Friday, April 30, 2010

Blueberry Cheesecake Muffins

I found this to be really good. John's not much for muffins.
John's Rating: 7-8
Recipe from: Taste of Home Feb/March 2006
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup milk

Cream Cheese Filling:
2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup fresh blueberries

Steusel Topping:
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp cold butter

IN a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs; beat well.
Combine the flour, baking powder and cinnamon; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups half full.
For filling, in a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sguar and egg until smooth.
Fold in the berries.
Drop a rounded Tbspful into the center of each muffin.
For topping, combine the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; cut in butter until crumbly.
Sprinkle over batter.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
Serve warm.
Refrigerate leftovers.
Yield: 1-1/2 dozen

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Country Sausage Gravy

The other night at dinner, John mentioned that he'd really like some biscuits and sausage gravy. So....I found a recipe for the gravy and served it with these biscuits.
John's Rating: 8

Recipe from: Recipezaar

1 lb pork sausage
3 tablespoons butter or bacon grease
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions
1Brown the pork sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2Set aside, leaving the drippings in the skillet.
3Stir the butter or bacon grease into the sausage drippings.
4Reduce the heat to medium, add the flour, stirring constantly until the mixture turns a golden brown.
5Gradually whisk the milk into skillet.
6Once the mixture is smooth, thickened, and begins to bubble, return the sausage to skillet.
7Season with salt and pepper.
8Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 more minutes.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Country Fresh Biscuits

This recipe makes a lot! But it is a really good recipe! John doesn't like biscuits unless they are served with sausage gravy....
John's Rating: 8 (with the gravy)

Recipe from: The Farm Girl
6 c. flour
1/2 c. dry milk powder
1/4 c. baking powder
1/4 c. sugar
2 t. salt
2 c. butter (butter flavored Crisco works great too)
2 c. water
* Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
* Mix all dry ingredients together in large bowl. Cut butter into dry ingredients. Add water to make a soft dough. Roll out atleast 1-inch thick. Cut into circles and bake for 12-15 mins.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup was good, but it did make a lot for us (enough for 3 meals) so I will scale back next time or plan to feed more people. I tossed in corn and some black beans....I think they were a great addition.
John's Rating: 8
Recipe from recipezaar.
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup onion, diced
2 fresh diced garlic cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons corn oil (I just used veg. oil)
7 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 pint crushed tomatoes
1 small can green chilies
3 Tbsp. taco seasoning
10 corn tortillas (broken or cut into small pieces)
12 ounces cooked chicken meat, diced
1 cup milk
12 ounces monterey jack cheese or Mexican blend cheese, shredded
corn tortilla chips, broken into small pieces

Optional: add a can of black beans and a can of corn (both drained).

Directions
1Saute carrots, onions, celery in corn oil, garlic, salt and pepper until tender.
2Add chicken broth and bring to boil.
3Add tomatoes, chilies, taco seasoning, and chicken.
4Cut Tortillas into small pieces and add to broth mixture.
5Let boil for 20 minutes or until tortillas are thoroughly incorporated into soup stirring occasionally to keep from sticking.
6Reduce heat and add 8 oz. cheese. Simmer for additional 10 minutes.
7Add milk and simmer for additional 10 minutes.
8If thicker soup is desired, add more diced tortillas and let incorporate into soup.
9Garnish with shredded cheese and broken tortilla chips.

Substitutions: 1 cup Masa Harina (Masa Flour) for 1 10 ct. package of corn tortillas. Gradually add masa flour mixing into broth, mixing thoroughly into broth. If thicker soup is desired, add more masa flour. (I have not tried this)

**Can also make in the crockpot: put all ingredients except cheese and milk in crock pot and let simmer on low all day. Add milk and cheese before serving. (I have not tried this yet either, but love the idea!)

Sloppy Joes

This was my first time ever making sloppy joes...but it was a nice change and a good way to use up some hamburger buns. I cut the recipe in half for us and it was plenty for our small family.
John's Rating: 7-8

Recipe from: Recipe for Disaster
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbs. heaping brown sugar
1 Tbs. vinegar
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbs. mustard
1/2 tsp. ground cloves (I left this out...I didn't have any)
1 tsp. salt

In a large skillet, combine ground beef, onion and green pepper. Cook until ground beef is browned. Drain off fat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.Serve on lightly toasted (or not) hamburger buns

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

Mmm....it's that time of year when we get to enjoy sweet, fresh strawberries. Today was nice and warm, esp. considering how cold of a spring we have had, so we finished our day with this:
John's Rating: 9
Recipe from: maya*made
Ingredients:

-1 cup fresh strawberries
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 pint half and half
-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (I only used 1 of the strong vanillla from Costco)
-1 teaspoon lemon juice
-a few grains of salt
Mash the berries and mix with sugar. Let stand at room temperature for an hour, then mix with remaining ingredients. Chill, crank according to your machine or method...eat!

