Okay, so it’s not really a blueberry cheesecake but I didn’t know what else to call it J. It does have some delicious blueberry pie filling on it though. This is the cheesecake that I made this year for Thanksgiving. After all, what could be better for Thanksgiving dessert than a cheesecake? It was so good and it absolutely got devoured in no time. The highlight of this cheesecake is the crust. The crust is a combination of vanilla wafers and 3 different types of nuts – almonds, walnuts and pecans. A great way to make the crush is to crush all of the ingredients with a rolling pin. I feel the addition of lemon juice in the filling makes a huge difference in the overall flavor, and a little vanilla doesn’t hurt either. If you are looking for a delicious cheesecake recipe give this one a try. You don’t be disappointed. Enjoy.
¼ cup pecans (finely chopped)
¼ almonds (finely chopped)
¼ cup walnuts (finely chopped)
¾ cup vanilla wafers (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 ½ lbs cream cheese
1 1/3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
16 ounces sour cream
¼ cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 can blueberry pie filling
Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix all crust ingredients together and press into the bottom and 1 ½” up the sides of a 9” spring form pan. Set aside.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese until it’s light and fluffy. Add sugar (a little at a time) and beat until creamy. Add one egg at a time (beating after each one). Add flour, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Mix well. Add sour cream and beat until smooth.
Step 3: Pour cream cheese mixture over the crust. Place into the oven on the middle rack and back at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. When time is up prop open the oven door and let cheesecake sit in the oven for 1 hour. Remove and allow cheesecake to cool and refrigerate overnight. Top with blueberry pie filling.
(makes 8 servings)
At nearly any buffet or take-out place you can find General Tso’s Chicken. General Tso’s Chicken is a perfect combination of sweet and spicy flavors. It is a very popular dish throughout the United States and Canada. This is probably one of the best and easiest recipes around, you will be surprised at how little time it takes to prepare. I decided to get brave and use the boneless skinless chicken thighs, and I wasn’t disappointed. However, If you want to use chicken breasts that would work fine as well. The sauce keeps it nice and simple with only a few necessary ingredients to create the perfect generals sauce. For the frying – it’s your choice if you want to use a deep fryer or wok. What I did was first deep fry the chicken and then fry it in the wok for a few minutes before adding the sauce. What this does is give the chicken bits a spicy flavor coming from the dried chilies that are fried in the oil. If you are looking for an amazing recipe for General Tso’s chicken give this one a try. Serve on top of white rice. Enjoy.
1lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into 1” chunks)
5 dried red chili peppers
3 green onions (sliced)
3 eggs (beaten)
½ cup cornstarch
oil (for frying)
1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons rice wine
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl combine cornstarch and beaten eggs. Mix well to create a batter. Add chicken bits and coat thoroughly.
Step 2: To make the sauce- in a small bowl combine rice vinegar, rice wine, soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch. Mix well and set aside.
Step 3: Heat deep fryer or wok to 375 degrees and deep fried chicken bits in batches. Drain on paper towels.
Step 4: Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to your wok. Add dried chili peppers to your wok and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add chicken bits to the wok and stir fry for a couple minutes.
Step 5: Add sauce mixture to the wok and cook stirring until the sauce becomes thickened and bubbly. Garnish with green onions and serve.
(Makes about 2 servings)
You might remember my recipe for Kung pao chicken, well here is something a little different – Kung Pao Shrimp or sometimes referred to as ‘shrimp with peanuts’. Kung Pao dishes are among my all time favorite in Chinese cuisine. The combination of shrimp and peanuts in a spicy sauce is fantastic in flavor. The sauce gets its spiciness from dried red Chile peppers. I would say the fried peppers give the sauce a mild spicy flavor so if you are someone that likes extreme heat in your Kung Pao shrimp you can chop the chilies up in the sauce. Dried chili pepper flakes can be used in place of the peppers. Just add them to your taste. The only vegetables I added to the dish were green onions but you could also add zucchini and bell peppers if you wish. This delicious and spicy stir fry takes very little time to prepare and is sure to please shrimp lovers. Kung Pao shrimp is best served with white rice. Enjoy.
1 ½ lbs medium peeled and deveined shrimp
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
oil (for frying)
4 small red dried hot chili peppers
½ cup unsalted peanuts
1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
2 green onions (sliced)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dry sherry
3 tablespoons chicken broth
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Step 1: in a bowl combine sherry, cornstarch salt and pepper. Mix well. Add shrimp and stir to coat. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
Step 2: In another bowl combine all sauce ingredients, mix well, cover and refrigerate until needed.
Step 3: Heat the wok to medium heat, all a tablespoon of oil and add dried chilies and stir fry until the pepper began to char (just starting to turn black but do not completely char them). Remove from pan and set aside.
Step 4: Add a tiny bit more oil. Add garlic and ginger stir fry for 15 seconds. Add shrimp and stir fry until shrimp turn pink (about 2 minutes)
Step 5: Add peppers, peanuts and green onions to the pan. Increase the heat and pour the sauce into the pan and stir until thickened and bubbly. Serve with white rice.
I have been enjoying making all these different types of breads lately. If you’re looking for ideas for Thanksgiving I would recommend trying this recipe for cranberry bread. This bread is sure to please anyone that enjoys the taste of cranberries. The bread gets most of its flavor from lemon zest and vanilla extract. If you choose, you can also replace the lemon zest with orange zest for a different flavor. If you ask me fresh cranberries are the way to go for this recipe but you can also use frozen ones. I almost fell asleep last night with this in the oven . The top got a little firmer than I would prefer but otherwise it turned out amazing. Like most other breads this is very easy to make… the hardest part about it for me at least was chopping the cranberries because after that the only work that’s involved is mixing the ingredients. Enjoy.
