Southern Broccoli Salad

broccoli-salad

For lunch today with our chicken salad croissant, I decided to make a broccoli salad. This is a southern broccoli salad because this recipe uses Duke’s mayonnaise. Everyone in the south uses and love Dukes Mayo. The dressing is sweet but also has a little tartness from the white vinegar, it makes this recipe very delicious!

Ingredients:
Dressing:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Mayonnaise (Dukes Mayo)
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Broccoli
raisins, add to taste – I generally add a hand full
small red onion, add to taste
bacon, 3-4 strips cooked or use real bacon bits in a jar
Cheddar cheese

Start by washing and cutting the broccoli into bit size pieces. Cook 3-4 strips of bacon or use the real bacon bits in a jar. Let the bacon drain, then chop into bits. Chop small red onion, add as much or little as you like.

Combine all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and mix well.

Just before you are ready to serve, add the cut broccoli, onion and raisins into a bowl and stir in the dressing. Then top with the cheese and bacon.

 

southern-broccoli-salad

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What is your favorite cold salad, broccoli, pasta, etc? If you have posted your favorite salad recipe, please comment and share a link back to your recipe!

 

 

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Quilted Flamed Maple Cheese Boards

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Delicious Cheesecake

May 24, 2014

Plain cheesecake

Who doesn’t love cheesecake? I love a good cheesecake, that’s why I make them all the time! My daughters absolutely love plain cheesecake with a graham cracker crumb crust. I have to admit it is very delicious and it is hard to only eat one piece! If you like cheesecake, you will love this recipe, it is so good!

This is my regular cheesecake recipe that I use a lot, it is very creamy. You can make the perfect cheesecake every time with this recipe. With this recipe you can easily change up the flavors by using a different crust, adding chocolate, add your favorite candy bars or maybe top is with fruit or chocolate, caramel, etc.. My wife likes me to add Butterfinger bars in the filling and on top drizzled with chocolate. I chop the Butterfingers into large pieces and place them in the bottom before pouring in the filling. The Butterfinger cheesecake is delicious!!

Ingredients:

For the crust:
1 – 3/4 cups Honey Maid Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter melted

For the filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
3 – 8 ounce packages of Philadelphia cream cheese
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract – use the best vanilla you can buy, it makes a difference!
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream

To get started, prepare your spring form pan. Be sure that it is assembled correctly so that it doesn’t leak at the bottom. I spread butter on the bottom and side, then insert a round piece of parchment paper to line the bottom. This will make it much easier to remove the cheesecake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust:
In a bowl mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Pour the crumbs into the pan. Spread using a spoon to cover the bottom and about one inch high on the sides.

best ever cheesecake

For the Cheesecake filling:
Set out the cream cheese and eggs, let them come to room temperature. In a clean mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese and sugar until combined, scraping down the sides of your bowl as needed. Blend in eggs one at a time until combined, be sure not to over blend the eggs. Blend only until the yolk is mixed.

best ever cheesecake recipe

best ever cheesecake

Now, add the vanilla, using a spatula fold until vanilla is blended. Add the sour cream, again using your spatula fold in the sour cream. Pour filling over the graham cracker crumbs and smooth the top.

cheesecake

Cheesecake filling poured on top of the graham cracker crumbs.

Before placing in the oven, wrap bottom of spring form pan tightly with 2 layers foil and place into a larger, deep baking pan. Pour water into large pan until water reaches about halfway up the sides of the spring form pan to create a water bath.

Carefully place pan in oven and bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes or until center is set and the top looks slightly dry. Don’t over cook or it will not be very creamy, keeping watching every few minutes until the center is set then remove from oven.

Cool cheesecake on a wire rack.

delicious cheesecake

wonderful cheesecake

Place pan into the fridge to chill overnight but do not cover the cheesecake. Remove cheesecake from pan after cheesecake has been chilled overnight. Remove from the spring form pan and place on your favorite cake dish! You are now ready to eat or you can add a topping or not. It’s great just plain! 🙂

super delicious cheesecake

It’s time to eat cheesecake! This is very easy and it’d very delicious but not fat free!!

to die for cheesecake

 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day!

 

Making Crème Brûlée               Hot Fudge Cake

creme brulee       hot fudge cake and ice cream

Strawberry Pie                            Chocolate Cheesecake

strawberry pie       chocolate cheesecake recipe

Cheesecake                                 Red Velvet Cake

cheesecake     red velvet cake

 

Strawberry Topped Cheesecake

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cheesecake

I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t love cheesecake!  For Valentine’s Day, I decided to create this delicious glazed strawberry cheesecake for my wife today. She was very Happy! Because strawberries, chocolate and Valentine’s Day just go together.  🙂
new york cheesecake
This cheesecake is a GORGEOUS show-stopper and is to die for cheesecake. And not only is it beautiful but is tastes delicious! I just love Cheesecakes so I make them all the time.

