Monday, June 18, 2012

Restaurant Inspirations: Salad Dressing

I love a good ranch salad dressing.  And a good ranch salad dressing rarely comes from a bottle in the dressings and condiments aisle of the grocery store.

Here are some places where you can find really good ranch salad dressing: by making it at home with a packet of ranch seasoning, at the BYU Creamery (dang that stuff is good), at a restaurant, and by making it from scratch.

The recipe I am sharing tonight isn't strictly ranch dressing...but it's the Italian version of it, as inspired by The Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant.  I found it originally on Pinterest.  It is from a blog called "Cooking Classy" and you can find her original recipe here.

We didn't change a thing and oh my goodness, this stuff is awesome...and it tastes exactly like the dressing that you get in the actual restaurant.  Which is a great thing for me because I never have time to go out to eat these days!

So splurge a little on your next salad with this rich and creamy homemade ranch dressing, done Italian-style!

Spaghetti Factory's Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing

Makes about 2 1/2 cups


1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 1/2 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly, finely grated Parmesan cheese


Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Whisk until smooth and creamy.  Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate 1 hour (this will help the flavors develop).  Serve over salad or use as a dip.

Source: Again, I found this on Pinterest and it is from a blog called "Cooking Classy" which you can find here.

Recipe Notes: The author of the recipe noted that if you are in a hurry and don't have time to refrigerate the dressing for an hour prior to serving, you can serve it right away, if necessary.

Notes: This dressing was great.  I ate it on salad...and then I dipped some baby carrots in it...and then we dipped some pizza and breadsticks in it.  Seriously, this stuff was awesome.

Pink and Green Bridal Shower

My brother got married just last week and we had the opportunity to throw a shower for his beautiful bride.  Her colors were pink and green, so we decided to use that theme for her shower as well.  I just thought I would share some pictures of how it turned out.  We kept things basic, but pretty.  If you want elaborate party throwing, there are a number of amazing blogs out there dedicated to the art of parties (or just go to for a plethora of party inspirations).  But it turned out well and everything was very yummy.

I'll have to include a few recipes later (I'll need to get them from my Mom), but for now, enjoy the pictures!

Above: Strawberry cake balls.  I have a cake ball pan, so I simply baked strawberry cake mix into the cake ball mold.  When the cake balls were completely cooled, I coated them in white vanilla candy coating that I dyed pink with food coloring.  I dyed some of the candy coating a darker shade of pink to decorate the top of the cake balls.  I had wanted to use cute pink sprinkles, but both of the grocery stores near me didn't really have any pink sprinkles!  And I didn't have time to go to a specialty store, so I improvised.  It worked alright, except that the candy coating stripes would sometimes break free.  Oh well.  If you don't have a cake ball pan, you can make the cake balls the good old-fashioned, messy way.  Bake a cake in a 9x13 inch pan. Let cool completely.  Crumble into a bowl.  Stir in a tub of frosting (the flavor is your could do strawberry cake and strawberry frosting, or white cake and white frosting...the sky's the limit).  Mix until the frosting is well incorporated.  Then form into cake balls.  Place on a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet and place in refrigerator or freezer until set.  Then coat with vanilla or chocolate candy coating.

Above: Nutritious green veggies, refreshing pink fruits, and yummy pink sweets!

Above: Dijon Chicken Salad served in croissant rolls.  It is a yummy chicken salad recipe with grapes and dried apricots served on croissant rolls.  Delicious!

Dijon Chicken Salad


4 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup sliced green onions
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Lettuce leaves, optional
1/2 cup sliced almonds, optional


In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients.  In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper.  Pour into chicken mixture; toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate until time to serve.  Serve on a lettuce-line plate.  Sprinkle with almonds.  Yield: 6 servings.

Nutrition information: 1 serving (1 1/4 cups) equals 504 calories, 33 g fat, 93 mg cholesterol, 513 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 30 g protein.

Source: Taste of Home 2011.

Notes: Goodness, this was good.  It was fantastic served in the croissant rolls and would be yummy in any kind of roll or with regular bread as a sandwich filling.

Above: Green veggies with dip.

Above: Cake mix cookies, recipe found here.

Yummy stuff!  And very pretty to look at too!

Main Dish--Vegetarian Style

Has this ever happened to anyone else?  You have a cookbook and every time you look through it, you think "Oh, that recipe looks so good.  I need to try it."  And then for some reason, you never end up trying that recipe.  Well, I had a recipe like that...I had seriously wanted to try it for at least 4 or 5 years.  Well, this month, I finally made it!

