Friday, April 26, 2013

Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Tortellini and Spinach Soup

Wild Rice Soup


This is a really easy dish to prepare, and it looks so darn cute!
It is also a great dish to serve on a buffet table because each serving is completely self-contained and can just be picked up and popped on a plate.
1 20 ounce package pre-shredded hash brown-style potatoes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons flour
1 small sweet onion, coarsely grated
2 thick slices deli ham, chopped into small bits (about 1 cup)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 dozen eggs, scrambled*
chives for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F., and lightly spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
Mix the first eight ingredients together in a large bowl.
Spoon potato mixture into each prepared muffin cup until about 1/3 full.
Gently press the potato mixture down in the middle and up the sides of each cup.
Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.
If the nests have puffed up too much in the centre, scoop out a little with a teaspoon.
Spoon a few tablespoons of scramble eggs into each nest and top with chives.

Twice Baked Potatoes

2 large baking potatoes
salt to taste
pepper to taste
3 Tbs milk
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs sour cream
1 tsp fresh chives, diced
¼ cup shredded Swiss, Cheddar or your favorite cheese, optional
Bacon, cooked and crumbled, optional

Preheat oven to 400F/200C degrees. Scrub potatoes, prick with fork and bake for about an hour or until tender. Remove from oven and let potatoes sit for 15 minutes to cool slightly.
Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out pulp leaving a thin layer in shell. Mash potato, then use an electric mixer on low until smooth.

Heat milk and butter over medium low heat in saucepan until butter is melted. Add to mashed potatoes; cream together well. Stir in sour cream, and 2 Tbs cheese if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heap mixture into potato shells. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon if using and remaining cheese if using.
Place potatoes in baking dish; bake another 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, garnish with chives and serve.

Fruit Salad Cheesecake

Source: Adapted from Taste of Home, as published in Carolina Country magazine, May, 2012
1 1/2 c. vanilla wafer crumbs (I give vanilla wafer cookies a quick whirl in the food processor)
2 T. butter, melted

1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. cold water
2 envelopes unflavoured gelatine
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, cubed
1 1/2 c. halved seedless grapes
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained and cut in half
1 (10 oz.) jar maraschino cherries, drained and roughly chopped
1/2 c. finely chopped pecans
2 c. whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)

For the Crust:
1. In a small bowl, combine vanilla wafer crumbs and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan coated with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

For the Filling:
2. In a small saucepan, cook crushed pineapple and sugar over medium heat for 5 minutes or until heated through.
3. Place cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle with gelatine; let stand for 1 minute. Stir gelatine mixture into the warm pineapple mixture.
4. Reduce heat to low and add cubed cream cheese. Cook and stir until cream cheese is melted and the mixture is well blended. Remove from heat and cool completely.

5. Stir the grapes, mandarin oranges, cherries, and pecans into the cooled cream cheese mixture. Fold in the whipped topping. Pour into prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

For Minis: Instead of making vanilla wafer crumbs and butter mixture, place a single vanilla wafer cookie in the bottom of muffin tin cups that have been very lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Fill muffin tin cups full with fruit salad mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Chocolate Lasagna Recipe


1 package regular Oreo cookies (Not Double Stuff) – about 36 cookies
6 Tablespoon butter, melted
1- 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons cold milk
1- 12 ounce tub Cool Whip, divided
2 – 3.9 ounce packages Chocolate Instant Pudding.
3 1/4 cups cold milk
1 and 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips


1. Begin by crushing 36 Oreo cookies. I used my food processor for this, but you could also place them in a large Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin. When the Oreos have turned into fine crumbs, you are done.
2. Transfer the Oreo crumbs to a large bowl. Stir in 6 tablespoons melted butter and use a fork to incorporate the butter into the cookie crumbs. When the butter is distributed, transfer the mixture to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator while you work on the additional layers.
3. Mix the cream cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add in 2 Tablespoons of milk, and sugar, and mix well. Stir in 1 and 1/4 cups Cool Whip. Spread this mixture over the crust.
4. In a bowl, combine chocolate instant pudding with 3 and 1/4 cups cold milk. Whisk for several minutes until the pudding starts to thicken. Use a spatula to spread the mixture over the previous cream cheese layer. Allow the dessert to rest for about 5 minutes so that the pudding can firm up further.
5. Spread the remaining Cool Whip over the top. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips evenly over the top. Place in the freezer for 1 hour, or the refrigerator for 4 hours before serving.

