Saturday, June 28, 2014

Blueberry Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt Sandwiches

1/3 cup blueberry preserves
  • Seeds from 2 vanilla bean or 4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups blueberries, patted dry
  • 30 graham cracker squares (about 2 1/2 in.)  
  • pkg. (8 oz.) cold cream cheese, cut into chunks                               
  • 2 cups cold plain full-fat yogurt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest                               
  • Preparation

    1. 1. In a medium saucepan, combine preserves and half the vanilla. Stir in blueberries and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to bubble, 4 to 5 minutes. Set pan in a bowl of ice water and stir often until ice cold. Set aside, replacing ice if needed so mixture stays cold.
    2. 2. Meanwhile, line a 9- by 13-in. pan with a piece of foil extending over ends. Arrange half the crackers in pan, flat side up, in 3 rows of 5 squares with sides touching; freeze pan. Whirl remaining vanilla in a food processor with the cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, and orange zest until smooth.
    3. 3. Freeze yogurt mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions, about 25 minutes. Spoon half the frozen yogurt over graham crackers and gently spread to cover, using a flexible scraper or offset spatula. Spoon berry mixture on top. Dollop remaining frozen yogurt over berries. Pat yogurt smooth.
    4. 4. Draw a knife tip through the layers all over until top looks swirled. Pull up sides of layers with scraper where they're starting to escape the crackers. Gently push remaining graham crackers into top.
    5. 5. Freeze, covered with plastic, until center is firm enough to cut, at least 5 hours. Grasping foil, lift sandwiches from pan, flip onto a work surface, and peel off foil. Turn sandwiches right side up, then cut into squares, trimming edges.
     Make ahead: Up to 1 week, individually wrapped, sealed in a plastic bag, and frozen.

    Monday, October 1, 2012

    Baked Apple Cider Doughnut Holes


    2 cups flour
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1 large egg
    2/3 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup apple butter
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/3 cup honey
    1/3 cup apple cider
    1/3 cup plain yogurt (I used plain nonfat Greek yogurt)
    2 Tbsp canola oil
    canola cooking spray
    2 Tbsp unsalted butter
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 Tbsp cinnamon


    Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
    In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

    In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, apple butter, vanilla extract, honey, apple cider, yogurt, and canola oil.

    Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient mixture and whisk until just incorporated. Don't over-mix - a few lumps are okay.

    Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, fill a 24-hole mini muffin pan with the batter; fill each hole only 3/4 of the way, or you'll end up with huge mini muffins. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes and cool on a wire rack.

    While donut holes are still warm, melt butter in a microwave safe dish. Combine cinnamon and sugar in another dish. Using a pastry brush, very lightly brush a tiny bit of melted butter onto the top of each donut hole, then dip the top of the muffin in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll the donut hole in the cinnamon sugar to coat the sides and top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    You can also omit the butter - the cinnamon sugar sticks nicely to the donut holes.

    makes 24 mini muffins or "donut holes"

    **Depending on the size of the holes in your mini muffin pan, you may get many more donut holes than I did - the mini muffins from my pan appear to be a bit larger than the average mini muffin pan.

    Friday, September 21, 2012

    Herb-Roasted Pork Tenderloin

    I have been dieing to cook from my new Pioneer Woman Cooks Cookbook. I am a huge fan of her and love her blog and cookbooks and when I can her show. 

    She has so many wonderful dishes and the way she uses TONS of pictures of each and every step, makes it so easy, even a beginner like me can follow.

    Tonight I tried my hand at her Herb-Roasted Pork Tenderloin

    Here is what you will need:
    Roasted Vegetables:
    1 Whole Celery Root, Peeled and Diced  
    (I couldnt find any at my local stores so I skipped this)
    3 Whole Parsnips, Peeled and Diced  
    (I used only 1)
    6 Whole Carrots (Varied Colors If You Can Find Them Looks Great), Peeled and Diced    
    (Couldnt Find Carnival Carrots So I Used Regular Carrots)
    Other Vegetables, Peeled and Diced (Turnips, Butternut Squash, etc.)
    (I Added 1 Turnip, Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash,  1 Yam and 1 Sweet Potato)
    Olive Oil, For Drizzling
    Salt and Black Pepper To Taste

    Cornmeal Cakes:
    2 Cups Cornmeal
    6 Cups Chicken Broth
    Salt To Taste
    Olive Oil, For Frying

    Pork Tenderloin:
    2 Pork Tenderloins, 1 To 1 1/2 Pounds Each
    Salt and Black Pepper To Taste
    1/2 Cup Herb de Provence (Sold In Spice Aisle)
    (I Couldnt Find But Looked Up Italian Seasoning and It Says It Would Work)
    1 Cup Plum,  or Peach, or Fig Preserves  
    (I Used Peach Preserves)
    1 Tablespoon Vinegar  

    Roasted Vegetables:
    1. Preheat The Oven To 425 Degrees
    2. Peel The Vegetables and Dice Them In Small Uniform Pieces.

    3. Toss Them With Olive Oil, Salt And Pepper
    4. Roast Them On A Baking Sheet In Oven For 15-20 Minutes, Or Until Golden Brown And Starting To Caramelize. Remove Them From Oven And Set Aside (I Cooked Mine About 25-30 Minutes)

    For The Cornmeal Cakes:
    1. Add The Cornmeal To A Pot With The Chicken Broth And Salt. 
    2. Bring To A Boil, Then Cover and Simmer On Low, Until The Cornmeal Is Done, 
    About 25 minutes.
    3. Pour It Onto A Baking Sheet Pan.

