Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ladyfinger Cheesecake

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas! I wanted to post this before Christmas in case anyone wanted to try the recipe, but there is still time for your New Year's dinner!  :)  Sometimes it is hard to find the ladyfingers so if that is the case, you could make it without using them and it still would be very yummy!!  Also, in the directions, it says to use the two crust mixes from both packages, but I find that is too much crust and I just use one of them. Save the other crust mix for another use, if you wish. I didn't use any pie filling on the top this time either but it is good with it, although as you can see, not necessary. This is so easy as you use the cheesecake mixes so doesn't take a lot of time to make. Hope you enjoy it!!

No Bake Ladyfinger Cheesecake

2 pkgs. (11 ozs. each) no-bake cheesecake mixes
2/3 cup butter or oleo, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 pkg. (3oz.) ladyfingers
1- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 cups milk, divided
12 oz. carton of cool whip, thawed
1 can raspberry, cherry, blueberry, or flavor of choice

Combine contents of crust mix pkgs, butter, & sugar. If you use just one, cut back on the butter & sugar.
Press into bottom of ungreased 10 inch springform pan. Arrange ladyfingers around edge of pan. In large bowl, beat cheese and 1/2 cup milk until smooth. Gradually beat in remaining milk. Add contents of filling mix pkgs., beat until smooth & beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Fold in cool whip. Pour over crust & smooth. Cover & refrigerate for at least one hour. Top with chosen pie filling if desired. Remove sides of pan before serving.   Makes 12 servings   Enjoy  and  "Happy New Year"!!!!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

I think we are finally into winter after cooling down this past weekend. Thanksgiving Day was so nice but what a change for the day after! Some parts had a little snow accumulation but in my area just snow covered roads that lasted only for the one night, which was fine with me!  A week or so ago while looking for soup recipes on the internet, I came across this recipe and since I had company dropping in yesterday, I decided to make it...I know, not good to experiment for company, but since this had half & half in it, how bad could it be??!  :)  It turned out to be very good! I had never bought the Potato Gnocchi (or any Gnocchi, for that matter, didn't even know it existed!) before but I really like it. It could be used in chicken noodle  or dumplings soup too as they are Italian dumplings.  The recipe says to reserve the cup of broth from the chicken container but mine didn't have that much, maybe a quarter of a cup, so don't worry if there isn't much in the container. I suppose you could add some chicken broth but I didn't. I would cut back on the cornstarch again using only one tablespoon as mine was a little thicker than it should have been..but still good!!

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
4 stalks celery, cut fine
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 Rotisserie chicken, plus 1 cup reserved broth from bottom of container
7 cups hot water
8 chicken bouillon cubes
16 oz. pkg. Potato Gnocchi
4 cups half & half
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbs. sugar
1/4 cup cold water
5 tbs. cornstarch (or less if you want thinner soup)
salt & pepper
2 tbs. butter

Chop onion, garlic, celery, and grate carrots. Heat large kettle over medium heat. Pour 2 or 3 tbs. of olive oil into pan. When hot, toss in vegetables and toss and cook until onions are translucent. Take chicken from pkg. and set on cookie sheet. Pour the broth that is on the bottom of the container into a measuring cup. You should have about 1 cup. Take the skin off the chicken and take the meat off the bones. Chop the meat up. When vegetables are done, pour broth in cooking kettle along with the 7 cups of hot water. Add 8 chicken bouillon cubes and stir. Add the chicken and bring to a boil.  Open Gnocchi and pour into kettle. Let the soup come to a boil and allow Gnocchi to cook for 4 to 5 minutes. It will cooked through when they float to the top of the broth. It should happen fairly fast. Chop 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach and toss into soup. Pour in 4 cups of half & half, 1 tbs. thyme, 1/8 tsp. nutmeg, 1 tbs. sugar, and 2 tbs. butter. Stir and let come to a boil. In small bowl, combine 1/4 cup cold water and 5 tbs. cornstarch. Mix well and pour/stir into soup. Bring to a boil while you stir. It will thicken as the soup reaches a boil. Taste and season to your liking with salt and pepper

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My New Favorite Banana Bread Recipe

This is the second time I have made this recipe and it's now official, it is my new favorite!  :) 

Banana Bread

1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (3 medium)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Or use 4 mini loaf pans. With electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat to mix. In medium bowl whisk together flour, soda,, and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix to combine. Stir in nuts and pour into prepared pan(s)  If using one pan, bake about 1 hour 10 minutes or until tests done. If using the mini pans, bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until done. Let rest in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cranberry Chicken Breast

I found this recipe on the Gardenweb site yesterday and had it last night. It is such an easy one to fix and it is delicious! The recipe says you can assemble the ingredients in a freezer bag, including the chicken breasts and the day you want to bake them, just take from freezer in the morning, place in refrigerator to thaw for the day and arrange in pan and bake that night. Great for working mom's, etc. Enjoy!

