Saturday, December 25, 2010

Taquitos! Merry Christmas too!



Baked Chicken Taquitos
(from mmcafe.blogspot.com)
4 ounces cream cheese, softened (I used chive and onion)
1/3 cup green salsa (I just used regular)
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (I skipped)
1 green onion, sliced finely 
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 1/4 cup grated monterey jack cheese

14 small yellow or white corn tortillas (I don't like corn so I used my pre-cooked uncooked flour torts!)
kosher salt
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix softened cream cheese, green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and 1 cup cheese and combine well.


Working with a few tortillas at a time, place 3-4 between two damp paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds, until tortillas are soft and pliable and don't crack while rolling. (I didn't have to do this as I used uncooked tortillas and just cook them, making sure to not cook until crispy) Place 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on the lower third of a soft tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Then roll it up as tight as you can. Use a toothpick to secure if need.

Place filled taquitos seam side down on the baking sheet, making sure they don't touch each other. When ready to bake, spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and lightly sprinkle some kosher (coarse) salt on top.


Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Remove from oven, top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Serve immediately with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole on the side. These extras really made the taquitos for us!

I loved these!  This is my kind of meal.  I just wish my kids liked mexican food.  I end up making quesadillas for them.  Booo!
****This is great with CANNED chicken!  Throw the chicken and the spices in a pot along with the cheeses and it makes a great mexi-dip too!  YUMMMMMY!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Cream Cheese Cookie Bars- feed a lot!


Frosted Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Bars

(from mommyskitchen.net)

1 1/2 - cups sugar
1 - cup butter, softened
8 oz - cream cheese, softened
1 - egg
1/2 - teaspoon almond extract
1 - teaspoon vanilla
1/2 - teaspoon baking soda
1 - teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 - cups all purpose flour

FROSTING:
1/2 - cup butter softened
4 oz - cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 - cups powdered sugar
3-5 - tablespoons milk
1 - teaspoon vanilla
food coloring or icing paste

In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer beat the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and egg until nice and frothy. About 4 minutes. Add the vanilla and almond extract and beat for 1 minute more. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix them around so that all ingredients are well incorporated. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat for about 2 minutes. Press the dough into a large jelly roll (cookie sheet with sides) pan (12 x 18) Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let the pan cool completely. To make the frosting, in a medium sized bowl (or your stand mixer) combine the butter and cream cheese. Beat for about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and food coloring. Mix for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Frost your pan of cookies. Cut the cookies into bars and serve!
 


I loved these.  They were definitely more cake-like than cookie like (like these yummy bars), but the taste was amazing.  How can you go wrong with cream cheese in anything?  This makes a lot of cookie/cakes, so have them when you've got a crowd!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Death by living- Chocolate Velvet Pie


Chocolate Velvet Pie
(from Sugar Daisy Bakery)


1 8" prepared chocolate crumb crust
1¾ c. milk chocolate chips
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. Heavy Whipping Cream
Sweetened Whip Cream (optional)
Chocolate Curls (optional)


Microwave chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl on medium-high heat for 1 minute. Stir. If needed microwave 10 -15 seconds more, or just until melted. Cool to room temperature.
Beat melted chocolate, cream cheese and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until light in color. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon into crust. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Top with sweetened whip cream and chocolate curls.
Chocolate curls: carefully draw a vegetable peeler across edge of a chocolate bar.



When I say "death by living" it's because once you put all those ingredients together, especially that heavy whipping cream, you know you are in for a treat!  This pie is like eating really good quality chocolate truffles in cold form!  With an oreo crust as a bonus!  So eat small portions, and enjoy!  

A great snack treat- Caramel Corn Puffs!


Caramel Corn Puffs



1/2 bag (the bag was 15 oz) Clover Club Corn Puffs
1 stick butter
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. light Karo syrup
1 tsp. baking soda

Place corn curls in a large roasting pan or similar pan with sides. In a saucepan cook all ingredients except for baking soda. Stir and cook over medium heat until almost boiling. Add teaspoon of baking soda (mixture will foam!). Pour mixture over the corn curls and stir so all are covered. Place in oven at 250 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, or until crispy. (Mine took 30 minutes!) Stir to prevent bubbling every 10 minutes. To cool, pour onto waxed paper, then break apart. Better than caramel popcorn!

