Filed under antioxidants, appetizers, blog friends, cheese, cocktails, dessert, entertaining, fruit, great meals, in season, Recipes, salad, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains, wine
I don’t know about you but if I’m at a Chinese restaurant, there is a good chance I’m getting cream cheese wontons. I’m not sure what it is, but I just can’t resist them. Crunchy on the outside, creamy cheese on the inside and just plain good.
But what about a sweet twist on the typically savory? I had some honey goat cheese in the freezer and just had a feeling that with some maple crystals, that I had been wondering what to do with for quite some time, this could be transformed to a delicious treat.
Unfortunately baking doesn’t give it that same crispy shell as frying does, but maple goat cheese trumps cream cheese any day. 😉
Maple & Goat Cheese Wontons – 4 pieces
- 2 Tbsp honey goat cheese (or plain)
- 1 Tbsp maple granules
- 4 wonton wrappers
- real maple syrup
Pre-heat the oven to 375° F.
Mix the goat cheese and maple granules together until smooth, heating in the microwave for a few seconds if necessary. Lay out 4 wonton wrappers on the counter, and have some water handy. Place 1/2 Tbsp of filling in the center of each wonton. Wet the edges with water and fold in half so that it forms a triangle. Pinch edges together to form a seal. Fold bottom corners in and pinch together.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Drizzle with maple syrup before serving if desired.
I generally don’t mess with recipes if it involves flour and baking. I’ve had some baking disasters and have learned my lesson on one too many occasions so I’m not sure why I was feeling so bold, but I took liberty with changing a number of things with this Rachael recipe. Thankfully, I can report back that it turned out perfectly.
I’m so glad that I made them into cookies instead of bars; I plan on giving them away this weekend to a very special Mother and I think the round shape looks much sweeter than a bar.
And being in the bakery field, I know the importance of quality control, so I made sure they tasted ok 😉
Jam & Shortbread Cookies – adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine – makes 24 cookies
Preheat oven to 350°. Line cupcake pan with liners. Using a food processor, mix flours, almonds, sugars, baking soda and salt until nuts are finely ground. Add butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Beat egg and vanilla in medium bowl. Pour over dough mixture and place dough and egg mixture back in bowl. Knead with your fingers until clumpy.
Add about 1 1/2 Tbsp of dough mixture into the baking cups, pressing with fingers to form a crust. Drizzle with 1 tsp jam, heating the jam in microwave for about 15 seconds to melt if necessary. Top with 1 Tbsp crumbles. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
I was lucky enough to receive a sampling of stevia products from NuNaturals. I have been a fan of stevia for quite some time, but I have never baked with it before. (Considering that I just started baking last month, could be part of the reason) While I was paging through all of the recipes that they sent along, one recipe in particular stood out. Vegan Peanut Butter Blondies. I’ve seen Mama Pea’s baking skills time and time again, and although I don’t have two cute helpers, I knew I was going to have to try this recipe, even if I was all on my own.
I love the idea of a whole-grain, low-sugar treat that I can feel good about eating. And I love that you can replace some of the sugar with stevia. NuNaturals baking blend is such a genius idea! I would try adding a little less stevia next time, because there was a hint of that stevia flavor that I don’t particularly care for – definitely not enough for me to not eat the remaining bars however! I can’t wait to try some more recipes with stevia and I’m also looking for some samplers, my freezer can’t handle anymore frozen cookies, bars and desserts!
Have you baked with stevia before? What have you made?
I’m back from California and despite the perfect weather and sunshine, I have to admit that I was ready to be home, looking forward to my daily routine, reading all of your blogs and of course seeing the taster!
Expo West 2010 went very well. As with any big event, the glitches are quickly fixed and we served up more bread, tortillas and pizzas than I can even wrap my head around. After the show, I was fortunate enought to spend some time in LA with family and meet Lynn from The Actor’s Diet! (I had confused the dates and due to a last minute change Christy was unable to attend – next time Christy!) It was so fun to chat with her and meet the famous Julius. She is as beautiful as you can imagine!
I promised you some of the newest and most interesting products out there so here they are. Because we were so busy and the show is so huge I certainly didn’t see everything but here are some of my favorites.
