Cheesecake Bites

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This is the perfect dessert to make for that special someone in your life. They will appreciate it and your love will shine through. I got this recipe from my mom’s recipe book. She used to make these when she entertained. I loved them as a kid and I love them now. This is one of those simple recipes that looks like you spent hours preparing.

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Click here to shop some of my favorite items.

Click here to shop your favorite Pampered Chef Products.

Believe it or not, the only kitchen essentials you will need to get started with this recipe are:

A simple hand mixer And A mini muffin pan

 Mini Muffin Pan

Cheesecake Bites

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • Mini cupcake liners
  • 2 (8 oz. packages of cream cheese), leave out to soften
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • Nabisco MINI Nilla Wafers
  • Optional Toppings: mini chocolate chips, blueberries, strawberries, etc…

I whipped up a batch of homemade whipped cream, without the cinnamon, vanilla and sugar. Just plain whipped cream. I added a dollop to the top of each cheesecake bite. My favorite topping is a can of cherry pie filling. I scooped out one cherry and placed it on top of the whipped cream. It presents beautifully for Valentines’s Day. 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Fill the mini cupcake pan with the cupcake liners.
  3. Put one MINI Nilla Wafer in the bottom of each cupcake liner.
  4. Add the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and eggs to a large mixing bowl.
  5. Mix until all the ingredients are fully combined.
  6. Carefully top each wafer with a spoonful of cream cheese mixture.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool completely.
  9. Top with your favorite toppings!

Enjoy!

My favorite dinner to serve on Valentine’s Day is Ravioli with Crushed Tomato Sauce.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Let’s Get a Poppin’

So for Christmas we secretly converted our office into a movie room/game room. The boys love it! Our house is small and as they grow it will give them some space to hang out with their friends other than in their rooms. We don’t have a couch yet, but we do have some cool chairs and a bar cart. I filled the bar cart with some fun snacks, but wanted to keep it healthy. The last thing I want is them hiding out in their “MAN” cave, playing video games for 3 hours and eating handfuls of movie candy!

BUT

Popcorn is a perfect snack to fill my family up when they are looking to snack…

Do you still buy microwave popcorn thinking, how bad can it be? My mom is my personal Dr. Oz. She calls my sisters and I immediately after she watches DR. Oz to tell us to throw out everything in our pantry! And I usually listen. It’s crazy what some of our food has in it. So, I haven’t bought microwave popcorn in years! My mom said I can’t, so I don’t. She saw this video a couple of years back, so I don’t blame her…

Well, I recently purchased this Family-Size Popcorn Maker. Popcorn, without the scary chemicals, is a healthy whole grain food that is low in calories and high in fiber! So, let’s get a poppin’!

The Family-Size Microwave Popcorn Maker gives you the convenience of a bag of microwaveable popcorn without the extra cost and chemicals. You’ll have a healthy snack in minutes.

  • Makes about 12 cups of popcorn.
  • Includes bowl, lid, and cup.
  • 9¾” diameter.
  • Cup has a ¼-cup capacity.
  • Pop with or without oil or butter.
  • Silicone.
  • Collapses for compact storage.
  • Dishwasher-safe.
  • One-year guarantee.

Of course once I purchased the new Microwave Popcorn Maker, we had to try out some recipes!

I started out with a simple Buttered Popcorn🍿and then tried my favorite, Kettle Corn…

Both were a hit and have no chemicals! 👏🏼👏🏼

Buttered Popcorn

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: EASY
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 caps of kernels
  • 4 tablespoons of salted butter
  • Sea Salt for seasoning

Directions

  1. Add kernels to popcorn maker.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of salted butter.
  3. Place cover on the popcorn maker.
  4. Add 2 more tablespoon to the vented cap on top.
  5. Keep the cap open and place the popcorn maker off-center in the microwave, but make sure it doesn’t touch the walls.
  6. Microwave for about 4-5 minutes. This time will vary depending on your microwave.
  7. Add sea salt to your liking! Mix and enjoy!

