Friday, November 3, 2017

Hot Fudge Sauce

1 can evaporated milk
2 cups sugar
3 ounces semi sweet chocolate (Bakers chocolate 1 oz squares)
1 cube butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put evaporated milk, sugar and chocolate into a medium saucepan.  Cook on medium heat and bring to a boil stirring constantly.  Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, while stirring constantly.  Take off the heat and add butter and vanilla.  Whisk together and serve.

Carmel Sauce

1 lb butter
2 lbs brown sugar
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
2 cups corn syrup
2 tablespoons vanilla

Melt butter in a saucepan.  Add the brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup.   Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Take off heat and add 2 tablespoons vanilla.  Refrigerate.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Chocolate Cheesecake

This cheesecake will make you think you've died and gone to heaven!  I generally prefer plain cheesecake, but after making this one I think it has become my favorite!  It's more of a milk chocolate flavor than a dark flavor.  The chocolate ganache on top seals the deal.  It's crazy good!  It's a great idea to make this cheesecake the day before you eat it, so it can chill in the refrigerator overnight.

10.5 ounces GF Oreos  (22 cookies)
3 tablespoons butter, melted

3 (8 ounce) blocks of cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup cocoa
1 3/4 cups sugar
8 ounces Ghirardelli semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325º.  Line the outside of a 9.5 inch spring form pan with 2 layers of heavy tin foil.  Crush the oreo's in a food processor, and pour into the spring form pan.  Pour the butter in with the oreo crumbs and mix until it's combined well.  Press the crumbs down into the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let it cool while you make the cheesecake filling.

Place the cream cheese into a large stand mixer.  Beat until creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl.  In a small bowl mix the cocoa and sugar until combined.  Add cocoa sugar mixture to the cream cheese and mix until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the melted semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 egg into the cream cheese mixture.  Beat until it's well mixed and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the rest of the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each is well mixed.

Add the sour cream and heavy cream and beat until combined.  Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the Oreo crust.

Prepare the water bath for the cheesecake.  If your oven has a steam rack with a water reservoir, you can use that and add 1 1/2 cups of water to the water reservoir.  If not, place the spring form pan inside a larger pan and fill with 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches of water.  Make sure your tinfoil protects the cheesecake so water doesn't leak into it.

Place into the oven and bake for 75 - 80 minutes.  To make sure the cheesecake is done, give it a wiggle.   If it slightly jiggles in JUST the middle like jello, then it's done.  If it jiggles all over, it needs to bake longer.  When it's done, turn off he heat and crack the oven door slightly.  Let it cool in the oven.

When cheesecake is cool, make the ganache by placing the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds and stir.  Repeat one more time and stir until the ganache comes together.

Pour the ganache on top of the cooled cheesecake.  Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator until it's chilled.  Slice and serve!  Store in the refrigerator.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Tutti Fruity Ice Cream

My good friend Natasha shared this homemade ice cream recipe with me!  It has become one of my favorites!  It's super fruity and delicious!  The tang from the fresh orange and lemon juices mixed with the strawberries and bananas are so refreshing!  My kids love preparing it with me, squeezing the juice from the lemons and oranges!  It's an all around great dessert for a summer day... actually any day!

3 oranges, juiced
2 lemons, juiced
2 bananas, mashed
1 banana, cubed
2 cups strawberries, diced
2 cups sugar
1 quart half and half
Ice Cream Salt

Pour into ice cream maker and freeze, using ice and ice cream salt.  (Refer to your ice cream maker owners guide for specific instructions.)  Makes about 1 gallon.

The ice cream is a little soft.  If you like it hard like in the picture above, freeze it in the freezer after you've frozen it in the ice cream maker.

Note:  If you don't like chunks in your ice cream you can mash all 3 bananas, and puree the strawberries instead of dice them.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Bacon Pineapple Chicken Kabobs

Okay so these might be my new favorite thing EVER!  These kabobs are so tasty!  The sauce rounds out the flavors and creates a taste out of this world!  I got the recipe from and just made sure I used GF soy sauce instead of regular soy sauce.  You can see their recipe here.   Everything else is naturally gluten free!

I need to apologize in advance for not having a great picture.    I totally spaced it when my son and I were making them!  When I make them again I'll take a better one, and update it.  The recipe was too good to wait to blog!  Also, here's a shout out to my son for grilling tonight!

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 large pineapple, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 red peppers, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
12 strips of thick bacon

1 1/2 cups (12 fl ounces) pineapple juice
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Tamari sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt

Thread skewers starting with the bacon.  Put chicken, pineapple, red pepper and onion and repeat once more.  Wrap the bacon around them.  Put on another piece of bacon and thread on the 8 items again.  Wrap the bacon around it, and thread bacon back on skewer.  Make 6 of these.

Preheat grill to medium high.  While grill is preheating, make the sauce.  Prepare the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Whisk together.  Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.  Set aside until ready to use.

Grill kabobs for 10-15 minutes, turning a couple of times, until done.

Slather with hot Hawaiian sauce and serve immediately.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Pressure Cooker Black Beans

This recipe is from my Grandma Carlson.  When I make these beans I think of her.  Her house was always filled with wonderful aromas!  She was a fantastic cook!  When she made them they would soak overnight and cook for several hours during the day.  I love that I can have the same beans in less than an hour - starting with dry beans!  She would have loved electric pressure cookers!

