Caramelized Pineapple Chunks for One Person

I love chocolate, but sometimes it keeps me awake at night. So, I’m always on the lookout for delicious desserts that don’t take a lot of time to make, especially in warmer weather when I don’t want to keep the oven on for a long time.  Caramelized pineapple chunks hits the spot perfectly.  It’s only got four ingredients and takes only about 15 minutes to make. Perfect!

This is a dessert that’s sweet, fruity, and seems decadent (but isn’t really). The pineapple chunks are cooked with just a bit of butter and some brown sugar to form a rich brown caramel sauce.  The rest is basically fruit (and optional nuts).  It only takes a few minutes to make, so you don’t have to stand over the stove for half the day.  The original recipe called for rum (which I didn’t have), so I left it out.  If you do have it, by all means use it.  Dark rum would be best.

You can also garnish it in different ways. Top it with some chopped pistachios, or crushed almonds.  Or, add some strawberries (one fruit is good, two fruits are even better).  It’s both sweet and somehow savory at the same time.

While you can use a fresh pineapple, then you have to worry about using up the rest of it.  I got around this problem by going to the market and getting cut up chunks of fresh pineapple. It’s much easier, less cutting, no mess, and no concerns about eating the rest of it before it spoils (which would be a shame!).

If you can’t get the fresh chunks, you can use the canned variety in a pinch. Just make sure to get the kind in juice, not in syrup.  If you use the canned version, cook the pineapple in the juice from the can (if you like) instead of orange juice.

One thing, don’t walk away from it. Leave it in the pan too long and the sugar will burn, making a terrible mess (ask me how I know this).

If you want, you can make the whole thing in advance and eat it the next day. It’s better slightly warm or at room temperature, so let it sit out for a while to warm up before you eat it.




Caramelized Pineapple Chunks Substitutions and Variations

  • Top the pineapple with a shot of dark rum or brandy (or try adding the rum to the sauce)
  • Garnish the fruit with chopped nuts (pistachios or ground almonds)
  • Add some strawberries on top
  • Serve with butter cookies
  • Top with crème fraȋche or sour cream

More Fruit Dessert Recipes

pear dessert crepeEasy Pear Crepe Dessert Recipe for One Person

Crepes are hard. Using a tortilla instead is easy. Lightly cook the pears in butter, add cinnamon and sugar, and roll into the “crepe.”  Brandy would be good too. Or pear liqueur.

 

cinnamon sugar apple breadSmall Batch Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

A moist, sweet quick bread that’s chock-full of apple chunks and topped with crackly cinnamon sugar.

 

poached pears with chocolate sauce and ice creamPoached Pears with Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream

Gently cooked in butter, drizzled with chocolate sauce, and garnished with ice cream.  An easy dessert you can enjoy just for yourself (or with company).

 

mini blueberry hand piesMini Blueberry Hand Pie Recipe

Packed with blueberries, these homemade pies fit in your hand. You don’t have to cut it or get a plate. Just pick one up and eat.

 




Frozen Mango Yogurt Dessert Recipe Without an Ice Cream Machine

It’s so hot and sticky in NY you can practically swim in the air.  Bleah!  Even I don’t want to turn on the stove in this weather.  When it feels like 100 degrees outside, dinner is a no cook meal.   After dinner,  it’s this frozen mango yogurt dessert recipe. It’s super-easy to make. And, you don’t need an ice cream machine or any special equipment either (a blessing in a small kitchen).  An ordinary blender (or a stick blender) will do just fine.  You also don’t have to add any sugar or honey. The recipe gets its sweetness entirely from the natural sugars in the fruit.

I’ve adapted this from Foodaholic’s frozen lemon ginger mango recipe.  She made enough for a family (I didn’t), and I also changed her technique slightly. She freezes the yogurt and the fruit separately and then blends them together.  I found it got much too hard that way.  And, it’s an extra container to wash.  So, I just put it all in the blender and hit the button.  She is right that the yogurt must be thick (Greek yogurt works best), and that it will crystallize if you leave it in the freezer too long.

If you can get good fresh mangoes, use them! If you can’t, or if you are lazy and don’t want the fuss and mess of peeling and cutting them, buy the frozen mangoes from Trader Joe’s.  Take out what you need and let the fruit defrost slightly before trying to put it in the blender.




