Thursday, March 31, 2011

Triple Treat Torte



Peanut butter and chocolate. Delicious together in brownies, bars, cookies, pretzels, cupcakes and cheesecakes, and in this creamy dessert. A peanutty crust is topped with a cream cheese peanut butter layer, then chocolate pudding, then whipped topping. Dessert doesn't get much better than this.

Finely chop the peanuts (have I mentioned how much I love my food processor?) then use a pastry blender, your fingers, or a food processor (my choice!) to cut the butter into the flour until crumbly.



Stir in the peanuts,



then press into the bottom of a greased 9x13 baking dish.



Bake for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown and cool completely.

Meanwhile, combine the sugar, cream cheese and peanut butter



in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth and creamy.



Fold in 1 cup of the whipped topping,



then spread over the crust.



In another mixing bowl, whisk together the pudding mixes and milk



until slightly thickened, then spread over the peanut butter layer.



Top with the remaining whipped topping.



Refrigerate for at least 4 hours for this to set, or overnight if you have the time. There are a number of ways you could garnish this dessert: chocolate curls, grated chocolate, mini peanut butter and chocolate chips. I chose chopping up some peanut butter cups.



Or you can leave it plain. It will still be absolutely delicious.

Find more great ideas at It's A Keeper Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday, Catch a Glimpse Party, Cooking Thursday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays, Friday Food, Sweets this Week, What's Cookin' in the Kitchen, Fat Camp Friday, Recipes I can't wait to try, Sweets for a Saturday.

Triple Treat Torte

1/2 cup cold butter
1 cup flour
2/3 cup finely chopped dry roasted peanuts
1 cup powdered sugar
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 8 oz. carton whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 3.9 oz. pkg. instant chocolate pudding
1 3.9 oz. pkg. instant vanilla pudding
2 3/4 cup milk

Cut butter into flour until crumbly; stir in peanuts. Press onto bottom of a greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 16-20 minutes or until golden; cool completely.

Beat powdered sugar, cream cheese and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping. Spread over crust.

In another mixing bowl, whisk together milk and pudding mixes until slightly thickened. Spread over peanut butter layer. Top with remaining whipped topping. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Garnish as desired. Serves 20.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shrimp Enchiladas



This is a fun, different take on enchiladas. I adapted this recipe from Kraft, and it comes together quickly and easily - perfect for a weeknight trip South of the Border. I liked these even better the next day for lunch, after the flavors had more time to meld.

Start by preparing the tortillas. There's a number of ways you could do this, but for a stack like this, I like to wrap them in foil,



then place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until they're soft and roll-able. While they're heating, prepare the filling. Saute the onion in olive oil over medium high heat,



then add the shrimp,



green chiles,



chili powder,



salt, pepper and cumin.



Cook for 2-3 minutes or until all the flavors are well combined. Stir in the cream cheese



until it's melted. (I like to cut it into chunks so it melts more easily.) Then top with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese



and stir until combined. Now for the assembly. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray, then spoon about 1/4 cup of the shrimp mixture down the center of one tortilla.



Roll up the tortilla by bringing the two edges up to the middle, then carefully flip over and line up the enchiladas closely together.



Cover the enchiladas with salsa



then top with the remaining cheese.



Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until heated through and bubbly.

For more inspiration, visit This Week's Cravings, Tuesdays at the Table, Tasty Tuesdays, Delectable Tuesdays, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday (at 33 Shades of Green), Made from Scratch Tuesday, Recipe of the Week, Real Food Wednesday, What's on the Menu Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Whatcha Makin' Wednesday.


Shrimp Enchiladas

12 corn tortillas (6 inch)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 pound cooked medium shrimp, chopped
1 4 oz. can chopped green chiles
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cumin
4 oz. cream cheese (reduced fat is ok)
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided

Wrap tortillas in foil and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until softened.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute onion in olive oil over medium heat until tender. Add shrimp, green chilies, chili powder, salt, pepper and cumin. Cook for 2-3minutes until combined. Stir in cream cheese, then 1/2 cup of Mexican cheese until melted.

Unwrap tortillas. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, then spoon 1/4 cup of filling down middle of one tortilla. Fold in edges and place seam side down in baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Cover enchiladas with salsa, then with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake



If you love a certain coffee drink at Starbucks, you will love this dessert. But, you don't need to love coffee to love this - it has caramel and chocolate too, surely you love one of those? It's creamy, decadent and delicious. And it requires no baking, which makes it a wonderful addition to my summer dessert repertoire.

Start by making the crust. Place the cookies in a food processor and pulse until they're finely ground. (Or use a rolling pin and work out your aggression!) Add the melted butter



and pulse to blend. Press on the bottom of a greased 8 or 9 inch springform pan.



