Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars.

Oh my...these babies are serious DA BOMB!  I hate that my pic is sub-par, but I had to snap a quick photo so I could post this recipe for future use before they were all gone :)  You will love these bars combining two of your favorites...chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin cheesecake.  Seriously yummy!  And as I side note, I am on a fitness challenge right now and am staying away from sugar since I made these bars...I crave them. Daily.  That's all :)

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

For the crust:

2 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 18 full size crackers)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:

2 package (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pumpkin (canned, NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

For the cookie dough:

1 package (30oz) refrigerated Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

For the crust, pulse graham crackers in a food processor until fine crumbs. Add sugar and melted butter, pulse until blended.

Line a 13x9 baking dish with parchment paper. Press crumbs into bottom of pan until evenly pressed.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cheesecake layer ingredients for 3-5 minutes until blended and smooth. Pour over crust layer.

Either make your own cookie dough using this recipe for the cookie layer. Or using the refrigerated cookie dough, crumble the dough over the cheesecake layer.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes, center may still seem wiggly, it's okay. Cool pan completely, then refrigerate for 3-4 hours (or overnight). Once completely chilled, cut into bars and enjoy.

Store cookie bars in refrigerator for up to 4 days. Or, freeze in an airtight container until later.

Recipe Source:  Shugary Sweets

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

 This is the third time I've made these...and I keep forgetting to take a picture so I can post them!  It is hard to get veggies in my hubby.  He doesn't mind them, but it is never something he asks for by any means.  This recipe is one way to get in lots of veggies, and he doesn't feel like he's putting a whole zucchini into his system.  The marinara and mozzarella make it seem like you are just downing some spaghetti :)  This same site has recipes for taco and enchilada stuffed zucchini boats...we'll have to venture out and try those next.  Enjoy!
Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

1 1/4 cups quick marinara sauce
4 (31 oz total) medium zucchini
1 tsp oil
1/2 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
14 oz lean Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing (Al Fresco)
1/2 cup part skim shredded mozzarella (Polly-O)
8 tsp grated Parmesan cheese.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

Preheat oven to 400°. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4" thick. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside.

Drop zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove from water.

Place 1/4 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 12" baking dish, and place zucchini halves cut side up.

In a large saute pan, brown sausage, breaking up as it cooks into smaller pieces until browned; set aside. Heat oil and add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook on a medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chopped zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook about 2-3 minutes. Combine with sausage and cook a few more minutes.

Using a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with 1/3 cup cooked sausage, pressing firmly. Top each with 2 tablespoons each of sauce, 1 tablespoon each of shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 teaspoon each of parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through.

Recipe Source:  Skinny Taste

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Firecracker Chicken

I love it when I find a new recipe that my hubby just raves about.  Some of his favorite Pinterest finds I have made are Breaded Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce,Spicy Sausage Pasta, Saucy Crockpot Red Beans and RiceBroccoli Beef, andCopycat Lion House Bacon Fried Rice and Sweet and Sour Meatballs to name a few.  This one is going in the books with this category!  

Really, these aren't too spicy at all.  Just a yummy sauce ready to fulfill your Chinese food cravings :)  He said the leftovers were great the next day for lunch as well. Enjoy!

Firecracker Chicken

¼ cup canola oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup cornstarch
2 large eggs, beaten

⅓ cup buffalo sauce (if you like more heat use hot sauce, like Frank’s brand)
1¼ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.

In separate bowls, place cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs. Dip chicken into cornstarch then coat in egg mixture. I have also found that you can put the cornstarch in a gallon sized bag and shake the chicken to coat.

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until browned. Place the chicken in a 9 x 13 greased baking dish.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, buffalo sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, water, salt and red pepper flakes. Pour over chicken and bake for 1 hour.

I stirred the chicken every 15 minutes so that it coated them in the sauce.

Recipe Source:  The Recipe Critic