“Healthy” Cheesecake

Healthy Cheesecake ~ via The EGGI say “healthy” because come on, when you are baking how healthy can you really be? But in terms of cheesecake this one is definitely not AS bad for you as the standard to die for cheesecake. It does not contain any of the usual cast of guilty characters, cream cheese, sour cream, or milk. Rather it substitutes all of that wonderful go straight to your thighs goodness with Greek Yogurt. And trust me when I tell you, it looks like cheesecake, smells like cheesecake, feels like cheesecake… Heck it even tastes like cheesecake. It must be CHEESECAKE! Or maybe it’s yogurt cake dubbing as cheesecake. Who cares? I will take it if it means less time on the treadmill. Ha! Who am I kidding? It is hard to spend less time on something that I never use. All well it sounded good. Here is how I made mine…

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups greek yogurt (plain or vanilla) I used vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 pre-made graham cracker pie crust

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Take your pre-made crust and crumble it smooth into the bottom of a springform pan. If you like you can make your own, but I just assume using the store bought kind.

Beat together the eggs and the sugar. Add the vanilla and flour and mix to blend thoroughly then gently whisk in the yogurt.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until barely set in the center. You want the cake to still be jiggly in the middle but have that perfect done look to it. The edges of the cake will start to pull away from the pan exposing the dark edges. Be sure to not over bake. Turn off the oven and allow cake to cool inside.

Healthy Cheesecake made out of Greek Yogurt ~ via The EGGBring cake to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I let my sit overnight in the fridge and then dressed it up the next day to serve for desert after a lovely Beer Can Chicken dinner.

Healthy Cheesecake made out of Greek Yogurt ~ via The EGGServe cake with your favorite topping. I used peaches because it is what I had on hand, but you can use cherries, strawberries, blueberries… You get the idea. If you really have a sweet tooth, you can warm honey and drizzle it over the fruit.

Healthy Cheesecake made out of Greek Yogurt ~ via The EGG

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Sweet Crescent Rolls

One word describes these little buggers… Mmm! I would totally make these again, and again, and again, and maybe even one or two more times after that. They are super simple, and totally tasty. However, while eating them the Hubby and I did have a revelation. Add apples to make them more like little personal sized apple pies. I will totally try that next time.

Ingredients

  • Package of crescent rolls
  • Butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the cinnamon and sugar together and mix well. Place the unrolled crescent rolls onto an ungreased cookie sheet (I used my silpat mat). Spread a layer of butter on each triangle; top with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Roll from the bottom of the triangle to the point.

Place in the oven and bake for 10-11 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve while hot. Enjoy.

Happy Birthday to Me!

pink lemonade pie bigger

“Go, go, go shorty it’s your birfday. We gon’ party like it’s your birthday.” Yep that’s right, it is my birthday and I will cry if I want to. Unless, somebody makes me some Pink Lemonade Cake. Well technically they call it a pie, but it’s my birthday and I want to call it a cake, so a cake it is. Doesn’t it look delish? I love how pretty it is! I am not a big pie person in general, but my uncle made me an apple pie for my pre-birthday dinner and it was not half bad. Normally he cooks us Sunday Pasta dinner and I have to say he has perfected the art of Italian cooking to a T. Recently he has added pies to his repertoire and it was pretty darn tasty. I will have to pass this recipe along to him and see what he thinks. Hopefully the whole pink thing won’t throw him.

Ingredients

The Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter

The Filling:

  • 1 8-ounce packet of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¾ cup pink lemonade concentrate (not mixed with water)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
  • AmeriColor Red Red food coloring or equal

Directions

The Crust:

  1. Mix the crumbs, sugar, and butter in a nine-inch pie pan or spring form pan. Mix until the crumbs have absorbed the butter and the mixture is uniform.
  2. Press the crumbs across the bottom of the pan and up the sides.
  3. Bake for eight to ten minutes at 350 degrees.

The Filling:

  1. Using the whip attachment and your stand-type mixer or with a handheld electric mixer, mix the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk together on medium high-speed until the mixture is smooth. (If you place the sweetened condensed milk in the bowl first, the cream cheese will not stick to the bowl and you will have little need to scrape the sides.)
  2. Add the lemonade concentrate and lemon juice and continue beating. Color with red food coloring as desired.
  3. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and place it in the freezer while you mix the topping.

Wait wait wait. Look what I stumbled upon… An actual Pink Lemonade Layer Cake that looks pretty awesome as well. Now that I found the actual cake version, you are allowed to call the above recipe a pie. See how that works? The birthday girl gets whatever she wants. However, when it comes to these sweeties, I am not quite sure which one I want to eat on my actual birthday, plus I am not a big fan of decisions, so I think I will take both please.

