Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Here's What's Cooking in Tracey's kitchen!

For me the holiday season means baking and creating lots of really wonderful food memories. I love preparing Christmas meals! I start out weeks in advance scouring my collection of cookbooks and remembering what the family favorites were for past menus. This year I resurrected a really simple, but classic dessert. And it’s low fat! I always like to add new foods to the table. I decided on a food pairing. I made a really yummy apple cider sangria and paired it with sweet and spicy almonds. Below are the recipes. Enjoy!!! Wishing you happy holidays, and a very Happy New Year filled with yummy food!

Taken from 366 Low-Fat Brand Name Recipes in Minutes (M.J. Smith, M.A.,R.D./L.D.
Pumpkin Spice Angel Food Cake
1 pkg. Betty Crocker 1 Step Angel Food Cake
1 ¼ cup water
½ cup canned pumpkin, (Tracey’s note; use the leftover to make pumpkin muffins or freeze for later use)
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Using an electric mixer, beat cake mix, water, pumpkin, and spices. Pour batter into tub pan and bake for 30-45 mins. Cool cake completely before removing it from the pan. Serve with orange sherbet as a topping.

Sweet and spicy almonds
Heat oven to 250 degrees F
1 egg white
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ cayenne pepper-( you can add more to your taste)
3 cups of almonds
Mix egg white in a bowl until frothy. Toss almonds in egg white to coat. Drain in a strainer. Mix sugars and spices in a bowl toss almonds to cover. Spread mixture on a cookie sheet, place in oven, cook for about 45 mins to 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes. Mixture will be dry. Take from oven, enjoy! Store nuts in an airtight container.

Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria (from
Serves 8
2 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup cognac
2 cups apple cider
750ml bottle cava (or other dry sparkling wine), chilled
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
Add the apples to a large pitcher reserving about 1/2 cup for garnishing. Add the cognac, apple cider, and chilled cava. Stir.
Fill the pitcher with ice. Pour the sangria into glasses filled with ice and top with sliced apple and pomegranate seeds.
Recipe Notes:  Non-Alcoholic Version: You can easily make this a non-alcoholic sangria by removing the cognac and replacing the Cava with seltzer water or club soda.  (Tracey's note; I actually found Cava at our local wine store and really liked the taste but any sparkling wine will do!)