Monday, May 30, 2011

Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Squares

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter, melted

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

24 squares (1 ounce each) semisweet chocolate
3 tablespoons shorting

1. Line a 9 inch square baking pan with foil and grease the foil. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, pecans and butter. Press into prepared pan; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and sour cream until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in vanilla. Pour over crust.

3. Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate until chilled. Freeze overnight.

4. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Using foil, lift cheesecake out of the pan. Gently peel off foil, cut into 49 squares. Remove a few pieces at a time for dipping; keep remaining squares refrigerated until ready to dip.

5. Using a toothpick, completely dip squares, one at a time, in melted chocolate. Place on waxed paper; spoon about 1 teaspoon chocolate over each. (Reheat chocolate if needed to finish dipping.) Let stand for 20 minutes or until set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

*Makes 49 squares

*This is the original recipe but I made a few modifications. I used an 8 inch pan because that is what I had. I did not add the pecans to the crust. I chose to drizzle the chocolate on top instead of completely covering it. I used less than 12 oz of chocolate chips rather than the squares.

*Recipe from The Taste of Home Cookbook

Chicken BLT Wraps

ranch dressing
4 flour tortillas (I prefer wheat tortillas for a healthier meal)
8 leaves green leaf lettuce
1 9 ounce package sliced chicken breast
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup bacon bits (I prefer the soft ones)

1. Spread ranch dressing on each tortilla leaving a 2 inch border.
2. Layer lettuce, chicken breast, tomato, and bacon bits on top.
3. Roll up and secure with toothpick or wrap with wax paper or foil.

Serves 4

I made these as finger foods for Rick's graduation party by cutting each one in thirds. They would make a great quick and easy lunch.

Thumbprint Cookies

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
seedless strawberry, raspberry, apricot jam/jelly (or whatever flavor you prefer)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar and stir in the vanilla extract. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour and salt. Combine the flour mixture and the butter mixture until the dough is crumbly but holds together when pinched.

2. Take a walnut-sized piece of dough in one hand. With the thumb of the other hand, gently knead it three times. Roll it into a ball and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. With your knuckle or thumb, press a well in the center and fill with 1/2 teaspoon of jelly.

3. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

The recipe says it makes about 6 dozen cookies. However, this depends on the size you make your cookies.

*Recipe from

Guacamole, Tacos, and Such

I feel like I've only posted Mexican recipes on this blog, but for a good reason -- David and I love Mexican food!

I love love the spices -- cumin, cilantro, chipotle, chili, garlic -- so good! Soft and warm tortillas are the perfect vehicle for lots of spicy meat and veggies. Also, I don't feel like I improvise in the kitchen very well, but I find it a little easier with Mexican food. Add some black beans to make tacos more filling, chipotle pepper to make it zippy, and cilantro and lime always add a fresh punch.

Here are a few recipes I like to use for our fiesta feasts!
  • Last time tacos were requested by the husby, I didn't have a taco seasoning packet, so I was happy to find this recipe. It's great because you can add more or less of each spice. More cumin for me!
  • IGE has a great way to make the sides (rice, black beans, pico de gallo) for a very filling burrito -- just like Chipotle.
  • Posted this recipe before but it's a huge household favorite -- pork carnitas!
  • Made this mango salsa this! Fruity + zippy = amazingness. We ate it with Trader Joe's Chili Lime Chicken burgers on hamburger buns, and it hit the spot.
Happy eats! And please share any of your favorite Mexican recipes!

Drunken Noodles

Just a link - Haven't made them yet.

Her recipes look amazing, including the curry lentil soup. (I am on a constant quest for the perfect lentil recipe.)

Drunken Noodles

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rhubarb Jello Cake

Hello everyone - I'm a friend of Sara's and a new poster. I love to cook & bake and have enjoyed viewing and trying things from this blog for a while now. I'm excited to be able to post recipes too. Happy Eating!

My mother has made this rhubarb cake for years. It is a hit even amongst those who don't normally like rhubarb. It's easy too!

Rhubarb Jello Cake

1 pkg. white or yellow cake mix
1 C. white sugar
4 C. rhubarb, chopped
1 pkg. red Jello (strawberry or raspberry are my faves)
1/2 C. white sugar
1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. butter, softened

Mix cake mix according to directions on package. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Mix rhubarb, 1 cup sugar and jello. Spoon on top of cake mix. Then mix 1/2 cup sugar, flour and butter until crumbly. Put this over the top of the cake.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes. If the center still appears liquidy, bake a little bit longer.It's best served warm, with cool whip or ice cream.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lemon Bars


1/2 pound butter (two sticks), at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

6 extra large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (3-6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour

powdered sugar for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in a large bowl. With the mixer on low, add the flour and salt until just mixed. Press the dough into a 13X9 pan going up 1/2 inch on the sides.

3. Bake crust for 15-20 minutes or until light brown. Let cool and leave the oven on.

4. For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour on the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

5. Let cool at room temperature.

6. Dust with powdered sugar.

*I bought 2 lemons and had just under two tablespoons zest and less than a cup of lemon juice. I added enough bottled lemon juice to fill the required cup and they turned out great. Rick thought they were too lemony but our families loved them.

*Recipe from the Food Network Website