Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cheesecake Cookie Cups

This recipe was on the back of our Visiting Teaching Message this month. Jeff and I loved them as is, Hannah loved them without the cherries on top and Ernest thought they were too sweet. I think my vote is the one that counts!

Cheesecake Cookie Cups
by Nestle

1 pkg (16.5 oz) Nestle Toll House Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar Dough
2 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, room temperature
1 can (14 oz) Nestle Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 325° F. Paper-line 24 muffin cups. Place one piece of cookie dough in each muffin cup. BAKE for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookie has spread to edge of cup.

Beat cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, eggs and vanilla extract in medium bowl until smooth. Pour about 3 tablespoons cream cheese mixture over each cookie in cup.

Bake for additional 15 to 18 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Top each with level tablespoon of pie filling. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Creamy Corn Chowder

I've been looking for that perfect Corn Chowder recipe that everyone wants more of and can't wait to eat it when the weather gets cold. This one comes close, but I think I'm going to keep looking.

Creamy Corn Chowder
by Our Best Bites

2 TBSP butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
2 1/2 cup milk (any kinds is fine)
2 regular-sized chicken bouillon cubes, 1 Knorr chicken bouillon cube, or 2 tsp. chicken base
1/2 lb bacon (optional)
1 small-medium onion, minced
2 red potatoes, diced into small cubes
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can corn, drained or about 1 1/2 cups frozen fresh corn
Salt and pepper to taste
A few dashes of hot sauce (like Tabasco or Cholula)(I left this out)

Fry bacon until crisp. In the meantime, melt butter over low heat in a soup pot. When melted, add flour to make a roux and whisk until it comes together in a little ball. Add water and whisk until completely combined and there are no lumps. Add milk and chicken base or bouillon and bring to a simmer. Add potatoes, onions, and garlic, and simmer (but don't boil!), stirring very frequently, for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add crumbled bacon and corn and heat through. Add a few drops of hot sauce and then salt to taste. Start with about 1/4 tsp, give it a few minutes, and then add more if you need it.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with extra bacon and/or cheese if you want.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pastry Pockets (Freezer Meal)

A few friends came over today and we made some Freezer Meals together. I'll be posting the other recipes as I try them. I cooked some of these Pastry Pockets right away and the rest are in the freezer. They were so good! I will be making these again!

Very flaky!

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pastry Pockets
Our Best Bites

1 box puff pastry (2 sheets)
1 8 oz container Philadelphia Chive and Onion flavor Cream Cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cup cooked shredded chicken breast
1/3 cup cooked crumbled bacon
3 TBSP finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 egg
1 TBSP water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Warm cream cheese in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to soften. Place in a mixing bowl with mozzarella cheese, chicken, bacon, and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir to combine and set aside.

Defrost puff pastry sheets according to package directions. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll one sheet at a time into a 12 x 12 inch square. Cut 4, 3 inch strips each direction to make 16 squares, 3 x 3" each.

Place about 2 teaspoons of cream cheese mixture onto each square. With your finger, brush a dab of water around the edges of each square and fold over diagonally to make a triangle. Press edges together and crimp with a fork to seal.

After stuffing and folding each pastry, place on a baking sheet. Whisk egg and 1 tablespoon water together and brush over the top of each pastry. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Can also be served at room temperature.

Freezer instructions: Follow directions through egg wash. Place baking sheet in the freezer. When pastries are solid to the touch, transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer. When ready to bake, place frozen pastries directly on a baking sheet in preheated 400 degree oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and golden.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (aka Congo Bars)
by Bakerella

2 ¾ cup all purpose flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 lb light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
11.5 oz package milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Set aside. Stir brown sugar into softened (not melted) butter in another large bowl until butter disappears. You can use the back of your spoon to help incorporate the two together. Add eggs one at a time to butter mixture and stir well after each egg. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts. Mix well. Add dry flour mixture and stir until well combined. Coat a 13 X 9 pan with non-stick spray and spread batter evenly into dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Make sure you don’t over bake.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Homemade Tortillas

Yesterday my friend Tonya came over to show me how to make homemade tortillas from scratch. It was so much easier than I thought and of course they tasted better than the store bought ones.

Homemade Tortillas
by Tonya L.

