October 26, 2010

Pretzel & Jello "Salad"

Yeah I know...Petzels & Jello???
YES you fools!!!
Its so freaking good. Yeah its "oh my goodness" good.

3c. crushed pretzel sticks (some will be more powdery, some stick peices, but you need 3 full cups)
10 Tbsp (1 stick + 2Tbsp) of melted butter (unsalted)
1/3c. granulated sugar
  • Mix together & spread in a deep 9x13 or 11x14 pan.
  • Bake @ 350 for 10 mins, then cool.
8oz cream cheese (room temp helps)
1c. granulated sugar
2c. cool whip....(an 8oz tub works)
  • Mix together.
  • Spread over pretzel crust.
  • Pretzels will move, so spread carefully to keep crust in place.
2c. pineapple juice
2 pkgs (3oz ea) strawberry jell-o
16-20oz of frozen strawberries (whole berries, not in syrup)
  • Heat juice till near boiling in microwave.
  • Dissolve Jello in hot juice.
  • Option 1: Slice frozen berries & place over top, pour jell-o mix over the top of the cream layer.
  • Option 2: Toss frozen berries in blender, pour jell-o mix over the top & pulse a few times to chop berries. Pour jell-o & berry mix over the top of cream layer.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
  • Enjoy!
You may also use:
  • raspberry jello-o & frozen raspberries
  • peach jell-o & frozen peaches
  • lime jell-o & frozen pineapple

October 19, 2010

Buttermilk Waffle Batter (Toaster Waffle Leftovers!)

You don't have to ask twice.
These are amazing with strawberries & whipped cream.
I like waffles as breakfast for its listed in both categories.

They can be pretty time consuming for breakfast unless you are using the pre-done mix in baggies, so I make them for dinner when I have more time OR I make the whole batch & freeze them with wax paper in between...then they make easy toaster waffles. Yes!

3 c. flour
3/4 c. dry buttermilk powder
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt

  • Mix all dry ingredients together.
  • Mix can be set aside in freezer bags or used immediately.
3 eggs
3 c. water
6 Tbsp melted butter
  • Beat eggs.
  • Mix in butter & water.
  • Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
  • Cook as directed on waffle iron. (Mine takes about 1/2c per 2- 4" iron only makes 2- 4" waffles instead of 4.)
Makes 16-20 4" waffles. 
*You can also use 1/3 of dry mix with 1 egg, 1 c water & 2 Tbsp of butter for smaller batches. 

October 18, 2010

Argentine Alfajores

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
1 1/2 cups dulce de leche, at room temperature (Nestle La Lechera Dulce de Leche)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt and butter. Pulse until dough comes together into a ball. If the dough is too sticky add a little more flour so that you can shape the soft dough into a ball. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface and roll the dough 1/8-inch thick. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bring the dough scraps together and gently press into a ball. Flour your work surface, re-roll 1/8-inch thick and cut out more rounds.
  • *I cut these out even a bit smaller using a shot glass & they only take about 8ish minutes to bake at the same temperature.
  • Bake the cookies until they are golden and firm, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely, about 25 minutes.
  • Place the dulce de leche in a small bowl and (if you are adding the spice) stir in the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Spread about 1-2 teaspoons of the dulce de leche on the flat side of a cookie and sandwich with the flat side of another cookie. Place the cookies on a platter, dust them with powdered sugar, and serve.
Makes 16-18 cookies (2") or 2 dozen shot glass size cookies. I usually make a triple least.

Funeral Potatoes a la Mexico

Who loves funeral potatoes??? I DO!!!
Who loves Mexican food??? I DO!!!
Who loves Mexican Funeral Potatoes??? WE ALL DO!!!

This is a sweet spicy little twist on funeral potatoes!
Don't know what funeral potatoes are???
They are the LDS/Mormon dish traditionally funerals anything.

Nobody claims these are healthy. They just taste amazing.

2 bags of frozen tater tots (this should nearly fill your 9x13 pan)
2 jars of cheddar cheese sauce (16oz ea or 32oz total)
1 large can of cream of celery, mushroom or chicken soup (optional)
1 large can (6oz?) of fire roasted diced green chiles
2 cans (10oz ea) of Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chiles
2 Tbsp of garlic powder
1 Tbsp of fresh ground black pepper.

  • Spray bottom of 9x13 pan with Pam or cooking spray. 
  • Dump in tots and spread evenly.
  • Heat up cheese in microwave a bit then pour or spoon over tots.
  • If using the cream of ....soup, spoon it over tots & cheese.
  • Drain Rotel of 1/2 the liquid (not all).
  • Add Rotel & Diced Green Chilis.
  • Sprinkle liberally with garlic powder & fresh black powder.
  • Mix well.
  • Bake @350 until bubbly in the middle...about 45 minutes.
  • Can be topped with a nice layer of cheddar cheese or some sour cream or a sprinkle of green onions...or nothing at all.

October 15, 2010

CM's Basic Cheesecake, Crust & 4 yummy alternatives

Ok heres the deal. I'm pretty sure this makes 2 cheesecakes...maybe 3. No its 2. Its 2 HUGE cheesecakes. I'm serious people. They're HUGE. But they are the best cheesecakes you'll ever taste. Yes its from that elusive restaurant in Chico where I used to work. Enjoy!