These are melt in your mouth!  Great like popcorn, only without the kernels.  I have never bought these at the store before, but they had natural ingredients, and they were like cheetos without the cheese!  Yummy treat.  Try it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fast and easy yummy chicken Asian dish



Japanese Chicken
(from mmcafe.blogspot.com)


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6 Tbsp. sesame seeds(optional)
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • rice or rice noodles

Preheat oven to 350. Whip eggs, dip chicken in eggs then in flour. Mix the remaining ingredients to make a sauce, and pour sauce over chicken. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve over rice or rice noodles.

I know I've posted similar recipes, but I think this is prepared a bit differently.  It really takes almost no time.  I cut my chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, so that took a little more time to dip them in the egg and flour, but not much.  The flavor was excellent and Olivia even said she liked it!  That is HUGE.  We had some udon noodles that were really fun to serve with it, but rice was tasty as well.  There is enough sauce to coat the rice, which is important to me.  You could probably half the sauce and still have enough, but that depends on how big your chicken breasts are.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cookie Dough Cheesecake


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake
from (www.melskitchencafe.com)

*Note: this cheesecake, like any good, baked cheesecake, tastes best after being refrigerated overnight.

Crust:
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (I like to use chocolate Teddy Grahams but you could use any chocolate wafer cookie or even Oreos)

Filling:
4 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream (I used light and it worked just fine)

Cookie Dough:
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoon water or milk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips
An additional 1 cup mini chocolate chips to fold into the batter with the cookie dough balls

Garnish:
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks (add 1 tablespoon powdered sugar while whipping if you like a bit of extra sweetness)
Mini chocolate chips, for sprinkling

For the cookie dough: In a medium bowl, combine the butter and sugars for the cookie dough. Add the water (or milk), vanilla and blend. Mix in the flour, salt and the chocolate chips. The dough will be fairly soft. Gently roll the dough into small balls (about a teaspoon size, maybe a bit larger) and place them on a wax paper lined plate or baking sheet. Place them in the freezer to harden while making the rest of the cheesecake. **don't worry about making these look pretty!**

For the crust: Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. In a medium bowl, combine the butter with the chocolate cookie crumbs (you could easily use a food processor to crush the cookies and incorporate the butter). Press onto the bottom and about halfway up the sides of the prepared pan.

For the cheesecake: Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and flour until smooth. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix just until blended. Be careful not to overmix - incorporating too much air into the batter can contribute to a cheesecake cracking on top during baking.

Pour half the batter into the prepared crust. Gently stir in the cookie dough balls and the additional 1 cup mini chocolate chips into the remaining batter. Pour into the pan, spreading the batter to the sides of the pan and evening it out across the top (it is ok to see bumps of cookie dough here and there, smooth it the best you can). Bake the cheesecake at 325 degrees for one hour. Turn off the oven and prop the door open several inches. Let the cake sit in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate until chilled (ideally, overnight). To serve, cut into slices and top with whipped cream and mini chocolate chips.

I halved this recipe and it worked really well!  This whole recipe makes a lot, but you can either freeze extra pieces or share them!  I recommend you cook it longer if you are making the whole batch.  Yes, the center should be jiggly when you turn off the oven, but it should only be slightly so, and not raw-looking at all.  It won't set if it's not cooked, and that is a bad thing!  I know because it happened to me, sadly...
Though this looks labor-intensive it really isn't too bad time-wise.  I put it together in about half an hour.

A no beans, no tomato mexican soup that's delicious!



Mexican Chicken Chowder
(from ourrecipeclub.blogspot.com)
  • 3 pounds Chicken (I halved the recipe and used half a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 cup chopped Onion
  • 2-3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 T. Butter
  • 4 Chicken bullion cubes
  • 2 cup liquid (reserved from chicken) (I used a can of chicken broth)
  • 2 tsp. cumin (I used 1 teaspoon for the kid's sake and it was about right for them)
  • 4 cups Half and Half
  • 4 cups grated Jack Cheese (I used cheddar)
  • 2- 14oz. can Cream of Corn
  • 2- 4oz can Green Chiles
  • a few shaked of Tabasco


Boil chicken with 1 onion quarted & 1 T. salt. Reseve 2 cups of the chicken stock for soup. Cool chicken & shred.

Saute onions & garlic in butter in pot until soft. Then add rest of ingredients except for half and half and jack. Bring to Boil. Then add half and half and jack. Make sure to turn your heat to low.  Stir constantly until combined.

This soup was awesome!  It was a nice change from taco soups, chili, etc, but with the hint of spice, while mostly creamy.  Try it!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Oreo Truffles: easy and delicious!



