Creamy Sliced Potatoes

Recently, I got a mandolin, not a fancy one.  This is a  handheld one that works very fast and does have a protecting piece to use when you slice.  I love to use it because of the speed.  If I am slicing an English cucumber which is quite long, it take about thirty seconds.  Granted, I move quickly but it allows for that.  It has proven to be a time saver and a work saver.  It is also fun to use.  (as long as you don’t cut yourself)

The original recipe, I thought I was making, called for hash browns.  Chopping potatoes is not what I consider fun so I opted to make a slice potato dish.  Once, I deviated from that original recipe, I threw it away, and followed my instincts.  I firmly believe, it is hard, to ruin a potato dish.

Off, I went to play with my new toy.

Creamy Sliced Potatoes

4 potatoes, sliced thin

1 medium onion, sliced thin

1 tablespoon olive oil or butter

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup organic vegetable broth

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup cheddar cheese

 

Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add potatoes and onions and cook for 10 minutes, mixing every two or three minutes.

Add the soup and black pepper and cook for another minute or two until soup is hot.

In a bowl, mix the sour cream, cream cheese and cheddar.  Add to potato mixture and continue to mix until cheese has melted.

Make sure the liquid has cooked out.

This has a nice creamy consistency and good flavor.

 

Mocha Cake – Ellie Krieger

I have been offline for three days and as busy as I was, I did not forget my blog and blogging friends.  We ate well for the holiday and I plan to share some of the recipes with you.  Thanks for being patient.

Here is a yummy cake to make up for three days absence.

Mocha Cake

This is a rich mocha cake, more like a chocolate one with a creamy cream cheese topping.                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Directions

For the cake:

Ingredients

Cooking spray

1 1/4 brown rice flour mixture

1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons melted  margarine

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 eggs

2 egg whites

1 1/2 cups low-fat yogurt  

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tablespoon of hot water   

2 ounces good-quality dark chocolate

For the frosting:

1 (8-ounce) bar cream cheese  (light)

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon instant coffee dissolved in 1 teaspoon hot water

1 teaspoon  vanilla

1 small square chocolate

Viennese Crunch (as much as you would enjoy)

Method:

Arrange rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 13-inch cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.  (made in square)

Whisk together flours, cocoa, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a medium bowl, then sift ingredients through a fine mesh strainer.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted margarine and oil. Add eggs and egg whites and whisk to incorporate.

Fold in yogurt, vanilla, sugar and dissolved coffee powder.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 90 seconds or over a double boiler. Fold chocolate into batter.

Gradually add sifted dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated; do not overbeat.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until cake has risen nicely and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Pasta with Veggies

The familiar voice of my husband reached me, “Are we having lunch today?”  That is his way of not asking me to make him lunch but hinting at it.

If I am busy, he will prepare lunch without a whimper but he is a lot happier, If I respond, “On my way.” Good thing for him, that I love to cook and experiment and a good thing for me, he is willing to try my concoctions.

When I asked what he wanted, he mentioned the possibility of pasta and cheese.  That is easy enough so I took out some elbows (the pasta – not the body parts).  I also found a single zucchini, some tomatoes, an onion (actually a lot of onions) to go along with the pasta.  What I made was easy and we both gave it an A for taste.

Cream Cheese Pasta with Veggies

8 ounces elbows

1/4 cup water from the cooked pasta (secret ingredient)

1 zucchini, roughly chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

8 grape tomatoes, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese (the secret ingredient)

Procedure

Cook elbow pasta according to directions, keeping 1/2 cup of cooking water.

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in skillet and add zucchini, onion and tomatoes.  Cook until onions and zucchini are soft.

Add elbows to vegetables, keeping burner on low.

Add two tablespoons cream cheese and 1/4 cup of cooking water.  Add more water to get desired consistency.  These two turned this dish into a creamy concoction.  Mix it until the macaroni is coated.

I served this with a scoop of guacamole on top which I mixed in.  It does not have to have the guacamole.  I tried it both ways and liked it both ways.

