Wednesday, March 31, 2010


For those of you that don't know me, CHeesecake is my all time favorite treat!!! There is simply nothing better to me than a cool creamy piece of it with some kind of fruity topping drizzled all over the top. Anyway, I saw this cheesecake recipe at Coleen's Recipes and thought I would give it a try. Man was it so good. Now I have made a lot of cheesecakes but I think this one (other than the pumpkin cheescake I have posted before) was the best I have had. My hubby even gave it the two thumbs up!!

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
4 (8 oz each)pkgs of cream cheese at room temp.
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cream
4 eggs, room temp.
1 cup sour cream
1 T. vanilla
1/4 cup flour

Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter and press into a 9 inch springform pan. Beat the cream cheese, add the sugar and mix until creamy and smooth. Beat in the cream. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating only to incoporate. Mix in the sour cream, vanilla and flour and mix till well combined. Pour over the crust. Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the center is almost set. Turn off the oven and let sit in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Take out let the cheesecake come to room temp than put in th fridge overnight or for 3-4 hours until chilled. Serve with your favorite toppings or just plain.

We had ours with Lemon curd and blueberry pie filling.(i just hadn't put the blueberries on yet) So so yummy!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

If you love chicken cordon bleu and you don't have that patience to try making it you should try this casserole out. It was so yummy and easy. It would be a good meal to take to a pot luck, for sunday dinner, or to take a meal to a neighbor or friend who has had a baby. I found this recipe over at My Kitchen Cafe. I changed a few little things but I reccomend you trying this one out. You can also make it the day before or the morning of and keep in the fridge until ready to cook.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole adpated from My kitchen Cafe
4 slices bread
2 T. butter,melted
3 pounds russet potatoes ( 4-5 medium potatoes)sliced thinly(i used 4 large baking potatoes)
4 T butter
1 onion, chopped
1 -2 T minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1-2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 T. parsley
6 T. flour
1 can chicken broth
1 cup cream or milk
2 T. spicy brown mustard
2 -3 cups swiss cheese( I used 1/2 pepper jack and 1/2 sharp cheddar cheese)
2-3 large chicken breast sliced really thin(this is easy to do when chicken is partially frozen still)
9 oz Deli ham, chopped

Process the bread and 2 T. butter in food processor until coarsley ground. Set Aside Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the peeled,sliced potatoes in 6 cup water with 1 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until partially cooked, because the potatoes will continue to cook in the oven. Take off heat and drain the water off. Set Aside. Melt the 4 T. butter in a saucepan, add the onion, thyme, and parsley and cook until onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the flour and whisk constantly until golden.(about 1 minute this helps cook out the flour taste) Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and the cream/milk. Bring to a simmer whisking constantly until thickened.(if using milk this will take a little bit longer than if using cream) Take off heat and whisk in cheeses, mustard, salt and pepper until smooth and creamy. Toss the potatoes with half of the cheese sauce and place in a greased 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle with the ham. Lay the raw chicken over the top of the ham. Dump all the rest of the cheese sauce over the chicken evenly. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and bubbly and the chicken is cooked. Cool for ten minutes then serve.

We had ours with a green salad and homemade rolls. So yummy!!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Maple-Pumpkin Granola

I love granola and it is just way to expensive to buy at the store plus most of them are loaded with fat!!! I eat granola every mornig for breakfast and I like that you can make it the way you want and put in all sorts of healthy stuff for you. I found this recipe over at the Sugar Plum website. I adapted it a little bit to put what I like in it. That is another reason why I love granola you can just add what you like and make it different each time. This was really yummy and I like it even better than my other granola I have posted before!!

Maple-Pumpkin Granola adapted from Sugar Plum
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
4 T. oil
3 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
6 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1-2 cups nuts (i used almonds and pecans)
1 cup wheat gream
1/2 cup whole flax seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cups craisins

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray 2 large cookie sheets with cooking spray. In a large bowl whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, maple syrup, oil, cinnamon, vanilla and salt until well combined. Stir in the oats, wheat grem, flax seeds, and nuts. Spread onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 40-45 minutes(stiring occasionally) until golden brown and slightly crisp. Remove from over and stir in the raisins and craisins and let cool. Store in an air tight container. Keeps for 2-3 months with out going stale.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Chocolate Banana Bread/Muffins

I found this recipe from Coleen's Recipes. She made the bread but as I was making it I decided that I would make them muffins because my kids and hubby tend to eat things better when they are individually wrapped and you don't have to cut or whatever. YOu can just grab some and go. Anyway, I thought the recipe looked good and they turned out really well. My kids and I have been having them for a treat each day. I made them a little bit healthier and I couldn't even tell the difference and my family loved them but then again when can you go wrong when it involves chocolate.

