Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

Thursday Things + Le Creuset Giveaway Winner!

1. Happy Pi Day! I unfortunately won’t be having any pie today. I caught the nastiest bug and my taste buds have gone into hiding. During times like these, only a few foods will do. Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup is the only thing that brings be back to health (that and JELL-O and orange juice). Please tell me I’m not the only one who morphs into a 5-year-old when I catch a cold.

2. But if I were eating pie, I would definitely make this Chocolate Cherry Pie (via Taste of Home). You can make a full-size pie or these cute mini pies.

3. Guess who had their second 1st birthday party? Tristan! This one was for his “friends.”

Baby T fell down right before the party, which is why he has that pink line on his forehead. Other than a minor injury, that kid had a great time.

4. Thanks to everyone who entered the Le Creuset French Oven Giveaway! And the winner is:

Congrats, Shannon! Please send your address to me at by Saturday, March 16 and I’ll make sure your new French Oven is on its way! If I don’t hear from you before then, a new winner will be chosen.


Question: When you have a cold, what do you do to make yourself feel better?

How I Kill a Sugar Craving

I am addicted to sugar. As much as I wish this weren’t true, it is what it is. Although I’ve had some success in lessening the habit, there still isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t have at least a small piece of candy.

Mmmm, dirt pudding (the light version)

To satisfy my sweet tooth without going overboard, I will try making healthier versions of typically fattening desserts by substituting low-fat ingredients. Other times I will make mini versions of the foods I love — like peanut butter and jelly mini cheesecakes.

Or Coco Banana PB Crave Balls

This leads me to my next point…how to kill a sugar craving. As I researched an article I wrote for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on dried fruits and vegetables, the dietitian I talked to said dried fruits make an excellent substitution for sugary desserts. Although they recommend people eat fresh fruits instead, she did say people usually end up more satisfied after eating dried fruits because the flavors are more concentrated.

Lately I’ve been snacking on dried pineapple and mango at work as an after-lunch treat, and it really helps! Here are some other tips I’ve learned throughout the years to calm my sugar addiction:

  • Fix yourself a hot mug of tea with a teaspoon of honey
  • Brush your teeth!
  • Chew gum or grab a mint
  • Put on lipstick, which sounds silly, but you don’t want to mess up your lips :)

This list is obviously a work in progress.

SHARE: What do you do to get your mind off of sugar? Do you have any tricks for giving in but in a healthier way?

Top 12 Recipes of 2012

Happy New Year’s Eve! As I’m switching my planner to 2013, it seems like I was shopping for a 2012 planner at Target just yesterday. This year seemed to move at lightening speed — with a new nephew, new jobs, new friends, new gym, new home projects and a whole lot more. Yes, 2012 was an awesome year, but I feel strangely optimistic that 2013 will be even better :)


Since the countdown is happening tonight, I thought I would do my own. Here are my Top 12 Recipes of 2012.

#12) Coffee Rum Chata

#11) Canned Apple Pie Filling

#10) Stuffed Pepper Casserole

#9) Tamale Pie

#8) Homemade Marshmallows

#7) Oreo Rice Krispie Treats

#6) Corn and Scallion Sourdough Pancakes

#5) Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Bread

#4) Spicy Tomato Peanut Butter Soup

#3) Japanese Eggplant Parmesan with Slow Cooker Pasta Sauce

#2) Chicken Enchilada Soup

#1) Shrimp and Grits

Question: What is your favorite recipe from 2012? Links welcome!

Homemade Food Gifts Recipe Roundup

‘Tis better to give than receive. For cooks getting crafty in the kitchen, this couldn’t be more true. There’s just something about presenting someone with a gift you made yourself that means so much more than buying a gift at the store.

This was the premise behind an article I just wrote for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. I made a Homemade Bellini Bar, Cherry Almond Muesli, Peppermint Bark, Beer and Caramel Pretzels, Cowboy Cookie Mix, and Tangerine Curd.

Looking at some of my old recipes during my Blogiversary and Giveaway Post, I decided this would be the perfect topic for a recipe roundup. Here are a few recipes that would make excellent holiday gifts this season:

Eggnog Fudge

Homemade Marshmallows

Homemade Girl Scout Thin Mints


Cookie Dough Truffles

Honey Lollipops

English Toffee

Other Recipe Roundups:

Pumpkin Recipe Roundup

Question: Do you like giving homemade gifts for the holidays? What types of things do you make?

