Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes

Serena loves Oreo cookies; I often pack them in her lunch bag or she'll ask to have some for an afternoon snack.  When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make these since they incorporate her favorite cookie and my favorite desert (cheesecake). 

These were awesome!  Serena said it was the best cheesecake she'd ever had.  I'm not sure it tops the Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake I had from the Cheesecake Factory several months back but it might be the best cheesecake I've ever personally made.  These were easy to make, always an added bonus.  I like that they are done in cupcake size because it's easy to grab what you want/need.

Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes
The Girl Who Ate Everything

42 Oreos, 30 left whole and 12 coarsely chopped
2 pounds (32 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 275°. Line standard muffin pans with liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each liner.

Beat cream cheese at medium speed using an electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar, beating until combined. Beat in vanilla.  Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time. Beat in sour cream and salt. Place 12 cookies in a zip lock bag and beat until roughly crumbled.  Stir in crumbled cookies by hand.

Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving. Best served really cold! You can garnish with fresh whipped cream and crumbled Oreos if desired.

Makes 30 cheesecakes.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sausage, Mushroom, Spinach Quiche

This was by far the best quiche I have ever had!  One of the things that I love about quiche is you can do so many different variations by switching up the cheeses and adding different veggies.  I just loved this combination and was thrilled that Serena had two helpings

Sausage, Mushroom, Spinach Quiche

2 deep dish pie crust
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
1 pound hot sausage
1 package mushrooms, diced up
1 box chopped spinach, defrosted and water squeezed out
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
4 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
black pepper

In a skillet, over medium-high heat, saute onion in olive oil for about 3-4 minutes.  Add the sausage, crumbling as it cooks.  After approximately 7-8 minutes of cooking the sausage, add the diced mushrooms to the skillet.  Once sausage is completely cooked, reduce heat to low until the mushrooms are tender, just a couple more minutes.  Remove from heat and add in the chopped spinach and shredded cheese, mixing all the ingredients together.  Beat the eggs with the heavy cream, seasoning with black pepper, and add to the meat mixture.  Mix everything and pour into the two pie crust.  Wet the rim of each crust lightly with water and bake on 350 degrees for about 30-40 until top of quiche is golden.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Peet's Coffee and Easy Apple Dumplings

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I was sent two bags of Peet's new medium roast coffees - Cafe Domingo and Cafe Solano - to sample.  I was thrilled when the package came.  I love coffee and I love trying new kinds. 

I wanted to pair my new coffee with a desert I've been wanting to try, something that I thought would appropriately welcome Fall.  I decided to try the Cafe Domingo with these Apple Dumplings~ 

As far as the coffee, I thought it was delicious!  The description says that Cafe Domingo is a blend of Central and South American coffees that is smooth, balanced and medium-bodied with more pure coffee taste that has hints of toffee sweetness and a clean crisp finish.  I thought it was a great tasting blend that was very drinkable. You can find more out about these new blends here

The apple dumplings were amazing!  They had a crispy topping and a soft dumpling-y bottom.  They were so sweet and the aroma that filled the house was delightful.  I thought it tasted exactly like apple pie but best of all, they were super easy to make.  I'm positive I'll be making these over and over.

Easy Apple Dumplings
Tasty Kitchen

2 whole Granny Smith Apples, Cored And Peeled
2 cans Refrigerator Crescent Rolls
2 sticks Butter
1-½ cup White Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
½ cans Mountain Dew
Ground Cinnamon

Cut apples into 8 slices each.  Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.  Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir.  Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples.  Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top and serve warm.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cheeseburger Soup

I made this soup this week and it was quite tasty!  Serena declared that it did taste like a cheeseburger and she really liked it. 

Cheeseburger Soup
slightly adjusted from a recipe at A Zesty Bite

1-1/2 lb extra lean ground beef
1 cup diced white onion
1 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup light sour cream
4 oz. 2% milk Velveeta cheese
20-24 oz. fat free beef broth
1 cup fresh mushrooms, diced up
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp mustard
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup diced tomatoes
5 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In a stock pot, add a little olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes.  Add meat and cook until browned.  Add flour, tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and sour cream; stir until everything is coated.  Stir in broth and cheese.  Mix until cheese has melted.  Add soup to bowl and top with tomatoes and crumbled bacon for each bowl.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chili (Another Version)

Fall has arrived!!!  Personally, I love this time of year!  I love the cool, brisk mornings, love my pumpkin spiced coffee, love that football season is in full swing, and love the change that occurs in my menu planning, just to name a few things.  As much as I love grilling out, eating fresh salads, and keeping things light, I love the return of soups, stews, and real comfort food.  This week alone I added French Onion Soup, Cheeseburger Soup (new recipe that I will review later this week), and Chili to the menu.

This past weekend, I made the pot of Chili.  It was perfect!  It had just the right amount of heat and went perfectly with the grown up grilled cheese sandwiches I made.  This was by far one of the easier versions of chili that I've thrown together.  And because I had the turkey, sausage, and jalapenos in the deep freezer, it required very little from the grocery store.  Yum, Yum, Yum~

Chili (Another Version)

1-1/4 lb. ground turkey
1 lb. hot sausage
1 large onion, diced
2 cans (15 oz.) diced tomatoes for chili (either Hunt's or Del Monte)
2 cans (16 oz) Bush's chili beans - pinto beans in medium sauce
6 jalepenos diced (3 with seeds, 3 with seeds removed)
1 Tbsp chili powder

Over medium-high heat, cook the ground turkey, hot sausage, and the diced unions, breaking up the meat as it cooks.  Once the meat is cooked and the onions are tender, drain any excess fat/oil.  Return pot to the stove, reducing heat to low.  Add the diced tomatoes, chili beans, diced jalapenos, and the chili powder.  Mix well.  Allow to simmer over low heat for an hour or two, stirring occasionally.  Serve hot with cheddar cheese and sour cream.