Pavlova for your lov-a this Valentine’s Day!

This is the recipe that finally changed me from a chocolate-only dessert lover.  Before I was introduced to this recipe if I made a dessert with -gasp! – sugar,  it’s a pretty good bet that it would be made with chocolate.  Why risk disappointment when we so rarely have something sweet? That all changed when a friend from New Zealand introduced me to this authentic New Zealand recipe.  In fact, I love it so much that I made it for Christmas this year and my husband’s birthday.  And my chocolate loving kids even chose this over a chocolate cake at our holiday party, asking for the “cake with the cucumbers on top.”  Fortunately, there are no cucumbers, but there are kiwi and strawberries – a little healthy fruit to go with all the sugar. :)

Although the recipe isn’t hard, you do need to use superfine sugar (find it at gourmet food markets, kitchen stores, and online at amazon.com), and be sure to bake it low and slow (around 225 degrees for 90 minutes).  Somehow it magically bakes into a “cake” with a crisp outer layer and a soft, gooey inside.

If you’re looking for a change from the traditional chocolate this year this sweet treat is sure to impress your Valentine!  Enjoy!

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Easter Treats – With none of the junk! (no refined sugar, preservatives, or artificial colors)

Easter collage 40resizeAs I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been kind of worried about the upcoming Easter holiday. This will be our first Easter being “junk free” and eating Real Food and I can tell I’m not the only one who’s been a little concerned about how the “Easter Bunny” is going to pull this off this year. My kids are very aware of all the Easter candy being promoted in the supermarket, on commercials, on billboards, etc., and have been loudly – randomly -calling out to thin air (presumably to the invisible Easter Bunny who I think they might be confusing a little with Santa Claus, not sure, but I get the sense that they think the Easter Bunny is watching over them and listening to what they want in their Easter baskets), “Easter Bunny, I’ve been good! Please bring me _____!” (whatever candy they just happened to see on tv, in a magazine, at the store, etc.

So, I’ve been hard at work coming up with some “Real Food Easter Treats” and I think I have some real winners here! In fact, the only treat that had a mixed reaction in our family was the chocolate egg which does have a dark chocolate flavor to it, so it probably wouldn’t appeal to all kids. The other night I cut one egg in 1/4s to let them each try it and I got the following reactions: Continue reading