Frozen Mango Yogurt Dessert Substitutions and Variations

  • Don’t have mangoes?  Try it with peaches instead
  • Add a drizzle of honey
  • Toast the almonds before adding them
  • Try a squeeze of lime instead of lemon juice
  • Be adventurous and substitute cardamom for the ginger (sort of a frozen mango lassi)

More Mango and Yogurt Recipes

chicken mango stir fryQuick Chicken Mango Stir Fry Recipe

The sweetness of mango and bell peppers with the heat of chilis. The result is a colorful, flavorful dish that’s easy to prepare.  It’s flexible too.  Swap the regular peas for snap peas, add more chili for extra heat, try some mini corn, or  give it a Thai spin with lime, cilantro, and basil.

mango cottage cheese and honeyCottage Cheese Yogurt and Fruit Salad

Got a minute? Make some lunch. All you have to do is dump and mix.  It’s easy, and really refreshing on a hot day too.

 

fish fillet with yogurt sauceFish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce

Creamy, rich and ready in half an hour. There’s a minimum of prep too.  Use any fairly firm fish that’s not too strongly flavored.

 

greek yogurt chocolate cakeGreek Yogurt Chocolate Cake

So you’re craving a sweet treat, but can’t finish an entire normal size cake. This one is miniaturized.  It’s got a triple dose of chocolate (chips, cocoa, and a chocolate ganache icing).  And you only need one bowl to make it.




Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream

It’s the holiday season, so that means it’s also dessert season.  Whether you’re having company, or just treating yourself, this recipe for poached pears with chocolate sauce and ice cream is going to be a hit. The long name makes it sound kind of complicated, but it’s really easy.

First, you poach the pears by letting them simmer gently in a bit of sugar and water.  Let them cool off a bit, then put them on a plate with ice cream and drizzle chocolate syrup over them.  It feels like you’re doing something fancy for company, but you don’t have to share!

Pears were on sale this week (three pounds for only three dollars!), and I just couldn’t resist making this recipe.  I used Bosc pears  but Bartlett or Anjou will work just fine.

The pears were exceptionally sweet, and that plus the sugar, and the ice cream made the original recipe (from The New York Times cookbook), a bit cloying.  Sweet is good, but not that sweet, so I reduced the sugar.  The full amount of sugar is 1/4 cup.  Use that if your pears aren’t that good.  If you have sweet, juicy pears, cut the sugar by a teaspoon or two.




Substitutions and Variations for Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream

  • Sprinkle some sliced or slivered almonds on top of the pears
  • Poach the pears with a pinch of ginger and a slice of lemon
  • Make your own hot chocolate sauce: combine 1/2 C cocoa, 1 C sugar, 1 C light corn syrup, 1/2 C light cream, 1/4 tsp salt, and 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan.  Cook on medium heat.  Stir the mixture constantly until it boils.  When it’s boiling merrily, you can cut back to stirring only occasionally. Let it boil for three minutes.  Take the pan off the burner and add  1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Serve the sauce warm over the pears.  You can store the rest in the refrigerator and serve it with more pears, or over ice cream. Or, be really decadent and serve it over small batch brownies.

More Dessert Recipes

pear dessert crepeEasy Pear Crepe Dessert Recipe for One Person

Dessert doesn’t have to be hard to be good. This one is ready in five minutes. The secret? That crepe isn’t a real crepe. Shhh. Don’t tell.

 

cinnamon sugar bananasCinnamon Sugar Bananas with Brandy

Got five minutes? You can make a fancy dessert. Rum, brandy, and cinnamon, plus gently heated bananas. Great by itself, or topped with ice cream.

 

Peach Crumble Recipe for One

Take advantage of juicy summer peaches and toss together this peach crumble topped with butter, cinnamon, and sugar.

 

cinnamon sugar apple breadSmall Batch Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

The perfect treat, downsized for one person. Packed with apples and finished off with a crackling cinnamon sugar topping.

 




One Ingredient Juice Popsicles

It doesn’t get any simpler than this. These one ingredient juice popsicles are refreshing, delicious and the perfect treat on a hot, hot summer’s day!

When I was a kid, my mom used to make us juice pops during the summer. She had some plastic molds with removable tops. You just pour in the juice, put the top on, wait a few hours, and voilà, a healthy, refreshing, frozen snack.

They were a big hit with the neighborhood kids too (who probably had no idea they were eating something good for them).

When I saw juice pops in the store as an adult, I initially got excited. Then I looked at the ingredients: water, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, potassium lord knows what.

Yech.

Simple, Easy One Ingredient Juice Popsicles

All you really need to make delicious juice pops is juice (and popsicle molds). That’s it. I’m putting this under dessert because it’s sweet, but really you can eat it any time you like.

I’ve used cranberry grape juice to make my juice pops, but any juice will do: grape, orange, pineapple. Sometimes mom would mix the flavors to make orange pineapple, or apple grape. There are far more options now, so you could make them with strawberry orange banana juice if you like.

