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  • Have a Spooky Halloween!

    Cheddar Witches Fingers - Cheese straws in the shape of fingers, complete with a black almond "finger nail." Delicious and totally spooky.

    Candy Apples - You don't need to go to the fair to get my favorite treat because you can make these at home. Black food coloring gives them a festive touch.

    Pumpkin Caramel Sauce - Having a not-so-scary Halloween party? Serve ice cream with this pumpkin infused caramel sauce on top.

Monthly Archives: September 2008

Dream Pie

This recipe has been in my family for years. I’m not sure where it came from. I can’t even find a written copy of it anywhere. As such, this is my first attempt to actually write a recipe, so I apologize if the directions don’t make much sense. My best memory of this dessert is when Eric helped me make it for Fourth of July 2006. His family has a big party/family gathering that lasts for three days. I took this on the first day and was jokingly told not to come back the next day unless I brought one. Seeing as how we weren’t even engaged yet, I figured I better oblige.
I don’t even know that this dessert actually classifies as a pie. However, that’s what it has been called my whole life. Who am I to change it, right? I can say that this is the easiest, most delicious dessert I make. It really requires absolutely zero baking skills, but the taste is out of this world. All the layers come together to make perfect, fluffy goodness. I’ve included some extra pictures just so you can get an idea of how the layers look. Enjoy!

Dream Pie
1 cup flour
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup chopped pecans
1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 box instant chocolate pudding
1 box instant white chocolate or vanilla pudding
2 1/2 cups milk
pecans for topping (optional)

-Preheat oven to 325
-With an electric mixer, combine flour, butter and pecans until flour and butter are completely incorporated. This will be your crust.
-Press crust mixture into the bottom of a 13×9 glass dish.
-Bake crust for 18-20 minutes. (Crust may not appear to be done, but be careful not to overcook).
-While the crust is baking, start to whip the heavy cream with an electric mixer.
-When cream has begun to thicken, add sugar and vanilla. (You can also sweeten your whipped cream with your own method here.)
-Continue to beat until whipped cream is formed. Cover and refrigerate for later.
-When crust is finished baking, remove and let cool.
-While crust is cooling, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 cup of whipped cream with an electric mixer to form the first layer.
-Carefully add this mixture to the (cool) crust. Spread, taking care not to pull up the crust.
-With a whisk or electric mixer, beat puddings and milk until smooth (about two and half minutes).
-Carefully spread pudding on top of cream cheese layer.
-Add remaining whipped cream to form top layer.
-Sprinkle with pecans (optional).

Simple Candied Walnuts

It doesn’t get much easier than this. Walnuts and sugar. These are great for a snack (in moderation, of course) or for topping a salad. I don’t think I got the sugar quite as dark as it should have, but the walnuts still tasted wonderful. I think I’ll be more adventurous next time and try some savory candied walnuts (or almonds or pecans…the possibilities are unlimited).

Candied Walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups raw walnut halves
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

-Preheat oven to 350°F. Use middle rack in oven.
-Lay walnuts out on a baking sheet in a single layer.
-Bake for 5 minutes.
-Test for doneness. If not quite toasted enough, toast for 1 or 2 more minutes. Be careful not to burn.
-Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a rack.
-Pour sugar into a medium saucepan with a thick bottom. Have walnuts nearby, ready to quickly add to the pan at the right time.
-Cook sugar on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon as soon as the sugar begins to melt.
-Keep stirring until all the sugar has melted and the color is a medium amber.
-As soon as sugar is melted and the color is a medium amber, add the walnuts to the pan, quickly stirring and coating each piece with the sugar mixture.

-As soon as the walnuts are coated with the sugar mixture, spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet, lined either with a Silpat non-stick mat, or with wax paper or parchment paper.
-Use two forks to separate the walnuts from each other, working very quickly.
-Sprinkle the nuts with the salt. Let cool completely.

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Source: Simply Recipes

Arugula, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza

This is a great meal to make on a busy weeknight. It’s simple and quick and mighty tasty. The goat cheese really has such a creamy texture, and it gives this dish such a great flavor. Not to mention, this is a pizza you definitely don’t have to feel guilty about.

Arugula, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
3 cups arugula, washed, dried and coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 whole-wheat tortillas, 6-inches in diameter 2 ounces reduced-fat goat cheese

-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
-Put the oil and onions in a medium skillet and cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and caramelized, about 15 minutes.
-Turn the heat up to medium and add the arugula. Cook until the arugula is wilted, about 1 minute.
-Season with salt and pepper.
-Place the tortillas on a baking sheet and top each with some of the arugula/onion mixture.
-Crumble some goat cheese on top of each, and bake for 10 minutes.
-Allow to cool for a few minutes and cut each pizza into 4 triangles.

Source: Ellie Krieger

Sensational Salsa

I love this recipe! Eric and I made this salsa last Sunday, and we munched on it all week. I am not a fan of jarred salsas, but I love the salsa at Tex-Mex and Mexican restaurants. In fact, I think the chips and salsa at Chili’s is my favorite. I have been searching for the perfect salsa recipe ever since Eric and I got a food processor (which was over two years ago). This is that recipe. This salsa has the perfect consistency and a fresh flavor. The only thing I’ll do different next time is to throw in some cilantro.

Mock Chili’s Salsa
1 Large can While Tomatoes
1 can Rotel (original blend)
1/2 cup chopped onions
1-4 teaspoons diced jalapenos (We used around 2 teaspoons.)
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

-Place the onions and jalapenos to food processor or blender.
-Pulse 2-3 times.
-Add all other ingredients. Process/pulse for a few seconds.
-Add in more salt/onions to taste if needed.
-Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to marry.
-This makes quite a bit of salsa, so it’s perfect for parties and will last a while in a air tight container.

Source: Macaroni and Cheesecake