I love mini things

Portions are the best! Also, cheesecake is probably one of my favorites, so when I stumbled across this site it was a glorious day! I made these for my friend Abby because she is leaving and moving on up in the world. Shout out for her getting into nursing school! 😀 Anyway, not too much to say so here is where you can find it on the interwebs:

http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/2010/08/06/mini-rainier-cherry-cheesecakes/

Ingredients:
For graham crust:
1 cup finely crushed graham cracker crumbs (12 graham cracker sheets)
1 TBS sugar
3 TBS unsalted butter, melted

For filling:
1 lb cream cheese (two 8 oz packages), at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
½ cup jam (any flavor)- I used cherry

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. I did not use the paper liners because I’m absolutely out of my mind and wanted them to look perfectly formed without the lines of the cups. This is possible, yet pretty fussy to do. You must first grease each muffin cup, trace the circles of the muffin cups onto parchment paper, cut those circles out, and place each circle in the bottom of the cups. Then spritz these parchment rounds with cooking spray just to ensure that they don’t stick at all. Then you’ll press the graham crumbs firmly into place if you wish to do the same as I did. I recommend the paper liners, though, for almost everyone. Except my clinically insane brethren.
Grind your cracker sheets into crumbs using a food processor. You can also just place the crackers in a large ziploc and have at it with a rolling pin or hammer, until you achieve a finely ground crumb.
Mix crumbs and 1 tablespoon sugar in a bowl. Stir in butter. Press 1 heaping tablespoon of mixture in bottom of each cup. Bake until set, about 7 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.
Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees. Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar, salt, and then vanilla.
With mixer running, add eggs slowly, scraping down side of bowl.
Pour batter into muffin cups, filling almost to the tops.
Bake until sides are set but centers are wobbly, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Wrap tins tightly with plastic, and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
Warm jam in a small saucepan until liquidy. Strain through a sieve. Spoon 1 teaspoon jam on top of each cake. Cheesecakes will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

Notes:
These were awesome and super simple! As you can see in my pictures I didn’t used exactly what they used. I had some small tins I saved from the mini pecan pies. I think mine looked better :P. I used raspberry (non photographed) and strawberry jam! They were both really good. I think my next time using this I am going to use some Nutella or something chocolate. Also, definitely going to make these for this BBQ we are having this next week. They just look so nice!

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Pulling from memory

Happy belated July 4th everyone! I was going to make cupcakes and swirl them in red, white, and blue, but then the lazy fairy came for a visit….so ya. BUT I did manage to cook SOMETHING. Maybe I’ll try a double post next week to make up for the 4th. Something simple…maybe a drink? I mean summer is in it’s peak, so I am sure ya’ll are needing something to drink and cooldown with. This recipe was me trying to remember how my mom made this one chicken, and it ended up just being completely different, but totally tasty!

Ingredients:
2 tbs Cornstarch
3 tbs Hoisin Sauce
2 tbs Thai Chili Sauce
1 tbs Garlic
4 Chicken Breasts
2 tbs Dry Sherry
1 tbs Olive Oil

I added a splash here and there so….You will want to do taste tests to adjusts.

Method:
1. Cut the chicken into cubes
2. Mix the sherry and cornstarch (it will be a little thick) and place the chicken into the mix
3. Let the chicken marinade for at least 1 hour (at least that’s what I did)
4. Heat the oil in a pan
5. Take the chicken out of the marinade and put it into the pan
6. Cook the chicken until it is white
7. Add the hoisin sauce, chili sauce, and garlic

Notes:
I was searching for a recipe that my mom use to make all the time, but I was pleasantly surprised with the results. I am still trying to figure out how my mom use to make this hoisin sauce chicken, and if you have any ideas on how I should try a new recipe with hoisin sauce let me know. I know that there was oyster sauce involved, which is where my recipe took a turn because I couldn’t find any. HAHA. Anyway, Happy NOMNOMS!

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SORRY!!!

I am so sorry that I haven’t been able to post lately. My life is a bit hectic right now with school and work. I promise that I have not given up on blogging, but I definitely haven’t had time to cook (isn’t that sad?). So, basically I have been drinking slim fast and eating out. LAME! However, I really just want thank all of my readers because my blog has hit 1000 views (over 1000 actually). So, I have been given a cookbook to give away to one special reader. How I am going to give that away hasn’t been decided yet, but someone will be getting it. I am actually going to make something from it first, and then raffle it off. I will hopefully have that done by Thursday.