If you want to get fancy, add a few slices of fruit to your juice popsicles.




Just pick your favorite juice flavor and start freezing!

Tools and Ingredients for Juice Pops

I have this set, but I don’t recommend it. It’s too hard to get one pop at a time! For better (or worse) they haven’t cracked or broken, so I can’t bring myself to replace them. I recommend you try the molds below instead.

 

Tovolo Groovy Popsicle Molds

This is the closest thing I can find to the molds mom had when I was a kid. Hers were plain, clear plastic, but these have grooves and pretty colors. Plus, unlike the set I currently have, it’s easy to get one pop at a time. Fill the molds, pop the top on and freeze. The waiting is the hardest part!

Zuko Quick Juice Pop Maker

If you really want to get fancy, try out this juice pop maker. Freeze the pop maker ahead of time, then add the ingredients, and you’ll get tasty pops in just 7 minutes. It doesn’t even need electricity.

Note that this will only work with sugar-sweetened pops (not sugar-free or artificial sweeteners)

 

More Dessert Recipes

strawberry banana yogurt popsicles plateStrawberry Banana Yogurt Popsicles

With a little more effort, and a few extra ingredients, you can make these refreshing strawberry banana popsicles.  Just the thing for a hot summer day.

 

frozen mango yogurt dessertFrozen Mango Yogurt Dessert Recipe Without an Ice Cream Machine

A cool, refreshing sweet treat that requires no special equipment to make.

 

banana smoothie for one

Banana Smoothie Recipe for One

An easy, quick snack when you don’t have time for a real meal. Or, have it with a salad for a light lunch.

 

cinnamon sugar bananasCinnamon Sugar Bananas with Brandy

An elegant dessert that only takes a few minutes to whip up.  Serve plain, sprinkle with chopped nuts, or go all out and top it with ice cream.

 




Small Batch Brownies with Cocoa Powder

There’s nothing like a fresh batch of warm, slightly gooey brownies to make a cold day seem more cheerful. The trouble is that most recipes make dozens of brownies, which is way too much! This recipe is for a small batch of brownies, made with cocoa powder. So, you don’t even have to go out and buy baking chocolate or special ingredients.

I made it in my new  favorite little baking dish (it’s about 6.5 inches square, instead of 8 or 10, so it’s perfect for baking small batches).

The other great thing about this recipe is that you only need one bowl to make it. Just put everything in the bowl, mix it all up, pour it in the dish, and bake.

I don’t know where the original recipe came from, but I did cut down the sugar a bit and change the sugar it used. As written, it called for all brown sugar. It also said to use an entire cup of sugar. I thought that was a bit much for a small portion, and I also thought that all brown sugar would be too sweet. I used half granulated sugar and half brown sugar, and reduced the total to 2/3 C (1/3 C each kind of sugar).

I still think that’s a bit sweet, so I may reduce it to 1/4C of each the next time. However, since I know I tend to like less sugar than many other people, I’ll leave the larger amount here in the recipe.





Tools and Ingredients for Small Batch Brownies with Cocoa Powder


First, you’ll need a small baking pan. Since this is a small-batch recipe, using a large one will likely cause the brownies to get overcooked and burn. It’s not just for brownies though. Use it for a small lasagna, for quiche, or to bake a small coffee cake.

The next important thing is the cocoa. Use a high quality brand, such as Cadbury or Droste if you can.


Cadbury Bournville Cocoa
This is what I used to make my brownies. It’s dark, rich, and delicious (makes great hot cocoa too). It is a bit pricey, but it lasts forever so long as you keep it in a cool, dark place, away from anything damp.


Nielsen-Massey Vanillas 8-oz. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract

For this, or any other recipe that calls for it, make sure to use genuine vanilla. Not “vanilla flavored,” but the real thing. The artificial stuff is made from wood! It’s a large bottle, and since you don’t use much vanilla in most recipes, it should last a long time.

More Dessert Recipes

easy chocolate mousseEasy Chocolate Mousse

The absolute easiest mousse recipe I’ve ever seen. It’s got only five ingredients and there’s no need to separate eggs, use a double boiler or do anything else that’s difficult.

 

pear dessert crepePear Crepes

These crepes have a secret. They’re not really crepes at all. They’re something else entirely that works just as well and is a whole lot simpler to cook with.

 

cinnamon sugar bananasCinnamon Sugar Bananas

A super-easy dessert with some bananas, some warm seasonings, and a splash of brandy. Only takes a few minutes to make.