This is my regular cheesecake recipe that I use a lot. With this recipe you can easily change up the flavors. I went to Sam’s yesterday and while I was there I found the most beautiful strawberries for my cheesecake. Did I say how delicious and creamy this cheesecake recipe is? If you like cheesecake, you will love this recipe, it is so good!

The recipe is easy but it has a good many steps.

delicious cheesecake

Ingredients:
For the crust:
This time I decided to use a brownie crust but if you want to make a graham cracker crust, chocolate cookie crust, vanilla wafer crust, Oreo cookie crust, etc. you can. If you want to make a cookie crust, go to my Chocolate Cheesecake recipe post to get the ingredients. I decided used a Duncan Hines brownie mix for the crust so that I had a nice chocolate crust.

For the filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
3 – 8 ounce packages of Philadelphia cream cheese
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream

For the topping:
2 cups chopped strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
red food coloring – optional

Let’s get started, prepare your spring form pan. Be sure that it is assembled correctly so that it doesn’t leak at the bottom. I spread butter on the bottom and side, then insert a round piece of parchment paper to line the bottom. This will make it much easier to remove the cheesecake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the brownie mix according to the instructions on the box. Use only half of the mix in your spring form pan, place the other half in another pan. You can bake both of these at the same time, the other half make a good snack! When done remove from the oven and cool completely.

new york cheesecake

Brownie crust is done!

For the Cheesecake filling:
When the brownie crust is nearly done, start the filling. Set out the cream cheese and eggs, let them come to room temperature. In a clean mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese and sugar until combined, scraping down the sides of your bowl as needed. Blend in eggs one at a time until combined, be sure not to over blend the eggs. Blend only until the yolk is mixed. Now, add the vanilla, using a spatula fold until vanilla is blended. Add the sour cream, again using your spatula fold in the sour cream. Pour filling over cooled crust and smooth the top.

cheesecake

Cheesecake filling poured on top of the brownie ready to bake.

Wrap bottom of spring form pan tightly with 2 layers foil and place into a larger, deep baking pan. Pour water into large pan until water reaches about halfway up the sides of the spring form pan to create a water bath.

Carefully place pan in oven and bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes or until center is set and the top looks slightly dry. Don’t over cook or it will not be very creamy, keeping watching every few minutes until the center is set then remove from oven.

Cool cheesecake on a wire rack. Place pan into the fridge to chill overnight but do not cover the cheesecake. Remove cheesecake from pan after cheesecake has been chilled overnight. Remove from the spring form pan and place on your favorite cake dish! You are now ready to eat or you can add a topping.

cheesecake

Cheesecake is done and is cooling.

Wash your strawberries, remove the stems and pat dry with a paper towel. Pick out the best berries and place them on top of your cheesecake.

cheesecake recipe

To make the filling, chop strawberries, place in pot with sugar and water. Place on medium high heat, stirring bring to a boil. While the strawberry mixture is heating, in a separate small bowl, mix the 2 table spoons of water with corn starch until you have a slurry.

Once the strawberry mixture gets warm, continue stirring constantly until it starts to boil. Then lower the heat to medium and add the cornstarch mixture and continue to stir for 4 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat and let cool for 3-4 minutes before topping cheesecake.

cheesecake and strawberries

You can serve the topping as-is with a chunky texture, or puree it smooth with an immersion blender. You can also puree it to about halfway, so that it’s almost smooth but still has some texture. Use for anything that requires a sweet strawberry topping, like cheesecake, ice cream sundaes or waffles!! 🙂

delicious cheesecake

slice of cheesecake

Happy, happy, happy, boy this is delicious!!! 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day!! 🙂

Check out my recent post,

Making Crème Brûlée          Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cake

creme brulee       best ever chocolate chip cake recipe

Strawberry Pie                        Chocolate Cheesecake

strawberry pie       chocolate cheesecake recipe

solid Walnut cutting board       rectangle cutting board

Chocolate Cheesecake

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chocolate cheesecake recipe

If you’ve read just a few of post, you probably already know that I like to grill, cook and bake. This Chocolate Cheesecake will satisfy any chocoholic, it is addicting. If you like cheesecake, you will like this recipe, it is rich and oh so Chocolatey.

The recipe is easy but it has a good many steps.

Ingredients:
For the crust:
24 chocolate wafer cookies
1 tablespoon grandulated sugar
1/2 stick, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
9 ounces of semisweet chocolate, chopped
4- 8 ounces packages cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup grandulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
4 large eggs

For the crust:
Preheat over to 350 degrees F.

I have made this cheesecake before with a brownie crust. This time I made it with chocolate wafer cookies. In a food processor, pulse the wafer cookies with sugar until finely ground. Add melted butter and pulse until moistened. Press crust into the bottom of a 9 inch non stick spring form pan. Bake until crust is just set, about 3 to 5 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

For the filling:
In a microwave safe bowl, microwave chopped chocolate in 20 second burst, stirring between nurst, until melted and smooth. In a clean bowl, blend cream cheese, sugar and cocoa until well combined, scraping down the edges as needed. Blend in eggs one at a time until combined, be sure not to over blend the eggs. Blend only until the yolk is mixed. Now, blend in melted chocolate until combined. Pour filling over cooled crust and smooth the top.

