Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Three Cheese Potatoes

I really didn't intend to take that long of a blogging break, sorry! School is about to start up which means that I started doing stuff toward the beginning of August so my time became divided again between school, family, and everything else. Then in the middle of the month we went to Disneyland for 12 days, and upon our return it was time to jump into school full force. Not only am I getting my own classroom ready but our little guy is going to Kindergarten so it's a big transition for us all around.

We actually made these potatoes back in the beginning of the month but as I sit here typing up this post I told my husband that my mouth is watering just looking at this picture and thinking about these potatoes. They were so good! The recipe was a bit different than I initially thought. For some reason I was assuming these were like twice baked potatoes and each potato was wrapped in foil. It turns out that you cut all three potatoes and put them into one large piece of foil. Yes, I would have figured this out sooner had I read the recipe, but instead I looked at the picture and ingredients and had another idea in my head. Don't you love it when that happens? Then when you go to make it you think, whoa, wait a minute this isn't what I was thinking this would be. It turned out great though, and it made way more than 3 servings like I originally thought with three potatoes. Enjoy!

Three Cheese Potatoes
Source:Taste of Home

3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced chives
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup crumbled bacon
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Transfer to a double thickness of greased heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Dot with butter.

Fold foil around potato mixture and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 15-18 minutes on each side or until potatoes are tender.

Carefully open foil. Sprinkle the bacon cheeses over potato mixture. Grill 3-5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dark Chocolate Hot Fudge Sauce

Summer just isn't summer until you have made at least one batch of homemade ice cream, right? I was torn between making a new flavor and going with a known great. I decided that since I was short on time I would go with what was known. You can find the recipe for for Candied Cherry and Toasted Almond ice cream here.

While I didn't make a new flavor of ice cream I did make a new topping to go with it. Ooey, gooey, dark chocolate hot fudge dripping down over yummy ice cream. It was a perfect combination. Enjoy!

Hot Fudge Sauce
Source: Brown Eyed Baker

2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup, or light corn syrup
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, divided in half
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream, syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt and half of the chocolate to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low or low (enough to maintain a low simmer), and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate, the butter, and the vanilla extract, stirring until smooth. Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes before using (it will thicken as it cools). Store in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To reheat, microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute until it’s pourable but still thick.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Kiwi Watermelon Smoothie

Most mornings we have a green smoothie for breakfast. And while I am happy with that, I finally decided to open up the cookbook that came with our blender to take a look at some other flavor combinations. I happened to have watermelon in the fridge, and it wasn't the best for just eating plain so I thought I'd try it in a smoothie. I also didn't have any dates on hand so I decided to throw in a handful of raisins instead.

It turned out okay. It was pretty watery. My 5 1/2 year old son thought it was okay. He actually slurped it down pretty quickly (possibly because it was watery and not as thick as our usual smoothies), but I don't think it will be a repeat breakfast at our house.

Kiwi Watermelon Smoothie
1 1/2 cups watermelon, peeled and cubed
1 kiwi, halved, peeled
1 date, pitted (or a handful of raisins)
1 cup ice cubes 

Place in blender in order listed. Blend completely.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Berry Surprise

Have you ever found an instance that you wish you could redo because your spouse always remembers it and brings it up? Yep, surprisingly this dessert is one of those things for me. Let me start at the beginning of this story.

Back when I was first married (maybe even before I was married) someone asked my husband what his favorite dessert was. I, in my naivete, was expecting him to say one of my signature dishes, apple pie, a cherry chocolate cake, you know, something like that. Nope. He tells them about some great dessert that was made many years before by a woman who was kind of like a foster mom to him. Not only did he mention it but he practically drooled while describing it. I was shocked. I was hurt. I was mortified. I was only 19 years old. Now in my much more mature years I have realized that he can have other favorites that haven't been made by me. I can tell you though that it has taken just about the 18 years of our marriage and me saying, "It's okay, you can say you like it even though it isn't mine" for him to feel like he can say he likes another person's dish. Okay, maybe it's not that extreme but sometimes it sure feels like it.

So anyway, for Father's Day this year I decided that I wanted to make his "favorite" dessert but put my spin on it. The recipe that I finally broke down and asked for a year or two ago was tweaked by me to use fresher ingredients and to shrink it down to a size manageable for three people.

The original recipe uses only blueberries in the form of canned pie filing, but I decided that I wanted to use fresh blueberries to make a homemade filling and I wanted to make a raspberry blueberry version. Graham cracker crust, cream cheese filling, a fresh fruit layer, and homemade whipping cream. Really what's not to love about it. Enjoy!   

Berry Surprise

1 3/4 cup graham crackers, crushed (about 10 crackers)
1/2 cup butter, melted
Berry Sauce (see recipe below) or 1 can of pie filling
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cool whip or whipping cream

Prepare berry sauce if using homemade. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 or 9 inch baking pan (or 4 - 10 oz custard cups for a half size).

Mix the graham crackers and butter; set aside about 3 tablespoons of the mixture to spread over the top of the dessert); pat crust down in pan. Bake for 15 minutes (or about 10 minutes if using smaller portions). Remove from oven and cool crust.

Mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cool whip. Spread over cooled crust.

Spread the berry sauce over the cream cheese mixture. Cover with remaining cool whip and sprinkle with remaining graham mixture.

Refrigerate for about 2 hours before serving.

Berry Sauce
1 1/2 cups blueberries (or equivalent amount of berries)
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 cup water

Heat to boiling and simmer until sauce is thickened.

* A half batch of the entire dessert is enough for 4 - 10 oz custard cups. Double the recipe for a 9x13 pan.