Sunday, February 26, 2012

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

I made this Triple Chocolate Cheesecake for a Valentines get together of our quilting guild.  I had to make chocolate as we met last on Valentines Day.  Me and the other ladies had chocolate and heart shaped pretties on our mind as well.  You should have seen the spread and silly me I did not get a pic.  What I can share with you is a picture of the last remaining piece that I went home with and the recipe.  The recipe being the main thing as you now can taste this lusciousness for yourself.

Please bear with me if I have not been commenting on blogs because I still have an issue with logging onto them.  I can look at pics but I am unable to leave comments or frankly do anything on blogger like docs.  Eventually, I will figure it out.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
adapted from this recipe at Pink Parsley


1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted


4 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 1/2 Tbs all-purpose flour
scant 1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
7 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped and melted
1 heaping cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For the crust: Combine crumbs and butter. Press on the bottom and up the sides a little of a 9-inch spring form pan.

For the cheesecake: Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add flour and salt. Gradually beat in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add melted chocolate. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour mixture into prepared crumb crust. Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake 40-50 minutes longer, or until filling is barely set in middle. Remove from oven and let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Then refrigerate for several hours or overnight. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Weight Watcher Wednesday: Wild Alaskan Salmon Review

Picture courtesy of Weight Watchers

My second meal of the ones I received from Weight Watchers was this Wild Alaskan Salmon with a Brown Rice Pilaf. I was real curious to give it a go, straight away.  The overall flavor was fair and the fish was definitely on the dry side.  I would imagine that it would be pretty difficult to package fish and it turn out to be a stellar fish.  I had a hard time getting past the desire to smother it in tartar sauce which would be totally counter productive.  Instead I used up a some sweet and sour sauce that I had lying around and it did the trick. I will say that it was not overly fishy though.

Full Disclosure:  I was not monetarily compensated for this review.  I did receive this packaged meal from Weight Watchers as a sample. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thai Jasmine Rice

I want to let you know that I have had some difficulty connecting to Google.  I am not sure what is happening.  Every once in a while I get lucky and get in. Be patient I will do my best to get past this little glitch. 

One of the ladies in my group that meets monthly prepared this amazingly wonderful meal.  I finally remembered to bring my camera.  It was in the afternoon so there was some beautiful light streaming in.  It was all so perfect for these pictures, how could I pass that up?

Asian Slaw

Thai Jasmine Rice
Recipe adapted from Menu Magazine; Wegmans

2 Tbsp Wegmans Basting Oil
1 pkg (8 oz)  onions, chopped
1 pkg (8 oz)  Jasmine Rice Blend
2 1/4 cups Thai Culinary Stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 pkg (1 lb) shrimp, uncooked and cleaned
1/2 bunch green onions, sliced thinly on the bias

Add basting oil to braising pan on MEDIUM-HIGH. Add onion; cook, stirring, 3-4 min, until onion begins to soften.

Add rice; cook, stirring, 2-3 min, to toast rice. Add stock; season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer on HIGH; cover. Transfer to oven. Cook 10 min.

Remove from oven. Arrange shrimp on rice; lightly season with salt and pepper. Cover; return to oven 5 min, until internal temp of shrimp reaches 130 degrees.

Remove from oven; let rest 10 min. Sprinkle with green onions; stir to combine.
And just in case you are dreaming of Spring...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Brussels Sprout and Mustard Toss

These lovelies... yes, I said lovelies, are wonderful, tasty, delicious, sweet, tender and yummy.  Contrary to popular belief Brussels sprouts are so good.  I wish I could have all of you taste them with an unbiased tongue.  Put aside all the negativity regarding Brussels sprouts.  These babies are delicious.

Remember and important equation in the taste of vegetables... ROASTING = DELICIOUS.

Honestly I could have just eaten these for dinner.  Actually I did.  My daughter stole half of my lamb burger away from me and I ate more of these and more of these.  So dang, good.

The Brussels Sprout Mustard Toss
Sounds like a dance doesn't it?

