Tag Archives: almond

5-minute frozen yogurt

cherry frozen yogurt

Made this tonight for a li’l somethin’ sweet after dinner. It’s SO easy, and pretty guilt-free! I used sweet cherries because they were half off at Fresh Market today. (The original used strawberries.) And so I changed some of the other ingredients, too.

Here is the original recipe.

Here is my variation (half recipe, compared to the original, because my food processor is 7 cups, not 12.):

Quick cherry-almond frozen yogurt recipe

2 cups frozen sweet cherries (make sure they’re all pitted)
1.5 Tablespoons real maple syrup
1/4 cup plain Greek non-fat yogurt (If you use full-fat, you may leave out the cream.)
…(to make it Paleo, use dairy-free yogurt and skip the cream)
1 Tablespoon cream (optional)
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

UPDATED: I just made it a second time and I also like this version; the alcohol makes it non-Paleo…

2 cups frozen sweet cherries (pitted)
2 Tablespoons Disaronna or Amaretto
1/2 cup plain Greek non-fat yogurt (If you use full-fat, leave out the cream.)
2 Tablespoons cream
optional: additional sugar or sweetener, to taste

I put just the cherries in the processor first, and let them just get a little chopped up, till most pieces are halves or smaller. Then I added everything else and let it run. It clumped up on one side for a while, but eventually it all smoothed out. Taste and see if you want additional sweetness. I added about 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup.

You might have to scrape the sides down once. But it only needed a minute or two to get smooth — nowhere near the five minutes listed in the original recipe.

And this half recipe makes 4-5 servings, in my house. Your mileage may vary. Even if you double up, a serving of Version 1 is still under 100 calories, and less than 20 g of carbs! (The alcohol in Version 2 adds quite a few calories and carbs.)

Hey, if you want more sugar-free, guilt-free dessert recipes, check out my e-cookbook…

 sugar-free dessert cookbook now available

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (version 1)
Calories 49
Total Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Total Carbohydrate 9 g
Sugars 7 g

Protein 1 g
(Nutrition facts via myfitnesspal.com)

Recipe roundup: Mother’s Day menu ideas

Here’s a little gift for you: instead of wandering all over the internet for the perfect Mother’s Day menu ideas, here are four different options for you, each with its own theme. Almost all of these recipes can be made ahead, so you can enjoy the day without last-minute panic. And all (except the shortbread) are low carb. You get enough guilt from Mom; you don’t need any from your food! 😉

Note: Most of these entrees are Paleo, or nearly so. None of the desserts are, but most can get closer with small tweaks.

Light lunch, light flavors

Want to treat mom to just a little something, perhaps before you head out to tour a local garden — or mall? Serve this easy, make-ahead orange-cranberry chicken salad on lettuce leaves or in soft pita pockets…

…with this elegant, lightly-sweet and super tender almond poppyseed shortbread.

Neither of these dishes will weigh you down, but they will both delight Mom with their flavors!

Classic ladies’ lunch, done low carb (or paleo)

What could be more classic than quiche? If Mom is doing South Beach or some other low-carb diet, you’ll be happy to know that a crustless spinach quiche (here’s a Paleo version) can be just as delicious as one with the traditional but high-carb pastry crust. I added a little Canadian bacon to the original recipe.

Mother's Day menu ideas: quiche and fresh berries

Serve a fruit salad on the side. Here, I’ve just drizzled fresh strawberries and blueberries with some sweetened cream. (To make it Paleo, use coconut milk and skip the Splenda.) One cup of heavy cream or half-and-half (or coconut milk), one packet of Splenda, 1/2 t. of vanilla extract. That will be enough for about six servings, and possibly some leftovers. So simple, but elegant and delish!

Oh, and about the quiche… be sure not to overcook it. You want it only just done, or maybe slightly underdone, in the center when you take it out. It will continue to cook a bit as it cools, and you want a creamy, custardy texture, not one like over-done scrambled eggs. A thin knife inserted in the center should come out looking pretty clean.

