Marsala-Poached Figs

Fresh Figs, Poached in Marsala
Serve 6

1/2 cup sweet Marsala
1 cinnamon stick
3 black peppercorns
1 tablespoon honey
6 Figs, stems removed and halved
Walnut halves for garnish

  1. Combine first four ingredients in a medium saucepan. 
  2. Bring to a boil. Cook 7 minutes or until syrupy. 
  3. Add figs. Cook another minute, or until thoroughly heated.

Nutritional data (2 fig halves and approximately 1 tablespoon sauce)
Calories:           64
Fat:                 0.2g
Sat fat:              0g
Chol:             0mg
Sodium:      1.4mg
Carbs:             13g
Fiber:             1.5g
Protein:          0.4g

Don’t forget to listen to my podcast, Make Your Someday Today! It is a motivational podcast, featuring interviews with musicians, athletes, artists, entrepreneurs and weight loss success stories from around the world. I also answer listener questions, and beginning with Episode 49, I give my “Recipe of the Week!”

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Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Fresh Figs

Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Fresh Figs
Serves 4

4 fresh figs
2 ounces very thinly sliced prosciutto (approximately 8 slices)

Wrap each fig with the prosciutto, and secure with toothpicks. (If you can’t find prosciutto, you could try very thinly sliced bacon.)

Preheat your grill on high for 5 minutes.
Place the figs on the grate. Turn often so that all side cook, but not become burned.
Serve warm.

    So easy. So elegant. The grill intensifies the sugars, and makes the fig softer, but not mushy. The prosciutto adds a velvety texture from the fat as it melts into the fig, and the meat is lightly smokey. The contrast between sweet and savory is wonderful.
    Make these while you can still find fresh figs!

    Nutritional data (per fig):
    Calories:         67
    Fat:                 1.7g
    Sat fat:            0.5g
    Chol:         12.5mg
    Sodium:  230.5mg
    Carbs:            9.6g
    Fiber:             1.5g
    Protein:          4.4g
    These would be incredible as a starter or a dessert. I think that since this is a sweet and slightly fatty dish, a semi-dry sparkling wine (possible a Moscato d’Asti) would be a nice match.

    Grown Up S’Mores

    Grown Up S’Mores!

    Cookies (your preferred variety) or Graham Crackers (more traditional)
    Marshmallow Creme
    Nocciolota Organic Hazelnut Spread

    I made these using soft sugar cookies. They would be delicious on almost any kind of cookie.

    I won’t give nutritional data (for a couple reasons.) The number will widely vary based on the cookie or cracker you choose, and if you make them open face (like I did) or put a second cooking on top. The numbers will also vary based on how much marshmallow creme and Nocciolata you use. And lastly, sometimes, you just don’t want to know the numbers.

    This dessert was absolutely delicious. The Nocciolatta (a more refined version of Nutella) added a wonderful chocolate-hazelnut flavor. Nocciolata has a slightly stronger hazelnut presence, and is smoother, and slightly thinner than Nutella.

    Thanks to Kara McKena for sending me this delicious food to sample!

    Strawberry-Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

    Strawberry-Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
    Serves 8

    To give credit where credit is due, this recipe is a lightly modified version of one found in one of my favorite periodicals, Eating Well, the June 2013 issue. However, my modifications make the recipe a better fit for people sticking to a calorie budget.

    Make choices to stick to a budget is part of success. I talk about success choices, but with a calories budget and in other areas (like starting new careers) in my podcast, Make Your Someday Today.

    The fruit topping:
    1 cup (4 ounces by weight) diced fresh rhubarb
    3 tablespoons Splenda (or stevia, or sugar whichever you prefer)
    2 ounces orange juice

    2.5 cups (1 pound) sliced strawberries (fresh are best, but you can use frozen berries that are thawed)

    Cooking spray or vegetable oil (to prepare the pan/skillet)

    The batter:
    1.5 cups flour (either all purpose white, or white whole wheat)
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    3 eggs
    2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce (or two individual serving cups)
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1 tablespoon orange zest
    2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 ounces rum (optional, but tasty!)

