Cheesecake Cookie Cups

Ok, I know, I’m sorry! I’m sure everyone is so sick of desserts right now, but I’m way to excited about this recipe to wait and post it later. I promise to post a good dinner recipe soon, and for those of you waiting for my families famous FrogEye Salad Recipe, that will be coming in a few days 🙂 But for now, onto dessert! I made these for my in-laws Easter celebration on Sunday. I modified the recipe just a little, cause, well I’m a “from scratch” kind of girl, and the original recipe wanted you to get store bought cookie dough :/ So if you want, you can just substitute store bought cookie dough for my cookie dough recipe. I absolutely love this recipe though! It is so fun and different. Make sure when you are baking your cookie dough the first time, to watch and take them out as soon as the cookie dough has filled the bottom of the cup. I flattened my cookie dough out a little too before baking just to help, but you really don’t want to bake the dough at all at this point. The more you bake it here will determine whether the cookie bottom is chewy or not. Don’t stress, just check on it about every 2 minutes. One other thing I did different is, I only added cherry filling to half of the cheesecake cups. That way people that are fruit dessert people, like me, can have it with cherries, and those that don’t like fruity desserts can have it without. Personally I loved it with the cherries! But my in-laws loved it without too! So you decide 🙂 Also, I got a really good suggestion from someone, so I’m gonna start implementing it to my blog. A lot of people want to know how long the recipe is really going to take, so at the bottom of my posts I will add an “Estimated Cooking Time,” just to give you an idea of what to plan for, or if you actually wanna try something that is going to take 2 hours of constant cooking. Hope this helps 🙂

Estimated Cooking Time: 1 hour and 35 minutes. 35 minutes to prepare and bake. Then refrigerate for 1 hour.

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever, unbaked cookie dough
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
Prepare cookie dough from the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Paper-line 24 muffin cups. Place one heaping tablespoon of cookie dough in each muffin cup. Or you can just use a level cookie scoop with your cookie scooper.
Bake for about 6 minutes or until cookie has spread to edge of cup.
Beat cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, eggs and vanilla extract in medium bowl until smooth. Pour about 2 to 3 tablespoons cream cheese mixture over each cookie in cup.
Bake for additional 15 to 18 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on sire wrack. Top each with level tablespoon of pie filling. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Recipe from Toll House Nestle Holiday Favorites

Meatball Sub Casserole

I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for a while. I love meatball subs, so I was totally curious about this casserole dish. Lets just say sometime the ugliest dishes are the best! I only say that because this casserole was hard to arrange on a plate to photograph and still make it look savory. I don’t know if I succeeded, but did my best 🙂 You can be sure it tastes super yummy though! My husband was actually making the “Mmmm” sound with every bite. One of the best and most original casseroles I have ever tried. Also, if you want you can use light ingredients, like light mayo and light cream cheese, to make this dish a little more calorie friendly. I used light mayo and it still turned out so yummy. Also, my sister tried this recipe, and reminded me of another little change I wanted to make to this dish. You really need at least 1 1/2 if not 2 pounds of beef. 1 Pound just doesn’t seem sufficient. But if you add some extra meat, I would say this dish is a 10 out of 10. You gotta try it!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound ground beef, (this is what the original recipe says, but I say do 2 pounds)
  • 1 loaf (1 pound) Italian bread, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 jar (28 ounces) spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
In a bowl, combine onions, crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. 
Shape into 1-inch balls; place on a rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until no longer pink.
Meanwhile, arrange bread in a single layer in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish (all of the bread might not be used). Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Italian seasoning and pepper; spread over the bread. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella.
Combine the sauce, water and garlic; add meatballs. Pour over cheese mixture; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through.
Recipe from Taste of Home Winning Recipes

Raspberry Truffle Brownies – Easter Party

I hope everyone had an awesome holiday! Ours turned out super busy, but really fun. My Mom’s party turned out amazing, so way to go mom! You always blow me away with what a great hostess you are.

Here is a picture of my beautiful mother, on the left, and my hilarious and also beautiful Aunt Janice. Such cute fun girls.

Here is the awesome food table. Everything turned out delish and so cute!

