my foodgawker gallery

 

Thursday
Sep082011

Layered rainbow cake - my Chef Dennis guest post!

I was honored to be asked to write a guest post by the talented and generous Chef Dennis! He was one of the first bloggers to reach out to me when I entered into the world of food blogging. I have found him to be incredibly resourceful and kind, not to mention the fact that his blog is filled with delicious food. Thank you so much, Chef Dennis, for this wonderful opportunity!

I decided to make a cake for my guest post because today is also my one-year anniversary for starting this blog! How fitting, right? I figured I would go all out and create the most eye-appealing cake I could think of. And what could possibly be better than a bold, edible rainbow?

Please head on over to Chef Dennis' blog to say hello....and to learn how to make this rainbow cake!

Friday
Sep022011

Peach-topped blueberry cheesecake

I have been absolutely dying to share this recipe with all of you. It is one the most delicious things to have been produced in my kitchen in quite some time. And isn't it pretty?

A few weeks ago I picked up a box of peaches from Trader Joe's. I allowed them to ripen for two days and they transformed into some of the juiciest, most delicious pieces of fruit I have ever tasted. I envisioned myself crawling into peach flesh like in James and the Giant Peach, and just sleeping there. Mmmm, juicy, tasty peach flesh..

Anyhow, I wanted to do everything possible to not waste a single morsel of these tasty peaches. So I ate my share. My husband ate his share. Sammy ate his share. Elijah wasn't interested. Then I made this cheesecake. I indulged in one delicious slice and I brought the rest to work to share with my coworkers. This was a dangerous one to keep at home.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

In the bowl of a food processor, add:

15 graham crackers, broken into pieces

1/3 cup granulated white sugar

6 tablespoons butter, melted

Process until crumbs form and butter is combined. Press the crumbs onto the bottom of the springform pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the following ingredients with a hand-held mixer until smooth:

Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Blend in 1/2 cup milk, and add 4 large eggs, one at a time, just until combined.

Add:

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Mix until smooth.

Add 1 pint of fresh blueberries and carefully mix them in with a spoon until combined.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust.

Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool with the oven. This helps to prevent cracking.

Chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour.

Top the cheesecake with 4 peaches, cut into thin slices.

In a small bowl, warm 1/2 cup peach preserves for 30 seconds in the microwave. Brush the warmed preserves over the peaches.

Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

I can't think of anything I'd rather do with fresh summer peaches. Aside from crawling into them, that is.

Peach-Topped Blueberry Cheesecake

Two delicious and juicy fruits in one cheesecake!

Contributed by Megan Porta from pipandebby.com.

Published Sep 2, 2011

Serves: 8-12

Total time: 2 hrs 30 min

Peach-Topped Blueberry Cheesecake
Ingredients: 
  • 15 graham crackers, broken into pieces
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 4 peaches, cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 cup peach preserves
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. In the bowl of a food processor, add the graham crackers, 1/3 cup sugar and butter. Process until crumbs form and butter is combined. Press crumbs onto the bottom of springform pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese and 1 ½ cups sugar with a hand-held mixer until smooth. Blend in milk. Add eggs, one at a time, just until combined. Add the sour cream, vanilla and flour and mix until smooth. Add the blueberries and carefully mix in with a spoon until combined. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow cheesecake to cool while in the oven to prevent cracking. Chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for one hour.
  4. Top cheesecake with the peaches. In a small bowl, warm the peach preserves in the microwave for 30 seconds. Brush the warmed preserves over the peaches. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

 

 

Tuesday
Aug302011

Herbed parmesan dipping oil

This post is part of a Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Crisco Olive Oil. As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received three bottles of Crisco Olive Oil to sample - Extra Virgin, Pure and Light. 

I LOVE olive oil. My first real experience with it was at a local sub shop in Omaha, Nebraska. It took me years to realize that the reason I loved their subs so much was because they put olive oil on them. So I started asking for olive oil at every sub shop I went to. Ever since, I've been an olive oil fanatic. I buy the extra large bottles at the grocery store because I go through them so quickly.

I was overjoyed to receive Crisco Olive Oil in the mail. My wheels instantly started turning. Should I make subs? Like the old days when I first discovered the beauty of olive oil? Naahhh. I decided to do something simple. Something that would really make me enjoy olive oil. Because I love the taste of it.

