dessert · Easter · Gluten-Free · Weight watchers

Crustless Mini Cheesecakes

I grew up in a home where most evenings we had dessert at the end of the meal. It wasn’t something huge like a triple-layered cake, but just a little something sweet. I still enjoy ending the meal with a taste of something sweet.

Small, individual desserts are perfect for a “just enough” serving size! Weight Watchers has a cheesecake recipe that I’ve tweaked a little to come up with a dessert we love!

I bake these individual cheesecakes in small tins I purchased on Amazon. They look like these…

They’re truly the perfect size if you’re wanting to watch your calories, but still enjoy something sweet. I bake them without any crust, then give my guests the option of sprinkling chocolate covered graham crackers on the top. It serves as an inverted crust! Then I top them with fruit, light Cool Whip and chocolate shavings. Wow. They are so good! Here’s the recipe:

Crustless Cheesecakes
3/4 Cup Plain low-fat yogurt
8 oz. Low-fat Cream Cheese
2 Eggs
2/3 Cup sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
Light Cool Whip
Fresh berries
Chocolate shavings
Chocolate Graham Crackers, crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place small baking tins on a baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray. You could also use a cupcake tin if you don’t have the tins. If you use the tin, line them with cupcake liners.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat together yogurt, cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Spoon evenly into baking tins. Bake until top is set, 15-20 minutes; let cool and then chill in refrigerator 2 hours (can make up to 2 days ahead).

3. To serve, slide a knife around the edge of the cheesecake and invert onto a serving plate. Serve with fresh berries, Cool whip and chocolate shavings on top. You can also add the chocolate covered graham crackers on top, if desired.

You could also serve these in their little tins for an easy “pick up and go” dessert. Here’s one just with Cool Whip and chocolate. Not a bad combo!

I’m not sure about the WW points on these, but the version with a crust are 7 points, so if you don’t add the crackers, I’d think it would be one or two points lower! I’ve eaten these in moderation with good success (no weight gain).

These make a great dessert for guests. They aren’t strange in any way with artificial sweeteners – they’re just lighter due to no crust and lightened cream cheese. These would be perfect for Easter, perhaps serving them with fresh blueberries and a little lemon zest on top! Give them a try and tell me if you loved them as much as we did!

Anyone else enjoy having dessert after dinner?

Dinner · Fast meal · Gluten-Free · vegetarian

Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner

If you haven’t gotten on the Sheet Pan dinner Chuck wagon train yet, what are you waiting for? I have been making these for a couple of years now. Everything is tossed onto a large baking pan and roasted in the oven. You can make them to suit your dietary needs and your family’s tastes. They’re hearty and delicious and fast!

We’ve recently had new friends come to dinner who are Vegan. I didn’t see this as an obstacle, but rather a challenge to get creative! Vegetables are an obvious “Yes” for Vegans, so I knew this Sheet Pan dinner would be safe.

If you want to add meat to this, some good options would be chicken breast filets, cubed, or Turkey sausage – both which would be added early to the pan. Then you add the vegetables that don’t require as much cooking time. If you wanted to add shrimp, you could cook the vegetables, then add the shrimp for the last few minutes.

The version I made yesterday for our Vegan friend had Chick Peas, which adds some protein. When it came out of the oven, I tasted it and felt like it needed a little bit more flavor, so I added a little vinaigrette. I’ll add that recipe on the recipe below. This is also a great side dish to a meat – so don’t think this is just Vegan-friendly!

My Menu:
Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner
Pork Tenderloin (for the meat-eaters)
Kale Salad – From Sam’s Club
Sour Dough Bread
Lemon Sorbet with fresh berries

Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner

  • 1 lb. baby red potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 ½ cups petite baby carrots or sliced carrots
  • 1 can (14oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon of EACH dried basil, dried thyme, dried oregano (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into thirds
  • ½ large red onion, sliced lengthwise
  • mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, silpat or lightly grease with cooking spray. Add the potatoes, onions, carrots and chickpeas to the center, drizzle with half the oil and most of the herb & spice mixture, toss well to coat. Every ten minutes I turned the vegetables over with a spatula to ensure even browning. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until tender.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven, add the asparagus, add the remaining oil and herb/spice mix, toss to coat, as shown above right. Place back in the oven and roast for 7-8 minutes.

Let cool and serve with sliced avocado and plenty of parsley sprinkled over top.

Dressing I added:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp  paprika
    Mix in small jar. Pour over cooked vegetables

Jump on board and make a Sheet pan dinner this week! It’s so delicious!

Cookies · Easy recipe · Gluten-Free

Easiest Ever Four-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

I’ve been making these simple Peanut Butter cookies for years, because:
1) They only require four ingredients
2) They taste like the “regular” Peanut Butter Cookie recipe
3) They’re all ingredients I almost ALWAYS have on hand. That means I know I can always whip up a batch if I need a fast, easy treat.

I recently made these into bite-sized treats so I could have a taste of dessert with only 33 calories, but you could make them any size you’d like! You could also add mini chocolate chips or peanuts for some variety.

My mini size look like little buttons! So cute and so yummy!

Easiest Ever Peanut Butter Cookies

1 Cup Peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until creamed together. For small cookies, place one teaspoon batter onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
If you want the identifiable crisscross pattern, dip a fork in granulated sugar and press lightly in each direction.
Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheet 10 minutes, then place on cooling rack to cool completely.
Yield: 60 mini cookies

I popped them into a Ziplock bag and put them in the freezer. When I’m ready for a treat, I put one in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Add a glass of milk to these treats and you have a delicious snack or dessert!

Is this old recipe in your files? If not, I hope you’ll give them a try! They’re as delicious as they are simple!

baking · Gluten-Free

Flourless Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

A super fast post today with a delicious flourless muffin you must make!! A friend recently shared this recipe with me and I made them IMMEDIATELY. We loved them and my very finicky grandson ate THREE!

You don’t have to be on a gluten-free diet to enjoy these! They have protein in the peanut butter, banana, honey and leavening. That’s it!

Super moist and yummy!

The recipe came from Averie Cooks. Check out the simple ingredients and instructions. She’s got lots of great looking recipes!

Now go bake some!

Do your friends share great recipes with you? What have you tried recently?

Gluten-Free · salad · Side dish

Spinach Salad With a Twist

Meals can get boring if you don’t change things up a bit.  I’ve found it’s all about The Sides!  If you make your famous meatloaf or pork loin and just add a couple of different sides to along with it, it turns it into a brand new meal!

I love salads of all kinds, and a Spinach Salad is right up there with my favorites!  I love this old standard, Continue reading “Spinach Salad With a Twist”