Wednesday, October 31, 2012

#74 | Learn to Make Cheesecake and 40 Recipes | #4 Chocolate Marble Cheesecake

Recipe Source:  Hershey Website

Chocolate Crumb Crust:
1 ¼ c vanilla wafer crumbs (about 40 wafers, crushed)
1/3 c powdered sugar
1/3 c Hershey’s cocoa
¼ c butter, melted

3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
½ c dairy sour cream
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
¼ c Hershey’s cocoa
1 cup sugar, divided
2 ½ tsp vanilla extract, divided
3 eggs
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Chocolate Crumb Crust:
1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
2.  Crush 1 ¼ cup vanilla wafer cookies. 
3.  Combine vanilla wafer crumbs, powdered sugar and 1/3 c Hershey’s cocoa. 
4.  Melt butter and then stir into mixture.
5.  Press mixture onto bottom and ½ inch side of 9-inch spring form pan.
6.  Bake 8 minutes; cool completely.

1.  Prepare Chocolate crumb crust.  Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.
2.  Beat cream cheese, ¾ cup sugar, sour cream and 2 tsp vanilla in large bowl on medium speed of mixer until smooth. 
3.  Gradually add flour, beating just until blended. 
4.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5.  Combine cocoa and remaining ¼ c sugar in medium bowl.  Add oil, remaining ½ tsp vanilla and 1 ½ cup cream cheese mixture; stir well.
6.  Spoon plain and chocolate batters alternately over prepared crust, ending with spoonfuls of chocolate on top; gently swirl with knife for marbled effect.
7.  Bake 10 minutes. 
8.  Without opening oven door, reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees; continue baking 30 minutes.
9.  Without opening oven door, turn off oven; leave cheesecake in oven for 30 minutes.
10.  Remove from oven.  Immediately loosen cheesecake from side of pan with knife; cool to room temperature. 
11.  Refrigerate several hours or overnight; remove side of pan.

Thoughts:  Next time I might not put the filling in as layers, but use more chocolate on the bottom.  I was very conservative on doing so and ended up with almost too much chocolate on the top.

Verdict:  Make again?  Oh yes. This was amazing!  My favorite recipe so far (and not because it was a dessert!)

14 of 101
Completed October 28, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

40 Recipes | #3 Chicken Parmesan

Recipe Source:  The Larson Lingo Blog

4-6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
3/4 cup Bread Crumbs, Italian Style
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t Italian Seasoning
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t pepper
1 egg, beaten
1-2 T olive oil
Mozzarella cheese, sliced
Jar of your favorite Marinara Sauce

1.  At the bottom of your Crock Pot, spread 1-2 T Olive Oil.
2.  In a bowl, mix bread crumbs, both types of Parmesan Cheese, Italian Seasoning, Salt & Pepper.
3.  In a separate bowl, beat your egg. Then, dip one chicken breast in the egg.  After the chicken breast is dipped in the egg, coat the chicken with the dry mixture.  After you coat each Chicken breast, place in Crock Pot.
4.  Slice up your Mozzarella Cheese.  Place 2 slices of cheese on each Chicken Breast.
5.  Then, dump the entire jar of Marinara Sauce over the Chicken.
6.  Cover & Cook in your Crock Pot on Low for 6-8 hours OR on High for 3-4 hours.
7.  Serve with over your favorite Pasta. I always use Spaghetti noodles with Chicken Parmesan.  I always serve my Chicken Parmesan with Fresh Spinach. Then you don't have to make a salad ;)
8.  I add my cooked noodles to a bowl:  Then, I sprinkle some fresh Spinach on 
(Feel free to skip this step!!!)  Add a piece of the Chicken Parmesan to the top. I always scoop out extra sauce. Then, I sprinkle with a little more parmesan cheese.

Super easy to make.  Surprisingly I think dad liked it better than me and mom.  I think I prefer to have the chicken baked when having chicken parmesan. 

