Kahlua Fruit Dip

Happy Easter everyone! I would like to celebrate by posting one of my favorite dip recipes. It comes from Scotts family and is now a part of my recipe collection. Its a very simple recipe and it goes awesome with fruit! I think it goes best with strawberries and cut up cantaloupe or honeydew. However, I also love to dip oreos in it. Yum! Also if you like to put whipped cream on anything, like pancakes or waffles, this is a great substitute because it doesn't melt as quickly as Cool Whip or whipped cream. I really hope you give this a try because everyone that tries it, loves it!

Kahlua Fruit Dip
1 (3 1/2 oz.) pkg. of Instant vanilla pudding
8 oz. pkg. of Cool Whip
2-3 Tbsp. Kahlua (I always use 3 Tbsp. because it gives it a great flavor)
1 cup milk

Mix the pudding mix with 1 cup of milk for about 2 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir in the Cool Whip and Kahlua. Refrigerate for about 1 hour before serving. Can be refrigerated for about 1 week.


Sweet and Sour Pork or Chicken

Its february and its sooo hard to take pictures cuz the sun is down by the time i cook! So frustrating. Anyways I made myself post this despite the bad photo because its so yummy! It tastes just like the chinese take-out sweet and sour chicken. It may look like a daunting recipe with a ton of ingredients but its really not that hard to make. Once the sauce is made, the dish comes together fairly quickly. Remember to make some steamed white rice on the side. It goes so well on top of it! :)

Sweet and Sour Pork or Chicken
1/2 cup pineapple juice (I usually just use the juice that comes with the canned pineapple)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup apple ciider vinegar
1/4 cup water
4 tsp. soy sauce
1-2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. sesame oil

Vegetable oil (for frying)
2 tbsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. minced garlic

1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. water

pork tenderloin or boneless skinless chicken breasts (cubed)
1 green bell pepper (roughly diced)
1/2 yellow onion (roughly diced)
1 1/2 - 2 cups cubed pineapple (I use a little less than a can of cubed pineapple packed in juice)

In a bowl, combine the pineapple juice, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, water, soy sauce, red pepper flakes & sesame oil. In a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium high heat. Add ginger & garlic and cook for 15 seconds. Add pineapple juice mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium & simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves, about 2-3 minutes. In a small bowl, dissolve 1 tbsp. cornstarch in 2 tbsp. of water. Add to the simmering sauce, whisking constantly. Reduce again & simmer until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. remove from heat and set aside.

Saute or fry pork or chicken in 1 tbsp of oil until golden brown (about 5-7 minutes). Remove & drain on paper towels.

Bring large pan or wok to high heat. Add tbsp. of oil and add the bell peppers and onions, cook for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add sauce and bring to a boil. Add pineapple & meat. Warm 1 minute. Keep on low heat until you serve.


Candy Cane Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

I realize that I'm not a very good writer. Half the time when I want to post a recipe, i have no idea what to say except, this is good, try it! But this recipe deserves more then that, its that good. I made these cheesecake bars over the holidays and everyone raved over them. They are smooth and decadent and i wish i had more! I may need to run to the store and get the ingredients to make them again. Anyways, I wouldn't recommend waiting until next Christmas to try these. If you can't find candy canes, you can go without them or you can use mint chocolate for the topping if you want some minty flavor.

Candy Cane Chocolate Cheesecake Bars


20 chocolate wafer cookies
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground coffee beans
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs, room temperature
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon light or dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons sour cream, room temperature
1/2 cup crushed candy canes (see Note)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil.

For the crust: Pound chocolate cookies in plastic baggie. Mix with melted butter, sugar, coffee and salt until fine. Evenly press the crust into the prepared dish covering the bottom completely. Bake until the crust sets, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water and stir occasionally until melted and smooth.

Blend the cream cheese, sugar and sour cream together until smooth. Add the eggs and pulse until just incorporated. With the mixer running, pour the melted chocolate into the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.

Pour the filling evenly over the crust. Bake until filling puffs slightly around the edges, but is still a bit wobbly in the center, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a rack.

For the Glaze: Put the chocolate, butter and corn syrup
in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water and stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Take off heat and add the sour cream. Spread glaze evenly over the warm cake and scatter the crushed candy canes over top. Cool completely, then refrigerate overnight.

Cut into small bars or squares. Serve chilled or room temperature.

Store cookies covered in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Note: To crush the candy canes, remove wrappers and place in a resealable plastic bag. Use a rolling pin to roll and break the candy up into small pieces, about 1/4 inch or so.