Now, there's nothing worse than greatly anticipating a recipe only to be disappointed.  But on the other hand, when the recipe is a good one, it was well worth the wait...and the only regret that you have is that you didn't make the recipe sooner!

Fortunately, this recipe was a good one.  And the great thing about this recipe is that it utilizes a lot of great pantry staples.  And since it is vegetarian, it is a pretty low-cost dish.  The recipe I am talking about is White Bean Enchiladas.

The second meat-free recipe I tried was Black-Black Bean Enchilada Casserole and it was great too.  It came from the same cookbook as the White Bean was on the facing page, but I never noticed it before (mostly because it didn't have a picture...ha ha!).  I happened to have pretty much all of the ingredients for that recipe, so that attracted my interest instantly.  :)  And it was a great recipe too!

You can make both of these ahead of time...up to a day ahead.  Just refrigerate until ready to put in the oven.  Here's my advice if you make it ahead...don't put the cheese on top until right before you put it in the oven.  I don't know why, but if you put the cheese on top and then put it in the fridge, the cheese doesn't melt the same.  It just doesn't melt very well.  So, trust me, add the cheese right when you put it in the oven and it will be nice and melty. (If you want to know what I mean, check out the pictures.  I put the cheese on the White Bean Enchiladas ahead of didn't melt as evenly and you can still see the individual shredded cheese.  I added the cheese on the Black-Bean Enchilada Casserole right before putting it in the oven and the cheese melted beautifully).

So, if you're looking to make dinners that you already have most, if not all, of the ingredients for, and if you want to save a few bucks by skipping the meat for a night, these are the recipes for you.  And trust me, you won't miss the meat.  These are delicious, filling, satisfying recipes and you'll leave the dinner table with a full belly.

White Bean Enchiladas


2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup (2 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat Mexican blend or Cheddar cheese, divded
2 tablespoons canned chopped green chiles
1 tablespoon sliced green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso), divided
1/4 cup water
6 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine sour cream and beans in a food processor; process until almost smooth.  Stir in 1/4 cup cheese, chiles, onions, chopped cilantro, and cumin.

Combine 1/3 cup enchilada sauce and 1/4 cup water in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.  Dip 1 tortilla in sauce mixture to soften, and transfer to a plate.  Spread 1/ cup bean mixture down center of tortilla; roll up.  Place roll, seam side down, in an 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas and bean mixture.  Add remaining sauce to pan; cook 1 minute.  Spoon over enchiladas; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Sprinkle with minced cilantro, if desired.

Yield: 3 servings (serving size: 2 enchiladas).

Recipe Notes: This easy enchilada casserole can be prepared up to 1 day ahead.  Since the enchiladas are baked in a baking dish, the casserole reheats well in the microwave too.

Nutrition information: 372 calories, 8 g fat, 17.5 g protein, 60.5 g carb, 6.2 g fiber, 3 mg chol, 1,076 sodium, 291 mg calc.

Source: Cooking Light Holiday Cookbook, 2005 Oxmoor House, Inc. ISBN: 0-8487-3004-6.

Notes: I followed this recipe as written, except that I doubled it and I added a little more sour cream than the recipe called for.  I served it with some sour cream, homemade guacamole, lettuce, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, and tortilla chips on the side.  Yum!

My only bone to pick with this recipe is a very trivial one and it has to do with aesthetics.  If you're like me, corn tortillas aren't super pliable all the time.  I dipped the corn tortillas in the enchilada sauce, filled them and rolled them...and most of them split.  That's just the story with corn tortillas.  They don't roll as easily as flour tortillas.  As a result, they don't serve up as easily as flour tortilla enchiladas either.  So, they tasted fantastic, but they weren't as pretty as enchiladas made with flour tortillas.  So, not a big deal.  Just something to be aware of.  If you wanted them to look prettier, you could make them with flour tortillas...but I really think the corn tortillas added such a great flavor to the recipe.  I'd prefer to have less than perfect enchiladas in the looks department in this case because the corn tortillas make for the perfect flavor combination.

Black-Bean Enchilada Casserole


1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 cup cooked brown basmati rice or long-grain rice
1 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 (19-ounce) can red enchilada sauce
Cooking spray
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine 1/2 cup cheese, rice, and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Spread 1/4 cup enchilada sauce in an 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Heat remaining enchilada sauce in a skillet 2 minutes or until warm; remove from heat. Dredge both sides of 6 tortillas in warm sauce; arrange tortillas, overlapping, over sauce in baking dish.  Top with 1 3/4 cups bean mixture. Dredge both sides of remaining tortillas in warm sauce; arrange tortillas, overlapping, over bean mixture. Top with remaining bean mixture, remaining sauce, and 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until bubbly.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 [3 1/2 inch] square).