Vrystaatse Melkpoeding

Jy benodig

2 eetlepels botter
2 groot eiers, geklits
5 koppies volroommelk
1¼ koppie suiker (240g)
1¼ koppie koekmeel (150g)
1 eetlepel bakpoeier

Só Maak Jy
Verhit die oond tot 180 ºC (sonder waaier) en smeer ’n oondvaste bak (met ’n inhoudsmaat van 2 liter) met botter (ekstra).
Meng die eiers, melk en suiker. Meng die meel en bakpoeier en gooi die melkmengsel daarby.
Gooi die beslag in die gesmeerde bak, met die klontjies botter bo-op en bak dit vir 30 minute. Skakel die oond af en los die poeding daarin vir so 20 – 40 minute in die oond om af te koel en te stol. Ons ons eet die poeding gewoonlik warm, maar koud is dit net so lekker – dan smaak dit amper soos ’n korslose melktert.



3/4 cup long-grain white rice
3 cups milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
sweetened whipped cream
In a colander, rinse rice thoroughly under cold water.
Put in lightly greased slow cooker. I use a round, 3.5 to 4 qt cooker.
Add remaining ingredients, except for butter & whipped cream.
Stir to combine.
Pour butter over rice mixture.
Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours, until rice has absorbed the liquid.
When ready to serve, spoon into dessert bowls and top with sweetened whipped cream.

Frozen Peanut Butter Cheesecake


6 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 tablespoons hot fudge sauce
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate chips in the microwave for about a minute or until melted. Stir together until combined. Add crispy rice cereal and stir well to coat.
Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch spring form pan. You could use a pie pan but I've found that a spring form pan is much easier when it comes to removing slices. Place in the freezer to chill while you make the filling (about 10 minutes).

In a large bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add the sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter and mix until thoroughly combined.
Add vanilla and lemon juice and mix until combined.
Gently fold in the whipped topping. Pour filling into the prepared crust.
Heat fudge and peanut butter in two small separate bowls for 20-30 seconds or until warm. Drizzle over filling.
Freeze for 4-6 hours or until pie is firm. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer about 10 minutes before serving to make cutting easier. Garnish with peanut butter and chocolate candy bars.

Cookie Dough Fudge

(compliments of

Makes an 8"x 8" pan, about 16 servings

Cookie Dough:
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 c. mini chocolate chips

1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/3 c. white chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl, mix together butter and light brown sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.

2. With the mixer on low speed, alternate mixing in flour and sweetened condensed milk and mix until combined. Gently fold in mini chocolate chips with spatula.

3. Line 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper, with it going up over the sides of the pan so you can easily remove the fudge after it is chilled. Press the cookie dough into the pan (the cookie dough may be sticky, so lightly flour your hands).

4. Cover the bars with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight until firm.
5. For topping, combine the peanut butter and white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat until smooth. Spread the mixture over the cookie dough bars. Chill the bars for 1 hour or until topping is firm.

Roadhouse Cinnamon Butter

Peanut Butter Fudge

1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup White Sugar
½ Cup Milk

Cook to a full boil….Remove from heat.


1 ½ Cup Peanut Butter or ½ cup butter and 1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla

Stir till smooth.
Line a pan with wax paper…pour into pan and chill.
Cut into pieces and serve.

Moist Banana Bread Recipe

3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

With a spoon, mix butter with the smashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.

Add in the sugar, egg, and vanilla.

