I could go for a ginger cookie…

November 6, 2009

gingersnaps

If you read yesterday, you know that I’m taking the easy way out to end the week by recycling some of my favourite cold weather comfort food posts.

On the list today are recipes from my sweet kitchen:
Microwave butterscotch pudding
Tarte Tatin
Super crisp ginger cookies
Butter Tarts

What sweet treat epitomizes warming comfort for you? Again, feel free to link to your site or recipes that we can all bookmark for a day when we need an indulgence.


Sugar is good

July 23, 2008

News that there will be a new stevia based sweetener called Truvia on the market got me thinking about how much I despise every artificial sweetener I’ve tried. They truly ruin the taste of otherwise delicious foods.

Worst of all is the taste of aspartame. It makes me want to kick puppies. Seriously, I hate the after taste it leaves behind that much.

So keep your diet coke, your sugar-free vanilla lattes and the like to yourself. I’ll treat myself to a little sugar once in a while instead.

Are you a sugar lover, too? If so, check out the Canadian Sugar Institute website where you can find out about different kinds of sugar, study the health issues surrounding this controversial food and even take a Sugar IQ test. (I got an 80% score in case you’re wondering.)


Nibbler’s pantry

January 29, 2008

wineloverspantry.jpgWhile reading about how Canadians have become information snackers who use mobile technology to take in bite-size, easy-to-digest portions of information (think about the ticker that crawls along the bottom of the screen on news channels or the 60-second news breaks so many radio stations offer), I was reminded of the great joy provided by snack food.

Whether it’s a mobile activity or the more conventional couch variety, snacking on little bits of food is actually compatible with snacking on information. Although there’s research that shows chronic snacking is linked to obesity, there’s also a body of evidence that suggests eating more frequent, smaller meals can be good for you.

For me, as long as snacking is done consciously and accounted for as part of your daily calorie intake, there’s nothing wrong with nibbling. In fact, I think snacking should be considered when you make your grocery list since a satisfying snack life can lead to reduced cravings and a general sense of happiness (I speak purely from personal experience!)

-The first step to having a fulfilling snack life is to define your snacking profile.
-Step 2 is to buy the snacks.
-Step 3 is the crucial step that will prevent snacking from having negative results: Divide snacks into appropriate servings so that you can grab them quickly and easily and so that you know when to stop. Pre-portioning snacks means that no matter how engrossing Grey’s Anatomy may be, you won’t unconsciously eat more than you should.

Not sure what kind of snacker you are? Check out these profiles to decide:

Wino nibbler
-Cheeses
-Dried fruit such as: cranberries, figs, dates, raisins, apricots
-Crackers
-Unsalted Nuts
-Dry cured sausage

Healthy nibbler
-Edamame (immature green soybeans) in or out of the pod
-Green pumpkin seeds
-Bittersweet chocolate
-Veggies
-Hummus
-Nori
-Dried fruit

Comfort junkie
-Potato chips
-Frozen French fries
-Olives
-Pickles
-Roasted red peppers
-Sour cream/dip
-Tortillas
-Salsa
-Popcorn

Sweet tooth
-Chocolate
-Candies such as Smarties, ju-jubes, etc.
-Marshmallows
-Dry breakfast cereal
-Fruit
-Cookies

Which profile fits you and, tell me, what are you craving right now?

Check out these neat snacking articles at homemakers.com:
-6 healthy homemade snacks
-Healthy snacks at work
-Post-workout snacks


Butterscotch pudding

January 24, 2008

butterscothpudding.jpgWhen I was growing up I loved homemade butterscotch pudding. In fact, I vowed that as soon as I was an adult I would make an entire pot of butterscotch pudding and eat it all by myself. I still find that idea wonderfully appealing; however, as I mentioned on television recently, I’m also trying to stay slim and trim (BTW: I’ve lost four of the six pounds I talked about losing that day!).

When I originally envisioned eating an entire batch of butterscotch pudding, it was a big batch. A really big batch. Enough for eight, in fact. While I know that my adult metabolism can definitely not handle that kind of indulgence, I do still love creamy, rich homemade butterscotch pudding. There’s just no substitute for scratch butterscotch pudding. The single-serve commercially prepared butterscotch puddings available in grocery stores don’t even taste like butterscotch. No, once you go homemade, there’s no turning back when it comes to butterscotch pudding!

To satisfy my cravings and maintain portion control, I developed this smaller batch, microwave version of my favorite childhood dessert. Although it makes enough to share with a friend, you could eat the entire batch. You’d be blowing your diet for the day but you won’t have to lie down to recover!

What’s your favorite childhood food? Are sweets more “cravable” than savoury foods for you?

Dana’s Microwave Butterscotch Pudding
4 tsp (20 mL) cornstarch
½ cup (125 mL) lightly packed dark brown sugar
pinch salt
1 cup (250 mL) 2 % milk
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 tbsp (30 mL) cold, salted butter, cubed
¼ tsp (1 mL) pure vanilla extract

Blend the cornstarch with the sugar and salt until well combined in a microwave safe bowl or large glass-measuring cup. Whisk in about 1/4 of the milk until smooth. Blend in remaining milk, whisking until smooth.

Cook mixture in the microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Whisk well and cook for 2 minutes longer or until thickened. Spoon a little of the hot milk mixture into the eggs. Stir until smooth. Scrape the egg mixture into the hot milk mixture using a rubber spatula. Whisk well and cook for 1 minute longer on HIGH. Whisk in the butter and vanilla until smooth. Cool to room temperature. Makes 2 servings.


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