Focus Your Willpower!


Story by Kara Root, a Kitchologist mom contributor. Join us for more Kitchology inspiring stories.

Worried that little black dress is going to have to sit in the closet instead of ringing in the New Year? This time of year can really wreak havoc on the diet. It seems like everywhere you turn it’s extra fat this or more calories that…even in those eye catching bite size morsels. Thinking you want to pare down fat and calories and still join the party crowd? You can, with care.

Appetizers can be a bit tricky. Those tasty tiny bites can be deceiving; it’s just so easy to pop them in your mouth without a second thought. Keep healthy appetizers light on calories, then eating 2 or 3 won’t be so bad on the waistline. When planning your healthy appetizers menu choose healthy fruits and vegetables as the base. Add a bit of fat and/or protein and you’ve got yourself the perfect ratio for a healthy appetizer.

Need a little creative boost to get you on track? These use dry fruit as a base.

Apricots with Mascarpone and Candied Walnuts


  • 8 oz dried whole apricots
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • ¼ cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter


  1. Slice apricots in half and place on serving platter
  2. Top each apricot with ½ tsp mascarpone cheese
  3. Lay out a piece of parchment paper for finished walnuts
  4. In a non-stick skillet over medium heat add 1 cup walnuts, ¼ cup sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon and 1 TBSP butter.
  5. Stirring frequently, heat for 5 minutes or until the sugar mixture is completely melted and nuts are coated.
  6. Once done place walnuts on the prepared parchment paper. Make sure you immediately separate the nuts, as they will clump together. Give them a good 10 minutes to cool.
  7. Place pieces on top of each apricot.

Enjoy these little tidbits and satisfy your sweet tooth before any holiday meal. Reign yourself in; know that eating more than 2 or 3 may undo that long run you had earlier in the day.

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