Friday, April 29, 2011

Brownie Bottom Cheesecake w/Nutella Whip



Today was a day that I had brownies on the brain. This was the second recipe I prepared today with a brownie crust. I've been thinking of this cheesecake for several weeks and today was the day to give it a shot! My daughter keeps begging to eat it but I think she will have to wait till Sunday. With company coming for lunch and supper I think we'd better keep it till then. I did sneak a taste tonight and was quite pleased with the combo. Theres some caramel in there too. It's a rich, decadent dessert that will go far. While I was putting the Nutella Whip on top my daughter kept opening her mouth wide and going pretty close to the edge of the cheesecake pretending to take a bite. She doesn't usually pay much attention to cheesecakes but this one must have caught her eye for whatever reason.☺

For the brownies:


I used a basic brownie recipe that I found here and adapted it slightly but boxed brownies would work just as well.

½ cup all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
½ stick unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup caramel drops

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a small mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking, powder, salt, and cocoa.

In a mixer bowl beat sugar and butter till fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix well. Add vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture mixing until wel combined.

Spray a 9 inch Springform pan and double line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Spray the top paper as well. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with caramel drops.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes.

In the meantime mix cheesecake.

For the cheesecake:


16 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix cream cheese and brown sugar until creamy, scraping sides of bowl and mixing till smooth. Add eggs one at a time mixing gently after each and adding vanilla. Scrape sides again and mix a little bit again. Pour over cooled brownies. Place Springform pan onto a baking sheet and return to oven and bake for 40 minutes. When done baking turn oven off and prop door open with a wooden spoon handle for another 30 minutes before removing cake from oven.

For the toppin:
4 ounces Cool Whip
½ cup Nutella

Fold together and pipe onto the cake with a decorating bag and tip.


Linking to:
Weekend Wrap Up
Sweets for a Saturday
Sweet Tooth
Brambleberry Cottage
Home Sweet Home
Friday Potluck
Foodie Friday
Hodge Podge
Funky Junk
So Sweet Sunday
The Tattered Tag
Cupcake Apothecary
Two Maids a Baking
Made It Monday
Wicked Wednesday
Savory Sunday
Mommy D's Kitchen
Swing Into Spring
Monday MMM Desserts
Momtrends-Friday Food
I'm Lovin' It Wrap Up
Creative Blogger's Hop
Sharing Sundays

Brownie Ice Cream Dessert



I had some boxed ice cream in the freezer and I usually only buy that kind when I want to cut it in 1 inch sheets for special desserts. It's been in there for a while but I just wasn't getting it used so today I decide to bake some brownies and indulge in another gooey chocolate & peanut butter dessert. The kids loved it! Of course my husband and I did too but I'm pretty sure I won't be eating too much of it! The scale won't go anywhere near where I want it to if I do!!

Ingredients:
boxed brownies
melted peanut butter
vanilla ice cream
fudge topping
Cool Whip
chopped peanuts

Prepare brownies according to package directions. Cool and spread a generous layer of melted peanut butter over them. Top with a 1 inch layer of ice cream.


Pour warm hot fudge topping over the top and put into freezer till it is firm again. Spread Cool Whip on top and drizzle with peanut butter and fudge topping. Chop some peanuts and sprinkle over top. Return to freezer until ready to serve. It was scrumptious!!

Linking to:
Weekend Wrap Up
Sweets For a Saturday
Sweet Tooth
Friday Potluck
Foodie Friday
Hodge Podge
Home Sweet Home
Brambleberry Cottage
Funky Junk
So Sweet Sunday
The Tattered Tag
Cupcake Apothecary
Two Maids a Baking
Made It Monday
Savory Sunday
Swing Into Spring
Monday Desserts, MMM
Home May'd
A Little Birdie Told Me
This Weeks Cravings
Sundae Scoop

Spicy Grilled Burgers


Lately I've been on a spicy food binge and decided to try it out on some grilled burgers by adding salsa when I mix the ground beef instead of eggs like I usually do. I mixed them yesterday so the flavor was well distributed. I added a slice of Pepper Jack Cheese and some Spicy Southwest Mustard. Yum!! And that grilled Vidalia Onion on top there? Oh my! I could eat those by themselves! YUM!!

