Sunday, October 28, 2012

Peanut Butter Cheesecake

          Ok, you are all going to go absolutely crazy over this recipe. Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheesecake. Yeah, you read that right. It’s a light, fluffy, peanut butter cheesecake with a yummy chocolate brownie crust and a chocolate topping. Doesn’t get much better than this. I found a recipe here that I used as a guide, but I changed it a lot.

·         Yuminess---10---I don’t think I even need to describe how good this tastes.
·         Easiness---7---While cheesecake is delicious to eat, it is very annoying to make. I hate that it has to chill for hours before it is able to be eaten.
·         Repeat---10---SOON!!
·         1 box fudge brownie mix (make according to directions)
·         4 packages (8oz. each) cream cheese, softened
·         1 ½ cups sugar
·         ¾ cups creamy peanut butter
·         2 tsp vanilla extract
·         3 eggs
·         ½ cup peanut butter chips
·         1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
·         Make brownie mix according to package. Pour ½ of batter into a 10” springform pan (spray with pam). Bake for 15-17 minutes at 350°. Cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Cover the bottom of the springform pan in foil to prevent leaking.
·         In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add peanut butter and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs; beat on low just until combined. Pour over the crust (I like to wrap the inside of the springform edgs in parchment paper to prevent it from sticking to the edges)
·         Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until center is almost set (you want it to jiggle a little bit). Remove from the oven; let cool for 30 minutes.
·         In a microwavable bowl, melt the semisweet chocolate chips and spread over the top of the cheesecake once it is cool. Sprinkle with the peanut butter chips.
·         Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Keep refrigerated.

Creamy Apple Crumb Pie

          When you think of fall, what comes to mind? For me, it is colorful leaves, Starbucks coffee, pumpkin, and pie. When I say pie, I mean ANY pie. My first pie of the season is a creamy apple, and it is one of my favorites to make. My first taste of a creamy apple pie was at a Birthday party at my boyfriend’s aunt’s house. It was literally the best pie I had ever eaten. This isn’t the exact recipe, but it is pretty darn good. I hope you like it as much as I do! Here is the original recipe if you are interested, although I changed it a little bit.
I'm pretty proud of this pie :)

·         Yumminess---10---This is so incredibly good. It would be perfect for Thanksgiving…if you can wait that long!
·         Easiness---6---The only problem with pies is that they are quite difficult to make, especially the crust. This pie is totally worth the trouble though!
·         Repeat---10---I have made this twice already, so yes, I would repeat it.
·         1 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
·         1 tsp Salt
·         2 Tbs Sugar
·         ½ cup Veg. Oil
·         2 Tbs cold milk
Pie filling
·         1/3 cup sugar
·         3 Tbs cornstarch
·         1 tsp cinnamon
·         ¼ tsp allspice
·         6 cups diced peeled tart apples (about 6 medium Granny Smith)
·         1 cup (8 oz) reduced-fat sour cream
·         1 tsp vanilla extract
Crumb topping
·         ½ cup all-purpose flour
·         ¼ cup brown sugar
·         ½ tsp cinnamon
·         2 Tbs melted butter
·         Spray pie pan with Pam or other non-stick oil.
·         For the crust, sift flour, salt and sugar in a 9” pie pan. Combine oil and milk in measuring cup and whip with a fork and pour over the flour mixture. Mix with fork until flour is completely dampened. Press evenly and firmly into the pie pan. Then press dough up to line sides and partly cover the rim. (no need to roll this dough)
·         For the filling, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and all spice. Fold in the apples. Combine sour cream and vanilla; stir into the apple mixture. Spoon into the pastry shell.
·         For topping, compbine the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl; cut in the melted butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over filling
·         Bake at 400° for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°; bake for 25-30 minutes longer or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate leftovers.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Reese's Rice Krispies

          Obviously, there is no better combination other than peanut butter and chocolate. So, it is obvious that a good dessert choice would be Reese’s Peanut Butter Rice Krispies. You can pick you jaw up off the floor now. Yes, I mixed delicious Reese’s with some peanut butter, marshmallows and rice krispies, and have this delicious dessert to share with you. Unfortunately, I can’t claim the recipe. I found the original here, and the only thing I really changed was to omit the Karo syrup (ewww…).

