Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tomato Feta Salad

Someone brought this salad to our ward Christmas party, and I tried going back for thirds but unfortunately, everyone else had discovered it's deliciousness as well and there was nothing left in the bowl. I knew I should have taken more the second time I went back, but I was trying to be polite.

I tracked down who brought the salad so I could get the recipe, because it's a recipe that I'd love to have on hand. Come to find out, it's just from Ina Garten of the Food Network. You can find the link here.

4 pints grape tomatoes, red or mixed colors

1 1/2 cups small-diced red onion (2 onions)
1/4 cup good white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 pounds feta cheese

Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in a large bowl. Add the onion, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley and toss well. Dice the feta in 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes, crumbling it as little as possible. Gently fold it into the salad and serve at room temperature. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cranberry Apple Bread Stuffing

Recipe from here
And another one I thought you all might like. I'm not even a huge stuffing lover, but this sounds delicious:

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 small onion, chopped
1 large apple, cored and chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1 package (8 ounces) corn bread stuffing
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons water
1 egg, slightly beaten
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, apple, and celery; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce temperature to low; add cranberries and cook an additional 5 minutes. In large bowl, combine remaining ingredients; stir in cranberry mixture. Place stuffing in Crown Roast cavity during last hour of cooking time. Remaining stuffing can be baked in a lightly greased covered casserole dish for about 45 minutes.

Makes about 4 cups stuffing

I was going to add the nutritional information, too, but, it's the holidays, and is that really needed this time of year? You can find it on the link if you're THAT interested.

Roasted Beets and Carrots

I was just about to take a nap, when I decided to quickly browse a free magazine I got at the grocery store yesterday. It had a picture of the most delicious looking cheesecake on the cover, which should have been the first sign that there would be no "quickly" browsing of said magazine once it was opened. And of course, I kept texting Brittany pictures of all of the goodness I was finding inside, adding items to our thanksgiving feast.

 I haven't tried this yet. All I know is it looks amazing, and I needed to write this recipe down before something tragic happens, like I loose the magazine, and all of the recipes contained inside. This magazine is mouth watering...and it's just the grocery stores own magazine for the holidays.

 On with the recipe:

3 medium red beets
1 pound carrots, cut diagonally
1/4 inch thing Olive oil no-stick cooking spray
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp course salt Freshly ground black pepper
2 TBSP white balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
2 TBSP minced shallot
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey

Peel and trim beets; cut in half from stem to root. Place cut-side down; slice 1/2 inch thing. Place beets and carrots in single layer on foil-lined jellyroll pan. Lightly coat with cooking spray and season with sugar, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Roast in 450 degree oven stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender; about 20-25 minutes.

In small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients; toss with hot vegetables. Makes 6 servings.

Sounds good, right? I mean, who doesn't love vegetables that are so sweet they state like candy, but ironically are totally healthy for you?

Friday, October 18, 2013

San Francisco Style Bread

My sister-in-law, Sue, called me on Saturday and said, that we needed to try this recipe for San Francisco style bread which has only four ingredients. She stated that the crust has just the right texture. 

This is one recipe that you'll need to plan ahead to make if you want to have it with your meal because it takes 8 - 18 hours for the bread to raise.   

So, here's what I did, right before I went to bed (and I'm not telling how late it was but before midnight),  I mixed-up the batter and left it on my counter to raise.  I woke-up around 6:30 a.m., turned the oven on and placed my little roaster pan in the over to heat up. 

While the oven heated up, I put the dough onto a pile of flour and kneaded it a little.  Once the oven was hot, I took the roaster pan out and placed a pre-cut piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the roaster. Then I carefully lifted the dough and placed it into the hot pan.  I put the lid onto the pan and placed the roaster back into the over. Thirty minutes later, I removed the lid and let the bread bake for an additional 15 minutes.  My oven cooks a little hot so I think about 12 minutes would have been perfect.  

By the time I left for work this morning, my house smelled wonderful and look how this bread turned out!  I broke off a few of the crusty top pieces and nibbled on it hot and oh my goodness, it was so so good.  Do you think my husband will notice that a few of it's pieces are missing?

So excited to have with with our dinner tonight.  I'm wondering if I used buttermilk, would the bread have a sour flavor?  I'm going to try that next.  I'll keep you posted on the results.

