Saturday, April 22, 2017

White Chocolate Cheesecake

If you know me well, you know I don't love white chocolate.  I love all other chocolate!  My friend Michelle makes this White Chocolate Cheesecake on a regular basis.  I decided to make it for our Easter lunch.  I thought it was fabulous.  Chris said he couldn't really detect the white chocolate in the cheesecake. However, the 12 oz of white chocolate makes for a very yummy, very creamy cheesecake.  You will love it!  I served it with raspberry sauce.  It is yummy plain or with the sauce.  I couldn't stay out of it!  The crust tastes like a sugar cookie too!




White Chocolate Cheesecake

Crust:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/t tsp vanilla
1 cup flour

Mix first three ingredients with a mixer until fluffy, Gradually add flour and mix on low.  Press into the bottom of a 9 " spring form pan.  Prick with fork.  Bake at 325 for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Cheesecake:

4 pkg ( 8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
12 oz white chocolate baking bars (Bakers or Ghiradelli or Lindt), melted and slightly cooled

Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until blended.  Add eggs, one at a time on low speed until blended.  Blend in melted chocolate.  Pour over baked crust.

Bake at 325 for 55 - 60 minutes or until center is almost set and cheesecake is golden.  Remove from oven and run spatula around rim to loosen cake.  Cool before removing from rim.  Refrigerate at least four hours or over night.  Serve plain or with sauce.

Raspberry Sauce:

2 tsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp sugar
12 oz bag frozen raspberries, thawed
fresh raspberries for garnish

In a small saucepan, combine cornstarch, water and sugar.  Add raspberries and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Bring to a boil and boil one minute, stirring constantly.  Serve warm or cold.

*Strain through a cheesecloth or a strainer if you prefer no seeds.  Great either way but I prefer no seeds!

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cinnamon Rolls

I know, I know... I haven't posted in awhile!  No good reason - just busy and trying to eat healthier!

My girls and two boyfriends were home this last weekend for Easter!  We had so much fun!  I try to have yummy snacks and food for them.... and not spend a ton of time in the kitchen.  I had Texas Trash and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Caramel Bars.  Jenna turned 22 Friday and she requested Banana Pudding.




A coworker likes to cook and eat like I do.  Susan and I are always sharing recipes.  She got this yummy Cinnamon Roll recipe from Shirley, her sister's mother-in-law!  I love this recipe - homemade... but not too homemade or time consuming.  I made these Friday night when we got home and put them in the oven for Saturday morning!  I have eaten a lot of cinnamon rolls but something about these was extra yummy!  You have to try them!  We had a peanut allergy in the house or I would have totally added pecan halves to the mixture!





Cinnamon Rolls

12 Rhodes frozen cinnamon rolls

Place rolls in a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Mix together:

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream

Bring mixture to a boil and boil for one minute.  Pour over rolls.  No need to cover.  Put rolls in a cold oven overnight.  In the morning, bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes.

Invert and frost with the the icing that was included with the cinnamon rolls.

*May add chopped pecans or soft raisins in the bottom of the the pan.

Printable Version

Monday, February 27, 2017

Chicken Parmesan Sliders - YUM!

I love little slider sandwiches!  I make the warm ham and cheese sandwiches - all of the time.  We enjoy them all year long but I especially love them with Tomato Basil Soup.

I am always seeing yummy recipes on Facebook - all of the crazy videos.  I love the TASTY videos.  This particular video is "Sliders Four Ways".  We were having another teacher birthday lunch.  One of the teachers we were celebrating likes Italian Food... so I decided to try to the "Chicken Parmesan Sliders"!  I could tell before I even baked them... that they were going to be heavenly.

I made mine the night before and refrigerated them.  I baked them at preschool the next day.  I was careful to keep the marinara sauce on the chicken... and not the buns... so they wouldn't get soggy. They were perfect!  In fact, while they were cooking, I had several parents that smelled them and wondered... what was cooking.  One parent if tried one to go.... and made them for dinner the next night!

I plan to try to other varieties too!

        The top pic is before cooking... and the bottom pic is after cooking!  YUMMO!!