Ingredients

  • One box of strawberry cake mix (plus oil, water and eggs as directed on box)
  • 8oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 packet of Kool-Aid Lemonade (0.23oz.)
  • Yellow food coloring gel, as desired for color
  • 2 cups Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip Topping
  • Fresh strawberries to garnish

Directions

  1. Make cake according to box and bake in 2- 9 inch round cake pans as directed. Turn finished cakes over on cake racks and allow to cool completely.
  2. Cream together cream cheese, lemonade and yellow food coloring until smooth.
  3. Mix marshmallow creme in and then mix in Cool Whip until completely smooth. Refrigerate until cake is cooled and cut.
  4. Cut each cake layer in half.
  5. Alternating layers of cake with layers of filling, assemble cake.  End with layer of filling.
  6. Top with sliced strawberries.
  7. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Oreo Peanut Butter Dip

Oreo Peanut Butter DipWell today one of my very best friends gets married. Right now I am helping her get ready for the Big Day in Mexico. Yep, that’s right… Se is getting married on the beach. Lucky me, right? I am very excited for her new life that her and her new Hubby are about to embark on. Congrats Myra and Bobby! I wish you a lifetime of happiness and peanut butter, which brings me to today’s recipe… Oreo Peanut Butter Dip. If you have not caught on yet, Myra’s favorite food is peanut butter, and her favorite way to eat it is plain ol’ peanut butter on a spoon. Nothing more and nothing less, but that is not much of a recipe, so I found something just as good if not better. Check it out!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup white chocolate morsels
  • ½ cup Nutella
  • 12 Oreos, crushed

Directions

  1. In microwave, mix peanut butter, Nutella and white chocolate morsels. Microwave on medium heat for 1 minute.
  2. Stir and heat by 15 second intervals until white chocolate is completely melted.Fold in Oreos and store in glass jar, completely sealed.
  3. Serve with crackers and fruit, enjoy! Also great with Pretzel Crisps!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches

Say what you want about Paula Deen and her ongoing weight, and new-found health issues. I think she is a genius. I don’t care if you are 90 lbs or 490 lbs, who would not want a peanut butter and jelly ICE CREAM sandwich? Okay, maybe my vegan aunt wouldn’t, but that is besides the point. I personally can not wait until I can make these. Keep in mind, when I make them I will probably go the semi homemade route. I am talking store bought ice cream, homemade cookies, but not necessarily from scratch. We will see what kind of mood I am in when it comes time to actually making them. One thing I do know, either way you make them, they will be FABULOUS!

Ingredients

Peanut Butter Cookies:

  • 1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Strawberry Ice-Cream:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups diced strawberries

Assembly:

  • 6 tablespoons strawberry preserves
  • Peanut butter chips or chopped peanuts, optional

Directions 

Peanut Butter Cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet.

In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, the egg, and vanilla, and stir well with a spoon. Roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. With a fork, dipped in sugar to prevent sticking, press a crisscross design on each cookie. Bake for 12 minutes, remove from the oven, and sprinkle the cookies with some of the remaining sugar. Cool slightly before removing from pan.

Strawberry Ice-Cream:

In a small bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients. Puree the strawberries in a food processor and add to cream mixture. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker. After freezing in the ice cream maker, transfer to a container and place in the freezer, to freeze solid, for 6 hours before serving.

Assembly:

Spread the strawberry preserves on a peanut butter cookie. Top with a small scoop of strawberry ice cream and cover with another cookie. Roll sides in peanut butter chips or peanuts, if desired.

  • Source: Paula Deen
  • Cook Time: 12 min
  • Recipe Yields: 8 to 9 servings

Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients

Peanut Butter Pie:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, plus whipped cream, for garnish, optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces shaved milk chocolate
  • Chopped peanuts, optional

Hot Fudge Sauce:

  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Directions

1 (9-inch) baked chocolate cookie pie crust

Hot Fudge Sauce:

Add the cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla extract to a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the chopped chocolate. Stir continuously until the chocolate is melted and the sauce has thickened, roughly 3 to 4 minutes. Let the sauce cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Peanut Butter Pie:

In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar and the peanut butter until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until thick and light. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

Carefully fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture. Pour the batter into the pie shell, sprinkle with the shaved milk chocolate and freeze for 4 hours.

Notes: If desired, serve with the hot fudge sauce, whipped cream, and chopped peanuts.