Oreo Truffles



1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened (I used reduced-fat)
1 pkg.  (1 lb. 2 oz.) Oreo cookies, finely crushed (about 4-1/4 cups), divided
chocolate or vanilla bark/melts for melting (I used milk chocolate chips I melted in the microwave at 40 percent power for a minute, stir, watch closely to not cook longer than just barely melted!)


Mix cream cheese and 3 cups cookie crumbs until well blended.
Shape into 48 (1-inch) balls with hands or cookie scoop. Freeze for about an hour for easier dipping.  Dip in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs or sprinkles.
Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.
These are great!  The cream cheese and oreos combine so well you wouldn't even realize that it is cream cheese.  Truffle-ey and yummy.  Add this to your Christmas candy making!

Sweet Potato side dish winner!



Sweet Potato Bake
(allrecipes.com)


3 cups cold mashed sweet potatoes (without added milk and butter- I just microwaved, cut in half, and scooped out the potato and mashed)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • TOPPING:
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter or margarine

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat sweet potatoes, milk, butter, eggs, salt and vanilla until smooth. Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking dish. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, pecans and flour; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over potato mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.

Yum!  Really...I know there are a lot of people out there that don't like sweet potatoes.  But this recipe is worth a taste.  The sweet potato part isn't overly sweet, and it's topped with a delicious sweet topping.  So it isn't overkill on the sweet.  This will be on my menu whenever I have sweet potatoes!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip



Buffalo Chicken Dip
(allrecipes.com)


  • 2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained (I've tried it with tuna too and it's great!)
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Ranch dressing
  • 3/4 cup pepper sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot®) (use to your tastes)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on Low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and crackers.

I can't believe I haven't posted this one yet.  Probably because I don't use a recipe anymore to make it- I just throw everything in a pan and go, measuring cups out the window.  This recipe makes a LOT, so halve it if you don't have a huge group.  A great addictive dip!  Some people use blue cheese dressing instead of the ranch- whatever you like.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cheesecake Brownies, easy



Cheesecake Brownies

(from Taste of Home magazine)
  • 1 pkg. (13x9 pan size) fudge brownie mix
  • 6 oz cream cheese (almost a full cube)
  • 6 T. butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can chocolate frosting
  1. Prepare brownie mix batter according to package directions.  
  2. Spread 2 cups into a greased 13x9 pan; set aside.  
  3. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, flour, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.  
  4. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.  Spread evenly over brownie batter.
  5.   Top with remaining brownie batter then cut through batter with a knife to swirl.  
  6. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs (brownies may appear moist).  Cool completely and frost. 
I really can't say more about these- if you imagine these would taste good, then most likely you'll love them.  They didn't last long at our house!  I halved the recipe (my brownie mix was the smaller size) and put it into an 11x7 casserole dish and it made enough for us.  If you have a 13x9 and aren't sharing, then it's a lot of pressure to eat a lot more fast!  

Try this Cranberry Pie!


Nantucket Cranberry Pie
(from pioneerwoman.com, adapted from Laurie Colwin)
  • Butter, for greasing (or spray)
  • 2 cups (heaping) cranberries
  • ¾ cups pecans, chopped (measure, then chop) (optional, but I like the flavor they add!)
  • ⅔ cups sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Almond Extract
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar for sprinkling

Preparation Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Generously butter a cake pan or pie pan. Add cranberries to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle on chopped pecans, then sprinkle on 2/3 cup sugar.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 cup sugar, melted butter, eggs, almond extract, and salt. Stir gently to combine.
  4. Pour batter slowly over the top in large “ribbons” in order to evenly cover the surface. Spread gently if necessary.
  5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. 5 minutes before removing from oven, sprinkle surface with 1 tablespoon sugar for a little extra crunch.

Cut into wedges and serve with ice cream or freshly whipped cream.
I was excited when I saw this recipe on pioneerwoman.com the other day!  I love cranberries and buy a huge bag to make cranberry sauce out of this time of year.  So, it's fun to try something else.  This is cobblery, as you'd expect from the dough topping, and that's just great!  The tart flavor of the cranberries goes great with the sweet topping, and ice cream is a must.  I will add this to my fall favorites!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Biscuits!


