Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lime Cheesecake

Made for Christmas one year. Tart, creamy, and delicious.

Lime Cheesecake

1 Tb. crushed graham crackers
3/4 c. crushed graham crackers
4 Tb. flour
1 Tb. sugar
3 Tb. butter or margarine, melted
3 8-oz. pkgs. light cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. sugar
8 oz. light sour cream
1/4 c. flour
3 eggs
1/2 c. milk
2 tsp. lime peel
1/4 c. lime juice
1 tsp. vanilla
10 drops green food coloring
1/2 c. light cream cheese

Spray 9 inch springform pan with nonstick coating. Sprinkle sides of pan with 1 Tb. crushed graham crackers. Set pan aside. For crust, stir together 3/4 c. crushed graham crackers, 4 tsp. flour, 1 Tb. sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes.

In large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and 3/4 c. sugar. Beat until smooth. Add 8 oz. sour cream, 1/4 c. flour, eggs, milk, lime peel, lime juice, vanilla, and food coloring. Beat at low until just combined. Pour filling onto baked crust. Place pan in a shallow baking pan.

Bake at 350 for 45 to 50 minutes or until center appears nearly set when gently shaken. Remove from oven. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Cover and chill cheesecake for 4 to 24 hours. Just before serving, top with 1/2 c. sour cream. Makes 12 servings.

Santa Grahams

These were in a cookbook and they looked so cute, I had to make them! Will helped and they turned out just like the picture.

Santa Grahams

16 oz. can white frosting (I like the whipped frosting)
Red food coloring
6 whole graham crackers
1 c. mini marshmallows
6 small red gumdrops, cut in half or 12 red M&Ms
24 mini chocolate chips or cinnamon cookies
(you'll probably need extra candies and marshmallows for testing)

Line cookie sheet with waxed paper. Place 1/4 c. frosting in small bowl and add food coloring to tint red, about 1/4 tsp. Blend well. Place 1 c. frosting in another bowl and add 1 drop red food coloring to tint pale pink. Blend well.

Break each large graham cracker into 2 squares, making 12 squares. For each cookie, frost 1 corner red for Santa's hat. Place marshmallow on corner for pom-pom.

Frost rest of the cookie with pink frosting. Use chocolate chips for eyes and gumdrops for nose. Then use mini marshmallows around 2 sides of graham cracker for beard. Place on cookie sheet and let stand a few minutes until frosting is set.
(picture coming soon)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm not sure if these are as popular in the rest of the country, but in Utah, they are a regular fall favorite, as well as one of Sarah's very favorite cookies. They puff up when cooked and are more like a little cake than cookies.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 c. pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. chocolate chips

In large mixer bowl, combine butter and brown sugar. Add egg, pumpkin, and vanilla. Beat well. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, soda, and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients slowly and beat well. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheets and bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes. Makes about 36-40 cookies.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Devil's Food Cake

Sarah made this one recently from scratch. It turned out great! She's definitely got my baking genes.

Devil's Food Cake

3/4 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. boiling water

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs; beat well. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add alternately with buttermilk to creamed mixture. Add  boiling water; beat until smooth.

Pour into greased and floured 13 x 9 pan or two 9 inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes (slightly less time for rounds) or until tester comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before frosting. Enjoy!

And a couple of tips:

Need buttermilk for a recipe, but don't have any? Make your own sour milk. For each cup of buttermilk, substitute by adding 1 Tb. vinegar to regular milk. Let mixture set for about 5 minutes before adding to recipe.

Let your cake cool too long in the pan? If you cake cools to room temperature in the pan, you're likely to wind up with half the cake staying in the pan when you try to get it out. Simply stick the cake back in the oven for another 5 minutes, then remove from the pan. 

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rocky Road Brownies

I made these for Randy's birthday one year and took them to work. Just like that, I became a legend - the one who made the brownies.

Rocky Road Brownies

1/2 c. butter
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 c. chopped nuts - pecans are best

8 oz. cream cheese, softened - reserve 2 oz. for frosting
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
2 Tb. flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1/4 c. chopped nuts
1 c. chocolate chips

2 c. mini marshmallows
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. milk
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 oz. reserved cream cheese
3 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour 13x9 pan. In large saucepan, melt 1/2 c. butter and 1 oz. chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth. Add 1 c. flour and remaining base ingredients; mix well. Spread into prepared pan.

