Friday, December 26, 2014

Spinach Cheese Squares

Looking for a great, easy and yummy appetizer for the your NYE party?  Look no further.  This is it.  Spinach.  Cheese.  One bowl.  Bake It.  Easy, easy, easy.  Any yummy.  Did I mention yummy?  As well, these are great served hot or cold.  And they store well too (in case you have leftovers, which I doubt you will).

Spinach Cheese Squares

1/2 Cup Butter 
3 Eggs
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Milk
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
20 Oz. Frozen Spinach (this is usually two boxes if using that type.  I prefer to use the the loose leaf frozen spinach - but I know that isn't as easy to find)
1 Pound Monterey Jack Cheese, Shredded (approx. 4 cups)

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place butter in a 9x13 cake pan.  Set in oven and let the butter melt (appox. 5 minutes).  Remove from oven let stand while you prepare the next set of ingredients.  Be sure to leave the oven on.

Step 2:  In a large saute or frying pan, heat the spinach thoroughly - letting any water evaporate through the cooking process.  Once heated through, drain the spinach and then lay out on a clean dishtowel (or paper towels or cheesecloth) and wring out the spinach.  You want the spinach to be as dry as possible.  Set aside.

Step 3:  In a large bowl, beat the eggs and then add the flour, milk, salt and baking powder.  Stir until well combined.  Add the cooked spinach and the cheese.  Mix well.  

Step 4:  Spread into the pan and bake at for 35 minutes - until it just starts to brown around the edges.  Cut into squares and serve.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Pistachio Cheescake

Still looking for a fabulous dessert for the upcoming holiday?  This may be it.  It is rich, creamy and absolutely divine.  Original recipe can be found here.  I changed up the crust, but the filling is the same in my version.  Yum.

Pistachio Cheesecake

1.5 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs (approx. 1 sleeve, crushed)
1/3 Cup Sugar
4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted

20 Oz. Cream Cheese, Softened
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/4 Teaspoon Almond Extract
4 Eggs
1 (3.4-oz.) Pkg. Instant Pistachio Pudding and Pie Filling Mix
1 (12-oz.) Pkg. (2 cups) White Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup chopped shelled pistachios (optional) - I did not use them

Whipped Cream, for serving

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, combine the graham crumbs, 1/3 cup sugar and butter in a bowl.  Once well combined, press onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.  Bake for 1 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  As well, once removed from the oven - decrease the oven temp to 325 degrees.

Step 2:  For the filling, in the bowl of a mixer - combine the cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar.  Beat until well combined.  Next, add the almond extract and sour cream.  Beat until smooth.  Now, add the eggs one at a time.  Continue to mix until the egg is well blended into the batter before adding the next egg.  Once all eggs are added, add the pistachio pudding dry mix and continue to mix until well combined.  Then, add in the white chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Step 3:  Wrap the springform pan in tinfoil (this will prevent leaking as well as help the cake to bake evenly).  Pour the batter into the pan and top with pistachios if using.  Bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour and 20 minutes (until sides of cheesecake are set and slightly puffed but center still moves slightly when pan is tapped).  Once removed from the oven, remove discard the tinfoil and cool the cheesecake in pan on wire rack for 1 hour. Cover; refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.

Step 4:  To serve, remove from pan by running a butter knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan.  Removes the sides of pan, slice and serve with whipped cream on top.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Russian Teacakes

Everyone has a favorite  . ..and these are my hubby's favorite cookie.  I'm not much of a cookie baker, but I've trained taught my daughter how to make these.  She does a fantastic job and has been making them for the past 4 years as a birthday gift to my hubby, her "da-da".  They are kind like buttery, nutty and very sweet orbs of shortcake.  Around these here parts, many of us grew up with these being a Christmas staple and could often find them among the favorites of the Christmas cookie exchange.  Enjoy!

Russian Teacakes

1 Cup Butter, Room Temp
1/2 Cup Sifted Powdered Sugar + 1 Cup for after they are baked
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 and 1/4 Cup Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Nuts

Mix butter, sugar and vanilla together.  Blend salt and flour together, then add to butter mixture.  Stir in nuts and chill for 1 hour.

To Bake:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Roll into 1" balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Do not flatten!  They will not lose their shape and will remain a round ball.  While still warm, roll in powdered sugar.  Cool.  Then roll again in powdered sugar.  Yield:  4 dozen, 1-inch sized cookies.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Beef Paprika Hot Dish (Casserole)

Here's another great hot dish recipe!  I found this one in my vintage Minnesota cookbook.  Yum!

Beef Paprika
Serves 6-8

1.5 lbs Ground Beef
1 Cup Chopped Onion
2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Flour
2 Teaspoons Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Tablespoon Paprika + additional for serving
7-Oz Can of Mushrooms or 1 Cup Fresh Sliced Mushrooms
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Sour Cream
1/4 Cup Parsley
12-Oz Egg Noodles (dry weight) - Cooked and Drained

Brown the beef, onions and garlic together in fry pan  Stir in flour and seasonings.  Add mushrooms, water and soup.    Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Blend in sour cream; remove from heat.  Stir parsley into the noodles and add to the meat/mushroom sauce.  Pour into a greased casserole pan and place in preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 1/2 hour, or until heated through.