Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Reese's Pieces Cheesecake Brownies

Yes - you read that title correctly.  And yes, you are salivating on your keyboard.

These hybrid brownie-cheesecake thingys are decadent and rich and totally diet busting.  But they're oh so worth it.  I spotted this recipe on, you guess it, Pinterest, and knew I had to find an excuse to make them.

My excuse - a Sunday afternoon and a baby who graced me with a 2 hour nap.  Perfect!

They take a little bit of time as the layers firm up but they are really super easy to make.  So easy that I may have to make them again in the future (darn!).


Reese's Pieces Cheesecake Brownies
(adapted from Pip & Ebby)

1 - 19.5-oz. box chocolate fudge brownie mix
1-  8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 - 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup creamy peanut butter
12 oz. Reese’s Pieces candy
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions. Spread the batter in pan and set aside. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with hand-held mixer until fluffy. Add condensed milk and peanut butter and beat until smooth. Spoon the mixture over the batter. Spread evenly.
Sprinkle Reese's Pieces candies over the cheesecake layer.
Bake for 40 minutes or until cheesecake layer is set and edges are golden brown. Cool for 30 minutes and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and cream together, stirring constantly.
Spread over cheesecake layer.
Allow top chocolate layer to harden before slicing. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili

I just realized that all three recipes I've blogged as of late have been eaten in a bowl - Ha! If I'm being honest, we try and use our bowls as much as possible because our dishwasher is freakishly small on the bottom so my lovely and oversized Dansk dinnerware does not fit without a struggle. Insert sad face here.

Anywho... I'm a big fan of any recipe that calls for you to dump all the contents into your crock pot, turn it on, and devour it 8 hours later.  I spied this chili recipe on a friends Pinterest page and knew I had to toss it into my crockpot and see how it turned out.

The husband and I were both super pleased with the results.  I played with the spices/ ingredients that were included in the original recipe and what I ended up with was a smokey and spicy in the back of your throat kind of chili.  The chunks of sweet potato were a nice sweet bite without being sugary sweet. I served it with Garlic Naan from Trader Joe's (OMG - if you haven't tried this, do it now.  Seriously.  Stop what you're doing and go buy a pack!) and it was the perfect accompaniment to this chili.


Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili
(adapted from Can You Stay For Dinner?)

28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
14 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1” pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
15 ounce can kidney beans, drained
15 ounce can black beans, drained
1 cup of water
1 lb ground beef sirloin, browned

Combine all ingredients in the base of your slow cooker and stir to mix well. Cook on low for 10 hours.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cheese Tortellini with Tomatoes, Corn, Avocados, and Grilled Prawns

With summer rapidly coming to a close, I knew I needed to take advantage of the fresh produce and light flavors that exist in the summertime.  This recipe caught my eye on a friends blog and I knew it would be something that would be the perfect dish that could be served either hot or cold and I was pleasantly surprised that it tasted quite lovely either way; we ate it hot one night for dinner and cold the next day for leftover lunches - a win win!

I used some culinary inspiration and decided to add some fresh chopped avocados and grilled prawns to round out the dish.  My husband is anti-vegetarian meals so the simple addition of grilled prawns convinced him this dish was a-ok.


Cheese Tortellini with Tomatoes, Corn, Avocados, and Grilled Prawns
(adapted from TasteofHome)

2 - 9oz packages of refrigerated tortellini
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
3 Tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups of any type of tomatoes, chopped
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 lb prawns, grilled
1/2 cup coarsely chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook tortellini according to package directions.
In a food processor, pulse together olive oil, cheese, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire, and salt. Toss vinaigrette with tomatoes, corn, scallions.
Once tortellini is done, drain and add to the veggie mixture.
Top with chopped basil, chopped avocado, and grilled prawns.

Ziti with Portobello Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese, and Sausage

Having a new baby means that my time spent in the kitchen has been drastically cut down for the most part. Luckily for me, I have a husband who is more than willing to take over the bedtime routine so I can get my cooking groove back.

During the week I've been keeping things pretty simple but this past week I decided to spice it up and make this recipe I found on Pinterest from one of my favorite magazines, Food & Wine. This recipe jumped out at me because let's face it, anything with goat cheese, caramelized onions, and portobello mushrooms has to be delicious.

 Let me assure you - it was delicious and then some. The pasta is creamy and tangy with the caramelized onions adding just enough sweetness to balance it. The mushrooms add earthiness to the pasta and with my addition of Italian sausage and a quick deglaze of white wine, it was a perfectly hearty meal. Sure you could leave out the sausage but if a meal doesn't have meat in it, my husband gets a week bit cranky ;)


Ziti with Portobello Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese, and Sausage 
(adapted from Food & Wine)

1 lb sausage, cooked & sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pound portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 pound ziti
4 ounces soft goat cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

In a large frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderate heat. Add the onions, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are well browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from the pan.

In the same pan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter over moderate heat. Add the mushrooms, white wine, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and brown and the wine has cooked off. Add the reserved onions, the parsley, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. 

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the ziti until just done, about 13 minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta water and drain. Toss the ziti and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water with the mushroom mixture, the goat cheese, and the Parmesan. Add the cooked sausage to the pasta. If the pasta seems dry, add more of the reserved pasta water. Serve with additional Parmesan.