Next add in the baking soda and salt and mix in.

Add the flour last, mix.

Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan.

Bake for 1 hour.

Cool on a rack.

Remove from pan and slice to serve.

DIY Gel Air Fresheners

You are going to love these. They are so neat, I couldn't wait to try them! They are homemade gel air fresheners, and what's great about them is that you get to choose your own scent and they are completely natural.
To make your own gel air fresheners you will need:
2 pkg. unflavoured gelatine
2 c. water
20-30 drops essential oil
Food colouring
1 tbsp. salt
Small heat-proof container
Small jelly or jam jars work great for these air fresheners. You can buy a package of four Ball decorative jelly jars for about $5 at Wal-Mart.
Next you need to choose your scent. You can buy inexpensive fragrance oils in the candle section at Wal-Mart. They have many scents to choose from. You can also use essential oils (sweet orange oil smells great), but they are more expensive. You can order these online or find them at some craft stores or in your local health food store. You can also find great smelling fragrance oils at high end home interior stores.
Food colouring is optional. If you don't add colour your gel air fresheners will be clear, so if you want them coloured, add a few drops of food colouring of your choice.
Heat one cup of water in a small sauce pan to a boil, and sprinkle both packages of gelatine on top of the water. Use a whisk to mix it together until the gelatine is completely dissolved.
Add the food colouring, salt, and essential oil, and stir until well blended. Add remaining cup of water and stir again. Pour the mixture into the glass jar and let set until the gelatine thickens and sets. One recipe makes one gel air freshener, depending on the size of your jar.
Note: The salt is added as a natural preservative. These air fresheners will last for about a month with the salt added. Then you can rinse them out and make new ones. If you don't add the salt the mixture will mould much faster.

Peanut Butter Mousse Torte


32 Oreos, ground to fine crumbs
5-1/3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
12 oz softened cream cheese
1-1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp whole milk
1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts
1/2 cup salted chopped peanuts
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz. finely chopped dark chocolate, 70% cacao or better
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a buttered 9-inch springform pan on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, salt and melted butter. Press mixture into the pan to form a thin layer on the bottom and sides. Freeze crust for 10 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes, and then let it cool completely on a wire rack.
2. To prepare the crunch, combine 1/2 cup chopped peanuts, chocolate chips, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Toss with a fork and set aside.
3. For the filling, whip 2 cups of the cream using a stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment until medium peaks are formed. Beat in 1/4 cup of the confectioner's sugar, whipping cream until it holds medium-firm peaks. Transfer to a separate bowl and refrigerate.
4. Wipe out the mixer bowl. Using paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and remaining 1 cup of confectioner's sugar on medium speed until the mixture is satiny smooth. Beat in peanut butter, milk, and 1/4 cup of chopped peanuts.
5. Next, gently fold in about 1/4 of the chilled whipped cream using a large rubber spatula. Then, stir in the crunchy peanut mixture. Finally, gingerly fold in the remaining whipped cream. Scrape the mousse out of the mixer bowl and into the crust, filling right to the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours (or overnight) until firm.
6. For finishing, melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from saucepan after about 3 minutes, or when the chocolate softens and starts to melt. Remove from water. In another saucepan, bring 1/2 cup of cream to a full boil. Using a small rubber spatula, stir cream into chocolate gently blending mixture until smooth.
7. Pour the chocolate ganache over the top of the torte, smoothing with a metal icing spatula. Spread the peanuts over the top and chill in refrigerator to set, at least 20 minutes. Remove sides of spring form pan when ready to serve.

Oreo Balls

1 package Oreo Cookies
1 block cream cheese, softened
1 pack Cooking Chocolate

1. Place Oreo Cookies in a bag and smash until it is the consistency of dirt.
2. Mix the softened cream cheese into the smashed oreros.
3. Roll the mixture into balls.
4. Melt chocolate according to package directions in the microwave.
5. Cover balls in chocolate then leave to set in the fridge.

