Thursday, August 27, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake



My niece was a part of my daycare this past year and I'm a big sucker for my nieces and nephews. If it is in my power to make something that they want happen, I will definitely do it. She was my cooking buddy this past year and we did a lot of baking on the days that she was at my house. So, for her birthday we poured through my pinterest boards and she got to pick out something that she wanted to make for her birthday dessert. She saw this chocolate chip cheesecake and her mind was made up. So, this is the treat that we made... She has great taste if you ask me! This was fabulous and it was fun to make this kind of treat with her! (She also suckered me into the sugar flower to go on top of it!)


Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
(recipe found at roxanashomebaking.com via pinterest)

Crust
8 oreo cookies
1/4 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Cheesecake
2 1/2 cups (20 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup greek yogurt, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Ganache
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream

Heat the oven to 325. Grease a 9 inch heavy duty pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with aluminum foil. In a food processor, add the Oreo cookies and the walnuts. Pulse until finely ground. Mix with the melted butter. Press the crust evenly on the bottom of the prepared pan. Refrigerate for 5 minutes while making the cheesecake filling. In a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, yogurt and sugar. With the paddle attachment on, beat on low speed until just combined. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs then add them to the cheese mixture. Stir in the vanilla. With a spatula, fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Pour the cheesecake filling over the prepared crust. Place the cheesecake in a roasting pan filled with hot water. Make sure there's around 1 inch of water in the roasting pan otherwise the water will evaporate before the cheesecake is fully baked. Bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, slightly open the door and leave the cheesecake to cool in the warm oven for about 2 hours. Remove from the oven and refrigerate 4 or more hours before slicing. Just before serving, spoon a little ganache over each slice of cheesecake. To make the ganache, add the chocolate chips and heavy cream to a heatproof bowl. Microwave for a couple of seconds until the chocolate is melted. Stir to combine. Pour a little ganache over each slice of cheesecake.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Grilled Peanut Butter Honey Banana Waffle Sandwiches



Although I really like to make most of my recipes from scratch, sometimes you just need a recipe that calls for something out of the freezer that is super easy to throw together. This was definitely that recipe and my kids LOVED it a lot! It was a very easy breakfast, lunch, supper or snack idea that we all enjoyed!


Grilled Peanut Butter Honey Banana Waffle Sandwiches
(recipe found at momontimeout.com via pinterest)

2 Eggo Honey Oat Waffles
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 banana sliced
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon butter

Prepare the waffles according to the package instructions. Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on each waffle. Layer on the banana and drizzle on the honey. Put the sandwich together and grill over a lightly butter hot griddle until golden brown. Serve hot and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bacon, Egg and Tater Tot Bake



Tater tots are definitely something that we have on hand at all times in this house. They make for a nice and easy side dish when we are looking for something quick. Most of the ingredients in this fabulous breakfast bake are ones that I have on hand at all times. This was super yummy and a hearty enough dish that it kept all of us full for a long time. Super yummy!


Bacon, Egg and Tater Tot Bake
(recipe found at bettycrocker.com)

1 cup Bisquick
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 eggs
1 pound bacon, crisply cooked and chopped
6 cups tater tots
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon sliced green onion

Heat oven to 400. Spray 13x9 (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. In large bowl, stir bisquick, milk, pepper and eggs until blended; pour into baking dish, and top with half of the bacon. Place frozen potato nuggets in single layer on ungreased large cookie sheet with sides. Place both the baking dish and cookie sheet in oven. Bake 20 minutes. Place potato nuggets evenly on top of bisquick bake; top with cheese and remaining bacon. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Top with green onion. Serve with ketchup.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Lemon Meringue Pie



This post is a hard one to write but I figured today was a fitting day to write it. My grandma passed away this past spring. She was such a wonderful woman and it was one of the hardest moments of my life. She has been in my life for 39 years, took care of me when I was younger and continued to be there for me every step of the way. There are times when I start to think "I can't wait to talk to Gram about this" and then it hits me, I can't do that anymore... I'm not the first one to lose a loved one and I know that I'm not the only one that has that feeling, but it's my grief and it feels like I'm alone at times.

Everything happened quite quickly. One minute she was at home with my Grandpa and I was stopping over dropping off meals and treats and the next minute she was in the hospital. She came home and never made it back out of her hospital bed. That's a hard pill to swallow. In my mind, she never stopped. She was that grandma that was out mowing the lawn at 80... It was really hard to see her laid up in a hospital bed.

As she was in the hospital she told me that she was craving lemon meringue pie. She was a huge sweets fan. I know that I definitely inherited this from her! :) This has never been a favorite of mine, I'm not too partial to meringue, but I knew that this was one thing that I could give her. I came home and found a recipe for lemon meringue and made it for her. By the time that she got home she wasn't eating much, but it was my pleasure to be able to make what she wanted - even if she only enjoyed a bite of it... For my Gram it was the least I could do. So, enjoy... I don't think that I will ever see lemon meringue pie again without thinking of her.


