Happy Pi Day! 3-14

8 Comments

Happy Pi Day Everyone!!! 3-14-16

pi_day_2016_7_inch_paper_plate-r174a958c4e6c40ea8570f6e17a40e72d_z6cf8_512

In honor of Pi Day here is a link to my Banana Cream Pie!!!  I hope you check it out and what Pie will you be eating today!! LOL!! 🙂

https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2012/06/17/banana-cream-pie-for-fathers-day/

Apple Banana pie 012

National Chocolate Cake Day!!!

17 Comments

So yesterday was National Chocolate Cake Day, and I got the itch to make a
Chocolate Cake and I brought it in for the office today!!!  

IMG_4105

I know they will happy, since this is the second thing I made this week, on Monday
I made a Cinnamon and Walnut Coffee Cake and they all loved that!! 🙂

So I didn’t have my usual ingredients at the house that I have used in my Chocolate cakes before, like
buttermilk or sour cream those things make my cakes moist and I like using them.

So I just followed the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa Powder can.

IMG_4078

The only thing I did differently was two things:
1. I used 1 cup of cocoa powder, instead of what it said, (I can’t remember LOL)
2. I used Hot Strong Coffee instead of Hot Water.

I also made it in a bundt pan 🙂 Bake for about 40-50 mins, just until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

The I made Cream Cheese Frosting and that recipe is below 🙂

Adding the chocolate to the cream cheese, butter and sugar (sorry i didn’t take better pictures)

IMG_4096

whipped up altogether 🙂

IMG_4097

frosting!!

IMG_4098

Done 🙂

IMG_4104

now Enjoy!!!

IMG_4110

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

2 – 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
2 stick of butter, softened
1 3/4 – 2 cups powdered sugar
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup half and half

In a double boiler add chocolate and half and half, stir until chocolate has melted and mixture has before like a thick paste.  Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl mix cream cheese until fluffy, then add butter and mix until combined and fluffy.
Then add powdered sugar, I only used 1 3/4 cup but if you like it sweeter add more, mix until combined.

The mix in chocolate and continue to mix until all in combined and fluffy.

This recipe covered the bundt cake and I had about 2 cups left over.

Store cake in the refrigerator, let set at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving.

YUMMY!!! Enjoy!!

IMG_4111

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer!!

19 Comments

So are you one of those people that CANNOT wait till fall hits so you can get your
Pumpkin Spice Latte on!! 😛

IMG_3347

As you know most of the coffee shops only have this Pumpkin Spice Syrup during the fall and maybe into the winter???

I don’t know because I am not one of those people 😛

But it doesn’t mean I don’t want to get on the “Band Wagon” and make my own…LOL!!

So many recipes have been flying around the internet, so I decided I would give it a try…

And let me tell you it turned out DELICIOUS!!!!!!!

I kind of shock myself…LOL 😛

So of course I dug into my spices to find the hidden Pumpkin Pie Spice in the back from the fall before LOL and finally can open one of the two large can of pumpkin pure, again from the fall before 😦

Okay so what else…I found some sweetened condensed milk and now I just needed cream, but I didn’t want to use cream, so I settled for half n half.

Okay I think I am ready to go and this is how it all went.

Ingredients

IMG_3315

in a saucepan, pumpkin, milk and spice

IMG_3317

stir that up, then stir in the half n half

IMG_3319

cook on med-high
okay I will confess, I had in on med-high, but I was trying to do other things as well, and I may not have been stirring it the whole time…hence it started to burn on the bottom, when I went back to it, and started whisking like a mad women, black bits started to surface.  I may have cursed that this time, but I turned it down to low and kept on whisking until it thickened a little, then I let it cool for 5 minutes

Once I tried it was AWESOME!! It tasted like Toasted Pumpkin Marshmallow 🙂
I thought Holy Crap I just added another flavor dimension…WOOO HOOOO!!!!! LOL 🙂

IMG_3322

It does get a little darker as it thickens

IMG_3321

now you have strain this through a fine mesh strainer,
and take the back of a spatula and force the mixture through the
strainer by moving the spatula back and forth