2 cups white flour*
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp baking powder
1/3 cup shortening
¾ cups warm water

Mix flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles course crumbs. Slowly stir in water and fluff with fork until dough forms. Turn out onto floured surface. Kneed dough until it is smooth (about 10 times). Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Pinch off a small ball of dough and roll out on floured surface. Tortillas should be thin and elastic about 10 inches in diameter. Cook on stove top, in un-greased iron skillet, nonstick pan, or electric grilled. Cook on one side until just barely brown, flip once and brown other side. Keep a tooth pick near by to poke out any large air bubbles.

* or 1 1/3 cups white flour and 2/3 cups whole wheat flour

Monday, May 17, 2010

Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

This was SO much better than store bought frosting, or any other buttercream frosting I have made before. I found myself eating the bottom of the cupcakes first, so the frosting would be my last bite! It is a little more work than opening up a can of frosting from the store, but it's worth it. I'll never buy ready made frosting from the store again!

Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Food Network

3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 to 2 TBSP whipping cream (I didn't have any, so I used half-n-half)

In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

One Color Mochi

This is one of the boys favorite treats from Hawaii. Mochi is a traditional Japanese food that's soft and chewy. I made two batches of this in a two day period and Takeshi at one 9 x 13 pan all by himself!

One Color Mochi
by Dianne Naehu

1 lb Mochiko (sweet rice flour; found in asian section)
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups water
13.5 to 14 oz can coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp red or blue food coloring
potato or corn starch for dusting

Preheat oven to 350. Mix first 3 ingredients together. Add water, coconut milk, vanilla and food coloring to dry mixture. Pour into 9x13 pan. Cover with foiland bake 1 hour. DO NOT OVERBAKE! Cool completely. Turn onto potato corn starch dusted surface and cut with plastic knife. Dust top and sides with potato or corn starch

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Easy Baked Manicotti

Photo by

This was a very easy recipe to make with the exception of stuffing the shells. I had a difficult time using the resealable plastic bag to fill the shells, and ended up filling them by hand. Ernest loved this meal and ate it for lunch the next two days straight as leftovers. Jeff and Hannah didn't like this recipe at all, although I never got a straight answer as to why they didn't like it.

Easy Baked Manicotti
Kraft Foods

2 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
1-3/4 cups POLLY-O Original Ricotta Cheese
1-1/2 cups KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup pesto
12 manicotti shells, cooked, rinsed in cold water

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread 3/4 cup sauce onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish. Mix cheeses, egg and pesto until well blended; spoon into resealable plastic bag. Use scissors to cut small corner from bottom of bag. Fill manicotti shells by squeezing cheese mixture into both sides of each shell; place in baking dish. Top with remaining sauce; cover. Bake 40 min. or until heated through

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake
by Mary Nolan

1 ½ lbs strawberries, stemmed and quartered
5 TBSP sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
2 TBSP sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ cups heavy cream
Whipped Cream, recipe follows

Mix strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar and refrigerate while juices develop, at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add heavy cream and mix until just combined. Place mixture in an ungreased 8-inch square pan and bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove shortcake from pan and place on a rack to cool slightly. Cut into 6 pieces and split each piece in half horizontally. Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then the shortcake top. Spoon more strawberries over the top and serve.

Whipped Cream
1 ½ cups heavy cream, chilled
3 TBSP sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest (I left this out)

Using a mixer, beat the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest until soft peaks form, about 1 ½ to 2 minutes.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Since we didn't use an entire pound of chicken for this meal, I used the leftover chicken for our Chicken Salad sandwiches.

Buffalo Chicken Salad
by Favorite Family Recipes

1 lb chicken
1 bottle Frank's Buffalo Chicken sauce
3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup grilled corn kernels (optional)
cheese, shredded
sunflower seeds
ranch or blue cheese dressing (we used honey mustard)

Heat oven to 375-degrees. Cover chicken in Buffalo Chicken sauce and place on a greased pan. Place in oven and bake about 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Cut chicken into slices and place in a large bowl. Stir in more Buffalo Chicken sauce until chicken is well coated. Shred lettuce and place on plate. Add chicken, egg, avocado, corn, cheese, sunflower seeds and top with dressing.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

At our ward party last Friday, someone had made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. Ernest loved them, and so I started asking people to try and find out who made them. I never found the baker, so I searched on the internet for a recipe to try. I found this one and we all loved the cookies. Hannah kept saying (with disbelief) "These are really good! I can't believe how good these are!" I guess that means I'll be making these again.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Food Network

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips, not semisweet
Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges (I only cooked mine for 14 minutes). Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.