Lemon Meringue Pie
(recipe found at http://www.rockrecipes.com)

Filling
1/3 cup corn starch
1/3 cup flour
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 egg yolks, slightly beaten
Zest of 2 large lemons, very finely chopped
Juice of 2 large lemons
2 cups water
3 tablespoon butter

Meringue
5 egg whites
11/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

To make the pastry, using a food processor or a pastry blender cut cold butter into flour and salt until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Small pieces of butter should still be visible. Pour cold water over the mixture and work in by tossing with a fork until dough begins to form. Use your hands as little as possible and work the dough as little as possible. Divide dough into 2 balls, flatten into 2 rounds, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes. You can freeze the second round for another time. You can make your dough the previous day but make sure you take it out of the fridge for 10 minutes to warm slightly before rolling out. Roll the dough into a 12 inch round and place in the bottom of a 10 inch pie plate. Trim and flute the edges as desired. Poke a few holes in the bottom of the pastry shell, rest in the refrigerator for an additional 20 minutes before baking at 400 for 12–15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before adding the filling.

To make the filling, in a medium saucepan, combine corn starch, cake flour, sugar and salt. Pour in water and stir constantly over medium low heat until mixture comes to a slow boil. The mixture should be very thick and paste-like at this point. Continue to cook, stirring constantly for another couple of minutes if necessary. Remove the pan from the heat and reduce the flame to low. Pour about a cup of this mixture onto the slightly beaten egg yolks while whisking constantly. Pour the egg mixture back into the rest of the other mixture in the pot, whisking constantly. Return to the stove and cook for an additional 3 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and lemon rind. Finally whisk in your butter one tbsp at a time. Pour the filling into the baked and cooled shell. Let stand for a few minutes while preparing the meringue.

To prepare the meringue, whip egg whites, vanilla, salt and cream of tarter to soft peaks. Very gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat the egg whites. Dollop in heaping tablespoonfuls onto pie. Gently spread over the filling, making sure that the meringue touches the crust all the way around the pie. This will help to prevent the meringue from shrinking. Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes or until the meringue is well browned. Cool pie thoroughly in the refrigerator before serving. Keep refrigerated. Dip a sharp knife in cold water to help with cutting the pie into slices and clean the knife with paper towel between cuts.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pizza Burgers



This was a nice twist on sloppy joes. The same concept but a litte bit different. The kids really enjoyed this and the hubs was glad to have something yummy and easy to take for lunch the next day. A quick and easy supper paired with fruit and chips and supper was on the table!


Pizza Burgers
(Recipe found at http://www.sidetrackedsarah.com via Pinterest)

2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
24 ounces of tomato sauce
2 tablespoons dried oregano
Dash of Salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Cheese to top with
Hamburger Buns

Cook ground beef in skillet until brown. Place meat in slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 2-3 hours until onions are tender. Serve on hamburger buns topped with cheese.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Cranberry Glazed Pork Roast



This glaze was so fabulous that I have used it a few times since this recipe, on everything from different cuts of pork to chicken. It was super savory and delicious. We all enjoyed this recipe and while it was a bit of work, it was well worth the time.


Cranberry Glazed Pork Roast
(Recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
3/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
1 boneless rolled pork loin roast (4 pounds)

In a small saucepan, combine the cranberry sauce, apple juice barbecue sauce and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Combine the cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into cranberry mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for two minutes or until thickened. Set aside one cup sauce. Place roast in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 1 3/4 hours. Spoon a third of the remaining glaze over pork. Bake 30 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 160, basting twice. Let stand for 1- minutes before slicing. Serve with reserved sauce.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Egg White Bites



I love breakfast at any time of the day and I love something that is super easy to prepare when I wake up in the morning. These were perfect because I could get them ready and keep them in the fridge for a while. I love that you can change this recipe up to your liking, tossing in whatever veggies you want. Supper yummy and healthy!


Egg White Bites
(Recipe found at fitsuccess.blogspot.com via Pinterest)

1/4 onion, diced
1/2 pepper, diced
Handful of spinach, chopped
egg white carton (24 T. total is used)
olive oil cooking spray
black pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Spray each muffin tin with olive oil cooking spray so it lightly coats the bottom. Add spinach, red pepper, diced onion and fill each muffin tin with egg whites. When using the mini muffin tins, it only took about 1 tablespoon of egg whites to fill it. Sprinkle the tops with black pepper to taste. Bake for about 10 minutes in mini muffin pan. If you are using regular sized muffin tins, let them cook for about 20 minutes. Top with salsa.