The sweets table with the Raspberry Truffle Brownies and the Strawberry Coconut Cake. Yummy!

The water slide! My mom always comes up with the best ideas to keep the kiddo’s entertained. To be honest though, we ended up jumping on this thing toward the end of the party. I’m to much of a kid at heart to pass this baby up!

Top left is my hubby and baby boy gettin ready to hit the slide. Bottom right is my little girl in pink with her cousin. These two might as well be sisters. I love how close my sisters kids and my kids are.

Raspberry Truffle Brownies

K, onto the food!! These brownies are amazing! Absolutely one of my favorite desserts I have ever tried. The brownie is super moist and rich, and the “filling”, or frosting, was light and fluffy and also had lots of flavor with just the right combination of raspberry and chocolate. Everything in this dessert is very well balanced. A definite must try recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1-1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Filling
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup seedless red raspberry jam
Glaze
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon shortening

In a heavy saucepan, melt butter chocolate chips over low heat. Cool Slightly. In a large bowl, beat eggs and brown sugar. Dissolve coffee crystals in water; add to egg mixture with melted chocolate.

Mix well. Combine flour and baking powder; stir into chocolate mixture. Spread in a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

For filling, melt chocolate chips; cool. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in jam. Stir in melted chocolate; spread over cooled brownies.

For glaze, melt chocolate chips and shortening (I used pink white chocolate instead of the semisweet chocolate just to add some color to the brownies, and to give it more of that Easter feel). Drizzle over filling. Chill before cutting. Store in refrigerator.

Recipe from Taste of Home Winning Recipes

Snickerdoodles

So, this Easter weekend was so fun, but ugh, it kept me so so so busy. So I will post some of my Easter stuff tomorrow, cause I’m off to the zoo, but here is a fun recipe to tie you over. I made these for my mom the other day cause it’s her recipe, and they are one her absolute favorite cookies. I feel like snickerdoodles are a really classic american favorite, but if you get a good recipe it makes them that much better. This recipe is kind of full proof. Unless you get your measurements wrong, there is really no way to botch this recipe. It is really simple, but is super delicious.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp cream of tarter
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda
Topping
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the butter, sugar and eggs till fluffy and becomes a pale yellow color. In a separate bowl mix the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt together.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until incorporated.

Roll dough into 1 to 2 inch balls and roll into cinnamon sugar mixture. Place balls onto slightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes. Place onto a wire rack and let cool.

Strawberry Coconut Cake

So, I am just gonna be honest, I am kind of bummed out about this post. My mom is having a big easter party today, and she asked me to make this super yummy recipe of hers. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me when I was at the grocery store to get something Easter-y to decorate these with. I’m not worried about it for the party really, cause everything will be decked out, so it won’t matter that it is just pink with strawberries. But, I was photoshopping my film, and I can’t help but hear Florian, from cupcake wars, in the back of my head saying, “You just really missed the mark on presentation. So for me it is a no.” I’m serious! British accent and all.

Oh well, enough about presentation, on to taste. This is an awesome recipe. It’s one of the hundreds my mom has collected over years and years, and is not exactly what you would expect. It’s both nutty and fruity. I prefer walnuts, so that is what I used instead of pecans, and I don’t put nuts in my cake, just the frosting. To me, it is way to overpower if there is nuts both in the cake and in the frosting, just nobody tell my mom I said that 😉 But that is just a personal preference. Either way this recipe is so super yummy. If you don’t care for nuts, your probably not going to want to try this recipe. But if you like strawberries and you like nuts, the flavor together is one that does not disappoint. Enjoy and I hope y’all have an amazing Easter!!

Ingredients

  • 1 box Duncan Hines cake mix
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 small box strawberry jello
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, slice (Just a little advice, use fresh strawberries. Frozen tends to let off more juice and it just doesn’t turn out as well)
Lightly grease 9 x 13 inch pan, or line cupcake pan with paper liners. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat eggs, oil and milk in a large mixing bowl. Add the cake mix and jello and mix well.
Fold in coconut, pecans, and strawberries. Pour batter into baking pan, or fill cupcake liners 2/3 the way full. Sheet cake bakes for 25-30 minutes, and cupcakes bake for 16 to 18 minutes.
Icing
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 16 oz box powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
Mix butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Add powdered sugar and mix until well blended.
Fold in coconut, pecans and strawberries. To make your frosting more smooth, especially if you are making cupcakes, then finely chop the strawberries and put the coconut and pecans in a food processor. Frost cake after it has completely cooled.

