You Say Tomato I Say Tomahto!!

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Tomatoes, who has tomatoes…I DO!!!!!!!!
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My Dad’s garden is producing a plenty, his plants are 8 feet tall and going wild!!!

I have a few pictures here from the beginning stages, they are about 5 to almost 6 foot at this point,
my Dad here is growing, leaf lettuce, kale, peppers, cucumbers, onions, green beans, eggplants and of course Tomatoes!!!
There maybe be more he grows but I can remember, I do know he has another patch that asparagus is in and the green house that things grow too…

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but I just decided to write this blog about tomatoes last night, so I don’t have recent pictures of it 🙂 these picture were about the 2nd week of June

So I have been eating a lot of tomatoes lately, but they have really only been from my Dad’s, I don’t buy them usually, but I do love when I get them from him and his garden.

As anyone knows they just taste better than you can get in the store and it’s really the only eat time I do eat them.
My Mom and Dad will freeze them, stew them, roast them, sauce them, slice them for BLT (which I think they east daily during the summer) and chop them for salads.  Plus whatever else they do with them 🙂

I on the other hand I tend to eat them a little differently 🙂

First I blanch them and remove the skins, I have issues with the skins, that’s all I will say 🙂

Here are a few pictures of ways that I have enjoyed using my Dad’s fresh tomatoes from his garden.

I hope you will enjoy too!!!

Making sauce, in my Vitamix are tomatoes, roasted garlic, some Italian herbs, red pepper flakes and salt.
The Vitamix will also cook it too you let it run about 5-7 minutes and you have hot soup or sauce 🙂

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Mixing it all up

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Freezing some for winter 🙂

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Cooking some down too

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This is the cherry tomatoes, sauteed with garlic, onions and spinach
tossed with the pasta, then fold in some fresh mozzarella pearls
then a drizzle of some balsamic glaze…Delish!!!!

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My all time favorite thing in the world is
Polenta with fresh tomatoes and a poached egg!!!
This is heaven for me!!!

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another day again…YUMMY!!!

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This is my FBT…Fake bacon and tomato 😛

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Ran out of the cornmeal to make polenta
So I made couscous instead…Delish too!!!

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This was last night’s dinner
tomatoes, roasted garlic tossed with pasta and some fresh mozzarella cubes
I was talking about making this a work…so ladies this is what I made…simple and quick 🙂

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Oh and here is the kale and I made some kale chips…very good with a
sprinkle of kosher salt and garlic powder 🙂

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Here are couple of links of 2 more of my blogs that I used tomatoes in the past
First up is my Tomato Cobbler – this turned out really really good so if you
want something a little different try this recipe.

 Second is Orzo Salad with Basil, Tomato & Feta – I made this at one
of my outdoor cooking classes last year.

Enjoy the rest of the summer everyone!!!

What’s next here hopefully sooner than later
my trip to Bourbon Country 🙂
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It Was An All-Star Week!!!!

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Well if you are not a sports fan and don’t live in Cincinnati, then you may not even know what I am talking about 🙂 but for a year the city has been planning for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game.

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Let me say the city was crazy, I did go downtown a couple of days but if you didn’t get down there early to find a parking space, lot or garage it was nuts.  So to say the least I just drove around and then went back across the river 😛

But the Home Run Derby was exciting since Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds won it this year!!!

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 13:  National League All-Star Todd Frazier #21 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with teammate National League All-Star Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Cincinnati Reds after winning the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders at the Great American Ball Park on July 13, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 554358169 ORIG FILE ID: 480626732

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 13:  National League All-Star Todd Frazier #21 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with the trophy after winning the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders at the Great American Ball Park on July 13, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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All and all I think Cincinnati and Northern Ky. did an outstanding job hosting this years All-Star Game.

I did take some pictures, I have some here that friends took as well, but as I say it was an “All-Star Week”

There were are couple birthdays in our family and of course I made a few things, so check out my pictures and enjoy!!!

First of the birthdays was my little niece I made cupcakes 🙂

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She likes presents and bubbles 🙂

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Around town they made these mustaches statues here are few of them

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here is the picture of all of them that they made, pretty cool 🙂
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Here are few of my souvenirs

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Buskin Bakery made the cookies got to love that!!

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Here are some pictures of the Red Carpet Parade,
the players start at their hotel and end at the ball park, all on red carpet 🙂
Grand Marshall – Barry Larkin

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Mr. Red and Gapper

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Rosie Red

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Some other mascots

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Todd Frazier and his family

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You can see on Todd’s hand the blisters from the Home Run Derby 🙂

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Few other Players 🙂

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Some of the city skyline and downtown

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yes they had a zipline too

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My All-Star Pizza, half spinach & garlic
other half was spinach, Gorgonzola cheese,
sliced almonds, sliced strawberries and
balsamic glaze…so so GOOD!!!

