Feb 14, 2010

Cheesecake for my Valentine

I made my first ever Cheesecake today for my Husband and Valentine...Brian. Coming home from Georgia last week he mentioned to me that he would love for me to make him a cheesecake sometime. I said..."sure honey"... and didn't think much more of it at the time.

We decided to stay in this year for Valentines, so I thought it would be the perfect time for me to attempt baking one. I've always had it in my head that making a cheesecake is a tough thing to do..but the hard part of it was to wait 5 hours to indulge in it! It was a time consuming project...but WELL WORTH THE WAIT! Brian took a bite and said,
"Damn Baby, you've got it goin' on! This is Amazing!"

I decided after cooking tonight's meal that it makes me really HAPPY to cook. Due to the fact that my butt is ALREADY extremely large...this is NOT a good thing! But seriously...I slaved in the kitchen for most of the afternoon making dinner for us tonight...and when I was plating it up...I was so proud of what I had accomplished. The cheesecake was a great way to finish off the night. I don't cook meals like this often...but when I do... it makes all the work worth it!

I have a feeling this Cheesecake Recipe will be around for many years to come....and will be made for many special occasions in the future. Make it...Indulge in it...and last of all, but not least...Enjoy it!

Ultimate Turtle Cheesecake

From: www.allrecipes.com
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 5 hours and 40 Minutes
Serves: 16

2 cups OREO Chocolate Cookie Crumbs
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 (14 ounce) package KRAFT Caramels
1/2 cup milk
1 cup PLANTERS Pecan Pieces
3 (8 ounce) packages PHILADELPHIA
Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 eggs
2 (1 ounce) squares BAKER'S Semi
-Sweet Baking Chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F if using a silver 9-inch springform pan (or to 300 degrees F if using a dark nonstick springform pan). Mix crumbs and butter; press firmly onto bottom and 2 inches up side of pan.
2. Place caramels and milk in small microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 3 minutes or until caramels are completely melted, stirring after each minute. Stir in pecans. Pour half of the caramel mixture into crust. Refrigerate 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate remaining caramel mixture for later use.
3. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over caramel layer in crust.
4. Bake 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife or metal spatula around side of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing side of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
5. Microwave reserved caramel mixture on HIGH 1 minute; stir. Pour over cheesecake. Melt chocolate as directed on package; drizzle over cheesecake. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Feb 10, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

My name is Beth Simms and I am addicted to
Chicken Pot Pie.

There I said it... the truth shall set me free!

Every time the question is asked, "What would your last meal be on earth?" My answer is always the same... "Dennis Treado's Chicken Pot Pie!" It seriously is my favorite meal. I've offically named myself ... A Chicken Pot Pie Connoisseur. I'm very leery to order pot pie out at a restaurant because so many people think they can cook pot pie. I disagree... It's seriously an art and most people don't even have a clue! I don't know why people feel the need to put every vegetable under the sun in their pot pie...come on... it doesn't need potatoes or corn... just the basics of carrots, peas and celery. The crust is another thing...every recipe you look at recommends a thick, biscuit like crust...again.. why?? I mean, no one loves Biscuits more then me...but there no need with pot pie... just stick to the basics. Sometimes less is more!

So... in honor of Valentines and it being the month of Love... I thought I would spread the Love of Pot Pie!

Treado's Chicken Pot Pie

Serves: 4
Cook time: 30-40 minutes

3-4 Boneless Chicken Breast
Better than Bouillon Chicken Base (get next to Chicken Bouillon Cubes at Grocery Store)
4-6 Stalks of Celery
1 1/2 Sticks of Butter
1 Cup Milk (or Heavy Cream) (you might need less or more...you just have to judge it)
5 T. Flour
1 Can Lesueur Peas
1 Can Chopped Carrots
2 Rolls Pillsbury Pie Crust
Salt and Pepper to taste

Step One:
Cut celery into chunks
Place in pot and cover with water
Boil with 2 T - 1/2 stick of butter until it has cooked down to very little water left and tender (about 15-20 minutes)

Cut raw chicken into chunks
Cook in frying pan with Better than Bouillon Chicken Base (around 2 T or more if you like)
Salt and Pepper your Chicken to Taste
Once Cooked, place aside until later

Step Two:
Place Pie Crust on Baking Sheets and Spread butter on Top (We use squirt butter)
Cut into Strips or Pieces and Cook according to the directions on the box

Step Three:
To Make White Sauce:
Melt Stick of Butter in Bottom of Pan
Add about 5 T. flour and stir constantly over medium heat. (Watch out it will burn if you don't keep whisking)
Add Milk (or heavy cream...the cream is sooo good!) in small amounts and continually stir until you have a desired amount of sauce is made. Probably need about a quart of sauce. (Make sure you are constantly whisking so the sauce won't clump up or burn...it will get thick after a few minutes...if its too thick...just add more milk)
Add Salt and Pepper to Taste.