Finish things off with a vintage-y lemon icebox pie, updated by serving it in a cute little Mason jar! Just use my no-bake lime cheesecake recipe, use lemon instead of lime, freeze them a day or so ahead, and set them out on the counter 45 minutes before serving time.

(Note: I hope to update and Paleo-ize this recipe soon, but for now, you would need to sub out the dairy and Splenda, or skip dessert. Or just go with a little splurge!)

Mother’s Day with a Mexican twist

For something different, serve up my easy but elegant ancho-crusted salmon with avocado crema (which is Paleo if you omit the yogurt from the crema)…

a make-ahead Tex Mex salad

and no-bake lime cheesecake mini-desserts. Add a wee bit of triple-sec (if you’re not philosophically opposed), and call it margarita pie.

Elegant and — dare I say? — impressive

If your mom is the fine china and real silverware type — or you just want to treat her so — here’s a sure-fire trio. For the main dish, quick pork tenderloin with seasoned rub.

For a side dish, green beans with pine nuts — which, trust me, is so much more than the sum of its parts, and as delicious as it is simple.

If you’re not low-carbing it, some good bread would round things out nicely, then finish with a flourish by serving individual mini tiramisu cups.

And if mama ain’t happy after one of these, well then, mama ain’t gonna ever be happy at all!

Almond poppy seed shortbread


This recipe has been in my favorites file for decades. Back when I made bunches of Christmas cookies every year, this was in the mix year after year, and it was a big hit at our recent birthday party. It makes a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread with a subtle almond flavor.

Don’t be alarmed if you sneak a taste of the dough and it seems a little bland. The shortbread itself is not very sweet, but that is purposely so, to balance out the sweetness of the glaze. If you want to try making these without the glaze, you’ll probably want to double the sugar, at least.

Recipe: Almond Poppy Seed Shortbread

1/2 c. + 2 T. real butter
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3 T. sugar
1 T. poppy seeds
almond glaze (see  below)

Take 1/2 c. of butter and soften it slightly; just enough to make it mashable. Mash it with a fork, then sprinkle the almond extract over and mash some more to work the extract through the butter. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar and poppy seeds. With a pastry blender, cut in the almond-butter until mixture resembles large crumbs.


Try forming the dough into a ball; if it will not all stick together, cut in another tablespoon of soften butter. Test it again, and keep adding butter a little at a time until all the dough sticks together when pressed into a ball.


Once you have it worked into one large ball, place the dough on a cookie sheet. Because this dough is so buttery, you don’t need to grease the pan or use parchment.


Begin patting the dough out and flatten it. It may crumble apart in places. Just pat them back together.


After it’s patted out, use a rolling pin to smooth the surface more.


As the edges crumble apart, periodically gather and pat them back into the circle.


Use the rolling pin to make the top smooth, and your hands to pat things back together, alternating between the two as needed. Work the dough gently until it’s a circle approximately 8″ in diameter, and 1/2″ thick.


For cutting the pieces, you can just eyeball it, or, if you want very uniform pieces, use a ruler to measure and a toothpick to mark spacing in the dough.


Then use the ruler as a straightedge guide, and a pizza cutter to make the slices. I cut this batch into 16 squares, but you could also cut them into bars or diamonds. You don’t need to separate the squares before baking.


Bake in 325 F oven 25 to 35 minutes, until edges just start to brown.


Remove from oven and slice through again with the pizza cutter, in the same place as your first cuts.


An offset spatula works great for moving these delicate little square cookies.


Let cookies cool completely. Drizzle with almond glaze. (Recipe below.) To avoid the globby drizzles seen on the left here, don’t start your drizzle on top of a cookie. Start the drizzle just a bit off to the side, then when it becomes a thinner, uniform stream, move over the cookie and wave the spoon gently but quickly back and forth as you move along over the cookies.


Ain’t they purty?!

Makes 16 cookies (plus a few scraps!) if cut into 1.5″ squares.

Almond Glaze
1.5 T. milk
1/4 t. almond extract
1 c. sifted powdered sugar

Combine milk and almond extract. Add to powdered sugar and mix thorough. Add a little more milk if necessary to make of glazing consistency.

This makes enough glaze to cover two batches of dough.

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