I threw this Parmesan dipping oil together in a matter of minutes and my husband and I gobbled it down after dinner. Yes, after dinner. It was deicious, what can I say?!

Throw the following ingredients together in a small, lidded mason jar:

1/2 cup Crisco Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 large clove garlic, finely minced

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Shake well and pour onto small plates. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese before serving. Use as a dip for crusty French or Italian bread.

Next on my list? An olive-oil-laden sub sandwich! Stay tuned.

Click here for a printable recipe!

Sunday
Aug282011

Spinach artichoke flatbread pizza

This post is part of a Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Sabra. Have you tasted Sabra hummus? If not, you must. It is my absolute favorite brand of hummus, hands down. Sabra hummus and I have a long history. We shared an intense love during my last pregnancy. We hung out together on the couch DAILY (thank you, four months of bed rest) and enjoyed watching movies together such as Mystic Pizza and Pretty in Pink. During that time, I began serving this very brand of hummus to my then 3-year-old, and he loved it! His favorite flavor quickly became Roasted Pine Nut, and I would serve it to him sandwiched in between pieces of flatbread three to four times per week. Still to this day, when I ask him what he would like for lunch, he occasionally will say, "A hummus sandwich, Mama!"

This post has special meaning for me. When I was asked to created an original recipe using Sabra hummus, I was brought back to that time when my family was just getting to know the brand. I wanted to create something meaningful and of course delicious, so I had a few requirements. It had to involve Sabra hummus (obviously), it had to involve flatbread of some sort and it had to involve a few of my other favorite ingredients. So this flatbread pizza is what I came up with, and it was supremely delicious! My husband is enjoying the "leftovers" as I type.

To begin, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Defrost 1 pound of frozen pizza dough, according to package directions.

Once thawed, cut the pizza dough in half and roll out two rounds, 10 inches in diameter, on a lightly floured work surface.

One at a time, place a pizza dough round onto a pizza stone. Top each round with:

1 tablespoon olive oil, spread out to 1/2 inch of edge of dough

3-4 tablespoons Sabra Spinach and Artichoke Hummus, spread out to 1/2 inch of edge of dough

1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped

1/4 of a small red onion, sliced

1/2 of a 14-ounce can of quartered artichokes, drained and patted dry with paper towels

1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese

Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

This would be a great finger food, complete dinner or appetizer for a cocktail party.

I hope you enjoy!

Spinach Artichoke Flatbread Pizza

Replace pizza sauce with hummus for a healthier meal and for a delicious twist!

Contributed by Megan Porta from pipandebby.com.

Published Aug 28, 2011

Serves: 8

Total time: 35 min

Spinach Artichoke Flatbread Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound frozen pizza dough, thawed
  • Flour, for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6-8 tablespoons Sabra Spinach and Artichoke Hummus
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, sliced
  • 14-ounce can quartered artichokes, drained and patted dry with paper towels
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut pizza dough in half and roll out into two circles, 10 inches in diameter, on a lightly floured work surface.
  2. One at a time, place a pizza dough round onto a pizza stone. Top each round with (in this order): 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 3-4 tablespoons hummus, ½ cup spinach, ¼ of a small red onion, ½ of the artichokes and ½ cup of feta cheese.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

 

 

Friday
Aug262011

Birds Eye Voila! cheesy ranch chicken

This post is part of a Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Birds Eye Voila! I received a coupon for a free package of Birds Eye Voila!, and I decided to purchase the Cheesy Ranch Chicken variety. It sounded fabulous. Cheesy Ranch? Yum! I have made meals similar to these before, so I remembered how easy they were to make. What I did not remember from the others, however, was that they were totally delicious

(For the record, I'm being completely honest here. Nobody is paying me to say any of this.)

I took my first bite and made a noise similar to the moan my 14-month-old son makes when he is eating blueberries. MMmm-hmm-mm-ahh-mmm. This was one tasty meal. I had every intention of taking a picture of it, but it was in my belly too quickly. That is saying a lot when it comes to me photographing food. I do not pass up that opportunity often.

I am always happy to discover quick, easy and delicious meals for those nights when my husband is still at work and I have dinner to make for my two boys and myself. This meal was done in 10 minutes. It left me with extra time for a tickle session and a game of chase through the house. 

I have a stack of buy-one-get-one-free coupons for Family Size packages of Birds Eye Voila! meals to hand out if anyone is interested. Contact me if you are!