Friday, January 18, 2008

On hiatus...

Unfortunately my fridge died 2 days ago so this blog will be on hiatus for another 3-5 days until the part comes in.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Oreo Cheesecake

I've made cheesecake in the past, but this was my first time with Oreo cheesecake. It tasted great but the crust was a bit hard. That was probably my fault, but regardless it tasted great. I would make it again.

Oreo Cheesecake (Kraft Foods)

1 pkg. (1 lb. 4 oz.) OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided (I used reduced fat)
1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted (I used butter)
3 pkgs. (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened (I used 2 regular and 1 low fat)
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream (I used light)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Whipped cream, for garnish
Additional OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, halved, for garnish (I didn't have any left)

Finely crush 30 cookies and coarsely chop remaining cookies; set aside. Mix finely crushed cookie crumbs and margarine or butter in bowl. Press on bottom and 2 inches up side of 9-inch springform pan; set aside.

Beat cream cheese and sugar in bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Blend in eggs, sour cream and vanilla; fold in chopped cookies. Spread mixture into prepared crust. Bake at 350°F for 55 to 60 minutes or until set. (If necessary to prevent top from overbrowning, tent with foil for the last 15 to 20 minutes of baking).

Cool on wire rack at room temperature. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Remove side from pan; garnish with whipped cream and cookie halves to serve.

Spinach Lasagna

This is a recipe taught to me by my mom. We used to have it every Christmas Eve (when I was older). I made it for a party we were hosting this weekend. Its a great way to feed a crowd.

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna (Family recipe)

1 tab olive oil
2 packages sliced/washed mushrooms
1-2 packages frozen chopped spinach (defrosted and press out excess water) (Depends on how much spinach you want. I've done it with both)
1 small low fat ricotta cheese (15 oz?)
1 8oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1 mozzarella ball or stick sliced (8+ ounces, enough to cover the top of a 9x13 pan)
2 small jars of your favorite tomato sauce
2 tea red pepper flakes
salt, pepper
1 package lasagna noodles

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add mushroom and cook until done. Remove and let cool.
3. In a large bowl mix ricotta cheese, mushrooms, spinach, and red pepper flakes. Add a bit of tomato sauce to make it easier to mix. Add a dash of salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
4. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.
5. Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray. Lay lasagna noodles on the bottom until its totally covered. Overlap noodles slightly.
6. Layer ricotta mixture, then top with spaghetti sauce so its generously covered. If you like your lasagna more wet, be more generous.
7. Sprinkle shredded mozarella cheese over the sauce layer.
8. Add another layer of noodles as in step 5. Repeat steps 6 and 7.
9. Top with final layers of noodles.
10. Cover the top noodle layer with the sliced mozarella cheese.
11. Spray foil with nonstick spray and cover 9x13 pan.
12. Put into preheated over and bake until bubbly (about 45 minutes). Remove foil for final 5 minutes of cooking time to brown (you can also broil for 2 minutes if you wish).


Thai Pork With Peanut Sauce

I was searching for something a bit different to make in my crockpot besides the stereotypical pot roast or pulled pork. I ran across this recipe in a cookbook that I have owned for awhile but haven't had time to use yet. Overall, it turned out pretty well and I would make it again.

Thai Pork With Peanut Sauce (From Not Your Mothers Slowcooker Cookbook)

Note: I doubled this recipe except for the peanut butter because I had a 4lb roast instead of the 2lb it originally called for.

1 4lb boneless pork loin (you can really use any pork you want)
1 bag of frozen pepper strips
1 bag zucchini
2/3 cup teriyaki sauce
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tea red pepper flakes (I added a bit more to make it hotter)
4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup green onion

1. Coat the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Put the pork, bell peppers, zucchini, teriyaki sauce, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, and garlic into the cooker. Cover and put on LOW for 8-9 hours.
2. Remove the pork from the slow cooker when finished and coarsely chop. Add the peanut butter and blend until dissolved. Return the pork to the sauce and toss to coat. Add in green onion.
3. Serve over rice.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Chicken Parmesan

Happy New Year! We are back from our vacation, so its back to cooking up some delicious meals.

First up for the new year is, Chicken Parmesan. This is something my mom taught me how to make when I first started cooking and it was my signature dish.

Chicken Parmesan

Serves 6, or you can have 3 meals for 2 people like we did.

2 eggs
3 chicken breast halves
italian seasoned bread crumbs (1 - 1.5 cups or so)
olive oil
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 8 oz package shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Pound chicken breast halves until thinner (1/4 inch thick is fine or a bit thicker). Cut into pieces (not bite size, but maybe 2 pieces were half of a chicken breast). For 3 chicken breast halves, I had 8 pieces.
2. Crack 2 eggs in shallow bowl or plate. Beat until egg white and yolk are combined.
3 Put bread crumbs in a shallow bowl or plate.
4. Dip chicken into eggs until coated, then into the bread crumbs until covered. Shake off excess. Repeat for all chicken.
5. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. You want the olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. I just eyeball this. Use medium heat.
6. Once oil is hot, place chicken in pan. Let it cook until the breaded side down is totally brown. Flip and brown the other side.
7. Place lid on skillet and turn heat down a bit so chicken can finish cooking.
8. Once chicken is cooked, cover with spaghetti sauce and heat until bubbly.
9. Cover chicken with mozzarella cheese and place under broiler until melted and slightly browned.
10. Enjoy!