Chocolate Banana Bread/Muffins adapted from Coleen's Recipes
1 1/2 -2 cups mashed bananas(about 4 bananas)
3 T. oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
8 T. milled flax seed(can find at walmart by the flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips(Coleen used mini one but I only had regular)
1 cup pecans( I didn't add these)

Beat all of the wet ingredients and sugar together until well combined and smooth. Beat in dry ingredients just until combined then stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Bake the bread at 350 in a greased loaf pan-(60-70 min), lined muffin tin-(20 minutes), or mini loaf pans-(25-30 min.) Mine made 12 regular muffins and 6 jumbo muffins.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pulled Pork

I know that I have posted a recipe for pulled pork that we use for sandwiches before. This one is pretty much the same but just has a few slight adjustments. We served this with a baked potato and with the bbq sauce I posted just before this post.

Pulled Pork
4-5 lb pork loin or roast(i used pork roast because has less fat but either will work and you can even use pork chops)
2 tsp. cajun seasoning
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
1-14 oz can beef broth
2 T. liquid smoke
1 cup bbq sauce
1 T. minced garlic
Put meat in crockpot. Rub the cajun seasoning, pepper and salt all over the top of the roast. Pour in the beef broth, liquid smoke,bbq sauce, and garlic. Cook on high for 5-6 hours. Dump most of the juice off. Leaving a little of the juice. Shred the pork with two forks. Serve with more bbq sauce.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

BBQ Sauce

I have never found a store bought bbq sauce that we are crazy about and have been searching for a good homemade one. I found this recipe over at My Kitchen Cafe and I got a thumbs up from my kids and hubby. It tasted really yummy and it was easy to make. I will be making this bbq sauce for now on. You must try it out.

BBQ Sauce adapted a little from My Kitchen Cafe
2 cups ketchup
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup -1 1/4 cup brown sugar(I used 1 1/4 but next time I am only going to use 1 cup)
1 1/4 cup red wine vinegar(I only had white so that is what I used)
1/2 cup molasses
2 T. butter, cut into small pieces
4 tsp. hickory flavored liquid smoke(find this at any store by the bbq sauces)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 -1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or ground red pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp celery seed( I used celery salt because I didn't have any seed)
1 tsp black pepper

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, mix together all of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for at LEAST 30 minutes, stiring occasionally. The sauce will thicken as it simmers(and then as it cools). I simmered mine for 1 hour -1 1/2 hours like Melanie at Kitchen cafe suggested. Use to brush on meats while grilling or any recipe that uses bbq sauce.

Note: it was not spicy at all so my husband and I poured some in a seperate bowl and mixed in a tsp of Siracha chili sauce with it. It gave it just the right kick that we love. My kids don't like the heat so much so they had the plain. (you can find Siracha on the Asian/Oriental food Aisle in your local grocery store)

Note: if you love bbq chicken pizza this would be so yummy to use and make your own pizza!!! I am going to try it sometime.

Note: the recipe makes about 2 pint jars full of sauce

Monday, March 8, 2010

Whole Wheat Bread

I have been searching for a good 100% whole wheat bread recipe for a while that used all whole wheat not half whole wheat and half white that would raise and be fluffly like white bread. I found this recipe over at the Recipe shoebox and had to try it out. I have made it twice since Thursday!! It turned our really well. I adpated the recipe a little bit. The trick is to use 100%white whole wheat flour. You can get this at any grocery store. I have even heard people using this flour for cookies and cake but I can say I tried it in my chocolate chip cookies and I could taste the whole wheat flour. I am not going to go crazy and use it in my baking because lets face it if I am going to have a cookie it is bad for me anyway so why not have it taste great as well but I will be baking my bread with this flour for now on.

Whole Wheat Bread adapted from Recipe Shoebox(make 3 loaves)
2 T. instant yeast or active dry yeast(if using active dry yeast mix the yeast with the water and let sit for about 10 minutes until foamy and bubbly)
3-1/4 cup warm water
2 T. vital wheat gluten
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/3 cup honey or molasses
3 tsp salt
6 1/2 -7 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup wheat germ or sunflower seeds or ground flax seeds or a combination of them

Mix the yeast and vital wheat gluten with 1 cup of the flour;set aside. In a large bowl or your mixer, Mix the water, oil, salt, honey, and 3 cups of wheat flour until smooth. Add the yeast flour mixture and mix for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the flour one cup at a time and wheat germ, sunflower seeds or flax seeds until forms a soft dough. Knead on a greased or floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat all the dough with oil. Cover and let raise until doubled in size about 1 hour. Punch down the dough and divide into 3 portions. Shape into loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-40 minutes. Bake @ 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Brush the top with butter. Remove from the pans and let cool on wire rack.

Doesn't that look tasty!!

Note: i use instant yeast because you don't have to let the yeast sit in the warm water and activate or worry that you got the water temp just right not to kill the yeast. But you can use active dry yeast if you want just add it to the water and let it sit then add all the rest of the ingredients. YOu can find instant yeast at any grocery store!!

Note:White Whole wheat is just as nutritional as Red whole wheat so don't be alarmed. There is a tiny bit difference in the protein but only a minimum one

Note: roll out the dough or shape it on a greased surface instead of a floured surface because adding more flour to the dough will also make it dry.

