Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cheesecake Factory's Avacado Egg Rolls

Super yummy recipe... I have never actually made the dipping sauce, we dip ours in a balsamic vinegarette.

2-4 servings

30 mins prep time

Egg Rolls
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, & diced
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onions
1/2 teaspoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 dash salt
4 egg roll wraps (can also use won ton wraps)
1 egg, beaten
Oil for deep-frying

Egg Rolls
1. Stir together avocado, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and salt.
2. Distribute filling evenly on the center of each egg roll wrapper.
3. Fold one corner up, 1/4 of the way over the filling.
4. Brush the remaining corners and edges with beaten egg, roll up the left and right side, then fold top corner over all and press to seal.
5. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.
6. Deep-fry the egg rolls in 375 degree oil for 3-4 minutes, or until browned.
7. Drain on paper towels.
8. Slice egg rolls diagonally in half and serve with the prepared dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
4 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon tamarind pulp
1/2 cup honey (I use slightly less)
1 pinch turmeric
1/2 cup chopped cashews
2/3 cup fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves
2 green onions
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Dipping Sauce
1. Combine vinegars, honey, tamarind, and saffron in a microwave safe bowl. Stir until tamarind is dissolved completely.
2. Microwave for 1 minute.
3. Using a blender, Puree tamarind mixture, cashews, cilantro, garlic, onions, sugar, pepper, and cumin.
4. Pour mixture into a bowl and stir in oil.
5. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Olive Gardens Hot Artichoke Spinach Dip

1 cup chopped artichoke hearts (canned or frozen and thawed)
1/2 cup spinach chopped
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
dash of pepper

Boil the spinach and artichoke hearts in a cup of water in a small saucepan for 10 minutes. Drain water in colander. Heat the cream cheese in a small bowl in the microwave for 1 minute. Add the spinach and artichoke hearts and stir well. Add the other ingredients to cream cheese mixture and stir. Serve with toasted bread

Cheesecake Factory's Pumpkin Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 TBL melted butter
1 cup and 1 TBL sugar
3 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the crust by combining the graham crackers, butter, and 1 tsp sugar in a medium bowl. Stir well enough to coat the graham cracker crumbs but keep it crumbly. Press crumbs to bottom and 2/3 the way up the sides of spring form pan. Bake the crust for 5 minutes then set aside.
In a large bowl combine cream cheese, vanilla, and 1 cup sugar. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the eggs, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice and continue to mix until creamy.
Pour the filling into spring form pan and bake for 60-70 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool to room temperature then put it in the refrigerator. When the cheesecake is chilled you can remove the sides of the spring form pan and serve with LOTS of whipped cream!

Cinnabon Rolls

1/2 cup warm water
2 packages dry yeast
2 Tbl. sugar
3 1/2 oz. pkg. vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup margarine −− melted
2 eggs
1 teas. salt
6 cups flour

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup margarine
1 teas. vanilla
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 Tbl. milk

To make frosting, mix all ingredients until smooth.
In a bowl combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Set aside.
In large bowl, take pudding mix and prepare according to package
directions. Add margarine, eggs and salt. Mix well. Then add yeast
mixture. Blend.
Gradually add flour; knead until smooth. Place in a greased
bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled.
Punch down dough and let rise again.
Then roll out on floured board to 34 x 21" size. Take 1
cup soft butter and spread over surface. In bowl, mix 2 cups brown sugar
and 4 teas. cinnamon. Sprinkle over top. Roll up very tightly.
With knife, put a notch every 2". Cut with thread or knife.
Place on lightly greased cookie sheet 2" apart.
Take hand and lightly press down on each roll.
Cover and let rise until double
again. Bake at 350 15−20 minutes. Remove when they start to turn golden.
Frost warm rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
Cinnabon Rolls 125

Olive Garden Alfredo

8 ounces Cream cheese −− cut in bits
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese −− grated
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Milk or heavy cream
8 ounces Fettuccine or favorite pasta; cook −− drain

In large saucepan combine cream cheese, Parmesan, butter and
milk, stirring constantly until smooth. Toss pasta lightly with
sauce, coating well.

Tastes great with saute'ed mushrooms.

Recipe Assignment:

Kid Friendly Meals

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs

2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. salad oil
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (16 oz.) can pineapple chunks
Fresh Green Pepper, sliced into 1 inch pieces
Grape tomatoes (optional)

Cut chicken into 1 inch chunks. Prepare marinade: Combine brown sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, oil, ginger and garlic. Stir in chicken. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours or more, stirring often.

