My daughter's 7th birthday was upon us and she wanted a party at home. That meant several kids and their parents would be coming over and I really didn't want to clean my house.
So, when I saw this strawberry contest with the grand prize being FREE HOUSE CLEANING, I felt like I hit the jackpot! If I could win the grand prize, I could say good-bye to our cleaning woes, at least for a day....
I had a house cleaner once. It was the best 3 weeks of my life! Sadly, soon after I got the service, I had to give it up because I changed jobs, cut my hours and could no longer afford it. However, if I ever win the lottery, a house cleaner will be my first purchase.
I am not just talking basic cleaning, I am talking about the big clean. You know the one? The clean that has built all year; the one that desperately needs doing by spring. But this year it had dragged on to summer (her birthday is in July). Wait. Who am I kidding? It had really dragged on since my kids were born. And I had no time and no real interest in doing it.
Strawberry Blondie for the win!
I know it seems almost seems ridiculous to clean your house before you have an invasion of 7 yr olds kids running amuck with hot dogs, cake and chips in hand. Believe me, I did see the futility in it all. And that was part of the reason for my disdain. But just like the cleaning before a kids' party, cleaning in general, had become something that felt pretty pointless. After doing it for decades, you know what's going to happen. It will just get dirty again. And when you have kids, that reality is only accelerated. The only salvation was that I always felt so much better after it was done, however short-lived that feeling was.
So you can imagine my glee when I won the $50 week 3 prize for this Slightly Skinny Strawberry Blondie recipe and I was that much closer to winning the grand prize of FREE HOUSE CLEANING!
So as my house got dirtier and dirtier, I waited with bated breath to see if I'd win the grand prize on June 30th. I was cutting it a little close, being that her birthday was only 10 days away.
The absurdity of cleaning before a 7 year's birthday party is truly a reflection of human nature, as is this Blondie Brownie recipe, as it applies to food, of course. A light Blondie bottom, a curvaceous cream cheese layer, with a trying to be good topping and a healthy fruity finish. And it sort of epitomizes a typical week for me. Back on the weight watchers wagon, I start off the week really good, then slip into indulgence, then back to really trying to be good before weigh day. I think we are all generally trying to be good when it comes to eating, but we can't always be. Human nature. That's why this dessert is slightly skinny. It's all about moderation anyway and this strawberry blondie is the ultimate in moderation.
Mother's Day dessert
Why not make this light Mother's Day dessert with my 15 MINUTE EGGS BENEDICT WITH ARTICHOKE & ROASTED RED PEPPER HOLLANDAISE SAUCE if you are looking for Mother's Day meal ideas? You can use up the egg yolks left over from this recipe! The mothers in your life will love you for this light dessert and you won't waste food! It also makes a fabulous potluck dessert!
I just hoped it would win me that sweet house cleaning prize!
Sadly, I did not win the grand prize of free house cleaning, and to be honest, that sucked. However, I realized it wasn't just about cleaning - it as about purging. And it did force us to do not only the big clean, but the purge as well. And it's the purging that really makes the difference. It is very cathartic; almost a cleansing of the soul for me these days. And since my daughter has wanted her birthday at home the last few years, I know we will need to do that clean/purge at least once that year. Although I cringe at the thought of it, I do know it will make me feel better, however short-lived that feeling is.
Slightly Skinny Strawberry Blondie Bars
Light Blondie bottom:
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- ⅔ cup mashed bananas about 2 small bananas
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 egg whites (See NOTES below for using up egg yolks)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Curvaceous Cream cheese layer:
“Trying to be good “ Topping:
- 1 -32 g pkg. fat free white chocolate instant pudding mix
- 2 cups 1% milk
- 3 tablespoon powdered whipped dessert mix I use Dream Whip
Strawberry Compote :
- 2 cup fresh chopped strawberries ½ of this will be compote and ½ used for cream cheese layer
- 4 tablespoon white granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon Kirsch
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
Light Blondie bottom:
- Blondie Bottom: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch cake pan with non- stick cooking spray. Whisk flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, add butter, brown sugar and mashed banana and mix on medium-high until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined.
- Spread batter into prepared dish; smooth top. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, approximately 20 minutes. Let cool in dish 15 minutes.
- Cook strawberries with sugar , kirsch and lemon juice on medium- high for 3 minutes.
- Remove ½ of the cooked strawberry mixture and drain through sieve. Put aside the strawberries to cool for 10 minutes (this will be part of your cream cheese layer) and discard the liquid.
- Continue cooking remainder of strawberries on low for an additional for 3 minutes. Pour strawberries and their liquid into food processor and puree for 30-45 seconds or until smooth. Set aside for topping.
Cream Cheese Layer:
- Mix icing sugar, cream cheese, butter and 1 tsp. of vanilla together and once cool, beat in strawberries that have been drained. Fold in toffee bits.
- Beat white chocolate pudding mix and milk as per box directions. Add in powdered whipped dessert mix and beat for another minute. Place in fridge to cool and set for 5 minutes
- When blondie bottom has cooled, spread cream cheese mixture evenly over top. Next, spread pudding mixture over cream cheese mixture. Then using a butter knife, evenly swirl in the strawberries compote. Serve (best to refrigerate for 30 minutes if time permits) and enjoy!