 Note: you may leave the wheat germ and ground flax seeds out. I like to add them for added nutritional value

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cowboy Calzones/Pizza

Can I say just say AMAZING!!! Especially when my husband gives them a two thumbs up and tells me I have to make them again when family comes out in June to see us. I found this recipe over at Your home based Mom. She has a great little site so go over and check Leigh Anne out. After making the calzones. I decided to put the filling on a pizza and see how that would taste and it was just as good if not better. So try it out whichever way you want.

Cowboy Calzone/Pizza adapted from YOur home Based Mom
3 cups warm water
4 T. oil
8 -81/2 cups flour
2 tsp salt
6 T. sugar
2 T. instant yeast

Mix the instant yeast with one cup of flour and set aside. (Or if using regular yeast mix the yeast with the warm water in Mixing bowl and let set until bubbly about 10 minutes then add the rest of ingredients until well combined and Knead till smooth) Combine the water, salt, oil, sugar and half of flour. Mix until well combined. Add the yeast flour mixture and mix for about 2 minutes. Then add the rest of the flour one cup at a time until forms a smooth soft dough. Set in a oiled bowl and let rest 15 minutes-1 hour. Depending on how much time I have determines how long I let it raise. Roll the dough out for pizza or for Calzone and fill with desired toppings. Bake in 400-450 degree oven.

1 lb. ground sausage
1/2 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1/2 of a green pepper, chopped (i needed to use so you can use it or leave it out)
2 T. minced garlic
1/2-1 cup chopped pepperoni
1 (10 oz) can Rotel (I used extra hot and it was great for us but use mild if you like)
8 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese (but you can use monterey jack or pepper jack)
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

In large skillet, cook the beef, sausage, onion, green pepper and garlic until browned. Drain off the grease. Add the pepperoni and cook for a few minutes. Pour in the Rotel. Stir to combine and cook for 2 -5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. In a bowl combine the three cheeses, egg, salt and pepper. Mix well then add the cooled meat mixture and stir gently to combine. Let cool for a little bit before putting it on the pizza or Calzone.

For the Calzone:
Roll a piece of dough into a 6-8 inch circle. Place some of the meat cheese mixture on one side. pull the top piece of dough over the top and press with a fork or fingers to seal the edge. Palce on a greased cookie sheet and brush top of pizza with olive oil. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

For the pizza:
Roll desired size of dough in a circle and place on pizza pan or stone. Spread some pizza sauce on the dough. Sprinkle with a little bit of Mozzarella cheese and then spread desired amount of meat mixture onto pizza. Bake at 400-450 degrees until crust is golden brown and toppings bubbly and cheese melted.

So yummy!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Magic Cake Bars

I know a lot of you have had chocolate chip toffee bars or some form of them with the graham cracker crust or the flour sugar crust with the sweetened condensed milk. Well I found this variation over at Lynn's Kitchen Adventures and knew I had to try them out. She used a chocolate cake mix and I started making them and realized I was all out of cake mixes. I had a brownie mix which I do not use very often (only for food storage)because we love homemade better so I thought it would be good for this recipe. It did not disappoint. These were really yummy. I would have to say just as good as the original ones. Give these a try using a cake mix or a brownie mix.

Magic Cake Bars adapted from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures
1 pkg of chocolate cake mix or a 9x13 brownie mix
1 cup butter (Lynn used 1/2 cup-you decide)but using the brownie mix I felt it needed more butter
1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
2 (14 oz cans) sweetened condensed milk

Place cake mix in a bowl and cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Press into a large cookie sheet or a 15x10 jelly roll type pan. Sprinkle with the chips, coconut, and nuts. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes and then cut into bars.

So yummy My kids who don't ususally like coconut and nuts in things loved them!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chicken Tomato Alfredo

I got this recipe from my husband's Aunt Kathy. It is so yummy and simple to make. It is one of our favorite pasta dishes. The original recipe calls for fettuccini but it is easier for my kids to eat a smaller noddle so I just use whatever I have on hand at the time and whatever my mood is like. I have taken this to parties also and have been asked for the recipe. Now this isn't a meal that will make you a size 2 but like I have said before all things in moderation is the key!! I am a firm believer of exercise and all foods in moderation none of this lets go cold turkey and not have anything bad or fattening. I think when you deny yourself something it makes you crave it more and you are more likely to over indulge when you do have it. Sorry for going off on a tangent for a minute. Now for the recipe!!!
The picture is not the greatest but believe me this is so good!!

Chicken Tomato Alfredo
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 regular onion,diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup whipping cream
1 package Alfredo sauce mix
12 oz. Fresh slice mushrooms(optional-sometimes I use them sometimes I add double the tomatoes instead)
1(15oz) can diced tomatoes(if I don't use mushrooms I use two cans tomatoes)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley or 2 T. dried
2 T. dried basil
1 lb fettuccini or any pasta you like, cooked according to package directions
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Heat the oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, onion, and garlic and cook until chicken is no longer pink. While the chicken is cooking, whisk the cream and alfredo sauce mix together in a small bowl. When chicken is cooked pour the cream sauce mixture into the skillet with chicken. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat while stirring. Reduce the heat and simmer about 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Stir in Parsley and basil. Remove from heat and toss the sauce with cooked pasta and parmesan cheese.