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The other birthday was my Mommy!! 🙂

I made her cookies peanut butter with no flour 🙂

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Dinner – Braised Short Ribs, butter noodles and carrots 🙂

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Peach Ice Cream (I just scooped some out to take the picture)
she took the Ice Cream, cookies all home 🙂

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And for actual dessert I made Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting 😛

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I must say I agree is was an All-Star Week 🙂

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Mint Julep’s for the 139th Running of the Kentucky Derby!

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I posted this blog 2 years ago, but everyone needs to be drinking a Mint Julep today for the 141st Running of the Kentucky Derby!!!
So get your Hat and drink in hand along with the famous Derby Pie!! And get’s all have a great “Running of the Roses” Enjoy!!!

Come Cook With Me

Yes we have Mint Julep’s in the house!!

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How can you have a Kentucky Derby Party with out Pie…I covered that in my last post 😉

Or without Mint Julep’s!!!!

HAPPY DERBY DAY EVERYONE!!!!

So cheers to the Kentucky Derby that will run tonight at
6:24 pm est.

It’s just simple all you need is some Kentucky Bourbon!!!

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And the official sliver mug…okay I don’t have that but if you
would go to the Derby your’s would be served in them 🙂

Mint Julep Cup

Ingredients

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sugar and water in a pan to make a simple syrup

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I use about a 1/4 cup of mint, then I muddled it with the end of a wooden spoon

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Done muddling 🙂

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Then I add ice, bourbon, simple syrup, cap it

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Shake it, pour over crushed ice

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Then serve with a garnish of mint

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Recipe

Kentucky Bourbon 1 –…

View original post 158 more words

One Lovely Blog Award!!

10 Comments

Recently I was nominated for the “One Lovely Blog Award” by Ka@My Uni Kitchen

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Ka has a terffic blog, he has amazing Recipes, How to Guides and Cooking Tips, so please go over to his
blog and check out all those good things he has to offer 🙂

There are few rules to accepting the award you must tell everyone 7 things about yourself and nominate 15 blogs
for the award.

So here we go 🙂

1. I worked on a cruise ship for 6 1/2 years

2. My first career was in Theater Costuming before going into Culinary

4. I love Hockey

5. I worked for our home town Hockey Team by sewing names and numbers on their jerseys

6.  During the baseball season, I am on call for the Cincinnati Reds and the away teams
      that come into town and play the Reds, to sew their uniforms (sewing names & numbers),
      for any last minute call ups.

7.  The most I was ever paid for sewing 1 single uniform for an away team was $100.00
and 
that was for 1 hour of work, that included the call, me driving to the ball park
(i live very close) 
getting in there sewing the name and number and then 
      back in my car.  🙂  

Bonus – here’s the picture 🙂

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I hope you enjoyed the few things that most of you did not know about me 🙂

 

Here are the blogs that I think are fantastic and I give the “One Lovely Blog Award” too

Suzanne@apuginthekitchen

Gretchen@Feeding My 3 Sons

Ginger@Ginger&Bread

Loretta@Safari of the Mind

Angie@The Novice Gardner

Julie@Hostess At Heart

Michelle@Giraffes Can Bake

Suzi@Beach Blanket Bacon

Jhuls@The Not So Creative Cook

Coco@Crafty Little Coco

Lili@Lili’s Cakes

Max@Dante’s Kitchen

Linda@La Petite Paniere

Ms. Frau@Frugal Hausfrau

Petra@Food Eat Love

Vidya and Chitra I added you as well
I know Ka added you to his blog
but I wanted to let you know I love
your blogs too, so you can consider mine
with his 🙂

Vidya@Traditionally Modern Food

Chitra@Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen

Thank you everyone for checking out my blog!!!

 

 

 

Homemade Pierogies!!

23 Comments

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PIEROGIES!!!!!!!

Who loves some Pierogies!!! ME!!!

So why not for Fiesta Friday, check out many fabulous blogs for Fiesta Friday over at Angie’s page.

And her co-host for this Friday are Ginger@Ginger&Bread and Loretta@Safari of the Mind, so I would like to thank all of them for today’s Fiesta Friday #64

A friend of mine and I made some homemade pierogies awhile back I think they turned out great.
I made the dough and the filling, then headed over to my friend Paul’s house and we put them together and cooked them up…Delicious!!!!

If you are not familiar with what they are, click here

I have always seen them in the freezer section Mrs. T’s, which I am not saying are not good, if you need a quick pierogi these will do the trick.