Cranberry Chicken Breast

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 oz. bottle of Catalina dressing
1 envelope of dry onion soup mix
1 lb. can whole cranberry sauce
Mix together dressing, onion soup mix, and cranberry sauce.

Place in greased baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, uncovered.  You can also mix all of the ingredients , including chicken, and put in freezer bag and freeze until needed. On serving day, thaw completely in refrigerator, place in baking pan and bake. 

If your not a huge fan of onions, you can always cut back on the onion soup mix a little.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

30-Minute Supper


Gently poaching the chicken breasts in the simmering soup improves their flavor and keeps them tender.

16 oz. bag frozen corn, thawed
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tbs. unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
1 celery rib, sliced thin
salt & pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts , cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 to 3 cups egg noodles (Light & Fluffy Wide Egg Noodles is the test kitchen's top-rated brand)

1. Combine 2 cups corn and 2 cups broth in a blender and puree until smooth. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, remaining corn, and 1/2 tsp. salt until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Stir in remaining broth, chicken, noodles, and pureed corn mixture. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until noodles are tender and chicken is cooked through. Season with salt & pepper.

This recipe is from the 'Cook's Country' recipes.  A good choice for this cool fall day!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Love Coney Dogs!

This coney sauce is supposed to be the same recipe as Angelo's in Flint, Michigan.  May be true...or not, but I am always asked for the recipe when I serve it.  :)

Coney Sauce-

2 tsp. butter
1 1/2 pounds finely ground beef (do not brown first)
2 medium onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt  & pepper to taste
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. prepared regular mustard
6 oz. can tomato sauce
6 oz. can water
4 or 5 Koegel's hotdogs, ground
Combine everything except hotdogs and simmer until thick(making sure hamburg is cooked). Grind the dogs and add to sauce. Stir and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, or as desired. Serve on over a Koegel's dog with chopped onion and mustard.   Enjoy!

For dessert........ Layered Strawberry Cheesecake Bowl
1 cup fresh blueberries (optional)
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
3 tbs. sugar
2- 8oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups milk
1 small pkg. vanilla flavor instand pudding
2 cups thawed cool whip, divided
2 cups frozen pound cake cubes (1 inch cubes)
1 square Bakers semi-sweet chocolate

Combine berries and sugar. Refrigerate until ready to use. Beat cheese with electric mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in milk. Add dry pudding mix and mix well. Blend in 1 1/2 cups cool whip.  Layer in bowl and refrigerate. Top with some cool whip and drizzle melted chocolate over top. Dip a large strawberry, halfway in chocolate and set it in the center. Leave stem and leaf (clean well) on.

I am still working on my cupcake recipes! :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cupcake Addiction!

I have been on a cupcake recipe search lately. It seems like I have been seeing more cupcakes in magazines, showers, etc., than I have ever seen before so that has got me drawn to them big time!  A couple of days ago while looking for cupcake  baking cups in some different colors than the regular ones I  normally buy at the grocery store, I came across a "Cupcake Corer". I haven't had a chance to try it yet but it sounds very promising!! It is a tool used to create a hole in the center of the cupcake that can be filled with all sorts of yummy creations!!  The first thing I will try is to fill it with whipped cream filling!! YUM!!!!  Maybe add some chopped fruit/ berries?!!  This recipe is from Betty Crocker and very good!!!                                        

Strawberry- Cream Cheese Cupcakes

1 box Betty Crocker Supermoist Yellow Cake Mix
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3 or 4 tbs. strawberry preserves
3 ozs. cream cheese, cut into 24 pieces
1 container Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting
Sliced fresh strawberries for garnish

Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 for dark or non-stick pans).  Place paper baking cups in each of 24 regular size muffin cups. In large bowl, mix cake mix, water, sour cream, oil, & eggs, with spoon until blended. Divide evenly among the muffin cups. In small bowl, stir preserves until smooth. Place 1 piece of cream cheese on top of each cupcake center, press down slightly. Spoon 1/4 tsp. (or more) preserves on top of the cream cheese in each cupcake. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly in center. Some preserves may show in tops of cupcakes. Cool 10 minutes in pans, remove from pans to cooling rack and cool completely.  Spread frosting over cupcakes and just before serving garnish each cupcake with 3 strawberry slices, overlapping slices.

