Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bacon-Cheddar Ranch Pinwheels

Okay so it's nothing new to say that I have a slight obsession with recipes.  When I say slight... I mean that if I have any free time (which is quite lately now that all I am pretty much doing is waiting for my baby to be born....) I will choose to browse one of the 25 cookbooks I own, scour Pinterest for each and every food post or plan meals for the next 18 months (slight exaggeration).  Ha it's a little bit out of control.  Hilarious.  But I can't help it... I'm a huge foodie and I will always be obsessed with food-especially healthy food- and trying fabulous new recipes (as well as making old favorites again and again).

ANYWHO.  It's no surprise I'm a member of the Pillsbury and Betty Crocker websites and by being a member, you can get the fun bonus of a receiving free calendar in the mail each year featuring one delicious recipe each month! I love it!  Well last year I think I made all of zero recipes from each calendar.  I know, very surprising considering my recipe obsession (but when you have a gazillion resources to pull recipes from, it's easy for one resource to get pretty left out, hence the calendar simply sitting on my wall without ever being used in 2012- I'm sorry calendar)!  Well this year I want to do much better! I want to make each and every recipe! With the exception of a few (either they're boring or they have beer in them) I vow to make each recipe from the Pillsbury and Betty Crocker 2013 calendars.  I've already one-upped last year because I made Pillsbury's January recipe!  Wow I'm a hoot.

P.S. these were super easy and super YUMMY! My hubby and I ate them all in pretty much one sitting...

Bacon-Cheddar Ranch Pinwheels
 from Pillsbury

Servings: 16 pinwheels (I think I got more like 10-12, depends on how thick you slice them)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
2 tablespoons ranch dressing (I eyeballed it, probably was a little more)
1/4 cup cooked real bacon pieces or 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/2 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz) (again I didn't measure, just sprinkled it on)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (4 medium)
  • Heat oven to 350°F. If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate into 2 long rectangles. Press each into 12x4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut lengthwise into 2 long rectangles. Press each into 12x4-inch rectangle. 
  • Spread dressing over each rectangle to edges. Sprinkle each with bacon, Cheddar cheese and onions. Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle; press edge to seal. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 8 slices; place cut side down on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.
*Nutritional Info:  1 pinwheel= 80 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated), 180mg sodium, 2g protein

*Not healthy but oh so good and would be a perfect appetizer for the Superbowl that's quickly approaching!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Pomegranate Cheesecake

Have I mentioned that I love to bake cheesecakes?  No?  Well, okay I'll admit I've only made I think 4 cheesecakes in my entire life, and 2 of them were the same recipe (which was this FABULOUS lemon cheesecake on my blog- it is to die for!)

But, since cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts evah, I really think I've found my niche in baking.  I mean who doesn't love to make something from scratch into a beautiful, aril-speckled pomegranate cheesecake like below?

And then you get to eat it for like 4 days in a row because only your husband and you live at home and even though you brought it to Sunday dinner you still somehow left with half of a cheesecake leftover.  What's a girl to do??

This was a fab recipe that I made over the holidays- New Year's Eve to be exact- but really would be perfect at this time of year still since pomegranates are at their peak (I think? Don't quote me on that- at least I'm still seeing them in stores and all over grocery ads these days).  

Boy oh boy do I love cheesecake! I have another recipe that I made last November that I will post soon... even though it's a recipe for a pumpkin cheesecake (with white chocolate and a gingersnap-pecan crust and a caramel drizzle-= drool) I just simply do not care and think that pumpkin tastes just as good in January as it does in November.  

Anyway without further adieu...

adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

*Plan ahead as the cheesecake needs to be refrigerated at least for 4 hours or overnight.


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

4 8-oz. packages reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds

1 1/2 cups reduced fat sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pomegranate Glaze:
1-16-ounce bottle pomegranate juice (usually found in the refrigerated section of juices)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (tutorial on de-seeding here)

For the crust: preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl beat butter on medium high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar. Beat until combined. Add egg; beat well. Beat in flour until combined. Divide dough in half. Cover one portion and set it aside.

Remove the sides from a 10-inch springform pan and set aside. Spread first portion of dough on just the bottom of ungreased springform pan base, spreading dough to edges. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely. When cool, attach sides of pan. Press chilled dough onto the sides of the sprinform pan to a height of 1-3/4 inches, using a thin metal spatula, like an offset spatula, to spread dough.

For the filling: reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. In an extra-large mixing bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the flour on low speed until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla all at once, beating on low speed just until combined. Mix in sour cream and lemon peel. Then, using a wooden spoon or a spatula, gently fold in pomegranate seeds (if you use the electric mixer for this part, the seeds will burst and stain the filling with the juice – and it won’t look as pretty).
Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 65 minutes or until edges are puffed and center jiggles slightly when gently shaken. Remove from oven. (It doesn’t matter if the cheesecake cracks on top since it will have a sour cream topping.)

For the topping: stir together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Spread sour cream mixture over top of baked cheesecake, spreading gently to the edges. Return to oven; bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen crust from sides of pan. Cool for 30 minutes more. Remove sides of pan; cool completely. Cover; chill 4 hours or overnight.

