Very Berry Frozen Yogurt

Warm weather means ice cream cravings, but premium ice creams are costly, both in dollars and calories!  In lieu of ice cream, I created this frozen yogurt concoction to satisfy those cravings, and it is tasty, indeed!  The juice, sweetened condensed milk, and honey create balanced sweetness, the liqueur adds flavor and the alcohol in the liqueur prevents the yogurt from freezing rock hard.  I like the richness that full-fat yogurt lends, but reduced-fat or fat-free works, too.  Best of all, everything goes into the food processor, and then into the freezer.  No special equipment needed!  Give this a try when your next ice cream craving hits!  Makes about a quart.

2 cups frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, whatever you have.  I like a combination)

1 Tablespoon lemon or lime juice

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

2 Tablespoons Chambord, Kirsch, or other berry-flavored liqueur

2 cups Greek yogurt (whole-fat is best, but 2%, or non-fat will work)

*Note:  1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, granola, or chopped nuts may be stirred in by hand after processing, if desired.

Place a medium stainless steel bowl in the freezer.

Place the berries in the food processor and pulse a couple of times, just to break up the berries a bit.  Add the juice, honey, sweetened condensed milk, and liqueur.  Process until well-combined.  Add the yogurt and process until all ingredients are combined.

Pour the yogurt into the chilled bowl, quickly press plastic wrap onto the top of the yogurt, covering the edges of the bowl, and place int the freezer.  Freeze for about 3 hours before serving. (If you are available, it's good to give the yogurt a stir half-way through the freezing process, then replace the plastic and finish freezing.) Store leftovers in the freezer in an air-tight covered container, with a piece of plastic film pressed onto the surface to prevent freezer burn.  Use within two weeks.

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Cappuccino Panna Cotta

Cappuccino Panna Cotta

Cappuccino Panna Cotta

This recipe is the result of a need for a quick dessert at the last minute.  Other panna cotta recipes take a while to chill, and the goal here was to make it FAST!  So, I heated the milk with the softened gelatin and some espresso powder, then added a can of sweetened condensed milk and some vanilla.  It cooled the milk and gelatin enough that once it went into the refrigerator it was only about two hours until it was ready to serve.  Even better, this dessert is delicious!  A win-win for sure.  Makes six 1/2 cup servings.

1 1/4 cup skim or low-fat milk

1 packet unflavored gelatin

2 teaspoons espresso powder

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate curls or chocolate sauce for serving

Place the milk in a 1-quart glass measuring cup.  Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and let the mixture set for about 5 minutes. then stir in until combined.  Place in the microwave and heat on high until the mixture comes to a full boil, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove from the microwave and whisk in the espresso powder, vanilla, and condensed milk until very well combined

Pour into 6-1/2 cup dessert dishes or martini glasses.  Cover each with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until chilled and firm, two hours or more is best.

Before serving, sprinkle with chocolate curls or top with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

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