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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Blackberry Orange Smoothie

Ready in seconds and perfect
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Source: Improvised

Taste: 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty: 1 (out of 5)

- 1/4 cup frozen blackberries
- 3/4 cup orange juice
Total: 1 serving

- Process in a blender until smooth.

- It's something I make all the time - refreshing, really easy, healthy and full of vitamins.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Watermelon Cucumber Salad

A great healthy, easy, refreshing and delicious summer salad
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Source: Inspired by The Healthy Foodie

Tates: 5 (out of 5)
Difficutly: 1 (out of 5)

- watermelon
- cucumber
- feta cheese
- pistachios
- salt and pepper
- olive oil


1. Combine all ingredients in desired quantities :-).
2. Or, you can cut watermelon into thick slices, then using a round cookie cutter, cut out round bases. Using a melon baller hollow the base. Mix feta crumbles with finely chopped cucumbers and pistachios. Season with salt and pepper. Scoop a spoonful into the watermelon base. Drizzle with olive oil and enjoy.

This is a wonderful salad. Try it, you won't regret it! And all it takes is 3 minutes of prep time. I was a little obsessed with it for several days since I saw the post on The Healthy Foodie blog. And then I came across Rachel Ray's Watermelon Cups with Feta and Mint, and I could not help myself but combine the two.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Panna Cotta

Wonderful and elegant dessert for Mother's Day

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Source: Adapted from David Lebovitz

Taste: 5 out of 5
Difficulty: 1 out of 5

- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ tsp gelatin
- 3 tbsp cold water
Total 4 servings in ½ cup ramekins or 16 small shot glasses

1. In a medium heat proof bowl sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let stand for 5-10 minutes.
2. In a small saucepan combine the cream, the milk and the sugar. Heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add vanilla.
3. Pour the very warm cream-milk mixture over the gelatin and mix well so that there are no lumps.
4. Pour the panna cotta into individual serving containers (ramekins or glasses) and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.


- This panna cotta is not too sweet, so it is perfect when combined with a sweet and tart jam or jelly. If you plan to eat this panna cotta plain, I would add a little more sugar and maybe liquor or syrup for flavoring.
- When making the panna cotta in glasses, it can be nice to refrigerate the glasses placed on a slanted surface or rested at an angle in an egg tray, to create the “tilted” effect.

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Low Fat Carrot Cake with Pineapple and Walnuts

 Fruits + nuts + veggies = cake?!! and a delicious one :-)

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Source: Adapted from Amanda’s Cookin’

Taste: 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty: 2 (out of 5, the most difficult part shredding carrots)

- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 ½ cups (3-4 large) shredded carrots
- ½ cup applesauce
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- ½ cup pineapple chunks + ¼ cup pineapple juice (from a can)
- ¼ cup walnuts
Total: 13x9 pan, 16 servings

1. Finely chop pineapple chunks and walnuts and shred the carrots.
2. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9x13 inch baking pan with no-fat cooking spray.
3. Beat the eggs slightly, add the rest of the liquid ingredients, and mix. Add the sugar and mix until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. At the very end add the pineapples, the carrots and the walnuts.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until the cake is nicely browned and the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 40-50 minutes, depending on your oven (50 minutes in my case).
5. Let the cake cool in the pan before cutting and serving.

- This is a really wonderful cake: it’s moist, it’s sweet, it’s delicious, it has a little crunch thanks to the walnuts, it keeps well in the fridge. It can also be frozen, but it will be eaten in no time at all :-).
- Amanda’s recipe had cinnamon and raisins, 2 ingredients which I unfortunately have not yet learned to love. So I had to find substitutions, and I think orange zest and pineapples worked just fine. The original recipe also had frosting, but again I, with my strange taste buds, prefer most cakes sans-frosting, so I skipped that part (which also saved me about 50 calories per serving ;-) ). Check out Amanda’s post for the original version.
- This recipe was my SRC assignment. "Now what is SRC?", you might ask. It’s the Secret Recipe Club, where every month each member is assigned another member’s blog and is supposed to choose a recipe from it and post it on a predetermined reveal date. No-one knows who’s got whose blog, so it’s a lot of fun to browse all the posts when they are revealed. I discovered many wonderful food blogs though SRC. And this month I had the honor of making something from the blog of the inventor and founder of the club: Amanda of Amanda’s Cookin’ :-). She has a wonderful blog, you absolutely must visit it if you have not yet. It was very difficult to choose only one recipe, but when I received my assignment I had a lot of applesauce and carrots, which I wanted to use up. So I figured this carrot cake was meant to be made. I baked it the day after I had received my assignment :-).
- I also want to thank Jane Bonacci of the Heritage Cook, who is our group organizer at SRC. The organizers are doing a lot of the logistical heavy lifting to make the participation more fun for the rest of us, and for that I am very grateful! And Jane has a beautiful blog too :-)

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