Ingredients:
3 lbs. ground Beef
1 cup Salsa
1½ packages Ritz Crackers, crushed
Garlic Powder
Salt
Pepper

Mix well and shape into 4 ounces burgers. Grill and lightly brush with Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue Sauce. Add Cheese and condiments of your choice. I also brushed the onion with a bit of sauce. We had these tonight with our first corn on the cob of the season and some super yummy brownie ice cream dessert. The children thanked me and assured me that it was a wonderful supper!☺

Linking to:
The Tattered Tag
Made It Monday
This Weeks Cravings
Hunk of Meat Monday
Be Blessed!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Roast Beef on Rye w/Sweet Horseradish Spread


I didn't have time to eat breakfast this morning because I had to leave early to drop the children off at school for a field trip and I had a grocery run right after that. So by the time I got home I was good and hungry and I knew I would need more than yogurt and fruit to get me through that last weedy flowerbed. And because I've been wanting to make a sweet horseradish sauce/spread (thanks to Quiznos) I decided to have a sandwich for brunch with some fresh pears and strawberries. Yum! it sure hit the spot and I loved the tangy zip of the horseradish!

I mixed 2 teaspoons Honey Mustard, 2 teaspoons mayo, 1 teaspoon horseradish and a teaspoon sugar and spread some on a piece of seedless rye bread with deli roast beef, swiss cheese, lettuce tomato and banana pepper rings. It was delicious!

Be Blessed!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Raspberry Ribbon Coffee Cake, Home Sweet Home, and a Bloggy Gift

                                   Moist and Delicious!


Years ago I made this coffee cake that I had  found in my sisters cookbook and while the flavor was good I wasn't entirely satisfied with the way it looked. The original recipe asks for the cream cheese layer on top of the batter with raspberry jam on top of that. The raspberry jam looks pretty when you put it on but discolors as it bakes and ends up being a murky color so I decided to leave it off and put the cream cheese with fresh or frozen raspberries layer in between the batter for a layered effect. I liked this much better! It gives it a very good raspberry flavor and the goodies go all the way through. I also set it on a baking sheet to bake because the first one I made was too brown on the sides and bottom. This causes it to take more time to bake but is worth the effort for a soft tender coffee cake that isn't dry.. It's a little bit hard to get it baked properly in the center with all the gooey goodies in the middle but give it plenty of time. You will be glad you did!

For the crumbs:
2¼ cups flour
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
Mix together till fine crumbs form. Reserve 1 cup.

For the cake:
To the remaining crumbs add-
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 egg
1½ teaspoons almond extract

Mix well and spread half of batter into a greased 9 inch Springform pan.

For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
1 egg

Mix well, scraping sides and mixing again until smooth. Pour over batter in pan. Top with a layer of red raspberries (fresh or frozen, I used frozen ones) about 1½ cups, enough to cover batter. Then spoon on the rest of the batter starting at outer edge and sealing to the pan, and working your way to the middle. This takes extra time because the batter is thick and it's kind of hard to do but if you use a gentle hand and patience you can make it happen.☺

Topping:
Reserved crumbs
1/8 cup sugar
½ cup thin sliced almonds

Mix together and spread over top.Set Springform pan onto a baking sheet and bake @ 350° for 1½ hours or until the center is fully baked. I thought it seemed like a long time for a coffee cake but it needed it all. For the last 30-45 minutes or so I like to lay a piece of foil over the top to keep it from getting too brown.
Sorry I don't have pictures to go with the process but this was sort of a race against the clock this morning. I had to leave to take the children to their schools so I knew I couldn't spend too much time snapping pics or we would be late.