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (chopped)
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons lemon zest (grated)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
½ cup walnuts (chopped)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix cranberries, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, oil, milk and vanilla extract. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Fold in walnuts.
Step 2: Pour mixture evenly into two greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pans.
Step 3: Bake at 360 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Remove from loaf pans and finish cooling on a wire rack.
Cheesecake Brownies are the ultimate combination of cheesecake and delicious chocolate brownies. I have tried a lot of different types of brownies but I would say these are among my favorites. These are very easy to make a take very little time. Even though I would not recommend it, if you are feeling lazy and want to use a chocolate brownie box mix that will work as well. Just pour the prepared box mix into the baking dish and top with the cheesecake mixture. The cheesecake topping is the high light of this recipe. A touch of vanilla extract gives it that amazing flavor. I didn’t swirl my brownies too much but you can swirl more with a butter knife for a more intense swirl affect. The weather hasn’t been very good here for picture lighting, but I’m trying! Enjoy.
½ cup butter
2 ounces dark chocolate (chopped)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese (softened)
1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small pan on the stove top melt butter and dark chocolate sitting until smooth. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
Step 2: In a large bowl mix together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract. Pour butter/chocolate mixture into sugar mixture and mix well. Stir in flour and cocoa. Mix until well combined. Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish and pour mixture into the dish.
Step 3: To prepare cheesecake topping – soften cream cheese in the microwave if necessary. In a bowl beat cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth. Slowly spoon cheesecake mixture over the chocolate mixture in the baking dish and gentle swirl with a butter knife.
Step 4: Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the brownies are set. Remove from oven and allow brownies to cool.
Here’s a pizza that I found rather interesting – Mexican Pizza or some call it taco pizza. This pizza differs from most I have made because the crust is fried tortillas. Although I have never actually tried it, apparently they serve something like this at Taco Bell. I’m not really sure how theirs tastes, but this recipe is great. The filling gets packed between the 2 tortillas and then the cheese, tomatoes, and green onions go on top. This recipe can be adjusted to whatever you like on pizza. I had wanted to put some sliced black olives on it but unfortunately didn’t have any. This recipe may look like it takes a lot of work but honestly I didn’t find it that time consuming. Make sure to warm the refried beans before using because they will be much easier to spread. Enjoy.
1lb ground beef
1 (1 ¼ ounce) package taco seasoning
8 small flour tortillas
2 tablespoons water
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
2/3 cup mild salsa
2 cups Colby jack cheese
¼ cup tomato (diced)
¼ cup green onion (chopped)
oil (for frying)
Step 1: With your hands mix together ground beef, taco seasoning and water. In a large skillet brown ground beef over medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Break up the beef up into small pieces with a spatula while cooking. Set aside.
Step 2: Add oil to a medium frying pan. Heat to medium-high and fry tortillas one by one for 30 seconds (or until browned) on each side. Be sure to pop any bubbles that form while cooking. You want to keep the tortillas as flat as possible. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
Step 3: Warm refried beans and pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Stack each pizza by first spreading a layer of refried beans, then a layer of meat followed by a layer of salsa. Now stack another tortilla on top. Stack cheese on top of that followed by tomatoes and green onions. Repeat until all pizzas are stacked.
Step 4: Place on a baking sheet and put into the oven. Bake on 400 degrees for 8 minutes.
What’s the ultimate combination of chicken and peanut butter? Thai Peanut Chicken of course! If you have ever wondered what chicken and peanut butter would taste like together give this recipe a try. They actually have a dish very similar to this at a local Chinese buffet here in Michigan. Although not necessarily authentic, this Asian inspired dish is absolutely delicious. The highlight of this recipe is the creamy peanut sauce. The sauce which is basically a combination of peanut butter, soy sauce and cayenne pepper is sweet and has just the right amount of kick to put this dish at the top of my list. The cayenne pepper can be adjusted to your taste, if you like a lot of spice, add more, if not add less. For the garnishes, to add even more peanut flavor we are adding roasted peanuts, green onions and red bell pepper. Some people like to add broccoli to the recipe, I left it out but if you desire add some broccoli florets into the mix. Serving this dish with rice is a must.
Also, I know there were a few people that wanted to know if they could print my recipes without the pictures. Sorry guys for making you waste all your ink for so long L. The good news is you can now print the recipes without pictures. To do this, simply click on ‘Print This Post’ which is located right above the first photo on the right. Now lets get onto the recipe…
1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” chunks)
3 tablespoons fresh garlic (minced)
1 ½ tablespoons fresh ginger (minced)
oil (for cooking)
¾ cup green onions (chopped)
1 red bell pepper (sliced)
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoons cayenne pepper (or more to your taste)
¼ cup water
Step 1: to make the peanut sauce – In a bowl mix soy sauce, peanut butter. Add white wine vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Mix well and set aside.
Step 2: in large skillet heat oil. Add garlic, ginger and chicken. Cook until chicken is no longer pink inside (about 5 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside.
Step 3: Add a tiny bit more oil to the pan and stir fry red bell peppers and green onions for about 2 minutes or until they have reached desired tenderness. Remove from pan and set aside.
Step 4: Over medium heat add the peanut sauce mixture to the pan. Heat while stirring constantly. When sauce mixture starts to bubble add ¼ cup of water and mix well to thin it out a bit.
Step 5: In a large serving dish add chicken, green onions, red bell pepper, and roasted peanuts. Add sauce and mix well. Serve with white rice.