Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Finds

Since this is Foodie Penpal reveal day, and I have already put up that post, this is post number two today.  I could have skipped it I suppose, but there are goodies I found this week that I want to share.

The first two are going into my homemade Chinese/oriental dish recipe file.

Morsels of Life

This wonderful looking recipe is from a regular contributor to Friday Finds, Morsels of Life.   I like that this is a good base recipe that I can do lots of things with.

Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks

I have deep-fried and slow cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken recipes, but this baked one seems like a good idea.  It seems that I have somehow managed to miss the original post for this one so I am glad I found it reposted.


I have a box of Golden Graham cereal that I have had for awhile.  This, this wonderful concoction is what I am going to make with it.  I can't wait!

Chocolate, Chocolate and More Chocolate

This looks like a simple, easy recipe.  Since I make my own Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk, and this uses almonds, this recipe should be inexpensive to make.  I like the almond idea, but I imagine that you could also use hazelnuts.

Heather's French Press

OK, I am trying to convince myself that these would be a little healthier than the real thing.  These look so yummy, I'm not sure that I care.

High Heels and Grills

Now before I completely toddle off into sweets land, here is one last chicken recipe link.  This recipe comes from a new-to-me blog from a couple.  Zach does a Manly Monday, and this is one of his posts.  Let's see, I have chicken, I have root beer, I have Monday off.  This should probably be on my dinner menu.

All photos were taken by and are the property of the owners of the respective blogs represented.

I am linking up to Friday Favorite Finds over at Finding Joy in My Kitchen.  Hop on over there with me to see what other bloggers have found on Pinterest and around the web this week.

Foodie Penpal Reveal Day

The Lean Green Bean

It is the last day of the month and time for another Foodie Penpal reveal; or, as I like to say, what I got from Santa this month.  It always feels like Christmas when my package comes, and I am just like a kid and can’t wait to open it.

Foodie Penpals is hosted by Leslie over at The Lean Green Bean.

This month my package came from Wendy Nielsen.  I don’t know if she has a blog, there was not one listed.  You do not have to be a blogger to participate in Foodie Penpals.

Wendy sent me some great goodies:


These didn’t last very long.  I had to share them with hubby.  He insisted.


This tea is very good and will be really great to sip once the weather cools down.


This says Grill Mates, but I like it sprinkled on veggies and eggs.  I like to use different herb/spice blends but had not tried this one.


HOMEMADE blueberry jam.  It is always wonderful to get something homemade.  I am not much of a blueberry person, but this was good.  Hubby really appreciates it.  He is a blueberry person.


And then there were these!  Oh My, I did not even know that there were coconut Oreos.  The ones I ate were so good I decided I wanted to use the rest in a dessert, so tune in tomorrow for that post.

Thanks again, Wendy, for a great package.  My package went to Sheree Weaks.  I am not sure that she has a blog either.

If you would like to join in the fun and get your own Foodie Penpal package each month, here are the details straight from Leslie’s blog.  Go here to sign up by the 4th of September.

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
- Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from the US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!
***If you’re in the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at to get involved!

Linking to August Foodie Penpal Reveal Day 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Easy Beef Enchiladas

Here it is another week, and I want to wish a warm welcome to my new followers.  Thank you for following my blog and thanks once again to all those who take the time out of your busy lives to stop here for awhile.  It is truly appreciated, and I hope what you find here is useful.

This is another freezer/pantry shelf recipe that can be made with ingredients easily kept on hand.  It appears on our table monthly.  Hubby and I get a good meal, and there is plenty leftover for him to eat a couple of evenings while I am at work.

I make my own red enchilada sauce and am including the recipe.  However, purchased sauce could be used.  I think it would take a couple of cans to equal the amount of sauce that the recipe makes.  I put the tomato sauce into the pan before the water and then use the can to measure the first cup of water.  This rinses out all the tomato sauce.  I am a wimp when it comes to spicy foods so use only1 T. chili powder in the sauce and 1 t. chili powder in the ground beef.