                                      ____________________________________

Home Sweet Home



We spent Easter weekend in Ohio with my family and while the weather was rainy the whole time it was still great to see everyone! and I met 3 new friends who we had invited to be with us for our Easter Dinner(unknown to me), 2 of which are from North Carolina that I met because of food blogging. They were visiting the area and staying at my sisters B&B. What a huge surprise to walk in to my sisters house and have them come around the corner!! ☺ and 1 friend that has been a family friend  for a while but I had never met. It was great to finally meet them all! Again no pics to prove this, we were too busy eating and talking, but we had a great time! ☺ The home place has changed looks quite a bit in the last ten years or so since my brother bought it and did some renovating but the front of the house is like it was when I lived there. I love to go there and soak in all the peaceful beauty that the pond provides and the children love to fish. Also my Mother's flower gardens are gorgeous, they are not blooming now but when they do theres no doubt in your mind that someone lives there who appreciates nature. So going there is a real treat for lots of reasons and we always enjoy our times there.

                                       ______________________________________
Several weeks ago I linked up to a party @ Lark's Country Heart and was lucky enough to have her feature one of my recipes on her blog and it just happened that that was the week she selected to send a gift to the three featured people. When I came home from Ohio there was a package in the mail for me from her.


These are the contents of the package. The spoon and fork are very funky and fun.☺ They are retractable and can be made into a far reaching utensil. The boys keep saying it's perfect for taste testing something being made over the fire. ☺ Might have to try it out sometime. In any case we enjoyed going through everything and were blessed by the thoughtful gesture of sharing. Thank You Lark!

Linking to:
Made It Monday
Anything Related
Pinch of This
Wicked Awesome Wednesday
Top 5 Yums
Women Who Do It All
Brambleberry Cottage
Delightfully Inspiring
Home Sweet Home
Friday Potluck
Foodie Friday
Hodge Podge
Weekend Wrap up
Sweets for a Saturday
The Tattered Tag
This Weeks Cravings
Be Blessed!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Yogurt Parfait w/ Raspberries

~food that is pretty always tastes better~


I know that Yogurt/Granola/fruit Parfaits are nothing new, but I always feel more at peace when there is a pretty picture at the top of my blog ☺and those are some of my favorite colors, and red raspberries are in the top 5 of my favorite fruit list. AND this is what I enjoyed for my lunch today. I was trying to clean out my fridge before we leave and was lucky enough to actually have something good in there.
The Granola is homemade and the yogurt is just plain, but I added vanilla and SomerSweet to give it life and flavor. It was yummy!
And the yellow tulip was picked for me by my sweet daughter last night ☺and given to me with a sweet note that she wrote. She amazes me that she knows just when I need things like that! Today she told me after cleaning up her super messy room. "Whew, Mom my legs hurt! Now I know how YOU feel when you have to pick up my stuff!" Haha, she is "sugar and spice" and I think that's NICE!! ☺


                                                                          Enjoy!!

Linking To:
This Weeks Cravings
Tea Time Tuesday

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Turkey Pita

                                                            It's what's for lunch-

The last few days this has taken away my hunger at lunch time. I know it looks like there is mostly banana pepper rings and not much else in there. That's because there are quite a few of them in there (I like them!) but there's also some yummy turkey breast and a thin slice of Farmer's cheese and some lettuce, a little bit of mayo, and lots of Spicy Southwest Sauce (I like THAT stuff TOO!!) The only thing that would have made it better is a juicy tomato from the garden. But as you know those are not yet available and the ones from the store are still in their "wooden" tasting state so I did without. My whole wheat pita made it a healthier lunch too. ☺

I hope you "enjoyed" my lunch with me and that you are all having a wonderful day! I noticed this morning that there are now 101 people that read about my foodie life. (I have Debbie and her link parties to thank for a lot of those). Hmmm, didn't really think I'd ever get that far. But life is full of nice surprises! and I am happy to have you all here and I hope that somehow you will feel blessed for your time. Theres a new cheesecake and a coffee cake brewing in my head but first I think I will enjoy an Easter visit to my family in Ohio. The kids and my husband have not been there since August which is a long time not to see the people you love and we are all looking forward to seeing everyone. Perhaps I can introduce you all to some of my family and the home that built me when I return. Until then, Love and Blessings~Martha




Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Oatmeal Cookies

A Childhood Favorite


These cookies may look plain and -well okay, a little boring. But do not let yourself be deceived! Just because they don't have chocolate chips or peanut butter or something else to set them apart does not mean you should easily pass them over. They are super delicious when they are fresh and warm with a cold glass of milk. The edges are crisp and the center is chewy. Yum!! It's hard to keep milk in the house when we have these. They are simple, quick and a nice break from the usual cookie with all the add-ins. They"re great in a bowl of cereal, in lunches with a glass of milk, or as a snack. I love the oatmeal in them, it makes them seem a little more wholesome.☺

Preheat oven to 375°.
2 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups oatmeal
Additional sugar

Place the first 6 ingredients into a mixer bowl and stir. Add the next 3 ingredients and mix well, scraping down sides and mixing again. Stir in oatmeal and mix well. Using a size 40 cookie scoop (or size of your choice)* form into balls and roll into additional sugar. Place onto baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
* If you use a different size scoop adjust the bake time. They should be golden around the edge. I like to leave them on the pan for a minute or two till they are set before removing them.

Linking to:
Swing Into Spring
Yum ~Top 5
Brambleberry Cottage
Be Blessed!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Maple Sunburst Coffee Cake

Amazing Flavor


I've had the recipe for this coffee cake in my recipe stash for years and never made it. Every time I would clean out my books I just couldn't pitch it. I think the shape of it was what intrigued me. After tasting it today, I can.not.imagine.why it took me sooo long to make it!! It is absolutely scrumptious!!! I mean how could it not be good??!! Maple syrup, butter, brown sugar, maple icing, and of course the soft warm dough. Two of my sons took a bite and the one said,"I might have to come back for more, that stuff is good!" and the other one said,"That thing is AMAZING!" And it was so easy to prepare. So without further ado here it is.

Ingredients:
3¼-3½ cups all purpose flour (Gold Medal), divided
3 Tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ Tablespoons Instant Yeast
¾ cup milk
¼ cup butter, melted
2 eggs

Filling:
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 Tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
¼ teaspoon maple extract

Glaze:
½ cup powdered sugar
2-3 teaspoons milk
1/8 teaspoon maple extract

1. In a large mixer bowl (I used my Bosch), combine 1½ cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.

2. In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter until very warm (120-130°F).

3. Add milk mixture and eggs to flour mixture. Blend on low speed for 3 minutes. Scrape sides and beat on medium for 3 minutes more.

4. Transfer to a Tupperware mixing bowl that has a lid. With a spoon, stir in remaining flour until dough is stiff. You might have to knead with your hand a little to finish it. Grease the bottom and lower sides of the bowl, place dough round in the bowl and cover with the lid. Let rise for 1½ hours.

5. Combine filling ingredients.

6. Divide dough into 2 parts. Roll each out to a 12 inch round. Place 1 round on a greased 12 inch pizza pan, I used a baking stone. Spread with filling almost out to the edges. (I put the filling into the microwave for about 15 seconds to bring it to spreadable consistency). Place the second round on top. Seal edges.


7. Make 5 inch cuts, 1 inch apart from outside edges. Twist each strip.



I messed up on this by not reading the directions properly and started the twisting without enough cuts. I ended up untwisting and correcting it. Save yourself some time ☺ and cut them 1 inch apart on the outside edge.

8. Let rise 1 hour in a warm place. I did mine in the oven with the light on.


9. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes.


10. Combine the glaze ingredients. Drizzle over warm cake.


11. Get ready to be amazed!!

Linking to:
Sweet Tooth Friday
Food Fight Friday
Foodie Friday
Sweets for a Saturday
Weekend Wrap Up
Funky Junk
Debbies Newbie Party
All Thingz Related
Two Maids A Baking
The Tattered Tag
Swing Into Spring
Yum ~ Top 5
Delightully Inspiring Thursday
This Weeks Cravings
Tea Time Tuesday
Be Blessed!

