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We've made it to our holiday week-I hope that everyone has been able to share and create new meals that will stretch your budget and not your waists.  I'm proud of myself-even got my husband to eat several of my favorite vegan foods and not ask "where's the beef?" literally.

This week this will be my only post.  I'm guessing since Friday is Christmas, no one is really going to mind.  We talked about breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner this month.  So, why not touch on desserts?

It's obvious that if you want to keep the fat and calories down-think about meringues, angel food cake with fruit or make it into a chocolate or mocha version, serve berries on top of sponge cake or enjoy a baked apple (use some diet raspberry or lemon-lime soda!).  If you crave something a bit more decadent-use a box of brownie mix and use a can of diet cola and bake a few minutes less than the box suggests.  Use the brownie mix or even a cake mix and blend it with a small can of pumpkin puree.

One of our new friends here on Fab40 requested my recipe for Rosemary Pepper Biscotti.

These are sweet, savory and perfect for dunking in both tea and coffee.  Since they are also savory, they also work well to serve with a fruit  and cheese tray and any aperitif. An added bonus-the only fat in them comes from the egg yolks.

Here it is:

Carine Nadel's Rosemary Pepper Biscotti  

Yield: About 3 dozen

•Butter or margarine for greasing baking sheets
•3 cups all-purpose flour
•1 cup whole-wheat flour
•2 cups sugar
•1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
•1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
•6 eggs
•2 tsp. pure vanilla
•2 cups Grape-Nuts cereal (or chopped pecans or cashews, or pine nuts)  

•Optional: 2 teaspoons sugar for topping loaves  

Procedure:  

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease 2 large baking sheets with butter.

2. In large mixing bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, rosemary and pepper.

3. In the large bowl of electric mixer, beat eggs and vanilla on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Add flour mixture and mix on medium speed until just blended. Batter will be very sticky. Add Grape-Nuts and mix on low speed to combine.

4. Divide batter in half; place each on a prepared baking sheet. Dampen hands. Shape each into a 4-by-12-inch loaf. If desired, for an extra crunchy top, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar on top of each loaf.

5. Bake 20 minutes, or until fairly firm and lightly brown. Cautiously move each loaf to a clean tea towel. Using a serrated knife, cut loaf crosswise into 1/2-inch wide diagonal slices.  

Place biscotti, cut side up on sheets and bake another 20 minutes. Remove and cool on wire racks.  

Nutritional information (per biscotti): Calories 120 (30 percent from fat), protein 2g, carbohydrates 20g, fat 4 g (saturated 0.5 g), cholesterol 45 mg, sodium105 mg, fiber 1.4g

Have a wonderful Christmas for those who celebrate.  And if you aren't celebrating the holiday-please celebrate the loved ones in your life and the coming New Year!

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