***Pay attention to the popping. Stop the microwave when there are 1-2 seconds between pops***

Kettle Corn

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: EASY
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels

Directions

  1. Add kernels to popcorn maker.
  2. Add salt, sugar, and coconut oil.
  3. Mix together so kernels are coated evenly.
  4. Place cover on the popcorn maker.
  5. Keep the cap open and place the popcorn maker off-center in the microwave, but make sure it doesn’t touch the walls.
  6. Microwave for about 4-5 minutes. This time will vary depending on your microwave.
  7. Add more salt if you’d like. Mix and enjoy!

***Pay attention to the popping. Stop the microwave when there are 1-2 seconds between pops***

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Click here to shop some of my favorite items.

Click here to shop your favorite Pampered Chef Products.

The smaller size Microwave Popcorn Maker is just as great, but will only make about 5 cups of popcorn.

If you enjoyed this blog, you’ll also enjoy these…

Kid-Friendly Breakfast Options

Super Pretzel PB&J

 

 

 

Kid-Friendly Breakfast Options

 

 

 

I feel the most important meal for kids is breakfast. They get rushed off in the morning and are expected to have energy and patience all day while they learn. That certainly can’t be done with a big bowl of sugary cereal or a cinnamon bun in the morning. Way back before I had kids, I was a teacher. I saw the difference between the kids that had a nutritious breakfast and the kids that did not. I taught kindergarten and I used to get in trouble because I let them rest their heads on their desks in the afternoon. Most of them fell asleep. Poor babies needed a nap. Guess that’s why I’m not a teacher anymore. Lol.

But there are so many options for breakfast. It just might take a little time to make ahead each week.

I made a list of some of my favorite kid friendly breakfast items that will give your kids the energy they need to keep their brains on point all day. Most of these can be used for  lunch or snack as well!

  1. Eggs: When I eat an egg or two I am full for hours. It gives me energy and prevents me from snacking like I usually do.
    • Hard Boiled Eggs: I usually hard boil 6 at a time. These can be eaten with just salt and pepper. That’s usually my mid morning snack while I’m rushing around. My son loves deviled eggs. Take the yolk out and mix with a little mayo, salt and pepper. Put the mixture back in the middle of the egg and sprinkle with paprika! Hard boiled eggs can also be used in salads or to make a quick and simple egg salad.
    • Egg Muffins: My son Dominick has two for breakfast and sometimes two before bed. He’s growing and always hungry!
  2. Muffins: The muffins we buy at the store have some scary ingredients.
    • Whole Wheat Banana Muffins: These are filled with great ingredients and taste delicious! I have to hide them from my husband because he will eat the whole batch! My son Matthew has one as a snack in school and two for dessert.
    • Pumpkin Muffins: It does not have to be Halloween to enjoy pumpkin muffins! If bananas aren’t your thing, all you need is a can or two of pumpkin…
  3. Bring on the smoothies! I am a big fan of smoothies. I love that you can customize them with what you like. They can also be prepared in freezer bags and placed in the freezer. All you have to do is dump it in the blender and add your choice of water, milk or juice!
    • Triple Berry Smoothie: This is my go to smoothie that everyone in my family enjoys. I love that there is a big bunch of spinach in it!
    • I also make a very simple kid friendly smoothie some mornings that both of my boys love. No spinach, but a great big serving of fruit!
      • 1 cup of frozen strawberries
      • 1 frozen banana
      • 1 cup of watermelon
      • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of orange juice
    • Smoothie Bowl: If sometimes your kids need a little bit more crunch to their breakfast, you can make a smoothie bowl. We enjoy it with peanut butter and granola with some sliced bananas on top. Simple and delicious.

 


  • Ok, so this one simple tool will assist you with all these healthy foods.  Egg Slicer Plus!

You can slice more than just hard-boiled eggs! With one simple motion, you can slice through foods like ripe strawberries, kiwi, bananas, firm mushrooms, and more. The wire frame is removable for easy cleaning.

  • And if you are in the market for a muffin pan, look no further!