30 minutes before serving: Thread meat, pineapple chunks, and green peppers alternately on 12 inch skewer. Broil or grill for 15 minutes or longer, depending on taste and doneness. Basting occasionally, turning once.

****(If you want to simplify, I use the Teriyaki breasts from Costco... It tastes great and they are precooked.)

Strawberry Spinach Salad

The wonderful taste of strawberries, poppy seeds, and spinach all come together in this lovely salad dressed with a sweet, poppy seed dressing.

Prep Time:15m
Ready in:15m


1 bunch spinach, rinsed
10 large strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  1. In a large bowl, mix the spinach and strawberries.
  2. In a blender, place the sugar, salt, vinegar, and oil, and blend until smooth. Stir in the poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Chicken Nuggets

This is from Jessica Seinfield's cookbook "Deceptively Delicious". A good way to sneak some veggies in!

- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
- 1 Tbsp grated parmesan
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 cup pureed broccoli OR spinach OR sweet potato OR beets
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast or tenders, rinsed, dried, and cut into small chunks
- 1/2 tsp salt
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 Tbsp olive oil

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl, mix well
2. In a shallow bowl, mix the vegetable puree and egg with a fork and set the bowl next to the breadcrumb mixture
3. Sprinkle the chicken chunks with the salt. Dip into egg mixture and then toss them into the bread crumbs until completely coated
4. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the oil. Place the chicken nuggets in the skillet in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, and cook until crisp and golden on one side, 3-4 minutes. Then turn and cook until the chicken is cooked through, golden brown, and crisp all over (4-5 minutes longer). Serve warm.

Baked Ziti

Your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 box ziti pasta, cooked
1 lb. Ground sausage, or beef
1 Can diced tomatoes
8 oz. ricotta cheese
8 oz. sliced mozzarella cheese
Season to taste with basil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, Rosemary

Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Brown meat, and then add onion to sauté. Mix pasta, meat, onions, tomatoes, spices and ricotta cheese in a medium bowl. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In 8 x 12 baking dish, prepare bottom with a thin layer of spaghetti sauce. Dump contents of bowl over sauce. Lay mozzarella cheese on top, drizzle with 2 T. spaghetti sauce to keep cheese from burning. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes, remove foil and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Poppy Seed Chicken

3 or 4 pre-cooked chicken breasts, sliced into small chunks, you can you the canned kind, but fresh is better
-Lay on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan

2 cans Cream of chicken soup
-layer on top of chicken

1 package crushed ritz crackers
-sprinkle on top of soup layer

Poppy Seeds
-Sprinkle desired amount evenly on top of crackers

3/4 cube of butter
-melt and pour on top

Bake 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes. This recipe halves easily.

Penne with 5 Cheeses

Kosher salt
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup crushed tomatoes in thick tomato puree
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
(1 1/2 ounces) 1/2 cup shredded imported Italian fontina
(1 1/2 ounces) 1/4 cup crumbled Italian Gorgonzola
(1 1/2 ounces) 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1/4 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 pound imported penne rigate pasta
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil in a stockpot. Combine all the ingredients except the penne and butter in a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Drop the penne into the boiling water and parboil for 4 minutes. Drain well in a colander and add to the ingredients in the mixing bowl, tossing to combine. Divide the pasta mixture among 6 shallow ceramic gratin dishes (1 1/2 to 2 cup capacity). Dot with the butter and bake until bubbly and brown on top, 7 to 10 minutes.

This isn't a light dish but oh so yummy on one of those comfort food kind of days!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cilantro Rice

3 cups water
4 tsp. chicken bouillon
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 can green chilies
1 TBL butter
1/2 onion
dash of salt
1 cup of rice (not minute rice)

Blend cilantro, chilies, and onion in blender or food processor. Bring water to a boil and add all of the ingredients. Simmer covered on medium low for 25-30 minutes. You can also make this recipe in a rice cooker..
Super yummy and goes well with the sweet pork recipe Melissa posted!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups milk
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided
1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish, 3 scallions
3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers

Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don't overmix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Craisins Salad

1 Large Bag Mixed Greens Lettuce
8 oz. package shredded mozzarella cheese
8 oz package shredded Parmesan cheese
1 pounds bacon, cooked and crumbled
8 oz package craisins
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Toss just before serving, pass dressing with salad:

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1/2 onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons mustard
1 cup salad oil

Mix all ingredients except oil in blender, add oil and blend again.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Corn Souffle'

1 box jiffy corn bread mix
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs1
16 oz can whole corn undrained
1 16 oz cream corn
1 c sour cream

Mix together and bake in 9x11 ungreased pan 350 degrees for 1 hr 10 minutes, watch it,stick a knife in it to see if it is ready (like a cake).

