Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Normally I would have pumpkin pie for dessert on Thanksgiving but this year I decided to try something new. These Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars are CRAZY good. I think they are the best Thanksgiving dessert I have ever had!

They are really easy to make and they turned out perfectly!

What you need,

For the crust,
1¼ cup chocolate cookie crumbs
¼ cup butter, melted

For the filling,
2 oz. packages of cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

Hot water

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Line 8x8-inch baking pan with baking parchment, allow for overhang on all 4 sides. Lightly coat with cooking spray.

For the crust, stir the melted butter into the cookie crumbs until well coated. Press mixture evenly into prepared baking pan. Bake 10 minutes. Set aside and allow the crust to cool about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile make the filling. Using an electric mixture on medium speed, beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in pumpkin puree, then eggs one at a time, and beat together until smooth. Add vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and flour, beat until just combined.

Pour the batter evenly over prepared crust. Place pan on large rimmed baking sheet, and place in oven on center rack. Pour hot water into baking sheet until almost full.
Bake at 350-degrees F for about 40-45 minutes, until set around edges, but still slightly jiggly in middle.

Remove the cheesecake from the baking pan and let it cool completely on rack. Once cool, cover and chill until firm, at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Use the parchment overhang to lift the cheesecake out of pan and cut into squares.

I highly recommend these bars! They don’t need to just be for a big fancy dinner, I think any old day would be the perfect day for these amazingly tasty bars!



Recipe slightly adapted from She Wears Many Hats

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Garlic Parmesan Knots

I have no words for how amazing these little flaky buttery knots are!

They are insanely simple to make but they taste like a million bucks. They are even good left over the next day!

What you need,

1 tube of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
¼ cup melted butter
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
¾ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. oregano
½ tsp. parsley
¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
I used salted butter but if you didn’t go ahead and add ¼ tsp. salt

Heat the oven to 400 degrees and place the rack in the center of the oven. Lightly spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a small bowl melt the butter then add the cheese, garlic powder, oregano, parsley, pepper and salt if you are using it.

Cut each biscuit in half and roll each piece into a 5 inch rope. Tie each rope in a knot and tuck the ends under. Place each knot on the baking sheet.

Using a silicone pastry brush, liberally apply some of the butter mixture to each knot. You will use about ¾ of the mixture.

Bake the knots for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Brush the hot knots with the remaining butter mixture.

Serve right away.

I could have seriously eaten 10 of these things! They are so flaky and buttery and full of herby flavour. They would go great with just about any dinner! Or really they would be a really great party food.

So so good!



Recipe from Damn Delicious

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hamburger Soup

This soup reminds me so much of crisp cool fall days. My mom used to make it for us every so often. I always remember how warm and comforting it was. 

This soup is super simple but it is chocked full of flavor and texture.
So, if you need a little warming up I suggest you whip up a batch, you won’t be disappointed.

What you need,

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 28oz. can diced tomatoes
1 900ml box low sodium beef stock
1 10oz. can cream of tomato soup
3 carrots, diced
1 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. fresh chopped thyme
½ cup dried barley
1 Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Brown the ground beef well and drain off all the excess fat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook for 4-5 minutes until they begin to soften.
Add the garlic and cook one more minute.

Add the beef stock, tomato soup, diced tomatoes and spices. Add the barley and stir to combine. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and toss in the Parmesan cheese rind.
Cover the soup and simmer on low for 2 hours until the veggies are tender and the barley is cooked.

Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Fish out the bay leaf and Parmesan rind.

Serve the soup hot with a little extra fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top.

There you have it a simple hearty fall dinner! Absolutely delicious!

My mom always made biscuits to go with this soup but I decided to try something a little different. I will share the recipe for these TO DIE FOR Garlic Parmesan Knots tomorrow!



Recipe slightly adapted from my Mom!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Slow Cooker Apple Sauce

I have wanted to make this recipe for a LONG time! Finally I got around to making it, and it’s about time!

WOW is all I have to say! So easy and it is the best apple sauce I have ever had.

I used a variety of apples, Gala, Honey Crisp and Macintosh. I am pretty sure you could use whatever apples you have and it would be fabulous!

What you need,

3 lbs. apples (use any kind you want)
¾ c. apple juice
2 tbsp. sugar
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon (optional, but awesome)
1½ tsp. lemon juice

Peel and slice all the apples. I sliced mine into about ¼ inch slices.
Add the apples to the slow cooker. Toss with the apple juice, lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar.

Cook on high for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.

Once the apples are very tender, falling apart really, you can mash them with a potato masher or use an immersion blender to puree them. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

This apple sauce is so packed with apple flavor, and the hint of cinnamon really adds a nice spice.
I used an immersion blender which made a really smooth puree, which was great but I think next time I would try the potato masher and leave it a bit chunkier!

So if you have a bag of apples in the fridge and don’t know what to do with them, make this apple sauce! It really is delicious!



Friday, October 10, 2014

Favourite Things Friday Vol 86 – Stuff to Make for Thanksgiving Dinner

It is hard to believe that this weekend is Thanksgiving! I swear I was just basking in the summer sun drinking a cold Mojito and now I am trying to decide what to make for Thanksgiving dinner‼ CRAZY!

I know everyone has their Thanksgiving favourites. Here are a few of mine!

Now if you aren’t into making a whole giant turkey you could just whip up this Simple Roasted Chicken. It is tender and juicy and tastes fantastic!

If you want to make life really easy, might I suggest this Stove Top Chicken? One pan and you get your chicken and stuffing!

Side dishes are a MUST with Thanksgiving dinner. You always need a good bun, especially for turkey buns the next day. This Bread Maker Bun recipe is perfection!

I personally can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without Homemade Dill Pickles. This Clarke family recipe is the best‼

Why buy cranberry sauce is a can when you can whip up this absolutely amazing homemade version. It is WAY better than anything you can get from a can!

My in house taste tester loves brussel sprouts. This recipe for a roasted version is fantastic!

My absolute MUST HAVE is my Grandma Clarke’s Hawaiian Salad. Make it, I promise you will love it.

I usually buy a pumpkin pie from the Safeway for dessert, because you can’t go wrong with pumpkin pie. But this year I am trying a new recipe, Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares. They look AMAZING, and I can’t wait to try them.

What are your Thanksgiving must have’s??

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday full of family, friends and food!