Chicken Parmesan Sliders (I doubled this recipe) adapted from Tasty Buzzfeed

12 pkg of Hawaiian rolls
8 oz or so of rotisserie chicken ( I got mine from Costco - already cut up and packaged)
1/2 cup marinara sauce
8 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/4 cup basil, chopped (I found a lightly dried at our store in refrigerator section)
3/4 cup melted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp basil, finely chopped
1 Tbsp dried parsley
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.  Slice the rolls in half lengthwise.  Place the bottom half in the 9 x 13.  Spread the chopped rotisserie chicken evenly over the rolls, followed by the marinara, thin fresh mozzarella slices and basil.   Place the top half of the rolls on top.  ( I like to gently cut the sandwiches apart so the butter mixture seeps down between) Mix the melted butter  with the garlic, Parmesan cheese, basil and dried parsley.  Gently spoon butter mixture over each roll, allowing some of the goodies to gather on top of each roll.  Bake for 20 minutes and serve.


*I made mine the night before.  Cover and refrigerated.  I left them out the next morning for an hour or so.  I baked mine covered for 10 minutes and uncovered for 10 minutes or so.

Enjoy!!

Printable Version



Friday, February 10, 2017

Taco Soup

I think everyone has a Taco Soup in their recipe file.  I have been making Taco Soup on and off for years.  I am not a huge fan of beans.... but my husband and others love Taco Soup.  I think it is a cross between a soup and a chili.  I love serving it over Fritos and topping the soup with sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado, cilantro, jalepenos....etc.

This Taco Soup is from Paula Deen.  She puts corn in her soup - I have seen others that add hominy. I am also not a big hominy fan.  You can be creative and add what you like.  I made this for my teachers and they loved it.  I love that it makes a large amount - about 12 - 16 servings!  Enjoy!



Taco Soup (adapted from Paula Deen)

2 lbs ground beef
2 cups diced onion
2   15 1/2 oz can pinto beans
1   15 1/2 oz can kidney beans
1   15 1/2 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
2   14 1/2 cans of Rotel tomatoes
2   4 1/2 cans diced green chiles
1   4.6 oz can black olives, sliced and drained (optional - I did use)
1/2 cup sliced green olives (optional - I didn't use but I should have)
1   1 1/4 oz pkg of taco seasoning
1   1 1/4 oz pkg ranch salad dressing mix
2-3 cups of water to achieved desired texture
corn chips for serving
optional toppings - sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro, avocado, jalepenos, etc.

Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet, drain off the excess fat.  Transfer to a slow cooker or continue to cook in large pot on the stove top.  (I just did the stove top) Add beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, olives, taco seasoning and ranch dressing. Mix and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 - 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about an hour on the stove top.  Add water if necessary.

To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and then add soup.  Top with any extra desired toppings.

Printable Version


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Brownie Cookies

In December, my "secret sister" at preschool listed BROWNIES as her favorite dessert.  I thought Brownie Cookies sounded perfect for her surprise treat.  I didn't have time to create so I found this great recipe on Food & Wine.   My secret sister loved the Brownie Cookies and so did my family!!!



Chocolate Brownie Cookies (adapted from Food & Wine)

1 lb semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
4 Tbsp butter
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1  12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl set over a saucepan... or a double boiler, melt the chopped chocolate with the butter, stirring a few until until smooth - about 7 minutes.  In another large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar at medium speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes.  Beat in the vanilla and salt.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the melted chocolate, then fold in the flour and baking powder,  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Scrape the batter into a shallow baking dish, cover and freeze until firm - about one hour.  

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Scoop 2 Tbsp size mounds of dough onto prepared cookie sheet.  Bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until the edges are dry and the cookies are cracked on top.  Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before serving.  

*these cookies can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 4 days

**I froze half of the cookies in December and we have been enjoying them two month later. 


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Chicken Parmesan Dip

I wanted to make a hearty appetizer for our preschool birthday lunch this month.  Buffalo Chicken Dip is very popular.  I had that in mind but wanted something different.  I had some diced chicken breast... so I decided to try a Chicken Parmesan Dip!  YAY  - it was a huge hit.  I assembled the night before and baked it at preschool.  You have to try it - yummy, cheesy and hearty!

                Once again, not a great pic.  I took it quickly before the                      teachers enjoyed lunch!

Chicken Parmesan Dip

12 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups diced chicken breast
3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup marinara sauce
1 cup or a little more Italian cheese, shredded
1/2 cup or so shredded Parmesan
sprinkling of Italian seasoning for garnish

Spray the bottom of baking dish. Mix first 8 ingredients and spread in the bottom of a prepared pan. Top with a cup of marinara sauce.  Sprinkle with a cup or so of shredded Italian cheese, Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.  Cover with foil and refrigerated until ready to bake.  Take out of fridge about an hour before baking.  Bake  at 350 covered for 30 minutes and  then bake uncovered for 10 - 15 or until the cheese is melted and the top is getting brown and bubbly.