Chicken Tandoori

I love this recipe! Totally not your traditional chicken dinner. This meal offers a complete food indulgence experience. How this recipe holds up under all of the flavors, I do not know! It is spicy, and at the same time refreshing. Warm and at the same time cool. It has so much going on, but yet, it’s not too much. As you can tell it’s kind of hard to put into words, but all I can say is this is one of the most original things I have ever had the opportunity to make. I don’t even know what to compare it to. All I’ve got to say is, this chicken is an explosion of flavors at the end of a fork. One of those things that you gotta try to understand, so do! You won’t regret it! Oh, and one more thing, it’s low calorie!! Tastes great and your not going to feel guilty for eating it. Gotta love it.

Ingredients

  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 small red onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons hot paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Cooked rice, for serving (optional)
Directions
Preheat the broiler. Make shallow cuts in the chicken thighs with a sharp knife. Toss the chicken with the lemon juice and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl.
Pulse 2 tablespoons yogurt, the vegetable oil, onion, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, coriander, cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika and 1/2 teaspoon salte in a food processor to make a paste.
Toss the chicken in the mixture and let marinate 15 minutes. Place the chicken on a foil-lined broiler pan. Broil, turning once, until slightly charred and a thermometer inserted into the center registers 165 degrees, 5 to 6 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/2 cup yogurt and 1/4 teaspoon paprika, the cilantro and pinch of salt in a bowl. Top the chicken with the yogurt sauce and serve with rice, if desired.
Recipe from Food Network’s Great Easy Meals

Sausage and Pepper Skewers

Since I ate three of those stinking cupcakes yesterday, I needed to make something for dinner that was somewhat low in calorie and weight friendly. So I decided on these. And I love how super simple they are. Cut up your veggies and your chicken sausage put them on a stick, then throw them on a grill. How much easier can you get? Plus everything was so yummy! I used a charcoal grill, because I love the flavor it infuses into the food, but the sausage already has so much flavor that you don’t need it for this dish to taste amazing. And the couscous gives such a refreshing yummy flavor that goes great with the skewers. One thing I would recommend though, this recipe has a lot of things going on all at once. So, to avoid trying to read directions, running around your kitchen, and at the same time trying not to burn your food, read through the directions before you start. Me personally, the pesto sauce was the first thing I ended up making. It just didn’t make much since to make it in the heat of trying to cook everything else. Plus, if I’m outside trying to cook on the grill, I’m also trying to keep my two year old away from it so he doesn’t get burned and watching my dogs so they don’t sneak samples of my food. Yeah, the sauce was not getting fit in right then. So figure out what works for you and execute your own plan. Other then that, I was totally impressed with this recipe!! So super yummy and definitely worth the time!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 bell peppers (red and yellow), cut into chunks
  • 1 12-ouce package chicken sausage (preferably garlic-flavored), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large red onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 4 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Directions
Soak eight 8-inch wooden skewers in water at least 15 minutes. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high (or light charcoal). Prepare the couscous as the label directs.

Meanwhile, toss the bell peppers, sausage, onion and tomatoes in a bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and pepper. I didn’t end up tossing my sausage in with the veggies because they were so soft I was afraid of them falling apart. I don’t know if it was the brand I got, but if this be the case with you also, then just season it separately.

Thread onto the skewers, alternating the sausage and vegetables. Grill, turing, until the vegetables are slightly softened and the sausage begins to brown, 6 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, puree the parsley, cilantro and scallions in a blender with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the vinegar and 2 tablespoons water. Season with salt and pepper. Brush the skewers with some of the pesto and continue to cook, turning, until the tomatoes are tender and the sausage is charred, 6 to 7 more minutes.

Toss the couscous with half of the remaining pesto and season with salt and pepper. Serve with skewers and the remaining pesto, for dipping.

Recipe from Food Network’s Great Easy Meals