  • Source: The Neelys
  • Prep Time: 10min
  • Inactive Time: 4hr 10min
  • Cook Time: 8min
  • Total Time: 4hr 28min
  • Recipe Yields: 8 servings

Peanut Butter Balls

My girlfriend Myra is getting married this Saturday in Mexico. Actually she is more than my friend. She was my sorority sister, old roommate and was one of my bridesmaids. We have been through a lot with each other, and now she is marrying my Hubby’s best friend from college. Isn’t it a small world? She is actually the one responsible for introducing my Hubby and me, so I have her to blame thank. In honor of her pending nuptials, I thought I would dedicate this week’s entries to her favorite food. PEANUT BUTTER! First up, Paula Deen’s Peanut Butter Balls. Happy Wedding Week Myra! I can’t wait to celebrate with you and your wonderful family and friends.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 cups powdered milk
  • 1 ½ cups crushed corn flakes
  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Mix peanut butter, honey, and milk together in a large bowl to form very thick mixture. Roll mixture in small balls about the size of a walnut. Roll the balls in either the crushed corn flakes, finely chopped nuts, or powdered sugar. Place on waxed paper and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

  • Source: Paula Deen
  • Prep Time: 20min
  • Inactive Time: 20min
  • Total Time: 40min
  • Recipe Yields: 18 to 24 balls

Strawberry Strata

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (about ½ cup)
  • 4 ounces ricotta cheese, room temperature (about ½ cup)
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed and drained (about 10 ounces)
  • ½ cup honey, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (12 to 16-inch) ciabatta loaf, crust removed and cut into 1-inch cubes

Directions

Place the cheeses in a large bowl and stir together with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing until completely incorporated before adding the next. Stir in the milk, strawberries, honey, cinnamon, and bread. Pour into an 8 by 10 by 2-inch casserole dish. If freezing, cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 day and up to 1 month.

To bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake covered with foil for 45 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Remove the foil and continue baking for 30 to 35 minutes.

Notes: This recipe makes life easier on you, because it is great for freezing! Feel free to add more fruit and different kinds. Peaches would taste awesome!

  • Source: Giada De Laurentiis
  • Prep Time: 20min
  • Cook Time: 1hr 20min
  • Total Time: 1hr 40min
  • Recipe Yields: 6 to 8 servings

Watermelon Pie

I saw this picture and I thought, “I must have that.” Then the Hubby saw the picture and said, “I must have that too!” I found the recipe on Make and Takes. It was posted by Jane Maynard of This Week For Dinner. Her recipe will definitely be added to my This Week For Dessert list. Thanks Jane!

Ingredients

  • Lime Sherbet
  • Vanilla ice cream or Pineapple sherbet
  • Red/Pink-colored sherbet. (If you can’t find this, buy the closest to red you can and mix it up with red food coloring.)
  • Mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. For each flavor, you’ll let the sherbet/ice cream soften for a few minutes before using. The red sherbet should be mixed with the mini chocolate chips.
  2. Use a round springform pan. You may want to line the bottom of the pan with wax paper or parchment paper if you plan to transfer the entire “pie” to another dish before serving. I served the slices on plates straight out of the freezer, so I didn’t line the pan. It’s actually cuter sliced!
  3. Starting with lime, spread a ring of sherbet around the edge of the springform pan – about 2 inches high (or taller if you want!), and about 1-2 inches wide from the outside edge of the pan.
  4. Put pan in freezer to harden lime layer.
  5. Repeat step 3 with the vanilla, but make the layer much thinner – maybe 1/2 inch. Use a butter knife to flatten the top, even-ing out the lime with the vanilla. Put pan in freezer to harden again.
  6. Repeat step 3 with the red/chocolate chip sherbet. Fill the rest of the pan, then use a butter knife to flatten the top. Freeze!
  7. When it’s time to eat, run a knife around the edge of the pan before popping off the outside of the springform pan. Use a nice thin-blade knife to slice.

Zeppole (Italian Doughnuts)

Ingredients

  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ½ cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • Olive oil, for frying

Directions

Cut open the vanilla bean lengthwise. Using the back of a knife, scrape along the inside of the vanilla bean to collect the seeds. Scrape vanilla bean seeds into a small bowl. Add the ½ cup sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine the butter, salt, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and water over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Take pan off the heat and stir in the flour. Return pan to the heat and stir continuously until mixture forms a ball, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the flour mixture to a medium bowl. Using an electric hand mixer on low speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, incorporating each egg completely before adding the next. Beat until smooth. If not frying immediately, cover with plastic wrap and reserve in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, pour enough oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees F.

Using a small ice-cream scooper or 2 small spoons, carefully drop about a tablespoon of the dough into the hot olive oil, frying in batches. Turn the zeppole once or twice, cooking until golden and puffed up, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Toss with cinnamon-sugar. Arrange on a platter and serve immediately.

  • Source: Giada De Laurentiis
  • Prep Time: 20min
  • Cook Time: 30min
  • Total Time: 50min
  • Recipe Yields: 4 to 6 servings