Archive for the ‘Cooking/Baking’ Category

Cheesecake of the Month — June 2018!

June 16, 2018

This month I discovered a really easy sounding mini-cheesecake recipe that does not require a springform pan.  You make these in your standard muffin cups (paper-lined of course) to create the perfect individual-sized servings.  Enjoy!

Lemon-White Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes

Ingredients
1 package (4-ounce) of Baker’s white chocolate, divided
28 square shortbread cookies (1-1/2 inch), divided
2 Tablespoons of butter, melted
1/2 cup (plus 2 Tablespoons) of sugar, divided
2 packages (8-ounce each), cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1/4 cup of lemon juice
2 eggs

Directions
1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

2. Melt  two (2) ounces of chocolate and set aside for use later.

3. Grind sixteen (16) cookies in food processor until finely crushed and place in a medium-sized bowl.  To this bowl, add the butter and two (2) Tablespoons of sugar; mix well.  Press about 1 Tablespoon-full of this mixture onto the bottoms of your 12 paper-lined muffin cups

4.  Beat the cream cheese, vanilla, and remaining sugar in a large bowl. until blended.    Add the lemon zest, the lemon juice, and the melted chocolate and mix well.  Add the eggs (one at a time) and mix on low speed just until blended (do not overbeat).  Then simply spoon this mixture over the prepared crusts.

5.  Bake for 17-20 minutes (or until the centers are almost set) then cool completely.

6.  Melt the remaining chocolate and chop (coarsely) the remaining cookies.  Sprinkle the cookie pieces over the cheesecakes and drizzle with the melted chocolate.

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Hasselback Your Chicken!

June 5, 2018

Here is an amazing recipe that I ran across the other day . . . sheer genius, and delicious to boot!

Jalapeño Popper Hasselback Chicken

Ingredients
1 cup of cream cheese
6 jalapeño peppers, finely diced
1 cup each of shredded mozzarella & shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tablespoon of salt
1 Tablespoon of pepper
3/4 cup of heavy cream
4 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
Sliced cheddar cheese
Narrow strips of thinly cut bacon (cooked until crisp)
Salt
Pepper

Directions
1. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, diced jalapeños, two cheeses, salt, pepper, and cream.  Set aside.

2. Cut parallel slit down the length of each chicken breast and place in a greased skillet (or heavy-duty, oven-ready pan) and insert into the slits the cheese slices and the bacon strips (alternate between the two).

3.  Season with the salt and pepper and then spoon over the tops, your cheesy popper mixture.  Bake for 40-50 minutes (or until the sauce is bubbling and the chicken has been cooked through).

Enjoy!

Time for a Quiche!

May 20, 2018

Happy Sunday!  Being a lover of all things bacon, I have long been a fan of Quiche Lorraine.  Well, did you know that today is National Quiche Lorraine Day?  I guess that means I will have to make this for dinner tonight, alas, the sacrifices we make day in and day out.  lol

And, if you are needing the recipe, here is the recipe I posted a couple of years ago.

Cheesecake of the Month – May 2018!

May 15, 2018

I was surfing the web the other day and came across the most wonderful blog . . . sprinkles for breakfast (Lindsay Nathanson).  I’ve done a lavender cheesecake before (with white chocolate and blueberries), but Lindsay uses honey with hers and it sounds amazing!  I can’t wait to try it.

Honey Lavender Cheesecake

Enjoy!

 

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth!

May 6, 2018

If you are looking for a quick, easy, and no-bake cookie that is out of this world, then give this a try.  A friend of mine introduce me to this sweet treat and they were awesome!

Ingredients
4 cups of Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup of light corn syrup
1 cup of sugar
1-1/4 ups of peanut butter
5 regular-sized Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups
1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips

Directions
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Pour the Rice Krispies into a large bowl.
3. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the corn syrup, sugar, and peanut butter and cook on high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is evenly combined.
4. Pour this peanut butter mixture over the Rice Krispies and mix together.
5. Now mix in your chocolate chips.
6.  Wait a couple of minutes then add in your crushed Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (you don’t want them to fully melt).
7.  Drop spoonfuls onto your lined baking sheet and allow cool.

Enjoy!

This Stuffed Chicken Will “Pop!”

April 21, 2018

I tend to enjoy “hot” and “spicy” foods.  So when I found this recipe, I was anxious to give it a try . . . I was not disappointed.  It is a bit labor intensive (and certainly will not make your heart doctor’s list of recommended foods), but well worth the effort.

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Fried Chicken

Ingredients
3 chicken breasts
1 cup of mozzarella cheese
1 cup of cheddar cheese
1 cup of cream cheese
1/2 cup of crispy bacon
1/2 cup of jalapeños, diced
black pepper
2 cups of buttermilk
1-1/2 cups of flour
1 Tablespoon of paprika
1 Tablespoon of cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon of garlic powder
1 Tablespoon of salt
1 Tablespoon of black pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1.  In a bowl, combine your cream cheese, mozzarella, cheddar cheese, bacon, jalapeños, and black pepper.  Spoon onto a sheet of cling wrap adn roll into the shape of a sausage and put it in the freezer to set.

2.  In the meantime, bash out your chicken breasts between two sheets of cling wrap.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Cut a piece of the “popper” mix amd place on your chicken breasts.  Roll the breasts up like a burrito and secure with a toothpick.

3.  Dunk each chicken roll into the buttermilk.  Season your flour with the spices, salt, and pepper.  Dredge your buttermilked chicken roll into the seasoned flour to coat evenly.

