Friday, November 30, 2012

Snickerdoodle Coffee Mix

I found this on a gift jar website and include a modified version of it with some Christmas gifts this year. It was so delicious I had to make my own batch!

1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup french vanilla cappuccino mix*
1/2 cup special dark baking cocoa
1/4 cup instant coffee granules
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Mix all in a tightly covered container, shake well.

Mix 3-4 TB  with 6-8 oz hot water

Or 2 TB with 6-8 oz of hot brewed coffee

* store bought is fine or if you use the linked recipe, use french vanilla flavored creamer!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

I made this for Thanksgiving this year. I wanted something a bit different but couldn't quite find a recipe I liked. So I went out on my own and the results were amazing!

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs( I used GF graham crackers)
3 TB sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 cups apple pie filling (homemade or store bought)

3-8oz packages of cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 apple, peeled and chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
1 TB sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Caramel Sauce:
(you can sub 1/2 cup store bought if you like)
1/2 cup sugar
3 TB butter
1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup chopped pecan (optional)

Preheat oven to 350
Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter.

Press into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Cool

Spread 1 1/2 cups of the apple pie filling over the crust. Set aside

Whip the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy

add remaining apple pie filling, beat well.

Then add eggs, 1 at a time, beating a few seconds after each addition. Add not over beat after the eggs are added!!!

Toss peeled apple, sugar cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg until apples are well coated.

Pour cream cheese batter over the apple pie filling. Spread apples gently over the top of the cheesecake.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until center is set.

While it is baking prepare caramel sauce:
Have everything out and ready and within reach, this cooks fast and can go from not ready to ruined in seconds!

In a deep sauce pan heat sugar over medium high heat . Stirring vigorously while it melts.

When it is melted and boiling stop stirring so much(you can give it a swirl or two just dont over do it) and allow it to become a dark amber color.

When it is a deep color add butter and whisk until melted

Remove from heat and slowly add the cream,

whisk until smooth.

When the cheesecake is finished baking immediately drizzle the caramel sauce over the entire thing(heat it first  if it has thickened up on cooling) Sprinkle with pecans if using.

Allow to cool, then chill completely in the fridge  before removing the spring form ring.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Honey Brined Potato Chip Chicken

I found a recipe for Honey Brined Fried Chicken a while back and put it on my to try list. When I came across it I decided to change it up just a little.
You can do these sliced into fingers or nuggets too!

approx 1 lbs chicken breast, sliced into prefered portion sizes
3 cups  water
1/4 cup salt(I used Sicilian lemon salt)
1/2 cup honey

1 cup crushed potato chips
1 cup bread crumbs(gluten free are delicious!)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
 pepper to taste( you could add salt if you like, I found it unnecessary with the chips)

flour or cornstarch

In a large dish mix water, salt and honey until the salt is mostly dissolved. Add chicken, cover and place in the fridge, allow to sit at least an hour, longer if possible.

In a shallow pan combine bread crumbs, potato chips and seasonings, mix well.

In a bowl add 1/2 cup flour or cornstarch. (you may need more later)

Remove chicken from brine(dont discard!)

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a baking sheet

Dip each slice of chicken in the flour or cornstarch , coat well, then dip back in the brine

then in the potato chip mix. Place on a greased baking sheet

 repeat with the rest of the chicken.

Bake in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes until the chicken reaches a temp of 165.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mexican Pork Chop Casserole

My husband pulled out pork chops yesterday but when afternoon rolled around we made some last minute plans with some friends to go out, so we left the kids with a babysitter and some pizza. Of course I had to use the defrosted pork chops today....but what kind? Both my husband and I went through recipes looking for something just right. We decided a Mexican flair would be good so and I came across something I thought would be great with a couple of good modifications...

4-6 boneless pork chops( I did 4 nice thick ones)
2 cups tomatoes, diced and peeled*
1/2 cup tomato juice*
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
2 cups prepared black beans, drained and rinsed
1-7 oz can diced green chiles
3/4 cup white long grain rice, uncooked
1 TB chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

1-2 cups shredded colby jack or pepper jack cheese(depends on how cheesy you like it!)
1 cup crushed tortilla chips

*sub 1-14.5 ounce can diced peeled tomatoes if you dont want fresh

Combine all ingredients except for chops in a bowl and mix well.

In a large lightly greased casserole dish arrange the pork chops.

Pour the tomato mixture all around the chops and allow to marinate in the fridge for an hour. If you want to leave it longer than an hour, make sure you pull it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you throw it in the oven.

Preheat oven to 350

Bake for  approx 45 minutes(actual time will depend on the thickness of your chops, you want a min temp of about 145.)

Sprinkle with crushed tortilla chips and cheese. Bake 5 more minutes until the cheese is completely melted.
Remove from oven and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes.

Serve each chop with a scoop of the tomato rice mixture, top with sour cream and peppers as desired.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper and Chicken Sausage Pizza

I wanted to make pizzas tonight for dinner but I wanted something a little different. This turned out really good!!

1 pre baked pizza crust(I used GF Focaccia)

1 tsp olive oil
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped(about 3/4 cup)
1/2 clove garlic minced
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Roasted Red Pepper strips (homemade or jarred)
Chicken Sausage Links, sliced(Lots of options, Hillshire Farms, Aidells, Johnsonville,I used Open Nature Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Links)
Smoked Provolone Cheese(mozzarella is fine if you have no provolone)


Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add peppers and garlic and saute for 3-5 minutes until tender.

Stir in broth and sour cream. bring to a boil , reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. 

Pour mixture into a blender and process until smooth(or use immersion blender if you have one)

Return to pot

Add in parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Add Red Pepper flakes, Salt and Pepper to taste.

Spread sauce over pizza crust. 

Arrange toppings as desired. Amounts are to your preference, just be sure to not overload it! As you can see, I had slices of provolone instead of shredded....I could have sworn I had a package of shredded LOL

Bake in a 350 oven for 10-15 until topping are heated and cheese is fully melted.