Verdict:  Make again?  Yes.  I think I might have over cooked it a little.  I cooked it for 4 hours on high.  Next time I try to stay closer to 3 hours.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

40 Recipes | #2 Chicken Divan

Recipe Source:  The Parade in the Sunday paper a few months ago.

1 large bunch broccoli trimmed and cut into 4 inch long spears (1 large bag of frozen broccoli heads)
½ stick unsalted butter, diced
5 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
½ cup well chilled heavy cream
3 Tbsp medium dry sherry (we used Sutter Home Pink Miscatto)
Fresh lemon juice
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced thin

1.  Cook chicken breast.
2.  While chicken is cooking in the oven, cook broccoli until tender.  Drain and set aside, covered.
3.  Once chicken is cooked, slice thin.
4.  In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Add flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.  Add broth and bring mixture to a boil.  Cook on low, stirring, for 10 minutes or until thick.
5.  In a mixing bowl, beat cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, then add to flour mixture, along with sherry and lemon juice to taste.  Season with salt and pepper.
6.  Arrange broccoli on a flameproof platter.  Top with half the sauce.  Stir ¼ cup Parmesan into other half of sauce.  Arrange chicken on broccoli, pour remaining sauce over top, and sprinkle mixture with remaining ¼ cup Parmesan.
7.  Broil, about 6 inches from heat, for 1 minute or until sauce is golden and bubbling.

6 per serving
370 calories
13g carbs
32g protein
20g fat
3g fiber

Thoughts:  The directions from the paper were a little vague so I made them more detailed for me (and you – above.)  We like a lot of flavor in our food and though it was a little bland, but if you add some salt and pepper it helps…a lot!  We might add more lemon next time.  I was a little hesitant and barely put any in.  You definitely need more than one person to help make it.  (And I don’t think that is because I’m an inexperienced cooker.)  Glad mom was there to help!

Verdict:  Make again?  Yes!  We might try to jazz it up next time.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

#14 | Buy a new phone

I am not a person who upgrades my phone every 2 years when my contract is up.  I think I’m about the only one that does that (minus my parents) and almost definitely sure I am the only person in my age group that does this.  I have a hard time buying a new phone when the one I have is in great condition.  I’ve had a cell phone for nine years and have only owned 3 phones through out that time frame.

The last phone I got was an iPhone 3 back in 2009.  Unfortunately, 3 months after I bought this, the new 3s came out.  Naturally, I would have waited except my razr died, as in wouldn’t turn on even with a new battery.  I had this baby for 4 years, so I guess it was bound to do that eventually.  

I started having issues with my 3 and was ready to buy a new phone last year, but was upset when they came out with the 4s, so I waited.  Again.  (I had my heart set on the iPhone 5.)

A few days after the iPhone 5 was announced, I bought a case and then the day it was released I pulled mom to the AT&T store in search of one.  (I didn’t have my hopes high on bringing one home that day, but it was worth a try.)  They did not have the one I wanted in stock, but I placed an order and bought my new phone.  And mom got one too!  (She is upgrading from a Razr.)

Can’t wait for it to arrive on my doorstep!

12 of 101
Completed: September 21, 2012
Received: October 18, 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012

40 Recipes | #1 Nacho Soup

Recipe Source:  One of mom’s work friends.

3-4 chicken breast – shredded
1 can of bean (pork and beans, rinsed)
I can chili no beans
8oz sour cream
1 can rotel
1 can diced tomatoes
½ - ¾ block velveeta (2ib)
1 bag tortilla chips

Mix velveeta, tomatoes, rotel and chili.   Heat until velveeta is melted.  Add chicken, and sour cream.  Rinse beans and add to mixture.  Mix well.  Serve with chips.

Thoughts:  This is more of dip than a soup.  It is super easy to make and makes a ton of food.  Mom and I both really liked it.  Dad wanted more spice. 

Verdict:  Make again?  Yes!  It would be great to serve during a football game or when you have to bring a side dish to an event.