Monday, October 4, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake

1 -1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3-8 ounce pkgs cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
1-1/4 cup pumpkin puree
5 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of salt

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

·         In a small bowl, combine the crumbs and sugar; add butter and blend well.
·         Press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-in. pie plate.
·         Refrigerate 30 minutes.  

·         In a bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.
·         Add sugars and spices, beat until light in texture.
·         Add pumpkin puree and mix until just blended.
·         Stir in eggs one at a time, scraping sides of bowl after each addition.
·         Stir in cream.
·         Pour batter into crust, and put cake pan in a roasting pan.
·         Add hot water to roasting pan halfway up sides of cake pan.
·         Bake in center of oven until cheesecake is firm to touch and slightly puffed, about 50 minutes.
·         Let cheesecake cool on a wire rack for about 45 minutes.
·         Cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
·         When cheesecake is completely chilled, lower pan into a hot water bath for 2-3 min. to loosen the crust.
·         Invert a large, flat plate on top of cheesecake; invert pan, and remove.
·         Put a second plate on bottom of cheesecake, and turn it right side up.

Caramel Sauce:
·         Put all ingredients except vanilla in small saucepan with heavy bottom.
·         Bring to boil over medium heat.
·         Boil 4 minutes.
·         Remove from heat, let cool approximately 5 minutes then stir in vanilla extract. 

Sweetened Whipped Cream:
·         Whip cream on high with an electric mixer.
·         When cream begins to thicken and form soft peaks add sugar and vanilla.
·         Mix until cream has firm peaks.

·         Pipe sweetened whipped cream on top of cheesecake. 
·         Sprinkle top with reserved crumbs

·         Drizzle with caramel sauce

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

I know some already know how to make chocolate covered strawberries, but I made some and shared with a friend, and they requested that I put the "recipe" on here to share with others!

Make sure the strawberries are washed and dried really good before dipping. If they are wet, the chocolate won't stick. Leave the stems on so you have something to hold onto while dipping.

Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Chips

Melt the chocolate chips however you like, I used the microwave, but you can melt them over the stove if you like. Microwave one minute, then stir, if needed, put back in for 15 seconds, then stir, repeating until all chips are melted and it looks smooth.

Dip each strawberry until coated almost completely leaving just a little red showing at the top.

Let them dry/cool/harden completely before next step.

2nd coat:
This batch of strawberries had a little extra.

Andes Mint Chips

I melted the mint chips for about 30 seconds in the microwave, then stirring. Like the other chips, make sure all have melted and you have a smooth liquid. This is more runny than the normal chips so you can let it cool a bit before dipping so it sticks a little better.

Dip each (already coated) strawberry in the Mint Mix so that it has a bit of mint chocolate layer.

If you want another layer of say nuts, or sprinkles, etc. - This is the stage where you add that so it sticks to the strawberry!

Let each strawberry cool/harden before adding any design or just eating!

I melted while chocolate (or Bark Coating in white) and added some fun food coloring. I dipped a spoon or fork, whatever your preference, and flicked it over all the strawberries making a cool design on top.

Some are much more talented than I and can make awesome looking strawberries like this:

However, even if yours do not look like this - they still taste amazing!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Chicken Lime Tacos

** DISCLAIMER: This recipe is homemade and the measurements are to our liking. You may have slightly different tastes, so these measurements are just estimates to give you a ballpark to start with.

3-4 Chicken Breasts
1 Large Onion
3 cans Black Beans (drain one can)
1 1/2 cup Corn (frozen works)
2-3 cups Salsa (depending on how "saucy" you want it
3/4 cup Lime Juice
1/3 cup Vinegar
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Chili Powder (to lessen the spice, use just a little less)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Grill chicken in skillet or pan. Shred or slice into smaller pieces. Saute onion until clear. Pour beans into skillet, reserving one can juice until you see how "saucy" you want it to be. Pour in the remaining ingredients and let simmer. You may alter this recipe to fit your taste buds or your family size. We like to cook rice and eat it as a salad/burrito, or you can make actual tacos.

** Makes A LOT of food!! If you don't do well with leftovers, you can cut it in at least half and still have a good sized meal.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chicken Primavera

I found this yummy recipes from Kraft foods. I made it last night and Jonny gave it a two thumbs up.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 30 Minutes Servings: 6, 1-1/3c. servings

What You'll Need

3 cups penne pasta, uncooked
2 Tbsp. KRAFT Light Zesty Italian Dressing
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 zucchini, cut into chunks
1-1/2 cups cut-up fresh asparagus (1-inch lengths)
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese, cubed
1 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

COOK pasta as directed on package.

MEANWHILE, heat dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken and vegetables; cook 10 to 12 min. or until chicken is cooked through, stirring frequently. Add broth and cream cheese; cook 1 min. or until cheese is melted, stirring constantly. Add Parmesan cheese; mix well.

DRAIN pasta; return to pot. Add chicken and vegetable mixture; toss lightly. Cook 1 min. or until heated through. (Sauce will thicken upon standing.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shredded BBQ Chicken (Crockpot)

6 Frozen chicken breasts (4 large breasts, 6 small filets)
1 large bottle BBQ Sauce (Famous Dave's Rich and Sassy 29 oz)
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup Italian Salad Dressing
2 tsp Garlic (optional)
Dash Onion powder, or you can use about 1/4 cup dried onions

Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the barbeque sauce, Italian salad dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce, and if using, also add garlic and onion. Pour over chicken.

Cover, and cook 3 to 4 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on Low.

Shred chicken with forks either halfway through or when done. Serve on hamburger buns or just eat alone.

*** This makes quite a bit, so its good for leftovers or a bigger group. If you only need it for a few people, cut recipe in half.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mystery Rolls

These rolls are super quick and super delicious. You can use different cheese if you don't like blue cheese. I also make a version with Parmesan cheese and a little bit of garlic salt.

Mystery Rolls

2 sticks butter
4 to 6 ounces crumbled blue cheese
2 cans flaky biscuits

Combine butter and cheese on baking pan. Place into 350 oven for a couple of minutes, or until butter is melted. Remove from oven and stir. Cut biscuits into fourths, then toss in butter mixture. Bake on same pan (or different, if you prefer) for 8 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Eat warm.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

5 pounds of Russet Potatoes
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
1/2 to 3/4 cups of half and half
Salt and Pepper to taste

Peel and cut potatoes into fourths. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Simmer the potatoes for 30-35 minutes. Simmer them until the are fork tender but not falling apart.

Drain the potatoes into a large colander. When they have finished draining. Add them back into the pot and put it back on the stove over low heat. Mash the potatoes over low, this will allow all of the steam to escape, making your mashed potatoes smooth and not grainy.

Turn off the heat and add all of the ingredients and mash until your preferred consistency.

I usually modify this recipes because it makes a lot. If I am cooking for two I use only a few potatoes, and just cut back the ingredients and usually don't measure. Just add to your taste!