Delicious, Tasty, and just Right: The Mini-Cheesecake

Jake from the Sunday Post asked us for delicious this week. I’ve been on a delicious binge most of my life, so ask me for a delicious post, and that is what you will get. I may not like to cook (or be good at it), but I wielded a baker’s mitt from an early age.

Baking, for me, is associated with many happy memories. Mostly, with my step-dad. It was something we enjoyed together. I would create fabulous desserts of the third-kind; brownies with fudge sauce, chocolate pudding pies, and lop-sided cakes. And he would be the first one to taste them. Brave, brave soul.

That is true fatherly love.

We shared many a good spoon together, and usually, a great relief that the kitchen didn’t burn down.

This past Christmas, I got to spend a lot of time with my mother-in-law helping her bake all her Christmas favorites. Truth is, I observed more than I actually baked, but I have baked this recipe myself. Most recently as a belated birthday surprise for my daughter’s boyfriend Brandon, who LOVES cheesecake (as do I Brandon…as do I).

The crust is Vanilla wafer cookies set in the bottom of the cupcake holder.

Then, you mix the sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and eggs in a blender. For me, the hardest part is getting the SUPER HEAVY blender down from the upper cabinet. The easiest part is flicking a switch, and not using more elbow grease.

Next, you fill the cups with the delicious mixture (3/4th’s of the way).

Put them in the oven for a little warmth of the 350-degree variety.

After fifteen minutes, or so, they will come out looking like this. And really? THIS is just FINE for those that don’t like a fruit topping. Peel and enjoy, or add something else to the top. Let you imagination run wild.

Traditionally, we use cherry-filling.

I like the cherry. It gives the cheesecake a pop of color and a tasty punch of syrupy goodness.

And that is pretty much it.

Delicious!

My friends…I introduce you to……

THE BEST MINI-CHEESECAKE EVAH!

And no, this is not a secret family recipe, but if that makes it taste better (which would be hard to do), then maybe it could be (heh).

The recipe.

So, what do you think? Do you love cheesecake? Are you willing to try this recipe?

Mom’s Easy Lasagna Recipe

It’s been a while since I posted about cooking with Mom. I still have TONS of recipes, and hopefully, more future cooking time with her.

If you don’t know me, let me just say…..cooking is not my thing. Burning is my thing. Spilling is my thing. Sloshing stuff on the stove is my thing….but cooking? Not so much. Your welcome.

However my second Mom, Jason’s Mom, is an amazing cook and a very wonderful person inside and out. Being with her is like getting a great big HUG. You leave feeling loved and like you are a better person from just being around her.

Jason loves to cook. Sydney loves to cook. Mom loves to cook.

Guess who watches, takes pictures, and eats?

That’s me! I love to do all three of those things. And I love Italian food, especially anything pasta-related. Spaghetti is the #1 on my favorite foods list. If you can make a mean spaghetti, I will love you forever.

And this lasagna? Definitely a top ten.

The recipe.

Click on the photo to enlarge.

Some of the ingredients.

I wasn’t there for the mixing.

Happily, I was there for the final product.

So do follow the directions, and you will end up with this……

Steaming hot lasagna….

We had this lasagna for dinner tonight. It was DELICIOUS. I am really glad I married a man that cooks (thanks to a mom that taught him). You can only eat TV dinners for so long.

What’s your favorite food?

Mom’s Homemade Peanut Brittle

We are back to cooking at Mom’s and this time it is the most delicious homemade peanut brittle you can put your hands on.

If you are a sugar addict like me, this will be right up your candy-coated highway.

This is a great gift for teachers, neighbors, or anyone else that is appreciated. Just grab a $1 tin and fill. It’s the perfect present – yummy and homemade.

Warning, this recipe is not diet, or diabetic friendly.

You need a lot of sugar, and then some corn syrup. Which? I believe is sugar? Ahem.

And let me give you the key to this whole thing.

Timing is most important.

Preparation is second.

Have everything laid out and measured BEFORE you start. This is important. We made two batches at the same time, so above recipe is doubled. But for the purpose of this blog, I will list as one.

Have the super greasy (buttered) pans laid out as well. You don’t want the brittle to stick to the pan at the end (you’ll see why).

Like I said, preparation is key to the whole operation.

So start with water, sugar, and corn syrup (1/2 cup water, 2 cups sugar, 1 cup light Karo syrup). Mix up and cook to boiling. This is the longest part. If you have two people, the other can be measuring out the rest of the recipe so it’s ready.

After it is boiling for a while and the mixture spins a thread, it is time for the peanuts, but not before it does that sew thing. This is a tricky step. In other words, it’s not a drip. It stiffens like a sharp shard. Hold the spoon up, it may drip, then spin. You have to watch real close.

When you see it spin, then you add your raw spanish peanuts – not roasted, salted, or cooked – raw.

Stir the sugar mixture and the peanuts while boiling until it is a golden brown. Did I mention there is a lot of stirring? I noticed the brown more on the edges than in the mixture itself.

Once it is golden brown, remove from heat, and add the last set of ingredients – 1 t vanilla, 2 t of baking soda, and 2 T of butter.

Stir, and watch closely.

The more watchers the better.

The mixture turns, and I missed it. It was that quick, but when it happens (quick!).

Pour into the greasy pans.

Then you want to spread it out with a wooden spoon, so you have thinner peanut brittle (unless you don’t).

Let it cool, and harden (maybe 30mins in a cool room).

Then, lift up the brittle with a knife.

And break into pieces (it’s great anger management).

Then put into bags, or tins for gifts.

Or better yet, eat it like we did.

This is probably the best Peanut Brittle I have ever tasted. Truly…. homemade is the greatest.

I am so glad Jason’s Mom took the time to show us how and pass the tradition on.

Mom’s Overnight Casserole

This is what you do if you have leftover Thanksgiving Turkey.

I went straight to Mom’s for this super secret, super yummy recipe.

What? You have no left-over turkey? That’s okay. Just copy or bookmark this post for next year, or for Christmas.

I’m easy. Whatever you’d like to try it with, just try it, it is delicious.

Not only have I copied the recipe for you, but I have provided the step-by-step instructions (with pictures – of course!).

This is my mom-in-law’s favorite dish to make for her boys after Thanksgiving..

It’s so easy….

Layer bottom of casserole dish with two cups of uncooked macaroni.

Add a cup of milk.

Two cans of Cream of Mushroom soup.

One cup of chicken broth.

8 oz. of cubed Velveeta Cheese.

{not pictured} 1 small onion chopped and 4oz can (or fresh) drained chopped mushrooms.

Mix well.

Add 2 1/2 cups of chopped(ish) pieces of turkey (or chicken).

Mix well.

Make breadcrumbs and have to the side. Wrap casserole and refrigerate overnight.

The next day leave out one hour, add bread crumbs to the top, and put in the oven at 350 for one hour.

After an hour….

Enjoy!

I don’t think pictures do it justice.

The taste is divine.

If you make it, please let me know what you think.

We had a great time cooking with mom and maybe that is what the best part is.

New family = new love = new recipes learned.

And we can pass those down to the next generation of children.

I love that.

Thanks Mom!