Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Healthy? Better than they could be.

So is any dessert really healthy? (That's rhetorical. There probably is one in some foreign country where they don't eat fat or sugar.) However, I wanted to share this CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE recipe with you because it cuts out the butter, are incredibly moist and tastes quite delicious - no frosting needed!

from Chocolate Snowball, a Deer Valley bakery recipe

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 cup dried cranberries or cherries

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup coca powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

To make the filling:
In a small bowl or food processor, beat the cream cheese with the sugar until it is smooth. Mix in the egg completely, scraping the bowl as needed. If using a food processor, transfer the mixture to a bowl. By hand, stir in the cranberries and set aside.

To make the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners or coat the tins with melted butter and dust with four or spray generously with cooking spray.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt into a medium bowl. In another bowl, mix the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients; mix until blended. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared tins. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese filling into the center of each cupcake. The chocolate batter will rise around the filling as it bakes.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until the cake part of the cupcake springs back when touches with a finger. Cool. Remove from the pan and serve.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

High altitude: Reduce sugar in the cupcakes by 2 tablespoons. Reduce the baking soda to 3/4 tsp.

When I worked in events, Deer Valley gave me this wonderful cookbook, Chocolate Snowball. It features fantastic bakery recipes from their famous pastry chef, Letty Halloran Flatt. I would highly recommend it, even if all the recipes aren't quite so healthy.

Follow the link for more of Flatt's recipes - soups, pizza and more.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Roasted Potatoes and Yams

So, this recipe can be easily adapted to whatever taste you find most delicious - this is just generally how I roast potatoes:

Serves 4-5 people

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4-5 large potatoes (red or Yukon Gold are best, but any will do) - CUBED
2-3 medium yams/sweet potatoes - CUBED
1-3 tbsp. olive oil
Fresh or dried herbs, such as Rosemary, Basil, Thyme, Marjoram, Sage, etc.
1-2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2-3/4 tsp. pepper
Additional spices - paprika, chili powder, fresh minced garlic (2 cloves), cinnamon, cardamom.
If you like a slightly sweet taste, sprinkle brown sugar over the top.

Cube the potatoes and yams. Spread on a cookie sheet. Brush them with olive oil so that the potatoes are as evenly coated as possible. Sprinkle with herbs (Rosemary, Thyme are a must and others are delicious to add as well), salt, pepper and any other additional spices you wish to add.

Bake in oven for 30 - 35 min or until tender and golden brown. Serve warm.

Sorry there is no picture - they should just look like yummy roasted potatoes. :)'s a picture of a fresh summer spread to hopefully inspire all of us to eat more fresh foods:


Kimberly's Black Bean and Corn Salsa

2 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 17-oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 large avocado, peeled and chopped
1 purple onion, chopped (I generally use half an onion)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3-4 TBSP freshly squeezed lime juice
2 TBSP Olive Oil
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Combine ingredients in a large bowl, cover and chill. Garnish with avocado and fresh cilantro. May serve with tortillas, chips or alone. Enjoy!!