Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A decadent cheesecake

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
Yields 8 servings

1 store-bought pre-made oreo crust (save the lid)

1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/3 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

12 oz. cream cheese (1 1/2 pkg.), softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
6 oz. white chocolate, chopped or 1 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (I skipped- just melted the chips alone)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small saucepan, whisk together 1 Tbsp granulated sugar and cornstarch until well blended. Stir in cold water and add raspberries. Cook over medium heat whisking often, until raspberries break down and sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and force sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl to remove seeds, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and granulated sugar until fluffy, about 1 minute. Mix in egg and egg white. Add vanilla and lemon juice. Set mixture aside.
Melt white chocolate with cream in a double boiler until melted and smooth, or melt in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave on 50% power in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Add melted chocolate mixture to cream cheese mixture and blend until smooth.
Pour 2/3 cup cheesecake mixture into the oreo crust and spread evenly over bottom. Drizzle or spoon with 2 Tbsp raspberry sauce. Slowly ladle remaining cheesecake mixture over the drizzled raspberry sauce, covering all the raspberry sauce (you just don't want it to show through). Swirl cheesecake with a toothpick or knife (your just swirling that inside layer of sauce for now, be careful not to let the sauce show through). Carefully giggle the pan to even out the top. Now, fill a clean medicine syringe with raspberry sauce and begin to pipe small circles in a swirl pattern over cheesecake. Take a toothpick or sharp pointy knife and beginning with the center circle, run the toothpick through the center of each heart (don't lift the toothpick out until you finish the last circle).
Bake cheesecake for 40 minutes, then turn oven off and leave cheesecake in the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cover with saved lid and refrigerate until fully set about 6 hours. Top slices with remaining raspberry sauce and optional sweetened whipped cream (for extra indulgence =).

Well, I love all kinds of cheesecake but this is extraordinary! Seriously! I did the shortcut of using seedless raspberry jam instead of the frozen raspberries. It worked pretty well and was delicious, but I might want to try the real raspberries next time. The white chocolate adds to the taste in a very good way! A very impressive cheesecake, restaurant quality!  I doubled this and baked for about an hour.  Just the center should be slightly jiggly.  It will firm up.

Bring on the summer salads!

Chicken and Craisin Salad

  • 16 oz. bag bow tie pasta, or pasta of choice
  • 2-3 chicken breasts~cooked, cooled & cubed (I used half a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1/2 c. craisins
  • 1 c. red grapes
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 c. chopped broccoli
  • 3/4 c. sunflower seeds (optional)

creamy dressing:

  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger powder (I skipped)

Mix all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk them together & cover & place in fridge.

In the mean time, mix all of the salad together, except sunflower seeds, in a large bowl. Toss together. Just before serving mix in sunflower seeds & dressing.

Yum. Nice change of pace from the Italian dressing pasta salad. This was yummy and addictive. The dressing is a little on the sweet side, so if you don't like that you can take down the sugar a bit. We loved it though! A great summer meal!

fancy food that was so fun-will make again!

Chicken and Sun dried Tomato Bruschetta


  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 1/4 cups of Italian dressing, divided
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 8 sun dried tomatoes, without oil chopped (mine were in oil and it tasted great!)
  • 1 loaf foccacia bread cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (I skipped this step)


  1. Place the chicken in a bowl with 1 cup of the dressing. Marinate for at least three hours. (I just threw one chicken breast in the crock pot with some of the dressing and cooked for a few hours).
  2. Cook the chicken. After the chicken has cooled a little, either shred it or cut it.
  3. Add chopped sun dried tomatoes, torn up spinach, feta and the rest of the dressing. Mix together.
  4. Cut up the bread and drizzle with olive oil. Broil until lightly toasted. Add the chicken mixture to the bread and serve!
This is something I fell in love with! So did Russell, and 1 out of 4 kids liked it. Sure, not a hit there, but the oldest has the most mature taste buds, and she liked it. I loved the contrast of flavors, and the dressing was excellent. This could be served as a dip as well. You can pretty much use as much of each ingredient (spinach, cheese, tomatoes, etc) as you like.

Another great cookie

M&M Bakery Cookies
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup veg/canola oil
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • m&m's, reese's pieces, whatever

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients and cream about 2 min.
  2. Add vegetable oil & mix well. Sift dry ingredients together and add to dough; mixing just until combined.
  3. Fold in m&m's. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 min.
These are so fun! I think vegetable oil (and that much!) sounded weird and kind of gross, but the cookies are pretty amazing and beautiful. You just have to try these to see if they are a hit at your house! They have a nice soft, chewy but crisp thing going for them, like you'd get at a bakery. Hence that name. Fun!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

  • 1 – 1/2 Cups all Purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped Walnuts (opt)
  • 2/3 Cup packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons Cold Butter
  • In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Combine bananas, sugar, egg and butter; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Add the chopped nuts if desired.
  • Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups 3/4′s full. Combine the first three topping ingredients; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over muffins.
  • You could leave the Brown Sugar mix off and also top some of the batter with Toffee bits – They are also yummy.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing the muffins to a wire rack. Yield 1 dozen large muffins.

    These are great! And I'm telling you again, I'm not a banana bread kind of person. But these were irresistible with the brown sugar topping! Try these the next time you have brown bananas on hand!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Microwave Hot Fudge

Super Fast and Delicious Hot Fudge Sauce

  • 6 T butter
  • 6 heaping T. cocoa powder
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free and it worked well)
  • a few Tbsp. milk, if needed to thin out sauce

Microwave the butter until completely melted and starting to bubble Add the cocoa powder and whisk well to remove any lumps. Add the sweetened condensed milk and continue whisking. If sauce is too thick, add a little milk to thin it out.

Serve warm. Store in an airtight container for about a week.

This is a fast winner!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I liked this crock pot roast!

  • Slow Cooker Italian Beef
  • (

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
  • 1 (5 pound) rump roast


  1. Combine water with salt, ground black pepper, oregano, basil, onion salt, parsley, garlic powder, bay leaf, and salad dressing mix in a saucepan. Stir well, and bring to a boil.
  2. Place roast in slow cooker, and pour salad dressing mixture over the meat.
  3. Cover, and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours, or on High for 4 to 5 hours. When done, remove bay leaf, and shred meat with a fork.

I am not a roast person. Unless it has tons of flavor and can be eaten in rolls! So this recipe fit the bill. It has a lot of flavor, and is great in sandwiches or in its au jus! Fancy, I know.