Spicy Tomato Peanut Butter Soup

You know you are addicted to social media when you are gone for just a few short days and the whole world seems to have changed. Not to mention I have no idea what my favorite bloggers have been up to (I’ll catch up over the weekend — I promise!).

I started my new job on Monday and between that, workout sessions with my favorite personal trainer, and getting ready for the holidays, I have been a little overwhelmed to say the least. Speaking of which, thank you all SO SO much for your kind words on Thursday’s post. You make it so easy for me to spill my heart out and share my crazy life with the world.

Since I have been so pressed for time, I’ve been making shortcuts to prepare for the Thanksgiving weekend. Instead of making Libby’s Pumpkin Roll like I originally planned, I decided to freeze unbaked pumpkin pies like I did last year (learn how to freeze homemade pumpkin pie in part 1 and part 2 of these blog posts). I also made and froze oatmeal raisin cookies a la King Arthur Flour to bring to our festivities as well.

Since I won’t be blogging until after the holiday, I want to leave you with my favorite dish as of lately. It combines two of my favorite foods: peanut butter and tomatoes. Now hear me out on this one…

I clipped this recipe for tomato and peanut butter soup simply based on the fact that I had some Hot Pepper Better’n Peanut Butter lying around and didn’t know what else to do with it.

As it turned out, spicy peanut butter is the perfect ingredient for soup (and Thai foods, like noodles with spicy peanut sauce). Add a slice of homemade bread and you have a meal perfect for fall or winter. And especially after all that turkey, stuffing and pie, you’ll be craving lighter meals. And in this case, you definitely won’t be skimping on flavor.

Question: What are you up to for Thanksgiving? What’s your favorite part of the meal? For me, I love the stuffing. Homemade, I could eat that stuff by the bowlful. I also love pumpkin pie with Cool Whip :)

Pumpkin Recipe Roundup

As I was trolling though my recipe section, I began to notice something. I use pumpkin, a lot. From breakfast to desserts and dinner, nearly every one of my food categories contains a dish with pumpkin. Since it’s fall and canned pumpkin is everywhere, what better time to do my first recipe roundup?

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

Pumpkin Pie Dip

How to freeze a Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili

Black Bean and Vegetable Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce

Question: Do you like cooking with pumpkin? What do you like to make? Links welcome!

How to Can Apple Pie Filling

Every year we head to a local apple orchard to pick apples or just buy them directly from the source. With the especially hot and dry summer we had in Wisconsin, it’s pretty difficult to find an orchard where you can pick your own (instead you just purchase them already bagged).

So far I’ve bought 15 pounds of apples from an orchard in Appleton, Wisconsin (ironic, right!). I used some to can Cranberry Apple Butter, which would be fantastic in Apple Butter Granola now that I think of it. But my true goal was to make apple pie filling.

Apple pie filling can be used in so many things, such as:

  1. Apple pie
  2. Apple crisp
  3. As a topping for pancakes/waffles
  4. In a yogurt parfait with granola
  5. Heated up in a bowl with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

For those of you who don’t like, or can’t, can (pardon the pun!), you can easily make this recipe and divide it among freezer bags.

I did a lot of research before deciding which canning recipe to try. Ball is the absolute expert on this subject. Although I found a tasty looking recipe on, I trusted Ball to make sure these methods are proven and safe.

One of the main difference between the Ball recipe and the other ones I’ve seen is the use of ClearJel versus cornstarch. The more I read, the more I discovered that cornstarch hasn’t been shown safe to can with because heat infiltration during the water bath canning process can’t be measured as easily. I also read that cornstarch can alter the look and taste of the pie filling when it’s heated up.

Therefore, I bit the bullet and bought some ClearJel (which you can pretty much only find online). I bought mine from for only $3.99/pound. Since the shipping is expensive, I decided to make my shopping trip worth it and buy Carob Covered Raisins and Whole Wheat Fig Bars. Everything I tried was delicious and arrived at my house within a few days.

This recipe made a little more than 7 pints, so I used the extra to make a mini apple pie with some dough from a galette I made earlier that day (funny how perfectly that worked out). It was delicious without being too sweet. The only thing I did different was not blanch the apples before making the filling (find Ball’s original recipe for apple pie filling here). I didn’t think it was necessary because the apples were already sliced thin enough when I used this handy device:



Welcome to She's on the Run! I'm Alysha, a copywriter and food writer living in Milwaukee. I live to run, write and explore wonderful food - this blog is how I find balance while constantly being on the run. Feel free to reach me at with any questions or comments.
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