If you only have one pan (for 12 cupcakes) , just cover the remaining batter and refrigerate while baking the first batch. Let the pan cool about 15 minutes, then continue with the rest of the batter.  Add one to two minutes to the baking time. I filled them not quite 3/4 full of batter.  This recipe has a lot of possibilities by changing the preserves and fresh garnish. I think just one large strawberry with the stem on and partly dipped in chocolate would look nice too.............told you, it's addicting!!!!   Enjoy!  :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Slow Cooker Special

This is a good slow cooker recipe. Easy to prepare.... which is the best kind! Curried Chicken Stew

8 bone-in chicken thighs (2 to 3 lbs.) I used chicken tenders
2 tsp. olive oil
6 carrots, cut in 2 inch chunks
1 medium sweet onion, cut in narrow wedges
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup mild (or hot) curry paste
Chopped pistachios, golden raisins, cilantro, and/or
crushed red pepper.
1. Trim excess skin and fat from chicken. In skillet cook chicken skin side down, in hot oil for 8 minutes or until browned. Do not turn thighs. Remove from heat; drain and discard fat.

2. In 3 or 4 qt. slow cooker combine carrots and onion. In a bowl whisk together half the coconut milk and the curry paste; pour over carrots and onion. Refrigerate remaining milk. Place chicken, skin side up, on vegetables. Cover. Cook on HIGH for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or on LOW for 7 to 8 hours. Remove chicken and skim off excess fat, then stir in remaining coconut milk. Top servings with pistachios, raisins, cilantro and crushed pepper. Makes 4 servings.

I made some bread from frozen dough and used my mini pans again. I wanted something 'crusty' to mop up the sauce from the stew! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sour Cream Chocolate Bread

While surfing a few days ago, I came across this recipe that had been posted on the Gardenweb site. I am always looking for new bread ideas and today I tried this one. I really like it, and the only change I will make next time is to add some chopped nuts. Upon searching my pantry, I discovered that I didn't have any. :( I think I will make this using my three mini pans next time also. It's nice to have something like this in the freezer for unexpected company or times when you want something with chocolate and don't have the time.... or bake something! Speaking from experience here! :)

Sour Cream Chocolate Bread

1 stick butter, melted

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used Hershey's Special Dark)

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter & sugar with electric mixer on medium speed. Add eggs & beat until fluffy. Continue beating and add sour cream. Add remaining ingredients, mix until blended. Pour into 9x5 loaf pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Bake for 50 - 55 minutes or until tests done.

Makes 1 loaf

Friday, February 10, 2012


Liven up desserts with a kick of heat! Traditional spices used in this recipe offers a familiar taste with a twist and a bit of South-of-the-Border flavor.

Chipotle Apple Pecan Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground chipotle pepper

3/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground white pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1 1/2 cups cooking oil

1 3/4 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 tbs. vanilla

3 cups diced sweet-tart apples (peeled)

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1 recipe Spicy Caramel Glaze

Preheat oven to 325. Lightly coat a 10 inch bundt cake pan with cooking spray and dust with flour. Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, chipotle, ginger, white pepper, salt, and cloves. Set aside. In mixing bowl, beat oil and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beat well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and as much flour mixture as you can. Stir in remaining flour mixture, apples, and pecans. Spoon batter into pan. Bake 1 1/4 hours until tester inserted near center comes out clean. Meanwhile , prepare Spicy Caramel Glaze. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, invert on rack. Place rack on baking sheet. Drizzle warm cake with glaze, respooning glaze that drips on baking sheet. Cool and serve.

Spicy Caramel Sauce

In saucepan combine 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup whipping cream, and 1/2 tsp. ground chipotle pepper. Bring to boiling, stirring occasionally. Boil gently 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp. vanilla. Let stand 1 1/4 hours until slightly thickened. Drizzle over warm cake.

Since this is the first time I have used the Chipotle pepper, I only used about 1/4 tsp. and I also didn't put it in the glaze. I liked the smaller amount in the cake and next time will leave it out of the glaze too as I am not a huge fan of "hot" and was not sure about putting it in a cake so decided to be safe..which worked for me! Enjoy!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Comfort Food

Our luck finally ran out as we now have five inches of snow in my area of Michigan. I will have to say though that it is very pretty out with the tree branches loaded with snow. I knew our nice weather couldn't last forever, but I was hoping just the same! I found this recipe online and since the ingredients are so basic, and I had them all, I wanted to try it out and it was great! Another "keeper.


2 tbs. oil

2 onions, chopped

3 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into one-half inch slices

2 ribs celery, cut in one-half inch slices

1 1/2 quarts canned low-sodium chicken broth

1 3/4 cups canned diced tomatoes in juice (one 15 oz. can)

1 tbs. tomato paste

1/2 lb. of potatoes, peeled and diced

1/2 lb. green beans, cut in pcs.

1 1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup of fine egg noodles

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in large pan. Add onions, carrots, and celery, and cook until vegetables start to soften. Stir in broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, potatoes, beans, and salt. Simmer partially covered until vegetables are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in noodles and simmer until noodles are done. Add parsley.

You could also add some corn, peas, or some of the frozen mixed vegetables.