Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mom's Rice Pudding

This rice pudding is the perfect warm breakfast or dessert! 
It was my mom's birthday this week. We celebrated by going to lunch and shopping! I wanted to share a recipe that she made all the time growing up. This was a favorite around our house. Whenever we had leftover rice my mom would make this. It will make your whole house smell amazing. Best of all, it's really easy to make and puts that leftover rice to good use. 

You don't have to add raisins, I love it with or with out.  

There will be a bunch of juice you can spoon over your pudding. So good!

The rice settles in the bottom and creates a custard like top with all the spices.

Mom's Rice Pudding

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  1. Mix the sugar, milks, eggs and spices in a medium size mixing bowl till all combined. 
  2. Stir in the rice and raisins. 
  3. Pour into a 2 1/2 quart baking dish and bake for 1 hour.
  4. Serve warm.
  5. NOTES: If you use a bigger dish, it will be thinner and bake quicker.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Nana's Famous Cheesecake

This cheesecake is creamy good plus really easy to make! 

This recipe comes from my grandmother-in-law (or, my husband's amazing Nana!) She told me she got this recipe from a newspaper or magazine when she was just a newlywed and has been making it ever since! It is a classic vanilla cheesecake but you top it with a sweetened sour cream layer and oh my goodness it is good!

I have to admit something though. The idea of making a cheesecake kind of intimidated me! I thought you had to use a special pan and cook it with a water bath etc. but this is a really easy recipe and you don't need to do any of that. If you are going to serve it for guests you may want to use a springform pan, but Nana always makes hers in a cake pan and we just love it. So use what you have and go for it! You could even use a 9" pie pan if you don't have a round cake pan. You just won't get the tall sides.

I am usually all about the toppings but this cheesecake can stand on it's own! The flavor and texture are amazing! I also love the all spice in the graham cracker crust. Yum! You can top your slice with cherry pie filling or just the sauce (skip the cherries) like my husband prefers. I like it both ways. 

Classic Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping

  •  CRUST:
  • 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla*
  • cherry pie filling, optional
  1. FOR THE CRUST: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9" cake pan or springform pan. Mix together the crust ingredients. Press into the bottom of the pan.
  2. FOR THE FILLING: Mix the cream cheese till soft and creamy. Add eggs, sugar & vanilla. Beat till creamy. Pour onto crust. Bake for 25 minutes (the center should look almost set). 
  3. FOR THE TOPPING: When the cheesecake is done baking, remove from the oven & increase the oven to 450 degrees. Mix together the sour cream, sugar & vanilla. Pour over cheesecake and bake for 7 minutes at 450 degrees. Let the cheesecake cool completely then cover & chill overnight in the fridge. 
  4. NOTES: *I used a clear vanilla for the topping. If you don't it may tint the topping a darker color. It will still taste great but if you want a pure white, use clear vanilla. The hardest thing about making this cheesecake is remembering to make it the day before you need it. It is not good unless it is fully chilled (overnight is best!) 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Orange Creamsicle "Swig" Sugar Cookies

Orange flavored sugar cookies with a white chocolate orange frosting! Tastes just like an orange creamsicle ice cream bar!

I am SO excited to share this recipe with you! I was inspired by this lime version of the famous "swig" sugar cookie over on Lolly Jane. One of my favorite cookies is Orange Creamsicle Cookies. And it was almost like an "ah ha" moment when I realized I needed to make a swig style version. I had the idea to use white chocolate frosting from the white chocolate cupcakes on the blog (cause the frosting is AMAZING!) and because it is perfect for these cookies. It is also prime orange season here in Phoenix. I used oranges from my grandpa's orchard for these cookies. You know, just making good use of the amazing citrus fruits we have this time of year. I also juiced up the rest of the bag and we have been enjoying fresh orange juice at breakfast. Is there anything better?! Well, maybe these cookies ;)

I used cake flour in the cookies and really loved the results. It gave them a smooth texture and unique taste. I added orange extract to the cookies and frosting along with orange juice & zest so these cookies are really bursting with orange flavor. The frosting has melted white chocolate, cream cheese & butter in it. I had to stop myself from licking the knife! It's a great frosting. I am already trying to think of another way I can use it again. 

If you like orange flavor and sugar cookies these cookies will win you over! Try them out and let me know what you think! 

Orange Creamsicle "Swig" Sugar Cookies

  • 6 1/4 cups cake flour*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar + 1/4 cup 
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon orange extract (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 ounces white chocolate chips
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon orange extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • orange food coloring, if desired
  1. FOR THE COOKIES: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium size mixing bowl, mix your flour, salt, baking soda & cream of tarter. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer, cream the butter, 1 1/4 cup sugar & the powdered sugar for about 2 minutes. Slowly add the oil, orange juice, orange zest, orange extract & vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time. 
  3. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients (scrape the sides of the bowl as needed).
  4. Roll the dough into 2" balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  5. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar to a bowl or small dish. Use the bottom of a drinking glass (about 2 1/2" in diameter) & dip into the sugar then press into the ball of cookie dough until it's about 1/2" thick (the dough will form a jagged edge). 
  6. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes (you don't want to over bake or they will be dry!) Gently remove the cookies from the pan onto a cooling rack to let them cool. When cool, place in an airtight container and place in the fridge.
  7. FOR THE FROSTING: Place the white chocolate in a microwave safe dish. Melt according to package directions. Let the chocolate cook for 3 minutes then add the cream cheese, butter, orange juice & orange extract. Beat on medium speed until well blend. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat well. Add food coloring if desired.
  8. Frost the cookies and serve! Once the frosting is set, store in an airtight container in the fridge. Cookies are best cold.
  9. NOTES: *I used cake flour but if you don't have it you can use 5 1/2 cups regular all purpose flour. The cake flour added a smooth texture and unique taste to the cookies. 
  10. Recipe Source: Cookie recipe adapted from Tried & Tasty via Lolly Jane. Frosting recipe adapted from these white chocolate cupcakes.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Blonde No Bake Cookies

A blonde version of the classic chocolate No-Bake cookie! 
I love no-bake cookies. Such a classic. I remember my mom making these "blonde" version no-bake cookies for me when I was little (She must have been out of cocoa). One time she whipped up a batch and ran a couple out to the bus stop just so I would have a treat for my lunch. You know, sometimes it's those little things that kids remember. 

This recipe is pretty similar to the chocolate version except it has a bit of brown sugar and no cocoa powder. Try them out! 

Blonde No Bake Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 cups regular oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  1. In a medium sized sauce pan, bring the sugar, milk & butter to a boil. Boil for 1 minute then remove from the heat.
  2. Add the oatmeal, vanilla and peanut butter. Stir thoroughly. Drop onto wax paper or parchment paper and let stand for 30 minutes to set up.
  3. Recipe Source: adapted from the classic chocolate no bake cookie recipe. Inspired by my Mom. 

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