Spicy Southwest Reuben Panini


I felt the need for a good old reuben sandwich today but didn't have the traditional ingredients so I improvised. I have to tell you here that I didn't feel one bit deprived when all was said and done. It was fabulous!

2 pieces Pepperidge Farms
Pumpernickle Rye bread
2 thin slices turkey ham
2 slices Muenster cheese
Sauerkraut, squeezed dry
Spicy Southwest Mustard
Olive oil, for brushing lightly on the bread
Panini Press

Totally worth the time it took to make this ! Aahhh it was delicious! I will be having more of these in the future ☺. After all I have a whole bag of sauerkraut that my family won't help me eat, ha - it would'nt be good to let it go bad, now would it?

Linking to:
Food Fight Friday
Foodie Friday
Weekend Wrap Up
Yum ~Top 5
Hunk of Meat Monday
Be Blessed!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Planting Herbs and a Sweet Little Girl


On Saturday I just couldn't wait any longer. I HAD to plant SOMETHING! It was reasonably warm outside, though the sun kept hiding. I told Serena that "I'm going out to plant stuff, would you care to help?" She was right there more than happy to dig in the dirt with me.


I don't propose to know a whole lot about growing and drying herbs but I know that my cupboards are full of them and that that's where all the flavor come from, so most years I like to plant at least some with the idea that I can dry them for winter use. Doesn't happen real often but hey, this might be the year that I get it done! ☺

We planted parsley, flat and curly leaf, sweet basil, lemon basil, lemon balm, Marjoram, thyme, and a bunch of other stuff and two kinds of lettuce. S was totally in her glory as she helped prepare the bed and did some digging. All the while humming or singing very softly to herself "She'll be coming 'round the mountain when she comes". ☺


It made me happy to see her enjoying something that I love to do too. ☺ We had a wonderful afternoon!

                                                           Serena with 'Prince' and Me

Here is one of the finished beds. Mulched and ready for sunshine!


Be Blessed!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Peanut Butter Stripes



This is another one of those recipes that has been around forever and I've been making it for my family for years. AND it's another FAVORITE of ours. It's just hard to get enough peanut butter and chocolate!!

Don't overbake these, they should be a little bit chewey in the middle. They are delicious with a glass of very cold milk or a cup of hot coffee or tea.

Ingredients:
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups oatmeal
2 cups all purpose flour (Gold Medal)
Chocolate Chips
Peanut Butter Icing

Cream butters and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, and soda and give it a stir. Add oatmeal and stir then add flour and mix well. Press into a 15½ x 10½ bar pan.


Bake @ 350° for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips (desired amount). Return to oven for a few minutes till the reach spreadable consistency.


Spread evenly.


Cool completely. Spread Icing over top.

For the Icing:
3 cups powdered sugar
¾ cup peanut butter
milk, till it reaches spreadable consistency

Be Blessed!

Linking to:
The Tattered Tag
Debbies Newbie party
Spring Blog Hop
All Thingz Related
Tempt My Tummy
Made It Monday
Wicked Awesome Wednesday
Brambleberry Cottage
Sweet Tooth Friday
Home Sweet Home
Food Fight Friday
Foodie Friday
Sweets For a Saturday
Weekend Wrap Up
Funky Junk
Yum ~ Top 5
Delightfully Inspiring Thursday
Two Maids a Baking

Vegetable Pizza


This is a great way to get those veggies in and it's easy to change the toppings to suit your family's tastes. And it goes well with  summer meals when you don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
I made these instead of salad today because I really thought the kiddos would eat it, buuut... it was not to be. 

There was a reason I only made a half pan rather than a full one. Something deep inside had told me that they might not be impressed. I told them that there is nothing on there that they don't like (except the tomato, and that can be removed) but they passed the plate around and would look at me and say I'm going to be stuffed by the time I'm done with what I have. Haha, the apologetic looks on their faces made me chuckle. So because I'm a good Mom I left them off the hook and even let them have dessert. That's why they like me, I think.☺

What you'll need:
1 tube Crescent Rolls
1½ Tablespoons Ranch dressing mix
½ cup mayonnaise
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
Chopped veggies of your choice
Crumbled Bacon Bits
Cheddar Cheese

Be Blessed!

