Monday, December 8, 2014

New Cheesecake with home made Marcapone Cheese

It has been quite a while since I have given you a dessert which was delicious and fun to make.  Imagine telling your guest that you made your own Mascarpone Cheese.  I guarantee they will be impressed.  The cheese recipe I am going to give you is best used for a dessert cream but the uses are endless.  

First the Cheesecake:

Lemon Cheesecake


  • CRUST:
  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or lemon extract


  1. In a bowl, combine crumbs, nuts and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of a greased 10-in. springform pan; set aside. in a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, beating on low speed just until combined. Add lemon juice, peel and vanilla; beat just until blended. Pour into crust.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F for 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from the oven; let stand for 5 minutes. 
  3. **Combine topping ingredients; spread over filling. Return to the oven for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before cutting.

**I used the sour cream topping but did not put it back in the oven so I could decorate the top with raspberries.  I served with the homemade Mascarpone Cream below.

 First you need to make the substitute Mascarpone Cheese...
Mascarpone substitute Cheese
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, softened


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, cream and butter until well blended. Use in place of mascarpone in any recipe.
Then you make the cream...
Mascarpone Crème
2 cups mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream


1.      Beat mascarpone and sugar on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk until combined. Add cream; beat until stiff.

This seems like a lot of work but boy is it worth it.  

Enjoy and let me know how you like it.


Some recipes for the Holiday Season.

I hope that all of you had a wonderful and fun Thanksgiving and are ready for the Christmas Season.  Got some of my shopping started, but not finished yet. 

We have arrived in Tucson, staying at a very nice RV park called Desert Trails, enjoying the warm weather, restaurants and seeing friends.  So, my recipes below have a little bit of a Tucson flavor.

We are not decorating the RV until we get to Benson on the 13th, so I do not have my tree and reindeer up yet and it is killing me.   Will add a picture of the tree when we put it up.

Here are some easy and delicious recipes for your enjoyment.   I kept them simple this time since everyone is rushed during this wonderful time of the year, well, at least a couple of them are.

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries


1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 large sweet potatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar


1. Brush an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan with 2 tsp. olive oil. Heat pan in a 425° oven 5 minutes.
2. Peel sweet potatoes, and cut into 3- x 1/2-inch strips. Combine strips, salt, chili powder, brown sugar, and remaining 1 tsp. oil in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag, tossing to coat.
3. Place strips in a single layer in prepared pan.
4. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until crisp, stirring every 10 minutes.

Bake Brie with Pecans and Brown Sugar

1-8 oz round of brie with rind intact
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 sheet puff pastry (thawed)
Granny Smith Apples, sliced
butter crackers or light crackers (for serving)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper for baking. Spread out puffed pastry on a flat surface.
In a separate bowl, mix pecans, sugar, cinnamon.
Spread nut mixture onto the center of the pastry. Place brie atop the nut mixture. Fold pastry over the brie to enclose everything like a package and pinch the pastry closed so it is sealed. Flip pastry package over and place on baking tray with folds on the bottom.
Bake in oven for about 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is browned and golden.
Serve with crackers and sliced apples.
Now, for a recipe that is not so easy but well worth it.    These are fun to make and delicious but take quite a bit  of work.  We got the recipe from New Mexico Magazine ages ago and try to make them every year. 

Apple and Green Chile Empanadas

Makes 12-16 Empanadas

Cream Cheese Dough

1 c. butter, softened
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/8 tsp. salt
2 c. all-purpose flour

Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy; add salt.  Combine flour with butter-and-cheese mixture until just blended together.  (Do not overwork dough.)  Form dough into a circle, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least 1 hour.

Apple and green chile filling 

3 medium-size apples
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. honey
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. pecans, lightly toasted and chopped
1 1/2 c. green chili, peeled, seeded, drained, diced (add more green Chile to taste) (if you need to use canned green chili, this is about 3 4-ounce cans)

Peel, core and dice apples on small pieces.  Place in saucepan, add sugar and water.  Cook over medium heat until water has evaporated and apples are cooked but still hold their shape.  Add honey and cinnamon, and cook until mixture has thickened (it should be sticky and hold together).  Stir in pecans and well-drained New Mexico green chili.  Place in bowl, cover, and chill.

