Monthly Archives: November 2012

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

I made this to take to Thanksgiving lunch at my Grandparent’s house. I was a little unsure if it would turn out well or not since I have never really made a pie that I’ve had to bake. But it was actually pretty easy and it was good too! I even made another one. ūüėõ

The Recipe:

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages¬†cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup¬†white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†vanilla extract
  • 2¬†egg
  • 1 (9 inch)¬†prepared graham cracker crust
  • 1/2 cup¬†pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch¬†ground cloves
  • 1 pinch¬†ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup¬†frozen whipped topping, thawed

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla.  Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set.  Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.

Dark beer homebrew cheese soup

Dark Beer Cheese Soup

I tried this recipe out because I thought it sounded good and the Husband likes dark beer and we usually have some of his homebrew on hand. It looked and smelled really good until I put the beer in. ¬†He really liked it, but I thought it tasted too beery (he didn’t taste it at all) and I’m not at all a fan of dark beer. So I sent a crockpot full with him to work. ūüėõ Maybe it would have been better using a not so strong tasting beer.

The Recipe:

  • 2¬†potatoes, chopped
  • 2¬†onions, chopped
  • 3¬†celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups¬†baby carrots
  • 2 cups¬†cauliflower¬†florets
  • 6 cups¬†water
  • 6¬†chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 teaspoon¬†Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†ground black pepper
  • 1 clove¬†garlic, minced
  • 1 (16 ounce) Velveeta cheese
  • 2/3 cup¬†Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup¬†shredded Cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese blend
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) bottle¬†dark beer


    Place the potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, and cauliflower in a food processor; puree until smooth. (I don’t have a food processor, so I did it in several batched in my Magic Bullet) Combine the vegetable mixture, water, bouillon cubes, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and garlic in a large pot over medium heat. Cook until the the liquid reduces to about 1/2 its original volume, about 90 minutes. Add the processed cheese, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese, and beer; heat until the cheese is completely melted. Serve immediately. I topped it with bacon bits and green onions.

Baked Chicken Wonton Tacos

Baked Chicken Wonton Tacos

I made this for dinner tonight, and was pleasantly surprised at how good they were. I kind of was just expecting them to be meh. But they were more flavorful than I thought they would be. Really pretty simple to throw together as well.

The Recipe:

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, boiled and shredded
  • 8 square wonton wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame ginger dressing
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves( I didn’t have any, so I left it out)
  • 2 tablespoons Mexican cheese
  • cooking spray
  • 1 red chili pepper, seeded and sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine shredded chicken, BBQ sauce, sesame ginger dressing, cilantro, and Mexican cheese together. In the center of wonton wrapper, place about 1 or 2 tablespoonful of the chicken mixture and pinch two edge corners together. Repeat with the remaining mixture and wrappers. Place prepared wraps on to greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the wrappers are golden brown and crispy. Sprinkle with chili red pepper and serve with sesame ginger dressing if desired.

Beer Braised Beef Irish Stew and Colcannon

Beer Braised Beef Irish Stew and Colcannon

Had this recipe planned for dinner last night, then realized I needed a Dutch oven to cook it. So we had to run out and buy one real quick. I love my new cooking toy. ūüėõ But anyways, this was reaaally good. I wasn’t sure about the colcannon at first, but it was good. The only thing I would change next time would be to add more carrots. ¬†The husband suggested mushrooms and more cabbage in the potatoes. I don’t think so. Mushrooms are disgusting. ūüėõ The hubs and I both ended up eating seconds of this one and leftovers for lunch today. Yum.

The Recipe:

Irish Stew:

  • 1 tablespoon¬†vegetable oil
  • 1 (3 pound)¬†beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1/2-inch cubes( I had a 2 lb. eye of round on hand, so I used that)
  • 2 tablespoons¬†all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup¬†coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 cup¬†coarsely chopped carrot
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle¬†dark beer
  • 2¬†bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon¬†dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon¬†salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves¬†garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons¬†Worcestershire sauce


  • 2 pounds¬†russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 cups¬†thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1/4 cup¬†milk, warmed
  • 2 tablespoons¬†butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon¬†ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons¬†minced fresh parsley( I used about a teaspoon or so of dried parsley flakes)


    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

    Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until very hot, and brown the meat in 2 batches, stirring to brown the cubes on all sides. Return all the meat to the Dutch oven, sprinkle with flour, and stir lightly to coat the meat with flour. Stir in onion, carrots, dark beer, bay leaves, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, and cover.