Make a dozen beautifully browned, evenly baked muffins and cupcakes.  Made of dark aluminized steel, this pan will give you even heat distribution and perfect results every time. The extended edges make sure you always have a good grip.

  • This Ninja Blender will make your life a lot easier when you start on your smoothie adventure!

  • 72 oz. Total crushing pitcher pulverizes ice to snow in seconds for creamy frozen drinks and smoothies.
  • 8-Cup food processor bowl provides perfect, even chopping and makes up to 2 lbs. Of dough in 30 seconds.
  • Two 16 oz. Nutri Ninja cups with to-go lids are perfect for creating personalized, nutrient-rich drinks to take on the go.
  • Dishwasher-safe and BPA-free parts..Includes one 1500-watt base, A food processor bowl, 72 oz. Total crushing pitcher, two 16 oz. Nutri Ninja cups with to-go lids, and a 30-Recipe inspiration guide.
  • For best results, try the Nutri Ninja cup or X-Large pitcher for frozen drinks

 

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Click here to shop your favorite Pampered Chef Products.

 

 

 

 

 

Aunt June’s Cream Cheese Cookies

My Aunt June has been making these cream cheese cookies for years. She is a pro. They are so delicious and the perfect size that you can just keep popping them in your mouth! I guess that’s really not a good thing, but it really is! You can triple the recipe and store them in the freezer.

Warning: They taste even better right out of the freezer and that can be a dangerous thing!

I know there are so many cookie recipes out there around the holidays, but these are the ones I’d choose to make over and over again.

Happy Baking!

 

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Click here to shop your favorite Pampered Chef Products.

When my mom and I made these we had a few obstacles, but with the right baking tools that could have been avoided. I would recommend the following before you begin on your baking journey…

Stand Mixer OR Hand Mixer

Cookie Sheets

Cookie Press

Aunt June's Cream Cheese Cookies

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of salted butter, softened
  • 3 oz. of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of ground cinnamon
  • Optional toppings: Mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, preserves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the softened butter and cream cheese together.
  3. Add the egg yolk and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  4. Add the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Mix until combined. (If you feel the batter is too hard, add a little more cream cheese. If you feel the batter is too loose, add a little flour)
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Fill your cookie press with the cookie dough and press out your favorite shapes.
  7. Top with the topping you prefer.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes. (This is the tricky part, since everyone’s ovens are different. Keep your eye on them. They should not brown. The second they start to brown on the edges you can take them out.)
  9. Cool, if you can wait and enjoy!


If you enjoyed this recipe, you won’t want to miss these…

Pretzel Bark

“Crowd Pleasing” Rice Pudding

 

Pretzel Bark

I had some items in the pantry and was itching to make a quick holiday treat. I had vanilla flavored almond bark and thought what is easier than that? Really nothing. It’s so fun and such a nice treat to give to others around the holidays. We made it with some hot cocoa and enjoyed it on our visit to a holiday light show.

While taste testing our holiday bark, we realized that in every bite we wanted pretzels. The salty crunch with the bite of the sweet was so yummy. We picked each piece apart to get a bite with pretzel. So the recipe below will be adjusted to how we like it, full of pretzels! It’s an easier version of the chocolate covered pretzel! Keep in mind, you can add anything you’d like that you have in your pantry. Almonds, chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc…

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Click here to shop your favorite Pampered Chef Products.

Pretzel Bark

Ingredients

  • 1 package of vanilla flavored almond bark
  • 1 bag of salted pretzels 🥨

Directions

  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
  2. Put a good amount of pretzels in a sealed storage bag. Smash the pretzels with a wooden spoon to get little pieces.
  3. Spread a layer of the crushed pretzels onto the wax paper.
  4. Heat the almond bark in a saucepan over low heat until it is melted.
  5. Pour the melted almond bark over the layer of pretzels.
  6. Pour another layer of crushed pretzels over the melted almond bark.
  7. Store in the fridge until the almond bark is hardened.
  8. Break off pieces and enjoy!