Like Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 c. Bisquick
  • 3/4 c. cold milk
  • 4 T. cold butter
  • 1/4 t. garlic salt
  • 1 heaping Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (I used medium)


To Brush on Top:
2 T. butter, melted
1/2 t. parsley
1/2 t. garlic salt
  1. In a large bowl, add your Bisquick with your butter and using a pastry cutter or fork, cut the butter into the Bisquick. There should still be pea-sized batter clumps.
  2. Add in cheese, milk and garlic salt. Mix until just combined. Using a cookie or ice cream scoop, drop 1/4-cup portions of mix onto an ungreased cookie sheet. There should be a dozen biscuits when you are done. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 15-17 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits turn a light brown. (Is it weird that mine took only about 5 minutes??)  As soon as the biscuits come out of the oven, melt your butter in the microwave and stir in your parsley and garlic salt, then brush mixture over all of the biscuits.
These are so fast.  If you want a quick roll-type side-dish and you're pressed for time, this is the baby!  I love Red Lobster's biscuits.  These are close!

Another warm, creamy soup!

(sorry- the only bowl that had any soup left in it)

Cream Cheese Chicken and Vegetable Soup
(melskitchencafe.com)


*Serves 4
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots (about 2 regular carrots or a handful of baby carrots)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2-3 potatoes, peeled and finely diced (I like to leave the peels on red potatoes, if using them)
  • 1 cup milk (1% is my milk of choice)
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 (8 oz. package) regular or light cream cheese
  • 2-3 (about 1 pound) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced

  1. In a large pot, melt the butter and add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Saute, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes, until the veggies are slightly tender and the onions are translucent.
  2.  Add the chicken broth and potatoes. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
  3.  In a liquid measuring cup, vigorously whisk the flour and milk together until smooth. Whisk the mixture into the soup, stirring quickly, and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until the soup begins to thicken slightly. Stir often to ensure the soup doesn’t burn. 
  4. Soften the cream cheese in the microwave until it is very soft/melty. I usually place the unwrapped cream cheese on a plate and microwave it for one minute at 30% power. I like it really, really soft so it doesn’t leave lumps in the soup. Add the cream cheese to the soup in small tablespoon-size pieces. Let the pieces sit in the soup and warm through then whisk or stir the soup until the cream cheese melts and mixes in well. (I'm SO lazy and just threw in the cream cheese!  It all worked out.  I think it was semi-softish)  Add the cooked chicken and heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
We loved this soup!  It's similar to the last few soups posted that also use cream cheese.  My neighbor Angie thought I was crazy for buying about 15 blocks of cream cheese at the store when they were on sale for 99 cents.  Now we know how fast I'm burning through them!  And I haven't even made my yummy cheesecakes yet- I'm pretty excited for that.  

Marbled pound cake



Mini Marbled Pound Cake
(annmarie-tastebuds.blogspot.com)



  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp butter; room temp
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs; room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 5 Tbsp cocoa powder

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder & salt. Set aside. Grease and flour four 5 1/2 x 3 x 1 1/2 (approx) mini loaf pans (I used 3) OR one 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan.
  2. In large bowl cream butter and sugar until fluffy (3-4 min). Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing to incorporate after each one. Stir in extract(s).
  3. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour. Set aside 1/3 of batter.
  4. In a small bowl combine cocoa powder and 6 Tbsp HOT water. Mix until smooth. Add to reserved 1/3 batter. Stir until well combined. Fill prepared pan(s) by alternating spoonfuls of each batter. Swirl with a skewer or cake tester.
  5. Bake 40-45 min (for one cake) or 20-25 for small cakes (check after 15 min) or until cake tester comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool. Invert after 5-10 min. Let cool completely and top with icing glaze.
glaze:

1 1/2 Tbsp butter; room temp
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 tsp milk
Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth and pourable (add more milk if necessary.)

I made these without the glaze, and it was good, but next time I want to try with the glaze.  These are pretty simple, and look good to give away or eat yourself!

Light Wheat Rolls



Light Wheat Rolls
(allrecipes.com)



  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Mix sugar, salt, 1/4 cup melted butter, egg, and whole wheat flour into yeast mixture. Stir in all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch down dough, cover, and let rise in warm place until doubled again, about 30 minutes.
  4. Grease 2 dozen muffin cups. Punch down dough, and divide into two equal portions. Roll each into a 6x14 inch rectangle, and cut rectangle into twelve 7x1 inch strips. Roll strips up into spirals, and place into muffin cups. Brush tops with melted butter. Let rise uncovered in a warm place 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and brush again with melted butter.

I started these rolls so close to dinner time that I skipped a lot of the raising time, as well as skipping the second rise cycle altogether.  And guess what- they still turned out!  I made 12 huge rolls out of them, and they weren't super-pretty, but they tasted light and sweet.  I probably could take out a few tablespoons of sugar next time and still love them.  Good as rolls plain or sandwich rolls.