An update of my life? I am going to San Antonio for a few days in May, then heading off to VEGAAASSSSSS!!!!! Any thoughts on what I should post from Vegas?

No Bake doesn’t equal No Hassel

Maybe I am just inept or something… I had a hard time with this recipe, and I mean the recipe is only 3 ingredients! I did make 2 batches, and found it easier the second time…so I think I am just a bit slow. Why did I do two batches? Because who in their right mind feel that 9 bars would satisfy their hunger? Haha, just kidding. I did two batches because I was making them for class (flashback to elementary when you brought stuff for your birthday). How funny that in my later years in college I still feel the need to bake things for class? Anyway, here’s the webby:

http://picky-palate.com/2011/03/17/no-bake-chewy-cookies-and-cream-bars/

Ingredients:

One 16 oz package of Oreo

5 cups Large Marshmallows

4 tablespoons butter

Method:

1.  Place Oreos in food processor and pulse until ground.  Melt marshmallows and butter in microwave until puffed, about 1 1/2- 2 minutes.  Remove and pour in ground Oreo Cookies.  Stir to combine then transfer to a foil lined 8×8 inch baking pan.  Let set up for 10 minutes.  Remove bars out of pan with edges of foil and cut into squares.

Notes:

Okay, maybe it is because I never made rice crispy treats when I was little, so I never had the experience of working with melted marshmallow….but this was MESSY!!! Marshmallow make a very unknowingly strong glue. I was stuck to some of the utensils that I was using to mix the crumbs with the goo. Also, I got distracted (which is really easy for me to do…seeing how I started this post at 11am and now it’s an hour later and I still haven’t posted)… and I let the marshmallows overflow in the microwave. Haha, all in all it was a fail on my part. I really wanted to try them last night to make sure they would be good for class today, but stupid me put my teeth whitening strips on before I finished making the bars, D’oh! I think the strips are working too, if any of you have ever thought about using them. Anyway, I do have pictures, but my phone is being dumb (yes all of my pictures come from my iPhone… LOL), so I will post those later. I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of good smells and good times! Happy cooking!

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Edit:

PS: My Professor wouldn’t eat them. He asked other people if they were burnt brownies…I thought that was a little rude, but hey everyone seemed to really enjoy them, so he missed out 😛

Celebrating Qing Ming

This last week we celebrated Qing Ming (Clean and Bright). Qing Ming is a Chinese holiday for grave cleaning, which we celebrated by doing so. We went to the mausoleum with flowers and cleaned up around around my mom. It was nice to go since I haven’t been in a while, although I guess it should take a holiday to get me to go there. Anyway, for dinner we had a ghost feast and burnt ghost money. You can read more about the holiday here:

http://www.kidzworld.com/article/1993-ching-ming-festival-a-chinese-tradition

We had a lot on the menu, at least a lot for 2 people, but we still managed to eat it all. I have this problem where if there is food in front of me…it disappears :P. Anyways, today you get 2 posts! Sweet Chili Sauce and Chicken and Rice Pudding.

Chicken:

http://www.sidewalkshoes.com/2008/11/chicken-with-sweet-chili-sauce.html

Ingredients:
1/2 cup of sweet chili sauce
1/2 cup of soy sauce
peanut oil (or whatever you want to use for sauteing)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Method:
Mix 1/4 cup chili sauce and 1/4 cup soy sauce in a shall glass dish or zip lock bag, add chicken and turn to coat. Marinate chicken in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Add a tablespoon or two of oil to a pan and heat over medium high heat. Lift chicken from marinade and brown on one side for about 2-3 minutes (it may smoke a little from the sweet marinade). Turn the chicken over and brown for 2 minutes per this side. Cover with a lid, turn the heat to low and let it finish cooking for about 8 minutes.

Mix remaining chili sauce and soy sauce in a small pot and heat over low heat until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve over chicken.

Notes:

I really like this sauce! LIKE REALLY LIKE IT! Haha, and for once I actually followed the recipe as written! I have some left over and I want to try to mix it in with fried rice instead of just  soy sauce. I’ll let you know how it turns out :D. The sauce can get a bit thick, so you may want to thin it out with a touch of water.

