Panettone French Toast

Every year, I buy a panettone at Ross, Dress For Less. The children always like the one with streaks of cream filling. This year it was a vanilla cream. We usually toast it and spread with butter but this year I made French toast with it, using that King’s Hawaiian recipe. It was perfect and they all loved it. It was pretty high in calories, but I will probably skip lunch as we are all going to the movies. I will probably make Honey Walnut Shrimp so Megaman can taste it. My Quiet Child will go home before dinner, but she is the one most likely to make it herself. I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays and that my British friends have a lovely Boxing Day. Sorry I forgot to take even one picture.

It is Jan 3rd and I was given more panettone, so I made it again (this time it is not cream filled) and wanted to post this picture.

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Wiener Wreath

Tonight I am tired and in the sneezing phase of my cold. I didn’t make dinner, instead I ate tortilla chips dipped in hummus. I also had a truffle, they are so good! But the Pickiest Eater I Know is here and helped make this dish, which I got the idea for here. I used 1 can of reduced-fat crescent roll dough, cutting each triangle into four pieces, and 32 Aidel’s Chicken Apple mini sausages. I baked them at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or just until they began to brown. They are in the fridge until Christmas, when I will finish cooking them

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I think I will try to make a bow with red bell pepper.

Christmas Plate

Well, this isn’t a recipe but I thought I would post a picture of the completed Christmas plate. (I forgot to add the macaroons, I might just keep them for myself). I washed my hands really well, this cold isn’t nice.

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For lunch I am having another Greek Burrito because the tzatziki can’t be frozen and will spoil. It was tasty.

Coconut Macaroons

I always get a cold in December, why should this year be any different? I don’t feel like cooking anything and luckily, I don’t have to make these terrific treats. These are regulars on my Christmas treat plate, but at Big Lots, Archway’s Coconut Macaroons caught my eye. I tried one and I think they might be better than mine. So, I will put them on my plate. And I recommend them if your treat plate needs one more thing.

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This is one, very pretty, delicious and 80 calories.

For lunch I think I will have Beef Burgundy, if I feel like eating. Until then it is zinc tablets and echinacea tea.

Cashew Brittle

What could be easier than microwave, stir, microwave, add stuff, stir, microwave, add stuff, stir, pour? This is closer to honeycomb than nut brittle. I think it should have more butter to get that creamy taste that is missing. But since this is for My Quiet Child, who loves Honeycomb, it all works out. An added benefit is that Someone likes to make an ice cream that calls for Honeycomb pieces to be mixed in. This will be a greatly appreciated shortcut. (Plus it doesn’t fill the house with such a strong burning odor.)

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I used raw cashews, and ICBINB. It is about 6 calories per gram. I broke it into small pieces, but many didn’t have cashews. Next time I will use peanuts and add 1 1/2 cups instead of 1.

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This little 5 gram piece was very satisfying and only 30 calories!

For lunch I had Chicken Enchilada Soup from the freezer and spinach with fat-free Ranch dressing.

 

Pralines

I have known this candy all my life, or as early as I can remember Christmas baking. These are my mom’s favorites and they are always on our Christmas treat plate. This is a new recipe, because it is close to the one I usually use, but I couldn’t find it on the internet. Something I like very much about this recipe is the toasting of the pecans. It really brings out the flavor. The thing I did not like about it was how fast it set up. I might be tempted to start dropping the candy as soon as the vanilla and pecans are evenly stirred in. It is very thick and hard to stir, but I kept going until it began to lose its gloss and got maybe a dozen formed before it solidified in the pan. I scraped it into a microwave safe bowl and heated it for 1 1/2 minutes. I could then drop the candy again, but it wasn’t pretty. But I am sure that will not put anyone off the rich, melt-in-your mouth treat.

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I got about 50 pieces weighing between 14 and 25 grams each. They average 100 calories. The one shown here was 15 grams, 75 calories and delicious. Next year I will go back to my old recipe because they come out as pretty little patties.

For lunch I am having Italian Fondue from the freezer, with a spinach salad and as many baby carrots as it takes to finish the sauce after the toast runs out.

Dried Fruit Plate

I am going to be out of the kitchen for a few days, I hope I will be able to keep to my low calorie count when I can’t know the calories of what I am eating. At some point I will have to develop a sense of how much I can eat, so this is a short trial which the bathroom scale will pass judgement on. Next week I will finish off my Christmas treat plates and I hope to come up with more dinners that I love. But, today I will post a little plate I made up to provide no-sugar alternatives.

I bought a bag of mixed dried fruit that included apple rings, peaches, pears, apricots, and prunes. I had dates, dried cherries and dark chocolate covered strawberries (oops, a bit of sugar). I saw this page and wanted something similar and this is my attempt:

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If I get a chance I will report what I eat each day, but no recipes for a couple days.

Appetizer Christmas Tree

This is not much of a dinner recipe. But it is a great party idea that I saw here. I didn’t like the idea of Styrofoam, so I made a cone from aluminum foil and wrapped puff pastry around it to create an edible form.

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It is quite sturdy after being left overnight, I did have worries about it bearing the weight of a full load so I left the foil in it.

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We are throwing caution to the wind and just nibbling without regard for calories, hoping that we now know when we have had enough. This was a trial run for something during the holiday season when we might need finger food. I used black olives, cocktail onions, reduced fat Colby-Jack, light string cheese, Aidell’s apple chicken mini sausages, grape tomatoes, petite dills, and some thawed frozen broccoli. We might even whip up some sugar-free mock-tails.

Gingerbread

I have made gingerbread houses, which require a very rigid dough. But I wanted a softer cookie this year and found this recipe. I got the cutest cookie cutter last year and wanted to use it so this is the result:

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The recipe made 15 soldiers and one small taste test circle. Each cookie is 200 calories, not including the icing. These are more pumpkin cookies than gingerbread but I liked them.

