Upside-Down Almond-Fudge Tartlets

This Cooking Light Recipes boxed calendar is going to be the death of me. I can barely wait to turn to the next recipe every other day! The excitement and anticipation wreaks havoc on my impatient body. Well, not really. But it does entice my taste buds and gets me cooking things that I probably shouldn’t have in the house because it’s bad for my hips…. because that’s straight where it goes.

Luckily, it’s Cooking LIGHT and not Cooking LOADED. I can eat an entire one of these tartlets and still stay within my points for a day (I still get a lot of points). It’s completely worth it too because these are just fantastic! You can change up the nuts on top too. Don’t like almonds? Use pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts or even peanuts. Let your taste buds be your guide. Just don’t let your taste buds to convince you to eat two of them like mine did. Tricky buds.

tart, tartlet, almond, fudge, chocolate, dessert

Upside-Down Almond-Fudge Tartlets (from Cooking Light)
Servings: 6
PointsPlus per Serving: 13 (or cut each in half for 7 PP per serving)


  • 1 cup coarse chopped almonds, toasted, 23 PP
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chocolate, 16 PP (I used what I had, which was 1 square bittersweet, 1 square unsweetened and 2 squares semi-sweet)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used crisco butter-flavored sticks for 19 PP)
  • 2.25 oz all-purpose flour (around 1/2 cup), 6 PP
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 PP
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, 4 PP
  • 6 tbsp sugar (I just used 8 tbsp organic cane sugar instead of the sugar and cane syrup for 10PP)
  • 2 tbsp golden cane syrup
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract


upside down chocolate almond fudge tart, dessert1. Preheat oven to 350. Set oven rack to lowest third of oven.

2. Coat 6 mini removable-bottom tart pans with cooking spray (CL uses a 9 inch round tart pan). Sprinkle almonds in the pans, distributing evenly. **If you need to toast your almonds, just put them in a dry pan over medium heat and toast until fragrant**

3. Combine chocolate and butter in top of a double boiler. Cook over simmering water until chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; set aside. (I just put a smaller sauce pan on top of a bigger sauce pan with water and put the stovetop on medium. Then the chocolate/butter went into the smaller pan and melted that way. Worked like a charm!)

4. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.

5. Place eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until thick and pale. Gradually add sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, beating at medium speed 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Add golden cane syrup (if using) and vanilla; beat on low speed 1 minute or until blended. Add chocolate mixture; beat 1 minute or until blended. Add flour mixture, and beat on low speed just until combined.

6. Pour batter over nuts into prepared pans, spreading evenly. Bake in lower third of oven at 350 for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs (20 if you’re using the 9 inch tart pan). Invert tart onto a serving platter. Top with a scoop of ice cream if you like for some added deliciousness!

Need to serve these at a later time? Nuking them for about 25 seconds will do the trick. You can also try topping them with a scoop of ice cream. I’d recommend vanilla, butter pecan or coffee flavored. Mine stayed good in the fridge for almost a week, so yours should too!

Sweet Potato Hashbrowns

sweet potato, breakfast, hash browns, breakfast potatoes

Oh so sweet

Breakfast is easily one of my favorite meals of the day, but only when it’s done right. Like most people, I can live with a bowl of cereal and a piece of fruit and then go about my day if I have to, but I’d always rather have something homemade. The only thing that frustrates me about breakfast is the monotony that we’ve settled for! Eggs, bacon, pancakes, cereal, rinse, repeat. Sure, there’s a little more differentiation than that, but it sure feels like there isn’t sometimes.

In order to break up that monotony, I try using ingredients that aren’t normally found on a breakfast menu. I’ve already posted some delicious recipes using wonton wrappers, salad fixings and polenta, but I definitely need to bulk up that section of my recipe index! Here are some examples of different, delicious breakfast foods that I’ve been enjoying lately:

Giardiniera and veggie-cheese omelets
Vanilla chai pancakes (cooked in coconut oil.  YUM.)
– Sweet potato hashbrowns

All these things are extremely yummy and satisfy that need for change. The recipe I’m sharing with you today is for my sweet potato hashbrowns. I’ve been making them for a couple years now, ever since we had run out of regular potatoes and I was craving some hashbrowns. We mash them, soufflé them, bake them, French fry them and turn them into hummus, so why not turn them into hashbrowns as well? I made them for my parents on Christmas Eve morning and they went bonkers. I think they forgot how well the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes lends itself to savory dishes.