To prepare empanadas:
1 egg
2 tsp. water
Cream Cheese Dough
Apple and green Chile filling
2 oz. Cheddar cheese
turbinado (crystalline) sugar

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line sheet trays with parchment paper.  Beat egg with water. 
Divide dough into two equal pieces.  On lightly floured surface, roll one piece of dough into circle or rectangle 1/4 inch thick.  Cut in circles, using floured, 4-inch diameter round cookie cutter.  Gently remove excess dough.
Fill each circle with large teaspoon of filling and sprinkle with grated cheese.  Brush edge of dough with egg wash.  Gently fold circle in half, making sure filling is completely covered.  Place on parchment-lined sheet tray, brush with egg wash, sprinkle with turbinado sugar.  Bake 15-20 minutes. 
Cool 10 minutes and serve warm.  If not serving immediately, cool to room temperature and store in sealed container.

Well, enjoy and hope you like the recipes.  Let me know.

Merry Christmas to you and yours and a Happy New Year!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hello everyone,

Glad you came back to visit and hope you are finding these recipes delicious and helpful.

I thought I would give you my ideas on small appliances in the RV.  Of course, we all have coffee pots, my favorite is the Kuerig because of the convenience of the one cup system.  But, what about other items, such as a large mixer, small mixer, blender, chopper, slow cooker and bread maker? 

Large Mixer:
I really use mine a lot.  It depends on what you cook and how often you cook and if you bake a lot.  I find it very convenient and practical from mashing potatoes to making zucchini bread.  I guess it depends on your storage space.  I have a Sunbeam so it is not quite as large as a Kitchen-Aid which helps.  It really get used during the holidays and I really would not be without it.  I do not have a small hand mixer.

I use the chopper constantly.  Too lazy to chop by hand sometimes.  I paid $5.00 for a small one at Kohl's 9 years ago and it is still going.  Noticed they are $7.98 now.  Believe me that is all you need.  Blender is a luxury.  We use ours occasionally.

Slow Cooker:
Love it, Love it, Love it.  There is not much else to say. :)  It is one of the most convenient things out there so I really suggest this.  It is so nice to put everything in there and know dinner will be done when you get home from volunteering or exploring.   So, #1 suggestion.

Bread Maker:
I love my bread maker.  I debated for a few years rather or not to get one and now would not trade it.  I am always experimenting and coming up with new bread recipes or revamping old ones.  Lets face it, there is nothing like the taste and smell of fresh bread.  So much better than store bought.  I like the fact you can put everything in there, push the button and go away.  When you come home, the aroma makes your mouth water.  The machine keeps the bread warm for you.

Hope this helps.  All depends on space.  Keith and I took out our dining table and chairs and replaced it with a buffet that has a leaf on top which folds out to make an eating counter.  We then bought 2 pretty folding bar stools and we were set.  The buffet has tons of storage, wine rack and storage bins.  Love it! 

Here are some recipes I have tried.  Hope you like them and please let me know.

Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
  • 1 lb chicken breast cooked and shredded
  • 1 15 oz can corn
  • 1 1/2 15 oz diced tomatoes drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 cup onion chopped optional
  • 1 small can diced green chilis
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. pepper
  • monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • corn tortillas for chip topping we cut and fried corn tortillas
  • avocados cubed
  1. Cook and shred (or cube) chicken.
  2. Add all the ingredients, except the cheese, corn tortilla strips and avocados to your crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 3-4 hours).
  3. Add cheese just before serving.
  4. To make this soup extra delicious, add some crunchy tortilla strips. Slice up corn tortillas with a pizza cutter. Flash Fry in hot oil and sprinkle on top of your soup. Add cubed avocados to dished up soup.  
 Thanks to "Lil's Luna (All Things Good) website for this recipe.

Here is the treat, an Almond Joy Cheesecake.  It is incredible and so flavorful.  I apologize, I cannot remember where I got the recipe.  Been making it for a while.  It looks like a lot more work than it is and even so, it is worth it.  This will be a big hit I promise. 

Almond Joy Cheesecake

Servings: depends on how many slices you make!