Thanks to for sharing this easy one!

How to determine if an egg is fresh


Princess Pie (Coconut Cream Pie)

1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans - optional

Mix and pat in an 8x8 inch pan, bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until just beginning to turn golden. Do not over bake.

Layer two:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup whipped topping

Beat together sugar and cream cheese. Fold in whipped topping. Spread on cooled crust.

Layer three:
1 small package coconut cream instant pudding
1 1/2 cups whole milk (any milk will do, but whole milk makes pudding so much tastier)

Mix until thickened. Spread over cream cheese mixture.

Top with remaining tub of whipped topping.

Toast 1 cup coconut. Sprinkle evenly on dessert. Refrigerate.


1 (9 ounce) package brownie mix
1 egg
1 tablespoon cold water
1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup chocolate fudge topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
In a small bowl, mix together brownie mix, 1 egg and water. Spread into the greased pan. Bake for 25 minutes.
Melt the caramels with the evaporated milk over low heat in a heavy saucepan. Stir often, and heat until mixture has a smooth consistency. Reserve 1/3 cup of this caramel mixture, and pour the remainder over the warm, baked brownie crust.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour cream cheese mixture over caramel mixture.
Bake cheesecake for 40 minutes. Chill in pan. When cake is thoroughly chilled, loosen by running a knife around the edge, and then remove the rim of the pan. Heat reserved caramel mixture, and spoon over cheesecake. Drizzle with the chocolate topping.

Coconut Cream Pie

via Living Healthy With Chocolate & Paleo Parents

1/4 C pecans
1/2 C almond flour
1/2 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

Chocolate Layer:
6 Tbsp Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp heavy cream (or butter)

Coconut Cream Layer:
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 large egg
3 Tbsp arrowroot powder
3 Tbsp raw honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/8 tsp salt

Coconut Whipping Cream:
1/2 C full fat coconut milk, chilled (light coconut milk will not work)
toasted coconut to garnish

Bacon Bombs

1 can (8ct.) Pillsbury Grands Flaky
Layers Biscuits
Cubed Mozzarella Cheese (1-1″ cube
per Bomb)
2 lbs. of Bacon (1 slice per Bomb)
Oil for frying (I used Canola)
Cube up the Cheese, and cut each  Biscuit into fourths. Place one piece of  Cheese inside a Biscuit quarter, and  roll it up in there, nice and tight…
Wrap each rolled Bomb in a slice of  Bacon, and secure it with a skewer or  toothpick…
In a med/large pot, heat up approx.
2″ of Oil (to 350 degrees) and fry them  up in small batches. Maybe one or  two at a time, the oil will expand so  stay close…
Drain them on some Paper Towel, but  serve them up good and warm. YUM!!

Gel Air Freshners

These gel air fresheners are perfect. This project takes a total of five minutes to make, is highly economical, and each jar should last you about a month. This would also make great gifts!

Into make these little beauties, you first need a heat-proof jars, food colouring colours of your choice, and essential oil. You can find inexpensive essential oils of various scents at craft stores and some grocery stores. I chose a raspberry scented smells delightful!

Into each jar, drop a few drops (I repeat...a doesn't take more than 2 or 3) of food colouring.

Then, put in about 30 drops of essential oil, give or take. The more essential oil you put in, the stronger the smell.

Now for the fun part. Gather up 4 envelopes of unflavoured gelatine, a tablespoon of salt, and 2 cups of cold water.

Why salt? Salt (or vodka) apparently help to keep the gel from moulding. Interesting fact, isn't it?!?

Get one cup of water boiling on the stove. When it begins to boil, whisk in the gelatine, stirring until it's all dissolved.

Then, pour in the other cup of cold water and the salt, stirring until the salt is dissolved.

Quickly pour the hot gelatine mixture in each of your jars, and then use a disposable stick or spoon to stir it into the oil and food colouring.

Let these gel overnight, and then voila! Air freshener!