Thursday, September 27, 2012

Layered Strawberry Cheesecake Bowl

This is actually a Kraft recipe.  It is super yummy!  And it looks awesome too.

Layered Strawberry Cheesecake Bowl

3cups  sliced fresh strawberries
3Tbsp.  sugar
2pkg.  (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1-1/2cups  cold milk
1pkg.  (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
2cups  thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
2cups  frozen pound cake cubes (1 inch)
1square  BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Combine berries and sugar. Refrigerate until ready to use. Beat cream cheese in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in milk. Add dry pudding mix; mix well. Blend in 1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP; spoon half into 2-1/2-qt. bowl.  Top with cake, berries and remaining cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate 4 hours.  Melt chocolate; drizzle over trifle. Top with remaining COOL WHIP.

Potato Salad

This is the best potato salad ever! It is delicious!  Thanks to another one of my amazing Aunts!

Potato Salad

10 medium red potatoes
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 a large bunch of celery, washed and chopped fine, including the leaves.
1 lg. onion, chopped fine
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp dill weed
1/2 tsp pepper(or to taste)
Lawry's seasoning salt to taste
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise, or until moistness you prefer (do not use miracle whip!)
1 1/2 tsp. mustard, or to taste
8-12 boiled eggs, mashed or finely chopped
2 small cans olives, or desired amount

Boil potatoes with skins on until tender.  When still semi-warm peel and dice to size you want. Sprinkle with the apple cider vinegar.  Add the onion, celery, celery salt, dill weed, pepper and seasoned salt.  Chill over night in an air tight container.  The next day add the mayonnaise and mustard.  Then fold in eggs and olives.  Sprinkle a little more dill on top.

*You can make it all in one day, but by leaving the potato, onion, celery and seasoning overnight will  help enhance the flavors.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

These should have probably been my very first post on this blog.  These cookies are pretty much a staple at our house.  When our freezer is empty of cookies I get no rest until there are more!  And, If I let them, my boys(husband included) would live off of chocolate chip cookies. (And yes, my husband is the worst.  He will eat them for breakfast).   Anyway, this is the cookie recipe I grew up with, and the recipe I have actually says this is a Mrs. Fields and a Nieman-Marcus recipe.  I especially like the "hidden" oats in this recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 c. butter
2 c. brown sugar
2 c. white sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
5 c. oatmeal (measure before grinding).  Blenderize until powdery
24 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 oz. chocolate bar, grated (optional)
3 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.  Then add the eggs and vanilla.  In separate bowl mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and blenderized oats.  Slowly add to cream mixture until combined.  then add chocolate chips and extras.  Roll into size of golf ball( I like to do some mini cookies too).  Bake 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 10 -12 min.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Homemade Dulce De Leche

I found this recipe on Our Best Bites.  It is super good, and super easy.  We love it on cheesecake(recipe found here), ice cream, or as a fruit dip.

Homemade Dulce De Leche
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Pour sweetened condensed milk into a shallow baking dish, such as a pie plate.  Cover very tightly with foil making sure all sides are covered and sealed.  Place baking dish in a larger pan, such as a roasting pan.  Fill larger pan with hot water until water level reaches about half way up the baking dish.  Cook for about 60 minutes and then check.  Color should be a rich caramel brown.  Continue cooking if necessary, checking every 15 minutes.  Can take up to 90 minutes or more to reach proper level of doneness.  When a medium caramel color is reached, remove from oven and let cool.  Whisk until smooth, store in fridge.

Crock Pot Instructions: Place 1-3 sealed cans of sweetened condensed milk in slow cooker.  Place enough water in slow cooker to completely cover cans by 1 inch.  Cook on low for about 8 hours.  Let cans cool completely before opening.

Berry Sauce

This is a yummy, versatile sauce.  It is great on cheesecake, ice cream, waffles, etc.  the original recipe calls for raspberries and it is delicious.  This time Larry requested that I try blueberry, to go with his birthday cheesecake(recipe found here).  I think it turned out really well.  In the future I would probably add just a little bit more sugar.

Berry Sauce
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 c. fresh berries, or large package of frozen (I usually use frozen)
1/2 c. water

Stir sugar and cornstarch together in pan.  Add berries and water.  Stir and cook until thickened and bubbly.  Cook 2 more minutes.  Cool slightly.  Makes about 1 3/4 c. sauce

Chicken Parmigiana

This is amazing!  Larry says its even better than you can get from a restaurant. I discovered this recipe from Food Network.  Soo good, and soo worth the effort. (But its really not very difficult at all!)

Please ignore the poor lighting!

Chicken Parmigiana
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
4 large eggs, beaten with 2 tablespoons water and seasoned with salt and pepper
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 cup vegetable oil or pure olive oil
Tomato Sauce - Below is the recipe for the sauce.  I've never made the sauce, I have just used our own spaghetti sauce, or store bought.
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Fresh basil or parsley leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge each breast in the flour and tap off excess, then dip in the egg and let excess drip off, then dredge on both sides in the bread crumbs.

Divide the oil between 2 large saute pans and heat over high heat until almost smoking. Add 2 chicken breasts to each pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet and top each breast with some tomato sauce, a few slices of the mozzarella, salt and pepper, and a tablespoon of Parmesan. Bake in the oven until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with basil or parsley leaves.

Tomato Sauce:(again, I have not made this, I have just used our own sauce instead)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed with some kosher salt to make a paste
2 (28-ounce) cans plum tomatoes and their juices, pureed in a blender
1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch Italian parsley
1 Cubano chile pepper, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add pureed tomatoes with their juices, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 cup water, bay leaf, parsley, Cubano pepper, and bring to a boil. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.


This is the easiest cheesecake recipe ever!  It is so simple and quick, yet soooo delicious!  This is another recipe from one of my amazing aunts.

20 graham crackers, rolled fine (about 1 1/2 c.)
3/4 cube margarine or butter, melted
1 lb(16 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 whole eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 pint sour cream
5 Tbsp. sugar

Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter.  Press into an 8 in.  spring form pan.
Beat together the cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla until very smooth.  Pour into crust.  Bake at 375 for 20 min.  Mix the sour cream and sugar together.  Remove cake from oven, and turn temperature up to 475.  Spread sour cream mixture over top of cake.  Bake about 5 min. more at 475.  Cool.  Refrigerate 9 hours or more.

*Find the recipe for my berry sauce here.
*Find the recipe for homemade Dulce de Leche here.