Wednesday, July 22, 2009

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

I made this cheesecake for Dan’s birthday and then again about a week later for a get-together with some friends. Even though I don’t like chocolate {yes, the truth finally emerges!}, I still really liked this cheesecake {I just didn’t eat the crust!}. I discovered after having this cheesecake that I really enjoy baked cheesecake, and probably even like it better than non-baked cheesecake. It’s not too difficult to make and it tastes and looks super yummy!

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Prep: 20 min – Total 4 hrs., 48 minutes
Makes 9 servings, 2 bars each

12 Oreo Cookies, finely crushed
2 Tbsp butter, melted
3 squares white chocolate, divided
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
¼ cup red raspberry preserves

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cookie crumbs and butter {I just mixed mine right in the pan that you'll put it in - saved on dishes!};

press onto bottom of 8-inch square pan.

Melt 2 chocolate squares as directed on package.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add melted chocolate; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended.

Pour over crust.

Bake 25-28 minutes or until center is almost set.

Cool 5 minutes {this may be rather unethical, but I think it works better to be sure it's cooled and to make the preserves spread better if you put in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes - I didn't do that with the one in the picture and you can see it wasn't staying together very well - the refrigerated one worked without a cinch}; spread with preserves.

Melt remaining chocolate square; drizzle over cheesecake. Cool cheesecake. Refrigerate 4 hours. Cut into 18 bars.
Kraft Food and Family, Holiday 08/Winter 09 edition, pg. 35

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Crumbelievable! Chili

I really love a good chili. When the right flavors are combined just so and cooked to perfection, chili is a wonderful food. This is the easiest chili recipe I’ve ever made in my life. And it tastes good. Certainly can’t beat that!

Prep: 10 min. Total time: 54 min.
Makes: 6 servings, 1 cup each

1 lb. extra lean ground beef {I like to use ground turkey or chicken}
½ cup chopped onions (about 1 small)
½ cup chopped green peppers
1 can (15oz) kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 can (14-1/2oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (12oz) tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper {I never use this because I don’t like my chili to be too spicy}
¾ cup cheddar cheese crumbles {I also never use these – it’s so much cheaper to buy cheese in a brick and just shred it. Plus I like the flavor of the cheese melted into the chili better than eating large chunks of cheese with the beans. If you would be in favor of that combo, you could just buy the brick of cheese and cut it into cubes instead of shredding it.}

Brown meat in large skillet on medium heat; drain. Add onions and green peppers; cook 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender; stirring occasionally.
Add all remaining ingredients except cheese; mix well. Reduce heat to low; cover. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Spoon evenly into six serving bowls. Top each with 2 Tbsp. cheese.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sloppy Jennies

A nice change from a traditional “Sloppy Joe” dinner, this recipe calls for lean ground turkey, making it a healthier alternative to ground hamburger. The combination of ingredients in this recipe makes it really yummy – I think I may like it more than even traditional sloppy joes!

Sloppy Jennies

1 medium onion, dived
½ red bell pepper, diced
1 lb. extra-lean ground turkey breast
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup water
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. ground mustard {I didn’t use this and it still tasted wonderful}
4 lower-calorie hamburger buns, split and toasted

Cook onion and bell pepper in large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat 5-8 minutes or until they start to brown, stirring occasionally. Add turkey; cook 4-6 minutes or until browned and no longer pink, stirring to crumble meat.
Stir in all remaining ingredients except buns. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors. Serve on buns.
Winnie Wiggins, Cooking Pleasures, Feb/Mar 2009 issue, pg. 58

Monday, July 6, 2009

Italian Pasta with Tomato & Basil

This is perhaps one of my all-time favorite pasta recipes. I love it! Since I have tried it, I just don’t see pasta in the same light – I could eat this until there wasn’t a bit left. So yummy!

Italian Pasta with Tomato & Basil

Prep Time: 20 min Total Time: 20 min
Makes: 4 servings


3 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago Cheeses, divided {I just used shredded mozzarella – that’s what I had on hand and I didn’t buy extra cheese that I normally wouldn’t have purchased anyway.}1 Tbsp. sliced fresh basil {I use about a tsp or so of dried basil and it works just fine; more or less to taste}
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cups (8 oz.) bow tie pasta, cooked, drained {or any kind of past you desire; I’ve used penne and fettuccine noodles, as well as bow tie – it all tastes good}

Mix tomatoes, 3/4 cup of the cheese, basil, garlic and oil. Add to hot pasta in large bowl; toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
Great Substitute: Prepare as directed, substituting 2 tsp. dried basil leaves for the fresh basil.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cheesy Stuffed Shells

I really enjoyed this meal. It wasn’t too difficult to make {it would be especially easy if you actually just cooked the pasta al dente so it’s not too soft. I had a lot of shells that were too soft and didn’t hold up very well while I filled them – I wasn’t paying attention while they cooked!} and it tastes very yummy! I did forget to put in the spinach but I’m sure it would taste wonderful with spinach as well.

Cheesy Stuffed Shells

24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided {This is the only kind of cheese I used; I didn’t add the asiago.}
1 cup shredded asiago cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup cottage cheese {I only used cottage cheese – I actually cut the recipe in half and just used a whole cup of cottage cheese. Saved me money and tasted just fine.}
4 tablespoons minced chives
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry {I imagine you could also use fresh spinach if washed and then added in the same way the frozen spinach would be}.
4 cups meatless spaghetti sauce, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. In a small bowl, combine half the mozzarella cheese, asiago cheese, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, chives, and 1 cup of the spinach. (Save remaining spinach for other uses.) Spread 2 cups of the spaghetti sauce into a shallow 9×13-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Drain pasta; stuff shells with cheese mixture and arrange in baking dish.

Top with remaining spaghetti sauce and mozzarella. Bake 30 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6.
Deseret Book, 2008; Photo by Ned Horton.


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