    4. Spread It Out Into An Even Layer and Allow To Cool To Room Temperature. 

    5. When The Cornmeal Has Cooled Cut A Small Square, The Cut The Square Diagonally.
    6. Fry The Cornmeal Cakes In Olive Oil In A Skillet Over Medium-High Heat. 

    7. Remove Them When They Are A Nice Golden Brown, Allow Them To Drain On A Paper Towel. Set Aside.

    Pork Tenderloin:
    1. Place Pork Tenderloin On A Baking Sheet Pan And Sprinkle With Salt and Pepper.
    2. Sprinkle On Herbes de Provence. (Italian Seasoning I Used)


    3. Roast In Oven for 13 to 15 Minutes, Or Until No Longer Pink In The Middle. (Pork Will Continue To Cook Slightly After You Remove It From Oven) 

    4. Allow The Pork To Rest For 10 Minutes, Then Slice Into Thick Slices.

    Preserve Sauce:
    Meanwhile, Stir Together The Preserves, Vinegar, and 1 Cup of Water In A Small Pan or Skillet. 
    Heat Over Medium Heat Until Thoroughly Warmed, Then Set Aside.

     To Arrange:
     Place 3 Slices Of Pork Over 2 or 3 Cornmeal Cakes.


    Decorate The Whole Plate With Roasted Vegetables.


    Spoon The Preserves Over The Top Of Pork And Cornmeal Cakes.

    I have to say it was a huge hit..Greg and Dad Both Had Second Servings, Me Who Normally Doesn't Care For Pork LOVED This. Plus, I know Momma Was Watching Over Me While I Cooked As I Always Mess Up When Cooking So Many Things At Once. I Know She Would Have Been Proud Of Me and Would Have Liked This Meal Especially With The Peach Preserves. I Love You Momma and Miss You Very Much. Thanks For Helping Me With This Meal!!! Also Thanks To A Lady I Don't Know Personally, But Without Her Wonderful Step By Step Instructions I Would Have Been LOST...Thanks Pioneer Women (Ree Drummond) 
    This Recipe Was From Her Awesome Cookbook: "The Pioneer Woman Cooks Food From My Frontier" Page 190-193.

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    Strawberry Lemonade

    Strawberry Lemonade

    Prep: 12 min.

    Cook: 5 min.

    Serves: 6

    Cost per serving: $1.62

    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 cups sliced strawberries
    1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 9 lemons)
    1/4 cup grenadine
    1. Combine sugar and 4 cups water in a medium pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer without stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool completely.

    2. Pour half of syrup into a blender, add strawberries and blend until smooth. Strain into a pitcher; discard solids.

    3. Add remaining syrup, lemon juice and grenadine to pitcher and stir to combine. Serve over ice, garnished with additional strawberries, if desired.

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    Eggplant Baked Ziti

    • For the Eggplant:
    • 1 Eggplant
    • 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
    • 1 Onion (diced)
    • 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
    • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
    • 2 28-oz can  Whole Tomatoes (crushed)
    • Fresh Basil
    • 1 pound Ziti
    • 1 pound Mozzarella (cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
    • Pecorino Romano

    Preheat the oil to 350F. Cut the eggplant into rounds about 1/2-inch-thick dice. Saute in olive oil until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
    Salt and Pepper slices
    Fry until golden brown
    Allow to drain on paper towels

    Heat the olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 90 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook and reduce slightly for about a half hour. Top with fresh basil.  

    Preheat oven to 350F. Cook the ziti to half of the time on the package instructions. On the bottom of a casserole, create a bed of the eggplant. Grate pecorino over the eggplant and then top with half of the sauced ziti mixture. Grate more pecorino over the ziti mixture, then cover with another layer of the eggplant rounds. Add the remaining sauced ziti mixture. Cover with the remaining sauce and grate pecorino generously over the top. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown and melted. 

    Add small amount of sauce to bottom of dish, top with half of the eggplant

    Add half of ziti sauce and pasta.
    (Layer like lasagna: Eggplant, sauce, ziti, cheese.
     Then repeat: Eggplant, sauce, ziti, cheese)
    Add other half of the cubed mozzarella cheese cubes
    Nice and golden brown. 

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012

    Peanut Butter Balls

    While growing up my mom would often make these and they would make a great protein snack that would always hit the spot after school. Plus being a healthy snack made Momma happy. One day mom passed down many recipes to me in February 2012. I decided I had to try them for my own family now. They are very simple and easy to make. Here is all that you will need:

    1 Cup Honey
    1 1/2 Cups Peanut Butter (Chunky or Creamy)
    9 oz (3 cups) Nonfat Milk Powder
    2 Teaspoon Vanilla

    Oil your bowl first then add the honey, peanut butter, and vanilla
    Then add the powered milk on top

     Using a dough hook mix until well mixed
    The dough will look dry and grainy once you finish mixing with the dough mixer
      Continue to kneed together with your hands like you would when making dough.
     If your worried about it being to dry you can add a small squeeze of honey and a tad more peanut butter.

    Scoop a tablespoon size amount into hand and kneed slightly like you would dough
     and then roll into a small to medium size ball and place on parchment lined container.
    Cover and store in refrigerator.

    For added fun and flavor try rolling them in coconut, Toasted Sesame Seeds, or even Wheat Germ.

    (Mom Tasted and Approved)
     Family approved too!! 
    (Well except for Emma: who say WOW peanut butter smell, you know I don't do peanut butter!)