Snack Like a Southerner: Red Velvet No Bake Cheesecake

Red Velvet No Bake Cheesecake
(jellytoastblog)

Ingredients:

16 double stuffed Oreos
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2  8oz pkgs cream cheese
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
8 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp red food color
1  8oz container whipped topping
Step One:
Crush Oreos into crumbs. You can put them in a large Ziploc baggie and crush them with a rolling pin, or even your foot.
Step Two:

"In a small bowl, mix together cookie crumbs and melted butter. Spoon cookie mixture evenly into small jars or dishes and press to form a crust. Set aside."

Step Three:
"In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese and confectioners sugar until light and blended. Add melted chocolate, pure vanilla extract and red food color and beat until evenly blended. Fold in whipped topping."

Step Four:
"Spoon cheesecake mixture into prepared cups. Alternately, transfer cheesecake mixture into piping bag and pipe into cups. Serve immediately or refrigerate cheesecakes until ready to serve. Top with vanilla whipped topping (see notes) and chocolate shavings."

Enjoy!

Snack Like a Southerner: Blueberry Tarts

(countrycleaver)

Ingredients:
1 sheet puff pastry, unthawed
8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
2-3 Tbsp Sugar
1 1/2 cup Blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 Egg, whisked
3 Tbsp Water
Powdered Sugar

Step One:
"
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet."

Step Two:
"On a lightly floured surface roll out thawed puff pastry into a 12x9" rectangle. Cut in half lengthwise, yielding 2 4-½" strips. Cut those two strips crosswise into thirds, to yield six 4x4 ½" pieces.
With a knife, score ½" border around the edge of each piece of puff pastry. Use a fork to make five or six pricks into the dough within the border of each piece. This will help keep the middle of each piece from rising."

Step Three:
"In a bowl, stir together softened cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and almond extract. Spoon about 2-3 heaping tablespoons of mixture into the middle of each piece of dough and spread around evenly, ensuring the mix stays within the borders. Into the middle of the cream cheese, add blueberries and press down into the cream cheese lightly so they set in place." 

Step Four:
"In a small dish or cup, whisk together the egg and water. Using a pastry brush - brush the edges of the puff pastry with the mixture. This will help the edges turn golden brown and crispy."

Step Five:
"Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown, on the middle rack and rotate the baking sheet half way through baking. Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or room temperature. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving."

Enjoy!

Snack Like a Southerner: Ambrosia

Ingredients:
1 package mini marshmallows
8oz whipped topping
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can diced peaches
1 can crushed pineapple
1 jar maraschino cherries
1 cup shredded coconut
1tsp coconut extract

Step One:
Drain the syrup or juice from the peaches, pineapple and cherry containers. SAVE THE SYRUP AND JUICES. Set the juices aside.

Step Two:
Combine marshmallows, whipped topping, sour cream, diced peaches, crushed pineapple, cherries, coconut and extract into a large bowl. Mix. **NOTE: I like to use a large Ziploc baggie for mixing things because it's just shaking at that point and I don't have to waste a bowl or spatula**

Step Three:
Eyeball your ambrosia. Does it need more of anything? Does it need to be juicer? Add one of the syrups--pineapple may be best. Does it need more texture? Add more coconut.

Step Four:
Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Step Five:
Enjoy!

Copycat Cookin: Panera Bread 1/2 Soup and Sandwich

We are all familiar with the absolute delicacy that is Panera Bread. Recently, I moved to a new city. The closest Panera Bread is 42 minutes away. I know this could be considered a blessing in disguise, but I miss my Sunday 1/2 sandwich and soup lunches. So, I decided to give it a shot and attempt my own versions of Panera Bread's recipes and it actually turned out pretty well!

Here are two links to by the book copy cat recipes:
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Chicken Caesar Sandwich

Here are the recipes that I came up with:

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Ingredients:
1tbsp butter
1pkg shredded sharp cheddar
1pkg shredded three cheese blend (sharp cheddar, mild cheddar and colby jack) 
1 medium head of broccoli
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 white onion (you can also use 2 tbsp of the dried chopped onion you can find in the spice section of the supermarket)
1 cup chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
Salt
Pepper
Cayenne pepper (if you're into that)

Step One:
Slice and dice your broccoli and onion.

Step Two:
In a large pot, melt butter and sautee the onion, carrots and broccoli for about four minutes until the aromas mix together. Dump into a bowl and set aside.

