Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Brenda's Veggie Dip

My mom had this dip made when we were at her house.  I LOVED the zip that the garlic added to this dip.  I came home and made it right away!
Brenda's Veggie Dip

1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
1 tbsp dill weed
1.5 tsp Lawrys seasoning salt
1 T parsley
2 T dried onion
1 tsp garlic powder

Mix all together and chill for at least an hour to let flavors blend.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tomato, Cucumber and Avocado Salad

This is a tasty salad that we have made twice in the last week!  It goes together easy, too!
Tomato, Cucumber and Avocado Salad

1½ cups of chopped tomatoes - I used cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber - peeled and seeded then diced
1 avocado - diced
4 oz feta cheese - cubed We used mozzeralla
2 tbs minced red onion
1 handful parsley - minced - about 2 tbs
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs red wine vinegar
8 twists of black pepper from a pepper mill

Chop tomatoes into a medium dice. If using cherry tomatoes, cut in half. Add to a bowl.
Peel and seed one cucumber and dice. Add to bowl.
Remove pit, dice avocado and using a spoon scoop out the avocado from the peel. Add to bowl.
Cube feta and add to bowl.
Add minced red onion and minced parsley to bowl.
Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar and black pepper - pour over salad.
Toss gently so the feta and avocado don't break up. Serve immediately.
If refrigerating - keep the avocado aside and add before severing.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake

Hey everyone, it's Kathleen-Beth's daughter. We were walking through H-E-B (our local grocery store) the day before Mother's Day and they were giving samples of a cake similar to this. Of course, we weren't about to spend $20 on a cake and figured it would be so much more fun to try to make it! I hope you enjoy it!

Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake
1 Red Velvet Cake Mix- prepared according to box directions and baked in 2 9-inch round pans
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake (recipe below)
Whipped Cream Frosting (recipe below)
1 bar Ghirardelli White Chocolate, shaved with a potato peeler

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake


1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, about 8 whole crackers
4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons melted butter

Cheesecake Batter
16 ounces (2 large packages) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream or sour cream
3 large eggs
2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla extract or Vanilla Bean Crush
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel, optional
1 teaspoon lemon juice, optional

Preheat the oven to 375°F. To make the crust: Stir together the crumbs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and melted butter. Press into the bottom and about 1/2" inch up the sides of an 8" x 8" square pan. For this recipe, bake it in a springform pan. Freeze for 15 minutes if using a metal pan (not necessary if using ceramic or glass). Note: this is to prevent the edges of the crust from slumping. If you're not worried about slumping (and in our testing, it only happened some of the time), you can skip this step. Bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes, until set; the color won't change much. Remove the crust from the oven and cool for a few minutes while you lower the oven temperature to 325°F.

To make the batter: Mix the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add the cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice; mix until combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as you mix. Spoon the batter into the crust. Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until the filling is set but still soft in the center. An instant-read thermometer, inserted into the filling about 1" in from the edge, will read about 180°F. Remove the bars from the oven, and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Whipped Cream Frosting 
1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3-1/2 cup powdered sugar

Whip the whipped cream until just before soft peaks form, add the powdered sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks. 

Cake Assembly
Once the cake and cheesecake are completely cooled, take the spring form pan off and transfer the cheesecake to a plate or cake turntable. Place one of the red velvet cake layers on top of the cheesecake (if any cracks form, you can fill them with the whipped cream). Frost with the whipped cream until completely covered. Immediately press the shaved white chocolate onto the sides and top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Easy Cheese Danish

 This is another breakfast recipe that my mom and I put together while we were there.  Very easy and great flavor!  I am sure you could add some fruit to the cream cheese to make it a strawberry Danish!

Easy Cheese Danish

1 tube crescent rolls
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 cup powdered sugar
4+ tablespoons heavy cream( or milk)
splash vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla. Set aside.

 Pop open crescent roll dough and unroll, leaving crescents in rectangles. On an ungreased baking sheet, lay the crescent roll rectangles together, lining them up width wise. Dough should be almost the entire length of a half sheet pan.

 Press edges together to even out edges and seal any holes. Carefully spread cream cheese filling down the center of the dough to be about 2-3 inches wide. Cut 1/2 inch diagonal strips up each side of the dough. Fold 1/2 inch dough pieces up over filling alternating sides to get a braided pattern. You may have excess dough once you reach the end of the danish, so fold them in as best as you can.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until filling is set and crescent dough is golden in color. Cool before removing from baking sheet.

 Once danish has cooled, remove to serving platter. In a small bowl, mix together powdered sugar, vanilla and cream to create icing. You may need to add more cream to get the desired consistency. Drizzle icing over Danish.

 Cut into pieces and serve.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Tator Tot Breakfast Casserole

My mom and I put this together for a breakfast when we were visiting their house over Mother's Day. This was great and easy to make.

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

1/2 bag frozen tater tots(We used the whole bag and it just filled a 9 x 13 pan)
12 eggs
2 cups shredded cheese
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper, to taste
sliced green onions, for topping

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Layer frozen tater tots in a single layer on the bottom of the baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs until smooth.

Stir in onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix in crumbled bacon. Then stir in 1 cup shredded cheese. Pour egg mixture over tater tots. Make sure the egg mixture is spread out all on the bottom.  Add remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese to the top.

Bake uncovered for about 35-40 minutes.

The egg mixture should be fully cooked and no longer jiggly. If you'd like, garnish with a little sliced green onion.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Best Ever Rice Krispie Treats

My mom and my sister had both made these the weekend we were in Wisconsin.  I LOVE the extra marshmallows and the vanilla in these.
Best EVER Rice Krispie Treats
10 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup (2 sticks) real, salted butter
2 10-oz. bags miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1/4 teaspoon salt

Measure exactly 10 cups of rice cereal and add to a large mixing bowl (not more, not less – it has to be 10 cups for the magic to happen); set aside.
Grease a 9 x 13 pan.
Melt butter over low heat in a large pot. Once butter is melted, add marshmallows, vanilla and salt. Cook and stir over low heat until marshmallows are melted and everything is completely mixed together. If marshmallows start to brown, remove from heat and keep stirring until everything is well combined.
Pour marshmallow mixture over rice cereal and gently stir until cereal is evenly coated.
Spread mixture into prepared pan. Let treats cool to room temperature uncovered. Once set, cut into 24 squares. Store in an air-tight container.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Roasted Asparagus and Carrots

Kathleen made these for a snack this week.  Very tasty!
Roasted Asparagus and Carrots
Adapted from

6 medium carrots
1/2 bunch asparagus
Other vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms and onions would be good this way.

1 T (or more if needed) olive oil
1 t garlic powder
1 T chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 T chopped fresh chives
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Chop vegetables into uniform size (ours could have been a little smaller). Coat with oil and spices. Bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake for at least another 10 minutes. Since the asparagus is so small we took it out after about 18 minutes, our carrots took about 25-30 minutes.