Friday, March 30, 2012

Crockpot Cheese Cake


3 8oz Packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
3 Eggs
3/4 Cup Sugar
6 Graham Crackers (full pieces), pulverized into crumbs
3 Tablespoons of Stick Butter, melted

  1. Allow Cream Cheese to get to room temperature.
  2. Open cream cheese and place in large bowl.
  3. Add Sugar.
  4. Mix until sugar and cream cheese are well blended.
  5. Add the 3 eggs one at a time. After adding an egg, blend, then add the other etc.
  6. In a separate bowl, add graham cracker crumbs and melted butter.
  7. Mix well as this will form your crust.
  8. Choose a pan or small crock type cooking pan that will fit in the bottom of your crock-pot with room left on the side. You want to be able to pull the pan out without too much difficulty.
  9. Add the graham cracker crumbs mixture to the bottom of the pan.
  10. With a spoon, pat the graham crackers out til you have a smooth layer.
  11. Add the cream cheese mixture to the top of the graham crackers.
  12. Add 2 to 3 cups water to the bottom of the crock-pot. You need enough to last 2 hours but not too much that it will get in your pan.
  13. Place the cheesecake pan in the crock-pot and place the lid of the crock-pot on.
  14. Cook on high for 2 hours to 2 hours and 30 minutes or until the center does not have a watery consistency when you stick a knife into it.
  15. The cheesecake will begin to crack on the sides.
  16. Let cool for 30m to 1h.
  17. Remove and let set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  18. Serve.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cucumber Salad


    1. 2 cucumbers, very thinly sliced
    2. 1 red onions, very thinly sliced
    3. 2 tablespoons vinegar or 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    4. 2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream or 2 tablespoons yogurt
    5. salt and pepper, to taste ( I like a lot of pepper)
    6. ½ teaspoon sugar
    7. 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill


  1. Mix cucumbers and onions together.
  2. Mix rest of ingredients together in a closed bowl and give a shake.
  3. Add to cucumbers, chill till very cold & serve

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

quinoa salad with black beans, avocado and cumin-lime dressing

  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 avocado, chopped into chunks
  • handful cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into chunks
  • small handful cilantro, diced
  • 1 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  1. Warm the olive/coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s hot add the rinsed quinoa and toast for about 2-3 minutes until it starts smelling nutty and lovely. Add water, stir once, cover, and simmer with a lid on for 20 minutes.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare all other ingredients. Prepare the dressing by combining the lime juice, oil, cumin, and salt. Whisk it aggressively. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
  3. When the quinoa has finished cooking, remove it from heat and fluff with a fork. Add black beans and toss to warm them through.
  4. Let the quinoa cool for about five minutes and then add all the remaining ingredients, including the dressing, and mix. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve with tortilla chips and a refreshing, cold beer.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Rotisserie Chicken

1 broiler/fryer chicken (3.5-4 lbs)
2 Tbsp Paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional!)
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
2 Tbsp garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Place all of your ingredients in a small bowl and stir in water by the teaspoon until a paste forms. Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray and place the chicken in, breast side up. I hate the look and feel of raw chicken, but trust me- it will be good when it’s done!

Coat the chicken inside and out with the paste. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours or on high 3.5-4.5 hours. Make sure the thickest part of the thigh registers at 180 degrees. Wow, how simple is that?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cresent Sauage Casserole

- 2 (8-oz.) can(s) crescent rolls
- 2 (8-oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
- 1 lb. pkg. bulk hot sausage
- 1 lb. pkg. bulk mild sausage
- 1 (8-oz.) bag shredded cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 X 12 baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Cook sausage until done and drain off grease. (Both rolls may be cooked together). Mix cooked, warm sausage and cream cheese together.
3. Unroll one can of crescent rolls and spread out in bottom of baking dish. Spread sausage mixture over top of crescent roll layer. Sprinkle shredded cheese over sausage layer. Unroll second can of crescent rolls and place on top.
4. Bake casserole until golden brown on top, approximately 20-25 minutes.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cheesy Quinoa Cakes with a Roasted Garlic and Lemon Aioli

2 cups cooked quinoa
2/3 cup grated fontina cheese
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

½ cup light mayonnaise
1 head of garlic, roasted
1 lemon, zested and juiced
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

1. For the cakes: Place all ingredients, except for the oil, into a mixing bowl and stir together until well combined. Season with salt and allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
2. Pour oil into a large sauté pan and place over medium heat.
3. Form ¼ cup patties with the quinoa mixture and place in the heated sauté pan. (this will have to be done in batches)
4. Cook quinoa cakes for about 5 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining patties until all of the cakes have been cooked. Set aside.
5. For the aioli: Place all ingredients into a food processor, season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Pour into a small bowl and serve alongside the warm quinoa cakes.

