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10-Second Recipes: Tweak Mom's Own Comfort Food Classics for Fun Mother's Day Desserts
 (10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare)

By Lisa Messinger
Food and Cooking at Creators Syndicate

You probably wouldn't have Mom pick out her own Mother's Day gift, but when it comes to easy desserts you can prepare at home on her special day, take your cue right from her. Easy twists on comfort food classics for which moms are famous create simple Mother's Day treats that will surprise her with your ingenuity.

A few tasty examples: Chocolate chip cookies get super-charged with the delicious - and healthful - addition of chopped dried cherries and dried mint; Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches get custom-filled with Mom's favorite flavors and frosted with her name or initial.

Tasty food, like the aforementioned and what follows, proves cooking can be easy, nutritious, economical, entertaining - and fast. They take just 10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare. The creative combinations are delicious proof that everyone has time for tasty home cooking and, more importantly, the healthy family togetherness that goes along with it! Another benefit: You - and your kidlet helpers - effortlessly become better cooks, since these are just guidelines and there are no right or wrong amounts. These are virtually-can't-go-wrong combinations, so whatever you choose to use can't help but draw wows.

Super-Charged Chocolate Chip Cookies

Add finely chopped dried cherries or dried cranberries and dried mint to your mom's favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, for which you also have substituted white chocolate chips for the traditional dark. To up the health quotient even higher, try using a no-calorie sweetener suitable for baking.

Improved Pudding

Instead of chocolate pudding, make it cafe latte pudding by stirring in espresso powder and some rich homemade whipped cream. Or pep up sugar-free chocolate pudding by blending in finely diced pistachios and minced fresh spearmint, and topping with a spearmint leaf.

A Neon Neapolitan

Prepare a custom Neapolitan ice cream sandwich for Mom. Instead of the traditional chocolate, vanilla and strawberry fillings, use a trio of Mom's favorite sugar-free ice creams, gelatos, sorbets or frozen yogurts. Fill it between two large sugar cookies. Then, when frosting in your mother's favorite color, write either the word "Mom" or the initial of her first name on top.

Everyone Will Want More of these S'more Brownies

Bake sugar-free brownies over a store-bought or homemade graham cracker crust, include mini marshmallows in the batter, and when brownies are baked and completely cooled, spread with store-bought or homemade marshmallow crème.

QUICK TIP OF THE WEEK:  To give your kids (or you!) cool, two-tone no-sugar-added sorbet-like ice cubes, juice some fruit. It can be apples in a juicer, or as simple as slicing an orange and squeezing out the juice by hand. In a bowl, mix that with a lesser amount of healthful bottled juice, like 100 percent cherry or pomegranate juice, some fresh lemon juice and a natural sugar-free sweetener, like stevia, and pour into ice cube trays and freeze. The varying weights of the fresh, frothy juice and the clearer bottled juice leads to them usually separating while freezing, resulting in two-tone, colored cubes. The texture of the fresh, frothy juice also makes them creamy and sorbet-like. These are snacks or desserts to be eaten held in a paper napkin, but they are also good as ice cubes in sparkling water or iced tea beverages.

Lisa Messinger is a first-place winner in food and nutrition writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the National Council Against Health Fraud and author of seven food books, including the best-selling The Tofu Book: The New American Cuisine with 150 Recipes (Avery/Penguin Putnam) and Turn Your Supermarket into a Health Food Store: The Brand-Name Guide to Shopping for a Better Diet (Pharos/Scripps Howard). She writes two nationally syndicated food and nutrition columns for Creators Syndicate and had been a longtime newspaper food and health section managing editor, as well as managing editor of Gayot/Gault Millau dining review company. Lisa traveled the globe writing about top chefs for Pulitzer Prize-winning Copley News Service and has written about health and nutrition for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Reader's Digest, Woman's World and Prevention Magazine Health Books. Permission granted for use on

Tags: 10 Second Recipes, Budget, Economical, Mother's Day, Motherhood-Fatherhood, Recipes, Stay-at-Home Mom
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