Saturday, November 27, 2010

Individual Size Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust - can use any flavor graham crackers
20 chocolate graham crackers, broken into pieces
5 tbsp granulated sugar
8 tbsp  butter
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground clove
1 tsp cinnamon

3 (8oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 (15oz) canned solid-pack pumpkin

For the crust
1. Crush graham crackers into tiny pieces and place in a bowl
2. Add sugar and rest of spices and mix well
3. Melt butter and drizzled over mixture
4. Mix until well combined. Add more butter if needed

For the filling
1. Using a stand/hand mixer in a large bowl beat the cream cheese on medium speed until it becomes smooth
2. Add granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt and beat for 2 minutes
3. In a small bowl wish together eggs, cream and vanilla
4. Add egg mixture to cream cheese bowl and beat until combined
5. Add pumpkin and brown sugar and beat for another 2 minutes until all ingredients are completely mixed

1. Preheat oven to 350° F
2. Press crust mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup
3. Pour in the filling half way and bake 25 minutes
4. Cool for about 20 minutes and then freeze for 10-15 min
5. Using a knife cut around the cakes to loosen from the pan and pry out
6. Chill covered until cold about 2-3 hours
7. Top with whip cream when ready to eat and enjoy

** You can place paper muffin cups into muffin pan and press crust/pour filling into them. Once baked, let cool completely on a rack and peel off paper for a ridged effect as above in picture**

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Quick and Easy Beef Stroganoff (not from scratch)

Ingredients: No measurements adjust to preference
Egg noodles
Beef cubes
1 can golden mushroom soup
1/2 package of McCormick Beef Stroganoff mix - use more/less depending on amount of dish

1. Cook egg noodles and drain when finished. Once drained you can add a little bit of butter and swirl around the noodles so they do not dry and stick together
2. While noodles are cooking, brown the beef
3. Once beef is done add the mushrooms and cook covered over medium-low heat for 5 min
4. In a bowl empty out the can of soup and add the beef stroganoff mix and stir until well combined
5. Add a small amount of water if you find it too thick
6. Add mixture into pan of beef and mushrooms and mix well
7. Let simmer for a few minutes until soup mixture thickens to desired consistency
8. Serve over noodles

** The mushroom soup is used to substitute the water that it calls for on the McCormick mix package **

Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Well it's that time of year when the cold reminds me of hot soup. I was looking a for new recipe to try when i stumbled upon this one a few weeks ago and saved it to my favorites menu on the laptop in hopes that one day i will eventually get around to making it. Today was the day and I'm so glad I tried it cause it came out super yummy and definitely perfect for a chilly fall day. Original recipe came from Sing For Your Supper but I modified it a bit to my own taste.

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
4-6 medium-sized carrots, chopped
4-6 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium sized onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 medium sized potatoes, cut into small cubes
3 cups frozen veggies (bag of mixed of corn, peas, carrots)
8 cups water
6 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup milk

1. Cook chicken using method of choosing. I chose to boil them and then shred
2. While chicken is cooking cut up all vegetables
3. Place 8 cups water in a stockpot and bring to a boil
4. Add the bouillon cubes and stir until melted
5. Add salt, pepper, oregano, basil and stir well
6. Place carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf in pot and cook 15-20 minutes over medium heat until vegetables are tender
7. Check for seasoning and adjust to taste if necessary. Take out bay leaf
8. Stir in the chicken, potatoes, and frozen vegetables
9. Simmer for another 20-30 minutes
10. Add milk for a little added flavor and cook for another 5 minutes

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Feta & Olive Stuffed Mediterranean Chicken Breast

This recipe was recommended by Molly from My Happy Meals. Here is the original link to where this recipe was found Feta & Olive Stuffed Mediterranean Chicken. I made a few changes to the recipe and served it with a side of Middle Eastern fattoush salad.

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3.5 oz crumbled feta container
1/2 of a 6 oz can black olives or 1 small can  (whatever you have on hand) - chopped into small pieces
6 garlic cloves - minced/grinded
2 lemons - juiced
Extra virgin olive oil

Fattoush Salad - estimate amounts for how much salad you want to make
Green onions
1-2 cloves garlic
1 lemon - juiced
olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375° F
2. Combine chopped olives and feta in a bowl. Drizzle olive oil and mix well until a paste is formed. Set aside
3. Take 3 cloves garlic and place into a mortar and pestle. Add about 1/2 tsp salt and grind until it becomes a paste. You can also just finely mince the garlic
4. Clean and trim off excess fat from chicken
5. Cut a pocket in the side of the chicken breast. Make sure not to cut all the way through
6. Stuff as much feta-olive mixture in the pocket of each chicken breast as you can
7. Take the garlic paste and rub the outside of each chicken breast and place in a plate
8. Grind/Mince the other 3 garlic cloves with 1/2 tsp salt. Add the juice of two lemons and a lil drizzle of olive oil (if you can either mix all ingredients in a bowl or add lemon/oil directly into mortar and pestle)
9. Drizzle the mixture into the bottom of a baking dish and place chicken breasts ontop
10. Bake until chicken is done

For the fattoush salad
1. Cut up the lettuce, cucumbers, green onions, tomatoes and place in a bowl
2. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic using a lil dash of salt until it forms a paste like consistency
3. Mix with the lemon juice
4. Drizzle mixture all over salad
5. Drizzle some olive oil
6. Mix all together
7. At this point taste the salad and if it needs more lemon juice/salt add to your desired taste
8. Place pita bread into a toasted and toast until golden. Make sure you separate the two halfs of one slice
9. Crumble as much pita bread as you prefer onto the salad and mix