I’m actually going to share two variations. One is low-sodium and includes onions and the other is just well spiced and doesn’t have onions. At least one of them is sure to please anyone in your household who likes sweet potatoes!

sweet potato, breakfast, hash browns, breakfast potatoes

Jess took these photos. She calls this one “sweet hash”…. :)

Simple Sweet Potato Hashbrowns
Servings: 4
PointsPlus per Serving: 3


  • 1 large sweet potato, 8 PP
  • 2 tbsp light butter/margarine, 4 PP
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • paprika


  • 1 large sweet potato, 8 PP
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • crushed red pepper or chili powder
  • 2 tbsp light butter/margarine, 4 PP

1. Get a bowl of warm water.  As you dice up your sweet potato, throw it into the bowl with water.  Letting them soak in the water for a little bit as you are preparing everything will soften them up just enough.  Chop up your onions and set them aside (not in the water).

2. Warm up a non-stick skillet or cast iron pan (my preference).  Once it gets to a medium heat, put in the butter and let it melt.  If you’re doing the version with the onions, put the onions in and let them soften up just a little.  Then put in the drained potatoes.  Sprinkle your spices over top (I just do a sprinkling of each and use a little more of the flavors I really want in there), mix around the potatoes so they are well coated with butter and spice and then let them sit for about 4 minutes.  Once they start to brown up on the bottom, scrape them all over to one end and give them a flip.  Let them sit for another 4 minutes or so.  Do this until they meet your level of satisfactory softness/crispness and then transfer them to a plate.

**PLEASE NOTE** – If you are doing the version with the onions, you’ll have to stir them up more often so the onions don’t burn!

What are some other things that you eat for breakfast that you’d consider “different”?

Peas and Pancetta Pasta Topper

Sometimes I get really tired of red sauce.  I always have to wear shirts that I’m okay with getting spots on because I tend to slurp.  I usually end up fixing any red sauce that comes out of a bottle since public demand requires things to be a bit on the bland side in order to please the bulk of the customers.  And after 28 years of eating that same bowl of pasta and sauce, I just need something different once in a while.

Luckily, pasta is a food that can easily take on flavors other than marinara.  That’s why you can find a lot of different dishes at good Italian food places that don’t involve red sauce!  I’ve already given you  fantastic recipes for my alfredo sauce and meat sauce (also called a “ragu”).  I’ve also shared other toppings for pasta – a veggie saute and a sundried tomato, asparagus and feta combo.  All four of these are amazing, but I think that this newest one is my favorite thus far!

Peas and Pancetta Pasta Topper
Servings: 3
PointsPlus Per Serving: 5 PP


  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh green peas, 4 PP
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup diced cooked ham, 1 PP
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese, 2 PP
  • 4 slices center-cut bacon, 2 PP
  • 2 tbsp Smart Balance light buttery spread, 4 PP

1. Get out a large non-stick skillet and place in your bacon. Turn it to medium heat and cook up that bacon until it’s fully cooked, but not crispy. Take out the bacon to cool, but leave the drippings in the pan.

2. Take your garlic and diced onion and put that right into the bacon drippings. Let it cook for a few minutes and then toss in the ham and peas. Cook for another five minutes or so until everything is warmed. Add the buttery spread and balsamic vinegar and stir until the spread is melted.

3. Put a lid over it all and let it simmer for a few more minutes. Once it’s done, divide over your favorite noodle, top with one tbsp of that parmesan cheese (unless you’re keeping it dairy-free) and enjoy.

After making this a few times, I think that this tastes best over gnocchi! There’s just something about those supple potato dumplings that makes all these flavors blend perfectly. I bought Archer Farms regular potato gnocchi, which is 16 PP for 3 cups. That would make each serving 10 PP…. not bad for 1 cup of filling gnocchi and about 1/2 cup of topping. A wonderful ratio of noodle to topping. YUM! You could also just put it over any other noodle or even rice. Or just do like I do and eat it over the stove with nothing but a spoon because it’s so damn tasty.

One last note… don’t think I’m going to skip out on all the wedding details.  They’re coming soon!  I know you all want to see some pictures and hear about it all :)

Perfect Vegan Biscuits


AAAHHH!!! VEGAN BISCUITS!!! I think I just peed my pants in excitement.