 

greek yogurt chocolate cakeGreek Yogurt Chocolate Cake

Is this decadent? Why yes it is. Sort of. There are three kinds of chocolate, it’s true. But, there’s also yogurt. And that’s healthy. So there.

 




Easy Pear Crepe Dessert Recipe for One Person

This easy pear crepe dessert recipe is ready in just a few minutes, without a lot of fuss and bother.  It’s nearly winter, the temperatures are dropping, and it’s the perfect time for a holiday treat.

The pears were still fresh at the greenmarket, so I pounced.

You’re probably wondering how the words “crepe” and easy go together. After all, crepes are a bit of a pain to make from scratch. It takes a bit of work to get going (even if you’re accustomed to it) and it’s not really practical to make just one.

The secret is that I didn’t use a standard crepe recipe, or even a crepe recipe at all.  I used a very thin, whole wheat tortilla instead.  That meant I could cook it quickly, and didn’t have to worry about extra crepes lying around.

The rest of the tortillas will be used for another day’s dessert, for wraps, and turkey enchiladas (next week’s recipe). And, since the tortilla is sturdier than a real crepe, it holds together better, and I can fill it with more pear! I haven’t tried it yet, but it might also work well with bananas.




Single Serving Pear Crepe Dessert Recipe Substitutions and Variations

  • try pear brandy instead of standard brandy
  • serve topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • add a pinch of ginger to the cinnamon/pear/sugar mixture
  • drizzle the crepe with chocolate syrup

Tools and Ingredients for this Pear Crepe Dessert Recipe

oxo kitchen tongsoxo kitchen tongsKitchen tongs

These tongs are great for flipping tortillas, turning steaks, or transferring chicken or fish cutlets from pan to plates. They lock in place when you put them away, so they won’t take up lots of space in your drawer or gadget holder.

 

cuisinart skillet
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 8-Inch Skillet

This is a classic, simple frying pan that’s just the right size for tortillas, a couple of fried eggs, fajitas, or vegetables. It’s not non-stick, but I found that my non-stick pans started peeling (!) and and didn’t hold up so I got rid of them. This is better. Turn the flame on, heat the pan, add the oil or butter, and then add your food. You can even put it in the oven (just don’t broil it).

Check out these Single Serving and Small Batch Pear Recipes

poached pears with chocolate sauce and ice creamPoached Pears with Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream

Easy, and remarkably elegant. Gently cook the pears, then top with chocolate sauce and ice cream. Simple and delicious.

 

ginger pear bread

Small Batch Ginger Pear Bread

Pears with a bit of a kick. Baking the ginger transforms it from spicy to warm and mellow. A perfect complement to the sweet pears.

 

rustic pear tartRustic Pear Tart

Think pie, with a lot less work.  Make a quick dough, cut up the fruit, let it rest, and bake. Perfect for when pears are at their peak.

 

 




Cinnamon Sugar Bananas with Brandy

I first saw a cinnamon sugar banana recipe similar to this being passed around on Pinterest.  My initial thought was that the combination sounded delicious.

When I took a closer look, it had bananas, cinnamon, sugar, and olive oil spray?! Huh? Sorry, but they lost me there.  However the rest of it sounded good, so I decided to put my own spin on it.

First thing I did was to ditch the olive oil spray and replace it with butter.  I didn’t use a lot, only one teaspoon.  Next I thought a bit of brandy would add flavor and punch, and since I had a tiny bit left I added that too.

I usually buy a bottle of inexpensive brandy for this sort of thing, no sense using something expensive if it’s not necessary. On the other hand, if all you have is top shelf liquor, you won’t need much, so you don’t have to feel guilty about it.  And, it will likely taste even better.

So, a little butter, some cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, the banana, brandy, and just a touch of sugar and I had a delicious, easy dessert for one.

It was so good, I wanted to eat it again!

 




Cinnamon Sugar Bananas Variations

  • top your bananas with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • use dark rum instead of brandy
  • drizzle the bananas with a bit of chocolate syrup

More Banana Recipes

chocolate banana breadMini Chocolate Banana Bread

Ordinary banana bread is good. But why not add chocolate and make it even better.  Scaled perfectly for one person.

 

strawberry banana yogurt popsicles plateStrawberry Banana Yogurt Popsicles

When the summer heat hits, popsicles are the perfect sweet treat. Sweet, icy cold, and refreshing!

 

banana smoothie for oneBanana Smoothie Recipe for One

A banana, some nutmeg, and cinnamon, swirl it around and you’ve got a refreshing snack. Great with a salad for a light meal.