    1. Combine the first three ingredients in a bowl and let is stand (the true term is macerate) for 20-30 minutes in the orange juice. (The acids in the orange juice begin breaking down the fibrous rhubarb.) Stir occasionally.
    2. Prepare a 9 inch cake pan (according to the instructions). I always use a 10 inch oven-proof non-stick skillet. I can’t imagine using a smaller pan. You will see why shortly.
    3. While the rhubarb is macerating, prepare the batter and preheat the oven to 350F.
    4. In a small bowl, whisk together the first three dry batter ingredients. Set aside.
    5. In a large bowl, whisk together the next five wet ingredients. 
      You can see the rhubarb in the orange juice, along with the other recipe components.
    6. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix only until it is uniformly wet.
    7. Spread the fruit in the prepared pan or skillet. Pour the batter over the fruit. It should be wet enough that it will spread evenly on its own.
      The fruit in a well-prepared skillet.
      The batter gently poured over the fruit.
    8. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake (40-50 minutes, depending on your oven.)
      See why I wouldn’t recommend using a smaller (9″) baking pan?
    9. Now comes the only moderately tricky part. While the cake is still hot (and therefore not sticking to the pan) take a plate that has a larger diameter (11″ is best) than the pan/skillet. Lay it on the cake, inverted, so that when you QUICKLY yet CALMLY flip the whole thing over, the cake is batter side

      down and centered on the plate.  Use hot pads or towels, as there may be hot fruit juices.

    10. Don’t do this the first time in front of guests. On the other hand, I’ve done this recipe three times, and never had any disaster other than spilling some strawberry juice, so it really isn’t a big deal. I just don’t try new techniques in front of witnesses the first time I try them.
    11. Let is cool on the counter to room temperature (2 hours.) 
    12. Cut and serve (with whipped cream, or ice cream if you have room in your budget.)
    Nutritional data (per 1/8 of the cake):
    Calories:      201
    Fat:               2.5g
    Sat fat:          0.6g
    Chol:           79mg
    Sodium:       93mg
    Carb:          39.2g
    Fiber:            3.9g
    Protein:            6g
    By the way, I said I modified the recipe from Eating Well.  In specific, here are my changes:
    3 tablespoons Splenda instead of 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce instead of 2/3 cup vegetable oil
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar instead of 3/4 cup packed packed brown sugar
    1 teaspoon baking powder instead of 2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt instead of 1/2 teaspoon salt
    To compare the nutritional data using the numbers the recipe gives:
    (And this is for 1/10 of the cake, so a smaller piece than my recipe)

    Calories:      321
    Fat:               17g
    Sat fat:            3g
    Chol:           56mg
    Sodium:     241mg
    Carb:            40g
    Fiber:            3.0g
    Protein:            5g
    In most cases, you can replace oil with applesauce, and reduce the sugar by about 1/3 and not lose anything My recipe is a better option that Eating Well gave (and I can eat a larger portion!)


    Make Your Someday Today is a twice-weekly podcast, where we talk to successful people in all walks of life and around the world on Monday, and then on Thursday, I take a specific message from the previous guest and give my “Trevitorial”, where I help you apply that message to your life. The entire purpose of the show is to help all of us overcome our challenges and fears and become the person we want to be, the person we deserve to be. 

    Nutella Ice Cream

    Nutella Ice Cream
    Serve 16 (1/2 cup portions)

    Watch me prepare this on Fox11 Good Day Wisconsin.

    1 pint (500ml) heavy whipping cream
    2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup (250g) Nutella, room temp
    Ground hazelnuts for garnish

    1. Place mixing bowl in the freezer for several hours.
    2. Pour cream and vanilla in bowl. 
    3. Begin mixing, until the cream starts to foam.
    4. Begin adding Nutella, one spoonful at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
    5. When all Nutella is mixed in, return to freezer. Two hours for soft serve, 4 or more hours for hard ice cream
    6. Top with crushed hazelnuts, toasted coconut, shaved chocolate, or instant coffee.
    Nutritional data:
    Calories:      330
    Fat:            28.2g
    Sat fat:       16.6g
    Chol:          80mg
    Sodium:   31.2mg
    Carbs:        16.5g
    Fiber:           0.8g
    Protein:        2.2g
    Variations in place of Nutella (I haven’t tried any of these yet):
    Peanut butter
    Lemon curd
    Banana sauteed in butter and flamed with rum
    Cream of cocunut with flaked coconum
    After watching me cook, you can listen to me twice a week on my show Make Your Someday Today. You can also find me in iTunes and Stitcher.

    Make Your Someday Today is a twice-weekly podcast, where we talk to successful people in all walks of life and around the world on Monday, and then on Thursday, I take a specific message from the previous guest and give my “Trevitorial”, where I help you apply that message to your life. The entire purpose of the show is to help all of us overcome our challenges and fears and become the person we want to be, the person we deserve to be.

    Creme Brulee–a Delicious, Yet Low Calorie Version!

    Creme Brulee
    Serves 6

    This is a lower fat, lower calorie version of the classic creme brulee, but it still has the requisite caramelized sugar crust.

    4 large eggs
    1 1/2 cup (12 ounce/360ml) evaporated 2% milk
    1/3 cup Splenda (or you can use table sugar, if you want)
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    6 teaspoons brown sugar, divided.