Recipe Assigment

Sweet Treats

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Good For You Dark Chocolate Mousse

1 (12.3-ounce) package silken tofu, drained
3 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate,
finely chopped 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon superfine sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 teaspoons shaved chocolate

In a blender or food processor, puree the tofu until it is smooth. Put the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan or heat-proof bowl fitted over a pot containing 1-inch barely simmering water. Stir frequently, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Mix in vanilla and 1/2 cup of sugar, a little at a time, until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture to the tofu and puree until smooth and well blended. Spoon the mousse into serving dishes, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Whip the cream with a beater. When the cream is almost completely whipped, add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and finish whipping. Top each serving with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of chocolate shavings and serve.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Niki's Almond Danish Swirls

6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup slivered almonds, chopped fine
2 (8-ounce) cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 egg white
1 teaspoon water Glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
4 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, almond extract, and sugar until fluffy. Fold half of the chopped almonds into the cream cheese mixture. Separate 1 can of dough and assemble into 4 rectangles. Firmly press the perforations to seal. Press or roll each piece of dough to form a 7 by 4-inch rectangle, and spread each with about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese filling to within 1/4-inch of the edges. Starting at the short end, roll each rectangle tightly into a cylinder. Repeat with the other can of dough and remaining filling. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F while the rolls are chilling. Remove from the refrigerator and cut each roll into 4 slices. Place 1/2-inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. In a small bowl, combine the egg white with 1 teaspoon water. Brush over the swirls. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped almonds. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until light brown. While the swirls are baking, combine the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Cool the swirls for 3 minutes on wire racks placed over a sheet of waxed paper. Drizzle the icing over the warm swirls.

Gooey Carmel Corn

1 cube of butter (or margarine)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 bag popped microwave popcorn (plain)

In saucepan melt sugar and add brown sugar and marshmallows. Stir continuously until marshmallows are melted. Pour over popcorn and stir until mixed YUMMY!

Oatmeal Cake with Coconut Frosting

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
Pour boiling water over oatmeal and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Cream oil and sugars and add eggs and vanilla. In separate bowl mix dry ingredients and add to sugar mixture. Stir in oatmeal and water and mix well. Pour into greased 9x13 pan and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes

3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cube butter
3 TBL evaporated milk
1 cup sweetened coconut
Melt butter in saucepan and add milk and sugar. Boil for 3 minutes. Add coconut and spread on hot cake.

Kyra's Pink Cherry Cookies

1 1/2 c. shortening
1 1/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 (14 oz) bottle maraschino cherries chopped (save juice)

Cream sugar and shortening; add eggs and vanilla. Sift flour, salt, and soda together. Add sugar and shortening and egg mixture. Add chopped cherries. Bake at 350 for 8 - 10 minutes.

Frosting: Mix cherry juice, 2 tsp. vanilla and 1 cube butter add powdered sugar one cup at a time, until desired consistency.

Banana Cake & Butter cream Frosting

3 over ripe bananas

Mix in separate bowl:
2 c. flour
½ t. baking powder
¾ t. baking soda
½ t. salt

Beat in separate bowl for 1-2 min.
½ c. shortening
1 ½ c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
¼ c. buttermilk (can use regular milk with 1/2 t. lemon juice)

Beat in banana mixture. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes in greased 13x9 pan or 2 cake pans.


1 cube butter

2 ½ c. sifted powdered sugar
2 t. lemon juice
2 t. milk
1 ½ t. vanilla

Pour over cooled cake.

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

Brownie Base

1 box (1 lb 6.5 oz) Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix

Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray or shortening. (For easier cutting, line pan with foil, then grease foil on bottom only of pan.)
2. In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, pouch of chocolate syrup, water, oil and eggs until well blended. Spread in pan. Bake 28 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
3. In medium bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over brownie base.
4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave topping ingredients uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds; stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes; spread over filling. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set. For brownies, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.