    Place the Dutch oven into the preheated oven, and cook for 45 minutes; uncover, stir the stew, and cook until the beef is very tender and the liquid is reduced by half, about 45 more minutes.

    About 30 minutes before the stew is ready, make the colcannon: Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two.

    Place the cabbage into a microwave-safe bowl, and add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and microwave on High for about 2 1/2 minutes; uncover (watch out for steam) and stir the cabbage. Cover and microwave for about 2 1/2 more minutes, until the cabbage is slightly tender but not mushy. Drain excess liquid, and set the cabbage aside, covered.

    Place the potatoes into a large bowl, and add milk, butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Beat the potatoes with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Stir in the cabbage, crumbled bacon, and parsley until well combined.

    To serve, place a scoop of colcannon onto a plate, make a hollow, and fill with braised beef stew.

Linguine with Cajun-Spiced Chicken and Corn

Linguine with Cajun Chicken and Corn

I made this for dinner last week. I had been in the mood for pasta. It wasn’t quite as flavorful and I had hoped, but it was still good. I sprinkled on a little extra Cajun seasoning and we were good to go.

The Recipe:

  • 1 (16 ounce) package¬†linguine pasta
  • 1 pound¬†chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces( I marinated mine in lime juice and cayenne pepper seasoning overnight)
  • 1/2 cup¬†butter
  • 1 teaspoon¬†minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup¬†diced red onion
  • 1/3 cup¬†diced sweet red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup¬†canned whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons¬†fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons¬†chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon¬†dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon¬†canned chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon¬†sea salt
  • 1/2 cup¬†half-and-half

    Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguine and cook until done, 8 to 10 minutes; drain .Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until no longer pink and stir in garlic, and red onion, cook until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in bell pepper, corn, lime juice, cilantro, oregano, chipotle pepper, and salt. Stir in the half-and-half, and bring to a simmer. Toss with the drained pasta and serve.


Southwest Cheesy Chicken Casserole

Southwest Cheesy Chicken Pasta Casserole

Tried this recipe out a few months ago. It was pretty good, and even Kaden ate it.

The Recipe:

  • 1/2 pound whole grain pasta such as rotini
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 3 ears of corn, kernels removed
  • 1/4-1/3 cup all purpose flour {depending on how much liquid the veggies give off}
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips

Boil a large pot of water and cook the pasta for half the time recommended on the box. Drain and set aside. In the same hot pot, melt butter and saute onions, garlic, peppers, jalapenos and corn until tender, 7 minutes or so. Sprinkle in flour and stir. Cook 2 minutes, then pour in chicken stock. Increase heat to thicken sauce, then sprinkle in cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, cheeses, cream, chicken and cooked pasta. Stir to combine and pour into large casserole dish. Top with crushed tortilla chips and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve.

Szechuan Chicken

Szechuan Chicken

I made this some time ago, and it was soooo good. The husband and I both loved it.  We both like things pretty spicy so this was just right for us. I served it with fried rice as a side. Definitely a dish I will be making again soon.

The Recipe:

  • 1 lb chicken breast, cut into small strips
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into thin long strips
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin long strips
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp chili powder

Season chicken with salt, pepper and chili powder.  In a skillet heat olive oil and add the seasoned chicken and cook until chicken is no longer pink.  Remove chicken from skillet.  Add garlic, ginger, onion, and bell pepper to skillet and saute for a couple minutes until onion is cooked. Add chicken back to skillet.  In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, white wine, and chicken broth.  Add the soy sauce mixture to the skillet and stir continuously. Continue cooking for 3 minutes. Add hot sauce if.  Garnish with chives.

Mirror and Frames

Old Mirror and Frames Project

I decided it was time for something new on the big wall in the living room. The wall is so big and was just so bare looking. So I found an old mirror on craigslist for $20 and refinished it. Kaden helped. I bought some cheap frames at the dollar store and had some black and white prints made of some of my favorite pictures. Threw them all on the wall, and voila!


Crock pot cheesy chicken and vegetables

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Veggies

Tried this new recipe out a while back, but never got around to posting it. It was simple to make and pretty yummy.

The Recipe:

  • 6¬†skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 (11 ounce) cans¬†condensed cream of Cheddar cheese soup
  • 1 16 oz bag frozen mixed veggies (I used peas, carrots and green beans)
  • 1/2 cup¬†milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon¬†garlic powder


Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Place chicken breasts inside. In a bowl mix together soup,milk and veggies and pour mixture over chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garlic powder.Cook on high for about 6 hours.  Or less time and lower heat if your crock pot burns everything like mine does. Served over rice.