Author Archives: Marisa

Easy Chocolate Souffle

My Sweet & Skinny chocolate souffle, from my Desserts in a Hurry section of the book is almost too good to be true. First, it has only 110 calories per serving! As if that wasn’t reason enough to head to the kitchen, it only takes 20 minutes to make!!

I recently shared the recipe with the BBC’s Good Food Channel, and now I share the link here for all of you to enjoy too!

http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/655027

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Latest Huffington Post blog

Have you ever had a layover that lasted half a day? Did you wonder what on earth you would do for an entire afternoon in the airport? Why not leave the airport and set out on an adventure? That’s what I recently did when traveling through Paris, and so can you! For the full details see my blog posting on The Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marisa-churchill/french-macarons_b_2424762.html

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The Huffington Post

With 40 million readers the Huffington Post is one of the worlds most popular websites for articles related to current affairs, finance, and food! I frequently read the Huffington Post, and was ecstatic when they recently asked me to become a contributing food writer.  Did you all hear the screams of joy resonating from my house?  Here is my first contribution to the Huffington Post, it’s a posting about my travels in Greece and one of my favorite
Greek desserts, loukoumades. If you are not familiar with loukoumades, read on and learn all about the original donut. Even if you think you know all about loukoumades already, take a look at my article to get the full history and my current favorite shops for enjoying these golden honey balls.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marisa-churchill/loukoumades_b_2346379.html

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Eating Healthy Tips For the Holidays

If you are trying to keep from packing on the pounds this holiday season, Here are some great tips from me and a few other experts, to keep you fit and trim during the seasons festivities.

http://www.blisstree.com/2012/11/19/eat/holiday-diet-healthy-eating-tips-from-experts/

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Shape Magazine Kitchen Gadgets to Make The Holidays Easier

Well I guess Santa must be trying to trim down a bit this year, as Shape magazine has named Sweet & Skinny one of the top kitchen gadgets to have around the house during the holiday season! The book has an entire section dedicated to the holiday season, filled with recipes like chocolate peppermint Buche de Noel, gingerbread cookies, and pumpkin ricotta cheesecake. They are even giving away 30 copies of my cookbook to some lucky readers. For additional information, or to win a copy of Sweet & Skinny, just follow the link below. It looks like Santa might have an easier time getting down the chimney this year! http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/cooking-ideas/kitchen-gadgets-make-holidays-healthier-happier-and-easier?page=25

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Pumpkin Gingerbread Recipe

I love making pumpkin bread and gingerbread in the fall. I recently decided to combine my two favorite treats into one, making a delicious Sweet & Skinny pumpkin-gingerbread, perfect to enjoy for breakfast, or as an afternoon snack. Because pumpkin is so high in vitamin A and antioxidants, and because this bread is actually skinny, you might even want to consider enjoying a slice for breakfast and another one as an afternoon snack!

Pumpkin Gingerbread

Serves 9 to10

Per serving: 210 calories, 5g fat, , carbs 30g, proteins 2.9g, cholesterol 12mg, calcium 27mg. sodium 185mg

Nonstick pan spray

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup flax seed meal, optional

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

1/8 tsp. clove

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1/8 cup oil, such as Canola

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup fat free Greek style yogurt

1/3 cup reduced fat milk

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/8 cup molasses, unsulfured

1 1/4 cups pumpkin purée

1 large egg

1 large egg white

1/4 cup Medjool dates, chopped, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 º with the rack in the center position. Grease a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan with pan spray and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, flax seed meal, salt, baking soda, baking powder and spices. In a separate bowl whisk together the fresh grated ginger, oil, vanilla, yogurt, milk, sugar, molasses, pumpkin, egg and egg white.

Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour all the contents from the other bowl inside. Whisk thoroughly by hand, or using an electric mixer, until well combined. If adding the dates, fold them into the batter.

Transfer the batter to a loaf pan. Place the bread into the oven and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the pumpkin bread from the oven, and allow to cool for about 20 minutes. Remove the pumpkin bread from the pan and finish cooling on a cooling rack, for at least one hour. Cut into slices and serve the pumpkin bread at room temperature. Store leftovers, tightly wrapped, at room temperature, for up to 3 days, or place leftovers in the freezer for up to 4 weeks, leave at room temperature overnight before serving.

