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Light and easy does it, all deliciously

With the hotter temperatures, those spending time in the kitchen are looking for lighter, quick and easy recipes that satisfy without being too filling. The following dessert recipes accomplish just that, serving as the perfect ending to any meal without being over-indulgent.

Bonnie Peterson, the wife of a former co-worker, dropped by the office last week enthused to share a couple of low fat recipes utilizing rhubarb and a couple of other ingredients, literally. Since rhubarb is still fresh and available for the picking, I wanted to share them with everyone who enjoys the tartness of this crisp, little summer treat. Bonnie's recipes contain no eggs, oil, or extra added sugar which should make them real keepers for those of you looking for taste and satisfaction without the guilt of added fat and calories.

She said the cake recipe with the diet soda is outstanding and is limitless in combinations you can select. Use a white cake mix with lemon-lime or orange soda, or mix the chocolate cake with cherry cola, or experiment with whatever you think sounds good.

I've also included a 'light' Blueberry concoction that is a decadent topping for your favorite frozen vanilla yogurt, as well as a couple of frozen desserts that can be plucked out of the freezer for your convenience for entertaining unexpected guests or for a last minute potluck.

Until next time, from my kitchen to yours, happy cooking!

Rhubarb Chocolate Cake

1 chocolate cake mix

1 can of diet cola

1 cup finely chopped rhubarb

Mix cola with dry cake mix and beat for two minutes on medium speed. Fold in the rhubarb and bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 35 minutes or until cake top springs back when touched. Frost with 12 oz. carton of Cool Whip when cool. Refrigerate.

Regular Cake with Soda

Select any type of cake mix you'd like

Add one can of diet soda of your choosing

Mix cake mix and cola. Beat for two minutes and bake until cake top springs back when touched. When cool, frost with 12 oz. tub of fat free Cool Whip.

Rhubarb Sauce

4 ½ cups rhubarb

1 cup water

1 package sugar-free Jell-O (whatever flavor you prefer)

Put rhubarb and water in saucepan, bring to boil and cook down until the rhubarb is tender. Add one package sugar-free Jell-O, stir well. Chill. Use as sauce or as topping for other recipes. (This recipe can also be microwaved.)

Rhubarb Sauce Variation

Take two cups of the sauce and add just a little bit of cornstarch and water to thicken. Pour over the top of cake and refrigerate. When cool frost with 12-oz tub of Cool Whip.

Blueberry Sauce

1 bag (20 oz.) frozen blueberries

1 cup water

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

3 packets Equal

Heat blueberries and water in saucepan on medium heat until berries are thawed. Dissolve cornstarch in 1/8-1/4 cup cold water and add to berries, stir. Cook until desired consistency. Add Equal when slightly cooled. Serve over ice milk or yogurt.

Frozen Strawberry Cream Pie

1 pkg. (1 oz.) sugar-free vanilla instant pudding

1 ½ cups skim milk

1 bag (10 oz.) frozen strawberries, thawed

1 ½ cups fat-free Cool Whip

1 graham cracker crust (9 inch)

Mix pudding with milk, set aside. Mash strawberries with fork and fold in Cool Whip. Fold in pudding. Pour mixture into crust and freeze two to four hours.

Lemon Fluff

1 pkg. (1 oz.) sugar-free lemon instant pudding

½ cup fat free Cool Whip

1 can (13 oz.) crushed pineapple in own juice, well drained

1 cup miniature marshmallows

Prepare pudding to package directions using skim milk. Add Cool Whip to pudding and refrigerate. Before serving add pineapple and marshmallows.

Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

2 cups frozen raspberries

½ cup lemon nonfat yogurt

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Blend ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately or place in freezer container and freeze for four hours.