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Mushrooms

Aaahhhh Grilling Season is Here!!


Or at least very much around the corner! I am very happy about this!! Now I can add new flavors to our meals and eat outside, well soon anyway. Today I knew it was supposed to be a little warmer than it has been for a while, not balmy but warmer at least, and I've been hankering for these yummy bites of grilled deliciousness so I wrapped them up and grilled them along side of some Italian Sausages that we had for our lunch as well. Loved every bite I had too! Most of the children eat these but I have one whose tastebuds continue to challenge me to find ways of pleasing them.☺ I don't worry too much though because at his age I was a picky eater and my food wasn't even allowed to touch on my plate! Goodness! one would never suspect that now! All this to say I think he'll come around if I give him time.

                                                            Don't they look yummy?!
                                                       Master Grilling Chef at our house
My husband does a great job with the grill! If I do the grilling it's either not completely cooked or it's burned because I'm trying to manage the last minute details in the kitchen AND trying to grill. Not good! So it just better if he has time to do it! And if he is here he is always happy to do it!

What you need:
White Button Mushrooms
Bacon Strips, cut in half
Favorite Barbeque Sauce, for brushing
Skewers

If you are using wooden ones, they need to soak in water for a bit before their time on the grill. Take the stem out of the mushroom and peel the outer skin off. Wrap with a piece of bacon, overlapping the ends, and thread onto the wooden skewers. It's best if they don't touch for even cooking purposes. Brush with barbeque sauce and grill till the bacon is finished cooking, turning as needed.

Be Blessed!

Linking to:
The Tattered Tag
Debbies Newbie Party
Spring Blog Hop
All Thingz Related
Tempt My Tummy
Made It Monday
Wicked Awesome Wednesday
Brambleberry Cottage
Home Sweet Home
Food Fight Friday
Foodie Friday
Weekend Wrap Up
Yum ~Top 5
I'm Lovin' It Wrap Up
Savory Sunday
Summer Cookout Food

Peanut Butter Delight

                                                                Family Favorite


If you need an easy dessert to go with whatever you are serving, and if you love peanut butter and chocolate the way we do, I am telling you now that this is the one you want! Creamy, peanut buttery, cool, and chocolatey with a yummy crust that I always use instead of the one that is usually called for with this dessert. The original recipe calls for a crust made with chopped peanuts and the name of the dessert varies, some call it Jimmy Carter Pudding, but I just use my standard delight crust recipe and call it Peanut Butter Delight. It really doesn't matter what you call it, it's delicious and sure to be a crowd pleaser.

For the crust:
1¼ cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup butter, softened
 Mix till crumbly then spread evenly into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Do not press into pan.


Bake @ 350° for 20 minutes or till golden. Remove from oven and chop into fine crumbs immediately.


Then spread evenly and press lightly into pan. Pressing firmly will result in a hard crust that is hard to cut through when it's time to serve it.


Let cool completely.

Layer #2:
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups Cool Whip
Put cream cheese, peanut butter, and powdered sugar into mixer bowl and beat until fluffy, scraping down sides as needed. Gently fold in Cool Whip until well combined. Spread evenly over cooled crust.


Layer #3:
2 small boxes instant chocolate pudding
3 cups cold milk

Mix according to package directions and pour over peanut butter mixture.


Spread evenly and allow to set completely then top with more Cool Whip and garnish as desired.

           Make it for your family sometime, you will be glad you did and they will be happy!☺

                                                                   Be Blessed!
Linking to:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole



I have two recipes in my cookbook stash for this casserole but am not 100% pleased with either of them so yesterday I decided to see if I can change that. I did some tweaking and changing and will share the end result with you all. It is full of flavor and my family enjoyed it. ☺That always makes me happy!