CM's Basic Cheesecake Base
3lbs cream cheese
3 eggs
1 1/2c sugar
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Whip cream cheese till smooth.
  • Add 1 egg at a time until smooth.
  • Add all other ingredients 1 at a time, till its smooth each time.
  • At this point you can also make this into one of the AMAZING variations at the bottom.
CM's Basic Cheesecake Crust:
1lb unsalted butter (cubed)
5c. Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • Mix in food processor with short bursts.
  • Press in spring form pans (12" spring form pans) about 1/4" thick.
  • Toast in 350 F oven for 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
Baking CM's Cheesecake:
  • Preheat your oven to 375 F. 
  • Place a water bath on the lower rack of the oven (a 9x13 filled with as much water as possible).
  • Spray oven with water bottle (spritz bottle with warm water into warm oven), don't spray your light bulb!
  • Fill crust.
  • Put cheesecake into oven on the rack directly above the water bath.
  • Bake 25 minutes.
  • Turn oven down to 325 F.
  • Bake an additional 45-50 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven.
  • Let cake stand in oven 1-2 hours.
  • Chill overnight.
  • Slice & Enjoy!!! (Top with berries, chocolate, caramel, etc)
CM's Cheesecake Variations

Espresso Chip Swirl:

  • Using about 1/2 of the basic batter recipe!
  • Add 3 shots of espresso to 1/2 of the above batter & mix well.
  • Put 1/2 of the now espresso batter into the bottom.
  • Top with 1/2 the plain.
  • Top with 2c mini chocolate chips.
  • Top with rest of the espresso batter.
  • Top with the remaining plain batter.
  • Swirl carefully with a knife.
  • Bake as directed.

White (or Dark) Chocolate Raspberry:
  • Add 2c. of raspberries
  • Add 1.5c shaved or chopped chocolate
  • Swirl through batter.
  • Add 2 baskets of berries
  • Swirl through batter
  • Bake as directed
  • Add 1c. of finely chopped walnuts to 2c. of the crust mix before baking the crust.
  • Add 32oz of pumpkin to the batter.
  • Add freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon & cloves.
  • This is not a swirl recipe it is totally pumpkin.
  • Bake as directed.

    Jenny's Amazing Sugar Cookies

    Yes. Jenny makes some of the BEST cookies I've ever had. Her sugar cookies are SOOO good. Oh my gosh, they're almost exactly like the thick fluffy sugar cookies you find at the store.

    1 cup shortening (not butter flavored)
    1 cup margarine softened
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup powdered sugar
    2 eggs
    4 cups flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp cream of tartar
    1 tsp salt
    1 Tbl vanilla

    • Blend all together. 
    • Roll out to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick (the thicker- the softer the cookie) 
    • Cut with favorite cookie cutters. 
    • Use greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 7-8 minutes (or until edges look SLIGHTLY tan and done). 
    • Cool then frost.
    I've eaten Jennys frosting & love it. I've never made it myself, I just make my own. But if you want the whole package then here is here recipe for that too.

    Frosting recipe (or use whatever frosting you want)
    1 capful of vanilla
    powdered sugar
    1 Tbl margarine

    • Add enough powdered sugar and milk to form a spreadable frosting consistency. 
    • Add food coloring if desired.

    Nilla Blobs (Plus my Oreo & Andes version!)

    Another recipe courtesy of Jenny. You should have seen my reaction after she gave me my first one. You should have seen her reaction to the alternate version below....YUM!

    4 hershey bars (with our without almonds) 
    1 large tub of cool whip 
    1 box nilla wafers

    • Crush nilla wafers in large ziploc with rolling pin- to a fine powder. Set aside in shallow dish. 
    • Dump cool whip tub in to large mixing bowl; set aside. 
    • Melt hershey bars in microwaveable dish, If using Hersheys with Almonds, then chop them up first.
    • Let chocolate sit until not too warm. (15 mins or so) 
    • Add melted chocolate to cool whip; stir. (it'll look kinda chunky) 
    • Freeze mixture for 1/2 hr. 
    • Drop spoonfuls of cool whip mixture into nilla wafer crumbs and coat. 
    • Place "blobs" on wax paper covered cookie sheet. 
    • Freeze for 20 minutes then place in ziploc/airtight container. 
    • Serve from freezer - if they sit out too long they become too soft. : D 
    • Although they wouldn't last on the counter anyway - they get eaten in seconds.
    If you like some extra chocolate & some minty flavor then use the following alternative:
    • Substitute Oreos for Nilla Wafers
    • Subsitute Andes Mints for Hersheys Bars
    • HEAVEN in a blob....oh yes.

    Overloaded Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

    My friend Jenny makes these amazing peanut butter cookies packed full of peanut butter chip & chocolate chips! They are amazing. I'm not a crunchy pb fan so I only use creamy, but you can use whatever you like. I figured I needed to share the love with my friends...& give Jenny credit.

    1 cup butter, softened
    1 cup creamy peanut butter
    1 cup white sugar
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 eggs
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    2 3/4 cup flour
    1 bag milk chocolate chips
    1 bag peanut butter chips

    • Cream sugars, peanut butter, butter, and eggs.  
    • Add dry ingredients gradually.  
    • Stir in chips.  
    • Try not to eat all the batter - they taste good baked too, I promise!
    • Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes (until the edges are just slightly brown and the tops aren't shiny)

    Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

    2 sticks softened butter
    1 Cup granulated sugar
    3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 Tablespoon pure vanilla (love my Mexican vanilla)
    1 c. pumpkin, from can
    3 1/4 Cups all purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1/4-1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
    12 oz bag chocolate chips
    (I like cinnamon & nutmeg so I do the full a bit.)

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined then add pumpkin.

    2. Place flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg into large bowl; mix to combine then slowly add to wet ingredients then chocolate. Mix only until just combined.

    3. If using baking sheet, scoop medium cookie scoop of dough onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet, about an inch apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges just begin to brown. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before removing.

    4 dozen cookies