Tuesday, Aug 22nd

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Seasons Eatings (Part 1) - Yogurt Parfait

I absolutely love the Holiday season! In fact, I am so much in awe of it that through the rest of the year I either reminisce about the season past or dream of the joy ahead. There is definitely something about the crisp weather, festive lights, gatherings with family and friends and, you guessed it - all the yummy food and drinks!! Over the years, ‘yours truly’ has witnessed several Holiday parties. I’ve eagerly awaited the casual and laid-back potlucks while dragging myself to the fancier dress-up counterparts. Nevertheless, once the feast hit the table, I really didn’t care much about the surroundings. 

 

In the next few weeks, I will share with you my choicest pick of Holiday recipes that you can whip up in a snap and be the star of the evening. To good health, good food and good friends, Cheers! Seasons Eatings and a happy New Year! 

Heavenly Yogurt ParfaitIngredients:

- 1 small size/individual serving size favored yogurt

- 1/3 cup granola

- ½ cup chopped fruits (I prefer sturdy fruits like banana, dates, berries, cantaloupe, papaya, mango)

- 1 tbsp raisins

- Honey (optional)

 

How To Make:

At the bottom of a parfait cup (a tall cup with wide mouth and narrow bottom), scoop 1/3rd of the granola, Spread 1/3rd of the yogurt, followed by 1/3rd of the fruit. Repeat these layers until you reach the top such that the top most layer is of fruits and granola. Sprinkle raisins and drizzle honey if you like.

 

This is a no-guilt dessert that’s suitable for any time of the day. It makes a great breakfast as well!

 

Tips

- You can try any combinations for flavored yogurt, granola and fruits. You are only limited by your imagination. My favorite combos are Berry-Banana, Vanilla – Tropical Fruits (Mango & Papaya), Banana – Dates

- You can also top the parfait with finely chopped honey roasted nuts

Seasons Eatings (Part 5) - Orange Vanilla Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

- 12 slices white bread

- 2 eggs

- 2 cups (1 can) evaporated milk

- 1 tsp vanilla extract

- 4 tsps sugar

- ½ cup raisins

- Softened butter

- Orange flavored chocolate bar (I prefer Lindt Excellence Orange)

- Orange zest (1/2 of a medium side orange or 1 small orange)

 

How To Make:

Mix eggs, vanilla extract, evaporated milk and sugar in a bowl and set aside. Remove the edges from the bread slices and cut into triangles. Butter one side of each triangle and set aside. Break half of the orange chocolate bar into small pieces. Zest the orange, avoiding the white part. Prepare an 8x8 inch baking dish by buttering it. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.

 

Arrange the bread triangles in a single layer to cover the bottom of the dish (takes about 4 slices or 8 triangles). Make sure that the buttered side faces up. Sprinkle 1/3 rd of the raisins and pour 1/3rd of the liquid mix evenly over the bread slices. Arrange the next layer of bread slices and repeat the raisins and liquid mix. Finish with a third layer of bread, raisins, liquid mix and let it stand for a couple of minutes.

 

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. At this point, sprinkle the chocolate pieces and orange zest evenly on top. Bake for another 10 minutes until the chocolate is melted. This pudding can be served warm or cold – tastes great either ways!

 

Tips

- For a healthier version, use wheat bread.

- You can add chopped nuts as desired with or instead of the raisins.

- You can substitute the white bread with other semi-sweet varieties like brioche and raisin bread. Adjust sugar accordingly.

- This is a basic recipe with which you can create your own flavor pairings. You can use sweet flavored breads or substitute chocolate with peanut butter chips. Do not add any sugar when using a sweet bread. Some suggested variations are Pumpkin-Cinnamon, Banana-Walnut,  Peanut Butter – Honey.

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