Update: I substituted buttermilk for 1 1/4 cups of the water.  I dissolved the yeast in 1/4 cup of water and the bread was even closer to the SF flavor.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Deluxe Mud Pie

Ingredients:                                                                            Time to prepare:  15 minutes 
Ice cream - Cookie Dough, soften about 5-10 minutes
Cookies - Fudge Stripes, crushed
1/3 cup of butter
Skor bar or English Toffee - crushed in the package
1 can of whipping cream

  1. Crush the cookies right into the pie pan.  
  2. Melt  butter and stir into the crumbs.
  3. Add one carton of ice cream
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer over night.
  5. Cut into serving pieces
  6. Top with whipping cream
  7. Sprinkle on the candy bar pieces
  8. Enjoy!
Preston & Amy are enjoying their Deluxe Mud Pie!  Will you like some too? 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Eggplant Tomato Sauce

When Isaac and I were in Bethlehem, we had lunch in the main square (called Manager Square) right outside the Church of the Nativity. It was Arabic food and it was amazing. My lunch came with a delicious eggplant-tomato sauce to pour over my chicken and couscous. When we got home, I tried to find a similar recipe. I tried out the below recipe, and while it didn't taste near as legit as the Bethlehem experience, it was still pretty good. If any of you like eggplant, then you'll enjoy this dish too. Now, if only we had fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice...

The eggplant-tomato sauce is in the upper right corner in a bowl. Oh my, was it delicious!

5 pounds ripe plum tomatoes (I used a large can of tomatoes, both crushed and stewed)
3½ pounds firm eggplants
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups onions, finely chopped
¼ cup garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon dried peperoncino, or to taste (I have no idea what this is, and therefore did not use)
4 sprigs fresh basil with leaves

Prepare the tomatoes for sauce.  (since I had no idea what "prepare" meant... I stuck with canned tomatoes)

Trim and peel the eggplants. Cut them lengthwise in 3/4-inch wide slices, stack the slices and cut them into 3/4-inch wide strips, then chop into 3/4-inch chunks.

Stir together the oil, the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the saucepan. Cook for 5 or 6 minutes, add the garlic and let it caramelize it in a hot spot, then stir in a couple tablespoons of water and cook the onions and garlic together for a minute or two.

Now pour the eggplant pieces into the pan, sprinkle on 1 teaspoon salt, and turn to coat the pieces with the oil and sautéed onion and garlic. Cook over low-medium heat, uncovered, stirring and turning the eggplant frequently. If the pan gets dry and the pieces start to brown, stir in several spoons of water; lower the heat if needed.

Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until the eggplant chunks are very soft, almost mushy, but still retain their shape. Pour in the prepared tomatoes and juices, rinse the tomato bowl with 2 or 3 cups water and pour it into the pan (the eggplant needs the additional liquid). Sprinkle on the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, the peperoncino and stir to blend everything together. Submerge the basil branches in the sauce, cover the pan and raise the heat to medium.

When the sauce reaches the boil, lower the heat to keep an active simmer and cook, covered, for 40 minutes or so. The eggplant should now be broken down and melting into the tomatoes.

Uncover the pan and let the sauce bubble gently and gradually reduce. Stir carefully as it thickens, to make sure the eggplant doesn't stick to the pan bottom, lower the heat if necessary. Cook uncovered for a total of 45 minutes to an hour, until the sauce has the consistency you like, and then turn off the heat. Pull out the basil before using, and store in the refrigerator for about a week, or in the freezer, in a properly filled and sealed container, through the winter.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Chili Relleno Casserole

I made these for dinner tonight, and they were really delicious. I suppose it's easy to please just two people, but Isaac had never had chili relleno's before, and these babies made a big impression. He stated twice, "These are good." Yes, twice. And he even went back for seconds. I was also watching him from the reflection in our living room window as he made his way to the kitchen to drop off his dish, and watched him sneak a few more bites. So, there you have it. It was pretty simple to make too. I served it with Mexican rice. If I would have had refried beans to dish up with it, I could have closed my eyes and thought I was eating a meal at El Farol. 

Chili Relleno Casserole 

l lg. can whole green chilis*

l lb. each shredded cheddar and Jack cheese
3 eggs
3 T. flour
l 5 oz. can evaporated milk
l regular size can tomato sauce**

DIRECTIONS: Rinse chilis, remove seeds, slice them open so they lay flat and drain on a paper towel. Make 3 layers of chilis and cheese in a square baking dish (or use more chili's and use an 8x11 pan). Mix flour and milk together with a wisk. Beat the eggs separately and add to milk mixture. Pour over layered chili and cheese and bake at 350 for 30 min. Remove from oven and add another thin layer of cheese and drizzle the tomato sauce over that. Return to oven for 10 min.

