Monday, July 20, 2009

'So This Is What Heaven Tastes Like!' Cream Cheese Bars

If a recipe calls for cream cheese, I will like it. I love that stuff. I'm not sure what I expected when I started out, I can just remember being pleasantly surprised. These are pretty dense, maybe that was it. I was thinking more cake-like in texture, but these were more so. But, oh so yummy. This recipe was found at

Mix together the butter, cream cheese and sugar. Mmmm..sounds good so far.
The Boy apparently had never seen the mixer in action. He kept telling me to turn it off :)
Add in eggs and vanilla and mix again.
Let The Boy "help" by giving him a spatula.
Add in flour, salt, chocolate and walnuts. You're going to mix this in until it's just incorporated. Just like you would with muffins.
Then gently (and quickly before The Boy eats them all) fold in the cherries. The Boy LOVES cherries.
Pour into a pan and bake for half an hour. You will want to let them set for about 10 minutes so they don't fall apart when you take them out of the pan.
I loved these, but no one else seemed overly taken with them. Sure, Jeff will eat anything if there is nothing else available, but he didn't really rave about them. This recipe will probably get saved, but since I don't want to have to eat an entire pan by myself, I'm not sure how often they will get made.

But you should definitely try them!

Click here for Printable Recipe

'So This Is What Heaven Tastes Like!' Cream Cheese Bars
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup well-drained chopped maraschino cherries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Beat the margarine, cream cheese, and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the margarine mixture before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla with the last egg. Mix in the flour, salt, chocolate chips, and walnuts until just incorporated. Fold in the maraschino cherries; mixing just enough to evenly combine. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out nearly clean, about 25 minutes. Watch closely - the finished bars will be very pale in color. Remove from oven immediately if the sides begin to pull away from the pan. Cool pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Jalapeno Poppers

Oh my goodness. I was unprepared. I did not make enough of these. I got this from the Pioneer Woman and I believe she stated something to the effect that these were somewhat addictive, but I really didn't grasp exactly what that meant.

Slice jalapeno peppers in half. Remove the seeds and inner lining. If you like things really hot, you can leave some of the membrane. I personally do not like to be so overwhelmed with heat that I can't taste anything.

It is also a good idea to use gloves if you are doing a large batch. I only used a dozen peppers, so I felt pretty safe, but I did notice a faint chemical taste to my fingers for the rest of the day.
Fill each pepper half with cream cheese. I used plain, but you could get creative here and try different flavors. Slice your bacon into thirds. I ended up with really big peppers, so I sliced mine half instead.
Wrap the cream cheese filled peppers in bacon and place into a baking pan. If you have one, place a baking rack into the bottom first so the bacon grease can run off. I wasn't at home when I made this batch, so I did not use one. I did check after cooking and there wasn't a lot of grease in the pan.
Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes. I actually put them into the oven with lots of other stuff that was cooking at 350 and it took an hour for them to get done.
I'm thinking that even if you think you don't like jalapeno peppers, you will love these. I am envisioning a little strip of chicken in the middle. I also am going to try them as a stuffing in a hamburger. I'll let you know how that goes...

Click here for Printable Recipe

Jalapeno Poppers
12 Jalapeno Peppers
1 pkg Cream Cheese
1 pound Bacon
Slice peppers in half and remove seeds. Fill each half with cream cheese. Wrap in bacon. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Cookie Dough Pie

Since I started following blogs, I have elevated my recipe collecting to an entire new level. I had no idea all this was available at the click of a mouse.

I am addicted to Google Reader. Please help me.

I found this incredible creation on Carrie's Cooking and Recipes, which she found on the Big Red Kitchen. The Girl has made this twice in the last two days, and Jeff has yet to get a chance to even taste it. It goes that fast. And it is amazing how few people actually believe me when I tell them what it is made of.
Dip a Chips Ahoy into a bowl of milk for a count of 5.
Allow the excess milk to drain off. You just want the cookie to soak up a little bit of milk to make it mushy. Any more and you will have milk pooling at the bottom of your pan...ew.
Layer the cookies into the bottom of a pie pan (or in my case, a small casserole dish). Put them in close together, you want a fairly solid layer.
Spread a thin layer of whipped topping (Cool Whip) over the cookie layer.
Add another layer of cookies.
And another layer of whipped topping.
At this point, instruct your daughter on proper sanitation procedures. She ended up washing her hand about four times. But who among us can really resist the Cool Whip???
One package of Chips Ahoy will make three layers. Top with the rest of the whipped topping. Then pop that in the freezer for a couple hours. The first one we made was just put in the refrigerator. It got REALLY soggy. Still good, but the one we put in the freezer was better.
The second time we made this, we doubled the recipe and put it into a 9 x 13 pan. Two packages of cookies would have worked perfectly if The Boy and Jeff had not sneaked away with several cookies.

