Thursday, March 28, 2013

Blooming Cheese Loaf

This is super good especially with pizza dipping sauces! The bread strips pull off like little bread sticks! My kids at the whole thing in 30 minutes. I served this as an entree with a salad.

Blooming Cheese Loaf

1 loaf of white bread, not sliced (I made one in my bread maker)
8-10 slices of mozzarella or cheddar cheese (I used both)
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 stick of melted salted butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Italian herbs

Cut horizontal and vertical cuts into bread loaf, not slicing all the way through to the bottom. Cut cheese slices into 1 inch strips and place between bread slices. Sprinkle onions over the top. Melt butter with garlic and herbs. Pour over bread. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Serve hot!

Veggie Bars

There are the perfect h'orderves. They are creamy and refreshing - a hit for your party!

Veggie Bars
  • 2 cans crescent rolls
  • 1 cucumber, cut in thin slices
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 small tub sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • dash of salt & pepper
Roll out crescent roll dough onto cookie sheet. Bake according to directions on can. Cool and set aside. Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, dill, garlic, salt & pepper. Spread over cooled dough. Cut a slit into the sides of cucumber slices and fold for the fancy look above. You can also top with cherry tomatoes and broccoli florets. Sprinkle dill on top. Refrigerate for 2 hours and cut into bars. Serve cold.

Bostom Creme Pie Pancakes

These are so delicious! I was in a hurry so I didn't strain my custard as you can see in my picture. Nevertheless it was fabulous!

  • 1 cup Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 cup Dry Pancake Mix
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 whole Eggs
Pastry Cream:
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Half-n-Half
  • 1 Vanilla Bean, split and seeds scraped (or 2 1/2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract)
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
Chocolate Ganache:
  • 8 oz. Chocolate (I used a jar of Nutella)
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
Pastry Cream: Make up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerate until 1 hour prior to use.

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, heavy cream and vanilla bean to a boil over medium heat. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain. Temper the eggs by whisking in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture until incorporated. Whisk in the remaining hot milk slowly.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and slowly boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Let cool slightly. Press through a fine mesh strainer to remove any curdled bits and remove husk of vanilla bean. Cover strained pastry cream with plastic wrap, and press the plastic wrap on top of the pastry cream to make sure it doesn’t form a skin. Chill at least 2 hours or until ready to serve

Chocolate Ganache: In small saucepan, heat heavy cream. Stir in chocolate and whisk until melted and the two are completely combined. Remove from heat and set aside.

Pancakes: In large bowl, whisk together pancake mix and cake mix. Stir in milk, eggs and vanilla until the mixture is smooth. Heat a large griddle or large pan over medium high heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour 1/3 cup of batter into pan or griddle and allow to cook until golden brown on the bottom, 2-3 minutes. Gingerly flip pancake over and continue to cook until the other side has turned golden brown – about 1 ½ minutes. Remove from griddle/pan and allow to cool.

To assemble – stack pancakes and layer with prepared pastry cream between each pancake. Pour chocolate ganache over the top

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Berry Best Dip

This was easy and another great way to help your children eat more fruit!

Berry Best Dip
  • 7 oz marshmallow creme
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup crushed strawberries

Blend together in mixer until smooth and silky. Enjoy!

Coconut Cream Dip

This is so delicious! My family could not stop eating it. It's the perfect way to get your kids to eat more fruit!

Coconut Cream Dip
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 (15oz) can Cream of Coconut (Not coconut milk! Find this in the aisle with the margarita mix & other mixers.)
  • 1/2 (8oz) tub Cool Whip
 Mix all ingredients together until lumps are gone.

Green Goddess Dip

Green Goddess Dip
  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh basil
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • pinch salt and pepper
Combine all the ingredients and process in your food processor until smooth. Or use a mixer and blend everything. Serve with taco chips. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Lasagna

I am all about easy! I seldom make lasagna because it seems like so much work and mine always seems to watery in the end and doesn't hold together. Well, having it slow cook all day in the Crock Pot seems to take care of the too watery problem. The picture on the blue plate it how it looks when you cut out a piece right away, the picture on the top is how it looks when you serve it the next day - and that's the secret. This recipe is so delicious!

Crock Pot Lasagna
  • 2 containers ( 15 oz. ea.) ricotta cheese
  • 1 lb lean ground beef, cooked until brown
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (about 8 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Vegetable Soup Mix (or another flavor)
  • 2 jars (1 lb. 8 oz. ea.)Spaghetti sauce
  • 12 lasagna noodles, uncooked
Combine cooked ground beef, ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup parmesan, eggs, spinach and Lipton Recipe Secrets Vegetable Soup Mix in medium bowl; set aside.

Spread 1 cup Pasta Sauce in 6-quart slow cooker. Layer in 4 lasagna noodles, broken to fit, then 1 cup Pasta Sauce and 1/2 of the ricotta mixture; repeat. Top with remaining 4 lasagna noodles and 2 cups Pasta Sauce. Reserve remaining Pasta Sauce. Cook covered on LOW 5 to 6 hours.

Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Cover and cook an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with remaining Pasta Sauce, heated.

Feta Meatballs & Lemon Orzo

I had heard about a similar recipe, but I just put this together in my head as I went along. It's super tasty! My husband likes his meatballs well done - so I really let these babies cook!

Feta Meatballs & Lemon Orzo 

  • 1 lb of lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 (32 oz) cans of chicken stock
  • 1 pkg of Orzo pasta
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp grated lemon
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste 
Mix meatball ingredients together in large bowl. Add more breadcrumbs if needed. Shape in 2 inch balls and cook in medium high in a skillet until centers are no longer pink.

In a pot on medium high add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add orzo and boil according to directions on pkg (about 10 minutes). Turn heat to medium low and and remaining ingredients. Pour soup in a soup plate and top with meatballs. Enjoy!

Favorite Cooking Tool - Microwave Chips!

Okay, every now and then I come across a product that just enhances my cooking and recipes - this is one of them! It's the Microwave Chip Maker from Pampered Chef! I love that I can pop my potato slices in the microwave without using any oil (or salt for that matter) and minutes later they come out crisp, crunchy and with so much flavor! Even the sweet potatoes. I found that for faster results, I have to turn the turn table option off so they sit still - it makes them cook quicker. These are just delicious!