Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

I love pumpkin desserts but am usually hesitant to make cheesecake because I do not own a springform pan so when a friend found this recipe I was a little hesitant to undertake it but it was very delicious and more importantly very easy (BONUS: no springform pan necessary!). It's from Kraft Foods but wanted to share it with those who enjoy this blog and the foods that experiment with.

Serves 16

You will need:
  • 25 Ginger Snaps, finely crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Pecans
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 4 pkg. (8 oz. each) 1/3 less fat Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Dash ground cloves

Step 1: Heat oven to 325°F

Step 2: Mix crumbs, nuts and butter; press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of 13x9-inch pan.

Step 3: Beat cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each just until blended. Remove 1-1/2 cups batter. Stir remaining sugar, pumpkin and spices into remaining batter.

Step 4: Spoon half the pumpkin batter into crust; top with spoonfuls of half the plain batter. Repeat layers; swirl with knife.

Step 5: Bake 45 min. or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Easiest Fruit Cobbler

This is the easiest berry cobbler recipe ever. The cake mix contains enough sugar to sweeten this dessert without adding any additional ingredients.

You will need:
1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 Stick of butter (1/2 cup)
6 cups of berries (fresh, canned, or frozen)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Pour the frozen berries in the bottom of a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish. Sprinkle the cake mix over the frozen berries. Cut the stick of butter into small tabs and distribute over the top of the dry cake mix. Bake for 45 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the topping is lightly brown.

Options for berries: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, peaches, apples, any combination of these, or anything else that you feel like experimenting with :)

Parmesan Fondue

This is a fondue recipe that I got from my sister. It is so fast and easy to make, not to mention quite delicious.

Parmesan Fondue
Serves 4 to 6
You will need:
  • 1 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 2 (8oz) cream cheese blocks, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

In a large saucepan (or your fondue pot if it is stove-top safe), cook and stir the milk and cream cheese over low heat until cheese is melted. Stir in Parmesan cheese slowly. Add in the garlic powder, cook and stir until heated through. Transfer to a fondue pot or mini slow cooker, keep warm. Serve with bread cubes, apples, ham, pepperoni, etc.

Monday, January 18, 2010

3 bean salad

An easy recipe that's a great side item. I got this from my new aunt.

You will need:
1 can green beans
1 can wax beans
1 can dark kidney beans
1/2 c thinly sliced onion
1/2 c olive oil
2/3 c wine vinegar
1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c sugar
1 clove garlic finely diced
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Thoroughly mix all ingredients except beans and onion. In a separate bowl combine beans and onions. Pour liquid mixture over beans, chill and enjoy.


This is one of my FAVORITE appetizers. It's pretty easy and very delicious!

You will need:
1 loaf French bread, slide
1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 large fresh tomatoes, diced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Step 2: Arrange bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. In a bowl, mix the onion, garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, oregano, basil, and parsley. Gently toss in the tomatoes. Top bread slices with the tomato mixture. Sprinkle with feta and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with olive oil.

Step 3: Bake 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is melted and bread is lightly toasted.

Lemon Snowflake cookies

These cookies are from the Blue Owl Restaurant in Kimmswick, MO. This is one of the best dessert restaurants (and regular food) I've ever been to.

You will need:
1 box lemon cake mix
2 cups Cool Whip (thawed)
1 egg
Powdered Sugar

Mix first 3 ingredients together. The dough will be very runny. In a separate bowl with powdered sugar, drop in about a tablespoon of dough and shake the bowl around to coat the dough ball. Remove the coated dough from the powdered sugar and place on a cookie sheet. Space cookies about 3 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

This sauce is absolutely wonderful.

Prep: 30min Cook: 20min Ready in: 50min

Serves 8
You will need:

2 large red bell peppers
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh basil
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
4 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Preheat broiler. Lightly coat the red peppers with olive oil. Grill peppers under the broiler until the skin is blackened, and the flesh has softened slightly. Place peppers in a paper bag or resealable plastic bag and cool for approximately 45 minutes.

Step 2: Remove the seeds and skin from the peppers (the skin should come off the peppers easily now). Cut peppers into small pieces.

Step 3: In a skillet, cook and stir the garlic, basil, and red peppers in 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes, so that the flavors mix.

Step 4: Place the hot mixture in blender and puree to desired consistency. Return puree to skillet, and reheat to a boil. Stir in the half-and-half and the Romano cheese; cook and stir until cheese melts. Add the butter and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 5: Pour over your desired pasta noodle and enjoy!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Asian Beef and Noodles in the Crockpot

I am trying to use my crockpot more to make easy delicious meals. I looked around and found a recipe I wanted to try on a blog my sister emailed me.

Asian Beef and Noodles
Serves 4
You will need:
  • 2 - 16 oz packages frozen stir fry vegetables
  • 1 - 1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin or other lean steak, cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle stir-fry sauce**
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 packages ramen noodles, broken
  • 3 or 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup hot water

Coat a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray (this makes clean up a breeze!). Place one package frozen vegetables in the bottom and top with cubed meat. Pour on top stir-fry sauce, broth, and red pepper.

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 -5 hours About 30 minutes before you are ready to eat, pour in the other vegetable package, the hot water and the ramen noodles(discard the spice packets). Stir noodles and green onions into meat mixture. Cover and let stand 20 to minutes. Stir before serving. This can be kept on warm for 1-2 hours.

**Note about sauce** I used General Tso sauce because it has far less sodium than your regular soy sauce based sauces. It was delicious and I highly recommend it as it lowers the sodium quite a lot!

Chicken Potpie Casserole

This is a fast easy way to enjoy Chicken Potpie without a ton of calories. This recipe is adapted from Rachel Ray.

Chicken Potpie Casserole
Servings: 4 to 6
You will Need:
  • 2 T olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 12 or so baby carrots, sliced thin
  • salt and pepper
  • 8oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 T flour
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 T finely chopped parsley, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 T for topping
  • 6 to 8 slices of Italian bread, cut 1/2 inch thick

Arrange oven rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat for 400 degrees.

In a Dutch oven (or other skillet that can go from the stove top to the oven), heat 2 T olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots and salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes or until carrots are tender, but crisp. Increase the heat to medium high. Add in the chicken broth, mushrooms and peas. Cook about 6 minutes. Sprinkle the flour on top and stir until well combined. Stir in the heavy cream and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken parsley and Parmesan. Season with more pepper if desired.

Smooth the mixture into an even layer. Place bread slices on top in a single layer. Brush bread with olive oil and sprinkle with 2 T Parmesan and additional parsley. Bake until crispy, about 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, January 4, 2010


I have a bunch of recipes that I need to find the time to post. In the meantime here is what we are making for dinner this week:
  • Crock pot Asian beef and noodles
  • Italian stuffed shells
  • Caesar chicken with veggies and orzo
  • Chicken and cheese enchiladas
  • Chicken potpie casserole

The asian beef and noodles is in the crock pot right now. I can't wait to see how it turns out!