I first made the croutons that I wanted to use which are so easy and lightly seasoned with Original Mrs. Dash and Garlic Salt and melted butter. I stick butter, 1 loaf  Italian wheat bread, cubed, seasonings to taste, bake at 350° till crunchy. See? Super easy!

What you'll need:
3 lbs. (approx.) chicken tenders
Runions Coating Mix
Butter, for frying
½-¾ lb. deli ham (I used turkey ham)
8 ounces shredded  Swiss cheese (I used Muenster because I didn't have Swiss and because the children don't enjoy that flavor).
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Paprika
1 (10½ oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
2/3 can milk

Trim the tenders and roll them in runions and fry lightly in butter. Just until done or almost done. They will have time to bake completely and over frying makes them tough. Cut into bite sized pieces with a kitchen scissors and put into a non stick sprayed 9 x 13 baking dish.

Mix together cream soup and 2/3 can milk and pour over chicken pieces.


Cut ham into bites sized pieces and layer on top of chicken mixture.


Shred cheese and layer over the ham.


Sprinkle with fresh parsley and Paprika.


For the topping:
5 cups croutons, or soft bread cubes
1 celery rib, finely diced
1- 2 Tablespoons, finely chopped onion
1½ cups milk
1 egg

Mix together and let sit till the croutons have absorbed the liquid. Spread evenly over the top

and bake @ 350° for 30 - 45 minutes. Or till it's good and bubbly and heated through and the croutons are crunchy again. Enjoy!

YUM!!



Be Blessed!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Creme de Menthe Cheesecake

chocolate.mint.yum!


I've had a 'mint-y chocolate-y cheesecake-y bee in my bonnet' for a while now, so yesterday because it was dreary outside and because I was reasonably caught up with this marathon we call life (and summer isn't even here yet, sigh) I decided to try it out. It turned out just the way I imagined it in my mind. Not too chocolate-y and not too minty but enough of both to be pleasing. ☺

I combined a bar recipe and a cheesecake recipe and tweaked both of them a little to suit my fancy and I'm happy to share the results with you!

Turn oven to 300°.
Spray a 8 inch Springform pan.

For the crust:

20 mint oreos
4 graham crackers
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons butter, melted

Put the first 4 ingredients into a gallon sized Ziploc bag, or a food processor if you have one. If you use the bag method crush the contents with a rolling pin until you have fine crumbs. Add melted butter and mix thoroughly. Press into Springform pan. All the way up the sides and on the bottom. Set aside.

For the Cheesecake:
3 (8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temp.
½ cup sugar
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup Hershey's chocolate syrup
3 eggs, room temp.
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl or in double boiler, carefully. Do not overheat chocolate. Set aside. Cream together cream cheese and sugar till fluffy. Add eggs one at a time mixing after each addition. Be careful not to overbeat. Add chocolate syrup, vanilla, and melted chocolate chips. Beat till combined. Scrape sides and fold to mix with a spatula to prevent overbeating.* Pour into crust and spread evenly. Place on a bar pan


 and bake for 1 hour. Turn oven off and prop door open with a wooden spoon handle for 1 more hour before removing cheesecake to cool.



Cool completely to room temperature. Then top with mint icing.

Mint Icing:
½ cup butter, softened
1½ cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tablespoons creme de menthe syrup or
½ teaspoon mint extract and
3 drops green food coloring

Beat together till fluffy and spread evenly over top of cake.


Cover and chill in refrigerator over night. Top with Ganache.

For the Ganache:
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Melt in microwave safe bowl and spread evenly over mint icing. Garnish as desired.



* Overbeating and overbaking are two things that cause cracks in the finished product. If the crust does not go all the way up the sides it is a good idea to run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake when you get it out of the oven. If not this too can cause cracks as the cake cools and contracts and is not released from the sides causing the middle to crack.

Let it sit at room temperature for at least a half hour before serving.

Linking to:
Made It Monday
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Be Blessed and enjoy some cheesecake!