Saturday, June 20, 2009

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

from Cooking Light

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 (8-ounce) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and salt, stirring with a whisk.

Combine butter, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and eggs in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; stir just until moist.

Place 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, granulated sugar, and next four ingredients (through cream cheese) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until fluffy.

Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil that extends 1 inch beyond sides; coat foil with cooking spray. Spread half of batter into pan. Pour cream cheese mixture over batter in pan, and spread evenly over batter. Sprinkle with raspberries. Drop remaining batter by tablespoonfuls over everything. Swirl batter, cream cheese mixture, and raspberries together with a knife. (Note: I struggled with knowing what this meant so Chuck did it for me. In his words he, "put a knife in and did little twirls to mix it together, but not stirring, just twirling.")

Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack. Remove from pan by lifting foil. Remove foil; cut into 30 bar cookies.

Note: I put these under healthy because while they're certainly not steamed broccoli, for desserts, they're a good option. If you get 30 bars (I got 32 small ones), then they have 111 calories and 4 grams of fat per bar. And although I made these tonight, they are apparently better the next day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pesto Burgers

1 1/2 lbs. ground meat
3/4 c. grated sharp Cheddar or 1/2 c. grated Parmesan
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/3 c. mayo
2 T. pesto (store bought or your own)
6 burger rolls
toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, etc.

For the Pesto Mayo:
1/2 c. mayo
2 T. pesto

Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap and set it aside. In bowl, combine meat, cheese, salt 'n pepper, gently tossing the mix with your hands or a large fork, until evenly blended.

In smaller bowl, mix the mayo and pesto, then add it to the ground meat mix and blend all together. Shape the meat into 6 1/2 inch thick patties, placing each one on the baking sheet when done and refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes to firm them (Note: the patties will be softer than traditional hamburgers).

While meat is chilling, prepare the grill and make the Pesto Mayo - by combing mayo and pesto. Grill each side for 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Serve the burgers on the rolls, dressed with the lettuce, tomatoes, and Pesto Mayo.

e-note: so we made these tonite and really enjoyed them. there is definitely a pesto flavor. it's not overbearing, but definitely there and tasty - if you like pesto, of course. the uncooked mixture was really wet. my husband told me the ground meat that comes in "tubes" or "rolls" is more wet - and that is what we had used. luckily i was able to flip out the patties onto my spatula and then flip that onto the grill. it worked out okay. yummy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pumpkin Blueberry Muffins

3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. quick oats
2/3 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. milk
1 egg
1/4 c. butter, melted
3/4 c. fresh blueberries or thawed frozen berries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.

Mix the flour, oats, sugar, powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl until evenly blended. In a separate bowl, stir together the pumpkin, milk, egg, and butter. Gradually stir in the flour mixture, just until all ingredients are moistened. Fold in the blueberries. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling to the top.

Bake in preheated oven until tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes.

Yield: 12 regular muffins or 24 minis.

Note: I did these in mini-muffin tins for a good snack for my babe. I hope he likes them as much as I did! Also, even though I did them in the mini tins, they still needed nearly 20 minutes.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Curry Couscous

1 1/2 c. couscous
3 c. chicken broth
1 T. curry powder
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
2 T. olive oil
1/2 c. raisins
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 c. slivered almonds, toasted

Pour couscous into a bowl. Mix chicken stock, curry powder, salt, pepper, olive oil, and raisins in a saucepan and bring to a boil; remove from heat. Pour the boiling liquid over the couscous. Seal the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork. Top with cilantro and almonds.

Note: I like this because it was so easy and I had almost everything on hand. What I didn't (cilantro), I simply omitted, although I think it would be good. My 15-month-old ate this quite readily at first but I think there was just too much pepper (did I not halve it like everything else?!) so when I do it again, I'll certainly reduce the pepper. I think that craisins would be just as good in this as the regular raisins. Also, I just boiled everything in a sauce pan, added the couscous, removed from heat, and put lid on for 10 minutes. No need to dirty two pans.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies (with peanut butter)

2 cubes of butter 
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. baking soda 
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. of flour
12-ounce bag milk chocolate chips

Mix the butter and peanut butter together.  Add the sugars and eggs; mix again.  Then add soda, powder, salt, and vanilla; mix again.  Then add flour and mix again.  Finally, add the chocolate chips; mix.
Bake at 375 for 8-10 min. (She watched them closely and took them out when the cookies start to crack, usually it's around nine minutes.)

Yield: When my sister did a half batch, she got four dozen.  When I did a half batch, I got three dozen.  Finally, a cookie I make that is normal-sized.

Note: I have not made these but did taste of their beauty last night.  They are the best chocolate chips cookies I've ever had.  And no, they don't taste like peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips.  They're more, "chocolate chip cookies with hint of peanut butter, and a smidgen of heaven."  Soooo good.  (When I make them tomorrow and find out how many they make, I'll edit this post with that information.)