Peanut Butter-Raspberry Swirl Bars

Peanut Butter-Raspberry Swirl Bars

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Sometimes, the entire first 15 minutes of my morning is spent lying half-awake in bed.  I’m trying to pretend there’s no such thing as having to get out of bed and be an adult.  Also wishing for the cat to have a snooze button.

This morning though, I got right up, stretched, put on my Fitbit (can’t let my family win!), made some coffee (to become a whole person), heated a couple of these delicious things for my hubby’s breakfast, and then whipped up a batch of Peanut Butter-Raspberry Swirl Bars.

Um, did you catch that?  All of that was the first 15 minutes of my day.  Quite possibly the first 10.

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Port Reduction Cheesecake Squares

Port Reduction Cheesecake Squares

Throughout all the culinary classes I took a couple years ago, I never heard of anything that sounded fancier than “port reduction.” 

It’s really just a syrup made of a sweet fortified wine… but it actually tastes as fancy as it sounds.  (Which is good, or else it I think it’d be something of a letdown.)  Still, it’s as easy a sauce as you can make, being only one ingredient, and you can put it in or on anything dessert-like!

With such an ingredient, I decided it should be part of a dessert that embodied total, all-out, fanciness.  You know, as opposed to halfhearted fanciness.  Because anyone could make a port reduction and put it on… fro yo or something… but a cheesecake would make it simply extended-pinky-worthy.

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Chocolate-Gingerbread Pumpkin Tart

Chocolate-Gingerbread Pumpkin Tart

There are three things that top my baking list between October and January.

Can you guess what they involve?

Chocolate.  Gingerbread.  Pumpkin.

I seriously doubt if anyone is surprised.  And yet, for some reason I have never tried combining them before!  I've had chocolate gingerbread before, and it was almost too delicious.  I've also had one of the most scrumptious holiday treats at the Godiva store, where I will go in just for a single one of their chocolate-covered pumpkin pie truffles.  And even though I've never combined pumpkin and gingerbread myself, the two have so much in common, what with all the ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg that goes into both.

Chocolate, gingerbread, & pumpkin.  That just sounds like a party to me.

 

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Low Carb Super-Crackers

Low Carb Super-Crackers

Sometimes, when you're trying to watch your diet, there's this thing that happens.  You want whatever you can't have.  Ever experience that?

I have a feeling I'm not alone in this.  

The funny thing is, even though I decided not to have any sugar or any grains, there weren't really any crazy-major cravings and definitely no caving for the stuff I cut out.  Still, it hasn't exactly been easy, either.

Example.  Every time I reached into one particular cabinet, I'd see my favorite crackers, Triscuit Thin Crisps, sitting there taunting me.  And I'd successfully ignore them.  And then I'd often watch Steve come along proceed to eat them.   And they would sound crunchy, and salty, and tasty.  And I'd eat my spinach or whatever, not saying a word, because my diet restrictions are self-imposed, and I can deal.  

But no, you couldn't say it's been completely easy.

 

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