Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tropical Traditions Coconut Butter Review

There are not many flavors I like better than coconut and peanut butter. So when I came across Tropical Traditions Coconut Peanut Butter I knew it had to be a winner. The nice people at Tropical Traditions were nice enough to send me a jar to review.

I could not wait to open up this jar and dig into it. There was quite a bit of separation. I made a bit of a mess stirring it together. But that didn't bother me. I didn't let any of it go to waste. I licked it right off my hand. Yes, I said I licked it. And before you think anything if you tasted it you would do the same thing.

The balance of coconut and peanut butter was perfect! The flavor is very strong. Some other nut butters I have tried get lost when you mix it in with things. Not this one! I put it in my pineapple smoothie and could still taste the deliciousness! It made a divine addition to my smoothie!

This is a very diet friendly food too. 1 teaspoon = 1 Weight Watchers Point

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnamon Brown Butter Syrup

Adapted from Taste of Home October/November 2010
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons packed Splenda blend brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup Egg Beaters
1-1/3 cups fat free milk
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup cinnamon goat cheese

In a small heavy saucepan, cook butter over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove from the heat; stir in pecans.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, Splenda blend brown sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk the Egg Beaters, milk, pumpkin and goat cheese. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until the second side is golden brown. Serve with brown butter.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hummingbird Cake

Adapted from Johnson & Wales Chef's Choice Class
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup applesauce
1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup canned unsweetened pineapple, crushed
4 bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 x 13 cake pan with cooking spray.

Sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.

Whisk in eggs, oil, and applesauce until dry ingredients are moistened.

Add in pineapple with all of its juice & vanilla. Mix thoroughly.

Add in bananas, mix.

Spread evenly in prepared cake pan.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

*Note* Recipe calls for 1 cup chopped pecans. I left these out because I was making it for young kids.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

1 box butter cake mix
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin pan with liners.

Combine cake mix, pumpkin, applesauce, milk, and eggs in a mixing bowl. Mix until everything is well combined. Stop to scrape down the side of the bowl if necessary.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pumpkin Oatmeal

1/3 cup multigrain oatmeal
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine above ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat 8-10 minutes over medium-high heat; stirring occasionally.

Makes 1 serving = 3 points

Roasted & Pureed Pumpkin

There is no pumpkin shortage here! I can't find canned pumpkin in the store. I bought a huge pie pumpkin at the farmers market for $8. This is definitely more economical than buying cans. I am going to divide it up and freeze some after I make some pumpkin dishes today.

1 pie pumpkin, cut in half seeds & pulp scraped out

Preheat oven to 400.

Place 1/2 of pumpkin cut side down on a foil lined jelly roll pan.

Bake 60 minutes or until a fork or knife easily pierces the pumpkin. (This will vary based on the size of your pumpkin.)

Peel the skin off the pumpkin.

Puree in the food processor in batches.

Repeat with second half of the pumpkin. (My pumpkin wouldn't fit in the oven all at once.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Artisana Organic Raw Macadamia Cashew Butter Review

I am more than half way through the samples of Artisana. Tonight I tried Organic Raw Macadamia Cashew. Finally one with the big chunks in it! It was very tasty! This is one of the higher fat choices. But if you want something you have to chew this is for you. I like some crunch every once in a while!

This one packs a punch with 6 Weight Watchers points per packet.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Individual Peanut Butter Cheesecakes

As soon as I saw this recipe on foodgawker I had to try it! I made a few small changes. I may try to get more adventurous next time and make a peanut butter cookie for the bottom and use crunchy peanut butter.

18 peanut butter cream sandwich cookies
1 block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup 2% honey Greek yogurt
pinch of fleur de sel

Preheat oven to 275. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each of 18 lined cups.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter at medium speed until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add in sugar and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.

Beat in one egg at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in yogurt and salt.

Spoon batter evenly among the 18 lined cups, filling each almost to the top. With the back of a spoon, smooth out the top of each filled cup.

Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until filling is set, 22-24 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight, before serving.

