Arroz Con Leche

This is a classic dessert in most Cuban restaurants and for a reason. If you have never tried this because you think rice should not be eaten as a dessert, you are missing out. This is a very tasty dessert and a little goes a long way. 

This dessert is rich and creamy, so the creamier the better. To start, you can use whatever rice grain you want, however, I like to use Valencia rice. It’s a smaller grain and I prefer that to the longer grained rice. 

Next is the milk. You can certainly use low-fat milk, but the consistency that this dessert deserves won’t be anywhere near what it should be. Try not to think about calories with this dessert. 

Your next option is a cinnamon stick or cinnamon powder. I have used both and the only difference is the color the dessert will have at the end. The cinnamon powder will give it a little dark color vs. the cinnamon stick will just give it a slightly darker tone. The flavor is still there! 

When you are cooking the rice, make sure to continue to stir the milk. You want to avoid the milk boiling over the pot. Not only does it make a mess, but the ratio will be off. If that happens, don’t worry, you can either add a little milk and voila. 

Once you have added the condensed milk, make sure to refrigerate the dessert in either individual serving cups or in a large container for at least 2 hours. Also, note that the arroz con leche will thicken more, so do not fret if it does not seem to be as thick as you want when you remove from the heat. 

SUGGESTIONS: Try making this dish for the holidays and surprise everyone with what may very well be their new favorite dessert. 

 

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Pouring the condensed milk into the Arroz Con Leche
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Cinnamon Peach Dessert

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Have you noticed how craving dessert after a meal becomes more pronounced when you are trying to lose weight? If you do not then you are lucky, because it seems to happen to me a lot! It’s almost as if a meal is not complete unless you finish it with a dessert. However, what I realized is dessert can be healthy!

This recipe was created from one of those moments. After creating this recipe, I realized that there is a way to have something sweet after your meal, without all the calories. The other great thing about this recipe is you can replace the peaches with other fruits. You can also replace the cinnamon sugar with just cinnamon and “>Stevia.

The process is simple, cut the peach in half and remove the seed. If you enjoy using all of your ingredients, replant the seed later. Cut each half into another half and so on until you have the slice sizes you want. You are more than welcome to cut the peaches in a different size, but the cooking time may change.

Add butter or cooking spray to a non-stick pan on medium heat and then add the peaches. Stir them so they are coated and then add the seasonings and continue to cook them until they start goldening. Remove them from the heat and serve in a bowl.

I topped with whipped cream, but is you can’t eat dairy, there are whipped creams made with almond milk or coconut milk that are delicious.

Finish the dessert with an expresso and your meal will be complete!

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Guava and Cream Cheese Ice Cream

Guava and Cream Cheese Ice CreamSo this is the recipe that I feel took me over the top in creations and is one of the first inserts to my Cookbook –  Buy Cookbook Here

A very popular dessert in Cuba is too serve casacaras de guayava con queso crema en galletas cubana (guava shells with cream cheese on Cuban crackers). It sounds different, but it is delicious! It has that really sweet with some salty and definitely creamy flavor. So if you decide not to attempt this recipe, you should give the true dessert a whirl.

So after I created the recipe, I entered it into a Paula Deen contest for Philadelphia Cream Cheese. I didn’t win, but I keep telling myself it’s because I did not follow the rule that the recipe had to take under 30 minutes ; ). There are certain people that have attempted to create this recipe in Miami, FL after me, but I can assure you, this recipe is #1. Try it out and you tell me…

INGREDIENTS – SERVES 4-6 PEOPLE

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 cup of milk
  • ¾ cups of sugar (extra fine)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup of guava marmalade (I use Conchita)
  • 4 ½ guava shell (small dice) (I use Conchita)

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  1. In a blender, add all the ingredients, except the guava shells and blend together
  2. Place the frozen tub on the ice cream maker and turn on
  3. While the machine is running, pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and let run for about 30 minutes until ice cream thickens
  4. After 20 minutes, add the diced guava shells to the mixture and let mix for the last 10 minutes
  5. Pour all the ice cream into a freezer safe container and place in freezer for about an hour

 

Coconut Rum Macaroons

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Coconut, Coconut, Coconut! This is such an amazing ingredient and not only is great for food, you can also use it for scrubs and fragrances. I have another blog that is titled toasted coconut, and this is great to have and top other dishes off with them. I can guarantee that I will have plenty of coconut recipes in this blog.