    1. Preheat oven to 325F
    2. Whisk first four ingredients ingredients together.
    3. Pour mixture evenly into six 6 ounce (180ml) ramekins. Place ramekins into a 9×13 baking dish. Pour boiling water carefully into the dish to a 1 inch depth (or halfway up the sides of the ramekins.) NOTE: I poured the water into the dish, to about 1/2 inch, then carefully placed the ramekins into the water. To me, it seemed easier and less likely to have a problem.)
    4. Bake 30-35 minutes or until gently set in the center (It will be “wiggly” but not soft.)
    5. Remove to wire rack and cool for 10 minutes, then refrigerate several hours (overnight is better.)
    6. The next day, you have two options. A) Preheat boiler, sprinkle 1 teaspoon brown sugar evenly over each, and place under broiler, 4-6 inches from heat, until caramelized. This is 5-6 minutes, but watch carefully. B) Sprinkle with brown sugar and use a small propane torch to brown the sugar (faster and less likely to burn.) 
    7. Return to fridge for 5-10 minutes so the sugar crystallizes.
    Nutritional data:
    Calories:       124
    Fat:              4.2g
    Sat fat:         1.1g
    Chol:     134.7mg
    Sodium: 117.5mg
    Carbs:          11g
    Fiber:             0g
    Protein:          8g

    If you listen to podcasts, and like what I have had to say here, go to my show Make Your Someday Today. When you go there, stop at the main page and move from Trevor’s Team to the Varsity Squad by signing up with your name and email.

    I promise to keep your email private, and never spam you. I may send you messages of importance, but no more than one a week. And as a Varsity Squad member, when I release products and events, you will receive huge discounts. Thanks!

    Chocolate Crepes, Filled with Sweet Ricotta

    Chocolate Crepes, Filled with Sweet Ricotta
    Serves 8

    1/2 cup flour
    2 tablespoons cocoa
    1 tablespoon Splenda (or you can use any other non-calorie sweetener, or table sugar)
    8 ounces (250g) low fat ricotta cheese (approximately 1 cup)
    2 tablespoons Splenda  (or you can use any other non-calorie sweetener, or table sugar)
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 egg
    1/2 cup milk
    1/4 cup water
    1 tsp melted butter

    1. Combine flour, cacao and sugar in a small bowl.
    2. Mix together ricotta, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.
    3. Combine milk, water, egg and melted butter in a blend. Pulse to mix. 
    4. Add flour mixture, and process until smooth. The batter will be like thin pancake batter.
    5. Preheat a non-stick 6″ skillet over medium high heat.
    6. When hot, spray lightly with cooking spray, and pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter in the middle of the skillet. Immediately pick the skillet up and tilt/turn it until the batter coats the surface. 
    7. Return to heat. When the edges start to curl (approximately 1 minute) carefully flip. 
    8. Cook another 30 seconds. Remove and lay on wax paper that you previously lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Do not skip that step. They WILL stick to wax paper as they cool.
    9. Repeat with remaining batter.
    10. When all are cooked, spread about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture over the surface and roll. Set aside and repeat until finished.
    11. Cut into 1 inch long pieces and serve. 
    Nutritional data:
    Calories:       96
    Fat:             3.6g
    Sat fat:        1.8g
    Chol:         43mg
    Sodium:     45mg
    Carbs:         9.6g
    Fiber:             1g
    Protein:       5.1g

    Okay. A question for you! Would you consider this a dessert or a breakfast? Why? Please leave a comment below!

    Another Fun Day Cooking on TV

    I was asked to cook on Green Bay’s WLUK Fox11’s “Good Day, Wisconsin!” this morning. I already told you that I was going to make Baked Eggs with Spinach and Feta, and a variety of Crepes on an earlier post.

    I also promised to include links so that people who do not live in wonderful northeast Wisconsin can watch me if they want. I am a man of my word.

    Here is the link to the Crepes segment. (The Baked Eggs segment isn’t linked.)

    I will possibly be going back on in a couple months. Does anyone have any suggested recipes? I need them to be relatively quick to prepare, and appeal to a wide range of people.

    Drop me a line with your ideas below. They do not need to come from my blog, but if they are not already on the blog, I will need a recipe or good idea of how it is prepared. I always make everything in advance to work out any kinks (and there are always a few kinks.)

    A few stills that I took:

    Almost ready for the crepes segment.
    Baked Eggs are still in the oven.
    Crepes ingredients. Brad Stillmank’s Wisco Disco adds just the right flavors!
    Thank you to Emily Deem, Doug Higgins and the entire crew at WLUK Fox11 for the invitation and the warm reception. Everyone made me feel at ease and very welcome. That weekend crew is awesome! The fun interaction that you see on TV isn’t just for the camera. It is real! 