I use my already browned frozen ground beef which usually has onions, celery, and red peppers in it, but I like to add additional onion and red pepper when I heat the ground beef for this recipe.  I think that it helps to give the dish a fresher taste.

Easy Beef Enchiladas

Enchilada Sauce
1 T. minced garlic
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 1/2 c. water
1 to 2 T. chili powder (I use 1 T.)
1/4 t. salt
1 t. cumin
1 t. oregano
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies, drained

Beef Filling
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped red or green pepper
additional chili powder to taste (I use 1 t.)

10 (8 inch) flour tortillas [or 8 (10 inch)]
1 1/2 c. (4 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 c. (4 oz.) shredded Monterey jack cheese  OR
2 1/2 c. (8 oz.) shredded Mexican Blend cheese

In a medium saucepan, combine garlic, tomato sauce, water, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, and green chilies.  Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, brown ground beef and onion in medium skillet.  Add 1 cup of the enchilada sauce to the ground beef and continue to cook beef until the sauce has been absorbed, about 5 to 10 minutes.  To assemble enchiladas, heat a tortilla either in the microwave for about 10 seconds or in an ungreased skillet for about 15 seconds per side.  Dip tortilla in sauce,  fill with about 1/4 c. of beef mixture and top with about 1 T. of cheddar cheese or Mexican Blend cheese, if using.  Roll up tortilla and place seam-side down in a greased 9x13-inch baking dish.  Repeat with rest of the tortillas.  Pour remaining sauce evenly over tortillas.  Sprinkle evenly with remaining cheese and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let set 5 minutes before serving.  Makes 8 to 10 enchiladas.

Linking to:  Mop It Up Monday
Recipe Sharing Monday
Melt in Your Mouth Monday
Must Try Monday
Mangia Monday
Made by You Monday
Making Monday Marvelous

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Marble Brownies

I have not been posting nearly enough goodie recipes so I am declaring Saturdays “Sweet Day”. It is no secret how much I like sweet stuff so I will be trying to get a new goodie recipe up each Saturday.

This recipe for Marble  Brownies is one I have been making for many years.  I copied it from a book I got from the library.  Even as a child I would borrow cookbooks from the library and copy recipes that I wanted to try.  Of course, I never thought to include what book I got the recipe from on my copy so I don't know the source of many of these.

The process for making these brownies is a bit different from most brownies recipe.  The leavening in these is beaten egg whites, and there is no baking powder or baking soda used.  These have a texture somewhat like angel food cake.

I use walnuts or pecans in these, and I always toast the nuts.


Marble Brownies
4 eggs, separated
2 c. sugar
1 c. butter or margarine, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 to 1 c. chopped toasted nuts
1 1/2 c. sifted flour
1/4 c. milk
2 T. unsweetened cocoa

Separate eggs, putting whites into a bowl for an electric mixer.  Put yolks in another large mixing bowl.  Beat egg whites until stiff.  Gradually add half the sugar, beat well.  Set aside.  Beat egg yolks.  Add second half of sugar and beat until thick and lemon colored.  Add melted and cooled butter or margarine and nuts to yolks.  Stir in flour and milk.  Fold in the egg whites until well blended.  Place 2/3 of batter in a foil-lined 9x13-inch baking pan.  Stir cocoa into remaining batter until well blended.  Drop chocolate batter onto light batter in mounds with a spoon.  Carefully swirl a knife through batters to marble.  Bake at 350 degrees 30 to 35 minutes.  Cool in pan until lukewarm.  Cut into bars.  Makes 36 brownies.

Linking to:  Weekend Potluck
Strut Your Stuff Saturday
Seasonal Inspiration
Weekend Bloggy Reading
Sweets for a Saturday

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Finds

It's Friday and time for another round of Friday Finds.  (I did remember it was Friday this week.)  I have not been using my slow cooker nearly enough, so this week I decided to look for a few recipes I might want to try.

Here are some slow cooker chicken recipes that I found.

The Pursuit of Happiness

This one looks so good.  I would think that it should be less calorific than the deep fried version.