*Had a hard time finding a large can of these, so instead ended up buying three (should have bought four) small cans. They are right next to the small cans of diced chiles (and look just like the small can of chilis, except they say "whole" on the can instead of "diced), if that helps you locate them easier at the grocery store.

**I added the sauce to the blender with 1/2 a can of diced tomatoes (that I already had in our fridge) to make it more tomatoey, and added a dash of olive oil, a teaspoon of minced garlic and a shake of salt. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Deluxe Grilled Ham & Cheese with Jam

Okay, I know this isn't a real "recipe," but this quick and easy version of the grilled cheese sandwich has changed my view on the American staple. I don't think I can ever eat a grilled cheese sandwich without jam, ever again.

2 slices of sour dough bread (or more if you're making this for multiple people)
Slices of cheddar cheese (or whichever kind of cheese you prefer)
Several slices of thin cut deli ham
Raspberry or strawberry jam
butter for spreading on bread

We all know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, so I won't elaborate on the instructions, but before you grill the sandwich, add a big slab of jam to the side of bread that touches the ham. It sort of makes this taste like a Monte Cristo sandwich, which is one of my all time favorites, but this takes 1/10 of the time and is still incredibly tasty. The added grilled fruit burst is delicious!

I discovered this gem when trying to figure out easy things to make after we both got off work. Isaac is one of the most impatient eaters I know. "If you can't make it in 30 seconds, it's not worth waiting for," kind of mentality. So, I've had to learn how to whip up some really quick, easy things, otherwise he makes his own creations (which aren't good). I actually made this for myself one night, after I came home from work and Isaac had been home for a while and had already made himself "cheesy bread"... microwaved bread with slices of cheese on it. Boring. So, I came up with this for myself, and ooohed and ahhed over it the whole time I was eating it. I let him have a bite, being the nice wife that I am, and he wanted his own.  It's just good. That is all. Try it some time if you're not in the mood to make something elaborate, but are in the mood to eat something delicious!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Asian Noodle Salad

I could have sworn I had posted this recipe a long time ago, but when I went to search for it today nothing came up. Tragic I've kept this recipe from being in your lives for so long. It is delicious and every time I have made it people have asked for the recipe. Not only is it delicious, but for those who are health-minded, it is also healthy. Furthermore, for those who are into aesthetically pleasing food, it is also very colorful. Without further adieu, here is the Asian Noodle Salad...  Mmmm...

Asian Noodle Salad

I got this recipe from the Pioneer Woman blog, if I mustn't claim it for myself.
Serves: 6-8  (can also add chicken for extra protein, or to make it a meal)


1 package Linguine Noodles, Cooked, Rinsed, And Cooled

½ heads Sliced Napa Cabbage, Or More To Taste

½ heads Sliced Purple Cabbage, Or More To Taste

½ bags Baby Spinach, Or More To Taste

1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin

1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin

1 whole Orange Bell Pepper, Thinly Sliced

1 bag Bean Sprouts (also Called Mung Bean Sprouts)

Chopped Cilantro, Up To 1 Bunch, To Taste

3 whole Scallions, Sliced

3 whole Cucumbers Peeled And Sliced

1 can (about 10 Oz.) Whole Cashews, Lightly Toasted In Skillet



1 whole Lime, Juiced

8 Tablespoons Olive Oil

8 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons (up To 3 Tablespoons) Sesame Oil

⅓ cups Brown Sugar

3 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Chopped

2 cloves Garlic, Chopped

2 whole Hot Peppers Or Jalapenos, Chopped

Chopped Cilantro

Preparation Instructions:

Mix salad ingredients together. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on a platter.

Note: dressing keeps for up to three days before serving, without cilantro.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins

These are seriously so good, and they taste even better when you know there is a lot of healthy stuff inside.
This blog describes it all:
The only thing I changed is that I substituted coco powder for the espresso powder, in equal amount. Still totally great.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

PIzza dough

This is the best pizza dough.  But you have to cook it with a pizza stone in your oven on the hottest setting you have.  That is the secret.