Friday, March 23, 2012


  • 3 large russet potatoes, sliced 1/32 inch thick using a mandolin
  • 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • kosher salt
  • cracked black pepper

  1. Place potato slices into a pot and over with white vinegar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Cover and remove from heat and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450ºF. Grease 2 baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Drain potato slices and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange half of the potato slices on the baking sheets. Spray again with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle each slices with a kosher salt. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until chips are golden and crisp. Allow chips to cool on a paper towel. Repeat with second half of potato slices. Enjoy!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kettle Corn Cookies

7 ounces unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1-3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups kettle corn, coarsely crushed
(I made my own kettle corn rahter then use store bought)

Preheat the oven to 350* Fahrenheit.
Place 5 ounces of the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook it, stirring occasionally, until it turns a medium-amber color. This should take about 6-8 minutes. Watch it carefully toward the end, so that it doesn’t burn. Once browned, remove it from the heat and add the remaining 2 ounces of butter, stirring it in so that it melts and cools the browned butter.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
Combine the melted browned butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a large mixer and mix it on medium-high speed for several minutes, until the brown sugar is moistened. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until the egg is completely incorporated.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until it is almost completely incorporated. Stop the mixer and stir in the crushed kettle corn by hand. Scoop small 1-inch balls of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes, until they’re golden around the edges and just set in the center. Don’t overcook, otherwise the cookies will be crispy instead of chewy.
Let the cookies cool completely on a wire cooking rack. Store Kettle Corn Cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

½ cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoons baking soda
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cups powdered sugar

Directions:Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

*If using a non-stick darker baking tray, reduce baking time by about 2 minutes.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chai Butter Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chai tea (contents of one tea bag)

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup shortening, preferably Crisco, at room temperature

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

  • 1 egg, at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    1. In a large bowl, sift the flour, chai, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar. Set aside.
    2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening on medium until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar, and beat on low speed until smooth. Add egg and vanilla, and beat on low until well combined.
    3. On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients. Beat until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
    4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    5. Using an ice cream scoop or melon baller, take some of the dough, and shape it into 1-inch balls. (Keep remaining dough in the refrigerator.) Place the dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet, and press with the tines of a fork to flatten. (If your dough starts getting sticky, dip the fork tines in a small dish of sugar before pressing.) Bake until pale golden, but not brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheet on a rack. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool.

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    Cream Cheese Pound Cake

    • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened at room temp
    • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temp
    • 3 cups sugar
    • 6 large eggs
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


    Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy (do not over beat);gradually add sugar, beating well.

    Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until combined. Crack eggs into a bowl first before adding to the mixture to make sure you avoid shells in the cake mix.

    Sift 3 cups of flour. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

    Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch Bundt pan.

    Smooth the top of the cake or bottom of the cake (depending how you look at it) with a spatula to even it out.

    Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan, and let cool completely on wire rack.

    Sunday, March 18, 2012

    Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

    1 cup (2 sticks) Butter, softened
    3/4 cup Brown Sugar

    1/4 cup White Sugar

    1 small pkg Instant Vanilla Pudding mix

    2 eggs

    1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

    2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour

    1 teaspoon Baking Soda

    1 pkg ( 12 oz) Milk Chocolate Chips

    DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat the butter, both sugars, pudding mix, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat until creamy and fluffy. Then slowly mix in flour and baking soda. Stir in chocolate chips.
    Drop by tablespoonfuls, onto an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for ONLY 9-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool about 10 minutes before eating.

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

    Korean BBQ Chicken Marinade

    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1 cup soy sauce
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
    • 4 teaspoons hot chile paste (optional)


    1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, whisk together the sugar, soy sauce, water, onion powder, and ground ginger. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 5 minutes.
    2. Remove the mixture from heat, cool, and whisk in lemon juice and hot chile paste. Place chicken in the mixture. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours before preparing chicken as desired.

    Saturday, March 3, 2012

    Jewelry Cleaner


      • 1 tablespoon salt
      • 1 tablespoon baking soda
      • 1 tablespoon dish detergent
      • 1 cup water
      • 1 piece aluminum foil


    1. Heat water in the microwave for 1 or 2 minutes.
    2. Cut a piece of aluminum foil that roughly covers the bottom of a small bowl (like a cereal bowl).
    3. Pour hot water into bowl. Place salt, soda, and dishwashing liquid into bowl. Place jewelry on top of foil and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse jewelry in cool water and dry jewelry completely with soft cloth. Discard solution after use and make a new batch next time.
    4. According to, "this works well for gold-filled, brass, german (nickel) silver, and sterling silver. I have even cleaned jewelry with freshwater pearls, shell cameos and mother of pearl with no problem.".