Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chopped!

I’m sort of obsessed with the show “Chopped”.  The show is a cooking challenge where chefs have to make meals including really random ingredients.

Well today I had my own “Chopped” experience when I looked in my fridge and couldn’t think of a thing to make out of the components (which included swiss chard, cranberries, pasta, wine and mushrooms). 

Here’s what I made!  Red and green greens (cranberry sauce with swiss chard greens) topped with mushroom ravioli in a wine sauce.

The greens…

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The final plate…

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Monday, December 12, 2011

My new favorite: pumpkin cheesecake

While getting in the holiday mood, I recently splurged on a piece of Cheesecake Factory pumpkin cheesecake.  It was so good!  I had never tried it before, but I’m sure glad I did.  I loved it so much that I decided to order a whole pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving.  That is… until they told me the price – $50!  You’ve go to be kidding. 

I quickly decided to make one myself and this Philadelphia Cream Cheese recipe is the one to use.  Honestly, so much better than even the Cheesecake Factory cheesecake!  You’ve got to try it.

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Here’s what you need:

  • 38 Ginger Snaps, finely crushed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Pecans
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 4 (8 ounce) packages Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs

Here’s what you do:

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F
  2. Mix crumbs, nuts and butter; press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of 9-inch springform pan (if you have one).
  3. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add pumpkin, spice and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour into crust.
  4. Bake 1 hour 20 min. to 1 hour 30 min. or until center is almost set. Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours.

One thing I didn’t realize until the batter was already made… this recipe makes 2 cheesecakes!!  It’s a great option to freeze of give one away, but it you won’t be doing that, make sure you cut this recipe in half.

I hope you enjoy this creamy, spicy, sweet dessert as much as I do!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Little Turkey Meatloaves

You wouldn’t know it from my lack of food posting, but I’ve actually still been home-cooking quite a bit!

Prior to Thanksgiving, I was in the turkey mood, but didn’t want to spoil the upcoming turkey dinner.  To make due, I changed up the original turkey dinner into little turkey meatloaves!

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Here’s what I changed:

  • I used ground turkey instead of ground hamburger. 
  • I used stuffing mix instead of regular breadcrumbs.
  • I added poultry seasoning to the normal meatloaf spice mix.
  • I topped the meatloaves with gravy instead of tomato / ketchup sauce.

The rest I kept the same: chopped veggies (onion, garlic, carrots), egg, milk, oil, worcestershire, ketchup, salt and pepper.

Cook @ 375 degree oven until golden brown (about 40 mins).

Happy non-Thanksgiving turkey day!