Chili Cheesecake

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I really do love food. I love reading about food; shopping for food; cooking food; and in particular, eating food. And I really do love blogging about food, although you wouldn't know it based on how often I make it onto this website. Unfortunately, life often gets in the way of my true love - food. Someday, I'll be able to make a living doing what I love. In the meantime, I'll try to make it here more often.

4th of July always means BBQ, and family potlucks. As I was preparing to make the same old things this year, I found my way to the Tasty Kitchen website, run by The Pioneer Woman. This Chili Cheesecake posted by dnvrbronco appealed to me for many different reasons, this photo being one of them:

The recipe was quite easy to make, and is quite beautiful when finished.


1 cup crushed tortilla chips
3 Tbls butter, melted
16 oz cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cumin
1 can diced green chilies, drained (4 oz can)
1 whole jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
8 ounces shredded Mexican blend cheese
1/3 cups sour cream


1 whole tomato, chopped
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
1 can black olives, sliced or diced (4 oz can)
Cilantro, chopped


Preheat the over to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the tortilla chips and butter. Press into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven, and let cool for a little while. (I usually place it in the fridge so the crust firms up).

Meanwhile, in a large bowl (or stand mixer) blend the cream cheese, eggs, chili powder and cumin with a mixer. Add the green chilies, jalapeno and cheese and blend. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of he pan. Let cool to room temperature, or cool in fridge overnight.

Spread the sour cream over the top and decorate with the tomatoes, green onions, black olives and cilantro. Refrigerate until serving. Remove the sides the pan and serve with tortilla chips.

I did make one "same old thing"...Devil Horns. I've posted that recipe on here before, and would have been shot if I hadn't brought them. I also made a Mexican Corn Dip, but I was underwhelmed with that recipe, so I won't bother posting it.

On a sidenote,  I received this platter as a gift 9 years ago. This was the first time I have taken it out of the box. I loved this platter so much I didn't use it, afraid it might get broken. I'm learning that life is too short to not use the "good china" or wear your "good clothes". I'm sure this most beautiful dish is much happier being used, and possibly broken at some point, than spending its life hidden away in the box in my hutch.

I hope your Independence Day was wonderful!

Smoked Salmon & Spinach Quiche

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I've been reading lots of books and magazine articles lately talking about "Super Foods". As I struggle with my weight and my health, I have been trying to incorporate as many of these foods in my diet as possible.

Today, I found a way to include two super foods (spinach and wild salmon) into a single, easy dish: Quiche!


1 frozen pie crust, baked
1 bag fresh baby spinach (Asparagus would be a great substitute)
1-2 cups smoked salmon, depending on taste
4 eggs
1 cup cream or milk
1/2 block cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt, pepper and dill to taste (fresh dill would be awesome!)

Bake your pie crust and let cool.

Saute the spinach in a tablespoon of butter or canola oil until wilted. Let drain in colander to remove liquid and cool.

Mix eggs, cream or milk, salt, pepper and dill until well combined.

Layer into pie crust:

Smoked Salmon

Cream Cheese, broken into small pieces and scattered

Egg Mixture. Make sure to work it all the way to the bottom

Top with Cheddar Cheese

Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees about 25-30 minutes, until well set.

Let cool, slice and serve. A nutritional powerhouse that tastes good!


Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies

Inspired by a post on Joy The Baker's blog, I had to make these cookies!

Growing up, Peanut Butter and Bacon Sandwiches were my favorite breakfast; or after school snack; or midnight treat। So I knew when I saw this recipe, I had to make them। And with only 6 ingredients, it's my kind of easy. They also happen to be gluten free, if that matters to you.

This recipe only makes about 15 cookies, so I doubled the recipe. We can't be running out now, can we?

1 cup peanut butter (smooth or creamy - your preference)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and diced small

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a baking sheet with butter and set aside.
In a mixer combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg and baking soda and mix for another 2 minutes.
Fold in cooked bacon.
Roll into large walnut sized balls and roll in sugar.

Transfer to greased baking sheet and create a criss-cross pattern with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a baking sheet for five minutes.

These cookies will be very crumbly, and will not transport well. However, they shouldn't last that long.

