Apricot Bites with Goat Cheese and Pistachio

Looking for a healthy low carb appetizer for your next party?  Try this simple recipe.  It has just 4 ingredients and is a perfect snack or appetizer.  Dried apricots topped with creamy goat cheese, nutty pistachios and just a drizzle of honey make a perfect combination.

Ingedients
18 dried apricots (I like the larger Turkish ones)
2 oz. goat cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios
1-2 T of honey, for drizzling

Instructions

  1. Place apricots on a platter or serving tray
  2. With the back of a spoon, spread a small dollop of goat cheese onto each apricot
  3. Sprinkle a pinch or two of crushed pistachios onto each
  4. Drizzle with honey*
  5. Enjoy!

Tip: To avoid putting too much honey on each apricot bite, place honey in a ziplock plastic baggy.  Cut off a small corner of the baggie and squeeze honey from the hole onto each apricot to add just the amount of sweetness to each bite.

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Creds to Jess @ jessfuel.com for this yummy recipe.  Her recipe is for a larger crowd and yields 3 dozen of these yummy treats.  I simply cut the recipe in half.  Check out all her other easy recipes.

 

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Autumn Gingerbread Muffins

Celebrate Fall and the Holidays by serving these adorable gingerbread muffins. These molasses and ginger treats are easy to make and add a festive look to any table. Serve them alone or with lemon curd. Trader Joe’s offers a great gingerbread mix that makes serving these cuties a snap.

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Autumn Gingerbread Cakelets

Yield: 16 Cakelets (144 calories each)

Ingredients
1 box Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Baking Mix
1 large egg
1/3 cup canola oil
¾ cup water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray cakelet pan with Trader Joe’s Canola Oil spray and sprinkle lightly with a few pinches of flour.
  3. Combine egg, oil and water in a bowl and then add mix. Fold together gently until ingredients are moistened. (don’t over-stir as the cakelets will become more dense).
  4. Fill the molds of the cakelet pan no more than ¾ full to avoid overflow. I use a tablespoon and then spread mixture to level tops and fill corners of each shape. Tap the pan firmly a few times on countertop to remove air bubbles.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of a cakelet comes out clean.

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  1. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack.
  2. Serve with lemon curd if you wish.   Yummy!

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Note: My cakelet pan is made by Nordic Ware.  Any muffin or cakelet pan works well too.

Summer Peach and Tomato Salad

DFTSI Summer Peach and Tomato Salad_6482

Savor every last bit of summer with this delightful combination of ripe summer peaches and fresh tomatoes. This beautiful salad is both simple and delicious. The tart accents of balsamic vinegar and the sweet peaches are devine!
Servings: 2
Prep time: 10 minutes

Summer Peach and Tomato Salad

Ingredients
1 large (or two small) peach sliced into wedges (select ones that are just a little bit firm, not too soft)
1 handful of cherry tomatoes sliced into quarters
4-5 fresh mint  or basil leaves chopped (slice them with scissors)
¼ cup  good EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1/8 cup good balsamic vinegar (I like 41 Olive’s lemon-infused balsamic, apricot-infused balsamic))
¼ cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts
Salt and Pepper

Directions
Arrange the nectarine and tomato slices on a platter.
Drizzle with oil and vinegar followed by the nuts and mint.
Sprinkle with freshly ground salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Note: You can chop fruit and plate it up to an hour in advance but wait to dress it and add mint just before serving.  You can also serve this salad on individual salad plates or a family platter.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Pear Snack Bites

DFTSI Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Pear Bites_6428Sometimes you just need something sweet and crunchy. It’s tempting to reach for something pre-packaged that’s easy and tasty but makes you feel guilty right after you put it in your mouth.  Not these.  They are crunchy and satisfying while also being high in nutrition Get your snack fix with this easy to prepare treat that you can feel good about.

Preparation: 5 minutes
Servings:  2
Ingredients: 4
Calories: 200/serving

Ingredients

1 medium pear
4 Tablespoons  PB2 (Powdered Peanut Butter)
2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons shredded coconut (I like it toasted)

Preparation

In a small bowl, mix PB2 with 2 Tablespoons of water.

