Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pizza as a Vegetable

“We are not saying pizza is a vegetable,” said Corey Henry, the spokesman for the American Frozen Food Institute, which supports the bill. “What we are saying is if you serve a slice of pizza with 2 tablespoons of vegetable paste, it can be an important way to deliver a number of vegetables that children will actually consume.”

Source: ABC News,

Monday, November 7, 2011

DESSERT/CRAFT: Bakri Eid Diorama

DESSERT: Dark Chocolate Glazed, Toffuti, and Brown Sugar Cake Pops

Servings: 20-24 Cake Pops

  • Cake mix
  • 12 oz of Toffuti cream cheese (or your favorite low-fat cream cheese) - this is approximately a tub and a half of cream cheese
  • 1 cup of brown sugar (or confectioners sugar if your not counting calories)
  • 8 oz of semi-sweet or dark chocolate (try baking chocolate, such as the Ghirardelli baking bar)
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Large Styrofoam square (or multiple pieces)
  • Large cookie sheet with wax paper
  • Bake the cake (using the mix), let the cake cool and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours
  • Use a mixer to blend the cream cheese and sugar.  Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours
  • Crumble the cake and mix in the cream cheese mix
  • You should be able to make a ball shape with the mixture - if not, add in more cream cheese
  • Stick the balls of cake mixture on a cookie sheet, stick in the lollipop sticks
  • Let cake balls chill - if you plan to make them right away, stick them in the freezer for an hour or so
  • Heat the chocolate in a double boiler setup - try high heat first, and reduce to low-medium heat within 7-10 minutes (TIP: You can also use this technique for chocolate dipped strawberries - see the picture to the right)
  • Quickly dip and swirl the cake balls in the mixture - swirl away any excess chocolate, and stick in the styrofoam to dry (and drip)
  • Be sure to decorate with sprinkles, eyes, etc. while the cake balls are still wet
  • For other extensive decorations, let the cake balls dry first and then decorate with frosting or fondant
  • Enjoy!
  • If you are presenting these as a gift, consider covering them with treat wrappers (Walmart and Target carry them - try the Wilton brand) and using a ribbon to tie them

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

DINNER: Presto Pesto Sauce

Pesto is one of those food items (like cupcakes and macaroons) that has been the subject of overkill over the last few years; nevertheless, I love this played out ingredient every time I have it.  I finally had to make it for myself, and have to say it was super easy to make.

Serving Size: 1 Pasta Dish

  • 1 whole garlic bulb, pressed
  • 2-3 cups of fresh basil leaves (stems removed)
  • 1/3 cup of walnuts or pine nuts
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Dash of sea salt
  • Note: no parmesan cheese is used - see the recommended preparation below
  • Grind nuts, garlic, and 1/2 of the oil in the food processor
  • Mix in basil leaves and continue to grind in the processor
  • Add in pepper and salt and pulse in food processor until the sauce is smooth
  • Recommended Preparation:
    • Heat pesto sauce and add in 1/4 tbsp of cayenne pepper and an additional 1/4 tbsp of black pepper
    • Add in 16 ounces of non-fat sour cream (try the Trader Joe's version)
    • Add in cooked spiral pasta (3/4 to a full standard package depending on how much you would like the pesto sauce to stand out)
    • Consider adding seasoned cooked chicken cubes to the pasta