Sunday, October 21, 2007

Caramel-Pecan Cheesecake Bars

These are SO good!! But you do have to refrigerate it for a long time...

1 cup pecan pieces
1 1/2 cups crushed nilla wafers
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
4 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp vanilla
4 eggs
24 caramels
1 tbsp water
3 squares (or 3 oz) semi-sweet baking chocolate

Preheat oven to 325*. Line 9x13 baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Remove 1/2 cup of the pecans and set aside. Finely chop remaining pecans. Mix wafer crumbs, chopped pecans and butter. Press firmly into bottom of prepared pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream, flour and vanilla. Mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust.
Bake 45 minutes of until center is almost set. Cool completely. Place caramels in microwaveable bowl. Add water. Microwave on high 1 minute or until caramels are completely melted when stirred. Pour over cheesecake. Top with reserved pecans. Melt chocolate as directed on pkg; drizzle over cheesecake. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Use foil handles to remove cheesecake from pan before cutting into pieces to serve. Store any leftovers in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

**Melissa's helpful tips*
- put wafers and 1/2 cup of pecans in food processor to chop it all fine
- use glass dishes to melt caramels and chocolate in microwave (they're easier to clean than plastic)
- use 1 cup Kraft Caramel Bits (instead of caramel squares)-- they're already unwrapped!
- My oven took about 55 minutes, instead of the recommended 45
- Make sure you refrigerate it before serving :)

Makes 32 servings

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Best Rolls EVER!!!!

Butterhorn Rolls

2 pkgs yeast

1 T sugar

1 c warm milk

½ c butter (not margarine)

½ c sugar

1 ½ t salt

3 eggs

5 c flour

Prepare yeast by adding 1 T sugar & 1/3 c warm water to yeast, let set 5 minutes. Scald milk, butter, ½ c sugar & salt. Cool to lukewarm. Add yeast, eggs & 1/3 of the flour. Beat vigorously until bubbles form on surface. Add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time, knead for 5 minutes. This will be a sticky dough. Let rise in warm place for 25-30 minutes. Divide dough into thirds. Roll each third into a 9 inch circle on a lightly floured surface, brush with melted butter. Cut into 12 wedge shaped pieces. Pull out ends of each wedge beginning at broad end, roll toward the point. Let rise on greased cookie sheet 45 minutes. Bake 400* for 9-11 minutes. Brush with melted butter.

*Hints: Some have a tendency to add more flour because it’s a sticky dough, but that ruins the rolls. Also the mixing part is vital. Let it mix long enough so the gluten gets working. I use my electric mixer to do that part. Again I let my mixer do the kneading part. When I roll the dough out, I use my pizza cutter to cut the rolls into the pizza shaped pieces. Don’t overbake them. This makes a soft & lovely as well as a yummy roll. Quick & easy!!!

Monday, October 8, 2007


Ok- so since the seasons are changing again, I decided to post some soup recipes! I LOVE soup at this time of year!! Here are some of our favorites! All are best served with homemade rolls or cornbread! (If you need a good recipe for rolls or cornbread, let me know :)!!

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

1 1/2 cups spicy sausage links

3/4 cups onions, diced

6 slices bacon

1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic

2 tbsp. chicken bouillion powder (or 2 cubes, crushed)

1 quart water

2 medium potatoes sliced up and then halve the slices

2 cups kale leaves sliced thinly (spinach can be substituted)

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (try fat free half and half)

parmesan cheese for garnish

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Place sausage links on a sheet pan and bake 25 minutes or until done. Cool, then cut in slices, then halve the slices. Put onions and bacon in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until the onions are almost clear. Remove bacon and crumble. Add garlic to onions and cook one minute. Add bouillon powder, water and potatoes. Simmer 15 minutes. Add bacon, sausage, kale and cream. Simmer 4 minutes and serve. Garnish with parmesan cheese.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Serves 8

If you prefer, replace the thyme sprig with 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (no need to remove it in step 3). Reserving some of the potatoes in step 3 results in a chunkier soup. For a smooth soup, puree all the potatoes.

8 ounces bacon , chopped

3 pounds russet potatoes , scrubbed

1 large onion , chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

1 sprig fresh thyme leaves

4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup sour cream , plus additional for garnish

ground black pepper

3 scallions , sliced thin

1. Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. While bacon is cooking, use vegetable peeler to remove wide strips of potato peel; reserve peels. Cut peeled potatoes into 3/4-inch pieces. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to plate lined with paper towels. Add reserved potato skins to bacon fat in pot and cook until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer potato skins to plate with bacon.

2. Add onion to fat remaining in pot and cook over medium heat until golden, about 6 minutes. Stir in garlic and flour and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in broth and cream, stir in thyme and potatoes, and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and cook until potatoes are tender, about 7 minutes.

3. Discard thyme and transfer 2 cups cooked potatoes to bowl. Puree remaining soup in batches in blender until smooth. Return to pot and warm over medium-high heat. Off heat, stir in cheese until melted, then whisk in sour cream. Return reserved potatoes to pot and season soup with pepper. Ladle soup into bowls, garnishing with bacon, fried potato skins, scallions, cheese, and sour cream.

Reheating Leftovers To reheat leftover portions of our Loaded Baked Potato Soup, gently warm the soup in a saucepan over medium heat until steaming. Do not let the soup boil, which will cause the sour cream to separate.

Minnesota Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

(from Beth Ervie)
3 ½ cups chicken broth

1 cup sliced carrots

½ cup sliced celery

1/3 c sliced onions

1/3 c wild rice

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 cup half and half cream

1 ½ cups cut up cooked chicken

Mix broth, carrots, celery uncooked rice, onions and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce hear, cover and simmer 1 hour, until the rice is tender. Melt butter, stir in the flour, then the half and half. Cook and stir 1 minute. Slowly add half and half mixture to the rice mixture, stirring constantly. Stir in the chicken and heat through.

Autumn Soup

1# ground beef

1 c chopped onion

4 c water

1 c cut-up carrots

1 c diced celery

1 c cubed pared potatoes

2 t salt

1 t kitchen bouquet

¼ t pepper

1 bay leaf

1/8 t basil

6 tomatoes (or 28 can tomatoes**see notes below)

Cook & stir meat until brown. Drain. Cook & stir onions w/ meat until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients except tomatoes; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover & simmer 20 minutes. Add tomatoes; cover & simmer 10 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. 6 servings.

*28 oz can tomatoes, with liquid can be substituted for the fresh tomatoes. Reduce water to 3 cups. Stir in tomatoes with remaining ingredients; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover & simmer 20 minutes. The canned tomatoes break apart & give a rosy color.

Fudge Topped Brownies

1 c butter, melted

2 c sugar

2 t vanilla

2 eggs

½ c milk

1 c flour

2/3 c cocoa

1 c chopped walnuts

1 can sweetened condensed milk

12 oz chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease 9x13 pan.

In large bowl, mix butter, sugar & ½ t vanilla. Add eggs & milk, mix well. Stir in flour & cocoa, then stir in walnuts. Spread in prepared pan. Bake 40 minutes until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Just before brownies are done, melt chocolate chips with condensed milk & 1 ½ t vanilla. Immediately spread over hot brownies. Cool & cut into bars.

New Blog...

My mom and I starting a blog for recipes. We love to try new recipes. And, as we try them, we will post them on this blog- only if the food is yummy!!! So, check here if you want a recipe... and if you have a good recipe, please email me and I'll post it! Or, if you want a specific recipe, email me and I'll see what I can dig up! Enjoy!!!