Nutrition information: 323 calories, 7.2 g fat, 16.1 g protein, 49.5 g carb, 5.5 g fiber, 12 mg chol, 2.5 mg iron, 683 mg sodium, 269 mg calc.

Source: Cooking Light Holiday Cookbook, 2005 Oxmoor House, Inc. ISBN: 0-8487-3004-6.

Notes: I followed the recipe as written (I didn't double it).  But, I think I misunderstood the recipe.  I think the recipe was calling for 1 cup of cooked brown rice.  I was in a hurry when I made it, so I cooked 1 cup of dried rice as directed by the package and added all of that to the casserole.  After being cooked, it was probably a little over 2 cups of rice.  So, I think it made for a much thicker/taller casserole than the original recipe intended.  But it still tasted fantastic, so I guess the amount of rice that you want to use is up to you!

Also, I think for this recipe, I would buy two cans of enchilada sauce just in case.  I think I poured a little too much enchilada sauce on the bottom of the baking dish...and then my corn tortillas completely soaked up the rest of the enchilada sauce.  I had to dip about 4 of the tortillas in water because I had run out of enchilada sauce at that point.  Oops!  So, I didn't have any extra enchilada sauce to pour over the top of the casserole either.  If I'd had an extra can, I definitely would have made use of it for this dish.  But even without it, the casserole turned out just fine and tasted great.

Oh, and I served ours with a dollop of sour cream and additional cilantro.  That wasn't part of the recipe, but I would highly suggest it!  It was delicious that way.  You could also serve it with some salsa on top as well.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cookies from Cake Mix

I love cookies as much as the next person, but I'm not going to lie, I'm not really big on making cookies.  I tend to only make cookies when I have to (for a social event, for neighborhood Christmas gift cookie plates, or as a "thank you" gift, etc.).  They just take so long when you have a ton of batches.  Plus, they can make such a mess of your kitchen.  And then if I don't give some of them away, I can't keep my hands off of them and I eat way too many.

So, these cookies are great because you won't have a ton of batches, you only use one bowl, and they are really quick and easy to throw together.  Besides that, with all of the different flavors of cake mixes and all of the add-in possibilities, the kinds of cookies that you can make are endless.

Seriously, you could do so many things with this basic cookie idea.  You could add nuts (not me because of my boys' nut allergies, sniff, sniff), dried fruit (such as chopped dried apricot or cherries), any kind of baking chip (semi-sweet, milk chocolate, white chocolate, white vanilla, mint, butterscotch, peanut butter, toffee chips, etc.), or you can add candies (like M&Ms, red hots, etc.).  And as you can see from the two recipes, you can make them with or without the pudding mix too.  So many possibilities! (Be sure to read to the end of this post to see a list of combinations and possibilities...only the tip of the iceberg, folks!).

So, follow the basic recipe, get creative and have some cookie fun!

Banana-Rainbow Chip Cookies


1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist party rainbow chip cake mix
1 box (4 serving size) banana cream instant pudding and pie filling mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup white vanilla baking chips


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In large bowl, stir together all ingredients.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft).  Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

Recipe Notes: Replace banana cream pudding with another flavor if you are not a fan of banana.  Store tightly covered at room temperature up to 2 days or in refrigerator up to 5 days.

Makes 16 servings.

Notes: I made these twice, two different ways.  I didn't follow the recipe exactly either time.  I doubled the recipe both times.  The first time, I used the party rainbow chip cake mix, vanilla instant pudding, and no white vanilla baking chips (I forgot to buy them and didn't have time to run to the store).  The second time, I used a white cake mix, half vanilla instant pudding, and half banana cream instant pudding, I used white vanilla baking chips, and I rolled the cookies in pink sugar sprinkles.  They were great cookies--both versions.  The first version is what I would describe as "cake mix cookies" in that they taste like yellow cake mix, only in cookie form.  They definitely fit the cake mix flavor trend that is going on right now.  The second version was really yummy too.  The banana pudding helps the cookies to taste less cake-like.  It deepens the flavor without making you think "these taste too banana-like."

Also, perhaps I made these cookies smaller than the recipe intended, but I ended up with 24 cookies (four batches of 12 cookies each).  I thought that the cookies were the perfect size.

Source: Betty Crocker website, recipe found here.  It is a recipe featured on Betty Crocker originally featured on a blog called Inspired Taste.

Quick-Mix Chocolate Cookies


1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist devil's food cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar


Heat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees F for dark or nonstick pans).  In large bowl, mix cake mix, oil, vanilla, and eggs with spoon until dough forms.