Interesting & New Products:
- Lara Bars: There are some new bar flavors like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (there is a bit more added sugar with the chocolate) but unfortunately by the time I got to their booth they were all out of samples! I heard nothing but good things so am anxious to see them in the stores!
- Coconut Water Sorbet: This coconut sorbet was delicious, sweetened with agave and will be so refreshing in the midst of summer – the lemonade flavor was perfectly tart, but I’m even more excited to try the Hibiscus variety.
- Amazing Grass: I’ve been using the grass for some time but was explaining that I just can’t down it plain with water and would like to – enter in the newest variety that has a nice lime flavor and also contains matcha and mate in addition to the green goodness – trust me when I say you can drink it straight. They also have a new bar out, Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar that was delicious and I will be buying again.
- Daiya Cheese: this new vegan cheese is out of this world. I obviously am VERY picky with vegan/dairy-free cheeses because I love cheese and refuse to eat mediocre cheese. With that said, it will be in my shopping cart this weekend.
- Zhena’s Gypsy Tea: Coconut Chai with some almond milk and agave/stevia = perfection in a cup.
- Hansen’s Natural Fruit & Tea Sticks: The natural version of Crystal Light – finally! These low-cal drink mixes are sweetened with truvia and are deliciously sweet – I know the kids at camp will love them!
- YumNuts Naturals: Roasted, jumbo cashews with no added oils – perfect for afternoon snacking (Toasted Coconut was my favorite).
- Hummus Chips & Dressing: I’ve had the hummus chips at other shows and always loved them but have yet to see them in the stores – this year they also had a new hummus dressing which is similar to a thinned-out hummus – perfect for any salad!
Filed under antioxidants, ask the nutritionist, blog friends, cheese, chocolate, coconut, dessert, fats, gluten-free, in my cupboard, product review, protein, vegan, website, whole foods, whole grains
Being put in charge of a dessert was a bit nerve-racking. I’m not a dessert person! Although, with the amount of baking I’ve done lately I’m starting to think that is changing. Originally I was going to go with a tiramisu to go along with the Italian-themed dinner, but when I came across this recipe from Giada, there was no question as to what I would bring.
I could have eaten the mascarpone filling by the spoonful, but I resisted, knowing full well that those cupcakes just wouldn’t be the same. Next time I will double the filling and use it as a frosting too. Unfortunately the glaze just can’t live up to its counterpart.
The cupcakes went over very well at the dinner and it was the guys who were going back for seconds. And thirds. 😉
While some may be disappointed with the use of boxed cake mix, this recipe may not have been do-able on a weeknight if I had to make the cupcakes from scratch along with the fillings and glaze. But it worked out well, no one even notices that the cupcakes come from a box because the filling steals the show.
Strawberry & Mascarpone Filled Cupcakes courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
- 1 box vanilla cake mix
- 1 (8 oz) container mascarpone cheese, chilled
- 1/2 cup thawed and drained frozen strawberries
- 1/4 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice (I didn’t use this)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
Make the cupcakes according to package instructions. Lightly grease the muffin tin and fill the batter almost to the rim of each muffin cup. Bake according to package directions and let cool.
In a food processor combine the mascarpone cheese, strawberries, 1/4 cup sugar, and lemon juice. Process the mixture until smooth. Transfer the strawberry mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a small tip. Plush the tip gently into the bottom of a cupcake and squeeze in the strawberry mixture until the cupcake plumps. Continue with the remaining cupcakes.
In a small saucepan bring the 1/2 cup sugar, water and vanilla extract to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved. In a medium bowl combine the vanilla extract with the confectioner’s sugar. Stir until smooth. Working quickly, use a rubber spatula spread the icing on the top of the cupcakes. If the icing begins to firm up, place in the microwave for a few seconds to warm up again.
It may be evident by now that I love the combination of peanut-butter and chocolate, especially when they are in the form of cookies. But I also know someone else who is very fond of this flavor and she just happened to have a birthday recently. I knew just what to make.
These are not the prettiest of cookies but once you taste how good the chewy chocolate cookies are with the sweet peanut butter filling, you won’t care what they look like. They are reminiscint of brownies with the addition of a creamy peanut-butter filling. Giving them away worked out well because I could not be trusted around these cookies! I was lucky enough to see Holly last weekend, so she got a few too!
Peanut Butter-stuffed Milk Chocolate Sandwich Cookies – makes 8