This is linked to Mangia Mondays     Savory Sundays   This Week’s Cravings     Tuesdays at the Table    http://www.jamhands.net/

Twice Baked Creamy Sweet Potatoes

Bake With Bizzy

Sometimes, I go forwards with meal planning and other times, I go backwards.  This week, my weekly planning is down the drain.  I have not had time to even look and see what I had planned to make.  I do know there is a corn dish with goat cheese, I want badly to have and maybe, I can make it tomorrow.  In the morning, I made a zucchini dish and then I blankly looked at it and thought, it needs something with it.  The problem with a meatless meal….which is the main food.  In the end, I remembered, I had 5 sweet potatoes that had better be used and used soon.

The result was this interesting dish from allrecipes.com.  As soon as I read the ingredients, I was racing to the kitchen to take out the sweet potatoes, cream cheese and brown sugar.  I have never made a sweet potato dish with cream cheese but could imagine it, especially with the brown sugar.

A few years ago, I discovered savory sweet potatoes.  I am from that generation that made mashed sweet potatoes with a marshmallow topping.  I loved it then but now, it appears to be much too sweet and gooey.  I hopped over to the savory side with a salad and my sweet potato dishes changed.  The mild sweetness of the potato plays well against savory flavors.

Now, I have “normalized” and eat sweet potatoes both ways and I like them either sweet or savory.  Give me a sweet potato any day.

Twice Baked Creamy Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (whipped)

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

I left out the walnuts because I had a quick bread, in the oven baking with nuts.  I didn’t want another nutty dish.

Directions

1.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F .

2.

Rub sweet potato skins with  oil. Wrap potatoes in aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until soft. (Now, I admit, I took shortcuts.  I microwaved the potatoes which meant they were softer than if baked.  I also microwaved them for the second baking.  Time was short.)

3.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and pepper.

4.

Cut potatoes in half and scoop flesh into the bowl with the other ingredients.  Spoon mixture into potato skins.

5.

Bake for 5 minutes, or until heated through.

Check out Frugal Follies        Cast Party Wednesdays    Friday Food

Creamy Cheesy Potato Soup – Wins Awards from Me

I have been making potato soup for quite a while.  Potato soup is the ultimate comfort soup, rich and creamy.  I decided to add cream cheese to my recipe.  Since, I have made mac and cheese and put a little cream cheese in to discover that the creaminess of the dish multiplied, I am adding cream cheese to everything.  It seems to have worked again.

This soup, most likely, should have been blended a little but we like chunky so I cut my potatoes small and left the solids swimming in the white ocean.  If you like smooth and creamy, an immersion blender, should do the trick.  I had leftover soup and have been having a cup  a day, since making it and it gets better and better.  I really love this soup.

This recipe was inspired by  Quick Cooking November/December 2003 — The original recipe had ham in it, used one kind of cheese, cream cheese, and used less onion plus other minor differences.

Creamy Cheesy Potato Soup

Ingredients

4 cups water

1 cup vegetable broth

1 packages (8 ounces ) cream cheese, cubed

1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese

3 large potatoes, cubed

1 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dill weed

scallions, chopped


MethodIn a large saucepan, combine the water and bouillon.Add cream cheese; cook and stir until cheese is melted.In a large skillet, heat oil and cook onions, on low for about 15 minutes until the onion is translucent.Stir the onion and remaining ingredients into the soup.Bring to a boil.Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 18-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Sprinkle with chopped scallions.

This is linked to Sunday Night Soup Night     $5 Dinners     This week’s Cravings        Real Food Wednesdays                 Permanent Posies    Pennywise Platter                           Melt in Your Mouth Mondays

Photobucket

Four Cheese Stuffed Shells

I thought, I was going to make lasagna and cheesecake for our family party and filled my refrigerator with cream cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta and farmer cheese plus Cheddar, Mozzarella and Parmesan and miscellaneous favorite cheeses.  We didn’t make lasagna nor cheesecake.  Instead, I made cottage cheese latkes and bagels and lox.  Dessert was chocolate cake and cookies.