1 pound black beans
1 medium onion, diced
3 large stalks celery, diced
2 - 3 cloves garlic
5 teaspoons oil
1 jalapeno pepper
8 cups water
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Rinse and sort beans.  Place in pressure cooker.  Add onions, celery, garlic, oil, whole jalapeno pepper, and water.  Cook on high heat for 32 minutes, use the quick release method.  Pour off, most of the water then add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm!

Note:  If you soak the beans overnight, cook them on high temperature for 24 minutes.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Santa Fe Lime Rice

This rice is super versatile!  I love it because it can go with my "Cafe Rio" salads, or with grilled salmon.  My family likes it as a side dish to just about anything.  I prefer this recipe to other lime rice recipes because I don't like garlic in my rice.  Sometimes I add a few tablespoons of chopped cilantro to the rice cooker as well.  This is perfect because it has flavor, but doesn't necessary scream Mexican dish.  In fact, depending on what I'm serving with, I don't always add the cumin.  I like to make this in my rice cooker, but you could certainly fix it on the stove.

5 rice cooker cups of rice (about 3 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons butter, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon lime juice, or juice of 1/2 a lime
3 chicken bouillon cubes
cilantro, chopped (if desired)
water - fill to line 5 of rice cooker

Rinse rice.  Add water to line 5 on the rice cooker.  Place butter, salt, cumin, lime juice and chicken bouillon cubes in the rice cooker.  Close lid and cook.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Crock Pot Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce

6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, skin removed* (about 2 and 1/2 pounds)
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
2 tablespoons dried basil leaves
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoon McCormick curry powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 large red onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon minced)
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon COLD water
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Remove the skin from the chicken. Salt and pepper each thigh.

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat.  Add 1 teaspoon olive oil.  When the oil is hot, add 3 chicken thighs.  Cook for about 2 minutes, until nicely browned on the bottom.  Turn the chicken over to brown the other side for about 1-2 minutes.  Remove the chicken to a plate.  Repeat searing process with the other 3 chicken thighs.

Meanwhile, in a crock pot combine coconut milk, basil, 2 teaspoons salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, curry powder, and chili powder, to taste.  Stir to combine.

Add the chopped red onions, garlic, and jalapeno.  Add the browned chicken and stir to combine.

Cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and transfer to a plate or cutting board. Let cool for a couple minutes.

Add the ginger to the slow cooker.

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 1 tablespoon COLD water. Stir until it's not lumpy. Add this to the crock pot and stir.

Shred the chicken, removing the bones and any tough bits. It should just be falling apart.

Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir.  Return the lid and cook for another 10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Stir in the cilantro.  Serve with rice. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Lemon Chicken Pasta

This recipe is simple, delicious and has a freshness about it!  It's a twist on alfredo sauce.  My kids loved it!

Pasta of your choice
7 - 8 chicken tenders, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup featherlight flour
1 cup whipping cream
2 cups milk
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, brown chicken in butter.  Season with salt and pepper.  Just before chicken is cooked, add garlic cloves.  When chicken is fully cooked add flour and stir.  Cook for  1 minute.   Add whipping cream, milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and simmer for 2 minutes.  Add parmesan cheese and whisk until smooth and melted.

Serve over pasta.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Zebra Caramel Popcorn

This crunchy, chocolate caramel popcorn is to die for!  You can add chopped mini candy bars as well if you'd like, but it doesn't need it.

5 quarts plain air popped popcorn
1 cup butter
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cups light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups Guittard Milk Chocolate Chips
1 1/4 cups Guittard White Chocolate Chips
20 "fun size" candy cars, chopped (optional)

Place popcorn in a very large bowl and set aside.  Preheat over to 250º.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.

Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil without stirring for 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla extract.  Pour caramel in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.  Gently stir until all of the popcorn is covered.

Pour popcorn on two large shallow baking sheets in a single layer and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Remove popcorn from oven.  Stir popcorn every few minutes until it cools enough to not stick to the pan.  Let it cool completely.

Break popcorn into pieces.  If desired, add chopped candy bars and mix.

Put milk chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at a time on power level 5, until melted.  Drizzle popcorn with melted milk chocolate.  Let cool.

Put white chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at a time on power level 5, until melted.  Turn popcorn over as well as you can, and drizzle the popcorn with melted white chocolate.

Let popcorn cool until chocolate hardens, about 30 minutes.  (You can speed up the cooling process by putting the pans in the refrigerator.

Break up popcorn if needed.  Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sweet Potato Fries

These fries are super easy and are a great way to serve sweet potatoes!  My kids devoured them!  You'll notice there aren't any amounts on the recipe.  I just sprinkle the seasonings on.  Put however much you like on them!  You can even substitute other spices if you prefer.  However, the spices below make tasty fries, without any spice being overbearing - just a good flavor!

3 sweet potatoes
about 1 tablespoon olive oil
garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425º.  Slice sweet potato into fries.  Put on cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil on top.  Mix with your hands until the olive oil lightly coats the sweet potatoes.  Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika on the fries.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until crispy.  Serve immediately.