For pomegranate glaze: in a medium saucepan bring pomegranate juice to boiling; reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, until reduced to 1 cup (12 to 15 minutes). In a separate bowl, stir together brown sugar and cornstarch. Add to juice. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Transfer to a medium bowl; cover surface with clear plastic wrap. Cool to room temperature. Store, covered, in refrigerator until serving time.

When ready to serve, remove cheesecake and pomegranate glaze from refrigerator 15 minutes before serving. Spoon some sauce over top of cheesecake; pile remaining pomegranate seeds in center of cheesecake. To serve, slice cheesecake. Pass remaining sauce. Makes 16 servings.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Roasted Garlic Chicken Noodle Soup

Okay, friends.  I realize that I took a LONG hiatus from the blogging world and am quite embarrassed about it.  But to be honest, I seriously have some pretty dang good excuses.

1.  I became a vegetarian/almost vegan for a few months, shortly after my last post.  I was very dedicated to this new lifestyle and was constantly researching it.  I was trying new vegan and vegetarian recipes, some of which were very yummy, and others which were slightly less memorable! :)  I felt like until I got the hang of this new lifestyle and got a good slew of recipes under my belt, that I wanted to avoid my blog, which consists of many recipes that are very far from being vegetarian.

2.  A couple months into my attempted "veganism,"  I got pregnant.  We are expecting our first baby, a baby girl, in two weeks from today!  I could not be any more excited.  But when that morning sickness struck me in the first trimester last summer, oh boy.  I couldn't even think about eating... anything.  My avid tries at successfully cooking vegan meals flopped- heck I probably stopped cooking ANYTHING for at least a month and a half due to being unable to walk in the kitchen without gagging.  I think I survived on bagels & cream cheese and crackers.  So nutritious; thank goodness for prenatals, right?  As my morning sickness started to fade, something I feared would happen, happened:  I wanted to eat meat.  But this was very gradual.  The thought of red meat and pork was still repulsive but I slowly warmed up to eating chicken again.  As I started to cook again, I mostly cooked meatless but would include a chicken dinner perhaps once a week.  Since then, I have gradually gone back to eating meat, however I still include many meatless meals for my husband and I and I still give props to anyone who is a vegetarian or vegan. It is HARD!  I'm sure this is not the end of my venture into that daring world.  This was actually the second time I ventured into vegetarianism, although this time lasted much longer than the first (which was only a couple weeks ha).

3.  The last few months I finished my undergrad degree at Arizona State University.  It was the toughest, busiest semester I've had in my college career, especially while being pregnant, but it was so worth it.  I now have my degree in Dietetics!  I am not a registered dietitian, however, as you must complete an internship and pass the national exam before receiving those credentials.  Right now that is not on my agenda as I'm becoming a mom in 2 weeks!  But I can see myself in the future pursuing something in the field of Nutrition.  I LOVE nutrition.  And I am a HUGE foodie (hence, this blog...).  P.S. I loved my major and encourage everyone to study nutrition, it is so fascinating and there is a TON more to it than just studying food.  In fact, you hardly study actual food at all.  There is a ton of science involved, as well as a management/business, medical terminology, medical nutrition therapy, and more! It is amazing :)

Anyway, I will get on to the fabulous recipe I made last week!  I found this Chicken soup recipe in a cookbook I got at our wedding, called "Bride and Groom: First and Forever Cookbook" by Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford.

Um, it is amazing!  I had never made homemade chicken noodle before, but I think I found a new favorite!  There is so much flavor here, mostly due to the roasted garlic.  The recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon of roasted garlic, the recipe of which is also included in the book, as I've included below.  Don't sub regular garlic, it won't be the same! Roasted garlic has AMAZING flavor and the aroma that stems from the oven while it's roasting is incredible!

Roasted Garlic Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves 4

1 T. vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 T. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. powdered chicken bouillon, or 1 small chicken bouillon cube, plus more as needed
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 cup. white wine (I used water to sub)
6 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
2 ounces egg noodles
1 T. roasted garlic, homemade or purchased (see below for recipe)
1/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
freshly ground pepper

Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic.  Add the 1/2 tsp. powdered bouillon (is using cube, add after the stock) and the thyme and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, 5-7 minutes.  Add the wine (or water) and cook 2 minutes more.  Add the stock, the bouillon cube, if using, the chicken, carrots and celery.  Simmer until the vegetables are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.  Add the egg noodles and cook until tender, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Stir in the 1 T. roasted garlic and parsley.  Just before serving, season with pepper to taste, and add more powdered bouillon and roasted garlic if necessary.

*This recipe is best made at least 1 day in advance. It will keep refrigerated for 3 days and freezes great!  Allow the flavors to marry in the fridge for 1 day before serving.  (I did not do this, but the cookbook suggests this).

Whole Roasted Garlic
makes 1/3 cup  (I halved this recipe for the soup)

2 whole heads of garlic
1 Tablespoon of olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350.  Cut the top off each head of garlic, making a horizontal cut about 1 inch below the top.  Place the bottom halves on a large piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with the olive oil.  Place the tops on the bottom halves and fold the foil seal the garlic inside.  Bake until the garlic is light brown and very soft, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Let cool slightly. 

To reserve garlic for later use, remove the cloves from the skins by squeezing the bottom of each clove.  Place in a bowl and mash with the back of a spoon.  The roasted garlic will keep, covered and refrigerated, for at least 2 weeks.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...