Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dessert Time!

This recipe is so versatile! Once you make the base of sweetened cream cheese the sky is the limit as far as flavor combinations. Just about any candy bar, cheesecake or ice cream flavor combination could be adapted to this recipe. Have fun trying different mix-ins, extracts and liquors to come up with your own favorite combinations. If you can't find spring roll wrappers, egg roll wrappers or wonton skins are perfectly acceptable substitutes. This was my first time working with spring roll wrappers and they were great to work with so don't be intimidated by them!

Dessert Spring Rolls

4 ounce(s) of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1/2 cup(s) of powdered sugar
1/2 cup(s) of Peanut Butter
1/2 cup(s) of chocolate chips
4 cup(s) of vegetable oil for frying
2 cup(s) of warm water
1 package spring roll wrappers (can sub eggroll wrappers or wonton skins)

1.In electric mixer, mix cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter until combined.
2.Stir in chocolate chips
3.Dip spring roll wrapper in warm water to soften
4.Place 1-2Tbs of filling mixture into spring roll wrapper and roll egg roll style on a damp towel. Be sure to pull wrapper tight around filling to remove any air pockets.
5.Deep fry spring rolls in hot oil (about 350 degrees) until crisp
6.Allow to drain and serve with ice cream, flavored syrup, whipped cream, etc.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2 Submissions in 1 week! Will Miracles Ever Cease?

Call it an Easter miracle but I actually was able to get two recipes in to RWOP this week. I do have to admit though, the second submission was SUPER easy and took all of 5 minutes. A five minute video still takes about an hour to edit and convert though so you can understand why I try to keep them short - 10 minute time rule not withstanding! LOL!

For this recipe I took my inspiration from a mid-western regional specialty burger - The Jucy (or Juicy) Lucy. I was actually watching a Food Network show with my husband one night and this particular item was being showcased, which gave me the idea to give it a Philly twist for the contest. Then when I was in the store and saw a gadget for making stuffed cheeseburgers - well let's just say it was like a sign from the heavens that this was the time to do this. So here you have it - my southwestern adaptation of the Jucy Lucy using Philly Santa Fe blend cooking creme that I affectionately call the "Juicy Lupe"!

1 pound(s) of lean ground beef
4 tbsp. of Philadelphia Cooking Creme, Santa Fe Blend
1/2 cup(s) of Masa Harina
4 slices pepper jack cheese
2 slices red onion
2 slices tomato
2 large lettuce leaves
2 tbsp. of salsa or taco sauce
2 burger buns

1.If you do not have the luxury of using a stuffed burger press gadget, divide beef into four equal portions
2.Place each portioned beef between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll into a thin patty
3.Place 2 Tbs of cooking creme in the center of one patty and place second patty on top. Pinch edges to seal.
4.Repeat with remaining patties
5.dredge burgers in masa harina
6.Place burgers in a non stick skillet and cook over LOW HEAT, turning once, until done. Use a lid to ensure thorough cooking
7.Place pepper jack cheese on burgers and cook with lid until melted
8.remove burgers from skillet and place on buns. Top with lettuce, tomato, onion and salsa/taco sauce
9.Let sit before biting into burgers as filling will be hot. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Soup is Good Food!

Well, I lucked out with the shitty weather that we have been having lately. These damp cold days were perfect for making this soup that I wanted to submit to RWOP and this week I finally got it done. I was exhausted and you can see that I am wearing PJs in my video but at that point in the day I really didn't care and just wanted to get this thing done. The soup came out great so that's the most important thing, right!

This is another "Necessity is the Mother of Invention" recipe of mine. When I first came up with it I had intended to make the soup with bacon. As it turned out, I was all out of bacon so I substituted salami instead. I am happy to say the results were fantastic and I hope that you agree.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Salami Soup

•1 butternut squash, halved and seeded
•3 tbsp. of butter
•2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
•2-3 Cups cream
•1 medium onion, diced
•6 slices hard salami
•2 cup(s) of chicken broth - use more or less depending on the desired consistency


