Post image for Ravishing Red… 5 Red-Hot Dresses for the Holidays

The holidays are a time to rock sparkly, festive clothes and there is no better (and easier) look than a ravishing red dress. With any of these fab 5 dress picks, all eyes will be on you at your next holiday party. Best of all, the look requires no special accessories because the color steals the show. Pair with black or nude stilettos and you are good to go! Read More…

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Chocolate Cream Pie

November 28, 2011

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If you are looking for the perfect chocolate pie to bake this holiday season, look no further than my Chocolate Cream Pie. A family-favorite, this deliciously creamy and chocolately pie is a guaranteed hit. Start out by baking a homemade pie crust made with Wondra for a more tender, flakier crust than regular flour. Then, prepare 3 boxes of cook & serve chocolate pudding for the pie filling. Top with fluffy homemade whipped cream and you have a delicious, beautiful and easy pie. A Chocolate Cream Pie is a welcome treat during the holidays when tables are usually full of the traditional pumpkin and pecan pies. Enjoy!  Read More…

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Post image for Apple Flognarde… A Light French Clafoutis Dessert

Apple Flognarde is a delicious traditional French specialty hailing from the Limousin and Auvergne region in the southwest of France. A flognarde, similar to a Clafoutis which is made with cherries, is essentially a puffed “soufflé” baked with fresh fruit. Although you can make it with blackberries, peaches, figs, or blueberries, just to name a few, an apple version is perfectly appropriate for the fall, when you can find delicious native apples at your local orchards. The Apple Flognarde resembles a light-as-air pancake and puffs up when baked. It is slightly sweet and boasts a delicious vanilla flavor, similar to a crepe. The flognarde eventually deflates after cooling, leaving a light and crispy golden “custard” surrounding the baked apples. Served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, this is the perfect light dessert to end a heavy meal.  Read More…

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Mini Chocolate Meringues

November 22, 2011

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Although making meringues seems daunting, I set out to make homemade meringues and prove how easy they are to make! Meringues are one of my favorite traditional French desserts, their light-as-air, puffed texture and beautifully piped design makes them an elegant and delicious treat. With only egg whites and sugar, meringues are a low-fat dessert than can be enjoyed alone or with fruit or whipped cream. There are dozens of different variations out there, but I decided to make chocolate meringues because I love the rich cocoa flavor. I highly recommend this recipe that is sure to impress!
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Apple Bran Muffins

November 14, 2011

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Continuing with the apple theme, I set out to make hearty apple bran muffins. I love bran muffins in general so I was excited to try making them with fresh-picked apples. For this recipe I used both shredded apple and small apple chunks, which bring a lot of texture and moistness to the muffins. With the addition of flaxseed meal (you can substitute toasted wheat germ as well), these muffins are full of fiber and make the perfect healthy snack. Try them warm with a little whipped butter… heavenly! Read More…

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A Guide to Istanbul

November 8, 2011

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My boyfriend and I just got back from a memorable trip to Europe. Our travels brought us to Istanbul, Turkey, a bustling city famous for seamlessly merging cultures of the East and West. Istanbul is a hot travel destination – and for good reason. The contrast between the magical lit-up skyline of centuries-old mosques and minarets contrasted with trendy, Ibiza-style nightclubs lining the Bosphorus shores, is simply unparalleled. Istanbul is the only city in the world that encompasses both Asia and Europe, and so vividly showcases the ancient and the progressive, the conservative and the fashionable. Be prepared to spend the morning being transported back to a time when Sultans ruled opulent Ottoman palaces and spend the night enjoying a thrilling nightlife and restaurant scene rivaling New York and London. Welcome to Istanbul.

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Cinnamon Applesauce

November 3, 2011

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My boyfriend and I went apple picking at Stuart’s Farm in Westchester County, NY, and ever since I have been thinking of creative ways to use the bushels of apples we brought home. With almost 200 acres of trees, we were able to pick a variety of apples — Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Empire, Mutsu, Jonagold, Ida Red, Northern Spy, Black twig, and Baldwins. There is no better way to enjoy hand-picked apples than with a homemade batch of applesauce. Although there are many variations of applesauce out there, I prefer a simple Cinnamon Applesauce recipe, with fresh lemon juice, apple cider, cinnamon and nutmeg. If you like your applesauce sweet, feel free to add a 1/4 cup of brown sugar, however, since the apples we picked were so sweet I really didn’t need to add any. The apples cook on your stovetop for about 25 minutes and fill the house with a warm smell of cinnamon and nutmeg. Use this applesauce as a snack, in baking (as a substitute for oil), or as a side dish with chicken or pork. Delicious! Read More…

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Post image for Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

There is nothing like butternut squash soup on a cool autumn day. This recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple Soup is my grandmother’s and it has been one of my favorites for years. The best part about this soup is the addition of zesty apples to add a bit of tang to the soup. You start by preparing your butternut squash and apples (peeling, coring, chopping, etc.) and then roasting the squash, apples and onions on a baking sheet in the oven until tender and just golden. You then add the roasted fruit and vegetables to a soup pot, along with chicken broth and an array of fall-appropriate spices. After pureeing everything, you get a simple, healthy and delicious Butternut Squash and Apple Soup. Serve with a bit of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on top and a slice of crusty bread. Irresistible! Read More…

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Low Fat Fudgy Ghost Cupcakes

October 24, 2011

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If you are looking for a spooky, fun dessert for Halloween, look no further than my Low Fat Fudgy Ghost Cupcakes. With low-fat cake batter (recipe courtesy of Skinny Taste), made with Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix, canned pumpkin and water (that’s it!) and my very own recipe for homemade whipped vanilla meringue frosting, these cupcakes are a festive way to celebrate Halloween. The cupcakes come out so moist and fudgy that they taste like a just-out-of-the-oven dark chocolate brownie. I finish them off with a traditional vanilla meringue frosting, generously piped into the shape of tall, fluffy white ghosts on the top of each cupcake. The shiny, airy white meringue shapes up a perfect ghost and 2 mini chocolate chip eyes finish off these spooky treats. Enjoy! Read More…

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Post image for Carla Hall’s Lemon Pudding Cake with Orange Liqueur

ABC’s new daytime show, The Chew, has been killing it with to-die-for recipes rolling out every day. If you are a Top Chef watcher, you will remember Carla and her scrumptious and hearty comfort-food-style cooking. A true lover of sweets (she owns Alchemy cookies after all) it is no surprise this mouthwatering lemon pudding cake recipe comes to us courtesy of Carla Hall. My grandmother set out to make these mini-cakes and they came out truly delicious! Baked in ramekins, these pudding cakes make for a perfect individual dessert treat. With egg whites to puff up the cake, a healthy dose of butter, sugar, milk, fresh lemon juice and a kick of orange liqueur, you will find these pudding cakes irresistible. Once baked, the pudding forms a golden-brown cake on top and leaves soft pudding on the bottom, s Read More…

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