Cupcakes and Crinoline

This is essentially a sweet and sour version of the above recipe.  Sure do want to try them  both.

Crystal and Company

I agree, comfort food of the best kind.  I think this would even make a great lunch for hubby. 

Shugary Sweets

This looks like a good and easy recipe to throw together for a cool fall day, and we all know they are coming.

Of course, I had to include a goodie find.  Sometime you run across a recipe that doesn't have a photo that you really have to share.  These Strawberry Lemonade Bars sound wonderful and are a change from the usual bar type cookie.  Strawberries are on sale here this week so seems like a good time to try these.

I am linking up to Friday Favorite Finds.  Just hop on over to see what other bloggers have found this week.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ingredient Spotlight-Taco Corn and Bean Salad


Corn is the Ingredient Spotlight over at Eat at Home today.   I have always liked the so-called Frito Corn Salad that may or may not have originated with Paula Deen, but I wanted a salad that could stand in as a meatless main dish.

I added beans for more protein and taco seasoning to “up the flavor factor”.  I reduced the amount of mayonnaise and added sour cream and cream cheese.  Since I don’t like green peppers, I used red peppers and then green onions to supply the green color.  I also added chopped ripe olives.

Canned corn, cooked, frozen corn or fresh corn, cooked and removed from the cob can be used for this dish.  About 4 cups or frozen or fresh corn will be needed.

Use your favorite beans for this.  I like pinto or red beans, but black ones add a really nice color contrast.

I make my own taco seasoning to save money and avoid unwanted chemicals and preservatives, but a commercial packet may be used.  There are many recipes for homemade taco seasoning on the internet.  Just Google and keep trying them until you find one your family likes.

Although most recipes have the Fritos stirred into the salad, I find that they become soggy if there is any salad left over.  When I make this for eating at home I just set the crushed corn chips out in a bowl and let people top each serving.  If am taking this to a potluck, I sprinkle the crushed chips on top of the salad.  If there is any salad left over, I tip the bowl and let the corn chips fall into a shallow container.  I put them in a plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator.  When ready to use, I put them on a glass pie plate and microwave them a minute at a time until the corn chips are crisp again.

This salad is best made at least several hours ahead of serving.  I like to make mine the day before.


Taco Corn and Bean Salad
2 cans (16 oz.) cans whole kernel corn, well drained or 4 cups cooked frozen or fresh corn kernels
1 can (16 oz.) pinto, kidney, red or black beans, well drained and rinsed
1 c. chopped red pepper
1/2 c. chopped red onion
1/3 c. sliced green onions
1 can (3.8 oz.) sliced olives, well drained and halved
1 (3 oz.) pkg. low fat cream cheese, very soft
1/2 c. Low-fat sour cream
1/2 c. low fat mayonnaise
1 T. chili powder
1/2 T. ground cumin
1 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t. paprika (smoked if you have it)
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. dried oregano, crushed
1/4 t. red pepper flakes (opt.)
2 c (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese or Mexican blend
1 (10 1/2 oz.) bag Fritos, regular or Chili Cheese corn chips (I usually don’t need a whole bag)

 a large mixing bowl combine corn, beans, red pepper, red onion, green onion and olives mix well.  In a medium mixing bowl combine the very soft cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise.  Mix until well blend.  Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and red pepper flakes, if using.  Stir until spices are well combined with the cheese/cream/mayo mixture.  Spoon mixture over the corn/bean mixture and stir until everything is coated with the dressing.  Add shredded cheese and stir until well blended.  Cover tightly and refrigerate until serving time.  Just before serving, crush enough corn chips to completely cover the top of the salad.  Sprinkle corn chip on the salad.  Serves 8 to 10.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Chicken in Shells Alfredo

This dish, that I make often, is one of those that I call a pantry shelf recipe.  That means that the ingredients can be kept on a pantry shelf and/or in the freezer for an easy meal.  This can also be made ahead and feeds a crowd.