For me on the other hand I have them fresh from a place in Pittsburgh a couple of times, my friend Paul is from there so when I went with him to visit we went to “Pierogies Plus” check out all the different flavors that you can get when you go or you can have them shipped 🙂

Also when I went to Chicago I stopped into a Polish Pierogi Shop…amazing 🙂

I just went with Potato and Cheese for this first batch 🙂

Dough – Ingredients

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I used a food processor, you can do it by hand too

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Flour and salt

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pulsed it a little then added my egg

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with egg mixed in

 

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then add sour cream and butter and pulse

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Pulse a few times

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then turn it out onto your work space

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Knead to just bring together

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form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap
I heard if you make the dough the night
before it becomes a more tended dough

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Filling – Ingredients

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Peel and cube your potatoes & boil until
done

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Drain potatoes and place back in the pan
set back on the stove, just on hot burner
to help some of the extra liquid cook off

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I used a ricer, you can certainly mash the
potatoes with a masher or however you
make your mashed potatoes

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using the ricer forces the potatoes through
the tiny holes which make the potatoes very
creamy

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potatoes, riced 🙂

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mix in butter and half and half

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8oz. shredded cheese

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fold in cheese

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finished mixture

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place in container and chill

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my dough

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I cut in half

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then again, take dough and press out
into a rectangle then use a rolling pin to make
dough about 1/8 inch thick

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I use a round cutter to cut my circles
about a 3 inch round maybe 3 1/2 inch 🙂

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I used my scoop, it worked out perfectly
mixture was about 2 tablespoons

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place potato mixture in the center of the round

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bring edges up together and start to pinch
dough together from center to the outside
then from the center to the other side

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Done, this was perfect, it was easier just to
form a round with your fingers, fill it and pinch

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as you can see not all of them look perfect
but they all tasted Fabulous!!!

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From following recipe this was how much
potato mixture left, it may have been a
cup or cup in half.  Great mashed potatoes
for sure.

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Homemade Pierogies

Dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs, large
1 stick butter, softened

You can use food processor or mix by hand
Mix together the flour and salt, add eggs and combine, the dough will be clumpy.
Work in the sour cream and softened butter until dough comes together roughly, then scrap out onto work surface.
Knead and fold the dough without adding any additional flour until the dough becomes less sticky but it will be quite moist.
Wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 60 minutes, but I like it overnight.

Filling:

2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled, cubed
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. half and half
8 oz. cheese, shredded (about 2 cups) Cheddar, Colby, farmers or any good melting cheese

Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender, drained potatoes and place back in pot, set pot back on hot burner so any leftover liquid can cook away.
At this point you can put potatoes through a ricer, food mill or you can just mash them with a potato masher.  Once that is done add half and half and softened butter and mix to combine, season with salt to taste and refrigerate to cool for 3 hours or over night.

Remove dough from fridge and plastic wrap, cut in half, then each piece in half, at this point you can roll each piece into a rectangle to an 1/8 inch thick.  You can use a 3-3 1/2 inch round cutter to make your rounds.  Or you can free form your rounds, you will get 24 rounds out of this dough.

Scoop about 2 tablespoons of filling onto rounds, gently fold in half and with your fingers pinch the edges from the center to each end, to seal the dough together.

At this point you can freeze these up to 1 month or refrigerate overnight up to 2 days.

Bring a large stock pot filled with water to a boil, in the meantime slice a large onion and begin to saute in a large skillet with butter or olive oil over medium heat, watching so they do not burn and just brown.

Once water starts to boil add 2 Tbsp. salt and stir, add pierogies to the salted water, make sure not to over crowd the pot and give a stir occasionally.  When pierogies float to the top they are done, transfer cooked pierogies to skillet with onions, cook pierogies until browned and crisp on both sides.

Serve hot with additional sour cream or applesauce if you like, but most of all enjoy those delicious bundles of love!!! 🙂

Think about something sweet inside them, they do make them with fruit, you could sweeten some cream cheese as the filling and saute in just butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or drizzle with chocolate…the possibilities are endless really!!

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Red Velvet Cheesecake!!! “Fiesta Friday #63”

25 Comments

“Red Velvet, Red Velvet, send “Cheesecake” right over” LOL

Anyone remember playing “Red Rover, Red Rover” as a kid 😉 if not just google it LOL 😛

Anyway I was trying to start my blog out in a silly kind of way, but there is no silliness when “Red Velvet” is involved 😉

Of course Red Velvet everything starts to come out around Valentine’s Day, and this is around that time I made this delicious cheesecake.

