Posts Tagged ‘cream cheese’

Easy Mini Cheese Balls

What’s better than a cheese ball? Miniature cheese balls! With this recipe you can adjust for any flavor combination and can be served as a snack or to feed a crowd.

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Everyone loves a good cheese ball. I mean, what is there not to love about them? Cheesy, creamy, flavorful and rolled in some of the best things like herbs, nuts, and even bacon. Is it possible to improve upon that design? Why yes, you just have to miniatureize them and they instantly become the easiest freaking cheese balls you ever did make. All you have do it take those individually wrapped Laughing Cow cheese wedges, roll each one into a ball, and then roll in whatever coating you desire. Done! Just refrigerate until ready to serve.

Easy Mini Cheese Balls 1

The great thing about using The Laughing Cow spreadable cheeses was the diversity of flavors available. I used swiss with garlic & herb and rolled it in a mixture of parsley and basil. But I didn’t stop there! The second flavor I made was with queso fresco & chipotle rolled in a mixture of cilantro and chili pepper. Some another great combinations could be white cheddar or spicy pepperjack rolled in bacon, mozzarella sundried tomato basil rolled in basil and parmesan, and swiss french onion rolled in crushed pretzels and green onion. The best part? You can make just enough for a snack or for an entire party! For a smaller serving use about 1 tsp of coating per wedge of cheese.

Easy Mini Cheese Balls 2

One year ago: Mexican Stuffed Shells

Two years ago: Brussels Sprouts with Honey Vinaigrette

Four years ago: Almond Crusted Chicken with Scallion Beurre Blanc
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Lemon Lush Bars

These fluffy lemon bars are so good you will find yourself rationalizing that such a light dessert just might be healthy. It’s all in perception right?

Lemon Lush Bars 1

Well, well, well, looks like my Buckeyes wanted to make sure my first day on the new job was one to remember! What a game! So excited for Ohio State to be the first College Football Playoff National Champions!!! I would have never anticipated this to happen after hearing that our starting QB was injured right before the start of the season. Neither would I have dreamed of it after losing to Virginia Tech and then again after almost losing to Penn State. Losing our second QB to injury right before the conference championship game. The controversy of selecting Ohio State over TCU or Baylor. Worst of all, the tragic death of Kosta. The list of things this team has had to overcome this year is just craziness and the team stuck together through it all and proved everyone wrong. Add it to the list of reasons I am proud to be a Buckeye.

Lemon Lush Bars 2

Going along with this new job of mine, you probably noticed the decrease in the amount of posts I share each week. I apologize for not feeding the addiction, providing daily fixes but until I can get back into a groove and have my kitchen fully organized (and not in boxes randomly dispersed around the floor), I regrettably will not be able to post as often. Lucky for you before getting the flu, traveling to Rochester for Christmas, and NYC for NYE, and moving to Ohio, I was able to whip up a few things to tide over some of the gaps. Bear with me as most things are sweets, such as these lemon lush bars, and may not abide by your new years resolutions. Just eat some healthy in compensate, that’s how it works right?

Two years ago: Overnight, Slow Cooker Eggnog Cranberry Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Four years ago: Stuffed Green Peppers
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Snowman Blue Cheese Ball

Everyone loves cheese balls so make sure you have this blue cheese ball at your next party. But instead of a round ball make it snowman shaped!

Snowman Blue Cheese Ball 1

Party time means dip time. And no party is complete without a big ol’ ball o’ cheese. This recipe was originally adapted from recipe I received from one of my parent’s friends. Turns out it is very similar to the blue cheese ball I already shared which was such a hit you would have though I was a magician doing a disappearing act. In addition to blue cheese and green onions, this version has black olives, walnuts, and optional banana peppers mixed in. And in case those differences weren’t enough, instead of making a regular cheese ball I went the festive route and made it snowman shaped! Apparently I like eating things with cute faces because this is the second adorable recipe I have made this month that has a face (first was the cone head cupcakes). This phenomenon does not follow for meat however, at least not in it’s natural state. But add a cartoonish face and we’re okay (just take these octoweenies for example).

Snowman Blue Cheese Ball 2

One year ago: Orange Cut-Out Cookies with Orange Cardamom Icing

Two years ago: Homemade Maple Breakfast Sausage
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Dip

Take your love of raw cookie dough to a new level with this cookie dough dip. Made with peanut butter and Reese’s cup for all the peanut buter lovers out there.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Dip 2

Hard to believe that a year ago today I formally graduated with my PhD. Technically I acquired the title of “Dr.” 3 months prior in September when I defended my dissertation but December 13, 2013 is when I wore the fancy robe and got my giant degree (literally it’s huge). And today I am celebrating yet another graduation. No not another of my own (I haven’t been going to school in secret for the past year). My cousin Alex is graduating from Physician Assistant school!