Jumbo pasta shells are used to make this.  I find that one package of the shells is more than enough for one recipe but not enough to make it twice.  So I buy two packages of shells which is enough to make the recipe three times.  I cook about 25 to 26 shells and usually end up with about 24 I can actually use.  Some shells always seem to tear apart in when cooking.

Although my favorite  Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce recipe is at Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures,  I generally use Ragu Classic Alfredo and Ragu Garlic Parmesan sauce to make this.  Otherwise, I can’t really call it a pantry shelf recipe.  I use a jar of each flavor.  They can be mixed together in a bowl, but I just pour each one over the prepared shells and swirl them together with a spatula.  You may,  of course, use two jars of a single flavor.

The veggies can be varied to suit your taste.  I usually use peas and carrots for their color, but just peas, as well as chopped broccoli and mixed vegetables, can be used.  In the spring, chopped, cooked asparagus is a great addition.


Chicken in Shells Alfredo
25 to 26 jumbo pasta shells
1 (6 oz.) pkg. stuffing mix such as Stove Top
1 1/2 c. water
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
1/3 c. finely chopped red pepper
1 c. frozen peas and carrots or another veggie
1/2 c. mayonnaise (low fat is OK)
2 cans (5 oz.) chicken chunks or 2 c. cubed, cooked chicken
1 jar Ragu Classic Alfredo Sauce
1 jar Ragu Garlic Parmesan Sauce
1 1/2 c. shredded Italian cheese blend

Cook pasta shells according to package directions.  Set aside to cool.  Combine water, onion, red pepper, peas and carrots in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in dressing mix, cover, and let set 5 minutes.  Stir in mayonnaise and mix well.  Stir in chicken.  Spoon heaping tablespoonfuls of mixture into the pasta shells.  Place shells in a sprayed 9x13-inch baking pan.  Pour jar of Alfredo Sauce over the prepared shells.  Pour jar of Garlic Parmesan Sauce over prepared shells.  Using a spatula swirl the two sauces together slightly.  Cover tightly and place in a 350-degree oven.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes.  Top with cheese and return uncovered to oven until cheese melts.  May be made up to 48 hours ahead.  Use a glass pan and cover with plastic wrap.  Bake 1 hour 15 minutes.  Makes 8 to 12 servings.


Linking to:  Tuesday Talent Show
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Tuesdays at the Table
Tuesday Timeout
Tasteful Tuesday
Totally Tasty Tuesday
Terrific Tuesdays 
Ingredient Spotlight

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friday Finds

Well, somehow or another, I managed to completely space out that yesterday was Friday.  So this week, I guess my Friday Finds will just have to show up on Saturday.

I seem to be somewhat in a DIY mode this week so I am sharing some links to great DIY ideas that I must try.

Kitchen Parade

Although I keep a container of powdered buttermilk in my fridge and have used the milk plus vinegar/lemon juice substitute for buttermilk, I prefer to use liquid buttermilk.  The idea of making new, homemade buttermilk using commercial buttermilk as a starter has been around awhile, and it is a good one to be aware of.  This is a very nice article detailing the simple process and even suggests that you can use the homemade buttermilk to make a great Greek Yogurt substitute.


As the blogger said, this is one of those "Slap Yourself Upside of the Head and say Why Didn't I Think of That" kind of thing, but I didn't and am glad someone did.  I always have a few packages of chocolate chips on hand and never remember to buy chocolate chunks.  Well, now I don't have to.  Great, great idea.

Thrice the Spice

This recipe makes enough for 8 lbs. of ground meat; and, of course, you could choose from ground pork, turkey or chicken.  With just spice and a little sugar, this has no nitrates, MSG or other chemicals that may be found in commercial sausage. 

Portuguese Girl Cooks

I have been thinking about trying homemade ricotta ever since I saw a recipe for it in "Cooking Light" last year.  With just whole milk, cream, salt and lemon juice, this recipe has no special ingredients.  It does take a candy thermometer to make this, but otherwise the process is simple and mostly "hands off."  Much, much better than the store bought kind I am sure.