    Crepes and Baked Eggs with Spinach and Feta Cheese

    From left to right: strawberry, nutella-strawberry, and lemon
    Basic Crepe Recipe
    Makes 12 crepes
    6 oz milk
    5 oz beer
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    2 eggs (room temperature)
    1 cup all purpose flour
    1/8 tsp salt
    1.  Put first four ingredients in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix for 30 second. Add the remaining ingredients and mix for another minute, or until thoroughly mixed and smooth.
    2.  Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
    3.  Re-whisk the batter just before you begin frying the crepes.
    4.  Preheat 10 inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with non-stick spray.
    5.  With the skillet off the heat, pour 2 oz (1/4 cup) batter in the center of the skillet. Tip the skillet so that the entire bottom is covered.
    6.  Return to heat. When the top begins to dry and the bottom is beginning to brown, flip using a wooden or rubber flipper. The edges will begin to curl away from the pan at this time.
    7.  Fry the crepe for another 10 second. The crepe should be be very lightly brown.
    8.  Remove from skillet.
    9.  Add fillings, fold or wrap and serve -OR- stack with wax paper between layers for later use.
    Nutritional data (per crepe, without any filling):
    Calories:           64
    Fat:                   1.2g
    Sat fat:              0.5g
    Chol:           36.5mg
    Sodium:       43.8mg
    Carb:                 9.2g
    Fiber:                0.3g
    Protein:             2.7g
    Possible fillings are endless:
    A whole banana, sauteed in some butter
    Nutella (or peanut butter) and banana
    Nutella (or peanut butter) and strawberry
    Any other fruits (fresh or canned pie filling) with whipped cream
    Lemon juice and powder sugar
    Greek yogurt and your favorite fruit
    Your favorite jam/marmalade
    Bacon and eggs (with a touch of cheese)
    Ham and cheese
    Cream cheese and smoked salmon
    Shredded chicken and salsa
    Thin-shaved beef with horseradish yogurt
    Baked Eggs with Feta and Spinach

    Baked Egg with Feta and Spinach
    Serve 4

    4 eggs, separated
    1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
    1 teaspoon of your preferred herb blend (I used Penzey’s Sunny Paris.)
    1 cup (packed) fresh baby spinach, finely chopped
    Pepper to taste

    1.  Preheat oven to 350F.
    2.  Spray oven-safe custard cups with cooking spray (or otherwise grease them.)
    3.  With electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
    4.  Gently stir in cheese, spinach and herbs.
    5.  Divide between the four cups.
    6.  With a spoon, create a small well in the center of the egg white mixture.
    7.  Carefully slide a yolk into each well.
    8.  Place cups on a baking sheet, and place in oven.  Back 10-14 minutes, until the egg white puffs up and browns. The yolk will be hot and thick, but not solid.

    Note: in the picture, I topped the egg with a half tablespoon of Greek yogurt. That was unnecessary, and won’t be repeated in the future.

    Nutritional data:
    Calories:          106
    Fat:                    7g
    Sat fat:               3g
    Chol:           220mg
    Sodium:       186mg
    Carbs:             1.6g
    Fiber:              0.2g
    Protein:           9.3g

    Crumbled bacon and finely shredded sharp cheddar
    Shedded Swiss and minced mushrooms
    Fresh basil, scallion and Parmesan

    Caramel Cashew Chex

    Caramel Cashew Chex Mix

    Make a lot! Assuming 1 ounce by weight, this will make about 50 portions
    12-14 ounce box of Chex, Crispix or similar breakfast cereal
    12 ounces cashews
    2 sticks butter (unsalted is best)
    2 cups brown sugar
    ½ cup corn syrup
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    Large paper grocery bag
    1.    Pour cereal into grocery bag. Add cashews.
    2.    In a saucepan, melt the butter.
    3.    Add brown sugar and corn syrup.
    4.    Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
    5.    Add baking soda, stir to mix. This will make the syrup foamy.
    6.    Pour over nuts and cereal.
    7.    Scrunch the bag down so it will fit into your microwave, and microwave on high for 2 minutes.
    8.    Carefully stir everything, and scrunch the bag down, microwaving on high for 2 more minutes.
    9.    Carefully pour mix onto buttered cookie sheets. (Wax paper does NOT work, even if buttered. Peeling shreds of paper off the candy is less fun than it sounds.) Spread into an even layer, let cool and harden.
    10.  Break into small pieces and store in an airtight container, preferably not where I can get at it.
    Nutritional data:
    Calories:        151
    Fat:                7.8g
    Sat fat:           3.2g
    Chol:           9.8mg
    Sodium:     52.6mg
    Carbs:          19.3g
    Fiber:             0.5g
    Protein:          2.6g