Monday, November 24, 2008

A Handmade Christmas

If you didn't know yet, Christmas is just around the corner!! I'm trying to make a lot of my Christmas gifts this year. Nieces and nephews are all getting pillow cases that I've been busy making, most of which were made out of fabric that I already had! Here are some instructions, just in case you'd like to make some too.

I'm also going to be making a couple of hooded towels for Brandon and Adam. They can always use more towels for after bath time! I've been looking at a few patterns, here is one that looks pretty easy.

I might even make some casserole totes. We'll have to see on that one though. I might need to find a better pattern for those. Have any ideas?

Are you making any of your Christmas gifts this year?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Blog Name & Recipes

So, I've decided to change up the name of my blog. Since my house is always crazy and my kids drive me nuts, I thought "The Mad House" is pretty much the right title for my life. Anyway, we just got back from our ward Harvest Party and everyone was raving over the cheesecake that I brought. So, I thought I'd share the recipe for that and the white chili I made.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

For The Crust:
4 1/2 cups crushed Oreo cookies
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

For The Filling:
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese , softened
5 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural-style)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 bag bite sized Reese's Peanut Butter cups, cut in half

Preheat oven to 275° placing an oven proof dish with water in the bottom of your oven, this will help so the cheesecake doesn't crack.

To make the crust, crush the oreos, either in a zip loc bag (this is what I do) or in a food processor. Then add the butter to the cookie crumbs and mix well. Pat the crust mixture onto bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. **Mine is only 8 inches, so I also put some in a muffin tin lined with papers. With this recipe I can get one 8 inch cheesecake and 9 muffin size cheesecakes.**

For the filling, make sure the cream cheese is nice and soft before mixing. Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth, add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add sugar, peanut butter and cream; mix until smooth. Stir in vanilla, then fold in peanut butter cup pieces with a rubber spatula. Pour filling into prepared crust. Place the filled springform pan on a cookie sheet (mine always leaks and then butter gets all on the bottom of my oven while I'm cooking it.) Bake at 275°F 1 hour 35 minutes, or until firm and lightly browned. **The muffin tin cheesecakes take 35 minutes** Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for one hour. Run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan somewhat. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

White Chicken Chili

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon oil
2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) Pinto Beans
1 can white hominy, drained (I use a big one, you can use a smaller one depending on how much you like hominy)
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried cilantro (you can find this in the mexican food isle by all of the little packets of spices)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups sour cream

In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, hominy, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately. This is really good with tortilla chips or cornbread.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yummy Soup

Here are a couple of really yummy soups that I made and brought to a church activity yesterday. Everyone was asking for the recipes. Enjoy!

Vegetable Ham Alfredo Soup

Adapted from a recipe by Sherelle Christensen

2 cans chicken broth
2 cans evaporated milk
1 Tbs. Dried parsley
pepper to taste
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup celery, diced
4-5 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup frozen french cut green beans
1 ½ cups chopped ham
1 jar Alfredo Sauce
4 oz. Cream cheese
Add all ingredients except for the alfredo sauce and cream cheese to a big pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until potatoes are soft, then add alfredo sauce and cream cheese. Heat through until cream cheese melts. Serve with hot rolls.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup onion, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 (15 ounce) cans chicken broth
2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies
1 packet taco seasoning
10 corn tortillas, cut into small pieces
1 pound chicken meat, cooked and diced
1 cup milk
12 ounces shredded cheese
Put everything in a big pot and cook down until tortillas break apart and thicken the soup. Serve with broken tortilla chips, cheese and sour cream.