2 pound bag Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Toss Brussels sprouts with oil and spread them in an even layer on a baking sheet.  Roast in an oven at 375F until they are golden.  I like doing at a lower temperature, than say, 425F- it seems to bring out more of their sweetness.  Once they are done, move to a large bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and mustard.  Pour the mixture over the sprouts and add salt and pepper. Sit back, relax and enjoy ever savory mouth full.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Homemade Hand Lotion

I have terribly dry skin in the winter.  I absolutely have to put on lotion plus gloves at night to keep them from cracking and bleeding.  This stuff does leave a bit of a greasy residue on your hands so it is best to use it at night.  If you use more of the creams than the oils you probably will have a less greasy feeling mixture. Either way I highly recommend it.  It's healing power is amazing.

Quilters Handcream
Do not use Neosporin for this- use Polysporin.

12 ounces aloe cream or gel
12 ounces Vitamin cream
.05 ounce tube of polysporin
2 tablespoons of petroleum jelly
4 tablespoon baby oil, cream or gel

Mix together with a whisk.  It will whip up nice and creamy.  In order to get into the pump bottle, I put it in a plastic bag and snipped of the corner of the bag.  This made it so much easier to get it into the pump bottle.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Weight Watcher Wednesday: Sirloin Tips

So what is in the box?  Well, Weight Watchers has generously offered to send me some of their new frozen meals.  How could I refuse?  Three brand new dishes and there's nothing like it on the market at present.  I will be reviewing each of these: 
Wild Alaskan Salmon Filet, Beef Steak Tips, Southwestern Style Turkey Chili
Don't they sound good?  
And a few more that they sent a long with those:  Chicken in Curry Sauce, Teriyaki Chicken and Southwestern Turkey Chili.  You will be hearing about all of them for the next couple weeks and I promise a recipe or two thrown in as well.

The beef steak tips and potatoes and vegetables were really delicious.  The sauce was so amazingly good.  What a nice treat.  The only problem was that I could have eaten a whole other serving.  But hey thats what weight watching is all about- portion control.  These are totally perfect for helping with portion control. I do like to eat some fresh vegetables with the meal whenever it does not feel like enough.

Disclaimer: I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Weight Watchers did supply the meal I reviewed.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Today is the Sugar Bowl

I have no appetizers to offer on this Sugar Bowl Sunday.  That is what my child calls this day, the Sugar Bowl.  Do you know why I do not have any appetizers to offer?  Well, because I am going to hang out with some chicks today- my monthly meeting of four friends that I hold dear to my heart.  They are good woman, who never criticize, only uplift.  How difficult is that to find?  Good friends who support you are so difficult to find. I count myself fortunate to have called them friends for over 12 years. 

Last night my husband says to me, "I can't believe you are going over your friends house today instead of hanging out with us on Super Bowl Sunday.  I look at him incredulously and say, "Are you kidding me?  Me, who never watches football, knows nothing about the sport is going to stay home, missing an opportunity to hang out with my fabulous friends".  And to beat that my husband really isn't a football fan at all either.  Then I say to him, "honey, can you tell me what day we all have a party and watch some chick oriented show on television and celebrate?"  (Mind you I know that a lot of you chicks out there watch football and get into it- nothing wrong with that - but you are in the minority).  He looks at me, thinking he is slick (I know exactly what he about to say) and says what about Valentines Day? That's totally chick oriented.  I look at him, he is somewhat right, but not really.  Valentine's day is geared toward couples.  What I want to see is a food, decorating, romantic extravaganza, with lots of appetizers, parties and commercials geared to those of us of the female persuasion.

And you know most of you men out there would be rolling your eyes and running to the nearest bar or golf course to get away. Ha. 

And because this is a food blog may I present oatmeal pancakes...  Fabulous pancakes. These are currently my favorites.  I like to eat one with an egg over top- dahlicious!

Oatmeal Pancakes
First spied on Smitten Kitchen, click here to go to the site.

3/4 cup oatmeal flour (I ground mine in my spice grinder starting with a cup of rolled oats)
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 1/4 cups milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix wet ingredients and set aside.  Mix dry ingredients and stir with a whisk.  Mix in the wet ingredients, being careful not to overmix as this may make your pancakes a little tough.  Heat skillet on medium high.  I use a cast iron griddle, I do not use any oil to cook the pancakes and have no trouble with them sticking.  The trick is to have your skillet warmed.  One trick my cousing taught me, besides looking for air bubbles int he top is making  sure the shine to the batter is gone - then you know they are ready to be flipped.

Weight Watched Wednesday will be on time this week! Stay tuned.