Monday, October 7, 2013

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

This is a recipe that was passed down to me from one of my former co-workers back in Wisconsin.  She use to make this in the fall whenever we would have potlucks at work, and it was always a hit.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

1 c. flour
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. soft butter

1 can pumpkin
1 pk cream cheese - softened
2 eggs
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. milk
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp ginger

Start off by mixing the ingredients for the crust and putting it in a 9"x13" pan, lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 min.

While the crust is baking, mix together the filling ingredients.  Set aside until crust is baked.

Remove crust from oven and pour the filling mixture over the top while it is still hot and return it to the oven for an additional 30 min.

Let cool, then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hrs before serving.  Keep chilled.

This recipe can easily be doubled or even be topped with cream cheese frosting and chopped nuts, or a little dollop of whipped cream.  I actually cheated slightly on the crust and used a shortbread cookie package from Betty Crocker and then doubled the filling because I had 2 cans of pumpkin that HAD to be used soon.  If you double the recipe it will require a little longer baking time.  It was roughly about 10-15 min longer.  It still turned out amazing!  I hope you enjoy!

Until next time ...

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Thick & Hearty Chili

I know you might be thinking that I fell off of the blogging world, but I haven't!  I talked to Mom yesterday and she said "How am I suppose to know what you are up to if you aren't doing your blog?"  So, Mom this is for you!!!

I have been in the kitchen most of the day today, making bread, pumpkin cheesecake bars and chili for supper.  I would like to share my recipe for my chili with you.

I start off with hamburger in a soup kettle over med/high heat and brown that until the pink is almost gone.  Drain whatever grease you might have from the hamburger and return it to the heat.  I then add diced tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, diced onion and bell pepper along with chili powder, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning and fresh cracked black pepper.

I let the above mixture simmer for about 5 min to absorb the seasonings and to soften the onion and peppers.  Then I add a can of kidney beans and a can of Bush's Country Style baked beans.  I know, I know, baked beans are not a normal ingredient for chili but I think it's what MAKES the chili, giving it a slightly sweet taste along with the spice of the chili.

After adding the bean mixture, I start adding the sauce.  I use tomato sauce and tomato puree and a little water swirled in the bottom to get the remainder of the sauce out of each can. 

I then let it simmer for about 20-30 min, letting the flavors all meld together.  In the meantime I boil a couple handfuls of whatever kind of noodles I have in the cupboard, until they are al dente.  Drain and add to the chili.  Like I said earlier, this is a thick and hearty chili, so you should be able to stand a spoon up in it.

That is what is still left over after eating supper, so I guess I know what is for lunch tomorrow.  Yummm!  I made this chili for Dad once and he said "This ain't chili, this is stew!"  But that is also coming from the guy who thinks that chili is hamburger with a homemade tomato sauce that is like water.  His is still good, but I like mine better. 

Here is a basic look at the recipe and measurements are estimated because I usually don't measure anything.  I take after my Mother when it comes to measuring... a pinch of this and a dash of that... if it don't taste right start experimenting with whats in your cabinet.

Thick and Hearty Chili

1 1/2-2 lbs hamburger
medium onion - diced
bell pepper - diced
2 sm cans of diced mushrooms
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of tomato puree
1 can of dark red kidney beans
1 family size can of Bush's Country Style baked beans
1-2 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp cajun seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
 1-1 1/2 c noodles - cooked al dente

Brown hamburger in soup kettle over med/high heat, until slightly pink, drain and return to heat.  Add onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, diced tomatoes and all of the seasonings.  Simmer for 5-10 min.  Add both beans and tomato sauce and puree.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 min. stirring frequently so your beans don't stick to the bottom of the kettle.  Add boiled noodles and simmer for an additional 10 min.  Remove from heat and enjoy. 

I hope you enjoy the recipe and hopefully tomorrow I can get the recipe for the pumpkin cheesecake bars on here for ya!

Until next time ...