Lemon Orzo Soup

I have been meaning to post this recipe for a while now but I lost the website where I got it from. I've been searching and searching but no luck. I gave up today and decided to just post it anyways, I think I remember everything. I am going to make it again in a couple of weeks and if this recipe is wrong, i'll tweak it! :) Anyways, I believe this is my favorite soup of all time. I remember getting this soup as a kid at this restaurant near my fathers house. It was a wonderful little greek place that had the best saganaki in the world and the best soup! :) If I can learn to make saganaki, i'll post it on here too, but it seems complicated. Also the soup at the restaurant had rice in it, but I like it better with orzo noodles. Anyways make this soup, its amazing on a cold winter's day!

Creamy Lemon Rice (Orzo) Soup
8 cups chicken stock
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup orzo (or rice)
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 eggs
3-4 lemons
salt and ground pepper

Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, add the chicken breasts and cook on medium high for about 20 minutes. Remove chicken on a cutting board, let cool then cut into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

While chicken is cooking whisk eggs until frothy in a medium bowl. Add lemon juice of the lemons, whisking well. Set aside

Add 1 cup orzo and chopped celery to the chicken stock. Cook for about 10 minutes or until orzo is tender. Add chicken back to pot. Reduce heat to medium.

Next take one ladle full of hot stock at a time and add to egg mixture, whisking as you pour. Keep adding hot broth until the egg mixture is warm. Remove soup from heat and add the egg mixture to the soup. Let sit for about 10 minutes to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!


Tuna Snack Dip

You know those days at work when everyone brings in some kind of baked good or side dish for a birthday or something? I love those types of days! Tons of new things to try and munch on all day during work. This recipe comes from a co-worker of mine. I kept going back to it all day. I love tuna and this dip is great on butter crackers. Also, this dip does very well sitting out for a long period of time. So that means its great for parties! Maybe think about this one for New Years Eve!

Tuna Snack Dip
8 oz. Cream Cheese - Softened
6 oz. Can of Tuna, drained and flaked
1 Tbsp. Onion Powder
2-3 Tsp. Lemon Juice
1/8 Tsp. Black Pepper
3-4 Drop Hot Pepper Sauce
1 Celery Stalk - finely chopped
Dried Parsley Flakes as desired to decorate

Mix all ingredients except parsley, place in a decorative bowl, sprinkle with parsley and refridgerate. Serve with crackers or cocktail rye bread. Super Easy!!!


Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Thanksgiving has come and gone and i'm sad cuz its one of my favorite holidays. Yeah the turkey is always good but its the side dishes that I always look forward too. My all time favorite are these stuffed sweet potatoes. I really don't care for sweet potatoes plain but when they are stuffed with pecans, brown sugar and toasted marshmallows, even the pickiest eaters will love them! Too bad they are only made once a year! Yummy!

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
6-8 large sweet potatoes, with skins
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 cups pecans, toasted and coursely chopped
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat oven to 400˚
2. Place potatoes on baking sheet. Pierce potatoes in several places.
3. Bake in 400˚ oven until fork-tender, about 55-60 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a medium-size bowl, stir together butter and sugar until well blended. Gradually stir in pecans, marshmallows and flour until mixture forms loose crumbs.
5. Remove potatoes from oven. Cut a slash lengthwise in each potato. Using oven mitts, gently push together ends of each potato to open the slash. Season potatoes with salt and pepper. Stuff opening with marshmallow mixture. Return to oven.
6. Bake in 400˚ oven until stuffing is golden brown and melted, 5-7 minutes, taking care not to let the marshmallows burn. (I find that the marshmallows melt before this time is up. I like to add more to each potato when there is about a minute left.)


Cheesecake Brownies

I apologize again for my delay in posting new recipes but I have been incredibly busy, between work and planning my wedding! :) I know that isn't an excuse.....

Anyways to make it up to you, I am posting some brownies....also some cheesecake. No wait even better, brownies and cheesecake combined into one wonderful morsel of yummyness. These are so yummy if you let them sit out for an hour to get to room temperature. Enjoy!

Cheesecake Brownies
recipe from Baking Bites
1/2 cup butter
2-oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt

8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.

In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a fork until very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisking steadily, pour chocolate mixture into sugar mixture. Stir until smooth. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt into the bowl and stir until just combined.

Pour into prepared pan and prepare cheesecake mixture.

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Drop in dollops onto prepared brownie batter. Gently swirl two batters with a butter knife.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.

Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving, either at room temperature or chilled. Brownies can be refrigerated, covered, for several days.

Makes 16 large brownies.