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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Mini Cheesecakes

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I really wish I had some fancy name for these.  This is an old family favorite.  My aunt used to make them around the holidays.  I used to love going to my aunt’s house.  My mom was a great cook, but it’s always nice to mix things up.   These are so simple and I haven’t made them in years. 

Here’s the recipe as it appears in my book:

12 vanilla wafers

2 8-oz cream cheese

2 eggs

1/2 c sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Mix sugar, cheese and vanilla.  Add eggs.  Bake 25 minutes at 325. 

It’s amazing to me how brief the recipes from our family are, you know, considering that no one ever shuts up.  At first I was surprised that this only makes 12, but uses two blocks of cream cheese.  I thought for sure I had that wrong, but it turned out perfectly.  I actually used the reduced fat cream cheese and I’m so glad I did, because I am eating two of these at a time.  I only had enough cherries for half the batch, so I’m dying to dig out the toffy goat butter and caramel I got in Paris to use on the rest.

When it comes to dessert you can never have enough pictures.

Eat Well and Savor.


Pizza and Cauliflower

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Okay.  So I know I just lost the teenage vote for that.  Well, frankly, based on my husband’s feelings about cauliflower, I lost the middle-aged male vote too. 

I guess that means we should start with the pizza:  Tomato, Olive, and Parmesan Pizza, that is.  From Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave

It’s just as easy as it sounds.  Ten minutes in the oven and you have the perfect little snack.  But since this was my lunch, I needed a little something else to go with.  I don’t know about you, but a 150 calorie pizza will not hold me over for long. 

Enter the Roasted Nutmeg Cauliflower from EK.

I don’t know if you can tell, but that’s four servings worth of cauliflower.  I totally could have eaten it all in one sitting.  I won’t say it’s the best I’ve ever had, but it was up there.  It’s just some olive oil, salt, and nutmeg, roast it in the oven.   EK says she has transformed cauliflower haters with it.  When I mentioned that to my husband he automatically assumed it was covered in cheese.  Ironically, I’m always looking for cauliflower recipes that aren’t covered in cheese.   At least with this one I know I always have nutmeg in the pantry so it will do in a pinch. 

Eat Well and Savor.

Wild Berry Lavender Ice Cream

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I can’t quite put my finger on what I think that sounds like.  For some reason I think of lavender as being warm.  Maybe that’s because it’s such a popular scent for bath products and I think of the warm bath.   That doesn’t really fit with the whole ice cream image, though.  I will tell you this much:  it’s smooth. 

In addition to the blueberries, there’s lavender essential oil and sweet orange essential oil in there.  As I’ve said before, part of the fun for me is searching out new items, i.e., shopping.  Well, when Jeni (of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home fame) suggested using Aftelier Perfumes for the essential oils, I listened.  Instead of running around town I ordered them online, and I’m so glad I did.  When they came in the mail there was a handwritten note inside:  Monica, remember to put the orange oil in the refrigerator.  Of course I never would have figured that out on my own and I appreciated the info.  More importantly, when was the last time that you got a handwritten note from a company, let alone one using your own name?  As far as I’m concerned, they deserve your business.  So go, quick like a bunny, and order yourself some essential oils.

Eat Well and Savor.


Tuscan Lemon Muffins

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Well, I think that name is pretty enticing in and of itself.  How about when I tell you that there’s ricotta and olive oil in there too?

I was a little preoccupied this morning and I neglected to put the sugar on top before they went in the oven.  I figured I still deserve the calories, so I added it afterwards.  

This was from Cooking Light’s May 2011 issue.   They were light and fluffy and surprisingly filling!  Here’s the recipe.



Chicken and Slaw

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I’m sorry to say that I don’t have much to say.   Maybe that’s a good thing.  I know I should be really impressed with this Chicken with Mango Barbecue Sauce.  I had high hopes for the sauce, but it was just okay. 

Same with the Southwestern Slaw, which consists of jicama and red cabbage.  It is a lovely color.   These are both from Ellie Krieger and The Food You Crave.  There.  That’s all I have to say.

Eat Well and Savor.


Steak and Fries

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I’m pretty sure that fries are one of my three desert island foods.  I had some important phone calls come in while these were in the oven.  By the time I got around to eating them they were pretty cold, but they were still great.  These are Ellie Krieger’s Garlic “Fries” from The Food You Crave.  Last time I made a fries recipe from EK I couldn’t figure out why she used the quotes.  I just this second figured it out.  Duh – they’re not fried, they’re baked in the oven.  Just infuse some canola with the garlic.  Then you strain out the garlic and toss the potatoes with the oil and salt.  35 minutes later and voila. 

Maybe they could be a little more crispy, but hey, I was on that important phone call.   Besides, I think the big chunks of garlic makes up for any lack of crispiness.

Hanging out next to my fries is EK’s Cowboy Steak with Coffee and Ancho Rub.  This couldn’t have been easier.  Espresso and chili powder with a few assorted spices rubbed on to some steak and grilled, period. 

Eat Well and Savor.

Peas and Happiness

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If my work doesn’t slow down I’m going to have to start splitting meals with the dog.  This is Carrots-and-Peas Orzo from Rachael Ray.   The carrots are pureed to make a little sauce, add some cheese and you’re done.  It couldn’t be any easier than that.  As usual, I heard no complaints.  Phoebe loves her vegetables.  Like RR says:  Pups need their veggies, too. 

Eat Well and Savor.