Wrap bottom of spring form pan tightly with foil and place into a larger, deep baking pan. Pour water into large pan until water reaches about halfway up the sides of the spring form pan to create a water bath.

chocolate cheesecake recipe

Carefully place pan in oven and bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour. or until center is set and the top looks slightly dry. Don’t over cook or it will not be very creamy, keeping watching every few minutes until the center is set then remove from oven. I know you can’t wait to try the best ever chocolate cheesecake, can you?

Cool cheesecake completely on wire rack. Place pan into the fridge to chill overnight but do not cover the cheesecake. Remove cheesecake from pan after cheesecake has been chilled overnight.

Most of the time I will add chocolate curls, chocolate ganache or fruit to the top of the cheesecake depending on the flavor of the cake.

chocolate cheesecake recipe

I also have a really good original cheesecake recipe that is extremely creamy and do die for! My family loves cheesecake, so from my original cheesecake recipe I make many different cheesecakes like Oreo cookie cheesecake, Butterfinger Cheesecake, Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Cheesecake, Brownie Cheesecake, Turtle Cheesecake, Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake to name a few. I also like to change up the crust depending on the occasion.

Both of my daughters absolutely loves cheesecake. Do you like cheesecake? What is your favorite?

Making Crème Brûlée       Cheesecake with Strawberries

creme brulee       cheesecake

Strawberry Pie

Delicious strawberry pie

If you need a really nice cutting board for your kitchen, see my handmade cutting boards.

solid Walnut cutting board rectangle cutting board

round cutting board oval cherry cutting board

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wood conditioner, spoon butter, board butter or wood butter in tins, made from mineral oil and beeswax, spoon butter

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A Surprise Package ….

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A Surprised Package From a Wonderful Blogger Friend

Something exciting happened late yesterday afternoon and why bother having a blog if you don’t use it to tell people exciting things, right?

Yesterday, when I go to check the mail I have a package. I thought my wife had ordered something but it was addressed to me.   I had received in the mail a wonderful surprise from a blogger friend, Julie who lives in Georgia, USA. I have an extra long driveway so the walk back to the house was even longer thinking about the package and what’s inside.  Julie had mentioned she was sending me a package but what a wonderful surprise! 🙂

homemade madagascar bourbon vanilla extract

Can’t wait to see what’s in the box, excitement! Wow, bubble wrap, it sure is packaged really well! 🙂

homemade madagascar bourbon vanilla extract

Happy and smiling, 🙂 wow, what a surprise, two bottles of homemade vanilla extract from Julie, my blogger friend! Julie sent me two different kinds of her homemade vanilla extract, Madagascar and tahitian vanilla beans using bourbon and honey bourbon as well as a bottle of  tahitian vanilla beans using vodka . Julie knew I loved to cook and bake. I love these bottles…boy it smells great too, I think I could almost drink it.  I can’t wait to try it. Julie included a very nice note and she says to use the bourbon base vanilla when making things wiht chocolate and the vodka base vanilla for anything else. She doesn’t strain her extract because she prefers the presence of the small seeds and I agree with her, I do as well. I think it adds more flavor to any recipe.

Julie blogs everyday, very inspirational, you can tell she pours her heart into her blog and is a very dedicated blogger. Of all beautiful things she writes about, she also writes about food. Julie posted months ago about making her homemade vanilla extract. To learn more about Julie and her homemade vanilla extract visit her site cookiecrumbstoliveby .

Thank you so much Julie! I appreciate your friendship, kindness, you made my day and made me feel very special! I can’t wait to try your homemade vanilla!

Red Velvet Cake

 

Red Velvet Cake is one of my favorites but I have alot of favorites! I have a Cream Cheese Icing recipe that is to die for, it is soooo good! So last night I decided to make a Red Velvet Cake.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Icing!

cream cheese icing recipe

The Cream Cheese Icing makes this cake pretty special. I added some red velvet cake crumbs to the top for decoration.

red velvet cake

Awh…Mmmm! it is so good! ;-)

 

 best ever cream cheese icing

Cream Cheese Icing

Good Cream Cheese Icing is to die for!!! If you like cream cheese icing you will want to try this recipe,  it is that good!

The recipe makes 4 cups, prep time is about 10 minutes.

2 – 8 oz cream cheese, softened ( do not use low fat )
1/2 cup of butter, softened
1 -16 oz box of powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with electric mixer until fluffly; gradually add powdered sugar, beating well. Stir in vanilla. Place in the fridge until you are ready to use.

This icing is create for almost any cake or cup cakes. It is really good on a carrot cake!

What’s your favorite cake? And do you like icing?