Monday, June 30, 2008

Chocolate Cheesecake!

Chocolate Cheesecake Squares
(recipe from
  • 24 Oreo cookies, crushed (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
  • 4 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 pkg. (8 squares/8 oz) Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted, slightly cooled (I use semi-sweet chocolate chips instead; 8 0z)
  • 4 eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix crumbs and butter; press firmly onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake 10 minutes.
  2. Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add melted chocolate; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust.
  3. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until center is almost set. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Cut into 32 squares to serve. Store leftover dessert squares in refrigerator.
These are perfection. Great flavor, great serving potential. Easy just using a cake pan rather than a springform. Oreo crust is heavenly. I usually half this recipe and put it in my 11x7 rectangle pan.

Oreo Parfaits

Boo Cups or Oreo Parfaits
  • 3-1/4 cups cold milk
  • 2 pkg. (4-serving size each) chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • 20 oreo cookies, crushed, divided
  • 30 miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Pour milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Gently stir in half each of the whipped topping and cookie crumbs.
  2. Spoon 1 Tbsp. of the remaining cookie crumbs into each of 15 (6-oz.) paper or plastic cups. Cover evenly with layers of the pudding mixture and remaining cookie crumbs.
  3. Drop remaining whipped topping by spoonfuls onto desserts to resemble ghosts. Add chocolate chips for the eyes. Serve immediately. Or, refrigerate until ready to serve. Cover and store leftover desserts in refrigerator.
Not only for Halloween with the ghost eyes! These are really fun for kids to help make and to eat. Versatile recipe; you can mix in strawberries, different cookies, vanilla pudding, etc.

Creamy Crockpot Chicken

Creamy Italian Chicken

  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 chicken breasts (mine are frozen)
  • 1 envelope Italian Dressing mix or Ranch mix
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
  • block of cream cheese (to add later- I used nonfat)
  1. Combine everything but cream cheese in the crockpot.
  2. Cook on low 4 -6 hours.
  3. Shred chicken, add cream cheese and cook for 30 more minutes.
  4. Serve over noodles or rice.
This was really good with nonfat cream cheese! Don't use Rice-a-Roni for the rice side like I did.
Isabelle loved this chicken. She doesn't like most chicken recipes, so that says a lot!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bring Red Robin home!

BBQ Chicken and Ranch Wraps

  • 4 tortillas, either spinach or regular
  • 3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed, covered generously with favorite bbq sauce
  • about 15 Doritos (or similar tortilla chips), crumbled
  • Ranch dressing
  • 1-2 tomatoes, sliced
  • onion, sliced (optional)
  • cheddar cheese
  1. First spread ranch on tortillas, as much as desired.
  2. Add crumbed chips.
  3. Divide chicken among the tortillas.
  4. Place tomatoes on top, then cheese.
  5. Roll up carefully and serve!
I usually get the bbq chicken wrap from Red Robin. But I'm not going to get it anymore. This recipe tastes pretty much the same and it is easy and good. Perfect summer meal! Now we just need those famous fries....

Summer dessert

Pink Lemonade Pie
(adapted from

  • 6 oz. frozen Pink Lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream (can be low-fat), softened
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust
  • few drops red food coloring (makes it look better!)
  1. Mix ice cream and concentrate with a mixture until smooth.
  2. Fold in cool whip and food coloring.
  3. Pour into pie crust.
  4. Freeze until firm.
The perfect tart summer treat. Easy to make and good!

A great variation:

1 can raspberry lemonade concentrate
2 cups raspberry sherbet (Walmart brand is great)
8 oz cool whip (lite)
2 graham cracker crusts, or 1 13x9 pan with crushed graham crackers and 1/4 cup melted butter mixed in

Mix concentrate with sherbet in mixer or stir until well-blended. Fold in whipped topping. Pour in graham cracker crust. Freeze! Take out to thaw 10 minutes before serving. So good!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fruit and Veggie dinner

Sweet and Sour Shrimp and Veggies
(adapted from

  • 1 12 oz bag frozen stir fry veggie blend
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped into large pieces
  • 4 carrots, chopped into large but thin pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or garlic powder)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 teaspoon cayenne (or more to your tastes)
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (about twenty or so 26-30 count shrimp)(I use salad shrimp from Sam's Club; it's already cooked and cheaper for more)
  • 1 1/2-2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • water
  • 1 can pineapple slices (as little or as much as you like)
  1. Saute carrots in vegetable oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add garlic and onion, cooking for another few minutes.
  2. Add juice, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, and cayenne.
  3. Add shrimp and vegetables and pineapple, cooking until heated through and simmering.
  4. Mix cornstarch and water, (a couple T water), and add to the simmering mixture, stirring frequently until thickened.
  5. Serve over rice.
This is a quick, tasty meal. I make it a habit to always have a bag of stir-fry ready veggie mix in my freezer. This sauce would of course work well with chicken too!

Monday, June 16, 2008

French Toast treat

Creme Brulee French Toast
(adapted from

  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 6 (1 inch thick) slices French bread (I use 8 crustless mashed down bread)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon brandy-based orange liqueur (Grand Marnier®) (I skip this)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Mix in brown sugar and corn syrup, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Remove crusts from bread, and arrange in the baking dish in a single layer. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla extract, orange brandy, and salt. Pour over the bread. Cover, and chill at least 8 hours, or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Remove the dish from the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature.
  4. Bake uncovered 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until puffed and lightly browned.
What can I say? This is really good. You just can't go wrong, and it's easy to make. Great for special occasions!

Quickest way to breadstick happiness

Cheesy BreadSticks

  • 6 rhodes rolls, thawed (put them out in the hot sun and they'll be ready in 1 hour!)
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1 c. mozzarella cheese
  • marinara sauce for dipping
  1. Combine rolls into a ball. Roll into a big circle in the parmesan cheese.
  2. Place in greased pizza pan. Top with cheese.
  3. Cook at 400 for 10-15 minutes. Slice and eat with marinara. Classico Four Cheese is great, as is homemade spaghetti sauce.
I've made this 3 times in the last week and a half. It's good as a dinner when hubby ain't home, or good with Spaghetti or other Italian meal.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Chocolate Marshmallow Perfection

Mississippi Mud Brownies 
(adapted from
  • 1 c. margarine, melted
  • 1/3 c. cocoa
  • 1 2/3 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 T water
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2/3 bag mini-marshmallows

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease 13x9 inch pan.
  3. Add cocoa to melted margarine in a large bowl, mixing well.
  4. Add sugar, eggs, water and vanilla. Mix.
  5. Add flour and salt, stirring. Fold in marshmallows.
  6. Spread in pan.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until brownies start to pull away in pan. Warning: middle will be gooey! That's part of the charm.
  8. Let cool, devour.
These are the yummiest! For me, I hate dry brownies. These will never be dry because of the marshmallow goo. Awesome brownies.

**Optional chocolate frosting:  (instead of adding marshmallows while cooking, add them after, then cover with the following:
Combine 1/4 cup butter, 1/3 cup baking cocoa and 2/3 c. milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, and boil one minute. Remove from heat and stir in 16 oz. powdered sugar. Immediately pour chocolate mixture over marshmallows. Let cake cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Makes 15 servings.