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Best Whoopie Pie Recipe!!

Who doesn’t love Whoopie Pies….especially when they’re Sweet & Skinny! Guile free whoopie pies, I think I’ll take two!  My Sweet & Skinny whoopie pie recipe is based on my recipe which one first place on Food Network Challenge. If you missed that episode of Challenge just type my name into You Tube and find the Mystery Cookies video. Better yet, whip up my recipe, featured on Joonbug, to enjoy while you watch the video!

http://joonbug.com/national/firstcourse/Whoopie-Pie-Recipe-from-Top-Chef-Contestant-Marisa-Churchill/uJx7vJAZHHu

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Healthy Winter Veggies

With the storms that have been hitting much of the US this week, mother nature is making it clear….Winter is almost here. Even though Winter means Christmas and turkey, I have always been more of a summertime girl. This is especially true with food! I love the abundance of fresh fruits and veggies that I find at the farmers’ markets in Spring and Summer. But I do have a few favorite Winter fruits and veggies, which make the cold weather a bit more acceptable. One  of my favorite cold weather vegetables is kale.

One of the most amazing things about kale is that it contains over 45 different types of a compounds called flavonoids — which work together to provide a variety of health benefits, like protecting against five different types of cancer (especially breast and colon cancer) and acting as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It’s also is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K. Just one cooked cup of kale contains 10 percent of your daily fiber needs. Holy superfood!

I personally love to serve kale in a very simple fashion, either steamed and tossed with olive oil, lemon, and salt, or, raw, tossed with avocado, lime, olive oil and sea salt.  But thanks to one of my favorite bloggers, Snack Girl, I have now come up with a new way to serve this super veggie…..for breakfast! When I saw that Snack Girl posted a kale smoothie on her site I had to try it. Then Miss Sweet & Skinny got to work, tweaking Snack Girls recipe, making some additions and changes, until I had my own breakfast kale smoothie. I know this recipe sounds odd, and I’m sure visions of a drink that looks and tastes like swamp water are dancing in your heads, but trust me, this 140 calories smoothie isn’t just nutritious, it’s also delicious!

Morning Kale Smoothie

(Serves 2)

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1 1/2 cups raw kale, washed and roughly chopped

1 ripe banana

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 tablespoon Stevia, such as Truvia brand

Place all of the ingredients in the blender and puree until smooth. Serve immediately.

 

 

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Sugar Free Baking Tips

Here are a few Sweet & Skinny tips from me and a few other experts, for those of you who want to cut down on fat and/or sugar when baking!

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Perfect Trick or Treat Recipe for Halloween

What better way to add to the fun of Halloween than by creating a perfectly creepy recipe to whip up with your kids! Jelly worms are actually quite simple to make, one part craft, one part cooking. They only take about 20 minutes of active kitchen time, and with less than 1 gram of fat and only 13 calories per worm, they’re also a great way to keep Halloween on the healthier side without spoiling the fun.

Halloween Worms Recipe

1 – 6 ounce package cherry jello

1- 6 ounce package grape jello

3 additional envelopes of unflavored gelatin

2 3/4 cups boiling water

3/4 cup whole milk

about 12 drops of natural green food coloring

about 100 flexible straws

In a large bowl combine the jello and additional packets of gelatin, add the boiling water and whisk until throughly combined.  Chill the mixture until it is no longer hot, only lukewarm. Add the milk and food coloring to the gelating mixture and whisk to combine.

Place all of the straws into a tall container, such as an empty half gallon milk carton, and pour in the gelatin mixture, filling the straws. Place the container into the refrigerator  and chill for at least 8 hours, or until completely set and firm. Once set, remove all of the straws from the container, wiping away any excess gelatin. Squeeze the worms out of the straws using your thumb and index finger to pinch the straw and squeeze out the worms.

Place the worms onto a sheet pan lined with wax or parchment paper. Cover the worms with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour or until ready to use.

To serve the worms, create a platter using crumbled chocolate cookies to creat the dirt. The worms will keep at room temperature for up to two hours.

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Best Caramel Apple Recipe

Caramel apples have always been one of my favorite Halloween treats. This recipe is so simple, they can be made in less than 10 minutes. With the caramel covering only part of the apple they are also a healthier alternative for the kids. To make these apples, here is what you’ll need.