Rice Pudding:

http://wordstoeatby.blogspot.com/2009/06/rice-pudding-and-mango-parfait-modern.html

Ingredients:
3 cups whole milk [I used 2%]
2 to 4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (see Note)
1⁄4 cup white basmati rice, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed
1 ripe mango, peeled and diced

Method:

In a deep saucepan, bring the whole milk and condensed milk to a boil over medium heat. Stir constantly to prevent scorching.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the rice and cardamom and mix well. Continue to cook for about 50 minutes, until the milk has reduced by half and you obtain a creamy consistency [mine was done in about 35 minutes]. Stir frequently while cooking.

Remove from the heat and allow to come to room temperature.

Refrigerate, covered, for at least an hour.

Notes:

I really like rice pudding with mango. I’ve had it before at a restaurant, and even though I didn’t make it as a parfait it still came out really well. I tasted it with 2 tbs of sweetened condensed milk and thought it needed a little more sweetness, so I added another table spoon. I also put in about 3-5 tsp of vanilla because I accidentally poured too much in :). It burned a little bit on the bottom, but I found I like the burnt bits a little more :D. MmmMmm..burnty… Anyway, I served it immediately after with mango because when I ate it at the restaurant it was warm, so I figured this is what they did. Oh, and mangoes are my favorite fruit… you’ll have to guess the 2nd and 3rd 😉

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Banana Phone…Boop boop be boopido!

Bananas… Tasty yellow fruit. My 3rd or 4th favorite fruit (mangos are my first). I technically didn’t stumble this recipe, but just did it out of an experiment. Don’t hate me for straying away from my name… sometimes you just get an idea and have to try it out! Anyway, I have this entire bottle of honey to use (if ya’ll have any recipes that involve honey I will gladly take them), and seeing how my dad and I don’t really use honey for a lot of things I needed to think creatively on how to use the rest of the bottle. This what what I did:

No website…I guess I could put my own site on here 😛

Ingredients:

5 Tbs of Honey

2 Bananas (cut into coins)

Optional:

1 piece of chocolate

a splash of lemon juice

Method:

Put the honey into a pan and warm it up on medium high heat. The honey should become more liquid. Add your bananas and brown for about 10 mins. Serve over chocolate or splash with lemon juice.

Notes:

Honestly, I think I preferred the lemon juice over the chocolate. I think it may have been the fact that it was dark chocolate (I prefer milk), but still the lemon just added this taste that I can’t begin to describe. The recipe/experiment was really easy and I mean really making this as a dessert for a dinner party would be nice. Plus, you can add little decorative touches to the plate and maybe even a sprig of something as a garnish. I bet this would taste good with something like rice pudding or ice cream…or french toast! Haha, I will have to try it out sometime. In the mean time, if you try it out let me know! Happy cooking!

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PS: Sorry for the 1:00 AM update… I just figured I wouldn’t have time to post on Tuesday.

Dump, dump, CAKE!

THE EASIEST THING YOU WILL EVER MAKE EVAAAR! Also, to my surprise it has impressed a great number of people. It looks professional and tastes like MmmMmm, so I can see why; however, the name dump cake makes people a bit weary when they first hear it. I mean who hears “Dump cake” for the first time and doesn’t assume the worst. Anyway, if you think people will be like “ew, gross” introduce it as easy as cake and tell them the real name later ;). Here’s the recipe:

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/04/dump-cake-a-potluckers-paradise/

Ingredients:

1 can of crushed pineapples

1 can of cherry pie filling

1 box of yellow/white cake mix

1 1/2 – 2 sticks of butter/margarine

9×13 cake pan

Method:

1. Dump pineapple into pan with the juice 😀

2. Dump cherry pie filling into pan

3. Swirl the two into awesome goodness

4. Dump the cake mix on top of the mixture (fork the clumps if you want)

5. cut slivers of butter and place them evenly over the top of the cake mix

6. Bake at 350F for an hour (I usually check on it at the 30min mark and add butter to the places the butter didn’t melt too)

Notes:

I really like this because it tastes amazing and costs about $5 to make. I’ve served it with vanilla ice cream and that was really nice because the cake is warm and the ice cream is cold. Whip cream is also a nice little addition. When I made it this last time, I forgot whether to bake it at 350F or 400F, so I went with 400F. We also took it out at 30min (but still impressed like 5 of 8 people :P). I think next time I am going to try to switch out the pie filling or maybe the pineapples. Blueberry and cherry? Blackberry and pineapple? WHO KNOWS?! The possibilities are ENDLESS! As I contemplate the how to make the next dump cake I wish you well and happy cooking!

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P.S: I forgot to take a picture when I finished making the cake…so I took pictures of the leftovers. They still take great though 😀