SO good!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lemon Cheesecake Pie

This was a dessert I really enjoyed...I need to use my smaller pie pan next time to make the layers a little thicker, but it was still great. I found this recipe on recipezaar. I changed it a little based on the reviews there. So here's how I made it:
John's Rating: 9

Crust
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (one sleeve)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Cream Cheese Filling
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Lemon Filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 dash salt
3/4 cup water plus 2 Tbsp.
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter

Directions
1Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2Make the crust by combining the graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and sugar in a small bowl.
3Press the crust mixture into an 8-inch pie pan.
4Prepare the cream cheese filling by mixing cream cheese with 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla and an egg using an electric mixer.
5Mix well until smooth.
6Pour cream cheese filling into graham cracker crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until center is cooked.
7A knife stuck in the middle of the filling should come out mostly clean.
8As the pie cools, make the lemon filling by combining 1/2 cup sugar with cornstarch, salt and water in a small saucepan.
9Set mixture over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring often.
10Whisk in some of the sauce from the pan in with the egg yolks and stir, then pour the egg mixture back into the pan, then add lemon juice and butter.
11When mixture simmers again remove it immediately from the heat.
12Pour the lemon filling over the cream cheese filling, and let the pie cool.
13When cool, chill pie in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cheese Enchiladas

I found this recipe on recipezaar and gave it a try. I made a few minor changes from that recipe, but it is pretty much the same. Mine are nice and cheesy...I used colby monterey jack this time for all of the cheese. This recipe made a lot...
John's Rating: 9

1 pint enchilada sauce
1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 cup water
1 large onion, diced
1 (8 ounce) can olives, diced (this is half a large can)
10 ounces monterey jack cheese
10 ounces cheddar cheese
20 corn tortillas (could toss in a few more)

Directions
In a wide shallow bowl, mix enchilada sauce, tomato sauce and chili powder and water; set aside.
Shred both cheeses and mix together in a bowl. Soften tortillas in the microwave (cover with a slightly damp while doing this) Dip heated tortilla in the sauce and then slide into a square or rectangular shaped casserole dish. Fill tortilla with olives, onion and cheese.

Repeat process stacking each new enchilada next to the previous one until dish is full. Pour remaining sauce evenly over the enchiladas, top with any remaining cheese, onions and olives. Bake at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes until the cheese is melting and bubbly.

**(I haven't tried this yet) To Freeze: Flash freeze uncooked, wrap and label.
To Reheat: Defrost overnight, and cook per directions for 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and melted.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Black Bottom Coconut Bars

This recipe is a Martha Stewart recipe, but I found it on My Sister's Kitchen and knew I had to try it (despite the fact that my husband hates coconut, but my dad loves it, so I gave a bunch to him) Plus it's nice that this makes a smaller pan. These were SO good!

Ingredients
FOR CHOCOLATE BASE
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

FOR COCONUT TOPPING
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 package sweetened shredded coconut (7 ounces),1/2 cup reserved for sprinkling (This was a half a pkg for me)

Directions
For chocolate base: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving a slight overhang; butter bottom and sides of foil (not overhang).Place butter in a large microwave-safe bowl; melt in microwave. Add sugar and salt; whisk to combine. Whisk in egg, then cocoa and flour until smooth. Spread batter in prepared pan.Bake just until sides begin to pull away from edges of pan, 10 to 15 minutes (do not overbake). Let cool slightly while preparing coconut topping. Keep oven on for topping.For coconut topping: In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with sugar and vanilla. Gently mix in flour and coconut (except 1/2 cup reserved for sprinkling).Drop mounds of mixture over chocolate base; spread and pat in gently and evenly with moistened fingers. Sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup coconut.Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Lift cake from pan, peel off foil, and cut into 24 bars. Store in an airtight container 3 to 4 days.