IMG_3323

IMG_3324

IMG_3325

this is what you will have left in the strainer

IMG_3326

after I let the mixture cool in the fridge,
I poured it into 2 little mason jars

IMG_3335

IMG_3336

This will keep in your fridge up to 2 weeks
if it last that long 🙂 LOL

IMG_3337

My Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino

IMG_3338

I added to my mug, about 2 Tbsp. pumpkin mixture
2 Tbsp. creamer and stir it up

IMG_3339

Then I frothed that

IMG_3340

IMG_3342

Then I add my espresso

IMG_3344

IMG_3345

and to finish it off I sprinkle a little
Pumpkin Pie Spice on top…it was just Yumm!!!

IMG_3346

Now you can just mix it into your regular coffee,
as I did at the office this morning 🙂

IMG_3349

IMG_3351

IMG_3352

As I talk to some of the ladies this morning, I started coming up
all kinds ideas to do with this mixture besides to put in your
coffee…oh a can wait to get back in the kitchen…stay tune!!!

IMG_3347

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer

  • Time: 15 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup half n’ half, or cream or whole milk

Whisk everything together in a saucepan, cook over med-high, whisk until mixture thickens
and darkens a little.  Like I said above, let it burn a little and it will give it a toasted flavored, I felt
like that added such good flavor.

Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer, take a spatula and force mixture through the strainer by going back and forth.  Pour mixture into a jar or container and keep refrigerated for up to two weeks if it last that long…LOL  Mind didn’t 😛

Add as much or as little to your coffee or tea and sit back and enjoy!!

 

Homemade Pierogies!!

23 Comments

IMG_2038

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

IMG_1990

 

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

IMG_1993

 

Flour and salt

IMG_1996

 

pulsed it a little then added my egg

IMG_1998

 

with egg mixed in

 

IMG_2001

 

then add sour cream and butter and pulse

IMG_2002

 

Pulse a few times

IMG_2003

 

then turn it out onto your work space

IMG_2005

 

Knead to just bring together

IMG_2006

 

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

IMG_2007

 

Filling – Ingredients

IMG_1991

 

Peel and cube your potatoes & boil until
done

IMG_2008

 

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

IMG_2012

 

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

IMG_2010

 

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

IMG_2013

 

potatoes, riced 🙂

IMG_2015

 

mix in butter and half and half

IMG_2016

 

8oz. shredded cheese

IMG_1994

 

fold in cheese

IMG_2017

 

finished mixture

IMG_2018

 

place in container and chill

IMG_2019

 

my dough

IMG_2022

 

I cut in half

IMG_2023

 

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

IMG_2024

IMG_2025

IMG_2027

 

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

IMG_2028

 

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

IMG_2029

IMG_2030

place potato mixture in the center of the round

IMG_2031

 

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

IMG_2032

 

IMG_2033

 

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

IMG_2034

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

IMG_2035

 

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.

IMG_2037

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!!

fiesta-friday-badge-button-i-party

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!!

FullSizeRender (2)

 

Ingredients

IMG_1873

Crust –

place biscuits in food processor

 

IMG_1875

 

Pulse until it becomes fine crumbs

IMG_1876

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

IMG_1877

 

Add melted butter and crumbs together

 

IMG_1879

 

butter & crumb mixture

 

IMG_1881

 

spray your spring-form pan

IMG_1882

Pour crumb mixture into pan

IMG_1883

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

IMG_1884

Filling – cream cheese softened

IMG_1885

 

blend the cream cheese until smooth

IMG_1886

 

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

IMG_1887

IMG_1889

 

add the sugar

IMG_1891

 

add sour cream

IMG_1892

 

add salt & cornstarch

 

IMG_1893

add vanilla

IMG_1894

scrap your bowl

IMG_1896

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

IMG_1897

add red food coloring and cocoa

IMG_1898

 

whisk together

IMG_1899

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

IMG_1901

 

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

IMG_1951

 

remove from oven and let cool for 3 hours

IMG_1973

 

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

IMG_1979

IMG_1980

FullSizeRender

 

Its came out just delicious!!!

