true or false?

If I wait more than a few hours to eat, I get shaky and start to feel woozy.

how did you do? if you tallied up less than two “true” answers:

Congrats! While you like sweets as much as the next person, you munch sugar-filled foods in healthy moderation. Keep eating lots of good-for-you fare like produce and lean meat, limit yourself to one sweet a day and you’ll avoid the sluggishness, irritability and weight woes that can accompany sugar addiction, says Dr. Teitelbaum.

if you scored three or more “true” answers:

Daily cravings, snacking on sweet treats at all hours of the day, eating meals that are made of processed foods loaded with excess sugar: These are all signs that you’re a sugar addict, says Dr. Teitelbaum. But don’t worry, you can kick your sweet tooth so you have more energy, a better disposition and an easier time slimming down! Keep clicking to find out what’s causing your sugar addiction and learn super-simple ways to get your appetite and health back on track.

I’m not sure if I’m a sugar addict or not.  I love my jawbreakers, I love to have candy.  I love to make the sweet treats, but I can leave those out if needed.  My downfall is the candy.  And so when I’m at the store I get mad at them for putting those dang candy bars right in my sight where I have to stay strong so that I don’t put on in my cart.  Some times I do.  Most times I don’t.  We have a saying at work: Stay Strong or Indulge Completely.  I do indulge on some days.  And I believe that we all should.  (Now if you’re specifically told not to eat sugar, then please don’t use that statement as you should do so).  I am not on a major strict diet.  I do watch what I eat so that I can stay healthy and to be a good example for the kids.

There is a little quiz on the iVillage site after this portion to see what type of sugar addict you are.  If you interested in reading the full article, you can find it here:

iVillage

I hope these little posts I’ve been putting up have helped at least someone to think about what you’re putting in your body and to help you think before shopping and buying.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking