Instant Blueberry Cobbler for One

Warning: I am about to tempt you with a fresh (and reasonably healthy) dessert option: the instant blueberry cobbler.

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An overflow of blueberry goodness!

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When the need to eat something sweet strikes it tends to be a strong sensation. We can try to distract ourselves from the desire, and sometimes that really works. The distraction method was not working for me yesterday. I was really needing a little dessert fix, something that a piece of chocolate could not cure (believe me, I tried that…why must Fun Size candy bars be so small?).

I did not want my need for dessert to derail my efforts to eat healthy, so I figured I could do something with fruit. Blueberries to be exact. Why not get my antioxidants while enjoying dessert?

This cobbler topping uses a minimal amount of sugar, and I decided on a mix of white flour and whole wheat flour to make the recipe just a little more wholesome. I also chose not to add any additional sugar to the blueberries since the fruit had enough natural sugar going for it. I was impressed by how well this recipe came together, and I can’t wait to try it with other fruits!

 

Instant Blueberry Cobbler for One

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used 1/8 cup white flour and 1/8 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Mix in milk and melted butter.photo (17)
  2. Place blueberries in bottom of a microwave-safe ramekin. Mix blueberries with a little sugar (if craving extra sweetness) or some flour-cornstarch (to thicken up the fruit when cooking). Mush up the blueberries with the back of a fork. Scoop cobbler batter on top of the blueberries.
  3. Next, set your cobbler on top of small microwave-safe plate (there is a slight chance that your blueberries will boil over and make a mess). Microwave cobbler on high for 30 seconds, check on cobbler, then microwave another 30 seconds. photo (18)Baking time will depend on the power of your microwave. Adjust baking time as needed.
  4. Carefully take the cobbler out of the microwave (it will be hot!). Dig in to your cobbler as is, or top it off with ice cream, whipped topping, or whipped cream!

 

Ideas for other fruit cobblers: strawberries, blackberries, mixed berry, and peaches all sound delicious to me! What kind of fruit would you use?

Nutritious Chocolate Truffles

Oh. My. Goodness.

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Eating one of these chocolate rounds of delight makes you believe you are eating a decadent brownie and they’re healthy!

You heard me.

The beauty of this recipe is that there is no artificial sugar in it. Yet, somehow these morsels of goodness taste just like brownie batter. That’s a beautiful thing. The secret to the sweetness: dates. Mix the natural sugar in the dates with a little healthy fat in the almonds and some beneficial antioxidants in the dark cocoa and you have yourself one nutritious little dessert! I need a constant batch of these stored in my fridge for snacking on when I am craving chocolate. So much better for my body than eating that whole pan of brownies!

Nutritious Chocolate Truffles (makes 8-10)

Ingredients

  • 10-12 pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 2-3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Place all the ingredients in your food processor or Vitamix and blend! It make take around 20-30 seconds for the ingredients to really come together, but you will see the batter-like ball of dough starting to form. That is when you know all the ingredients has been blended. From there, turn off your processor/blender and take out chunks of dough, rolling them into your preferred truffle size. Enjoy the chocolate goodness, and pat yourself on the back for treating yourself to dessert and being healthy.

And….if you’re not a fan of almonds, check out all of these healthy truffle recipes!

Homemade Seasoned Croutons

I just found the perfect solution for crusty, dry baguettes. I give you The Crouton.

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We’ve all done it: bought some fresh-from-the-bakery bread with visions of perfect crostini appetizers and the like, ripping off pieces of the chewy goodness on the walk home (if you’re me) and setting the rest onto the kitchen counter only to forget about your culinary aspirations for it. Suddenly your doughy, fresh baguette has become a dry, crackly mess, something more conducive to use as a sword than an accompaniment to any meals you’ve had planned.

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Croutons are a fun and simple way to utilize that French bread that you bought a couple of days ago and could just not finish in time. The recipe is also fairly easy, so stop hitting your loved ones with dry baguettes and make this instead!

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Seasoned Croutons

Ingredients:

  • Dry, hardened baguette
  • Olive oil
  • Seasonings (Dried Basil, Dried Oregano…any seasoning you choose. I used Mrs. Dash and a sprinkle of Cayenne for some kick!)

Directions:

1. Carefully cut your baguette into large cubes. Cut it to whatever size of crouton you would like. And please be careful! Cutting dry baguette can be very dangerous and I would like you to keep all of your fingers. Put the cubes of baguette into a large freezer bag.

2. Drizzle olive oil into freezer bag and sprinkle seasonings to your heart’s delight. This part is strictly eye-balling it. I added a decent amount of olive oil so that the seasoning would have something to stick to and I just think olive oil tastes delicious!

3. Here’s the fun part: shake your freezer bag to evenly distribute ingredients.

4. Spread your covered baguette cubes evenly onto a baking pan. Put the cubes into a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

5. Remove your croutons from the oven and enjoy! Sprinkle them over your salad, into your soup, or eat them as they are!

Fudge Thumbprint Cookies

Happy President’s Day! I, for one, am celebrating President’s Day by recuperating from the chocolate-overload I gave myself over the course of the last week. I never thought I could eat too much chocolate, but I found out like most normal people I have a limit. Right now just thinking about milk chocolate is making me crave something with a savory flavor.

Despite the fact I cannot eat any more chocolate (I anticipate this feeling will last maybe a day), I wanted to share with you one of the recipes that contributed to my chocolate feasting and one recipe worth making.

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I love cookies and I think thumbprint cookies are particularly fun to make. Probably because I like taking cookie dough and experimenting with it, and thumbprint cookies allow me to do just that! Typically, the thumbprint cookie is a plain cookie with some sort of fruit jam in the center where your “thumbprint crater” is made before baking. Now, I like fruit jam as much as the next person. But you know what I like more? Chocolate fudge. So to me, it made sense to fill the crater in my cookie dough with some chocolate and it turned out to be delicious! The fudge made the cookie rich without being overpowering, and the batch did not even last a full work day when I brought it to the office (always a good sign in my book).

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Fudge Thumbprint Cookies (Makes 1 1/2 dozen medium-sized cookies)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • Chocolate fudge (homemade, store-bought, whatever you’ve got!)

Directions:

In a bowl, cream butter until fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add sugar and cream until smooth for a couple more minutes. Next, add vanilla extract and egg. Mix on low speed until smooth and scrape down the sides occasionally. Add flour one cup at a time and mix until dough comes together.

Wrap your delicious cookie dough in plastic wrap and sit impatiently while the dough chills in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take dough out about 15-20 minutes before you want to work with it. Pull off pieces of cookie dough (or use a tablespoon to scoop the cookie dough) and roll the dough into a ball. Place on a baking sheet and with your thumb, press into the center of the cookie dough ball, creating a crater. In this crater, put a piece of delicious chocolate fudge. Repeat until all the dough or fudge has been used up. Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Baked Hot Chocolate for One

Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day everyone!

I love February 14th. I know it’s a holiday that’s extremely materialistic and women-driven. You could say every florist in Manhattan was giving men the little “hint-hint” on what today was and what they should be doing (correct answer: buying a special someone in their life a beautiful bunch of roses intermingled with baby’s breath.)

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I have always liked this holiday because my mom used to decorate the kitchen Valentine’s

Day morning and my siblings and I would eat heart-shaped waffles and make cards to give all of our classmates. Valentine’s Day has always been about love and happiness for me. The fact I have a boyfriend who sent tulips to my office yesterday even though he lives all the way in Boston made it today even better. (Tulips are one of my favorite flowers; the boyfriend knows his stuff)

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Anyways, another reason I love Valentine’s Day is chocolate. Man oh man do I love chocolate. So when I saw a recipe for Baked Hot Chocolate my heart skipped and beat and my stomach demanded I give it a try. The original recipe is for two but since my boyfriend isn’t here to celebrate with I adapted the recipe and now it is Baked Hot Chocolate for One!

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Don’t you just love the Valentine’s Day card my friend Magda sent me? I am such a sucker for puppies.

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With this combination you can bet I am ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day

This dessert is extremely decadent. Light in texture and rich in flavor, I felt like I was treating myself to a glorious souffle. And it only took 30 minutes to make, so I will being baking this chocolate treat all the time!

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Mmmmmmmm…..Ooey, gooey chocolate at its finest!

Baked Hot Chocolate for One (Makes 1 ramekin serving)

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) semisweet chocolate (I used a combination of dark chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg

Note: make sure the bowls you are using are heat resistant and preferably glass. You will be using a double boiler technique and I don’t want you melting a bowl or burning yourself!

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set one ramekin in a baking dish.
  2. Over a double boiler, melt chocolate & butter (If you don’t know what a double boiler is here’s your tutorial: find a pot or saucepan and a heat-resistant bowl that can sit on top of the pot/saucepan but not inside of it-you do not want it touching the bottom. Fill the pot or saucepan 1/3-1/2 way with water and bring water to a simmering boil. Throw your chocolate in the bowl and set on the pot/saucepan and stir until melted. This double-boiler technique is great for melting chocolate without risk of burning it!)
  3. In another bowl, place egg and sugar and beat until combined.
  4. Here’s the tricky part: without burning yourself, move the chocolate/butter bowl off the double boiler and put the egg/sugar bowl in its place. Warm the egg/sugar mixture, then remove from the double boiler.
  5. Beat the egg mixture until light and fluffy (this will take 2 or so minutes, when it’s frothy you’ll know)
  6. Carefully and gently fold the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture. Pour batter into your ramekin.
  7. Fill the pan that your ramekin is sitting in with water. You want the water level to come halfway up the side of the ramekin.
  8. Pop the pan/ramekin combo in the oven (If you’re like me and have balance issues, be extra attentive so you don’t spill water all over your kitchen floor) for 20 minutes or until the top of your baked hot chocolate has lost its glossy look. Take out of the oven
  9. Serve Baked Hot Chocolate to yourself warm, or with whipped cream, or with ice cream, or with more chocolate chips on top…you get the idea.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Make this dessert and feel the love!