Put the pan in the freezer while you make the filling. In a medium bowl, combine the coffee and the chocolate chips



and then cover with boiling water.



Let stand a minute or so to melt, then add the caramel topping



and whisk well to combine. Let cool for 10 minutes, and proceed on! Sprinkle the gelatin over water in a small saucepan.



Let stand for 1 minute, then stir over low heat for 2 or 3 minutes until gelatin completely dissolves and the liquid is clear. Whisk this into the coffee mixture.



Now combine the cream cheese and sugar



in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Reduce the mixer to low speed, and beat in the coffee mixture until well blended.



Pour the filling into the crust



then cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight, until firm.



When you're ready to serve, make the topping. In a small mixing bowl combine the whipping cream



and caramel sauce



and beat until soft peaks are formed when beaters are lifted. Place the cake on a serving plate and remove the side of the pan.



Spoon caramel cream on top of the filling



and carefully spread to cover.



Drizzle on the remaining caramel topping.



Yum!



Find more ideas at A Themed Baker's Sunday, Foodie Friday, Friday Food, Food on Fridays, Sweet Tooth Friday, What's Cookin' in the Kitchen, Fun with Food Friday, Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, Fat Camp Friday, Let's Do Brunch, Sweets this Week, Sweets for a Saturday, Mangia Mondays.

Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake

18 chocolate sandwich cookies
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup instant coffee
1/2 cup plus 4 Tbsp. caramel ice cream topping, divided
1 packet unflavored gelatin
3 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese (or reduced fat), softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream

Coat a 8 or 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray.

Pulse cookies in a food processor until finely ground; add butter and process to blend. Press over bottom of prepared pan. Place pan in freezer while proceeding.

Put chocolate chips and coffee granules in a small bowl and cover with 1/2 cup boiling water. Let stand 1 minute to dissolve coffee and melt chocolate. Add 1/2 cup caramel topping and whisk to blend well. Let cool 10 minutes.

Meanwhile sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water in a small saucepan. Let stand 1 minute. Cook and stir over low heat 2 to 3 minutes until gelatin dissolved completely and liquid is clear. Stir with a whisk into coffee mixture.

Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Reduce speed to low and beat in coffee mixture until well blended. Pour into crust, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight, until firm.

When ready to serve, beat whipping cream and 2 Tbsp. caramel topping until soft peaks form. Place cake on a serving platter and remove side of pan. Spoon caramel cream on top of cake and carefully spread to cover. Drizzle remaining 2 Tbsp. caramel topping over top. Serves 12-16.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tilapia Amandine



Until recently, this was the ONLY way I cooked fish. I like it so much that I didn't feel the need to try another variety! But then I found the boursin option, and since then I've even just coated it in panko and pan fried. However, I do come back to my tried and true Amandine. This is from the Family Circle New Tastes for New Times cookbook.

You can make this with any white fish such as tilapia, cod, halibut etc. I use tilapia a lot because it goes on sale at an outrageously cheap price ($3/lb!) at my neighborhood grocery.

This dish comes together VERY fast. Have everything ready ahead of time. While the fish cooks (4 minutes!) you can saute some vegetables and you can honestly have dinner on the table in 10-15 minutes (including time to chop the veggies!). That's faster than the drive through line!

In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat



until the butter melts. While it's melting, pat the fish dry using paper towels.



Lightly dredge the fillets in cornstarch



then add to the skillet. (You can probably only get 2 to fit in at a time.) Cook for 2-3 minutes



then carefully turn over to cook on the second side for 2 minutes



or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. (This will somewhat depend on the thickness of the filets; tilapia is rather thin.) Remove the fish from the pan and place on a plate - I usually cover it with an inverted plate to keep it warm. Repeat with the remaining fish. Then add the rest of the butter to the pan and reduce the heat to medium.



When the butter is melted, add the almonds.



Cook the almonds until they are lightly toasted, stirring constantly, then add the lemon juice



and the parsley. This will make an amazing sizzle! Stir for just a second to combine all the flavors, then top the fish with the almond mixture.



That's all there is to it - crunchy, salty, lemony and delicious. And freaky fast, as Jimmy John's would say.

Find more great ideas at Cookbook Sunday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesday, It's a Keeper Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, What's on Your Plate?.

Tilapia Amandine

2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. salt
4 whitefish fillets, about 5 to 6 oz. each
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter, divided
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 tsp. dried parsley, or 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. lemon juice

Combine cornstarch and salt on a small plate, or on waxed paper. Heat oil and 1 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Coat each fish fillet with cornstarch mixture and add fillets to the pan (probably only 2 at once). Cook 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon to a serving platter; keep warm. Repeat, if necessary, with remaining fish fillets.

Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in skillet. Add almonds; cook 2-3 minutes or until almonds are lightly browned. Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Spoon almond mixture over fish. Serves 4.
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