Peter Reinhart's Napoletana Pizza Dough Recipe

Heidi notes: Peter's recipe says the olive (or vegetable oil) is optional. I use it every time - always olive oil, not vegetable oil. I love the moisture and suppleness it adds to the dough, and it makes your hands soft too.
4 1/2 cups (20.25 ounces) unbleached high-gluten, bread, or all-purpose flour, chilled
1 3/4 (.44 ounce) teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon (.11 ounce) instant yeast
1/4 cup (2 ounces) olive oil (optional)
1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) water, ice cold (40°F)
Semolina flour OR cornmeal for dusting
1. Stir together the flour, salt, and instant yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). With a large metal spoon, stir in the oil and the cold water until the flour is all absorbed (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment), If you are mixing by hand, repeatedly dip one of your hands or the metal spoon into cold water and use it, much like a dough hook, to work the dough vigorously into a smooth mass while rotating the bowl in a circular motion with the other hand. Reverse the circular motion a few times to develop the gluten further. Do this for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are evenly distributed. If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet and doesn't come off the sides of the bowl, sprinkle in some more flour just until it clears the sides. If it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a tea- spoon or two of cold water. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50 to 55F.
2. Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with baking parchment and misting the parchment with spray oil (or lightly oil the parchment). Using a metal dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you are comfortable shaping large pizzas), You can dip the scraper into the water between cuts to keep the dough from sticking to it, Sprinkle flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Lift each piece and gently round it into a ball. If the dough sticks to your hands, dip your hands into the flour again. Transfer the dough balls to the sheet pan, Mist the dough generously with spray oil and slip the pan into a food-grade plastic bag.
3. Put the pan into the refrigerator overnight to rest the dough, or keep for up to 3 days. (Note: If you want to save some of the dough for future baking, you can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag. Dip each dough ball into a bowl that has a few tablespoons of oil in it, rolling the dough in the oil, and then put each ball into a separate bag. You can place the bags into the freezer for up to 3 months. Transfer them to the refrigerator the day before you plan to make pizza.)
4. On the day you plan to make the pizza, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before making the pizza. Before letting the dough rest at room temperature for 2 hours, dust the counter with flour, and then mist the counter with spray oil. Place the dough balls on top of the floured counter and sprinkle them with flour; dust your hands with flour. Gently press the dough into flat disks about 1/2 inch thick and 5 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil, and cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap or a food-grade plastic bag. Now let rest for 2 hours.
5. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone either on the floor of the oven (for gas ovens), or on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven as hot as possible, up to 800F (most home ovens will go only to 500 to 550F, but some will go higher). If you do not have a baking stone, you can use the back of a sheet pan, but do not preheat the pan.
6. Generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal. Make the pizzas one at a time. Dip your hands, including the backs of your hands and knuckles, in flour and lift I piece of dough by getting under it with a pastry scraper. Very gently lay the dough across your fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a little stretch with each bounce. If it begins to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue shaping it. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss as shown on page 208. If you have trouble tossing the dough, or if the dough keeps springing back, let it rest for 5 to 20 minutes so the gluten can relax, and try again. You can also resort to using a rolling pin, though this isn't as effective as the toss method.
7. When the dough is stretched out to your satisfaction (about 9 to 12 inches in diameter for a 6-ounce piece of dough), lay it on the peel or pan, making sure there is enough semolina flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide. Lightly top it with sauce and then with your other top- pings, remembering that the best pizzas are topped with a less-is-more philosophy. The American "kitchen sink" approach is counterproductive, as it makes the crust more difficult to bake. A few, usually no more than 3 or 4 toppings, including sauce and cheese is sufficient.
8. Slide the topped pizza onto the stone (or bake directly on the sheet pan) and close the door. Wait 2 minutes, then take a peek. If it needs to be rotated 180 degrees for even baking, do so. The pizza should take about 5 to 8 minutes to bake. If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone to a lower self before the next round. if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone for subsequent bakes.
9. Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Wait 3 to 5 minutes before slicing and serving, to allow the cheese to set slightly.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Baked Zucchini Chips

I'm sure I'm breaking a rule, but I am just going to link to another blog and I'm too tired to care. I made these tonight and they were good and Joy thought I should share.
Here it is:
Baked Zucchini Chips
Just a hint: they have to get fairly brown before they turn crisp.
Another hint: if you have a food processor, use it to slice them thin and uniform. Otherwise, the slicer on a box grater would make it easier to slice these thin as well.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Italian Shrimp

I've become a bit obsessed with everything coconut oil these days. I supposed I've jumped on the coconut oil bandwagon, and for once, I'm proud of following a trend. Coconut oil is amazing. More on that later. I saw a recipe pinned on pinterest for this delicious sounding shrimp. Where the source came from, I will never know, since the pin doesn't actually lead you to a recipe, just a blog with a bunch of pictures.