To mark this momentous occasion I’ve decided to lay on some more news. Leading up to today, I have posted clues (1/2/3/4) on Twitter but no one tweeted any guesses. Either the clues were much too vague or no one saw them (I’m betting on the latter). I also dropped another hint on Thanksgiving when I commented about something I was looking forward to and a couple of you figured it out…

…what do you think?
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Speculoos & Pumpkin Spice Oreo Lasagna

Serve lasagna for dessert! This dessert lasagna is made with graham crackers, golden pumpkin Oreos, cream cheese, cool whip, and cookie butter. In other words, delicious.

Biscoff & Pumpkin Spice Oreo Lasagna 1

After how big of a hit the chocolate peanut butter cup lasagna was last year, it seemed like a no brainer to try it again with another beloved spread – Speculoos aka Biscoff. With the help of some pumpkin spice Oreos, this dessert lasagna disappeared just as quickly as the peanut butter version. I brought it to a chili cook off and there wasn’t a single dollop left by the end of the night – people were scraping up every last bit of it. Basically, if you are looking for a killer make-ahead dessert for an upcoming party then look no further. Pumpkin is totally acceptable after Thanksgiving.

P.S. You can now follow me on Instagram! Oh technology!

Biscoff & Pumpkin Spice Oreo Lasagna 2

One year ago: Homemade Italian Bread & Garlic Bread

Two years ago: White Chocolate Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

Three years ago: Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Four years ago: Homemade Applesauce

SPECULOOS & PUMPKIN SPICE OREO LASAGNA

Serves 24

Ingredients:

CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup heavy cream

FILLING

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature

1-1/2 cups Biscoff or Speculoos cookie spread

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

16 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed

15 whole graham crackers

1 (12.2 oz.) box Golden Oreos with Pumpkin Spice Creme

1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

TOPPING

8 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed

1/4 cup toffee bits

Directions:

  1. For the chocolate drizzle, melt the chocolate chips and heavy cream together in the microwave in 15 second increments, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. Prepare the filling: In a medium mixing bowl, whip together cream cheese, cookie spread, powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla. Whip for 2-3 minutes until fully combined and smooth. Add the thawed whipped topping 8 ounces at a time. Continue to whip until fluffy and light. Set aside.
  3. In a 9 x 13 inch dish place one layer of graham crackers (7-1/2 sheets). Spread 1/3 of the filling mixture over the crackers, and sprinkle with 1/3 of the chocolate chips. Gently press a layer of Oreos into the filling and top with another 1/3 of the filling. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the chocolate chips and top with another layer of crackers followed by the final 1/3 of the filling.
  4. Frost with whipped topping, and sprinkle the top with the remaining chocolate chips and toffee bits. Drizzle with chocolate. Chill for at least 4-6 hours before cutting into 24 squares.

Source: Adapted from my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Lasagna.

Signature

Hummingbird Cake

If you enjoy carrot and banana cake you’ll love hummingbird cake. Banana, pineapple, and pecans make a moist fluffy cake topped with cream cheese frosting and even more pecans.

Hummingbird Cake

Over the weekend a certain family member of mine celebrated a birthday – my dad turned 70 on Sunday! We threw him party filled with all of his golf, softball, pickleball, shenanigan, etc. friends and had all kinds of things to eat such as my dad’s cook-off winning chili, corn spoon bread, sweet and sour meatballs, cocktail weenies, buffalo chicken dip, sausage cheese bread, and spinach dip. Of course no 70th birthday is complete without scads of desserts! We had potica, pineapple angel food cake, three different kinds of brownies (turtle, hot chocolate, peanut butter), and last but not least, hummingbird birthday cake!

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The birthday boy requested this cake and even had a recipe saved for it. If you’ve never had hummingbird cake, it is like a fluffy version of banana bread with not only banana but also crushed pineapple, pecans, and cinnamon. It’s topped by the best kind of frosting on earth, cream cheese frosting, and then garnished with even more pecans. Basically it is a cake stuffed with some of my dad’s favorite things: fruit and nuts. After he quickly blew out the candles in one breath (and I sadly didn’t have my flash on and ended up with a blurry photo – below is staged), I made sure to slice him a piece with the most nuts on top!

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One year ago: Caramel Frosted Pumpkin Mini Cakes

Two years ago: Arugula Pesto Pasta

Four years ago: Caramel Apple Pie
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Caramel Apple Pecan Cheesecake

Caramel cheesecake, speculoos cookie crust, apples, more caramel, pecans, and cinnamon whipped cream. If that’s not the works for an epic caramel cheesecake I don’t know what is.

Caramel Apple Pecan Cheesecake 2

Time for the obligatory “I woke up to snow this morning” proclamation. Funny how living in the South for the past 8 years has already altered my Northerner mind set into thinking it is way too early for below freezing temperatures, let alone snow. But it will probably melt by noon so all is well, at least down here. I know some of my friends still living in the North are about to get pounded with snow. Not that they don’t know how to handle it up there but it is a bit early to be getting that much snow. Stay warm, my friends!