Mel's Kitchen Cafe

If you don't already have a special Homemade Ranch Dressing recipe, take some of that Homemade Buttermilk you made and make this one from, the always reliable, Mel.  With the addition of a little olive oil, it seems to have good keeping qualities.  Homemade beats store bought every time.

Well, that ends my Friday Finds on Saturday.  Late to the party, I am linking up to Friday Favorite Finds.  Pop on over to see what other bloggers have found this week.

Monday, August 13, 2012

SRC Reveal Day-Island Spice Pork Tenderloin

Since this is Monday, I first want to welcome my new followers and to thank all of you who take the time out of your busy lives to read this blog.  It is most appreciated, and I hope that you find the information I post here useful.  Now to the business at hand.

My assignment for this month’s Secret Recipe Club was Cheese Curd in Paradise.  I was somewhat familiar with this blog as Ashley and I have both participated in the now wrapped up Crazy Cooking Challenge.

This blog was started in 2009 and has many, many wonderful sounding recipes on it.  It was extremely difficult for me to narrow them down to just one recipe to post.  Because I fix a lot of pork tenderloin, the Island Spiced Pork Tenderloin caught my eye.  I finally decided it was the recipe to try.

I am always looking for new rubs to use on meat, and this one is a winner.  The pork was well-seasoned, moist and tender.  Don’t tell anyone, but the pan juices were so good that I sopped them up with a piece of bread before I washed the baking dish.

Hubby gave the dish a big “thumbs up.”  That is a good thing as I have about half of the rub mixture left over.  I know he will enjoy the leftovers when he heats them up while I am working this week.  This is a keeper recipe that I will definitely make often.  Thanks, Ashley, for sharing a great recipe.

My tenderloin was only about 1 1/2 lbs. which is why I probably had part of the rub mixture left over.  After I use that up, I will probably halve the rub ingredients.  I did cut the olive oil and hot sauce in half.  I don’t grill so just roasted the tenderloin in the oven as I usually do.  It took about an hour at 350 degrees.

I want to try the rub with  a regular pork loin roast, and I think it would be good on grilled or broiled pork chops or steak.  I may even try it on a whole roast chicken.

Some other recipes that I plan to make soon are Van Abels Green Beans, Baked BBQ Ranch Pork Chops, and Gluten Free Sour Cream Lemon Pie.  Gee, I think if I add some potatoes I have the makings for a great meal right there.

Island Spiced Pork Tenderloin
From Cheese Curd in Paradise

2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1t. ground cinnamon
3 T. brown sugar
2 pork tenderloins (about 2 to 2 1/2 lbs. total)
2 T. olive oil
2 t. hot sauce

In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, cinnamon and brown sugar.  Set aside.  In another small bowl combine olive oil and hot sauce.  Place tenderloins in a roasting pan.  Brush oil/hot sauce mixture over the pork.  Sprinkle the tenderloins with the spice mixture and rub in.  (I sprinkle with one hand and rub with the other.  This keeps the spice mixture from becoming contaminated.)  Place in a preheated 350-degree oven and roast about 1 hour until a meat thermometer registers 155 to 160 degrees.  Let pork rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.  Or grill as Ashley did.  Heat a grill to medium-low.  She said to think of the tenderloin as having 4 sides.  Cook 4 to 5 minutes per “side” or until a meat thermometer registers 155 to 160 degrees.  My 1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin easily serves 4 so 2 to 2 1/2 lbs. should serve 6 to 8.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Finds

Since it is so hot here and seems to be the same across most of the country, I thought that this week I would share some cooling or no-bake sweets recipes that I have found.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Lynn adapted the well-known Chocolate No-Bake Cookie recipe to make it into a bar.  I almost always have the ingredients on hand to make these.  I like this more formal presentation of this cookie.
Lynn's Kitchen Adventures
I may like butterscotch flavor even more than chocolate.  If I find that I have the pudding mix on hand, I will be making these tomorrow.  If not, the pudding mix is going on this week's grocery list.