Refrigerate dough 15-30 minutes or as needed for easier handling.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar.  On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls about 2 inches apart.

Bake 9-11 minutes or until set.  Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.  Cool completely, about 30 minutes.  Store tightly covered.

Recipe notes: To make Chocolate Chip-Chocolate Cookies, stir 2/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips into the dough.

Makes 30 cookies.

Nutrition information: 1 cookie is 90 calories, 3.5 g fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 125 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, 0 g dietary fiber, 1 g protein.

Source: Betty Crocker website, recipe found here.

Notes: I made these exactly as written, except for two changes.  I used a Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix instead of the Devil's Food...because that's what I had on hand.  The Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix has little chocolate chips in it.  It tasted great.  Also, instead of 30 cookies, I made a total of 24 cookies--two batches of 12 cookies.  We might have had more, but my son kept asking for more cookie dough.  I would have had 30 cookies.  He ate about 3 cookies worth of dough!  I took dough from what would have been the other three cookies and just added it evenly into the other cookie dough balls so that I wouldn't have to put a batch of three cookies in the oven.  Because I hate when that happens!

These taste like brownies in cookie form...and there's nothing wrong with that!

Here are some other mix and add-in ideas I found in the comments sections of each cookie on the Betty Crocker website: 

  • Chocolate cake mix, chocolate pudding, white chocolate chips.
  • Chocolate cake mix, peanut butter chips.
  • Chocolate cake mix, mint chips.
  • Yellow or white cake mix, rolled in cinnamon-sugar for a Snickerdoodle cookie.
  • Yellow cake mix, vanilla pudding, and rainbow sprinkles (you could either mix the sprinkles into the dough or roll the cookie dough balls in the sprinkles).
  • Lemon cake mix rolled in powdered sugar.
  • Chocolate cake mix, chocolate chips, rolled in powered sugar.
  • Strawberry cake mix, vanilla pudding, white chocolate chips.
  • One person shared her personal cake mix cookie version: She used 1 box of cake mix, 1 egg, 4 drops of vanilla (maybe 1 teaspoon?), and one 8 oz container of frozen whipped topping (such as Cool Whip).  They mixed the dough together, formed it into balls, and rolled it into powdered sugar, then baked.
  • Another person said that they followed the chocolate cookie recipe, wrapped the dough around unwrapped Rolo candies, and rolled the cookie dough balls in a mixture of sugar and chopped pecans.
  • Another person said that they made a Christmas cherry cookie using white cake mix and almond extract.  They topped the cookies with half of a red or green maraschino cherry and drizzled it with melted chocolate.  They also noted that this same version would be great with a chocolate cake mix, cherry, and a drizzle of melted white chocolate. 
  • You can use white or chocolate cake mix and roll them in different colors of sugar for different holidays: green, orange, and purple for Halloween, red and green for Christmas, pink and red for Valentine's Day, multiple pastel or bright shades for Easter, red and blue for a Patriotic twist, etc.
  • You could use two cookies and fill them with your favorite frosting for a cookie sandwich, similar to a whoopie pie.
  • White cake mix, dried chopped pineapple, coconut (toasted or un-toasted), macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips for a tropical/pina colada cookie.
  • White cake mix, craisins, orange zest.
  • White cake mix, chopped dried apricots, white vanilla chips.
  • Lemon cake mix and chopped crystallized ginger.
  • Red velvet cake mix and white chocolate chips.
  • Chocolate cake mix and toffee chips.
  • Chocolate cake mix and butterscotch chips.
  • White cake mix, white chocolate chips, and chopped macadamia nuts.
  • Carrot cake mix and white chocolate chips.
  • Spice cake mix rolled in granulated sugar.  Kind of like a gingersnap.
  • White cake with M&Ms (red and green for Christmas).
  • Spice cake mix with craisins and walnuts.
  • Carrot cake mix...use two cookies and fill with cream cheese frosting for a carrot cake sandwich cookie.
  • Spice cake mix with oatmeal and raisins.
  • German chocolate cake mix rolled in powdered sugar to make chocolate crinkles cookies.
  • Yellow cake mix, toffee bits, rolled in cinnamon-sugar.
  • Yellow cake mix, butterscotch chips, butterscotch pudding.
  • Chocolate cake mix (follow recipe above, but omit coating cookie dough in granulated sugar), frost with fluffy white frosting, and top with crushed candy canes.
  • Chocolate cake mix, white chocolate chips, and craisins or dried cherries.
  • Chocolate cake mix cookie recipe, made into a sandwich cookie with cream cheese frosting for a homemade soft Oreo cookie.  You could even add food color and different extracts to the frosting...such as green food color and peppermint extract for a Christmas version.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sorbet...Straight From the Pantry? Yes!