Are you picturing my refrigerator now?  You are right; it is filled with cheeses from top to bottom.  I am planning lots of dairy dishes in the next days.  We  love dairy meals so that is not a problem.  I still, I can’t imagine using up all that cheese.  I started with one meal, stuffed shells.  I added some cream cheese to make it creamier than usual and I like the addition.

Four Cheese Stuffed Shells

Ingredients

1 box large pasta shells, cooked al dente (according to package directions)

1 cup cottage cheese or ricotta

1 cup whipped cream cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan

1 cup mozzarella, shredded

1 egg

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Cheese School 101

1 jar Marinara sauce (I did not use the entire bottle – make it as saucy as you like)

extra shredded mozzarella to top casserole

 

Procedure

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine cheeses in large bowl.  Mix together so that you have a creamy cheese mixture.  Add egg to the cheese and mix until incorporated.  Add seasoning and mix well.

I have some odd-shaped dishes but the closest standard size is a 9 x 13 baking pan.  Cover the bottom with a thin layer of marinara sauce and put aside.

Spoon cheese mixture into shells and place each shell into baking pan.  When shells are positioned, pour as much sauce as you like on pasta.  Add shredded mozzarella cheese on top.

Place in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.  I keep checking to make sure the cheese does not burn.

We find this to be a hearty dish and a side of salad is satisfying for us.

 

Apple Cheesecake Tart

Granny smith apples

I have eaten cheesecake for years and had many combinations.  A particular favorite is a cheesecake with a cherry topping.  Apples never sounded like a fruit to match up with a cheesy filling……..that is until I made this cheesecake tart.    It is from the Joy of Baking.  I do get some of the best recipes from there.  They all work which is a good starting point and they, so far, have all been delicious.   

Apple Tart from the Joy of Baking  (adapted)

Crust

1 cup gluten-free flour mix

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold margarine, cut into small pieces

FILLING:

One 8-ounce  whipped cream cheese, at room temperature (I used Tofutti cream cheese)

1/4 cup  granulated white sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

TOPPING:

1/4 cup  granulated white sugar

1/2 teaspoon  ground cinnamon (I used more cinnamon – 1 1/2 teaspoons)

4 cups  Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch  slices (about 3-4 large apples)

1/3 cup  sliced almonds

Method:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F  and place rack in center of oven. Spray with cooking oil – a 9 inch  springform pan.

CRUST:  In the bowl of your food processor place the flour and sugar.  Pulse to blend together.  Add butter and pulse until dough just begins to come together.  Pat the dough onto the bottom and one inch up the sides of the pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator while you make the filling.

FILLING:  In a food processor process the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the sugar and mix well.  Blend in the egg and vanilla extract and process until smooth.  Remove the crust from the fridge and pour in the filling.  Return to refrigerator while you prepare the topping.

TOPPING:

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in mix app with cinn suga large bowl.  Toss the sliced apples in the sugar mixture.  Spoon the apples evenly over the cream cheese layer and sprinkle with almonds.  Place the springform pan on a larger baking sheet to catch the drips.

Bake at 450 degrees F  for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 400 degrees F  and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown (apples are soft when pierced with a fork), and filling is almost set.   Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.  Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and serve at room temperature.

good apple torte

Permanent Posies              See Ya in the Gumbo     These Chicks Cook

Butternut Squash Soup

I have made butternut squash soup, a few times, but never with cream cheese.  For a secret ingredient, cream cheese is a delightful one.  It serves little purpose in making soup creamy because the immersion blender makes that happen.

Speaking of the immersion blender, that has proven to be one of the handiest tools, I have.  When, I first got this, it was like a new toy, and I used it for everything, I could find.  I chopped with it and it is great for that, although, you have to watch the consistency.  I made pesto with it and what a blessing not to take out my big food processor.  I use it for dressings, puree, nuts, chocolate and you name it.