1.Butter each half of the squash and layer salami slices on top and in cavity of squash
2.Place on baking sheet and roast at 350-400 degrees until squash is easily pierced with a fork
3. While squash is roasting, sauté onions and garlic in butter until softened
4. Add chicken stock to onions and simmer gently
5.When squash is cooked set aside roasted salami slices, pour excess butter into a sauce pan
6. Rough chop roast salami slices and set aside
7.Scrape squash out of skin and add to sauce pan
8.Add cream and chopped salami to pan and puree with an immersion blender. Add more or less stock and creme until soup is desired consistency.
9.salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This Week was Weak

Weak in the fact that I didn't get any contest submissions in. I mean I really wracked my brain to come up with something good and then when it came time to get it done I had to work late so - No Dice! Oh well. I have a few ideas for this week so let's see how things go and what I have for time and maybe I can make up for it whith a double submission. Don't hold your breath!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thoughts of Summer

So, we had a new impromptu challenge over at RWOP. One that did NOT involve cream cheese which is kind of nice. We were given three ingredients and told to come up with something. I don't think anybody wins anything other than an honorable mention and bragging rights but, what the hell, I love a challenge. What was really great about this little task was that it removed the creative block I was having with my side dish recipe idea. Seriously, between last season and the cooking creme contest, we have creamed every freaking vegetable out there! Rice, potatoes and pasta have all been creamed to death too! So, I am happy to say I now have a decent recipe idea that I will try and execute for dinner tonight. In the meantime here is what I came up with for the current, non-cream cheese, challenge. I had to use a frozen vegetable, lemons or limes and spaghetti in my recipe. I intitally thought I might try going the lime route with a thai or latin inspired dish but decided to stay in my comfort zone for now. Since I am dying for summer to come so I can get to my picnics on the beach I came up with this pasta salad recipe. What's great about this recipe is that you won't give anyone food poisoning with it if it gets a little warm!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad


1 pound Spaghetti, dried
1/2 cup Fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup good olive oil
4 tsp. salt, divided
2 tsp. black pepper, divided
1 cup Fresh Dill, chopped
1 cup fresh parsley chopped
1 cup(s) Frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
1/2cup kalamata olives, seeded
1/2 cup Sun dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
3/4 pound good feta cheese, diced


1. Break spaghetti in half and cook in a pot of well salted water until al dente
2. While pasta is cooking whisk tpgether lemon juice, 1/2 C olive oil, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper
3. Drain pasta and pour dressing over it while still hot. Toss to combine
4. Add spinach, onions, olives, tomatoes, parsley, dill, cucumber and remaining salt and pepper and toss to combine
5. Gently stir in feta cheese.
6. Let sit for 1 hour at room temperature to allow flavors to meld or refrigerate over night.
7. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve at room temperature

Photo coming soon!

Monday, April 11, 2011

And We're Off!

So, last week I managed to get a submission in to season 2 of RWoP. While I have to say it wasn't my favorite recipe (I really am not a fan of sweet peas), it sure looked good on the plate. I also did a real crappy job talking on camera with a lot of stammering and stuttering. You could tell that I was out of practice. But between work, gym, volunteering and everything else I have going an there are no do-overs when it comes to this stuff. I get one shot - that's it! As it was, I stayed up way past my bed time getting the stupid thing converted, edited and submitted. All in all, it wasn't the worst thing I ever sent in to them and I have confidence it will get better as I go along. It certainly did last time. I am a little jealous of the people who are retired or don't have to work full time and have all day to work on their submissions. But then again, I am far from perfect and I think all my errors make my videos a heck of a lot more realistic. But that's just my opinion. If nothing else the errors sure add to the comedy! LOL!

Springtime Sweet Pea Crostini

1 baguette, sliced
4 ounce(s) of PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese
1 tsp. of lemon zest
1 tbsp. of lemon juice
1 1/2 cup(s) of sweet peas, blanched
1 tbsp. of salt or to taste
4 tbsp. of olive oil
2 tbsp. of fresh parsley
6 slices baked ham
6 slices cheese, american, cheddar, swiss
2 tbsp. of fresh herbs (Formal presentation only)
1 cup(s) of edible flower blossoms (Formal presentation only)

1. brush baguette slices with olive oil and bake in 350-400 degree oven until toasted

2. add cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, sweet peas, parsley and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse to combine

3. Chop ham and cheese slices or cut into shapes with a small cookie cutter and set aside

4. Spread cream cheese mixture on toasted baguette sliced and top with ham and cheese

5. For a more formal presentation garnish crostini with fresh herbs and edible flower blossoms.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Using up Leftovers and Putting a Twist on a Classic!