Printable Version

Monday, January 16, 2017

Smokey Sausage and Grits Casserole

My husband loves grits.  I am from Texas but grits have not always been my favorite.  I think it is a texture thing!  When I was in Charleston, South Carolina a few years back with my Baylor girls, I had the pleasure of enjoying Shrimp and Grits at several different restaurants.  I have decided I love yummy, cheesy, "doctored-up" grits.

I, of course, keep my old Southern Living magazines and like to look through them before I get rid of them.  I found this Smoky Sausage and Grits Casserole.  Several things attracted me to this recipe - make ahead, cheesy, smoked sausage.....We enjoyed these for dinner one night and then the family enjoyed them for breakfast over the holidays.

I am sorry to say I don't have a picture.  I had one but I must have deleted it.  Southern Living's picture is way better any way.  Check it out at... Southern Living.

Smoky Sausage and Grits Casserole (adapted from Southern Living)

1 1/2 lbs smoked sausage, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups uncooked quick-cooking grits
2   8 oz blocks sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Vegetable cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350.  Brown sausage in large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, for 7- 9 minutes or until browned and cooked, drain on paper towels.  

Bring Salt and 4 1/2 cups water to boil in a large Dutch Oven over high heat.  Whisk in grits and return to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, whisking occasionally.  Remove from heat and add cheese, stirring until completely melted.  Stir in milk and next 4 ingredients.  Stir in sausage.  Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes to one hour - or until golden and cooked through.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.  


*This dish can be assembled and stored in the fridge for up to four days; let is stand at room temp for 30 minutes before baking

Printable Version

Monday, January 9, 2017

CreamyRoasted Cauliflower Chowder

I love different, yummy soups!  It is cold here in Nebraska - like 5 degrees today.  Creamy Tomato Basil Soup is one of my "go-to" recipes.  There are lots of good soup recipes on the blog, Hard Rock Baked Potato Soup, Sausage Minestra Soup, North Woods Wild Rice & Chicken Soup, etc.  You will have to check them out.

Okay, let's talk Cauliflower - don't love it raw and cut up for dips, etc.  BUT, I do love Roasted Cauliflower.  Cut it up in small pieces, toss with olive and sea salt and cook at like 425 for 20 - 25 minutes. It is absolutely delicious!

Two Peas and Their Pod is one of my favorite blogs to follow.  I follow them on Instagram so I get good recipes often.  This Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup was one of her top recipes for 2016. You will love this chowder on your next chilly day!  Please visit Two Peas and Their Pod!




Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Chowder (adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)

1 large head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup unsalted butter ( I used salted)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (can use gluten-free flour)
1 (15 oz) cans vegetable broth (I used chicken broth - that is what I had in the house)
1  1/4 cups Almond Breeze Almond milk, unsweetened original ( I used half and half)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese ( I used Kraft Cracker Barrel Aged White Cheddar)
salt/pepper

Preheat oven to 400.  Place chopped cauliflower and garlic on a baking sheet, toss with olive oil and toss until well coated.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Place in oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until cauliflower is tender, stirring once.  Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add carrots and celery and good for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Finely chop the roasted garlic cloves.  Add the garlic, roasted cauliflower, bay leaf and dried thyme to the pot.  Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir until flour disappears.

Pour in the broth and stir.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in the milk and shredded cheese.  Stir until cheese is melted and chowder is creamy.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.  Serve with a warm, crusty bread!

*When I reheated the chowder the next day, it was a little thick so I added a little more broth to reach the desired consistency

Printable Version

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Swiss Cheese Dip-easy and yummy!

Happy New Year!!

I love this new, easy dip!  Our local grocery stores sell a pre-made Swiss Cheese Dip!  I love this homemade version.  I served it with Triscuits and a variety of vegetables.

I was recently at a Noonday jewelry party!  Elizabeth served this yummy Swiss Cheese Dip- they call it..."Nana's Dip".  Also, I absolutely love the Noonday Collection.  Check out Elizabeth's Noonday Collection page...www.elizabethperkinson.noondaycollection.com  Noonday partners with talented artisan entrepreneurs to make a difference in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Enjoy this yummy dip - I think it will be one of your new favorite recipes - one of your "go to" recipes!   


Swiss Cheese Dip - AKA as "Nana's Dip"

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 cup Shredded Swiss Cheese
few green onions, chopped (include some of the green too)
salt/pepper
parsley for garnish

Mix well and refrigerate.  Serve with your favorite cracker or vegetable.  Enjoy!



Enoy