This is wonderful. This is so simple. I just gave 7 yo Girl the ingredients and she made it all by herself.

I can also see this made with other kinds of cookies. Oreos come to mind. Oh, Nutter Butters would be delicious. The possibilities are endless. I'll let you know...

Click here for Printable Recipe

Cookie Dough Pie
15.25 ounce package Chips Ahoy Cookies- original kind
8 ounces Cool Whip
1-2 cups milk
Dip cookies in milk for a count of 5, let the excess liquid drip off, and layer in 9 inch pie plate. Spread a thin layer of Cool Whip onto the first layer of cookies. Repeat twice more making last layer of Cool Whip a bit thicker. Garnish with chocolate syrup if desired. Place in freezer 2-3 hours before serving and serve frozen. Note- You must dip quickly or your pie will be soggy. Make sure to shake off excess milk as well so that you do not have a puddle of milk in your pie.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Frozen Banana Pops

Continuing on my adventure into the land of frozen desserts, I came across a recipe for Frozen Banana Pops in Taste of Home. This intrigued me. My kids love popsicles, so much so that I have started to worry about sugar as their only nourishment.

This just seemed like the perfect snack.

Melt 1/2 cup of chocolate chips with 3 tablespoons of honey on LOW heat. Do not get impatient here.
Once that is melted, stir in 1/4 cup peanut butter.
This is going to be a pretty thick mixture, so add in 2 tablespoons of milk.
Did you know? Most measuring cup sets come with a 1/8 cup measurement. This is 2 tablespoons. I teach high school, so I am no longer surprised be the number of people who do not know this.
My family is messy. Apparently it's genetic. Watching The Boy eat is eerily similar to watching Jeff eat. There will never be any doubt that child belongs to him. The original recipe called for a half a banana to be dipped in the chocolate mixture and put on a stick. I knew that a good portion of that half of a chocolate covered banana would end up on my couch. To head this off before it got out of hand, I chopped the banana into about half inch slices. About this time The Boy noticed I had bananas and started eating. I have to cook REALLY fast with him around.
To distract him from his ever raging hunger, I convinced him to help me. He threw (his word) the bananas into the chocolate.
Now if you have ever tried to coat a banana with anything, you know that they resist this sort of thing. It takes a little patience and a willingness to not worry about perfection to get this job done.

Toss the bananas around a bit and lay them out on to wax paper. If you so desire, you can sprinkle on some sprinkles or chopped nuts at this point.
Put in the freezer for a few hours until the chocolate has set up.
I am going to state the obvious here. The bananas were cold. Really, really cold. My sensitive teeth had a hard time with these.

But not everyone was slowed down by this. This is The Boy with a half inch slice of banana. I am so glad I didn't do the half banana.
Although these went really fast (I can't tell you the number of times the freezer alarm went off), they were a bit too chocolaty for me. I couldn't really tell there was peanut butter in the mix. I think next time I will cut back on the chocolate chips and add a bit more peanut butter.

Click here for Printable Recipe

Frozen Banana Pops
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons milk
4 medium firm bananas, sliced
In a small heavy saucepan, melt chocolate chips and honey over low heat, stirring constantly. Add peanut butter; stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in milk.
Peel bananas and insert wooden sticks into one end. Spoon chocolate mixture over bananas to coat. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze for at least 1 hour. Serve frozen.

Oh the Sadness...

In case you haven't noticed, a good portion of my pictures are gone. (Cue violin music) Sadness! Depression! Confusion!

I have NO IDEA where they went. I have no idea how to get them back. My mom actually said something to me awhile back that she wasn't getting any pictures to come through when she opened it, when I checked, there were pictures there. Hmmmm....

At this point, I can't sit down to do a more thorough search. I have a tech call into my brother, who probably won't answer for a few weeks. I think he is on his way to Florida right now. He was in Oklahoma last week. And he NEVER answers his phone. Though he denies it, I know he screens my calls.

So, until I locate the pictures (or remake everything and take new ones!) I'll just have to leave you with an apology. And some tears :(