Step Three:
Using the same pot, now empty, add the heavy cream and milk. Stir until it's boiling. 

Step Four:
Gradually add flour, keep stirring until all the clumps are gone.

Step Five:
Add broth and cream of chicken soup. Stir for a few moments.

Step Six:
Add salt, pepper, carrots, onion and broccoli to the soup. Stir. Reduce heat and simmer for about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step Seven:
Add cheese and stir until cheese is completely melted. Simmer for ten more minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Chicken Cesar Sandwich

Ingredients:
Chicken tenderloins
1/2 cup Caesar dressing
Salt
Pepper
Garlic powder
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Parmesan cheese block (or extra sharp cheddar if parmesan is not available)
Lettuce
Red onion
Sourdough bread

Step One:
In a bowl, combine dressing, salt, pepper, garlic powder and parmesan cheese. Mix together.

Step Two:
In a large ziploc baggie, combine 1/4 cup of dressing mixture and raw chicken. Shake the bag. Let the chicken sit in the dressing for about 10 minutes.

Step Three: 
In a skillet over medium high heat, cook your chicken (about three minutes on each side). 

Step Four:
Slice or shave your cheese for the sandwich.

Step Five:
Slice your chicken and add to the remaining dressing mixture. Mix well.

Step Six:
Put cheese, lettuce, red onion slices and chicken onto bread and enjoy!

Snack Like a Southerner: No Bake Strawberry Almond Cereal Bars

(foodnetwork)

Ingredients:
3tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups mini marshmallows
Pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup almond butter
1/2tsp vanilla extract
4 cups crispy rice cereal
1 1/4 cup frozen dried strawberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Step One:
"Spray an 8-inch square baking pan and a wooden spoon with cooking spray."

Step Two:
"Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the marshmallows and salt and stir with the prepared spoon until the marshmallows have completely melted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the almond butter and vanilla."


Step Three:
"Add the rice cereal and strawberries and stir until the mixture is fully combined. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly for a few minutes. Stir in the white chocolate chips. (They will melt slightly.)"


Step Four:
"Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Let stand at room temperature until firm, about 20 minutes. Cut into 9 bars. Store at room temperature in an airtight container up to 2 days."

Enjoy!

Snack Like a Southerner: Broccoli Casserole from Scratch

Broccoli Casserole from Scratch
(kristineskitchenblog)

Ingredients:

2 ½ lbs. broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
6 tbsp. butter, divided
1 cup finely chopped button mushrooms
¼ cup flour
1 cup whole milk
½ cup half-n-half
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 egg
1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese
1 ¼ cups whole-wheat breadcrumbs 

Step One:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step Two:
"Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli and boil for 4 minutes. Transfer to a colander, rinse with cold water, and drain. Place broccoli in a large bowl."
Step Three:
"Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer mushrooms to the bowl with the broccoli."
Step Four:
"In the same saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth; cook, whisking constantly, 30 seconds. Whisk in the milk and half-n-half. Bring to a low simmer and continue to whisk constantly until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt."
Step Five:
"Pour sauce into the bowl with the broccoli and mushrooms. Add the onion, egg, 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, and ½ cup of the breadcrumbs. Stir to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish."
Step Six:
"Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and stir into the remaining ¾ cup breadcrumbs. Stir in the remaining ½ cup cheddar. Sprinkle breadcrumb topping over the casserole.
Bake for 45 minutes, until filling is hot and bubbly. Check after 30 minutes and cover with foil if topping is browning too quickly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving."
Enjoy!

Snack Like a Southerner: Healthy Cheesecake in a Bowl

(foodnetwork)

Ingredients:
1/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1tsp vanilla extract
2tsp agave syrup
Chopped strawberries
Graham crackers

Step One:
In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, vanilla extract and half of the chopped strawberries. 

Step Two:
Dollop mixture into a bowl and top with syrup, strawberries and graham cracker crumbles.

Enjoy!

Snack Like a Southerner: Spicy Yogurt Hummus

(foodnetwork)

Ingredients:
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup hummus
A few dashes of hot sauce (to taste)
Peppers
Carrots
Celery

Step One:
Combine yogurt, hummus and hot sauce. Stir.

Step Two:
Cut up peppers, carrots and celery.

Step Three:
Serve, dip and enjoy!