Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lemon Cheesecake Ball

This is truly a prefect dessert to go with heavy appetizers. It is light, fresh and best of all, lemon!

Adapted from Annie's Eats, Originally from NPR


10 ounces cream cheese
zest if one large lemon
4 teaspoons tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
dash of vanilla extract
3 graham crackers
graham crackers/fresh fruit for serving


Stir cream cheese and sugar together in a medium sized bowl until well blended. Add lemon zest, juice and vanilla extract and combine until smooth. Although it is a sweet cheese ball, the lemon should taste zingy and fresh. Add more lemon juice if you prefer it more tart. **Next time I will add 1 or 2 more teaspoons.

Form the lemon and cheese mixture into round ball on plastic wrap and wrap up. This cheese mixture is especially soft, so making a perfect ball shape may not be possible until the mixture is chilled completely. Refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight.

Crush graham crackers and put on a plate. Set aside. Form cheese ball again. Roll until well-coated with crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.

One year ago: Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Slaw

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Warm Bacon Potato Salad

As much as I may like foods wrapped in mayonnaise, I do not like your typical potato salad. I decided to give this recipe a try and I am glad I did. I officially like potato salad now! One of the best things about this dish is you can eat it warm, room temperature or cold and it still tastes great. This is also a perfect dish for a hot summer cook-out (which I can NOT wait for). And as always, sorry for the crappy photo. It was not being very photogenic and I was trying to get it served.


½ cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon coarse-grained mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 pounds red potatoes, diced into 1-inch cubes
6 bacon slices, chopped
1 medium sized red onion, diced (you should know by now I did not add this in)
freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup freshly chopped dill leaves, plus more for garnish


For the vinaigrette:
Mix together the white wine, vinegar, mustard and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Add potatoes to pot of salted cold water. Bring to a boil, over high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl. Cover with foil to keep warm, if necessary.

Add bacon to large sauté pan and cook until crisp over medium heat. Remove to a paper towel-lined sheet tray and reserve. Add onion, dash of pepper and garlic to bacon grease and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add vinaigrette to vegetables. Let cook until reduced and thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add potatoes, dill and bacon to the pan and toss to coat with dressing. Allow to cook for 3 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer potato salad to a serving platter and sprinkle with chopped fresh dill.

One year ago: Penne with Sundried Tomato Pesto

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chicken Enchilada Roll-Ups

I am a big fan of roll-up type appetizers, but sometimes finding a unique recipe is not so easy. These were a huge hit and were gobbled up in no time. You must try these out for your next gathering.

Adapted from Sing For Your Supper, Originally from Gooseberry Patch “Come on Over”


2 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 teaspoon garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
cayenne pepper to taste
salt to taste
3 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped or shredded
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
4 green onions, chopped (I used some onion powder)
10 ounce can Rotel tomatoes, drained
1 package jalapeno cheddar tortillas


Mix everything, except the chicken and tortillas, together until well blended. Mix chicken in to mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Portion out mixture on to 6 tortillas. Spread to edges, roll and cut into slices.

One year ago: Buffalo Blue Cheese Meatballs

Monday, February 15, 2010

7 Layer Dip

There are many versions of the 7 layer dip. I created my own 7 layers to omit the foods I dislike. Luckily people still enjoy my version even though it lacks onions and lettuce. Onions are evil and lettuce only belongs in a salad =).


1 can refried beans
1 cup sour cream
1 cup salsa
1/3 cup guacamole
mexican style shredded cheese
sliced pitted ripe olives
sliced jarred jalapenos
tortilla chips


Spread beans onto bottom of 9-inch pie plate or quiche dish.

Layer all remaining ingredients, in the order listed, except chips overs. Cover and refrigerate several hours or until chilled.

Serve with chips.

One year ago: Sausage Dip

Friday, February 12, 2010

Peanut Butter and Cream Brownie Torte

Amazing and impressive is the best way to sum this dessert up. You have a fudgy brownie layer, a creamy peanut butter layer and it is all topped with a light whipped topping...perfection!

