Monthly Archives: June 2011

My Happy Birthday Summer Berry Trifle with Lemony Cream Cheese Awesomeness

I wanted Alyssa to make my birthday dinner and cake instead of going out.  I wanted something different.  Not necessarily difficult, but different and memorable.  I knew she could do it.

Summer Birthday Trifle
I told her I'd like a trifle.  So she looked up a recipe and made it while I was at work.  She texted me in the afternoon, "We have enough dessert to feed the building."   

Very Berry Summer Birthday Trifle
That didn't turn out to be the case.  Three of us devoured over half of it at one sitting.

Red White and Blueberry Trifle
Then we took a long nap.  I wish Jillian were here to help eat it.  She's in Phoenix trying to catch a plane back from Las Vegas.

  Happy Birthday Trifle
I'm so lucky to have my health, my family, and to be 29 again.  My health coach told me something she had heard… "If you wake up on the right side of the dirt, it's a good day."  Morbid, but I like it.

Makes a great 4th of July dessert too!

Red, White and Blueberry Trifle
Compliments of JennaDish

adapted from Martha Stewart


1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 store-bought angel food cake (or 12 ounce pound cake), cut or torn into hunks
1 bar (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 pints fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
1 1/2 pounds fresh strawberries (1 1/2 16-oz containers), rinsed and dried, stems removed, sliced

  1. Make lemon syrup: In a small saucepan, bring 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup water to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Let cool completely, then brush over both sides of cake slices. Quarter each slice.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese with remaining 1/3 cup sugar on high speed until lightened. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add heavy cream in a steady stream; continue beating until mixture is light and airy (mixture will be like a very soft whipped cream).
  3. Arrange half the cake pieces in the bottom of a trifle bowl or similar dish. Spoon half the cream-cheese mixture over cake in dollops; spread to sides of dish. Scatter half the blueberries and strawberries on top. Repeat layering with remaining cake, cream-cheese mixture, and berries, piling berries in the center.
  4. Cover, and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.


Chicken, Penne and Roasted Asparagus in Rosemary Garlic Sauce

Rosemary Garlic Chicken Pasta w Roasted Asparagus
Another awesome dish from made by Alyssa. 

She found a base recipe at Allrecipes, added baked boneless chicken and rosemary …

Rosemary and Chicken prep
chopped roasted asparagus…

Cut Roasted Asparagus
Rosemary Chicken Pasta
and made some other tweaks. 

Chicken, Penne and Roasted Asparagus in Rosemary Garlic Sauce
Compliments of JennaDish


It was suggested in some comments that this dish does not make good leftovers, so make enough for a meal only.  Use Amish chicken for the most tender meat.  

Baked Chicken:

2 medium-large chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chicken stock
several sprigs fresh rosemary

Sauce and Pasta:
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup finely chooped onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
8 oz. dry penne pasta (1/2 of a 1-pound box)
2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour chicken broth in a small baking dish leaving about an inch around and in between chicken breasts, salt and pepper chicken and place in broth.  Lay rosemary sprigs on chicken.  Bake until cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.  Remove chicken from oven and keep warm on plate, discarding the broth and rosemary.

Roasted Asparagus:
Turn oven up to 400 degrees.  Cut or break off last 2 inches of spears. Spread in a single layer on baking sheet, drizzle olive oil over them, roll back and forth to cover with oil, sprinkle with a little salt.  Roast about 10-25 minutes (depending on thickness) until tender and crispy.

Meanwhile, prepare water and start cooking pasta according to package directions until al dente, or just before it is tender. 

Melt 3 Tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over med-low heat.  Add the onions; cook and stir until well done 5-10 minutes.  Add garlic and saute about 1-2 minutes, watching closely not to burn. Stir in chicken stock and rosemary, and increase the heat to medium high.  Reduce by half, cooking about 8 minutes.

Cut chicken into pieces, toss in skillet with pasta, asparagus and sauce.  Serve immediately.

Mayan Crunch Truffle Balls – A Raw Dessert

Mayan Crunch Truffle Balls Raw Dessert
I really like these.  But many people would not, I understand.  I'm OK with that.

  Mayan Chocolate Truffles
This is the first time I've used these products… purchased online through Amazon or direct from Navitas.

Cacao Powder Cacao Nibs
…and the first time I used my new Tribest Personal Blender …

Ground Cashews
Ground Cacao Nibs
Love it all.


