Thursday, September 24, 2009

cheesecake-marbled brownies

I have been waiting to make these and small group was the perfect time last night! YUM!

cheesecake-marbled brownies

Makes 16 2-inch square, thick brownies

Brownie batter
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Cheesecake batter
8 ounces cream cheese, well softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Make brownie batter: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Heat butter and chocolate in a 3-quart heavy saucepan — though I did mine double-boiler style, placing the mixing bowl I was using over simmering water, thereby creating one less dirty dish and melting the chocolate more gently — over moderately low heat, whisking occasionally, just until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until well combined. Whisk in flour until just combined and spread in baking pan.

Make cheesecake batter: Whisk together cheesecake batter ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Dollop over brownie batter, then swirl in with a knife or spatula.

[I actually like using a butter knife because the tip of it is round enough that you can use it to fold bits of the brownie batter over the cheesecake batter for a more visibly marbled effect. Try it!]

Sprinkle chocolate chips over cheesecake/brownie batter swirl. Although it might be more logical to just mix them into the cheesecake batter (and feel free to do this, it will have no ill-effect) I thought it might interrupt the swirl-ability of it.

Bake brownies: Bake until edges are slightly puffed and center is just set, about 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

original HERE

Two-Corn Polenta

Oh this was YUMMY!! So very very yummy. The kids really like it too!

Two-Corn Polenta

1 T olive oil
2 T butter
1 large garlic cloves 1 med onion
4 ears corn, husked
3 c water
1/2 c cornmeal
2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 c shredded asiago cheese
1/8 c fresh basil leaves, chopped

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and sauté 5-7 minutes, until onion is translucent. With a serrated knife, cut corn kernels off ear, directly into the pan. Stirring, sauté 3 minutes. Add water, cornmeal, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook, stirring often, 30 minutes. Turn off heat, and stir in asaigo and basil.

Original found HERE. (I also cut the asiago cheese in half-still had enough flavor for us!)

Spinach Salad

I got this salad recipe from my friend Alexa and it is YUMMY!!

Spinach Salad

1/3 c. white vinegar
¾ c. canola or olive oil
1/3 c. sugar
2 T. green onion
1 t. salt
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 T. poppy seeds
Mix in a blender or food processor and let stand 4 hours.

Salad ingredients:
10 oz. package baby spinach leaves, washed
6-8 slices bacon, fried and crumbled (I sometimes use Hormel real bacon bits in a jar)
¾ c. dried cranberries (or dried cherries)
1 ripe pear, coarsely chopped
6 oz. Swiss cheese, grated
¾ c. pecan pieces (best lightly toasted, but who has time for that?)

I followed the recipes as shown, used the dried cherries and peeled the pear before I chopped it up. The dressing is esp. yummy!! Enjoy!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Saucy Broccoli Chicken Bake

This is a favorite in my house. Easy, tasty, makes great leftovers!

Saucy Broccoli Chicken Bake
16 ounces frozen broccoli florets (or about 3 cups fresh broccoli florets)
3 cups cooked cubed chicken
2 cans cream of chicken soup*
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 cup chicken broth
paprika, optional
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups rice (uncooked measurement), cooked according to package instructions (should make 4 1/5 cups of cooked rice)
1. In covered saucepan, cook broccoli in water just until tender, about 5 minutes.
2. In greased 9 x 13 baking dish, spread broccoli across bottom and sprinkle chicken evenly on top. Generously sprinkle black pepper over chicken.
3. In mixing bowl, combine cream soups, mayonnaise, lemon juice, curry powder, and chicken broth, whisking until smooth. Pour over chicken. Sprinkle paprika on top if desired.
4. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Spread cheese on top and bake 5-10 minutes longer, until melted and slightly browned.
5. While casserole is baking, cook rice. Serve the chicken and broccoli mixture over hot rice.

Original Recipe found HERE