Dessert Anyone?

Some would say I am blessed, others would say I am cursed, you decide when I tell you that I don't crave sweets. I can live without them

most of the time, every once in a while I will go on a bing eating icecream or some twizzlers or something similar. The rest of the

time I can walk by them without a problem. Certainly I am not the average person when it comes to sweets. Most people have a

weakness when it comes to sweets of some sort.


How could you not enjoy a mocha icecream pie, or strawberry shortcake? Well to each his own. What I want to discuss here are some dessert

options that are sweet and refreshing. I suppose you may consider them a change in pace or philosophy. When you look at

desserts they tend to be high in fats, sugar and corresponding calories. Here we will look at some ideas that embrace the natural

sugars within fruits and complimenting them with appropriate accompaniments.


Strawberry shortcake is an example of this. Strawberries in season are extremely sweet, cut them up (1 cup) heat some orange juice 2 oz and

simmer the strawberries in the orange juice, the sugars will be enhanced, taste it, if it isn't sweet enough add

1 tsp of sugar, or to taste. Let it cool serve it over angel food cake, which is made with egg whites. Top with fat free vanilla yogurt

and a sprig of mint.


Another such example of this is merlot, or chiraz poached pears served over a maple walnut ice milk or gelato with a drizzle of reduced

balsamic vinegar (reduced to a syrup consistancy) and some toasted walnuts. (Poached pears = in a sauce pan, combine 1 cup of

wine, ½ orange sliced or 2 oz. juice, 2 each cloves, 1 cup water, 1 cinnamon stick, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer add peeled ½'d

pears submerge and cover, remove from heat. Remove pears when tender, and cool.


Grilled peach shortcake, brush peach 1/2's with olive oil or butter, sprinkle with cinnamon. Grill until tender, slice peaches, in a blender add 3

oz apple or peach juice, 1 peach ½. In a bowl combine peaches and blended juice and peaches. Serve over angel food cake with fat

free vanilla yogurt.


The last that we will go over here is a Panna Cotta or “cooked cream” in Italian. This is a cream, flavored and

thickened with a gelatin. It is similar to a pudding however it doesn't possess the eggs so the calories and fat are considerably

reduced. For our purposes we will not use cream, we will use milk or you could even use skim milk.


Panna Cotta

1 cup milk

4 tsp. Unflavored gelatin

1 T. pure vanilla extract, or ½ vanilla bean, split, scraped and soaked in warming milk

1 T. honey or sugar

3 T. raspberries, Blueberries or strawberries or any fruit you like

1. dissolve gelatin in 2 oz. Cold milk

2. heat 6 oz of milk with vanilla, and honey to a simmer

3. whisk hot milk mixture into milk and gelatin mixture

4. pour into mold, wine glass, martini glass

5.chill for minimum 6 – 8 hours

6.put berries or sliced fruit on top, serve