Skinnier Strawberry Shortcake

This ain’t your momma’s Strawberry Shortcake!  No sir.  This is Strawberry Shortcake elevated to a whole new level.  Fresh baked sponge cake.  Freshly whipped cream.  And berries picked from a local farm. 

I tried to come up with some fancy shmancy name to help emphasize the awesomeness of this cake, but there was nothing that described it better than the simple, traditional name. 

I lightened this up a bit by using Splenda in the whipped cream and to macerate the strawberries.  Yes, there’s still 2 cups of heavy cream in there, but hey – you’re not going to eat the whole thing, so don’t freak out.  I only ate 1/16 of this cake and was quite satisfied.  All in moderation, folks.

I think this will be my new favorite recipe for fresh strawberries.  But don’t quote me on that.  I have about 3 more gallons of strawberries, so I may find another favorite!

Skinnier Strawberry Shortcake

Cake

  • 4 eggs, seperated
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted

Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Splenda

Strawberries:

  • 1/2 pound fresh strawberries
  • 2-4 tbsp Splenda (depending on the sweetness of your berries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To prepare cake, line an 8″ square baking pan with parchment or waxed paper.  Grease and flour the paper lined pan and set aside.

Combine sugar and egg whites in large bowl and whip to stiff peaks.  Add egg yolks and gently whisk until combined.  Add milk, vanilla, and flour and gently fold in until combined.  Fold in melted butter.

Pour cake batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 mintues or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Let cool completely on wire rack.  Remove cake from pan and split horizontally.

While the cake is baking, finely dice the strawberries.  Combine with Splenda and set aside to macerate until ready to assemble cake.

When cake is cooled and ready to be assembled, prepare the whipped cream:  Combine heavy cream, splenda, and vanilla in a metal bowl and beat until slightly stiff.  Reserve one cup for piping on the top of the cake.

Place one cake layer on a serving platter.  Top with half the the remaining whipped cream.  Spread a layer of strawberries over the whipped cream.  Top with the other half of the whipped cream.  Place the remaining cake layer on top.  Spoon the reserved 1 cup of whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, and pipe diagonal stripes over the entire top of cake.  Garnish with fresh strawberry halves, if desired.

Hashbrown Egg Nests

When you need a good hearty breakfast, full of protein, potatoes, and eggs, but don’t have time to sit down to a big plate full of food…Hashbrown Egg Nests are the way to go.  You can even make these ahead and just reheat when you’re ready to eat.  And they’re the perfect size to grab and go for a quick breakfast on the run.  You can change up the ingredients to whatever meat and veggies you happen to have in your fridge. 

Hashbrown Egg Nests

  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 cupfrozen hashbrown potatoes, thawed
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 cup egg substitute (or 4 eggs, beaten)
  • 2 tbsp diced green onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced bell peppers and/or other vegetables of choice
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup meat of choice – diced ham, diced turkey, crumbled bacon, etc

Preheat oven to 375.  Spray muffin pan with nonstick spray.  combine potatoes, 1/2 cup minced onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Fill each muffin cup with about 1/3 cup potato mixture and press into bottom and up sides of cup to form a nest.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until godlen brown and crispy.

In bowl, combine egg substitute, green onion, bell peppers (or other veggies), cheese, and meat(s).  Fill each hashbrown nest with about 1/4 cup of egg mixture.  Return to oven and bake another 15-20 minutes, or until eggs are fully cooked.

Serves: 6

 

 

 

Paw Paw Muffins

About a week ago, I went to a friend’s house to pick up something I had ordered from her.  When I stepped on her porch I could smell this really sweet, fruity scent.  When she opened the door the first thing I said was “what smells SO GOOD out here???”  It smelled absolutely divine.  I can’t even describe it.  She informed me that it was Paw Paw fruit from her Paw Paw tree.  Seriously?  I had only heard of them from The Jungle Book movie!  Is there really such a thing?  Yes, there really is.  She gave me a bag of them to take home and try.  She told me that they are an ‘acquired taste’ for most people, so don’t be alarmed if you take a bite and don’t really like it at first.  So, I took my little bag of Paw Paws home and was anxious to taste one and make something with them. 

First, I just cut one open, and ate a bit of the flesh with a spo0n.  Hmm…she’s right.  I didn’t love it.  But I didn’t hate it either.  I couldn’t decide.  So, I made muffins with a few.  I did like the muffins better than the plain paw paw, but I still didn’t love it.  My husband really liked the muffins though.  Here’s the recipe, in case you ever come across some Paw Paw fruit yourself!