Love and Laundry

This looks cooling and delicious and seems quick and easy to make.  I could probably get addicted to these.

I always keep frozen bananas in my freezer to make smoothies, but I love this idea of freezing the yogurt in ice cube trays and having it frozen also.

Wonky Wonderful

Since there are only two of us, we rarely can finish a whole watermelon, but I don't like to pay the premium price for precut ones.  I love this idea for using some of that watermelon up.  She also has a great recipe for a Salted Watermelon Slushy on her blog.

Good Life Eats
I said in a previous Friday Finds that I just might have to find and buy some popsicle molds.  Now I really, really need to do that.  Chocolate, cheesecake and mint.  What more could one ask
Alli n' Son

I know that this is not exactly a sweet, but I have been looking for a good corn salad to take to a get together this weekend.  This one looks easy to make and delicious.  I like that it uses canned corn with the peppers already in it.  Saves work.  It may be the one I'll make.

I am linking up to Friday Favorite Finds.  Pop on over to see the great recipes other bloggers have found this week.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Crazy Cooking Challenge-Peanut Butter/Chocolate Cheesecake Cups

It is time for another Crazy Cooking Challenge hosted by Tina over at Mom’s Crazy Cooking.  This month’s subject is Cheesecake.

Since Tina changed the guidelines last month, and we can now find our recipes anywhere, I decided to share a long time favorite of mine.  I don’t make a lot of cheesecake, but I do love these little Peanut Butter/Chocolate Cheesecake Cups.  Peanut Butter and Chocolate just go so well together.  I have been making this recipe for many years.  I clipped it from a Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

If I am buying cream cheese just for this recipe, I buy one 8-oz. pkg. and one 3 oz. pkg.  I, however, usually have 8 oz. pkgs. of cream cheese on hand and use 1 1/2 8 oz. pkgs. of cream cheese.  It doesn’t seem to make much difference in the final result.

You MUST use creamy peanut butter in this recipe.  I tried crunchy once, and it just did not work.  The peanut butter and chocolate mixture stayed separated.  I use a measuring tablespoon to distribute the batters into the muffin cups. I like to drop the chocolate mixture into the peanut butter mixture and just let it settle.  This usually results in a little ring of peanut butter batter showing around the edges of the chocolate.

For an elegant presentation, peel off the paper liners, invert the cups on a dessert plate and top with a dollop of whipped cream.

These are great to take to a party or a potluck.

Peanut Butter/Chocolate Cheesecake Cups
from Better Homes and Gardens magazine

3/4 c. crushed chocolate covered graham crackers
11 to 12-oz. cream cheese, softened  (may be low fat, but not fat-free)
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. milk
2 eggs at room temperature and slightly beaten
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1/3 c. creamy peanut butter

Line a 2 1/2-inch muffin pan with paper baking cups.  Place about 1 T. crushed chocolate covered graham crackers in the bottom of each cup, spreading evenly.  In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy.  Beat in milk.  Add eggs, beating until just blended.   (Do not overmix.)  Divide batter in half.  Stir melted chocolate into one-half the batter, mixing until smooth.  Stir peanut butter into the second half of the batter, mixing until smooth.  Place 2 T. peanut butter mixture in each muffin cup.  Spread evenly.  Spoon 2 T. chocolate mixture into the center of the peanut butter mixture and let it settle.  Bake at 325 degrees 20-25 minutes or until set.  Cool on a wire rack.  Place in a covered container and chill until serving time.  Peel off paper cups and invert onto a dessert dish to serve.  Top with a dollop of whipped cream.  Makes 12 cheesecake cups.

Linking to:  Crazy Cooking Challenge

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Finds

Every Friday there is a blog party called Weekend Potluck.  This is a multi-host party hosted by Marsha at The Better Baker, Brandie at The Country Cook, Penny at Meet Penny, Tonya at 4 little Ferguson's, Holly at Life as a Lofthouse, and Kim and Julie at Sunflower Supper Club.  Recipes that are linked show up at all six blogs.