In the meantime, I will say you’re welcome for this recipe, OMG is it tasty. I will say that it is not dietary and for that I am sorry, but it is very worth the cheat. When I was young, my dad used to eat coco rayado, which is coconut in a syrup with cream cheese or gouda cheese. It sounds weird, but it was good. This was the start of my love for coconut and then I moved on to mounds. When I discovered chocolate and coconut together, I went to heaven (LOL).

I have had macaroons before with chocolate and without, but I wanted to make some that were different and a little inspired by the Latin culture, so I decided to add rum. Even though they do not have actual rum, boy do they taste like they do!  Any feed back will be appreciated!

 

INGREDIENTS – MAKES ABOUT 24 – 30 MACAROONS

  • Coconut – shredded, sweetened, 6 cups
  • Coconut flour – 2/3 cup
  • Salt – ½ teaspoon
  • Condensed sweetened milk – 14 ounce can
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Rum extract – 2 teaspoons

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, add the coconut, coconut flour and salt and mix well
  3. Add the condensed sweet milk, the vanilla extract and the rum extract and mix everything together well
  4. On a baking sheet with parchment paper, spoon some of the mixture into small amounts (about a tablespoon each)
  5. Bake for 11-12 minutes until you see some of the coconut flakes toasting
  6. Remove from the heat and let cool
  7. If you want to add chocolate over them, melt the chocolate and with a spoon, drizzle all over the top of the macaroon

Tips: You can add some edible glitter or sprinkles on top for a more festive look; you can also try some white chocolate or candy melts in different colors depending on the occasion

Buy Cookbook Here

Toasted Coconut

Coconut is an ingredient that is delicious on savory or sweet dishes and toasted it’s even better. You will usually find sweetened coconut at the grocery, and it’s even yummier when toasted due to the sugar, but I usually have the organic unsweetened and natural coconut flakes. To toast the coconut you need nothing but a nonstick pan on medium heat. Add the coconut and move continuous with a spatula so it does not burn. I always have some handy so that I can top on almost anything.

Tips: Add to pancakes, waffles, yogurts, salads, fish, rice… 

Sugar Twisted Donuts

Okay so two back to back dessert recipes doesn’t really follow the theme of healthy cooking, but I actually made these last week and it took me a while to write the blog. So to keep with the all work no play statement on the cookie blog, don’t make these until next weekend (LOL). So why am I making so many sweets? They are delicious…no really, I get these moments where I need to challenge myself and ever since I tasted the donuts from “Mojo” Donuts, I had to learn how to make one. My donut is just a plain donut but I plan to build on it, I just can’t be making them all the time.

surprisingly the recipe was not as hard as you would think. It is a little time-consuming since you have to let the dough rise twice, but it’s worth it. I made the donuts into twists, but you can definitely roll out the dough and make them look like a classic donut or you can make a lot of donut holes. This is a great recipe to make for the kids after school or for a birthday party or even sleep over.


Ingredients – makes 16 twisted donuts

DOUGH
*Flour – 3 cups, all-purpose
*Butter – 3 tablespoons
*Milk – 1 cup, whole
*Sugar – 2 tablespoons, white sugar
*Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
*Egg – 1 large
*Yeast – 1 pack (2 1/4 teaspoons)

SUGAR COATING
*Sugar – 2 tablespoons
*Cinnamon – 2 tablespoons

  • Add the butter to a medium pot on medium heat and melt then remove from the heat
  • Add the milk, sugar and salt to the pot and stir until dissolved
  • Add the egg to the milk mixture and beat well then add the yeast and mix again
  • Let the mix sit for about 5 minutes and then add to a large bowl
  • Add the flour with the milk mixture and mix into a dough. The dough will be sticky, but just knead it a bit and then let stand for about an hour so the dough will rise
  • Knead again and then let stand covered for another 30 to 40 minutes
  • When you knead the dough it should be less sticky and smoother. Knead well so it’s into a ball and then start splitting the dough into halves.
  • After the first half, split each half into other halves until you have 16 balls. Take each ball and roll out, starting in the middle until each one is about 8 inches long
  • Make sure to tighten them up (like a telephone cord you need to untangle and then lift each side and it will twirl together
  • Pinch the ends together so they do not come apart when you fry them
  • You can continue to make them smaller if you want to make smaller sizes or roll them out and cut them into classic donut shapes
  • In a larger skillet with canola oil on medium high heat (thermometer should read 350 degrees) then lower the heat to medium to keep it steady
  • While the oil gets hot, add the sugar and cinnamon to a brown paper bag and have handy
  • Add about 3 donuts at a time and cook until golden brown on one side (about 2 minutes) and then flip and do the same on the other side
  • remove from the grease and let stand to drain (about 1 minute)
  • While you place the others in the pan to cook, place the first 3 in a brown bag with the cinnamon sugar mixture and shake until they are coated
  • Served warm is the best way