Paw Paw Muffins

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 medium-large paw paws (or 4 small ones), flesh removed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup walnuts

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In seperate bowl, combine paw paw flesh, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg yolk.  Stir just until mixed together.  Add dry ingredients and walnuts to paw paw mixture, stirring just until combined.  Don’t overmix.

Divide evenly into 5 or 6 muffin cups (grease the muffin cups or use papers).  Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean.  Cool slightly before serving.

Zuchinni Tart

It’s summer.  And that means that zuchinni is everywhere!  I usually get smaller zuchinni, but when I went to the farmer’s market last week, all I could get was a huge one – I mean, this sucker was 5 inches in diameter and over a foot long!  I had to come up with something to do with all this zuchinni!  I found a recipe for a zuchinni tart/quiche, and decided to give it a try.  It turned out wonderfully.  We had this as a side dish with dinner, but I can totally see this being served for brunch.

Zuchinni Tart

Crust:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Filling:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 2 cups chopped zuchinni
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese, any type
  • 1/4 cu parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup skim milk

 

Spray a tart pan or springfrom pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Prepare crust by combining flour, salt, and baking powder.  Stir in olive oil and water.  Knead to form a dough and roll out into a circle large enough to fit into your pan.  Press into pan and (and 1″ up the sides if using a springfrom pan. 

Beat together eggs and egg whites.  Brush mixture over crust.  Bake crust in  375 degree oven for 8 minutes.  Cool on rack while preparing filling.

For filling, saute onion in a little olive oil until tender.  Add garlic and zuchinni; cook another 10 minutes.  Spread into crust.

Add milk to remaining eggs.  Pour over vegetable mixture.  Pour milk mixture over all and sprinkle with cheeses.  Bake for 45 minutes or until tests done.

 

Serves: 8

Weight Watchers Points + per serving: 5

Skinny Brownie Batter Pancakes

After making the Brownie Batter No-Churn Ice Cream last week, I’ve had brownie batter on the brain.  Then, while browsing other food blogs, I discovered a recipe for brownie batter pancakes on Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog.  Oh yeah.  I adapted it just a bit – I used Splenda, added an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder, and used skim milk – and now I am in love.  It’s like eating brownies for breakfast!!  It doesn’t get much better than that.  Well, okay.  Yes.  It could get better.  Plop a big glob of sweetened whipped cream on top and it would *almost* be like having brownies and ice cream for breakfast.  But, we’ll leave the whipped cream off for today.  All that no-churn ice cream has plenty of cream in it.  I don’t need any more.  I can barely button my pants already. 

Instead of posting the recipe here, I’m simply linking to Katie’s blog (above).   I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

When made with my changes, the Weight Watchers points are as follows:

Serves: 1

Weight Watchers Points + : 4 points for the pancakes, add another 3 points for 2 Tbsp. of chocolate syrup

Skinny Brown Butter Peach Crumble Bars

Peaches have been absolutely delicious this year.  We’ve been buying them from a local fruit stand regularly for the last several weeks.  I don’t know if I’ve ever had peaches as good as the ones we’ve been getting this year.   In addition to just breaking them open and eating them as the juice runs down my arms to my elbows,  I’ve been trying to come up with different ways to use them.  I found this idea of a cross between a granola bar and a peach cobbler.   I’ll be trying these with other fruits too…let me know if you do!

Skinny Brown Butter Peach Crumble Bars

  • 1-1/2 cups oats
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or you can substitute all purpose flour)
  • 6 tbsp brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp splenda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 stick light butter, melted
  • 4 ripe peaches, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour an 8×8 inch pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, splenda, oats, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside. 

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter.  Stir constantly until the butter turns a light golden brown. (This will take about 3 minutes or so)  Once brown, add butter to flour mixture along with vanilla.  Stir until combined.  Fold in the peaches.  Press into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Let cool completely and cut.

Serves: 12

Weight Watchers Points + : 4 points each

Skinny Banana Nut Muffins

When you have bananas that are so ripe you just can’t bring yourself to eat them, it’s time for Banana Nut Bread.  Or, in my case, Banana Nut Muffins.  I’ve created a healthier version that won’t make you feel guilty for indulging a little!

Skinny Banana Nut Muffins

  • 4-5 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Line two muffin pans with 16  paper liners.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt, allspice, and cinnamon.  In a seperate bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until creamy.  Beat in the applesauce and bananas.  Fold in the dry ingredients.  Fold in the nuts.  Spoon batter into paper liners and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.  Remove from pan to cool completely.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Serves:  16

Weight Watchers Points + : 3 points each