Sunday, September 27, 2009

Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars

I'm sorry I have not posted in awhile. My Grandma became ill a few weeks ago and passed away last Saturday. For about the last month I have been down in Louisville helping take care of her. Yesterday we were able to celebrate her life and remember how special she was.
My Mema, as I called her, was an amazing cook. It was a true science for her and I loved learning how to cook from her. It always had to be a certain way! Lately I have been playing it safe when it comes to picking things to make for dinner or other recipes I choose. When thinking about my Grandma I know she would have encouraged me to make every recipe that I was nervous about. I am going to start making many of those recipes that intimidated me and hopefully will have some of them up on here soon.
Since I haven't been home on the weekends for the past few weeks I haven't had a chance to take the time to bake. I was determined to get something in the oven today! I love apple desserts and when I saw this recipe on the Picky Palate I knew it was a must. It truly is delicious and was perfect to make this weekend as we received some true fall weather this weekend!
I hope you enjoy these as much as I did and take a leap of faith in your kitchen as well.

Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars
Source: Picky Palate
3 Tablespoons melted butter
3 Cups Golden Graham Cereal, ground in food processor ( I used cinnamon graham crackers)
1 Roll Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough or 2 pkgs Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Dough Mix prepared and divided into 2 equal parts
8 oz softened cream cheese
1/4 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
21 oz can apple pie filling
1.5 oz package Nature Valley Oats N’ Honey Crunchy Granola Bars (2 count), crushed (I actually did not use these instead I sprinkled some cinnamon over the cookie dough.)
9.5 oz Kraft Caramels
1/2 Cup half and half
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine melted butter and ground cereal into a large bowl; press into an 8×8 inch baking dish lined with foil that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven. Crumble half of the cookie dough over partially baked crust.
2. Place cream cheese, sugar and vanilla into a mixer; beat until smooth. Pour over crumbled cookie dough layer. Bake for 25 minutes then remove from over. Top with the apple pie filling . Next top with remaining cookie dough, breaking off into little pieces evenly over top. Sprinkle with crushed granola bars and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes clean from center. Let cool completely then cut into squares. Melt caramels and half and half according to package directions. Drizzle over each bar. Refrigerate leftovers.
9 squ

Sunday, September 13, 2009

BBQ chicken crusted smoked cheddar mac

I found something that Chad said was delicious! Usually Chad likes what I make but never raves about it! Tonight he said "It was epic"! He was really skeptical at first but luckily it turned out great! This meal was actually pretty easy to put together and didn't take a lot of time.

BBQ Chicken Crusted Smoked Cheddar Mac
Source:Picky Palate

(I halved this recipe and it still made a good amount for the 2 of us!)

1 lb mini farfalle pasta (use any pasta of choice)

5 Tablespoons butter
5 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
4 Cups milk, I used 2%
5 Cups shredded cheddar cheese (you could use any cheddar cheese)

2 Cups shredded BBQ Chicken ( I boiled some chicken and covered it in baby jack BBQ sauce and let it simmer on the stove for a few minutes)
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

2. Melt butter into a large dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper; cook for 1 minute stirring. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Increase heat to medium high, stir continuously until liquid thickens and comes to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheddar cheese until smooth then add cooked pasta. Pour mixture into a large baking dish then top evenly with BBQ chicken. Sprinkle with additional cheddar cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

3. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve.