Tuesday, March 30, 2010

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Today was Mr. Z's birthday. I ended up making three cakes for him! One white cake with vanilla icing, one white cake with chocolate icing, strawberry filling, and chocolate covered strawberries on top, and one white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. Cheesecake is Mr. Z's favorite dessert, so this is a recipe I've used more times than I care to count in the past few years. I've tried other cheesecake recipes, and this was by far the easiest, along with the best tasting, in my opinion.

This time around, about 15 people tasted this cheesecake, and three hours later, they were still talking about it. They were impressed.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
from Kraft Foods website
(I make this recipe in an 8-inch round pan and serve it in slices rather than in bars)

12 Oreos, finely crushed
2 tbsp. butter, melted
3 squares of Baker's white chocolate
2-8 oz. blocks of cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 c. red raspberry preserves (I like to use preserves with seeds)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix Oreos and butter together well. Press into the bottom of an 8-inch round glass pan. Melt 2 chocolate squares per package directions.

Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until well blended (I used my stand mixer). Add melted chocolate and beat until blended. Add eggs one at a time and beat until just blended. Do not overmix. Pour mixture over Oreo crust.

Bake 25-28 minutes or until center is just about set. Cool for 15 minutes (mine needed longer than the 5 minutes the recipe suggests!). Spread with preserves. Melt remaining chocolate square; drizzle over top of cheesecake. Cool cheesecake completely, then refrigerate for 4 hours.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pizza Pasta

Sometimes, when it's time to make dinner, I'm just not inspired. I don't feel like eating anything and I certainly don't feel like making anything. When those kind of days happen, I scroll through my Google Reader (where sometimes I bookmark recipes specifically for days like this!) and find the least time-consuming, easiest, but most delicious recipe I can find. And today, this is what I came up with. I was pleasantly surprised with how easily this meal came together, and I think Mr. Z and I were both pleasantly surprised at how good it was. It was a different combination for both of us, but it was definitely a winner.

Pizza Pasta
from How Sweet It Is,
written as I made it

1-16 oz.box of cellentani
1 c. of your favorite pasta sauce
4 oz. Italian blend shredded cheese
2 oz. pepperoni (I used mini pepperoni)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta until al dente. Mix sauce and cooked pasta; pour into 13x9 Pyrex dish. Top with cheese and pepperoni. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until cheese gets bubbly.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Baked Egg Rolls

Mr. Z and I are pretty big (okay, huge!) fans of Chinese food. If it didn't have so many darn calories, we would probably eat it several times a week. One thing I do not love, though, are egg rolls. I'll eat one every once in a while, but for the most part, I will pawn them off on Mr. Z, and he is more than happy to take them. There's just something about them that I just really don't like...maybe the grease that drips all over my chin and down my clothes every time I take a bite.

When I saw a recipe on Google Reader for baked egg rolls, I though that might solve my problem. And I was right! I loved them. Much better than the greasy fried ones we get at the Chinese restaurant down the street. Mr. Z thought they were really good too, but I think he secretly prefers the greasy, fried ones. But, these will definitely start coming up on our menu more often.

Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls
from Joyful Abode, written as I made it

8 egg roll wrappers
1/2-16 oz. bag of coleslaw mix
1 can of mushrooms (I omitted)
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
splash of soy sauce
salt and pepper
olive oil cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put coleslaw mix in a microwave safe bowl. Cover and microwave for 3-6 minutes (mine was about 4). Add garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and salt and pepper; mix well. Spoon about 2 tbsp. of mix into each egg roll wrapper. Fold in two corners. Dab a little bit of water on the top corner. Starting at the bottom corner, roll tightly, tucking the mixture in as you roll. Repeat for remaining wrappers.

Place egg rolls on greased cookie sheet. Spray tops with olive oil cooking spray. Bake for about 10 minutes, turning egg rolls over half way through.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Creamy Ranch Turkey Pasta

My husband (I'll call him Mr. Z) and I have recently made a commitment to start eating healthier and exercising in order to get in better shape and just live an overall healthier life. I've gradually started subbing ground turkey and chicken breast for ground beef, using whole wheat instead of white, and using fat-free/low-fat/reduced fat over full-fat.

In trying to figure out what I could make with a package of ground turkey breast, I began browsing recipes in my Google Reader. I came across a recipe for Creamy Ranch Chicken Pasta that looked good, and decided that I could easily replace chicken with turkey. And boy, am I glad I did decide on this recipe...it was delicious!

Creamy Ranch Turkey Pasta
from Cooking This and That ,written as I made it

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. precooked bacon pieces
1 lb. ground turkey breast
3 tbsp. flour
1 oz. pkg. dry Hidden ValleyRanch Dressing Mix
2 c. milk (I used skim)
1 c. frozen peas
12 oz. pkg. egg noodles (I used whole wheat)
parmesan cheese, for serving

Heat olive oil on medium-high heat and cook turkey until it starts to brown. Add milk, ranch dressing mix, flour, bacon, and peas; stir well. Let mixture cook until it starts bubbling, stirring occasionally.

Cook egg noodles according to package. Add noodles to sauce mixture and toss to coat all noodles. Garnish with parmesan cheese.

I'm new to this whole domesticity thing...

Let me introduce myself. I am Mrs. Z, a 20-something who is just starting to get the hang of this domesticity thing. I got married at the beginning of 2009. Before that, my idea of cooking was boiling the water for macaroni and cheese or ramen noodles, and sometimes I even messed that up. Since getting married, however, I have taken it upon myself to learn to cook. I have started reading cooking magazines, collecting recipes, and filling up my Google Reader with hundreds of cooking blogs. I'm learning. And, believe it or not, I am actually starting to enjoy cooking! But I think it's pretty safe to say that I am still a newbie. My husband and I have a rule in our house: you cook, I clean, or I cook, you clean. I hate cleaning. Therefore, I usually offer to cook. I don't always plan an elaborate meal (more like never), but it usually comes out decent, or at least edible!

The whole point of this blog is to share my adventures in becoming domestic, with a heavy focus on the cooking aspect. I am going to try out some new recipes, make some recipes up, and tweak some I already know. Along the way, I will try to make it as interesting as possible!