You will notice that I did not take the photos of this cheesecake during this snowy event. This is the dessert I made for Friendsgiving, when it was still warm and sunny out (was that really only 1-1/2 weeks ago?). Instead of making pumpkin or apple pie, since I knew we were get our fill in a couple weeks on Thanksgiving, I made a caramel cheesecake with a speculoos cookie crust, topped with apples, more caramel sauce, pecans, and even cinnamon whipped cream. And yes every last bit of it was devoured. One of my friends even took it upon himself to top his slice with all of the excess whipped cream.

Caramel Apple Pecan Cheesecake 1

One year ago: Penne with Butternut Squash, Kale, and Goat Cheese

Three years ago: Baked Apple Cider Doughnut Minis

Four years: Asian BBQ Chicken
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Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Bagel Bites for One

Enlist some self control on the front end by making a single serving batch of these pumpkin bagel bites coated in cinnamon-sugar, dipped in sweet cream cheese.

Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Bagel Bites for One 1

Although I love leftovers for lunch the next day, after living on my own for a long time I started craving recipes that serve just one because sometimes that giant vat of soup loses its appeal after the 5th day. This search resulted in the creation of Single Serving Sundays which documents my adventure through cooking for one. Whether you live alone or not, single serving recipes come in handy. To prove it, this week for Single Serving Sunday I invited some friends along in a link up of recipes for one.

SSS

I know I just spent the week before last bombarding you with pumpkin recipes but ’tis the season, right? And you really don’t want to miss out on this single serving recipe. If you thought you couldn’t make a small batch of bagel bites in about 30 minutes, well now you can. The best part is that they don’t require a lot of rise time. They perfectly rise on your stove top while the oven gets busy pre-heating. The only downside is that you may want more than one serving, but then again maybe it’s a good thing to force self control. How else would you be able to resist eating a giant bowl of pumpkin bagel bites coated in cinnamon-sugar and dipped in sweet cream cheese?

Stock up on some more single serving recipes:

Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Bagel Bites for One 2

One year ago: Sea Salt Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups

Three years ago: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with Caramelized Onions, Bacon, and Apple

CINNAMON-SUGAR PUMPKIN BAGEL BITES FOR ONE

Serves 1

Ingredients:

PRETZELS

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp active dry yeast

Pinch cinnamon

Pinch nutmeg

1 Tbsp pumpkin puree

2-3 Tbsp warm water

1/2 cup hot water

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 Tbsp butter, melted

1/2 Tbsp cinnamon-sugar

DIPPING SAUCE

1 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp powdered sugar

1 Tbsp heavy cream

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, sift together the first four ingredients. Stir in pumpkin and 1 tablespoon of warm water first. If the dough is dry, then add a little more water and mix again.
  2. Pour out onto a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle with flour. Knead gently until the dough comes together into a slightly sticky ball. Roll out into a 3/4-inch wide rope and cut into 3/4-inch pieces.
  3. In a shallow dish, combine the hot water and baking soda. Dip the pieces into the mixture and flip to coat completely. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.
  4. Leave in a nice warm place to rise while you preheat the oven to 450 degrees, for about 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl blend together the dipping sauce. Set aside.
  6. Once oven is preheated and dough has risen, bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm with dipping sauce.

Source: Adapted from my Cinnamon-Raisin Bagel for One.

Signature

Caramel Apple Oreo Truffles

You can make Oreo truffles out of any of the different flavors of Oreo. Try this caramel apple version, dipped in chocolate to resemble an actual caramel apple.

Caramel Apple Oreo Truffles 1

Happy Halloween! It seems fitting that today is also caramel apple day and since Oreo was thoughtful enough to make a caramel apple creme golden Oreo I went ahead and made truffles out of them. I even dipped them in green and light brown chocolate candy coating to resemble a caramel dipped apple on a stick. Or a green buckeye depending on how you look at it.

Caramel Apple Oreo Truffles 2

Three years ago: Root Beer Sloppy Joes
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Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt Mousse

Fluffy mousse made with pumpkin spice Greek yogurt is a great way to end a fall day. Serve with a spiced cookie.

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Holy food coma. Peabody has outdone herself giving Kita and I a foodie/root beer tour of Seattle and I’m not sure if I will ever be hungry again. Doughnuts, fresh Greek yogurt, burgers, lab-style cocktails, Greek food, short ribs, bread pudding, and more pastries galore. I even spent $100 on root beer yesterday, 43 bottles of root beer that I somehow didn’t already have in my collection of 108. Yea, I think I made that root beer store owner’s day. Eventually I plan to post some pictures recapping this adventure but for now let’s take a gander at some mousse. Pumpkin spiced Greek yogurt mousse in fact decorated with chocolate dipped speculoos cookies made out to look like graves because Halloween is this Friday.

Pumpkin Spice Mousse 1

One year ago: Chocolate Pumpkin Pancakes

Three years ago: Halloween Brownie Roll Out Cookie Sandwiches
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