Adapted from Jif


cooking spray
1 (19.5 oz.) boxed brownie mix
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-12 ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided


Heat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8 or 9-inch round springform pan with no-stick cooking spray.

Prepare brownie mix as directed on package, using oil, water and egg. Spread batter evenly into springform pan. Bake 45 to 48 minutes for 8-inch or 36 to 38 for 9-inch pan. Cool.

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in peanut butter, powdered sugar and 3 cups whipped topping until well combined. Keeping dessert in springform pan, spread mixture evenly over cooled brownies.

Top with remaining whipped topping. Use the tines of a fork to create swirls in the whipped cream. Sprinkle chocolate shavings on top of whipped cream. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving. Remove side of pan just before serving.

One year ago: Cauliflower-Goat Cheese Gratin

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

This is the prefect thing to make with bananas that have gotten a little too ripe. I chose to try out this recipe because I had everything on hand and it called for melted butter which makes everything easier. It is my new go to recipe now. I used mini chocolate chips because they spread out more through the muffin. You have to have chocolate in every bite!


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line twelve 1/3-cup muffin cups with foil muffin liners. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Mix mashed bananas, egg, melted butter and milk in medium bowl. Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients just until blended (do not overmix). Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake muffins until tops are pale golden and tester inserted into center comes out with some melted chocolate attached but no crumbs, about 32 minutes. Transfer muffins to rack; cool

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chile Cheese Bread

This was the prettiest loaf of bread. It had orange from the cheddar cheese and red and two shades of green from the peppers. People will enjoy this impressive loaf of bread with a big 'ol pot of chili.

Adapted from: Pink Parsely, Orginially from Savory Baking, Mary Chech


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
3 Tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno chile, veined and seeded
1/2 cup finely chopped roasted red bell pepper


Preheat the oven to 375, and grease or spray an 8x3 inch loaf pan.

Sift together the flour, salt, pepper, sugar, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add the cheese and gently toss and stir until it is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Whisk the milk, oil, egg, green chiles, jalapeno, and red bell pepper in another bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and cheese mixture, and pour the milk mixture in the center. Briefily blend with a spatula, only until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and place in the oven. Bake until the top is golden-brown, and springs back when touched in the center, about 45-50 minutes. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and cool completely.

One year ago: Baked Ziti

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pepperoni Bruschetta

I wanted to make an appetizer with pepperoni, but I wanted to avoid a dip recipe or something with cheese. Technically bruschetta is the toasted bread you serve with some sort of topping on it. But it seems like most people refer to bruschetta as the topping that is why I named this pepperoni bruschetta. This is a perfect if your looking for something simple and different.


4 ounces pepperoni, diced (I used a pepperoni stick verses slices)
4 ounces black olives, chopped
10 ounces cherry tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
a splash of red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic, grated
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper
1-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
toasted bread rounds


Combine all your ingredients (expect the bread and olive oil) in bowl and mix thoroughly. Incorporate the desired amount of olive oil . The amount olive oil will depend on how loose you want the mixture to be. I used about 2 tablespoons.

Serve with toasted bread rounds.

(If you make this ahead of time and refrigerate it before serving make sure to let it come to room temperature first.)

One year ago: Pimento Cheese Spread

Monday, February 1, 2010

Baked Ham and Swiss Rolls

We all go to gatherings and there are usually ham biscuits. Sure they may be good...but they are not very exciting. This recipe on the other hand is a nice twist on what you typically see.


24 small potato rolls
1/2 pound thinly sliced deli ham
1/2 pound thinly sliced swiss cheese
1 stick butter
2 tablespoons mustard
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons poppy seeds


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

On the stove top melt butter with mustard, worcestershire sauce and poppy seeds.

Without separating rolls individually cut through the bread vertically so you end up with all the tops still connected and all the bottoms connected.

Lightly brush the inside of the bread with the butter mixture. Layer the ham and cheese on the bottom layer of rolls, top with the top layer and cut into individual rolls. Place rolls in a 9x13 baking dish and drizzle the remaining butter mixture over the rolls.

Cover with foil and bake 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

One year ago: Deviled Eggs