FullSizeRender (8)

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.

FullSizeRender (6)

fiesta-friday-badge-button-i-party

Mini Strawberry Espresso Surprise!!! Fiesta Friday #55

35 Comments

Hello everyone it’s another Fiesta Friday!!! I want to thank our host Angie@The Novice Gardener and her co-host today Sue@birgerbird and Suzanne@apuginthekitchen.  Suzanne has become a great blog friend and I want to thank her 🙂  So enjoy Fiesta Friday everyone!!!

So earlier this week I went to my favorite place “Flying Olive” 🙂

The Flying Olive has 50 varieties of olive oils and vinegar’s, I love going there because you can taste anything before buying it 😛 check out their website for all the info and check out their 2 locations one each in Ohio and Kentucky.

I currently have Strawberry, Red Apple, Wild Blueberry, Cranberry Pear in the vinegar’s and in the olive oils I have Butter, Persian Lime, Cilantro and Roasted Onion and Tuscan Herb 🙂

During my recent trip I got Dark Espresso Balsamic Vinegar as I just love coffee so I knew I had to get it.

So I had some strawberries at home so I knew I was going to use those some how and I was thinking of using mascarpone cheese. After getting home and checking out what I had already in my pantry, I thought this would be a perfect mini dessert.  A couple of years ago for Christmas my friend Danny gave me a few sets of mini plates, bowls, spoons and forks, he know how I like to entertain 🙂 so this is my is my mini dessert.

IMG_1936

Ingredients (ended up not using the half n half)
If you wanted mascarpone to be more creamy
then I would add a little half n half.

IMG_1914

Added the vinegar to my strawberries

IMG_1919

Added the vinegar to the Mascarpone cheese

IMG_1920

Mixed up

IMG_1921

I crushed the Biscotti and added a little to bottom on the dishes

IMG_1924IMG_1922

Topped the biscotti with the strawberries that were soak in the Vinegar
IMG_1923

Then a dollop of the mascarpone mixture

IMG_1926

drizzle of more vinegar

IMG_1928IMG_1929

shave some chocolate, I thought this chocolate would go perfect

IMG_1930

IMG_1933

IMG_1936

Done…serve or chill until your party begins 🙂

IMG_1939

Mini Strawberry Espresso Surprise

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

3/4 cup Flying Olive Dark Espresso Balsamic Vinegar, divided
2 containers tiramisu flavored mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
3 chocolate biscotti’s, crushed
1 piece dark chocolate

In a bowl add the chopped strawberries and 1/4 cup vinegar, stir and set aside.

In another bowl add mascarpone and 3 Tbsp. of vinegar and whisk together, set aside.

Set out your mini dishes that you are going to use, add about a teaspoon or a little more of the crushed biscotti to each dish, then add strawberries on top of biscotti, start with a teaspoon on each then add more to each to finish up the strawberries.  Dollop mascarpone cream on each dish, then with a teaspoon drizzle a little of the vinegar over top the mascarpone and finish with some of the shaved chocolate.  I like this recipe as a mini since it has a great richness to it 🙂

Serve or chill until needed.

This was so good, it was not overly sweet, and that tartness at the end from the balsamic vinegar was just perfect!!!  Enjoy the rest of your Fiesta Friday!!!

IMG_1943IMG_1946IMG_1947

fiesta-friday-badge-button-i-party

 

Veggie-Chicken-Chile-Soup!!! Fiesta Friday #53

34 Comments

So here it is Fiesta Friday again and I am joining in again, I want to thank Angie@The Novice Gardener for hosting the Party and her two co-hosts Selma@Selma’s Table and Nancy@Feasting with Friends.

So about a month ago a co-worker (Heather) was telling us that her son is a picky eater, what child is not a picky eater right 🙂

Any way she said that he did not like red chili and thought that he may eat white chili, so a few weeks went by and I saw a slow cooker recipe for the white chili and printed it out for her to try, as far as I know think she said she was going to try it this weekend. 🙂

I hope her son Blake will like it 🙂

I decided to make my own version 😛 hence the word veggie in title.