I went to Ruby Tuesdays with Jess the other night and had a sad little moment eating my salad while she enjoyed a couple of their cheddar garlic biscuits. Now I can make my own and eat them all! Can you tell I’m excited?

Originally posted on BitterSweet:

Biscuit-making and -eating is not in my heritage; I can’t recall having these savory, flaky quick breads on my dinner table even once throughout my childhood. It’s a shame, really, because they’re such a tasty and effortless side that perfectly compliments almost any meal. Traditional or “authentic” southern biscuits may be beyond the scope of my abilities, but I do know that I like mine tall, tender, and fluffy, with more flavor than just plain flour can bring to the table. Fresh herbs and a healthy handful of vegetables liven up this simple staple, making it ideal for serving with soups, smothered in gravy, or just eaten solo.

Garden Herb Biscuits

2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Parsley
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Chives
1 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh…

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Curried Yellow Squash Soup

On my FB page, I got a request for a good recipe to use with Yellow Squash. Well, I found something that’s different than just a saute or a casserole or covered in cheese. Curried Yellow Squash Soup! This recipe is one that you can all enjoy, no matter if you are vegetarian, dairy-free or just in the mood for something a bit different.

Brown Rice and Lentil Salad


Now that I’m dairy-free, I’m on the hunt for delicious new dishes to add to my repertoire. I stumbled across this one and it looks amazing! I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with my massive amounts of lentils and I think a version of this dish will do just the trick. I can use up those lentils and fresh herbs and stay dairy-free at the same time. DOUBLE AWESOME.

Originally posted on Melissa's Menu:

I got the inspiration for this recipe while channel surfing one afternoon. Giada De Laurentiis was making a similar salad on her show Everyday Italian. I switched it up considerably to make it my own. I am always thankful for the inspiration of the Cooking Channel though!

Into the rice cooker goes one cup texmati brown rice with two bay leaves and one and three-quarter cups of vegetable broth. I believe in my rice cooker this take about a half hour to cook. Once it clicks to cook, allow to sit an additional ten minutes or so. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool. The rest of the components for the dish can be ready while the rice is cooking.

Heat a skillet over medium heat on the stove top. One turn of olive oil goes into the skillet. For this recipe I used my…

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Angela’s Nut Bread

I once posted a family recipe on this blog. WON’T MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN. Lord! I thought I was gonna lose my fingers one at a time to my Aunts. So, when I made my Great-Grandma’s nut bread on St. Patty’s Day and thought to myself that I wanted to share it, I nixed that notion and decided to re-work it so that I would have an original nut bread recipe to share!

You know what? I think I enjoyed this version even more. It’s lower in PP and calories and has a bit of a lighter texture to it. I’ll probably make a loaf of it every week so that I can slice off a couple pieces each day to enjoy for breakfast and a snack! And for all those people who have dairy or yeast allergies/sensitivities, this bread is perfect for you.

Beautiful photo taken by my very talented Fiance!

Angela’s Nut Bread (inspired by my Great-Grandma’s Nut Bread)
Servings: 12
PointsPlus Per Serving: 4


  • 1 cup white cake flour, 13 PP (or all-purpose white, but it’s denser, so the bread will be too)
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour, 11 PP
  • 1/2 cup white sugar, 11 PP
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 tsp baking soda, 1 PP
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, 8 PP
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins, 4 PP
  • 1/4 cup diced dried apricot, 2 PP (optional)
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk, 2 PP (skim milk works fine if you don’t buy almond milk)

And the sexy inside view.

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray all until well coated and then pour the mixture inside. Let sit 10 minutes before putting into the oven.

3. Bake for 1 hour. If you’d like to give it a nice shiny look on top, take the bread out when there’s only 10 minutes left to bake, rub some light butter over top (or fake butter or canola oil) and then put it back in for the last 10 minutes. Best served warm with a little butter or peanut butter spread on top!

Now, when I make bread like this, my way of controlling portion sizes is to make little notch marks with a knife along one edge of the bread.  Thank GOD I do this too otherwise I’d be eating 2-3 servings at a time without knowing it!  If you struggle with figuring out how much bread to slice off a tasty homemade loaf, you should probably try out this technique.

Oh, one more thing.  I actually tracked every morsel that went into my mouth for an entire week!  WOOT WOOT!  Now, I’m on to week two of tracking and I started the day off with a slice of this fantastical stuff, a blueberry yogurt, a banana and a glass of vanilla almond milk.  It’s gonna be a good week, I can feel it :)