 

Oatmeal-Choco Raisin Cookies

Okay so this is definitely part of the “all and no play” is a no go in my world recipe. I’ve never considered myself much of a baker because everything is so measured, but when I do bake, I make myself proud. This is definitely one of those proud moment recipes.

I also love to bake recipes that I don’t have to bring out all the equipment and it’s a simple hand-held beater, this too is that recipe. I’m so excited about this recipe that I think I’ll try to bake a new cookie once a week. Since I do like to experiment, expect some unexpected ingredients and some fabulous cookies. I’ll also try to make them as healthy as possible but I won’t make any promises. Just remember this when you eat indulgent food, “if you eat in moderation you can enjoy a little of everything”.

With that said, I have decided to add Nutrition to the recipes that seem high in calories so that it will make it easier, if on a diet, calculate if you should have one or more than one. I usually calculate nutrients for many of my meals since my sin is diabetic, so when I do, I will add to my blog post to give you all an estimate. ENJOY!


Ingredients – makes 36 cookies, depending on the size you choose to make them

*Butter – unsalted 12 tablespoons
*Sugar – granulated, 3/4 cup
*Brown Sugar – packed, 3/4 cup
*Eggs – 2 large
*Vanilla extract – 1 1/2 teaspoons
*Flour – all-purpose, 2 cups
*Baking soda – 1 teaspoon
*Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
*Oats – uncooked, 1 cup
*Chocolate chips – semi-sweet, 12 ounces
*Raisins – 1 cup

  • Turn the oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large bowl add the butter, softened (I placed the butter in the microwave for about 60 minutes, 15 minutes at a time) and the sugar and brown sugar and beat with a hand-held until creamy
  • Add the eggs and the vanilla and beat until well incorporated
  • In a separate bowl add the flour, oats, baking soda and salt and stir
  • Slowly add the dry mix to  the wet mix and beat with hand-held until fully incorporated
  • Stir in the chocolate chips and the raisins so the mix has plenty of chips and raisins
  • Bake on baking sheet lined with parchment paper on the middle rack for about 12 minutes until golden brown

Nutrients per cookie:
173 calories
7 grams of fat
2 grams of protein
26 grams of carbs (1.45 grams of fiber, 17.75 grams of sugar)

Tips: If you want to save on calories and carbs you can remove the chocolate chips or even half the chips and also the raisins. You can also make the cookies smaller and that will cut the calories per cookie and make more for another day.

Healthy Fruit Bowl

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I love Saturday’s more than any other day of the week and I am sure I am not the only one. As a realtor, however, I show property on the weekends, but this Saturday, I am off ; ). I woke up early and did some exercise. I had the entire gym to myself in the early morning, which I love! When I got home I had an eggwhite omelette and the snack that you see above, MY FAVORITE! Cottage cheese is a great source of protein and is not high in calories or carbs. If you don’t like cottage cheese you can try changing it for yogurt.


Ingredients:
*Fat free cottage cheese – about 1/2 cup
*Strawberries – 5 sliced however you like them
*Blueberries – 1/4 cup
*Banana – 1 medium mashed with a fork (or you can just slice
*Rasberries – 1/4 cup
*Pecan bits – 1/4 cup
*Honey – about a tablespoon (but I just drizzle some by eyeballing)

  • Mash the banana in a small cup witha fork. Add the cottage cheese in a seperate bowl (like a cereal bowl). Layer the fruits how you like then add the nuts and drizzle the honey.

Tip: I like to mix everything together so I make sure to get to taste a little of all the flavors in each bite.