For the crust:

1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 and 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
1 tablespoon coconut extract
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

For the glaze:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whole roasted almonds, toasted coconut, whipped cream, for garnish


1. For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare your springform pan by wrapping it with aluminum foil to allow for extra three inches or so of foil to project above the sides.  (This will help later when you need to grab the pan.) I used a 10" springform so I did not do this step.  Came out fine.
3. In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers, almonds, coconut, and sugar to a fine crumb.
4. With the machine running, slowly add the melted butter and pulse until it resembles moist sand. Or you can mix in a bowl after you grind to fine crumb.
5. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of the pan.
6. Bake the crust for about 12 minutes, or until set and lightly browned.
7. Remove from the oven and let cool.
8.  Readjust oven temperature to 325 degrees.
9. For the filling: In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. (Mine does not have a paddle, so regular beaters had to do which they did.)
10.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
11. Add the coconut and coconut extract.
12.  Stop the mixer, and gently fold in the toasted almonds with a spatula until well combined.
13. Transfer the filling to the cooled crust and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes (until the crust is puffy and lightly browned).
14. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
15. For the chocolate glaze: Combine the chocolate chips, cream, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until smooth.
16.  Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature (this took about 10 minutes for me).
17. Pour the glaze over the cheesecake (which is still in the springform pan) and spread evenly.
18.  Chill the cheesecake overnight or until firm and set.
19.  When ready to serve, run a knife around the perimeter of the pan to loosen the cake.  Release the pan sides and serve.
Serve with whipped cream, with coconut and almonds sprinkle on it. 

Well, let me know how you enjoy these 2 recipes.  
If you have any questions, please let me know.'
Thanks and have a Happy Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hello there,

Guess what, I'm still alive. :)   I hope to keep this up better from now on, so please be sure to look in each time you read the blog.

For those of you who are setting up your kitchen in the RV, I wanted to tell you what I did and how pleased I am with it. 

I wanted a way to keep things like flour, sugar, etc from going bad, either from the different climates we visit, flour bugs (even though I am not sure what they are) etc.  So, Sue and I headed to IKEA in Dayton Ohio and found some wonderful storage boxes that were just the right size and shape to fit in the overhead cabinets.  We found a wonderful variety there but I now understand that Target also carries the same style of storage boxes.  They lock really tight so no air or moisture can get in.  Plus they don't accidentally spill either.  I bought a lot of different sizes (actually 4) which stack on top of each other and save a lot of room usually lost to boxes and jars.  I put my noodles, cereals, baking supplies, nuts, raisins, cranberries, rice, etc in them and it works great.  Even my brown sugar does not get hard.  I am extremely pleased with this system and highly suggest it.  Almost forgot, I labeled them using Avery labels so it is easy to find what you want.   If you have any questions, please let me know.

Recipe of the day:

I have been using my crock pot and bread maker a lot lately so here are a couple of recipes for you to try.


½ onion – minced
½ pound ground chuck
¼ cup rice instant – uncooked
2 TBS chopped parsley or cilantro
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste
4 oz chopped green chilies – canned and drained
1 carrot shredded
4 c water
2 cloves garlic - minced
14 ½ oz stewed tomatoes – canned (if large, dice to smaller pieces)
2 cups low fat beef broth
1 tsp dried oregano

In a bowl, combine beef, onion, garlic, rice, egg, salt and pepper to taste

Form into 1 ½ inch meatballs.

Place chilies and shredded carrots in bottom of slow cooker.

Spread tomatoes evenly over top of the chilies and carrots.

Place meatballs on top of tomatoes. 

Pour in water, broth, oregano, and parsley or cilantro.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.  

Note:  Keith and I both loved this soup.  It was a little spicy, so if you don't like spicy, use less green chilies.  I served it with a dollop of sour cream and warm flour tortillas. . 


Steakhouse Wheat Bread for the Bread Machine

Original recipe makes 1 loaf

1 cup and 2 tablespoons warm water

1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons butter, softened

1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons honey

3/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules

1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons white sugar

1-1/2 cups bread flour

1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1-3/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast


NOTE: Recipe directions are for the original serving size of 12.

Place the warm water, butter, honey, salt, coffee, cocoa, sugar, bread flour, whole wheat flour, and bread machine yeast in the pan of a bread machine in the order listed. Put on regular or basic cycle with light crust.

PREP 10 minute
COOK 3 hrs
READY IN 3 hrs 10 minutes

Note:  This bread is wonderful tasting and we really enjoyed it.  Taste just like the bread in steak restaurants.  Nothing like warm bread from your bread maker.

See you next time and take care.