Artisana Walnut Butter Review

Another nut butter pleaser from Artisana! I am not a huge fan of walnuts. But Artisana Raw Walnut Butter might just change my mind! It is so smooth and packs a punch of delicious flavor!
From the Artisana website...
Walnuts can be considered a super food because they contain a full complement of vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and folic acid. They also contain a wealth of minerals, such as iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

Walnuts contain Vitamin E#alpha, beta, delta and gamma-tocopherol, making it exceptionally high in antioxidants.

Nutritionists tell us that Omega 3 fatty acids are found in only a few plant food sources, yet are essential to a healthy body. In a 2,000-calorie diet, 3 tablespoons of walnuts will provide our daily requirement of these Omega 3 fatty acids.
This makes this yummy nut butter a perfect edition to a healthy diet!
1 packet = 5 weight watchers point

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Multigrain Almond Banana Squash Oatmeal

1/3 cup multigrain oatmeal
1 cup pureed banana squash
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Combine above ingredients in a small pot. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Makes 1 serving = 3 points

Color Flow Airplanes

Recipe from Wilton

The first picture below is the baby bedding I was making the airplane cupcake toppers to match.
1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon water
4 cups confectioner's sugar sifted
2 tbsp color flow mix

With electric mixer, using grease-free utensils, blend all ingredients on low speed for 5 minutes.
If using hand mixer, use high speed. Color flow icing "crusts" quickly, so keep bowl covered with a damp cloth while using. Stir in desired icing color.

In order to fill an outlined area, the recipe above must be thinned with 1/2 teaspoon of water per 1/4 cup of icing (just a few drops at a time as you near proper consistency). Use grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Color flow is ready for filling in outlines when a small amount dropped into the mixture takes a count of ten to disappear.

Tape pattern and waxed paper overlay to your work surface. Waxed paper must be free of wrinkles.

Outline pattern with full-strength Color Flow Icing and tip 2.

Let outline dry a few minutes until it crusts. When filling in an area with a different color from outline, let dry 2 hrs.

To fill in an outline, soften icing by adding water to 1/4 cup icing, 1/2 teaspoon at a time. As you near proper consistency, add just a few drops of water at a time.

Begin filling in outline along the edges first by gently squeezing and letting the icing flow up to the outline almost by itself. Work quickly, filling in pattern from the outside edges in and from top to bottom. I find it easiest to use a toothpick to guide the color flow into corners & around the edges.

Wilton says the color flow has to dry at least 24 hours. I let it dry 48 hours before I attempted removing the designs from the wax paper.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Artisana Cashew Butter Review

Here is another review of Artisana Nut Butters. Again, I am amazed at the generosity of all of the samples Premier Organics sent me. This is like a dream for me! I love sampling all the different nut butters!

Cashini is still my favorite so far. But the cashew butter is a VERY close second. It is so smooth and creamy! I am definitely going to hunt out these packets on my trip out west next month. I think nut butters with cashew have worked their way to the top of my favorites list!
1 packet = 5 Weight Watchers Points

Artisana Pecan Butter Review

Let me start off by saying I had to use the image off of Artisana's website for this review. I took a picture on my phone. But I dropped my phone and broke it so I can't get the pic.

On with the review! The Pecan Butter was FANTASTIC! The packet was the perfect amount of pecan goodness! It was not oily. It had little bits of pecans. This in a chunky version would be amazing! The pecan version is higher in fat which makes it not as diet friendly. But on days that you have eaten well all day this is a perfect treat!

1 packet = 6 weight watchers points (Good thing my sample was a packet. Otherwise I would have been on the couch with the jar and a spoon. It is that good!)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Roasted Banana Squash

1 banana squash, sliced & seeds/pulp discarded

Preheat oven to 350.

Bake on a parchment lined jelly roll pan for 45 minutes or until done.

Broil for 3-5 minutes.

1 cup banana squash = 1 point

Caramel Butterscotch Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup caramel butterscotch ice cream topping
5 cups confectioners' sugar

In a mixing bowl cream together the cream cheese, butter, and caramel butterscotch ice cream topping. Beat until smooth.

Slowly add in confectioners' sugar.

Frost cakes/cupcakes when they are completely cooled.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Cupcake recipe adapted from Ina Garten
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup Egg Beaters
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups grated baby carrots
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans
1 batch caramel butterscotch frosting

Preheat oven to 400.