Here is some of what I found on Friday, July 27, 2012.

Fort Worth Mama

This is a nice basic macaroni salad that you could vary with your own choice of ingredients.  Would be great to take to a summer potluck.

Julie's Eats and Treats

Here is an interesting combination of chicken, cashews, grapes and cranberries.  I want to try this soon.

Eat Cake for Dinner

You all know that I am always looking for new ways to fix potatoes.  These look very yummy.

I know that this is taking perfectly healthy carrots and making they not so healthy, but you can't go wrong with bacon.  These look as though they would be very fun to make.

Practical Stewardship

This seems like a nice, clear, easy way to make your own starter to make sourdough bread.  I want to give this a try when the weather cools off.

Ginger Bakes

She says calling these a muffin might be a stretch, I say, "Who cares."  Muffin or cupcake, I wish that I had these in my kitchen right now.

If you want to find some great recipes plan to stop at any of the hosts blogs each Friday for Weekend Potluck.

As always all photos were taken by and are the property of the owners of the respective blogs represented.

I am linking to Friday Favorite Finds.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ingredient Spotlight-Cran/Ras/Pineapple Squares


Today the Ingredient Spotlight over at Eat at Home is sweetened condensed milk.

One of the things I like best about making my own sweetened condensed milk is that I can freeze it in just the amounts needed for a particular recipe and not have to figure out what to do with the leftovers from an opened can.

For this recipe, I did make the milk with half sugar and half Splenda and left out the butter.

This recipe makes a great light summer dessert with a taste of fall coming from the cranberries. Although it must be made ahead, it is very easy to put together.  If I remember to do it, I put the can of cranberry sauce in the freezer for several hours before I start to make this.  It helps make the gelatin set up faster.

You can use a graham cracker or vanilla wafer crust.  I used vanilla wafers as I had them left from making the Peanut Butter Banana Cream Squares.  The crust may be baked at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned then cooled, or it can simply be chilled for 30 minutes which is great to do when the weather is hot.

The marshmallow/milk mixture stabilizes the whipped cream so the topping will stand up for several days.  This combo could be used on other desserts calling for whipped cream topping.

I adapted this recipe from a pie recipe  I found in a Nov./Dec. 2007 issue of Simple & Delicious magazine.


Cran/Ras/Pineapple Squares
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (about 24 squares)
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. melted butter
1 1/2 c. vanilla wafer crumbs (about 30-36 wafers)
1/4 c. melted butter
1 can (8 oz.) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
1 small pkg. raspberry gelatin, regular or sugar-free
1 can whole-berry cranberry sauce
2 c. miniature marshmallows
1/4 c. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 c. heavy whipping cream, whipped

In a mixing bowl combine either the graham cracker crumbs or the vanilla wafer crumbs with the other crust ingredients and mix well.  Press into a foil-lined 8-in. square baking pan.  Either bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes and let cool or place in fridge and chill for 30 minutes before filling.  Meanwhile, pour pineapple into a sieve placed over a glass measuring cup.  Let drain 10 to 15 minutes.  Set pineapple aside.  Add enough water to pineapple juice to make 1 c.  Place cup in microwave and heat to boiling, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Pour juice/water mixture into a mixing bowl.  Add gelatin and stir until dissolved.  Add cranberry sauce and mix until well blended.  The mixture will be lumpy because of the cranberries.  Add pineapple. Refrigerate until partially set.  Pour into prepared crust.  Refrigerate until completely set.  When gelatin is almost set, make the topping.  Combine marshmallows and sweetened condensed milk in a heavy saucepan.  Cook and stir over medium-low heat until marshmallows are melted.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl, cover and let stand until at room temperature.  Meanwhile whip the cream.  Mix a third of the whipped cream into the marshmallow/milk mixture.  (Mixture will be stringy at first.)  Fold in the remaining whipped cream.  Spread over gelatin layer.  Refrigerate until set.  Using the foil, lift dessert from pan.  Cut into squares.  Makes 9 servings.  This will keep well for several days.

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