I modified the recipe a little and John proclaimed this to be the best shrimp he's ever had, just like the pinned claimed it would be. Note: he didn't know this was supposed to be the best shrimp ever! :)

Image found here
1 lb shrimp
1/2-1 cup coconut oil (the actual recipe calls for butter)
1 lemon
Italian seasoning

Melt coconut oil/butter on a foiled line cookie sheet.
Thinly slice the lemon and place slices on top of the melted butter.
Place shrimp on top of the lemon slices and sprinkle with Italian seasoning to your liking. I used a generous amount. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. 

We mixed the shrimp into some leftover fried rice, and it was pretty darn good. This will definitely be a recipe we will recycle over and over again. I'm convinced the coconut oil is what made it SO good, but, you can never go wrong with something soaked in actual butter, either!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Gourmet Shrimp Fettuccine

2 T olive oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 large onion, sliced into rings
1/4 c. thinly sliced celery
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 T. parsley (optional)
1 can cream of celery or mushroom soup
1 jar artichoke hearts - well drained (optional) or
1 c. sauteed mushrooms (optional)
1/2 c. cream
2 T. lemon juice
3 T. butter
1 pound of uncooked shrimp, peeled
1 pound of fettuccine or linguine
1 tsp. oil
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese

In a skillet, saute garlic, onion and celery in olive oil until onion is translucent.  Add seasonings, stir to blend.  Put these ingredients into a saucepan.  Add soup, cream and lemon juice to saucepan.  Cook fettuccine in a large pan with 1 tsp. oil and 1 tsp. salt. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in the same pan that the herbs were in, saute shrimp until no longer pink.  Drain fettuccine, place into a serving dish.  Add 1/2 Parmesan cheese to the sauce.  Stir the shrimp into the sauce.  Pour over pasta and sprinkle on the rest of the cheese.

*I always cut the onion and celery the night before.
*If you're using cooked shrimp, barely warm the shrimp in the sauce.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Veggie Casserole

I've become so lazy in my dinner making these days. Not because I don't want to cook, but I haven't had anyone to cook for for the last few weeks, and when I go weeks without doing something, I loose motivation.

I was trying to come up with a good dinner on Sunday, but laziness took over, so I decided to just go with this super simple sounding meal that would use up my polish sausage that I had sitting in the fridge. I don't think it was just me being super hungry, when things usually taste more delicious than they really are, but it really was just that, a super delicious, and easy, meal!

Picture found here
Recipe adapted from here.

2 sausages, any kind any flavor
1-2 potatoes
1/2 pound carrots
1/2 bell pepper (I didn't have one, and used celery instead)
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves

2 tbsp oil
freshly cracked black pepper
1 1/2 tsp Italian herbs
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Dice all of the veggie and toss into a big baking dish, don't add the sausage. Mix the dressing together (only use two tbsp of balsamic vinegar) and pour over the veggies to coat cover with foil. Bake for 40-50 minutes covered, until fork tender. Meanwhile, while veggies are cooking, brown sausage and cut into 1/2 inch slices, don't worry about the sausage being cooked all of the way through, it will cook more in the oven. Once veggies have cooked and are tender, remove the foil and add the browned sausage. Pour the remaining two tbsp of balsamic vinegar on top, and mix. Cook for  an additional 15-25 minutes uncovered.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Boysenberry Cheesecake & Mini Cheesecakes

Boysenberry Cheesecake - SERVES 12

1 1/4 c.  crushed cinnamon graham crackers (regular graham crackers can be substituted)
 ¼ cup sugar
5 Tbsp. melted butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix crust ingredients and pat firmly into bottom &3 up the sides of a 10-inch pie pan. Bake 20 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes.