All that is done without the piece that makes it an immersion blender.  Attach that piece and soup becomes as smooth or as chunky as you would have it.  We like chunks in our soup and it is a pleasure to get both the smooth and chunky with one tool and one brief time.

Butternut Squash Soup  (adapted from Country Living)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 very large butternut squash, peeled and seeded and cut into chunks

2-3 cups vegetable broth

1 cup apple juice

1 cup apple sauce

1 cup whipped cream cheese (Yogurt to save on calories.)

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon majoram

Directions:

Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add onions and sautee for 5 minutes, until softened.

Add squash and continue to saute for another 5 minutes.

Add broth, juice, apple sauce, cream cheese and seasoning.  Bring liquids to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover saucepan and cook until the squash is soft.  (20 minutes)  Remove from heat.

Using immersion blender, mix to the consistency, you want.  I stop mine when, there are still chunks floating around but not that

many chunks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is linked to Fat Tuesdays

 

Creamy Pumpkin Wontons


November is here and so is the Improv Challenge for this month.  Our new leader is Kristin from Frugal Antics of a Harried Housewife.  We are all cooking with cream cheese and pumpkin, two ingredients that go well together.  I read an article about wontons and decided, I would try making them with the two ingredients.

We envision wontons, in a certain way and I doubt it is as a dessert.  On the contrary, wontons make a delicious dessert as this creamy pumpkin wonton proves.

Creamy Pumpkin Wontons

Ingredients

30 – 40 wontons

1 small can of pumpkin

3/4 cup of cream cheese

1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

hot oil about 1 1/2 inches deep in saucepan (large)

Procedure

Heat the oil and keep it hot.

Lay out the wontons.  Put water around the edges of one wonton, at a time.  Dab some cream cheese and some pumpkin on the wonton.

Fold into a triangle and seal by pushing around the entire edge with your finger.  Continue doing 3 or 4 of these.

Drop a few at a time into the hot oil.

Turn over after a minute or when it is light brown.

Cook another minute. Drain on paper towels.

You can sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Now, eat, just eat.

Miz Helen’s Country CottageThis is linked to Tea Party Tuesday    Friday Food          Sweet  Indulgences Sunday
What’s Cookin’ Wednesday?

Noodles Romanoff Not

Tonight, I threw out my menu plan for the week. I walked in the door, after work and all I could think of was noodles.  Thai noodles, Fettuccine Alfredo, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Pasta with Broccoli, Stuffed Shells.  Yes, we had pasta for dinner.

My initial plan was to make Noodles Romanoff and you will see elements of the dish but the results are based on my, “take a little of this and a little of that” and there is dinner.  Fortunately, I had plenty of cheese, sour cream, Ricotta, cream cheese and most important, smoked salmon.  I also had fettuccine.

An aside:  I discoved a pizza flavored cheese that I have added to many dishes and it is good.  I did not use it, in this.

I had the makings of a nice salad to go with it, greens, tomato, yellow pepper, dressing and feta cheese.  This is a good mix.

Noodles Romanoff, Not……..

8 ounces fettuccine  (gluten-free)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1/4 pound of lox (smoked salmon)

3/4 cup sour cream (low-fat)

3/4 whipped cream cheese (low-fat)

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 drops of Cayenne (liquid form)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon chives

1/2 cup cream

1/4 cup water from drained noodles

Method:

Cook noodles, according to directions.  Drain, keeping some of the water that the pasta was cooked in.

In a medium skillet, in one tablespoon olive oil, lightly brown onions and smoked salmon.

In a medium bowl, mix sour cream, cream cheese, cream, chives, Cayenne, Worcestershire,  and salt.  Mix together.

Add salmon and onions to cheese mixture.

Add pasta and mix together.  That is all.  You are ready to serve your Noodles Romanoff  Not.

I served this with a salad but it would go well with broccoli or spinach or green beans.

This is linked to WanderFood Wednesday  Meatless Mondays