·         Yumminess---100---Yes, 100. This is absolutely fantastic. I can’t even tell you how many times I have made it since finding it through Pinterest. It is the dessert my boyfriend asks for any time I ask him what he would like me to make next.
·         Easiness---7---I am not a big fan of the process of making rice krispies, just because the marshmallow gets so sticky and is annoying to clean. Also, these require a lot of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, so that requires a lot of unwrapping…and lots of trash!
·         Repeat---10---This seems obvious, as I have already told you I make them all the time.
·         6 cups Cocoa Rice Krispies
·         1 bag 10oz mini marshmallows
·         2/3 cup peanut butter
·         5 TBS butter
·         16-18 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (chopped)
·         ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
·         Measure 6 cups of Cocoa Rice Krispies into a large bowl
·         Chop 16 Peanut butter cups and mix into the rice krispies
·         Melt butter over medium heat
·         Add marshmallows to the pot of butter
·         Continuously stir the marshmallows.  When they are melted completely add 1/3 cup peanut butter and stir
·         Mix the marshmallow/peanut butter mixture into the rice krispies
·         Spray a 9x13” pan with Pam and press the rice krispies into it
·         Melt chocolate chips and drizzle over the rice krispies
·         Do the same with the remaining 1/3 cup peanut butter, chop 2-4 more peanut butter cups and sprinkle over the top.
·         Let sit for at least 1 hour to cool
·         ENJOY!

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

         Ok, so it comes as no surprise that I love fall. I mean, I LOVE it. I love the colors, tastes and smells that come with it. So, I am no exception to the pumpkin craze that seems to be going on this season. I decided to try my hand at a new recipe (created by yours truly) to feed my pumpkin craving. I actually made this recipe for my own birthday celebration (along with an apple pie and regular gooey butter cake).  PUMPKIN GOOEY BUTTER CAKE.
          I know that gooey butter cake originated in St. Louis, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world shouldn’t get to enjoy it! This pumpkin recipe is basically just an adaptation to the gooey butter cake recipe I posted a few posts ago.
·         Yumminess---10---This is AMAZING. I honestly have no other words to describe it.
·         Easiness---10---So simple to make. It is just as easy as the last gooey butter recipe.
·         Repeat---10---Absolutely! Next fall…ok maybe next week ;)
·         1 box yellow cake mix
·         3 large eggs
·         1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
·         2 cups powdered sugar
·         8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
·         6 Tbs pumpkin puree
·         1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
·         Preheat oven to 325°
·         Combine, Cake mix, 1 egg, 4 Tbs pumpkin puree, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, and melted butter.
·         Press into a greased 9×13 pan with your fingers
·         Blend, cream cheese, 2 beaten eggs, remaining 2 Tbs pumpkin puree, ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice, and powdered sugar until smooth.
·         Spread over first batter.
·         Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until edges are brown.
·         Dust with powdered sugar on top after cake has cooled

Italian Chicken in the Crockpot

          I know it has been a while since I have written, but don’t worry, I haven’t stopped cooking/baking! My new job has been keeping me busy, so I haven’t really felt like sitting down to actually post the recipes I have been making. Well, get ready, because I have a lot!
          The first recipe I would like to share with you today is Italian Chicken in the Crockpot. This actually turned out quite good, even though I was scared of the cream of chicken soup (I have heard weird things about it).
All the ingredients you will need. SOOOOO easy

·         Yumminess---7---It was a little bit too salty for me, which I attribute to the cream of chicken soup. If you can find a low sodium version, I would suggest using that instead. On the other hand, it might just be me, because my family raved over it!
·         Easiness---10---Doesn’t really get much easier than a crockpot, and there are so few ingredients!
·         Repeat---10---I will definitely make this again, but hopefully with a low sodium version of the cream of chicken.
To feed 6-8 people
·         1 bag of noodles (I like the spiral ones, but you could also use bowtie)
·         2 packets Italian Dressing Mix (1 original and 1 zesty)
·         1 8oz Cream Cheese
·         2-3 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
·         6 chicken breasts
·         Put everything in the crockpot (except the noodles), and cook on low for at least 4 hours (more than 4 won’t hurt it)
·         After about 4 hours of cooking, shred the chicken. It should fall apart pretty easily.
·         When you are ready to eat, cook your noodles as you normally would. Then, you can either add all of the noodles to the crockpot, or simply let everyone choose how much of the Italian chicken they want on top of the noodles.
·         If it is too thick, add about ¼  cup of water at a time until it is the right consistency.
I think this is a great consistency.