Now I am not a chili person at all…at ALL!!  So when I thought about this I did want to make it more of a soup instead of a then a chili.

First I after I got a few things from the store, I really just went looking in my pantry and refrigerator for what I could through in it 🙂 and I wanted to use my electric pressure cooker.

Let me just take a minute to talk about the “electric pressure cooker”  I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I really really do!! I love making soup in it because it’s like its been cooking all day, and Nancy@Feasting with Friends gave me a recipe for hard cooked eggs that the shells peel off perfectly and I love that!! I also have a macaroni and cheese recipe here you can check out too.  But if you have a chance to buy one I so recommend it for sure 🙂

Okay so here’s my dish

FullSizeRender (9)

This is what I used – except the spinach in the bag, when I started pulling everything out the fridge, I thought yes I will add spinach but then I didn’t 🙂

FullSizeRender (28)

 

Pinto beans, chick peas and leftover white beans
in the Vita-mix

FullSizeRender (26)

Add water and pulse

FullSizeRender (24)

to get this

FullSizeRender (20)

 

carrots, zucchini and onion in Vita mix
add water

FullSizeRender (12)

and this

FullSizeRender (23)

Add that to my pot and this is my Chicken Base
I use Better than bouillon you can use just broth

FullSizeRender (15)

added my seasonings, Cumin and Fajita Seasonings

FullSizeRender (19)

Mix it up

FullSizeRender (21)

 

added two chicken breasts

FullSizeRender (8)

 

Time to cook

FullSizeRender (18)

I put it on the “Stew” setting and increased the time
to 30 minutes then start

FullSizeRender (16)

DONE!!!

FullSizeRender (13)

Oh yeah!!!

FullSizeRender (11)

Pulled out the chicken breast to shred

FullSizeRender (4)

shred your chicken

FullSizeRender (14)

add back to the pot

FullSizeRender (10)

taste for seasonings, I added salt

FullSizeRender (6)

 

and more of my seasonings

FullSizeRender (2)

Done!!!  Add a little diced jalapeno and enjoy!!

FullSizeRender (5)

FullSizeRender

Veggie Chicken Chile Soup

1 bottle of Taco Bell salsa verde
1 can diced green chiles
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed*
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed*
1/2 cup white beans, drained and rinsed*
2 zucchini*
3 carrots*
1 onion*
2 large boneless chicken breast
3-4 tsp. cumin
3-4 tsp. Penzeys Fajita seasonings*
6-8 cups chicken broth*
salt and pepper to taste

To the electric pressure cooker or large stock pot or slow cooker, your choice.
Add salsa and chiles, if you want whole beans then add then whole, if you want it like I did, then blend up with broth or water, the same with the veggies, either diced or blended.

Pour all into your pot, add the seasonings and stir, if using chicken base add this now, if you are using broth add the rest.  I say 6-8 cups because it depends on the size of your cooking choice, the less that is used makes it thicker.
Cook in pressure cooker on “stew” setting for 30 minutes, slow cooker for 4-6 hours on high, and stock pot on stove, bring to almost a boil, the reduce to low for 2 hours or until all is cooked through.

Remove Chicken and shred, return shredded chicken back to pot, taste for seasonings, add salt or pepper, or more seasonings it is up to your tastes.

Serve up with diced jalapeno, tortillas chips or some cheese, its up to you!!  Just grab a mug or bowl full and sit back and enjoy the game this weekend 🙂

*use what ever beans you want, this is just what I had, same with the veggies its just what I had.
I like using chicken base you can use broth instead.  Seasonings from Penzeys the Fajita seasonings that I used had the following in it: salt, black pepper, Turkish oregano, cayenne, garlic, celery seed, basil, nutmeg, marjoram, thyme, Mexican oregano, cumin and rosemary.
You can certainly use any of these seasoning or something close, just check your local store.

FullSizeRender (7)