Of course I did share with several friends and I must say I had “zero” complaints 🙂 LOL

So I thought this would be perfect for this week’s “Fiesta Friday #63”, of course our host is Angie@The Novice Gardener her new blog for Fiesta Friday’s is here and her co-host this week are Julianna@Food On Board and Hilda@Along The Grapevine.

So I’d like to thank them for letting me share this recipe 🙂

So without further ado here you go!!

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Ingredients

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Crust –

place biscuits in food processor

 

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Pulse until it becomes fine crumbs

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this is the 1 1/2 cup of the tea biscuits

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Add melted butter and crumbs together

 

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butter & crumb mixture

 

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spray your spring-form pan

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Pour crumb mixture into pan

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with your fingers firmly press crumb mixture into pan
and up the sides about 1 inch

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Filling – cream cheese softened

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blend the cream cheese until smooth

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add eggs one at a time, blending well after each one

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add the sugar

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add sour cream

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add salt & cornstarch

 

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add vanilla

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scrap your bowl

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put about 2 1/2 cup of the filling in another bowl

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add red food coloring and cocoa

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whisk together

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Pour red mixture on top of cream mixture
and give it a swirl and bake

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once its done turn oven off, crack the oven door open
and let cake sit inside for 1 hour

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remove from oven and let cool for 3 hours

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Chill overnight or for at least 3 hours before
cutting and serving

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Its came out just delicious!!!

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Enjoy!!

Red Velvet Cheesecake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Crust:
2 1/2 cups cookie crumbs (graham or flavored)
(I used 1 1/2 cups Cappuccino tea biscuits and 1 cup graham cracker crumbs)
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

Mix all together in a bowl, in a 9 inch spring-form pan press mixture down on the bottom and up the sides about 1 inch, set aside.

Filling:

2 8oz. bricks cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream, room temp
3 eggs, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. corn starch
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. red food coloring
1/4 cup cocoa powder

In a large bowl with a stand mixer or hand mixer, mix the cream cheese until smooth and creamy, add one egg at a time, making sure each is mixed in before adding the next.  Then add the sugar, sour cream, vanilla, salt and then cornstarch, scraping the bowl as needed.

Take 2 1/2 cups of the mixture and add it to a small bowl then mix in food coloring  and cocoa until fully combined.

Pour white mixture into the pan and spread around, then add red mixture and just swirl the 2 mixtures together.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, edges will be puffed up and slightly brown, turn off oven, leave the door cracked with cheesecake inside for 1 hour.  Then cool at room temp. for about 3 hours, place in refrigerator to chill for at least 2-3 before serving.

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Papa K’s Meatloaf!!

15 Comments

So last year my friend Paul and I went to Pittsburgh to visit his family, we had a great time with his Dad as I call him “Papa Kovac”.

The first night when we got there Papa K made us dinner his famous Meatloaf, Haluski and Asparagus 🙂

The meal was so Delicious!!! Loved it all but I got his Meatloaf recipe and I made it myself 🙂

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Here are Papa Kovac and Paul during dinner

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The Delicious meal!!!

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Me and Paul being silly with some graphics

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As this posts I am back in Pittsburgh with Paul and we are visiting with his Dad, this time we are going to do some cooking and of course go on some adventures around town 🙂
I will blog about my trip in the coming weeks 🙂 In the meantime enjoy Papa K’s Meatloaf!!

Ingredients

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the chopped onion, red pepper, celery and garlic
saute this up

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add to a big bowl with the meats, oats, egg & milk

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Mix it up with your hands 🙂

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Now I always take a piece and fry up in a Skillet
I like to taste just to make sure I have the
seasonings right…does anyone else do this?

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Cooked up

 

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taste good, seasonings are good

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free form it on a lined baking sheet

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Bake it up

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yummy

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Okay now I love the flavor on its own
BUT!!!! i just can’t eat meatloaf without
Ketchup!!! and not any ketchup…
HEINZ KETCHUP!!!! it is a MUST!!

yes I am a Ketchup snob 😛

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Yummy!!

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Papa K's Meatloaf

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 red pepper, diced
1 large or 2 small onions, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 egg
3/4 cup quick oats
6 cloves garlic
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup milk

Saute in a large skillet the onions, celery, red pepper and garlic until softened.
In a large bowl add sauteed mixture, meats, oats, egg, salt, pepper and milk mix together with your hands.  If you want to check for seasonings take a little of the mixture and make a patty and fry is up, taste it for seasonings if you like the taste…done…if not add to your taste.

Free form the mixture into a loaf on a lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes to 90 minutes.

Let set for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Add Ketchup…Heinz Ketchup if you want!!! 🙂 LOL!!