Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cheesecake with Sour Cream

I've been experimenting with sour cream recipes (banana bread, tacos, apple pie filling, and now this) lately. This one came out nicely, but I think I still prefer my old pumpkin cheesecake for the additional flavor. I might try this again and add some lemon juice or an oreo layer. Based on the original from allrecipes.
  • 2 pkg cream cheese, room temperature/softened
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 3/8 c milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1.5 t vanilla
  • 2 T flour
  • graham cracker crusts
  1. Beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add the sugar and stir until well combined.
  3. Blend in the milk.
  4. Mix in eggs, one at a time.
  5. Add sour cream, vanilla and flour. Stir until combined, but don't overmix it (otherwise you'll get lots of air bubbles, which will later cause an uneven surface).
  6. Pour into prepared crusts. I used one 9" pie plate and 6 mini tarts (though the filling amount was more suitable for just 5 mini tarts).
  7. Bake full pie at 175C for 1 hour. Bake mini tarts for 30 min. Leave inside the oven to cool, for several hours. Transfer to refrigerator and chill for another 5-6 hours.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Brunette Brownies

My best friend from elementary school once sent me a recipe for blonde brownies. That hand written recipe is lost somewhere so I looked up another recipe on allrecipes. I renamed these to brunette brownies since the brown sugar makes them brown instead of yellow/blonde. Here is the modified version.
  • 1 c flour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/8 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 c butter, softened
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla (original is 1 T and this is overpowering)
  • 3/4 c semisweet chocolate chips, split
  1. Mix flour, powder, soda and salt in medium sized bowl. Stir in nuts.
  2. Cream butter and brown sugar.
  3. Add egg and vanilla. Mix well.
  4. Add flour mixture, a little at a time.
  5. Stir in 1/2 c chocolate chips.
  6. Spread in 8x8 glass baking dish. Top with remaining 1/4 c chocolate chips.
  7. Bake 30 min.
** - the original 1 T of vanilla was too much. If I were to make this again, I'd reduce it to 1 t. I had a chocolate craving so made this in a pinch. I guess I still prefer regular brownies but don't often have the ingredients for it. I might try less sugar and maybe a mix of white and brown to lighten the color.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cardamom Apple Turnovers and Swirl Bread

I just made these turnovers for breakfast. Next time, I'd add more apples and less sugar to the filling. I thought 5 would be enough so I used the other half of the dough to make a swirl bread. Recipe as I made it below. Based on the original from Scribbit.

  • 1 T yeast
  • 4.5 c all purpose flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 t cardamom
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c butter, softened
  • 1 c milk
  • 2 apples
  • cinnamon
  • allspice
  • nutmeg
  • ginger
  • salt
  • sugar
  • raisins, butter, brown sugar
  1. Use bread machine to make dough on the dough cycle (This can be done overnight).
  2. Remove and knead several times on floured surface. Cut in half.
  3. Divide one half into 5 pieces.
  4. Peel apples, quarter and then core. Cut each quarter into 4 pieces.
  5. Sprinkle with lots of cinnamon. Add allspice, nutmeg and ginger to taste. Add a dash of salt. Optional: Add a half teaspoon of sugar.
  6. Shape dough piece into circle. Place 3-5 slices of apple on half. Fold over and seal.
  7. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Let rise 30 minutes.
  8. Bake 25 minutes at 175C.
    Swirl Bread
  9. Shape dough into rectangle.
  10. Spread softened butter over all or sections of surface.
  11. Sprinkle with brown sugar and raisins.
  12. Chop remaining apple slices from above. Spread evenly on dough.
  13. Roll from short side. Place seam side down in lightly greased bread pan.
  14. Let rise until 1.5-2x, about 30-45 minutes.
  15. Bake 175C for 30 minutes.

** I thought the dough was a little too sweet, and the apple filling didn't need any additional sugar. The bread was a little too airy for my liking. The turnovers were tasty and filling, but next time I'd like more filling and less bread.

Soft Tacos

Soft tacos are a great meal for a hot day. You've only got to cook the beef and everything else can be served cold. It's a nice simple and quick meal that's still tasty (and can be healthy depending what toppings you offer).

Beef Filling
  • ground beef, extra lean
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • salt
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 T chili powder
The Rest
  • soft taco wraps (or larger burrito wraps)
  • tomatoes, diced
  • lettuce, sliced
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, ...)
  1. Heat oil in skillet.
  2. Saute onions, 2-3 min.
  3. Add garlic, 1 min.
  4. Add beef and spices. Stir until cooked. You may need to add additional spices if yours are not particularly strong.
  5. Place toppings in bowls on table with spoons.
  6. Let everyone self wrap. Remember not to overfill.
Wrapping method
  • Place wrap on plate.
  • Add meat.
  • Top with cheese (so it can melt).
  • Top with tomatoes and lettuce.
  • Dollop sour cream on the side.
  • Fold the long side over 1/3 of the way. Fold up the bottom. Fold over the other side. No spill!
  • refried beans
  • salsa
  • rice
  • add cumin with the beef
  • use a chicken filling instead (updated 8/25/09)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

I didn't have any chicken broth so made this with water. It was definitely missing that extra kick in the broth, that only so much salt and pepper could make up for. The spiciness from the chillies was nice as well as the lime flavor. I would use less noodles next time - maybe only half a package. Adapted from original recipe.
  • 2 T oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 spicy peppers, chopped* (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 very large carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 very large carrot, chopped
  • 9 cups chicken broth (depending on amount of noodles) or water and extra seasoning
  • 1.5 c raw, cubed chicken
  • 1/2-3/4 pkg wheat spaghetti noodles, broken (or as much as you like)
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • 1 T fresh chopped basil
  1. Heat soup pot with oil over medium heat. Saute onions, garlic and chilies. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add carrot and broth. Cover and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add chicken. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add noodles. Simmer until cooked (about 15 minutes).
  5. Add lime juice and basil.
  6. Move to serving bowl and garnish with lime zest and basil leaves.
  • Be careful when chopping the peppers. Do not get the hotness on your fingertips, and whatever you do, don't rub your eyes if you do.
***1/2 The lime and peppers added great flavor, but this really needs chicken stock or more spices in the water addition. Next time I'd use less noodles. This is an easy one pot meal.