Note to my mother: This would be a perfect treat for you to make during hunting season, when that peanut butter hater you married is out of town!


Tuscan Pork Roast with Orzo Pasta Salad

Monday, August 10, 2009

On any given lazy Sunday, you would think I would want to cook something that took all day, and involved many steps. NOT. I wanted quick and easy today, although I do believe Sunday meals should be a little more involved then the regular weeknight fare.

I had been wanting to cook an Orzo pasta salad, and this dish is a take on that. The difference is I served it warm.

The Tuscan spice blend on the pork roast was wonderful. Sadly, the little spice store I bought this mix at has gone out of business.

Overall rating on this dinner was excellent!


1 - 3-4 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
Seasoning of your choice
vegetable oil

Rub the spice mixture completely over the trimmed pork loin.

Get a skillet nice and hot and add a couple tablespoons of oil. Brown, quickly on all sides.

Finish in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until an internal read thermometer reads about 140 degrees. Let rest before slicing.


This would be equally good warm or cold. Any combinations of vegetables would work too. I think this would have been lovely with zucchini in it. Alas, the green thing in my crisper I thought was a zucchini was actually a cucumber.

1/2 pound of Orzo, cooked per package instructions

Trio of bell peppers, diced small, about 1/4 of each pepper

1 tomato, diced. Halved grape tomatoes would have been great here.

1/2 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained

Minced garlic
Olive Oil for sauteing
Vinagrette for dressing (mine happened to be Tuscan flavor)

Feta cheese for garnish

Cook the pasta, then drain and let cool.

Saute the peppers and garlic for about 2 mintes.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute.
Add the spinach and cook for another minute.
Add the cooked Orzo and toss together until all warm.
Pour in a couple of tablespoons of your favorite "Italian" salad dressing or vinagrette. While still warm, put on plate and top with feta cheese crumbles.


It's Not Awful, It's Falafel!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's a taco, from Morocco!

In our quest to find new and tasty vegetarian dishes, we decided to make falafel. Summer had it last week at her Uncle's house, and really liked it.

My take? I probably won't make it again, but I would love to try it in a restaurant that specializes in Middle Eastern food. In short, it tastes like a curry hush puppy!

Falafel is traditionally made with garbanzo or fava beans. We cheated and used the boxed mix:

Add some water to the mix and let set a few minutes.

Then roll into balls and/or patties. We did both.

Make sure you have your helper for this!

Then you fry them in 1/2 inch of oil for a couple of minutes until crispy and browned.

Traditionally, these are served in a pita with Tahini sauce (a sesame "paste"), but we aren't big fans of Tahini, so we decided to mix genres and use Taziki sauce, which is a Greek sauce.

First, peel and seed a cucumber, then salt it and let it sit to pull the water out of the cucumber. In your food processor, throw in the cucumber, chopped up, some lemon juice, Greek yogurt (my new favorite ingredient), salt and pepper, and spices as desired.

Blend until well pureed.

Then, chop of some veggies of choice....

And assemble everything in a pita. We used these wraps instead. I prefer Anan bread (a pocketless pita) but those are hard to find around these parts.


Grilled Corn, Avocado and Tomato Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I knew I wanted to make a corn salad for the 4th of July BBQ, I just didn't know which one. When I came across this recipe on Foodgawker, I knew this was the one. The combination of ingredients, along with the Honey Lime Dressing just grabbed my attention. This recipe is a keeper!

If making ahead of time, wait until just before serving to add the avocado.



Juice of 2 limes
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 teaspooon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


2 pints grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 avocados, roughly chopped
6 ears fresh, sweet corn
4 tablespoons cilantro, chopped


Grill corn over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. I didn't feel like turning on the BBQ at 8:00 am, so I roasted my corn in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes, turning halfway through.

Let the corn cool, then cut the corn off the cob and scrape the cob with the back of your knife to get the juices.

Add all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk to combine. Get your helper to do this.

Add the tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and grilled corn. Mix well so that everything is coated with the marinade, but be careful not the mash the avocadoes.

Refrigerate for an hour and serve.

There was another corn salad at the potluck, prepared by the host. Her husband came to me after dinner and said mine was better. But then you already knew that.

Bon Appetite!


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