Serve with garlic bread

Sunday, October 14, 2012

BBQ Chicken Dip

          Ok, with the World Series coming up, you should all know that I am a Cardinals fan. Ok, and when I say I am a fan, I actually mean that I am from St. Louis so I am obligated to love baseball, even though I am really not a big sports fan at all. I actually just like an excuse to make food and get together with family! I do enjoy a good playoff game though, so in the spirit of Cardinals Baseball (Yes, I am hoping for 12 in 12!!!!) I bring you BBQ Chicken Dip! This is for you die-hard sports fans who need a new addition to their already long list of game day food! It is actually made pretty much the same as buffalo chicken dip, but with bbq sauce instead of buffalo sauce. Easy Peasy!
          Disclaimer: The only interest I have in who wins the World Series is because I have a bet with my boyfriend. On day 1 of this baseball season I bet him that the Cardinals would win it again this year. He, on the other hand, went against our hometown team and said that the Yankees would win. If I win the bet we get to go to Red Lobster for dinner and see whatever movie I want (which will be Breaking Dawn: Part 2…even though he doesn’t know that yet! Shhh.) and if he wins we will go to Frankie G’s, our favorite St. Louis restaurant, and see whatever movie he wants!

·         Yumminess---8---I put a little bit too much bbq sauce in mine, but it was still awesome!
·         Easiness---10---Couldn’t get much easier than this recipe.
·         Repeat---10---I will be making this again soon!
·         1 can of chicken
·         1 8oz package cream cheese
·         2/3 cup of ranch
·         2/3 cup bbq sauce (I ended up using about 1 cup)
·         1 ½ cups or more cheddar cheese
·         1 TBS brown sugar
·         In a medium pot over medium heat, add 1 can of chicken and cream cheese.
·         Add the ranch and bbq sauce. Stir continuously.
·         Once everything is melted together, add the brown sugar and the cheddar cheese.
·         Transfer to a glad pan (8x8) and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
·         Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted on the top.
·         Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Red Velvet Cheesecake

          Hello readers! I know it has been a while since I have written, but I have a new recipe to share with you today.  The first is for the cheesecake or red velvet cake lovers, because it involves combining them into a beautiful masterpiece! Yes, that’s right. Red Velvet Cheesecake. Yes, I am telling you the truth.
          I do have a few things to say about the cheesecake though, before I give you my ratings and the recipe. 1. I like red velvet cake, but I am not IN LOVE with it, so I might be a bad judge of this cheesecake. 2. I like my cheesecake to be very firm, and not too fluffy, so I might give a harsh rating because this is a very fluffy cheesecake. 3. I changed the original recipe by using a box cake mix for the crust (I know, I am going to Baking Hell…) but feel free to follow the original recipe. I just didn’t feel like spending a ton of time on the cake part. You can get the original recipe over here. Ok, now time for my ratings.
·         Yumminess---6---I know I should have expected this with red velvet, but there isn’t a whole lot of FLAVOR going on in this cheesecake. The cheesecake itself tastes good, but the red velvet cake adds no flavors that spark MY interest, but maybe you will fall in love!
·         Easiness---7---The way I made the recipe was quite simple, but if you follow the original recipe it would definitely be more difficult. I would have given it a higher score, but it required about 8 hours of chilling before it could be served, and  I just HATE waiting that long! J I also didn’t do the water bath that the original recipe recommends doing, but I would recommend that you do it. I just had no pan big enough or deep enough to do it.
·         Repeat---4---IF I repeat this recipe, I will use half the amount of sour cream, because I think that is one of the reasons it was so fluffy. Maybe I am just not a fan of New York style cheesecake.

·         Be sure and get the crust layer no more than 1/4 inch thick with batter or you will have too much cake on the bottom.
·         Follow all the directions carefully.
·         All ingredients should be at room temperature.
·         The water bath is important, don’t leave it off.
·         Make sure your aluminum foil is wrapped securely around the bottom of the springform and up the sides to prevent leaking.
·         Do NOT peek at the cheesecake while it is baking or resting. It makes it cranky.
·         Let the cake come to room temperature before chilling.
·         Place paper towel over the top of the cake before wrapping with plastic wrap and chilling. This will keep the top dry and help guard against cracking.
·         Make cake according to box cake mix
·         32 oz cream cheese
·         16 ozs sour cream
·         2 cups sugar
·         2 teaspoon vanilla
·         6 eggs

·         Make cake box mix as the directions on the back say.
·         Put about ½ the mix in the springform pan (about 11 inch)
·         Put the other ½ in a regular cake pan
·         Bake according to instructions box for temperature for 20 minutes
·         Preheat oven to 375F
·         Beat the cheesecake ingredients together until smooth.
·         Reserve about 1/2 cup cake crumbs for the top.
·         Fold the remaining cake chunks into cheesecake batter.
·         Pour into pan.
·         Cover the bottom of the springform (the one with the cake layer in it) with aluminum foil, bringing it up the sides.
·         Place pan in larger pan of hot water. Water should come halfway up the sides.
·         Bake for 45 minutes.
·         Turn oven off and leave door closed for 1 hour. Don’t PEEK!
·         Remove from oven, take out of bain marie.
·         Let come to room temperature and cover tightly.
·         Refrigerate over night