My husband loves sorbet.  It is his absolute favorite dessert.  So, while we were dating and first married, I made a lot of sorbet.

At that time, my sister and I also thought it would be fun to try a theme dinner where every item in the menu had a common ingredient.  I had seen a lot of vanilla recipes at the time, so we decided to try a vanilla-themed dinner.  Everything we made was a little disappointing...except the sorbet.  And the sorbet?  It was to die for!  Now, for me, vanilla is one of the most subtle, comforting, and delicate flavors ever.  You just can't go wrong with vanilla in a dessert.  On our vanilla theme night, we made Vanilla Balsamic Chicken and Mixed Salad with Vanilla-Pear Vinaigrette and Toasted Walnuts.  Both of those recipes can be found on

Those recipes were fine.  But here was my problem with them: they didn't allow the vanilla to shine...they hid the vanilla in the background.  The chicken called for shallots, orange rind, orange juice, and balsamic vinegar...all really, really strong flavors.  Then, it called for a vanilla bean.  I was disappointed because you could barely taste the vanilla.  The orange, shallots, and balsamic vinegar just overshadowed the vanilla.  Which was especially disappointing because vanilla beans are NOT cheap!  It was a pretty good recipe--especially if you love orange flavored chicken.  But I would strongly suggest using 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract instead of the vanilla bean to save yourself some money!  As for the salad, again, it called for very little vanilla and you really couldn't taste, what's the point of adding the vanilla?  Just to say it's there?

But for dessert, we made Vanilla Bean Sorbet (with Pineapple Topping).  Now, this sorbet really allows the  vanilla to shine.  I didn't make it with the Pineapple Topping, however.  I meant to do it at some point though.  On our theme night, I simply topped it with quartered strawberries that had been tossed with a little sugar.  And that was so good that I've never made it differently because it's just so good that way!  But recently, it occurred to me that if you topped it with a mixture of strawberries, blueberries, and sugar that it would be the perfect patriotic dessert.  Cool for the hot summer months, and just the right colors for the Fourth of July!  But blackberries or raspberries would be delicious with this sorbet too.  The sky's the limit!

The original recipe calls for a vanilla bean, but you can also use vanilla extract.  I've made it both ways and it is equally delicious either way (but a lot cheaper with the extract).  And excluding the topping, you can have all of the ingredients for the sorbet on hand in your pantry to make any time you please.  Isn't that great?  So, you can throw together sorbet at the drop of the hat...without waiting for fresh seasonal fruit.

Trust me, this recipe is a keeper.  It's so easy and so delicious.

Vanilla Bean Sorbet with Pineapple Topping

On its own, this sorbet is sweet, but the spicy tartness of the pineapple topping is the perfect foil.  A touch of corn syrup in the sorbet keeps it from freezing solid and allows for easy scooping.



4 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 (1/2-inch) piece vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


1/2 cup dark rum (or, if you don't cook with alcohol, you can substitute 1/2 cup water and 1-2 teaspoons rum flavoring)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 (1-inch) slice peeled fresh ginger, halved
1 1/2 cups diced pineapple

Topping alternative:

Favorite fruit tossed with a little granulated sugar (such as quartered strawberries)


To prepare sorbet, combine 4 cups water, 1 cup sugar, and light corn syrup in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat.  Cook 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently.  Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into a medium bowl.  Add vanilla bean and fresh lemon juice.  Pour hot sugar mixture over vanilla mixture; stir well with a whisk.  Cover and chill completely.  Remove and discard vanilla bean.  Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.  Spoon sorbet into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze for 4 hours or until firm.

To prepare topping, combine dark rum (or water and rum extract mixture), water, sugar, and ginger in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes.  remove from heat; cool to room temperature.  remove and discard ginger.  Pour rum mixture over pineapple; chill 1 hour.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup sorbet and about 3 tablespoons topping).

Nutrition information: 185 calories, 0.1 g fat, 0.1 g protein, 0.0 mg cholesterol, 3 mg calcium, 13 mg sodium, 0.4 g fiber, 0.2 mg iron, 39.7 g carbohydrate.

Source: Cooking Light, October 2004.  You can find the recipe here.

Notes: As mentioned in my explanation above, I top my sorbet with strawberries instead of the recipe's original pineapple topping.  This sorbet is very versatile and would be delicious with any number of toppings.  I also usually double it because it keeps really well in the freezer, so you can snack on it for many moons to come...with a topping or without!