John and I had a dinner party last night to celebrate our (gasp!) 49th wedding anniversary. Oh, do those years slip away.
One of the friends we had over is on a low-fibre diet which meant foods like legumes were forbidden and everything had to be cooked very well. Here was our menu:
- Creamy Tomato Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese served with my husband’s fabulous, homemade Challah Bread (regrettably not gluten-free, but it’s his specialty)
- Lamb Shanks, Braised in Red Wine and Chicken Stock with Carrots and Celery and served over White Rice
- Puréed Cauliflower, Zucchini, and Leeks
- Roasted Shallots with Balsamic Vinegar
- Mocha Tapioca Pudding
- Cocoa Meringue Cookies
The only dish I had made previously was the soup (the link). Everything else was an experiment. One of the things I enjoy about having a dinner party is that I give myself permission to try out new things. Like making meringue cookies.
Cookies are rarely on my radar because they bring out my Cookie Monster and invite serious, over-the-top gluttony. You know, eat one, eat another one, and…keep right on going. Even in my cookie-baking days with small children, I never made meringue cookies. Up until now, I had been discouraged by the amount of sugar they require and the high-calorie cost of chocolate, if I decide to use it.
But I had an unopened carton of egg whites in my fridge, and research revealed that I could use cocoa powder—the dieter’s alternative to chocolate. In Weight Watcher terms, cocoa powder is 1 point per 3 tablespoons as compared to semisweet chocolate which is 6 points per 3 tablespoons. (For more info, check out All About Cocoa Powder.)
The result was everything meringue cookies should be—light, crunchy in the centre, and deliciously chocolate.