3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. All-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
4 eggs
¾ cup whipping cream
1 c. Smuckers Boysenberry Preserves
  • Beat cream cheese until creamy; mix in lemon peel and vanilla.
  • In separate bowl combine sugar, flour and salt.
  • Add gradually to cream cheese mixture.
  • Add eggs one at a time beating after each addition just until blended.
  • Stir in whipping cream.
  • Pour all but 3/4 cup cheese filling into already baked crust.
  • Mix 2 Tablespoons preserves with remaining ½ cup filling & slowly drizzle back & forth across the top of cheesecake.
  • Using a blunt knife, gently cut through batter of the cheesecake.
  • Bake at 350° F 35 to 45 minutes or until knife comes out clean when inserted into the cheesecake.
  • Remove from oven; let cool 30 minutes.
  • Stir remaining preserves and spread evenly over cheesecake.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
Mini Cheesecakes - use remaining batter to make cheesecakes to share
  • Line 10 cupcake liners into a muffin tin.
  • Add one Nilla Vanilla wafer into each liner...flat side down.
  • Pour remaining batter into liners.
  • Drizzle on the boysenberry cheesecake topping.
  • Using a blunt knife, gently cut through the batter.
  • Bake for about 17 - 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven; let cool for 30 minutes.
  • Spread boysenberry preserves over the top of the mini cheesecakes.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
Share these with your neighbors or friends.

Friday, January 18, 2013

French Onion Soup for Two

Do any of you ever have cravings from restaurants where you used to live, but none from where you currently live? My cravings this week come from Le Madeleine in Washington, D.C., thousands of miles away from Seattle. Their French Onion soup has been on my mind all week... ahhhh.... it's SO GOOD. And it's the perfect dish when it's cold and foggy outside.  

I realize Britt already posted a recipe for French Onion soup a while back, but this recipe is more up my alley. I am all about easy recipes. Her's looked intimidating (really, it just had ingredients I didn't have). This recipe is revised from several recipes to accommodate my lack of certain ingredients, but even better... it's revised to feed just TWO people.  Which I know you all basically cook for two, since your children eat like birds.  

So, here we have it. It was amazing. I just wish I had those little bowls/cups to eat it in. I had to resort to a big bowl, which was just fine, because that meant I got to eat more. 


3 cups beef broth
1 large onion, sliced thin
3 tablespoon butter, divided (or olive oil, if you insist on being healthy)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 minced garlic clove 
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash of nutmeg
Several slices of Gruyere cheese (or Swiss)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese 
2 slices French bread (it must be noted that my grocery store here sells mini baguettes... perfect for this recipe )

In a large saucepan, saute onions in 2 TBS butter (or oil) until golden brown. About ten minutes in, add the sugar to help caramelize. When onions are soft and golden, stir in the garlic and dash of nutmeg. Saute about one minute, then add the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 1 TBS butter; add sliced bread. Cook until golden brown on both sides. 

Ladle soup into two-oven proof bowls, leaving room at the top. Place sliced bread on top of bowl, cover with slices of Gruyere, and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. 

Place bowls in oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and brown. 


Healthy Black Bean Salsa

Today I took two different kinds of salsa's to work and asked my co-workers to taste them and let me know what they thought.  This salsa won the taste test.  Everyone seemed to love it.  (I know the photo isn't great...and don't you just love the container?) 

Try it and let me know what you think.

Healthy Black Bean Salsa

1/2 can of corn
1/2 can of tomato pieces 
1/2 can black beans
1/4 bunch of cilantro, cut into little pieces
1 or 2 green onions cut into small slices
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 juiced lime
1 T. olive oil

Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy with your favorite tortilla chip. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Coconut Syrup

Coconut Syrup - it's rich and divine!

     1 cube of butter (no not use margarine) 
Melt butter in a sauce pan, then add:
                           1 cup sugar
                           1/2 cup buttermilk
Boil for 1 minute - no longer!  Stir into the mixture:
                            1/2 tsp. baking soda
                            1 tsp. coconut flavoring

BEWARE  - The baking soda will expand the syrup.  
Serve warm

Yummy on waffles, pancakes and french toast!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Simply Delicious Dumplings

I had turkey left over from a holiday meal so the other day I made turkey and dumplings.   My older sister use to make chicken and dumplings when my parents would go out of town and last week I was thinking that I've never made a dumpling. 

This recipe is so easy and they taste delicious. Try them, you'll like them!

This recipe would also be good with a thicker beef stew.

1 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. butter
1/2 c. milk

Stir together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly.  Stir in the milk until the flour is absorbed.  Drop by spoonfuls into the hot stew.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes without lifting the lid.  Serve hot.