Slice the pear into 8 -10 wedeges

Spread peanut butter mixture thinly onto pear wedges and place on either a serving platter or 2 individual salad plates.

Sprinkle with coconut and chocolate chips. Enjoy!

 

Aunt She She’s Key Lime Pie

IMG_2735Key Lime Pie

This creamy dreamy pie is a favorite in our family.   We always look forward to Aunt SheShe treating us to this delightful and refreshing goodness.  The tartness from the key limes and the sweetness of the crust makes a perfect combination.  It just might become a family favorite for you too!

Makes one 9-inch pie serving 6 to 8

Crust:

1 ½  cups graham cracker crumbs
3  tablespoons sugar
¼  teaspoon salt
6   tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

1  14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3  cup fresh squeezed Key juice or regular lime juice. (If using bottled, look for Nellie & Joe’s brand—(Ralph’s carries it.)
3    large egg yolks
1 ½   teaspoons grated lime zest (about 2 limes)
2    tablespoons sugar
¼   teaspoon salt

Topping:

1  cup chilled whipping cream (in a small carton from Trader Joe’s)
2   tablespoons powdered sugar
1   teaspoon vanilla extract
2   Key limes for garnish, sliced thinly (optional)

For crust: Preheat oven to 350. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add melted butter and stir to coat well. Press crust into 9-inch glass pie dish. Bake 5 to 8 minutes until crust is set and golden brown. Cool.

For filling: In stand mixer fitted with wire whisk or using a hand-held mixer, beat egg yolks and lime zest for 5 minutes until very fluffy. Add sugar, salt, and condensed milk and beat for 3 or 4 minutes more. Lower mixer speed and gradually add lime juice and beat just until combined. Pour mixture into cooled crust. Bake 10-15 minutes (varies by oven), or until filling is set in center. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and chill at least 6 hours or overnight.

For topping: Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients in large bowl until soft peaks form. Spread over pie and garnish with Key lime slices, if desired. (Can be refrigerated several hours ahead, or even overnight.)

Creds to Cynthia Worth  who originally adapted the recipe from Bon Appetit 1/07 and Food Network and shared with Aunt SheShe (aka Sheila Downs).

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Silk Pie Parfait Shots

IMG_4163Silk Pie Parfait Shots

This light and chocolatey treat is great for dinner parties. It has just 8 ingredients and takes just 5 steps. This can be made up to a day ahead which makes party planning easy.

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups Honey Maid graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 T butter, melted
  1. MIX all ingredients until well blended.
  2. PRESS a heaping spoon full of crust mixture into 12 small liquor or dessert glasses.

 Filling

  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  1. WHISK together evaporated milk and egg yolks in medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is very hot and thickens slightly; do not boil. Remove from heat; stir in morsels until completely melted and mixture is smooth.
  2. POUR or spoon into the glasses on top of the crust; refrigerate 3 hours or until firm.

Topping

  • Whipped cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts
  1. TOP with whipped cream and sprinkle with nuts just before serving.

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Gingerbread Hula Dancers

IMG_1086Gingerbread Hula Dancers

My daughter Dani decorates these whimsical cookies around the holidays and they always make me smile.  The dough is easy to make thanks to Trader Joe’s.  We make the dough with their  Gingerbread Cake and Baking Mix.   Here is the easy recipe…

Cookie Ingredients

1 box Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Cake and Baking Mix
1 stick melted butter (1/2 cup)
1 large egg
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup water

Frosting Ingredients

3 egg whites
1 box powdered sugar (1 lb.)
1 tsp. cream of tarter

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375degrees. Combine the mix, butter, egg in a medium sized bowl.  Form into a ball and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Roll out the dough on  a floured board about 1/8 inch thick  Cut into desired shapes.

IMG_7678 at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes.  Cool 2-3 minute and transfer to a wire rack.  Yields 4-5 dozen small gingerbread cookies (Less if you use large cookie cutters)
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Just before you are ready to decorate the cookies, mix up the frosting ingredients using a high speed mixer until it peaks.  Place in a decorator bag with the smallest tip you can find.  This frosting is great for gingerbread house decorating too!  The recipe makes more than enough.

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