Mayan Crunch Truffle Balls
Compliments of JennaDish

from Ani's Raw Food Desserts by Ani Phyo

MAKES ABOUT 10 BALLS (true that)

I used my coffee grinder to grind the nuts but it left a couple chunks so I used my new personal blender which did a great job.  Also I used store-bought chili powder and couldn't really taste the 1/4 teaspoon. To roll balls, it helps to chill the mixture about 20 minutes before rolling in hands.

1 cup dry cashews
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, to taste
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup cacao nibs
1/3 cup agave syrup Cacao powder or additional ground cinnamon for rolling

Grind small batches of the cashews into a fine powder.  Pour into a mixing bowl and add the cinnamon, chili powder, and salt and mix well. 

Grind the cacao nibs into a fine powder.  Add to the cashew mixture and mix well.  Add the agave syrup and mix well.  Use a 1 1/2 tablespoon scooper to drop dough onto a plate, or your hands to roll into balls.

To serve, roll the balls into 2-3 tablespoons of cacao powder or ground cinnamon (or mixture of both?).  Enjoy immediately or place in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes or more if you'd like them firmer.

Will keep for a couple weeks or more at room temp, or a month or more in the fridge.

Coconut Ice Kream – A Raw Dessert

  Coconut Ice Kream x
Spelling cream with a k basically means it's like a cream but not real dairy cream.  It is evidently a  vegan-used spelling to indicate it's not an animal product.  The above picture shows the ice kream after 1 or 2 hours, sludgy, but getting firm on the edges.

Coconut Ice Kream - A Raw Dessert
This picture is after fully frozen, but is not attractive at all.  Looks a bit like mashed potatoes, doesn't it?
Next time I'll try to mix it then smooth it out so I can at least cut it into bars.  Leaving it in a lumpy pile to get hard doesn't work well for scooping because this stuff gets very, very hard.  Different from regular ice cream.

Coconut Ice Kream
Compliments of JennaDish

from Ani's Raw Food Desserts by Ani Phyo

1 cup cashews
1 cup filtered water
1/3 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup liquid coconut oil

Combine all ingredients into high-speed blender (I used a food processor because my dang blender hasn't arrived yet in the mail) until smooth.  Pour into container and place in the freezer for 3-4 hours. Every hour or so, remove and mix well.  Place back in freezer (duh) to chill. Repeat until desired consistency, 5-7 hours.

Pecan Pie Cookies – A Raw Dessert

Pecan Pie Cookies

I need to lose 15 pounds.  These little babies are gonna help me make it.


Pecan Pie Cookies
Compliments of JennaDish

from Ani's Raw Food Desserts by Ani Phyo

1 cup pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange oil or orange juice
1 cup pitted Medjool dates (got mine at Whole Foods)

Combine the pecans cinnamon, and orange oil i the food processor and pulse into small chunks.  Add the dates and process until mixed well. 

Scoop the dough by 1 1/2 tablespoons onto a sheet tray lined with parchment and flatten into cookies.

Will keep for a week in the fridge or several weeks in the freezer (thaw before eating).

Pineapple Icebox Dessert-A Raw Dessert

Pineapple Icebox Cake

Pineapple Icebox Dessert
Since sweets are my weakness, yet I want to eat better and lose weight, I thought I'd try my hand at some raw desserts.

This is very good.

First Import 102

First Import 101
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First Import 114

Pineapple Icebox Dessert
Compliments of JennaDish

from Ani's Raw Food Desserts: 85 Easy, Delectable Sweet and Treats


2 cups raw cashews (bought mine at Whole Foods)
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1 Tblsp alcohol-free vanilla extract (I used the bean-you can see the specks)
2 Tbsp agave syrup


1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1/3 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup liquid coconut oil
1/4 cup filtered water, as needed
2 1/2 cups chopped cored pineapple

CRUST: Combine the cashews and vanilla in the food processor and chop to a crushed wafer texture.  Add the agave syrup and process to mix well.  Sprinkle half of the crust onto the bottom of a loaf pan. Press down lightly to distribute evenly.

FILLING: Combine the cashews, agave syrup, and coconut oil in the high-speed blender (I used my food processor again) and blend until smooth, adding water as needed to create a creamy texture.  Spoon the mixture into a mixing bowl, add the pineapple and stir to mix well.  Spoon the filling into the loaf pan and sprinkle the remianing crust on top.  Pat lightly.  Freeze for 2 hours, or until chilled.

Will keep for 4-6 ays in fridge or for several weeks in the freezer.