Some other sweet treats…

“Crowd Pleasing” Rice Pudding

Annie’s Crumb Cake

Cinnamon Whipped Cream

“Crowd Pleasing” Rice Pudding

So, you either love rice pudding or you don’t! I am one of the people that loves rice pudding. But I didn’t start eating it until I was an adult. I was missing out!

My mother-in-law has a big family. She has 3 sisters and 4 brothers! When they get together they have to make large amounts. There are favorites that they all have been making throughout the years. This rice pudding recipe is one of them. It is a crowd pleaser and it is delicious! My mother-in-law got this recipe from a friend of a friend 25 years ago and has been making it ever since. I love recipes from years ago that use such simple ingredients. I love to follow the recipes and think about the women who were making it back then. So much has changed, but so little has changed.

This recipe can feed 10 people and it is easy, but you have to set aside an hour that you are not distracted. You can’t let it boil over, so you have to keep stirring. Before you begin, make sure the kids are asleep or busy  and you have the time. 

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Click here to shop your favorite Pampered Chef Products.

RP

Crowd Pleasing Rice Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon of whole milk plus 2 more cups
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of long grain rice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a large pot combine the 1/2 gallon of milk, sugar and rice.
  2. Cook on medium/high heat. Once it comes to a boil, you will have to constantly stir to prevent it from burning and sticking to the bottom. I had to adjust the temperature frequently if it was boiling too much or too little.
  3. Continue stirring and cooking for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 more cups of milk, eggs, and vanilla.
  5. You will need to temper the ingredients in the bowl by adding a small amount of the hot rice mixture to the cold egg mixture to warm it a little. (If you add the cold egg mixture to the hot rice mixture all at one, the eggs will scramble and you don’t want that.)
  6. Once you’ve tempered the egg mixture, add it all to the pot and bring it to a boil while stirring constantly. Once it is boiling, remove it from the heat and pour into a large bowl or serving dish.
  7. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon.
  8. Cover and refrigerate.

NOTE:  This is best when made the day before. 


If you like this recipe you will love some of Pat’s other family favorites:

Annie’s Crumb Cake

Irish Soda Bread

 

 

 

Colonial Pumpkin Pie

So, what makes a pumpkin pie a colonial pumpkin pie? I have no idea!

I do know that this is an old recipe. Maybe that is what makes it a colonial pumpkin pie… I got this recipe from my mom’s recipe book.

I did make some changes. This recipe called for fresh pumpkin; I used organic canned pumpkin. It also called for a homemade pumpkin pie shell; I used a frozen pre-made pie crust. I do plan on tackling that pie crust and sharing. So stay tuned for that…

I usually make a pumpkin pie per the directions on the back of a can. And I always loved it. So, I wondered how this could be any better…

Oh man. It was on a different level. This colonial pumpkin pie was rich and delicious. You must put this on your menu for Thanksgiving Day. I did happen to whip up some homemade cinnamon whipped cream and spread it all over the top of the pie. That is a must as well!

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Click here to shop your favorite Pampered Chef Products.

Colonial Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of canned pumpkin(I used Trader Joe’s Organic Pumpkin)
  • 1 cup of brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon of all spice
  • 2 tablespoons of molasses
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup of evaporated milk

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl mix the pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, all spice, and molasses together.
  3. Mix the eggs in with the other ingredients.
  4. Slowly pour in the evaporated milk. Whisk until all the ingredients are mixed well.
  5. Pour mixture slowly into your pie crust.  Place on a baking sheet in case any pie mix spills over.
  6. Cover the edges of the pie crust with a pie crust shield or aluminum(Remove after 30 minutes)
  7. Bake for 40-50 minute or until done.
  8. Cool completely and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  9. Spread a thick layer of cinnamon whipped cream over the top and dig in!


Below is a list of my PC recommendations that will help make this baking experience a great one:

Large Bowl

Whisk

Baking Sheet

Pie Crust Shield

Small Spreader

Whipped Cream Maker

If you love this recipe you must try these…

Strawberry Apple Pie🍓🍏🥧

Sweet Cherry 🍒 Pie 🥧