Step Four:
Add chicken, celery with small amount of juice, can of Drained Lesueur Peas and can of Drained Sliced Carrots to White Sauce

Simmer for a few minutes

Step Five:
Place on Plate
Put Crust on Top
Bless Your Meal

Step Six:
Email me and tell me how much you Love Me for Sharing with you My Favorite Meal!

Feb 9, 2010

Our Famous Wedding Welcome Gift Bags

I'm about to toot my horn here...but we had the most amazing Welcome Gift Bags for our Wedding Weekend last month! We wanted the bags to be personal...and I think we totally accomplished that. Included in the bag were my Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies, my Nana's Pecan Pie from our family's restaurant, Brian's Mom's Hello Dolly Cookie Bars and our friend Sally's Cheese Straws.

Since food is so much apart of who we are as a couple and family...we thought it would was a great idea to fill the bags with some of our favorite treats. Also included in the bags were recipe cards of each thing included, for those who love to cook. I thought it would be fun to share these special recipes with each of you.

Kathie’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 Cups White Sugar

1 Cup Margarine

1 Egg

1 T Vanilla

2 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 Pkg. Chocolate Chips

1 C Chopped Pecans

Cream Margarine and White Sugar with mixer. Add Egg and Vanilla.

Sift Dry ingredients together and blend into the mixture.

Stir in Chocolate Chips and Nuts.

Bake in a 350 degree oven on an ungreased cookie sheet for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes a really crispy cookie.


Treado’s Pecan Pie

3 Eggs, Slightly Beaten

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup White Corn Syrup

3/4 Stick Butter

1/4 tsp Salt

1 1/2 Cup Pecans, Chopped

2 tsp Vanilla

1 (9 inch) Pie Shell

Slightly beat eggs, add sugar, syrup, vanilla and salt. Melt and cool butter.

Mix in butter to other ingredients by hand.

Place chopped pecans in the bottom of an unbaked pie shell, cover pecans with mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.


Sally’s Cheese Straws

5 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese

2 Cups Plain Flour

1 Stick Margarine

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

Mix All Ingredients together. Let Mixture Soften.

Fill Cookie Press with Star Attachment and Squeeze onto 4 Trays.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes, cut into 2-3 inch pieces, return to oven and cook until hard to the touch

(about 5 minutes).

Place on plate to cool.

Makes about 4 Dozen.


Gail’s Hello Dolly Cookie Bars

1/2 Cup Margarine (Melted)

1 1/2 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs

1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1 Cup Chopped Pecans

1 1/3 Cup Flaked Coconut

1 Can Eagle Brand Condensed Milk

Melt Margarine in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs evenly over the margarine. Spread chocolate chips followed by the pecans and then the

coconut. Next pour condensed milk over the top of the coconut.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool completely and cut into bars.


By the way...in the process of making the bags, I now understand why wedding and event planners make so much money! They sure were a lot of work...but in the end they were totally worth it.

Feb 8, 2010

The New Betty Crocker

Move over Betty.... there's a new baker in town!!

Growing up I spent a lot of time at my Grandparents house on the weekends. My Gama had this cookbook in her collection (that was actually my Mom's as a child)...it was "Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls" from the 1950's. I would beg Gama to let me cook recipes from it...so we'd head off to the store and get the ingredients for the recipes I'd pick out. Whether it was Sloppy Joes, Pigs in a Blanket or Sugar Cookies... I loved cooking from it. I look back on those memories and am so appreciative to have them. My mom has that cookbook in her collection now...and every time I'm home...I eye it and smile.

Tonight I searched and found my inner Betty... I think we all have her inside of us somewhere... she just hides deep down inside of me! I don't especially love to bake. It takes a lot of patience and I get anxious because the house smells so good during the whole process!

Well...We had 3 Banana's sitting around our kitchen tonight and I decided to be economical and find a way to use them....so what did I do... I whipped up some Banana Nut Bread. You see, I'm not a baker...but I'm starting to appreciate the art of baking. It's the measuring, the sifting and all the dishes you get dirty in the process of creating something, that drives me "bananas"!

White Chocolate Banana Nut Bread

45 Min

READY IN: 1 Hr 15 Mins


* 1 1/2 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 pinch of salt
* 3 ripe mashed bananas
* 2 tablespoon soft butter
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup white chocolate chips
* 1/2 cup chopped pecan nuts or walnuts (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan and coat lightly with flour to prevent sticking. (I didn't have a loaf pan..so I used my Le Creuset Dish)

2. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl with the baking soda and salt.

3. In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar then add in the mashed bananas and mix well.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture and mix well. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.

5. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

6. Allow to cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes and then place on a cooling rack to cool fully.