4.  Fry the chicken rolls in hot oil for 3 minutes (or so).  Transfer to a tray with a rack and put in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

Cheesecake of the Month – April 2018!

April 15, 2018

Here is a new flavor that I recently discovered that is simply superb!  I have made it a couple of times already.  If you like the tartness of a Key Lime cheesecake, then this Limoncello cheesecake is sure to please you as well.

Limoncello Cheesecake

Ingredients
— for the crust
2-1/4 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup of sugar
6 Tablespoons of melted butter
— for the filling
3 (8-ounce packages) of cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1-1/3 cups of sugar
3 Tablespoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of grated lemon rind/zest
— for the sour cream topping
1 pint of sour cream
3 Tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
— for the glaze
1/2 cup of sugar
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
1/2 cup of Limoncello
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
a touch of lemon paste (for color)

Directions
1.  Combine the graham crumbs, sugar and butter.  Press firmly onto the bottom and up the sides of an 11-12 inch springform pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.  Cool before adding the filling.

2.  Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer at high speed until completely smooth.

3.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.

4.  Continue to beat, gradually adding the 1-/3 cups of sugar, then lemon juice and vanilla.

5.  Stir in the lemon rind.

6. Pour into the cooled crust and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes (you may have to adjust the baking time if you use a smaller diameter pan).

7.  Blend the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract for the topping.

8.  Remove the cake from the oven and gently spread the sour cream mixture over the top.  Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes.

9.  Cool on a rack for 30 minutes then refrigerate until the topping is cool but not completely chilled (about 15 minutes).

10.  Make the glaze by combining the sugar and the cornstarch.  Blend in the Limoncello and lemon juice until smooth. j Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Cook three minutes.  Chill until the mixture is cool but not set (15-20 minutes).

11. Spread the glaze over the top of the cheesecake.  Chill several hours or overnight.

Enjoy!

Don’t Knock It Until You’ve Tried It!

April 5, 2018

I will be the first to admit that when I heard of this soup recipe, I was a bit reluctant to give it a try.  But following the glowing reviews from friends who had had the opportunity to taste it, I was glad I kept an open mind.  This is a super easy and quick to prepare recipe that I plan to keep handy throughout the soup season known as winter. And this recipe makes a lot, so be prepared to eat soup a lot . . . or freeze the leftovers.  Enjoy!

Sauerkraut Soup

Ingredients
1 pound of smoked Polish sausage, cut into pieces
5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
3 cans (14-1/2-ounces each) of chicken broth
1 or 2 cans of sauerkraut (24-36 ounces) drained and rinsed
2 cans (11-1/2-ounces each) of V8 juice

Directions
In a large soup opt, combine the sausage, potatoes onions, carrots, and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and cook until the potatoes are tender.  Add the sauerkraut and the V8.  Return to a boil to heat through.

Get Your Ramekins Ready!

March 20, 2018

Next time you are cooking for a crowd and are looking for a seemingly easy dessert, give this deliciously sounding recipe (chocolate) a try.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Pot de Crème

Ingredients
1 quart of heavy cream
1 cup of sugar
A pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons of vanilla
12-13 egg yolks (10 ounces)
3 ounces of chocolate (64% cacao)

Directions
1.  Combine the cream, half the sugar, the salt, and the vanilla in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.

2.  Combine the other half of the sugar with the egg yolks and whisk to combine.

3.  Once the cream mixture boils, temper the egg mixture by slowly adding the hot cream to the chocolate and whisk.  Then add the egg yolk mixture and chocolate to the cream mixture.

4.  Strain and pour into your molds and bake at 225 degrees until set.

Recipe courtesy of Pastry Chef Katie Ianni, Aerie Restaurant (Grand Traverse Resort)

Cheesecake of the Month – March 2018!

March 15, 2018

This month’s recipe is your basic or standard cheesecake recipe with a fun twist — the use of food coloring to create a multi-colored rainbow-esque dessert that is sure to please.

Rainbow Cheesecake

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1./2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
6 Tablespoons of butter, melted
4 packages (8-ounce each) of cream cheese, softened
I cup of sugar
2 Tablespoons of flour
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 cup of sour cream
4 eggs
1 each of liquid food colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple)

Directions
1.  Preheat oven 325°F. Before you get started with the crust, wrap a 9-inch springform pan in a few layers of foil to make sure the pan stays watertight during baking. Be careful not to rip the foil, or water will get into the pan and ruin your cheesecake.

2. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt together in a bowl. Add butter and mix with clean fingers until pea-sized crumbs form. Press all of the graham cracker mixture into the prepared springform pan.

3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow it to cool completely before adding the filling.

4. To make the filling, beat the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl smooth. Add the 1 cup of sugar, and continue to beat until smooth. Next, add the vanilla, flour, and sour cream and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating briefly between each egg.

5. Measure about 1-3/4 cups of the batter into a separate bowl and tint with red food coloring. Measure 1-1/2 cups of the remaining batter into another separate bowl and tint with orange food coloring. Continue to divide remaining batter into 4 additional bowls, decreasing the measure of batter in each bowl by an additional 1/4 cup as you work your way down to the last bowl which should have only about 1/2 cup of batter. Tint each of the remaining plain batters with a different color food coloring (in order listed in ingredient list).

6. Pour the red batter over the center of the crust. Repeat with the remaining batters, one color at a time, starting with the batter with the most volume and working your way down to the batter with the least volume, and always pouring the batters over the batter in the center of the pan.

7. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 5 min. or until the center is almost set.

8. Turn off oven and open the oven door slightly.  Let the cheesecake stand in the oven for 1 hour. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool completely before removing rim. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.