Monday, November 7, 2011

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

I found a recipe similar to this on It tastes amazing with the added bonus of only taking a few minutes to prepare. I tweaked it to suit our tastes and have posted my revised version below:

  • 3 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 t vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 (9") graham cracker crusts
  • 3/4 c pumpkin
  • 1 t pumpkin pie spice
  • whipped cream or cool whip for garnish
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; repeat for second crust; set aside.

Add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Garnish with whipped cream before serving.

Makes 2 pies.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rice Pudding

I used to make rice pudding in the oven. It wasn't a custard base with eggs but more like the kind that is cooked on the stove. It took a long time - 3 hours at low temps. So when I found a variation of this that takes only 30 minutes on the stove, I had to try it. It turned out delicious!

2 1/2 cups whole milk

1/3 cup long or short grain white rice

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup granulated white sugar (might want to cut back to 3 T)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Rice Pudding: In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan combine the milk, rice, and salt. Place saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium to medium-low and simmer until the rice is tender (about 25 minutes). Stir the milk mixture frequently using a heatproof rubber spatula or wooden spoon to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. When the rice is tender (al dente) remove from heat and add the sugar, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon. Return to heat and cook until the rice pudding thickens, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the raisins. Spoon the pudding into your serving bowls and cover with plastic wrap. If you want a film or skin on the puddings, allow them to cool before covering with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until serving time, about 1 to 2 hours.

Makes 2 to 3 servings.

Note: Can double the recipe for 4 to 6 servings.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mediterranean Chicken with Beans and Herbs

This recipe was inspired by Dr. Oz's recipe but I changed it up a bit including the preparation. My version is a one-pan saute, verses his foil wrapped, oven baked chicken with beans done separately. Very delicious but even more so the next day. I just ate the remaining leftovers for my lunch!! Without the chicken, it would make a delicious vegetarian dish.

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
salt/pepper or seasoned salt
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced

1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup white wine
1 tsp wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar

1 small bunch fresh basil, chopped
1 small bunch fresh oregano, chopped
8 pitted kalamata olives, halved
1 can cannellini beans, drained

crumbled feta cheese

Sprinkle chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken on each side and push to side of pan. Add onions and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, wine and vinegar and bring to boil. Turn heat down, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove lid and add herbs, beans and olives. Simmer on med-high heat for approximately 5 minutes to reduce liquid.

Top with feta cheese and serve.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Seven Layer Bars

These are Mark's favorite cookies. I keep the freezer stocked with them.

Technique is important. Don’t change the order!

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (1 ½ sleeves crackers)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


Heat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees for glass dish). Line 13x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray with no-stick cooking spray.

Melt butter in large bowl. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan.

Sprinkle with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and pecans.

Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture.

Sprinkle with coconut.

Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan. Remove from pan and cut into bars or diamonds. Store covered at room temperature.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pasta with Chicken, Broccoli, Pesto

If you start with leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken, this is a very quick meal. 20 minutes including boiling the water! Spinach can be subbed for the broccoli.

  • 12 ounces rotini pasta
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ pound fresh broccoli, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 cups chopped cooked chicken (use rotisserie chicken!)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts

Steam broccoli until crisp tender.

Bring large pot with water to boil. Cook pasta until done. Drain.

Heat oil in skillet. Sauté garlic and pesto sauce in the olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broccoli, and chicken.

In pasta pan, toss cooked pasta with vegetable – chicken mixture. Add grated Parmesan cheese and pine nuts and mix well. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Reuben Dip

This is a hearty dip that is perfect for Super Bowl Sunday. I usually serve with party rye but just as good with crackers.

Recipe came from Rita Heikenfeld, food writer for Cincinnati Enquirer

¾ lb corned beef from deli

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup swiss cheese, grated

½ c sauerkraut

¼ c mayonnaise

Party rye or crackers

Combine all ingredients. Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes. Serve with party rye.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Dip

My kids love this stuff! I have to admit it is pretty darn good!

2 8 oz. bar cream cheese
2 10 oz. cans chicken
1/2 - 1 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
1 cup blue cheese dressing (can also use ranch)

Tortilla Chips
Celery Sticks

Mix first 4 ingredients together. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with chips and celery dippers.

Substitute ranch for blue cheese dressing.
Use only 1 bar cream cheese but add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese before baking.
Serve with wheat thins.

Broccoli Cheese Soup with noodles

Broccoli Cheese Soup with noodles

Originally from Kindervelt. The mini noodles give this soup a fun texture. I’ve tried it with cheddar and swiss cheese but it just isn’t as good!

½ cup chopped onions

2 T butter

2 boxes frozen chopped broccoli, thawed

6 cups chicken broth

8 oz mini pasta (i.e. stars or alphabets)

6 cups milk

½ t garlic powder

Black pepper to taste

1 lb American cheese slices, torn into pieces

Sauté onions in butter until cooked but not browned. Add broth and broccoli. Cover pan and cook on medium high for 5 minutes. Add pasta and cook 5 more minutes or until broccoli and pasta are cooked through. Add milk, garlic powder and pepper. Cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot but do not boil (or the milk will curdled). Slowly add cheese, stirring constantly until melted and smooth.