6 Granny Smith apples

6 twigs

6 pieces of string, about 2-3 inches each

7 ounces store bought caramels

1 tablespoon skim milk

6 tablespoon roasted chopped nuts

Thoroughly wash and dry the apples and remove the stems.  Insert a twig into the top of each apple.  Unwrap the caramels and place them in a microwave safe bowl, add the milk. Place the bowl in the microwave, on high, for about one minute, or until the caramels have melted. Stir the mixture smooth. Dip the lower half of each apple in the caramel and then roll each apple in one tablespoon of the nuts. Place each apple on a serving dish and allow the caramel to set for at least 1 hour before serving. Tie a piece of string around each twig before serving the apples.

 

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Top Chef recipes for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, and as the day gets closer, more and more people seem to be thinking about how to make our Halloween treats a bit healthier for kids and grownups. Here is a Sweet & Skinny recipe featured on Joonbug for Halloween, and stay tuned, as they will also be featuring my recipes for Sweet & Skinny Whoopie Pies and “Almond Joy” macaroons. Happy haunting!

http://joonbug.com/national/firstcourse/PBJ-Cookies-from-Top-Chef-Contestant-Marisa-Churchill/DuUVtIF55eY

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Healthy and Simple Halloween Treats

As trick or treat day draws near I have been pulling out the pumpkins and thinking about what healthy alternatives I can offer to kids this year for Halloween.  Don’t get me wrong, even miss Sweet & Skinny doesn’t mind loading kids up with sugar once a year. The issue is that there are always treats leftover, and they don’t stay leftover for long!  I have tried to maintain some self control. Last year I put the leftover Butterfingers in the freezer…..but who knew that a frozen Butterfinger could taste soooo good! This year my solution is to come up with some cool treats that kids will like, and are actually good for them (and me)!  I don’t want to be the lame house on the block, handing out fresh fruit and raisins. So I have set about searching for some cool treats for this years festivities. Here is what I have discovered so far.

1) Glow in the dark bracelets from www.glowuniverse.com This is a great gift because it’s typically dark when kids are out trick-or-treating. The bracelets come in a wide variety of colors, cost only .06 cents each and they offer free shipping, so no need to leave your home to buy Halloween treats!

2) Toys!! The candy bars you get are here today and gone tomorrow, but at Party City you can find a wide variety of inexpensive Halloween toys. They have everything from Frankenstein and Dracula finger puppets, to plastic eye balls and fake spiders. It’s the perfect way to add some fun and fright to the night.

3)  Utz Halloween pretzels are a fun and healthy option if you want to hand out edible treats. The pretzels are shaped like jack-o-lanterns and bats. Each bag has only 50 calories and less than 1 gram of fat. The bags are super cute, bright orange with bats and pumpkins…..even I was squealing like a little kid when I saw them.

4) School supplies. Many of the supermarkets now offer Halloween themed pencils, erasers, and stickers on the Halloween aisle. This is a great alternative to candy, and something that kids can use in school.

Happy trick-or-treating!!

 

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Best Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe Ever!

For those of you who haven’t tried my Sweet & Skinny PB&J cookies. I wanted to post the recipe today as I am whipping some up to sneak into the movie theatre tonight. Shhh…

If you don’t want to fill them with jelly, they are quite delicious as a classic peanut butter cookie too!

If you’re craving something sweet, try these delicious cookies for a guilt-free treat!

PB&J Cookies

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup peanut butter, smooth, preferably natural style (made from peanuts and salt, only)

1 ounce (2 tablespoons) reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons liquid egg substitute or 1 whole egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

About 1/4 cup strawberry jam or grape jelly

Preheat the oven to 350°F. with a rack in the center position. Coat a baking sheet with pan spray (even it is nonstick) or line it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer and the paddle attachment, if you have one, beat the peanut butter, cream cheese, butter, and granulated and brown sugars on medium for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is well blended. Add the egg or egg substitute and vanilla and mix for 2 minutes longer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the flour on low for 1 minute, just until it is incorporated.

 Set aside 2/3 of a cup of dough for the cookie tops. Scoop the remaining dough into 16 equal portions and roll it between your hands into balls. Use your thumb or index finger to press a hole about 1/4 inch deep into the center of each ball, gently pinching the dough to create a well about the size of a quarter. Fill the holes with 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of jam.