For lunch, I had Polynesian Stuffed Sausage, plus a handful each of baby carrots and Bugles.

Italian Cream Fudge

This is the most difficult of all my recipes. Or at least it used to be. I found it in that candy cookbook that I drooled over as a child, Choice Candy From Your Own Kitchen by the Food Editors of Farm Journal. Someone posted it here. I don’t know how I ever got it to work as written. The sugar to corn syrup ratio is ridiculous. I struggled with it for years, usually ending up with ice cream topping rather than fudge. I got to the point of giving it up or finding a way to fool-proof it. (Someone wouldn’t have accepted abandoning it.) Corn syrup inhibits crystallization of sugar. That is how you get a creamy fudge, and this is the creamiest, but most fudge recipes call for no more than a tablespoon per cup of sugar. My fix is to reduce the 2 cups called for to 1/3 cup corn syrup. Another hassle I used to deal with was finding shelled Brazil nuts (or shelling them myself). The solution is macadamia nuts. They have a similar texture and better taste, if you ask me. The only bad thing is that Brazil nuts have insane amounts of selenium. 1 Brazil nut weighing 5 grams gives over 100% of the RDI for selenium!

General guidelines from my experience are a cooking time of 30 minutes, cooling time of around 1 hour and beating time 30-40 minutes. This is not by any means a quick and easy treat, but a treat it is. Chilling will take a few hours so I will post a serving photo with calorie count after dinner tonight.

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This still hasn’t firmed up, I’ll have to post the picture of a single piece tomorrow.

For lunch I had Thai Green Curry from the freezer. (I could definitely eat it once a week.)

It never did firm up enough. This is the first time it has failed since I reduced the corn syrup. Did I throw the batch out? Nope! I melted 10 ounces of white chocolate chips and mixed them in on medium speed. They are now cut-able, though not solid. It might just be my imagination, but I think I like them even better. I got 88 pieces at about 125 calories each. I ate two! I’ll have to skip ice cream tonight too.

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Snowball Cookies

I can’t remember the first time I had these but a memorable early encounter was when we were going to ASU and a friend gave us a plate of these for Christmas. Since then, they have always been on my Christmas plate. They are claimed by Sweden, Mexico, Russia and who knows where, but I will call them snowball cookies. They are similar to shortbread, but are perfected with the addition of pecans. I used a recipe similar to this, but used 3/4 cup unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons canola oil instead of the 1 cup butter. There is no salt in my recipe but cinnamon is added to the rolling sugar. Also, my recipe has the dough chilling in the fridge for 30 minutes before shaping. Lastly, I baked mine for 18 minutes at 350 degrees F. I got 64 cookies with 60 calories each.

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I needed to use up the remaining hamburger bun so I had a ham sandwich with American cheese, grape tomatoes and arugula for lunch. I also had two of these cookies instead of my ice cream. They were so delicate and delicious.

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Nut Rolls

This recipe is from my mother-in-law. It was typed by an unknown person long ago. I fell in love at first bite and make them every year even though they are quite labor-intensive. Here is the recipe:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Nut Rolls

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
DOUGH
6 1/2 cups flour
1 ounce yeast
2 cups Butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
FILLING
1/2 pound walnuts
3/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup Butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine flour and yeast. Add butter, salt, sugar, and vanilla. Add
eggs, 1 at a time. Mix well. Add sour cream. Mix and them knead until
firm and smooth. Chill for 12 hours. Combine milk, butter and sugar in
saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil while stirring. Add nuts and
vanilla and cook until thick. Divide dough into two batches. Roll as
thin as possible. Cut into 2-in squares. Place a small spoon of filling
onto each square and roll diagonally from one corner. Place on greased
baking sheet and bend into crescent shapes. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes
or until lightly browned. When cool, dust with powdered sugar.

I am using nonfat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and ICBINB.

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This is a plate of 24 nut rolls, the recipe makes 96, so you can make half of the batch if you don’t need this many. They are 85 calories each. They are similar to these Hungarian Nut Rolls.

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For lunch, I had Chicken Marsala from the freezer and two of these cookies.

Chocolate Crack

The first Christmas after I moved into this house, I was invited to a neighborhood cookie exchange. One of the recipes there was Soda Cracker Candy. But the cheeky internet children call it Chocolate Crack. And though it may have gotten this name to indicate it is made from crackers, the addictive nature of these makes the name appropriate. So these have secured a place in my annual Christmas treat lineup.

(This is in another browser tab as I type.)

I actual tried this yesterday with ICBINB (despite warnings that you must use butter). It failed, the toffee didn’t harden. Someone didn’t want to throw it away, so that mess is being shared with unwitting co-workers. I used a 9 X 12-inch pan so I reduced the recipe by 1/4. I used 7 ounces of 60% cocoa bittersweet chips.  I got about 100 pieces weighing about 6 grams each and having 34 calories. I had three and skipped ice cream after lunch.

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For lunch, I had Arugula Pesto Tortellini from the freezer and a handful of baby carrots.

 

 

Fantasy Fudge

This is definitely the easiest candy recipe. The original recipe from the marshmallow cream jar is here. I made mine in the microwave, melting the butter, then stirring in the sugar and milk, then cooking in the microwave for 3 minutes, then stirring, cook 2 minutes, stir, cook 3 minutes, stir, cook 2 1/2 minutes. Then stir in the chips until melted, then stir in everything else. I used ICBINB, fat-free evaporated milk, and I added an additional 6 ounces of cinnamon chips that I had in the back of the pantry (a great addition).

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My piece weighed 21 grams for a calorie count of 80.

For lunch I had Shepherd’s Pie from the freezer.