In small bowl, combine all filling ingredients except nuts and chocolate chips. Beat 1 minute until smooth and fluffy; stir in nuts. Spread over base; sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 for 25 to 35 minutes or until done. Immediately sprinkle marshmallows on top. Return to oven and bake another 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large saucepan over low heat, combine 1/2 c. butter, milk, 1 oz. chocolate, and reserved cream cheese; stir until well blended. Remove from heat; stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Immediately pour frosting over marshmallows and lightly swirl with knife to marble. Refrigerate until firm; cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mock Roca

Another one from Aunt Elaine that I tried for the first time last year. It was a big hit.

Mock Roca

Line 15 x 10 x 1 pan (jelly roll pan) with foil. Place graham crackers on the bottom. Heat oven to 350. 

Boil together:

1/2 c. sugar
1 stick butter
1 stick margarine
(or both butter)

Bring to a full boil and cook for 3 minutes. Pour mixture over graham crackers. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Cool and break into pieces. This is NOT low fat.

Orange Balls

These are great for a fast candy/cookie that requires no cooking.

Orange Balls

6 oz. crushed vanilla wafers
1 c. pecans, chopped
1 c. orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 lb. powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients together. Roll into 1 inch balls. Roll in coconut or ground pecans.

Pineapple Pork Chops

Pineapple Pork Chops

3 c. soft bread crumbs (5 slices bread)
8 oz. can pineapple chunks in juice, drained (reserve juice)
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 Tb. oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground sage
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
6 pork chops

Combine bread crumbs, pineapple, celery, onion, oil, salt, sage, and cinnamon in large bowl. Mix well. Place pork chops in 13 x 9 pan. Drizzle 2 Tb. pineapple juice over meat; season with salt and pepper. Spoon bread mixture over meat. Bake uncovered at 350 for 50 minutes, or until tender. Serves 6.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Corn Flake Cookies

Corn Flake Cookies

A Christmas favorite at our house. This one is also courtesy of JoLynn, a former neighbor.

Bring to a boil, then remove from heat:

2 c. white Karo
1 c. sugar

Then add 2 c. chunky peanut butter to make a syrup. Add about 8 c. corn flakes. When flakes are covered, pour mixture onto cookie sheet with sides. Cool, then cut into squares.

White Almond Fudge

Another recipe from Aunt Elaine. This is a great fudge for beginning cooks because you don't have to heat it at all.

White Almond Fudge

3 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. almond flavoring
1/2 c. chopped almonds
1/8 tsp. salt

Beat cream cheese until smooth and soft. Slowly add sugar. Beat until smooth. Add flavoring, almonds, and salt. Press mixture into buttered 8 inch square pan. Chill until firm.

Peanut Butter Fudge

Peanut Butter Fudge

This recipe is from my Great-Aunt Elaine.  I have a little book with all her candy recipes in it, and they are all winners.

1 c. sugar
2 Tb. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1 ts. vanilla
1/2 lb. peanut butter
1 c. marshmallows
pinch salt

Cook sugar, butter, salt, and milk to soft ball stage. (234-238 degrees - higher at high altitudes) Add marshmallows and peanut butter just before removing from heat. DO NOT STIR. Cool to room temperature. Add vanilla. Beat until mixtures is creamy, thick, and will hold its shape when dropped from a spoon. Pour into well buttered shallow pan.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Triple Treat Walnut Bars

Triple Treat Walnut Bars

1/2 c. butter
3 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. toasted wheat germ
1 c. chocolate chips
2 eggs
1/2 c. honey
1/3 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. instant nonfat dry milk
1/4 ts. salt
1/4 ts. cinnamon
1/4 ts. mace
1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Cream butter, cheese, and sugar in a bowl until light. Add 1 c. flour and wheat germ and mix until smooth. Turn into greased 9 x 13 pan; spread evenly. Bake at 375 for 15 to 18 minutes, until edges are very light brown and top is firm. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand about 5 minutes, until chocolate softens, then spread over crust. Combine eggs and honey; beat until well blended. Add 1/3 c. flour, dry milk, salt, spices, and walnuts; mix well. Spoon over chocolate. Return to oven and bake 18 to 20 minutes or until set. Cook in pan, then cut into bars. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Curried Chicken Strips

Curried Chicken Strips

1 lb. chicken breasts
2 Tb. oil
1 green pepper, cut into strips
1 small onion, diced
2 ts. curry powder
3/4 ts. salt
1 c. evaporated milk

Cut chicken breasts into strips. In large skillet, cook pepper and onion in hot oil, stirring often. Stir in curry powder and salt; cook 1 minute. Add chicken to skillet. Over high heat, cook until chicken is no longer pink, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium; stir in cream; cook until mixture thickens slightly. Serves 4. Serve with rice.