Beat the sugar, oil, applesauce, and vanilla together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Slowly add the Egg Beaters.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the grated carrots, raisins, and pecans to the remaining flour, mix well, and add to the batter. Mix until just combined.

Line muffin pans with paper liners. Scoop the batter into 22 muffin cups until each is 3/4 full.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and cook for a further 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Overnight Honey Apple Zucchini Steel Cut Oatmeal

1/4 cup steel cut oatmeal
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 zucchini, shredded
1 tsp honey
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Combine above ingredients in a bowl that will sit in your slow cooker with the lid on. Place bowl in slow cooker. Fill slow cooker with water almost to the top of the bowl. Cook on low 7-8 hours.

Makes 1 serving = 3 points

Artisana Almond Butter Review

This is my second Artisana nut butter review. Tonight I tried the Raw Almond Butter. I have tried a lot of different brands of almond butter. I love the Artisana individual packets! It was a lot easier to knead a small packet versus trying to stir up a messy jar. The Raw Almond Butter was a little drier than other almond butters I have tried. But the flavor was GREAT! It had a very fresh almond taste.

1 packet = 4 Weight Watchers Points

French Toast Wafflewiches

The recipe below is for one french toast wafflewich.
2 slices bread
2 tbsp Egg Beaters
2 tbsp Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 banana, sliced
1 tbsp peanut butter
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Heat up waffle iron.

Combine egg beaters, milk, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a bowl.

Spread peanut butter on both slices of bread. Place banana slices on top of one slice. Place other slice of bread on top. Dish in egg mixture. Flip sandwich and dip remaining side.

Spray waffle iron with cooking spray. Place sandwich in. Cook about 5 minutes or until done.

1 french toast wafflewich with 1/4 cup sugar free syrup = 6 points (points will vary depending on what type or bread & peanut butter you use)

My son isn't a banana fan. He had a peanut butter and apple french toast wafflewich. You can fill these with so many different things!

Artisana Cashini Nut Butter Review

Yesterday I got a large box from UPS. I had no clue what it was. I was very surprised when I opened it and saw all of this. Premier Organics was very generous and sent me a variety of their products to review. I am so excited about this being one of many reviews about Artisana Nut Butter from Premier Organics.

Here is a little bit of information from their website:

What makes our Nut Butters so special?

TasteSimply put, they taste the best

Unique variety In addition to our superior Almond Butter and Tahini, we make five unique varieties: Walnut Butter, Pecan Butter, Cashew Butter, and Macadamia/Cashew Butter. Our coconut products include the ever popular Coconut Butter and it's related "Bliss SuperFood Blends... as well as our NEW Extra Virgin Pure Coconut Oil.

FreshWe hand-select only the finest new-harvest nuts, seeds and coconut for our butters - our almonds and walnuts are the best California has to offer

Quality All of our nut and seed butters are hand crafted in small batches in Berkeley, CA with careful attention to detail.

Organic We only use 100% certified Organic nuts, seeds, and coconut meat which means no toxic pesticides, chemicals, or genetically modified organisms. (Certified by QAI)

Pure We don't add any extra ingredients. No salt, sugar, preservatives or artificial flavors - Nothing. Which means that all you get is the clean, fresh taste of nuts and seeds the way nature intended.

Raw The ingredients which comprise our products are raw, not roasted, and made into butter with a low temperature process. This means that all of the enzymes, proteins and vitamins are intact, in their natural state and fully utilized by the body. Heat destroys these sensitive nutrients.

PowerfulForget caffeine! Packed with energy-laden nutrients, our nut butters are a great source of sustained energy.

Healthy Nuts and seeds in the form that we make them - totally raw and organic and processed into butter (purée) - are among the most basic and healthy foods one can eat on the planet, offering to the consumer:

*Non-animal proteins and enzymes

*Vitamins and Minerals

*Essential fatty-acids (including Omega-3, of which Walnut butter has the most)


... All in products more readily digestible than whole nuts...making them truly whole foods.


Kosher All of our products are KSA Kosher certified.

