Monday, April 27, 2015

Raspberry Cheesecake Streusel Bars

I made these delicious and beautiful pink bars for a baby shower a few weeks ago and they were a huge hit! Basically a fruity cheesecake with a "dutch" topping, there is plenty of variety of flavor and texture to please. You could easily substitute strawberries or blueberries for the raspberries - or even blackberries! - and I used berries that I had in my freezer to make it even simpler.

These little beauties are rich, so you can cut them into small pieces and feed a crowd. Or just feed yourself - they freeze nicely too.

Find more inspiration at Totally Talented, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Tasty Tuesday, What's Cooking, Full Plate, Showcase your Talent, Foodie Friday, Friday Flash, Friday Frenzy.

Raspberry Cheesecake Streusel Bars

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
6 Tbsp. butter

Cheesecake Filling:
1 1/2 cup raspberries, divided
1 small banana
12 oz. cream cheese, softened (low fat is fine)
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. flour

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 oats
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

Melt butter in a large bowl in the microwave, then add graham cracker crumbs and sugar and toss to combine. Press mixture onto bottom of greased 9" pan. Bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool while making cheesecake portion.

Place 1 cup raspberries and banana in a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed; set aside. Place cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract in a bowl and beat until fully combined and smooth. Add in pureed mixture and mix to combine. Add in flour and mix to combine. Gently stir in the whole raspberries.

Pour mixture over crust and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the streusel, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and use a pastry blender, two forks or your fingers to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Remove the pan from oven after 30-35 minutes and sprinkle streusel on top. Return pan to oven and bake for another 12-15 minutes. Remove and cool bars before cutting. Store in refrigerator.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I can't tell you how many recipes I've pinned for chicken tortilla soup. Many. But I've never made any. Then I saw this recipe on Ashley's blog, Rainstorms and Love Notes. It was so easy! And contained all the stuff I like! I knew it was the perfect choice for Secret Recipe Club this month. Ashley's version is for the crock pot, but I adapted it for the stove top. My crock pot is so hot that I can't leave it alone for more than 4 hours, which makes the point of the crock pot almost irrelevant, but anyway...

I loved making this AND eating it - it was SO quick and easy and SO delicious. And to say it was a hit with my family is a gigantic understatement. There was nearly a fist fight when determining who would take the one serving left for lunch the next day.

You should check out all of Ashley's great recipes, and the adorable story of how she met her husband. Swoon. And then you should make this soup. Even if it is 75 degrees today.

Get more inspiration at Totally Talented, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Tasty Tuesday.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 cup medium salsa (I used my homemade salsa)
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 soup cans water
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
2 whole wheat or flour tortillas
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Sour cream, chopped tomatoes, diced avocados, for topping (or your favorite fixins!)

In a dutch oven, whisk together the salsa, cream of chicken soup and water. Add the black beans, corn, chicken and cumin. Cook over medium heat until soup comes to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cut tortillas into strips. When soup is hot, add tortilla strips, cheese and cilantro and stir well until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream, tomatoes, avocados and crushed tortilla chips, if you like. Serves 6.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Strawberry Oatmeal Yogurt Muffins

It is finally beginning to look, and feel, like spring here in Minnesota. The trees are getting buds, the snow has turned to rain (although it snowed as recently as last week!) and the earth is greening up. Another thing that felt like spring? Eating these muffins! I served these for dinner alongside a frittata, and they were a huge hit. And they're filled with good for you stuff like oats and whole wheat flour, not to mention the delicious and nutritious strawberries. Whether you make them for breakfast, dinner or a snack, you and everyone else will enjoy them!

Find more great ideas at Create Link Inspire, Totally Talented, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Tasty Tuesday, Full Plate, Showcase your talent.

Strawberry Oatmeal Yogurt Muffins

1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
½ cup oats
½ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 - 6 oz. container plain, strawberry, vanilla or coconut yogurt
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup diced fresh strawberries

Whisk together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.

In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together yogurt, egg, oil and vanilla. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Gently fold in strawberries to the batter. Divide batter evenly among 12 paper-lined muffin tins. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Recipe Source: Adapted from The Lemon Bowl

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sweet 'n' Sour Polish Sausage

I love cooking with kielbasa, so when I found this recipe in an old cookbook, I was sure it would be a winner. And I wasn't disappointed. Kielbasa is PERFECT for sweet and sour; I can't believe I didn't think of it myself! Salty polish sausage swims in a tangy sauce along with peppers, onions and pineapple. It's delicious! This recipe is super easy to whip up, perfect for a busy weeknight. Cook the rice in the microwave while you assemble the stir fry, and supper will be ready in a jif. (Do you have a microwave rice cooker? It has transformed my rice cooking life, and I am not exaggerating.)

Find more great stuff at Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Totally Talented, Create, Link, Inspire, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Tasty Tuesday, Tickle my Tastebuds, Foodie Friday, Friday Flash, Showcase your Talent.

Sweet 'n' Sour Polish Sausage

1 pound smoked kielbasa, cut into 1/2 inch slices and then cut in half to make half moons
1 medium onion, chopped in large dice
5-6 mini peppers, chopped, or 1 1/2 cups chopped sweet bell peppers
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 - 20 oz. can pineapple chunks
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup water

In a large skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add peppers and onion and cook and stir for 3-4 minutes.

In a large measuring cup, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar and salt. Place a strainer over the cup and empty the can of pineapple into the strainer. (The juice will go into the sauce; set aside the pineapple chunks.) Whisk the sauce well, then add to the skillet. Stir well and bring to a boil.

In same large measuring cup, combine water and cornstarch and whisk well to combine. Add to the meat and vegetable mixture in the skillet, and stir and cook for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the pineapple chunks and let simmer til heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve over hot rice. Serves 6-8.
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