Saturday, May 8, 2010

Princess For A Week

Guess where I'm headed - as we speak??? Here's a clue:

M-I-C...K-E-Y...M-O-U-S-E!!

Yuppers, trip number 8 to Walt Disney World is in progress! I am SO beyond thrilled (can you tell?), especially since being a "foodie" now I'll be able to really pay attention to the details and flair the staff at the park puts into everything they do. I mean yes, it is a theme park, and they do serve gargantuan smoked turkey legs out of "street carts" (delicious, by the way) and to-die-for cinnamon buns in their bakeries, but they've got insanely talented food and beverage staff in all areas of their parks and hotels too that make sure that every meal from counter service to the fanciest sit-down dinner is the most amazing experience it can be. It's even more special to me this time, since with my list of restrictions being what they are (hello - no oils/high fats/meat, etc... in the USA of all places!) I've been given essentially a crash course in the ways and methods of Disney's special dietary department and restaurant systems. Let me tell you - I have never felt more at ease leaving my diet's control in the hands of others than on this trip. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for no ill effects (if you have allergies, you'll understand!), but at the same time, I'm keeping my mouth open and camera out!!

Because we're going to be away, this week's been all about using up stuff in the fridge that probably wouldn't be "welcoming" us home by the time we get back. Of course, a lot of that stuff is getting shoved into the freezer, but there are a few things I couldn't resist getting my grubby freshly-washed hands on and throwing into some baked yummies!! This time around, it was a handful of strawberries and some cream cheese we had kicking around, plus some extra "bits" in my pantry I wanted to use up in the form of coloured chocolate wafers. The result? Well, some pretty-in-pink rhubarb bars!

Pink Princess Rhubarb Bars
Makes 24
2 1/2 cups diced rhubarb
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp shortening
1/3 cup low fat cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 cup fresh (or frozen and thawed) mixed berries, pureed
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 1/3 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
1/3 cup white chocolate chips (or chopped coloured "coating chocolate")
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line a 9 x 13" pan with parchment paper.
  2. Toss rhubarb and white sugar, set aside.
  3. Cream brown sugar, shortening and cream cheese.
  4. Add egg, berry puree, vanilla and ginger, beating well.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together flours and baking soda.
  6. Stir into creamed mixture until moistened, then fold in rhubarb, almonds and white chocolate chips.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes.
  8. Cool completely (ideally, chill) before cutting and serving.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 139.2
Total Fat: 4.2 g
Cholesterol: 11.0 mg
Sodium: 19.7 mg
Total Carbs: 26.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.5 g
Protein: 2.9 g