Storage – None of our products need to be refrigerated

I had a very hard time trying to decide what to try first. I ended up going with the Cashini. It is a very smooth blend of cashews, sesame seeds, and sea salt.
Here is what the packet looks like opened.
I put most of the Cashini in a smoothie. But it was so good I licked every last morsel of it from the wrapper. I have never tasted anything quite like this. I am super pumped Premier Organics sent a large jar of Cashini along with this packet. If you haven't tried this go get some now! This shows where you can get it online.

For those of you that track Weight Watchers points a packet is 5 points.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Overnight Double Pear Steel Cut Oatmeal

1/4 cup steel cut oatmeal
1/3 cup unsweetened pear sauce
1 pear, diced
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Combine above ingredients in a bowl that will sit in your slow cooker with the lid on. Place bowl in slow cooker. Fill slow cooker with water almost to the top of the bowl. Cook on low 7-8 hours.

Makes 1 serving = 4 points

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Butter Pecan Banana Bread

I ran out of flour. I didn't want to go to the store. So I went with things we had in the pantry.
1 package butter pecan cake mix
1 box sugar free butterscotch pudding
1-1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup applesauce
3/4 cup Egg Beaters
3 bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 2 loaf pans with cooking spray or use a loaf liner.

Combine cake mix, pudding, milk, applesauce, and Egg Beaters in a mixing bowl. Mix until well combined. Fold in bananas.

Divide evenly in pans.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Apple Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Egg Beaters
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 apples, peeled & chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Spray two loaf pans or line with loaf liners.

Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, & salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl; mix on medium speed. Reduce speed to low and slowly add in flour mixture. Mix just until combined.

Divide batter among loaf pans.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Squash Bread

Original Recipe
1 cup squash puree (Original recipe calls for butternut squash. I used delicata.)
1/2 cup egg beaters
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray or line it with a loaf liner.

In a large mixing bowl combine the squash puree, egg beaters, oil, water and sugars until thoroughly combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Slowly mix into the squash mixture. Combine just until incorporated; do not over mix.

Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

PB&J Baked Multigrain Oatmeal

1/3 cup 5 grain hot cereal
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup concord grapes
1 tbsp PB2
1 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a dish with cooking spray. Combine cereal, almond milk, and grapes in dish. Bake for 30 minutes.

Mix together PB2 and water. Place on top of oatmeal.

Makes 1 serving = 3 points

Monday, September 6, 2010

Caramel Apple Puff Dumplings

Recipe adapted from pg 154 in the Apple Cookbook by Olwen Woodier
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
4 medium apples, cored & peeled
1 tbsp Splenda Blend Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
2 tbsp Egg Beaters
1/2 tsp water
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup prepared caramel sundae topping
1/3 toasted chopped pecan halves

Thaw and unfold the pastry as the package directs.

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a 9 x 13 inch dish with cooking spray.

Roll the pastry into a 16 inch square. Cut into 4 equal squares.

Place one apple in the center of each pastry square. Combine Splenda blend brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Spoon mixture into apples.

Combine the egg beaters and water in a small bowl. Brush edges of puff pastry dough. Bring the pastry up around the apple, pinch edges together to form a seal.

Place dumplings in pan.

Combine remaining tsp of cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. Brush apples with remaining egg mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

For the sauce, combine the caramel and pecans in a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds on high heat.

Place dumplings in bowls. Drizzle sauce on top.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

6 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 block fat free cream cheese, cubed
1 8 oz container fat free sour cream
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic salt

Combine above ingredients in crock pot. Heat for 4 hours on low, stirring occasionally.

Confetti Cake

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups milk
1 small package sugar free instant vanilla pudding
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray three 9 inch cake pans with cooking spray.

Cream together butter and sugar. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. Beat two minutes.

Add eggs in one at a time; beating after each addition. Add in vanilla pudding. Next add in rainbow sprinkles.

Combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.

In a liquid measuring cup combine milk and vanilla.

Add the flour mixture alternating with the milk mixture to creamed mixture; beating after each addition. Start and end with the flour mixture.

Pour batter evenly into cake pans.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans and finish cooling on racks.