Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars

The setup:

2 cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
2 8oz pkgs cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cover the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with 1 can of crescent rolls, making sure to pinch close any seams.  Beat together cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla; spread on top of crescent roll dough.  Cover with other can of dough, making sure to seal any seams.  Stir together 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon.  Pour melted butter over top of dough; sprinkle sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly.  OR mix together the butter, sugar and cinnamon, and brush on top of dough like a glaze.  Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown and slightly firm.  Cool at room temperature, then refrigerate until cooled completely (about 2-3 hours).  Slice into bars.

 

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A midnight snack

Because midnight snacks are serious business.  

 

The setup:

2 Cornish game hens, neck and insides removed
Olive oil
Ground black pepper
1 large yellow onion
2 Tbsp butter
2 stalks celery, diced
1 5oz bag croutons
1 egg
Water
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
6oz fresh cranberries

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Rinse chickens and pat dry.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper.  Quarter onion; place 1 quarter inside each chicken, reserve remainder.  Roast chickens for an hour, or until a thermometer registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium skillet.  Dice remaining onion; add onion and celery to skillet, cooking until onions are translucent.  Pour croutons into a medium mixing bowl.  Add onion mixture and egg to bowl and mix thoroughly.  Add enough water to bowl to moisten croutons (it may take a few minutes for the croutons to soak up the water, so add it in small increments).  Spread mixture in an 8×4 loaf pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top begins to brown and reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small saucepan bring the 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar to a boil.  Add cranberries and return to a boil, cooking until the skins pop.  Reduce heat to medium, stirring occasionally until berries thicken.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

NOM!!

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Pineapple Chicken

The setup:

4 – 1 1/2 pound Cornish game hens
3 Tbsp butter, melted
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 – 16oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 Tbsp honey mustard
2 Tbsp soy sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Brush game hens with butter and place breast-side-up on a rack in a large roasting pan.  Lightly season both inside and outside with salt and pepper.  Roast, uncovered, for 25 minutes.

Whisk together pineapple, syrup, lemon juice, mustard, and soy sauce.  Baste chicken with pineapple mixture and continue roasting, uncovered, for 45 minutes, basting occasionally.  Chicken is done when a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the leg registers 180 degrees.

Bring remaining sauce to a boil, cook for about 8 minutes or until the sauce is thickened.  Serve warm on the side.

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Teriyaki-Pineapple Turkey Burgers

The setup:

1 pound ground turkey
Teriyaki sauce
Pineapple rings
Monterey Jack cheese
Buns

 

Directions:

Form turkey into four patties; make a 2-inch indention in the center of patties.  Marinate in teriyaki sauce at least 30 minutes.  While marinating, preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Lay patties out on hot grill; grill six minutes per side, or until they’re no longer pink.  During last two minutes of cooking, top patties with Monterey Jack cheese (I don’t like a lot of cheese, so I shredded it).  Remove when melted.  Top with pineapple rings and place on buns (I like Kaiser rolls).

 

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Lemon-Strawberry Cupcakes

The setup:

~ For cupcakes ~

1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk
1 pint strawberries, divided 

~ For frosting ~

1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp lemon juice
4-6 cups powdered sugar

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Finely chop half of the strawberries; slice the remaining half.  Set aside.  Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add sugar, lemon peel, and lemon juice; beat until well combined.  Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.   Fold in chopped strawberries.

Divide batter amongst 2 dozen baking cups.  Bake 18-22 minutes, or until just starting to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

For frosting, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium until creamy.  Add lemon juice.  Add enough powdered sugar until it reaches spreading consistency.  If needed, thin it out with more lemon juice.  Frost cupcakes, and top with sliced strawberries.

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Turkey Burgers w/Peaches and Blueberries

The setup:

4 small peaches
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 tsp chili powder
4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
4 slices frozen Texas garlic bread

Directions:

Put turkey in a small mixing bowl.  Finely chop one of the peaches; add to turkey.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and combine well.  Form mixture into four 1/2-inch-thick patties.  Grill over medium heat, 5 minutes on each side, until no longer pink and registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  During last minute of cooking, put cheese slices on top.

Meanwhile, coarsely chop the remaining peaches.  Add peaches, blueberries, and chili powder to a medium skillet and heat thoroughly, about 5 minutes.  Toast garlic bread according to package directions.

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Spicy Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple-Papaya Salsa

The setup:

For the tenderloin ~

1 2-pound pork tenderloin
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground ancho chili pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano, crushed

For the salsa ~

1 2/3 cups pineapple, cut in 1/2-inch dice
1 2/3 cups papaya, peeled and seeded, cut in 1/2-inch dice
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp finely shredded lime peel
1 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 Tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Trim fat from pork.  Brush with olive oil.  Combine spices in a small bowl; rub mixture all over pork until well-coated.  Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a 10×15-inch baking sheet with foil; brush lightly with olive oil.  Slice tenderloin into 8 pieces and place on prepared pan.  Roast, uncovered, 20-30 minutes or until pork registers 160 degrees.

While pork is roasting, toss together all salsa ingredients; season to taste with salt.

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