Monday, July 23, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

I was looking for a dessert to make one day when we had my brother-in-law and his wife over.  I was perusing though my pinterest pins and found this one.  It looked super good so I had to try it.  For the original recipe, click here.  It was pretty darn good =)  I was impatient and didn't wait until it was completely cool and the arm part of it was still good.  This would be a good recipe for a potluck or a shower.  It is rich enough that you can cut it into small pieces and have lots of servings.


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Cheesecake Filling:
10 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line an 8" square baking pan with tin foil. and spray with nonstick cooking spray. 
2. Mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake in the oven for 6 minutes. Remove pan to a cooling rack. Leave your oven on while you prepare the dough.
3. While the crust is cooling, prepare the chocolate chip cookie dough. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Mix in the flour on low speed, and mix until just incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips. Set aside. (*Note: This mixture is going to be dry...that’s okay. It’s rather like a crumble topping. You’re going to crumble it on top of the cheesecake layer.)
4.In a seperate bowl, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla on low speed just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust. Distribute the cookie dough onto the top of the cheesecake batter in teaspoon-sized clumps. Be sure to use all of the dough.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top feels dry and firm (the cookie dough) and the entire pan looks set if given a gentle shake. Move bars to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Chill in refrigerator overnight or for at least a couple hours.
6. Lift the bars out by the overhang and cut into squares for serving.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cheesy Hamburger Casserole

Do you ever have those nights that you don't feel like cooking but your family is starving to death and they are sick of frozen pizza because that's what you've made lately?  That was me today.  I haven't been in the mood to cook much lately.  by the time dinnertime rolls around I am drained and the heat doesn't help.  So I threw this together one night and it turned out to be a big hit!

I didn't get a better picture because by the time I remembered to take it, it was already mostly eaten.....but it was super good!!!

1 lb. hamburger
1 can (14 oz) tomatoes
1 sm. can tomato paste
1 c. cheddar cheese, separated to 1/2 c portions
1/2 c. mozzarella or Monterrey cheese
8 oz noodles
seasonings to taste (Italian seasonings, onion powder, garlic salt/powder, etc)

Brown you hamburger and drain the grease.  Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package directions.  Take your can of tomatoes and puree in a blender or a food processor.  Add to the hamburger.  Add the can of tomato paste and mix well.  Add whatever seasonings you like, to taste.  I added about (measurements not exact because I didn't measure =)  ) 2 tbsp of Italian seasonings, 1 tsp garlic powder, a pinch of salt, 1 tsp of onion powder. Let this simmer for a few minutes.  Once the noodles are done, strain them and then add to the tomato hamburger mix.  mix well, and add 1/2 c. cheddar cheese.  Pour into a baking dish.  I used a 7x11 dish, but you could separate it it into 2 9x9 dishes or a 9x13 dish (if you want to use those I would cook a little bit more noodles so it has a bit more to it)
Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheddar and mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until cheese is all melted and it is warmed through.  Broil for 2 minutes to get the cheese a bit brown and crispy.  Once it's finished, let it sit for a few then dish up and enjoy!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Banana Pancakes

I love breakfast food.  I could eat it any time of the day.  But after awhile you get tired of the same old flavors so you need to spruce it up.  I wanted to make some pancakes for my little tykes this morning but wasn't in the mood for the same old pancakes.  Then I spied the brown bananas sitting on my counter that I have been meaning to make some banana bread or cookies with.  Then I thought about the banana foster ebelskivers I made a while back and figured banana pancakes would be good.  So I mashed up some bananas and added them to my pancake mix and cooked them.  They were delicious! Usually I have to get after my little boy a million times to quit playing and eat his food but by the time I had the second batch of pancakes cooking he had devoured his two pancakes without a peep uttered between bites. That's how I judge how big of  a hit it is by how much sound I hear.  Both kids practically licked their plates clean in 2 minutes.  And the hubby wolfed his down pretty fast too.

Banana Pancakes

1 1/4 c flour
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 c milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 shakes of cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract


 Combine flour,  sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and bananas. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; batter will be slightly lumpy. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4- 1/3 cup for each pancake.

 Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides; serve hot.

Monday, July 9, 2012

French Dip Crescent Sandwiches

I had been craving french dip sandwiches for forever! (and no it was a pregnancy craving, I had been wanting them since before I got knocked up, just never got around to making them)  I was cruising though the world of Pinterest and found this recipe.  It looked yummy!  I posted a link on my Facebook page saying I wanted to make it and my hubby piped in that he wanted me to make it and then a couple guys from his work would pay me to make some.  Score!  I made $15 off them =) was a big hit with them all and they were asking when I would make them all dinner again.  My kids wolfed down 5 each and they usually only eat 1 or 2 roll-ups of any flavor.  So, moral of my story....go make some!

The original recipe is from
Mama Loves Food

French Dip Crescent Ingredients:
  • 2 packages crescent rolls, 8 count
  • 1 pound deli roast beef, thinly sliced ( I used both from the deli and some good quality int he lunch meat section....they both tasted great!)
  • 4 ounces Swiss or provolone cheese, cut in 16 equal sized pieces (or you could shred it)
  • optional: Horseradish Sauce (I didn't use it)
  • optional: Au Jus for dipping (click on the link fo rher homemade recipe that is yummy!)
French Dip Crescent Directions:
  1. Unroll crescents onto a large cookie sheet.
  2. Spread a small dab of horseradish on each crescent, then place a slice of roast beef and a piece of cheese on each crescent.
  3. Roll crescents starting from the wide end and ending at the narrow end.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 11 to 13 minutes, until crescents are a golden color.
  5. Serve with Au Jus and enjoy!

Although my hubby loved them, he said that they would have been better with my homemade rolls.  Mine are nice and flaky and the butter flavor doesn't overpower the dish. If you want to make your own crescent rolls, here's my awesome homemade recipe for Crescent Rolls.  Just scroll to the bottom of the page.
These also freeze great so you can make extras, cook them, and then freeze the leftovers in a ziploc freezer bag and then take them out when you want a quick meal.  To freeze the Au Jus, you can pour the juice in an ice cube tray and when frozen, pop them out and put them in a baggie and store with the leftover roll-ups.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Boston Cream Pie Cake

This has become one of my hubby's favorite desserts.  I love it because it is soooo easy to do!  i know my picture isn't all pretty.....but I promise, it is super tasty!

1 pgk. yellow cake mix
the ingredients to make the cake as instructed on box

1 1/2 c. cold milk
1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding

2 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 tbsp. butter
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbs. hot water

Prepare the cake as instructed on the box using 2 greased and floured 9-in pans (don't skip the flouring part!)  Cool for 10-min. before removing from the pans to a wire cooling rack (be patient and wait....I would recommend waiting longer so your cake doesn't fall apart)

In a small bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes.  Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft set.  Cover and refrigerate.

In a microwave, melt chocolate and butter.  Stir until smooth.  Stir in powdered sugar, vanilla, and a little water until it is the consistency of a thick glaze.  Set aside.

Place one cake layer on a serving plate, spread with pudding.  Top with the second layer of cake.  Spread chocolate glaze over the top, letting it drip down the sides of the cake.  Refrigerate until ready to serve, and ENJOY!!