Monday, November 17, 2008

Simple Desserts

My family simply must have dessert, even if it's nothing more than a bowl of fruit with whipped cream on top. I have noticed that some families don't have dessert. Actually, many families today don't even make time to sit down for dinner together. I just believe that eating together is important.

I'm as pressed for time as anyone else, so I've had to come up with some impromptu meals and very simple desserts over the years. But, I have always managed to pull something together.

For special occasions, I go all out and try to make an "impact" with the presentation. On ordinary days, we usually serve ourselves in the kitchen and then gather back around the table. Have you tried strawberries and cream?

You simply take fresh strawberries, sprinkle lightly with sugar and pore in a little cream or skim milk, if you prefer. That was one of my mother's favorites. She would sometimes have it as a midday snack.

No matter what the occasion, if you want to be a success and leave your family and friends filling satisfied, but not bloated, the end of the meal should complement the other dishes served, as well as the beverages. Remember, red wine and chocolate don't mix. You might end up with a sick guest or two, if you try that combination.

A sweet fruity wine is a nice accompaniment for chocolate slivers, but fruit and cheese are a better choice when alcohol is being served. Try slicing an Anjou pear; sprinkle the slices with grated sharp cheddar and some chocolate shavings. Bake just long enough for the cheese to melt slightly, not brown. Serve it up warm, along with your favorite glass of wine.

When the main dishes are heavy, serve simple desserts that are light and airy. Italian Ice, for example. To follow-up seafood and salad, you can serve a "heavier" chocolaty dish. Cheesecake follows most any meal nicely, but there are other choices that you can order on line. Try truffles as an ending sometime. They literally melt in your mouth.

You can try some of the simple desserts that I've mentioned here, but you might also want to check out the cheesecake-delivery option. The cakes available from stay fresh in the fridge for five days and can be stored in the freezer for four months, a handy thing for those unexpected visitors.

They offer next day delivery and they have something for everyone, whether you're a nut for nuts or a fan of fruit. Their samplers are great for those that are undecided, which often includes me. I've come up with a lot of ideas over the years, but for truly simple desserts, it's nice to let someone else do the work for a change.

This article was written by Ted Goldberg - Owner of CheesecakeDelivered.Com

Low Carb desserts

Luscious desserts and low-carb diets typically do not mix. Sugar is, of course, a carbohydrate. How can you have something "sweet" without using sugar?

Those of us who cook know that using artificial sweeteners changes the recipe, drastically. Things like saccharin have less "bulk" than straight sugar. So, trying to bake a sugar-free cake can be very difficult.

But, even sugar free cakes are not low carb desserts. Flour is also a carbohydrate. Eggs, milk and cheese are allowed on your low-carb diet. But, sugar and flour are not. So, what should you do?

How about cheesecake?

Typically, New York style cheesecake is made with heavy cream, cream cheese, eggs and additional egg yolks to add richness and a smooth consistency. Lemons, strawberries or chocolate shavings may be added for flavor. None of those ingredients are carbs, but of course, most recipes call for sugar and lots of it.

Once you add the carbs from the graham cracker crust, you have about 25 grams of carbohydrates in a 3.5 ounce serving. That's a pretty small slice. But, cheesecakes can be low carb desserts, if they are properly prepared, without the sugar and "sans" crust.

It's difficult (next to impossible, really) to make this kind of cheesecake at home, because, as I mentioned, sugar substitutes change the recipe. If you do get it to set, you also get an unpleasant aftertaste. It's hardly worth the effort.

But, you can still serve delicious low carb desserts at home, with very little effort on your part. You can simply order it on-line.

Our own line options for serving a gourmet meal are simply amazing, to me anyway. We can stick to our diets, eat healthy, cater a dinner party or have a private affair for two, right in the luxury of our own homes.

When you consider the time it takes to cook a meal, the shopping, the cost of ingredients and the likelihood that the recipe will "flop", I think catered meals are a cost-effective option. I don't know about you, but my time is money.

My health is very important to me, but temptations are not always easy to resist. So, I try to be sure that I always have "healthy temptations".

If you work full time and commute to your office, by the time you get in your daily work-out and get ready for dinner, you might be tempted to settle for fast-food or whatever's in the fridge. That's what happens to a lot of people, so they end up with an unsuccessful and unhealthy diet.

There are a few really good companies that makes healthy delicious low carb desserts on the internet, suitable for a dinner party or an everyday treat. The taste is delicious and you can store them in the freezer, so that you're prepared for those unexpected guests.

What could be simpler?

This article was written by Ted Goldberg- Owner of CheesecakeDelivered.Com