Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

i found this recipe on a foodie blog called "Coconut & Lime".

brownie layer:
2 eggs, at room temperature
4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (next time i will only use 3 oz b/c they were super chocolatey)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

cheesecake layer:
1 egg, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour or using baking spray with flour one 8x8 inch pan. In a medium pot, melt chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Whisk in sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan, smoothing the surface with a spatula as needed. In a separate bowl, beat together cream cheese, egg, sugar, flour and vanilla until fluffy. Carefully pour over brown layer. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack then slice and serve. The cooler the brownie, the easier it will be to cut.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

home-made rocky road brownies

vegetable oil & parchment paper for the pan
5-1/2 ounces 100% unsweetened chocolate (I used "Baker's" brand; see pic below), coarsely chopped, divided
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch slices
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups granulated cane sugar
1/2 cup walnut halves, roasted and roughly chopped
6 home-made Vanilla Bean Marshmallows, cut into quarters (I got mine at Whole Foods; see pic below)

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and liberally coat the paper and the pan sides with flavorless vegetable oil.
2. Put 3 ounces of the chocolate and the butter in a medium stainless-steel bowl and set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter melt and are fully combined and the mixture is smooth. Lift the bowl from the pot. Set aside.
3. Sift the flour and salt together into a bowl. In another bowl, combine the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk together by hand until blended. Whisk in the sugar.
4. Whisk the egg mixture into the chocolate. Add the flour and the remaining 2-½ ounces chocolate to the batter and, using a rubber spatula, mix well. Then mix in the roasted walnuts.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spread it evenly with a small offset spatula. Scatter the marshmallow pieces evenly over the surface and push them halfway into the batter. The tops should remain uncovered.
6. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven until the marshmallows are browned and a skewer inserted into the center of the brownie sheet comes out with some batter clinging to it, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.
7. Run a table knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the sides of the brownie, and then slide the brownie, still on the paper, onto a work surface. Using a ruler to guide you and a sharp knife, cut into sixteen 2-inch squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Yield: 16 brownies

Friday, July 4, 2008

Cheesy Potato Salad (think loaded baked potato)

2 1/2 pounds red potatoes, cubed
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
pinch or two of white sugar
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
chopped chives
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
8 slices of crumbled bacon (i used 15 slices!!!!)

Place the potatoes into a pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain, and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, mix together the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, half of the onions, and half of the cheese. Gently stir in the cooled potatoes. Top with remaining cheese and onions, and sprinkle bacon bits over the top.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Favorite Salad

I got this salad recipe back in my college days. My boss, while working at Wintergreen at Midway--a small timeshare resort, would have dinner parties on Sundays, and this salad always stood out. I've been making it ever since. She usually served it with Chicken Parmesan. But I could eat it all by itself.

- Taste superb using Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette (pictured above.)
- Chopped Romaine lettuce
- Crumbled blue cheese
- Dried Cranberries
- Slivered Almonds
- FRENCH'S® French Fried Onions
- Small can of mandarin oranges (drained) (not pictured.)

Edible Easter Nests

We made these last night for Enrichment: Recipe Club. I thought they were cute and wanted to share. I think they'd be fun to make with kids, or give to kids. They are pretty much like rice krispy treats but using All Bran instead. Don't let that scare you! They taste super good because they are drenched with marhmallows and butter. :)

Little Nests:
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup All-Bran cereal
1 small package mini chocolate Cadburry egss

In a small saucepan, melt butter or margarine over low heat. Add miniature marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat; add cereal and stir just until coated. When cool enough to handle, form into eight little nests. Place on waxed paper. After about 1 hour, press in center of each nest to form indention. Place three robin eggs in center of each nest. Place on a 3 or 4 inch doily and use as place cards or favors. Or just eat and enjoy! Makes 8 nests.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Best Friend Bread

It was an exciting day for me! I made my first loaf of bread! Jeremy's mom made the best home made bread while we were home for Christmas, so I found the recipe online - it's from the Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks. This bread is so light and fluffy and soft and yummy! :)
For the most part, its was really easy. I just get restless waiting the two separate hours for the dough to rise...

Here is the recipe.

"Best Friend Bread":
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 1/4 c. warm water
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. oil
1 t. salt
2 eggs
4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. butter, melted

- Disolve yeast in warm water. Mix sugar, oil, salt and eggs together; stir in yeast mixture. Add flour and knead until smooth. Cover and let rise until double in size. (About an hour.)
- Punch down and turn out onto floured surface. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece with your hands until you have 3 ropes about 12 inches long. Pinch one end of each of the 3 pieces of dough together and braid dough. Pinch the other ends together to seal, then tuck under. Place on a greased 13"x9" pan and let rise until double again. (About an hour.)
- Pour butter over the top and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tomato Basil Chicken

I've been trying alot of my sister-in-law, Natalie's, recipes lately. And we made this last night, and it knocked our socks off!! I have to blog and share it. I put off trying this recipe for a while, because Jeremy hates tomatoes. He ended up LOVING this, and says this is fighting for first place as his all time favorite meal. WOWZA! You gotta love it when your husband, or any food guest for that matter, RAVES about the meal you prepared. I served it with Leslie's (my mother-in-law) Cashew Rice Pilaf - also one of Jeremy's favorite.
This picture doesn't do it justice. :)

Tomato-Basil Chicken
1 T. Butter
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 can (14 oz.) Italian seasoned tomatoes (if not already cut up, coarsely chopped)
1/2 c. julienned FRESH basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat butter in skillet. Add onion and cook over medium heat until translucent, 5 min. Increase heat to high; add tomatoes and cook until liquid is almost evaporated, 5-10 min. Add cream and bring to boil; boil until slightly thickened, approx 3 min. Stir in basil, salt and pepper. Arrange chicken in shallow baking dish; pour sauce on top. Bake for 20-25 min.
(Serves 4)

the next time I made this dinner, i had fresh mozzerella, so i added slices of it on top of the chicken breast before i poured the sauce on. super good!

Cashew-Rice Pilaf
1/4 c. butter
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
1 c. uncooked regular long grain rice
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 - 1 tsp salt
1/2 c. cashews, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. chopped FRESH parsley

In large saucepan, melt butter. Saute onion until soft. Add rice; stir until coated. Stir in broth and salt. Cover; simmer 24-30 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in cashews and parsley.
(Serves 4)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Tex Mex Chicken Taco Soup - it's got cream cheese in it yall!!

I'm on a roll yall. I made dinner two nights in a row!! I printed this recipe about 2 years ago, and finally got around to making it. And we loved it! It's creamy and very tastey.

1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced green bell peppers
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Vegetable oil
1 pound chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 (8-ounce) jar salsa
1 (14-ounce) can kernel corn
1 (14-ounce) can hominy
1 (16-ounce) can ranch style beans
2 (4-ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese

Saute onions, green bell peppers, and garlic in a small amount of vegetable oil. Add chicken, taco seasoning mix, salsa, vegetables, beans, tomato paste, and chicken broth. Adjust liquid to your liking. Bring to a slow simmer and simmer for 20 minutes. Place cream cheese in a separate bowl. Using a measuring cup, take some of the hot liquid from the soup and pour over cream cheese to melt and then add back to the soup. Simmer on low for another 10 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips and grated Monterey jack cheese.
Also, great on the second day over rice.