As I previously posted, I cooked a massive Prime Rib last week - well, massive for two people, anyway. We did a fairly good job using up the leftovers too but I still had some left that I absolutely had to use. So, since we had been enjoying those cheesesteak sandwiches so much and yesterdays weather being damp and cold begged for the preparation of comfort food, I decided to put a twist on a classic dish. My Creation - waaait for it - Baked Macaroni and Cheese-Steak! This proved to be a very successful dinner that satisfied our grumbling bellies and took the chill off of an otherwise miserable day. Husband was quite pleased with the dish and must have complimented it at least a dozen time during the meal. I just love it when he enjoys my cooking like that. He is such a dear sweet man!

So here is how it went down in the kitchen!

First, I cooked a pound of macaroni noodles in salted water - easy enough! When they were al dente, I dumped them in a colander and returned the pot to the stove with about 2 Tbs of butter and a small diced onion. While the onions were caramelizing I broke out the food processor and got busy grating a boat load of cheese. The mixture included (all measurements are approximate) 2 Cups mild yellow cheddar, 1 Cup sharp white cheddar, 1 Cup asiago, 1 cup mozzarella, 1 cup monteray jack and about 2 cups diced Velveeta. I did not grate the Velveeta because it gets all gummed up and nasty in my food processor. I also considered adding cream cheese and using this recipe as a contest submission for Season 2 of Real Women of Philadelphia but decided that I had enough cheese in there already. Besides, now I have a reason to make it again! LOL!

Once the onions were a nice golden color, I added a couple of tablespoons of flour to the pot to make a roux. I stirred this and let it cook until just starting to brown. Then I added about 1 cup heavy cream and 1-2 cups milk. I reduced the heat a bit and let this warm gradually. While that was warming I quickly sliced the leftover prime rib into thin strips and set it aside.

After the meat was cut up, I added all that cheese into the warming milk and stirred it all together until all the cheeses were nicely incorporated. I turned the heat off and poured the pasta and sliced meat in and mixed everything to combine.

Once I had it all mixed together, everything was transferred into a greased casserole dish and put into a 400 degree oven for about a half hour. The resulting casserole was delicious and I hope it reheats well. I did notice it took on a slight grainy texture as it cooled but it wasn't enough to keep me from thoroughly enjoying the dish. I guess I will let you know tomorrow because tonight is leftover night and I am sure Hubby and I will be trading elbows to get at this stuff, LOL!

UPDATE: This dish reheated just fine. In fact, I think it tasted even better the next day! YUM YUM YUM!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Well I'll Be Damned!

So, today starts the submission period for the second season of the Real Women of Philadelphia cooking contest. I participated in this contest to a degree last season and in some follow up contests featuring the new cooking cream product. I have to admit I was a little disenchanted with the whole thing because it seemed to me that the contest was more of a popularity/ass-kissing contest than an actual recipe contest. I thought some of the winning recipes were lame and lacked creativity and/or originality. But then, maybe I am just a total bitch - I have been told this before, LOL! I did see forum posts from others expressing the same feelings though, so I don't think it's just me in this case. Anyway, since I am not the type of person who pretends to be something she is not for any reason and, because I am not afraid to say that something that looks like a turd looks like a turd, I wasn't going to bother entering any recipes this time around....until I saw this.....

If you scroll all the way to the bottom - there it is - one of MY recipes! HOLY SHIT! They actually liked something I submitted! (That casserole is really good btw). Well, you could just knock me over with a feather!

So, now I am thinking that maybe I will give Round 2 a whirl. At least this time they are calling our submittals auditions rather than recipe contest entries. I still refuse to pretend to be all sunshine and rainbows all the time and I'll still admit when something looks like a turd or smells like shit (I will concede to using G-rated terminology though, LOL). LOL! I honestly don't think I stand a chance because, really - a gun slinging, biker with an attitude and a potty mouth does not fit the mold for this contest! But hey, it's called "REAL WOMEN of Philadelphia" and, not for nothing - I think a little dose of "REAL" is just what this contest needs. So, fuck it - here I go - wait until they get a load of me. LOL!

In the meantime, stay tuned for more cream cheese concoctions and wish me luck! Now, I just need to find the time to get all this cooking, taping and video editing done, LOL! That's really the hardest part!