Saturday, April 14, 2018

Blackberry Cheesecake Bars

I made these to take to our church's Easter brunch this year.  They stuck to the pan a lot, so be sure you grease that REALLY well.

Also, it requires baking and cooling twice, so DO NOT wait to make this until late in the day!

Blackberry Cheesecake Bars 

1 tube (16 1/2oz) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1 carton (8 oz) mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs – lightly beaten
3 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. lemon juice
 1 tsp. orange juice
1 Tbsp. amaretto, optional
1 cup seedless blackberry preserves
2 2/3 cups fresh blackberries

Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 5 minutes to soften. Grease a 13x9 baking dish. Preheat oven to 375.

Press cookie dough onto bottom and 1 inch up the sides of baking dish. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.

In a large bowl, beat ricotta, mascarpone, and sugar until blended. Add eggs and beat on low just until combined. Stir in vanilla, lemon peel, citrus juices, and (if desired) amaretto. Pour into crust. Bake 20-25 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool 1 hour.

Place blackberry preserves in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 30-45 seconds or until melted. Spread over cheesecake and top with blackberries. Refrigerate until serving.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Apple Pancakes with Cider Syrup

Because sometimes you want totally different pancakes.  We make these with a mix of white and whole wheat flour, but you could go with all ordinary flour if you wanted.

Apple Pancakes with Cider Syrup

PANCAKES:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup apple -- finely chopped \
1/4 cup raisins
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg -- separated
2 tsp. butter -- melted
1/4 tsp. vanilla

SYRUP: 

3 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in apple and raisins. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk, egg yolk, butter, and vanilla. Stir into a dry ingredients. In a small bowl, beat egg white until soft peaks form. Fold into batter. Fry batter in a skillet like regular pancakes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, mix the sugar and cornstarch. Add the cider and spices and stir until smooth. Bring to boil over medium heat and cook and stir until thickened and clear.

Chicken Chili Lasagna

NOT your average lasagna!  It uses tortillas instead of lasagna noodles, it has a white sauce instead of tomato-based, and it uses chicken instead of beef.  A really great dish for a cold winter day when you want something new and different.

Chicken Chili Lasagna

6 oz. cream cheese -- softened
1 cup onion -- chopped
1 bunch green onions -- chopped
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend -- divided
2 cloves garlic -- minced
3/4 tsp. cumin -- divided
2 cups chicken pieces
1/4  cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 can green chilis
1/8 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
12 6” tortillas -- halved

In a large bowl, combine green onions, cream cheese, onions, garlic, 1 1/2 cups of Mexican cheese, and 1/4 tsp. cumin. Stir in chicken. In a saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour until smooth; gradually add chicken broth. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in Monterey Jack, sour cream chilis, thyme, salt, pepper, and 1/2 tsp. cumin. Spread 1/2 cup cheese mix in bottom of greased 9 x 13 pan. Top with 6 half-tortillas, 1/3 of chicken mix, and 1/4 of cheese sauce. Repeat tortilla, chicken, and cheese layers twice. Sprinkle with remaining Mexican cheese. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes more. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

Chicken and Raisin Pilaf

A nice, hearty side dish that always reminds me of college because our cafeteria there served pilaf a lot.  It was never as good as this, though.

Chicken and Raisin Pilaf

2 Tbsp. oil
2 cups cooked chicken pieces
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 cups rice
2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules OR 1 chicken bouillon cube
4 1/4 cups hot water
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 cup raisins
1/2  cup green onions -- chopped
2 Tbsp. parsley

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Brown chicken, reduce heat to medium, add brown sugar, soy sauce, and crushed red pepper. Stir until chicken is glazed and set aside. Pour water into skillet and add bouillon granules. Stir in rice, cinnamon, and ginger. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in chicken, raisins, onions, and parsley. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

Rhubarb Nut Muffins

We've discovered we can get frozen rhubarb all year long at our grocery store!  So we made these muffins over the weekend -- so moist and tasty.

Rhubarb Nut Muffins

MUFFINS:

1 1/2  cup flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup oil
1 egg -- lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup rhubarb -- chopped
1/2 cup walnuts -- chopped

TOPPING:

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts -- chopped
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, combine oil, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in rhubarb and walnuts. Fill lined muffin cups 2/3 full. In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool for ten minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Chicken and Hominy Soup

This is relatively quick and easy, great for a chilly evening when you don't have a lot of time.

Chicken and Hominy Soup

1 Tbsp. oil
1 large onion -- chopped
3 cloves garlic -- chopped
2 cups cooked chicken pieces
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 can hominy -- rinsed and drained

In a soup pot, sauté onions and garlic. Add chicken, broth, and pepper. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Stir in hominy and simmer for five more minutes.

Chicken and Broccoli Teriyaki with Noodles

Note that the chicken has to marinate in the fridge for two hours before you finish making the recipe -- plan accordingly.

Chicken and Broccoli Teriyaki with Noodles

1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
2 tsp. ginger
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 cups cooked chicken pieces
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2  tsp. oil
2 packages chicken ramen
1 bunch broccoli -- cut florets into bite-sized pieces
8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 can water chestnuts
1/3 cup green onions -- chopped

Line a 3-quart casserole with tin foil, allowing enough extra to fold over and cover the pan. Spray tin foil with cooking spray. Combine teriyaki, ginger, sugar, and chicken in a container. Refrigerate 2 hours. Combine chicken broth and cornstarch; stir with a whisk. Stir in oil and one flavor packet from noodles. Set aside. Break each noodle pack into four pieces; arrange in pan. Pour broth mix over noodles. Add broccoli, mushrooms, and water chestnuts. Top with chicken and green onions. Fold ends of tin foil over, and crimp edges to seal. Bake at 475 for 20 minutes.