 Roll out the remaining dough on a flat surface between two large pieces of plastic film until it is 1/8-inch thick. Peel off the top film and use a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter to cut 16 circles, re-rolling the scraps as needed. Use the tines of a fork to press cross hatch marks onto the flat cookie tops, dipping the fork into flour as needed to prevent sticking. If the dough becomes too soft to work with, freeze it for 5 minutes and try again.

 Lay one cookie top over each of the filled cookies and press the tops and bottoms together all around the edges to seal in the jam.

 Space the cookies evenly on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, about 8 minutes if not filled with jam, until the dough no longer appears wet or shiny but has not begun to brown. Halfway through the baking time, rotate the pan from front to back.

Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then transfer the cookies directly to the rack until they are completely cool. Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.


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EVO …and no we’re not talking olive oil!

“Exactly what is EVO?” was the first question I asked when invited to whip up some Sweet & Skinny treats a few weeks ago in Park City. EVO is a conference focused on the evolution of women in social media. Who knew that so many of today’s popular blogs are run by women, many of them business savvy moms who were looking for ways to spend more time with the family. These female bloggers help their readers find everything from crafty gift ideas to creative ways to budget, and of course most of them offer some sort of tips when it comes to cooking!  The EVO conference was not only a great chance to talk about Sweet & Skinny baking but it was also a great opportunity to test out the new Truvia Baking Blend.  The new Baking Blend is an amazing product that makes baking with Stevia a cinch!  For some simple tips on how to use the new Truvia Baking Blend watch this video with my Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies  http://ctv4.criticalmention.com/playerpage/player?shareid=52628&partnerToken=8a80836938446d1101389013f2af2741&clientId=7368

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The Healthy Mediterranean Diet

In case some of you missed my post on the Random House author’s blog, check it out here! It’s filled with inspiring healthy Mediterranean recipes, as well as a little vacation inspiration.

http://www.therecipeclub.net/2012/06/22/enjoy-the-healthy-mediterranean-diet/

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Bikini Season is Officially Here!

Yes, summer has finally arrived! It’s time to head to the beach, time to think about vacations, and of course, time for that itsy-bitsy yellow polka dot bikini! Nothing pairs better than Sweet & Skinny with vacations and swimsuits….ok, maybe a free upgrade into first class. Then again, a perfectly fit bikini ready bod and a sweet smile just might get you that upgrade. You never know!  In honor of summertime, Travel Curious Often has posted some Sweet & Skinny recipes to get travelers into shape before they hit the beach this year. So if you want to whip up a chocolate cake this weekend, follow the link below.  There are plenty of Sweet & Skinny recipes there to choose from, including my favorite PB&J cookies (note:they are perfect for picnics, or to take on a flight, in case you don’t get that free upgrade). Enjoy and happy travels!  http://www.travelcuriousoften.com/june12-food-quest.php

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Pappas on Sweet & Skinny

I recently caught up with Greg Pappas and the Pappas Post, to talk about Sweet & Skinny and my new Sweet Adventures!

http://www.pappaspost.com/view-culture/-/ccontent/40336

 

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Snack Girl gets Sweet & Skinny

I recently met Lisa Cain at the IACP conference in New York. If you are not familiar with her blog, Snack Girl, it is definitely not to be missed.  Lisa’s blog focuses on snacks that are quick to fix and healthy. So I of course had to tell her all about Sweet & Skinny.  Check out Lisa’s review, and hear which were her favorite Sweet & Skinny treats.

http://www.snack-girl.com/snack/lighter-almond-joy/

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Sweet & Skinny for Oprah

If you are a fan of Oprah, and who isn’t, then you should check out one of my new Sweet & Skinny recipes, which was just featured on Oprah.com

Like me, Oprah seems to enjoy a healthy breakfast, which includes chocolate…yes, I did say chocolate! So among the suggestions of how to enjoy a healthy chocolatey start to your day is my recipe for chocolate sour cherry muffins, at only 180 calories per muffin, you’ll be fitting into your skinny jeans in no time!

http://www.oprah.com/food/Chocolate-Breakfast-Recipes/4

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