Tortilla Pizza

Tortilla Pizza

1/2 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 ts. chili powder
1/2 c. taco sauce
1/8 ts. cumin
4 tortillas
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips

Cook ground beef and onion until meat is browed. Stir in spices; cook 1 minute more. Add taco sauce and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 350. Place tortillas on large cookie sheet. Stir half of cheese into ground beef. Top tortillas with ground beef mixture, pepper strips, and remaining cheese. Bake 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Serves 4.

Sarah's Guitar Cake

Sarah's Guitar Cake

This year for her birthday, Sarah wanted a yellow cake made from scratch, decorated to look like a guitar. There's the picture above. I just used the recipe from the Better Homes and Garden cookbook and then made buttercream frosting. I kept about 1/4 of the frosting and added 1 oz. melted unsweetened chocolate to the frosting. The cake was baked in a 9 x 13 pan. Then I trimmed off a 4 inch strip for the neck of the guitar and freehanded the body of the guitar. I actually made a pattern out of wax paper, but I had to sort of guess. I think it turned out pretty well! The strings on the guitar are red lace licorice and the rest of the decorations are Starburst candies. I stuck them in the microwave for 10 seconds then shaped them into the way I wanted them. Add 14 candles, and that's all! Happy birthday!

Peanut Blossoms

My mom used to make this cookie when I was little. Still yummy!

Peanut Blossoms

1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 ts. baking soda
1/2 ts. salt
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. peanut butter
2 Tb. milk
1 ts. vanilla
1 egg
about 48 candy kisses, unwrapped (maybe a few extra, just to test)

Heat oven to 375. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, shortening, milk, vanilla, and egg. Mix until stiff dough forms. Shape into 1" balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately top each cookie with a candy kiss, pressing down firmly. Carefully remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fruit Pizza

I made this for my sister's birthday last week. Everyone loves it and it's super easy.

Fruit Pizza

Crust: Refrigerated sugar cookie dough. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a pizza pan. Roll out cookie dough to large circle, or (depending on the dough) place cookie pieces around the pan in a circle. Roll out until there are no seams, making one big circle. Cook about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Sauce: Combine 8 oz. lite or regular cream cheese. Whipped cream cheese works even better. Add 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/4 c. powdered sugar. This time I also added 1 container of yogurt to make it sweeter and creamier without adding fat.

Topping: Fresh or canned fruit. This time I used pears, blueberries, bananas, and grapes. I loved it with kiwis and strawberries. Use your favorite fruit.

Glaze: Warm 1/3 c. apricot, plum, or peach jam with 1 Tb. water. Brush glaze on top of fruit to prevent browning.

Serves about 8-10. Keep refrigerated. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Pizza, Pizza!

Pizza, along with chocolate, is one of the major food groups at our house. We have pizza at least once a week. Sometimes we do that $5 deal from Little Caesar's, but it's usually homemade. Here are our three favorite recipes.

Cindy's Pizza

My favorite recipe is from the Make A Mix cookbook. It involves making Hot Roll Mix and then using that plus yeast and some water to make a dough. Then I roll that out and let it set about 10 minutes before topping.

Randy's Pizza

I'd love to give you his recipe, but I can't, because he makes it up every time. He makes it so often that he can tell from looking at the dough what it needs. He likes to make individual pizza and calzones.

Sarah's Pizza

Sarah uses the Jiffy Pizza Crust mix. This one is great. It costs about 50 cents and makes one small pizza crust.


We all like cheese and sauce, but the kids only like a little sauce and lots of cheese. I am the other other way round. The kids also like pepperoni. Will likes black olives and peppers and onions. Ellen likes Hawaiian pizza. Randy and I like veggies and artichoke hearts. We also like taco pizza, make with taco sauce, ground beef, cheddar, olives, tomatoes and lettuce.

Overall, one of our very favorite meals and one of only a few that everyone likes.