Saturday, March 17, 2018


This is a wonderful recipe. Not quite a brownie and not quite a traditional cheesecake. It is sweet, sticky, chocolate-y and oh so delicious!!!

Brownie Layer
1/4  cup butter
1  cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2/3  cup flour
1/2  teaspoon baking powder
1/4  teaspoon salt

Cheesecake Layer
8 ounce cream cheese (room temperature)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350° and line a 9"x 9" baking pan with parchment. Make sure the parchment is cut long enough to have tabs that you can use has "handles" to lift the chilled cheesecake out of the pan.

Make the cheesecake batter first: 

Beat the room temperature cream cheese until fluffy. Add 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 egg. Mix well then stir in the white chocolate chips. Set aside.

For the Brownie layer:
Melt 1/4 cup butter in the microwave. Add milk chocolate chips and let them sit for a few minutes to melt in the hot butter. If they don't melt completely, microwave them for about 10 seconds, then stir until melted and smooth. The chocolate chips just need to be barely melted, so don't over microwave them.

Add 1/2 cup sugar to the melted chocolate. This should cool the mixture down just a little then add 2 eggs. Mix well.

Add the flour and baking powder and mix until smooth.  Pour half of the brownie layer into the prepared 9" x 9" baking pan. Smooth out to the edges. 

Put all of the cheesecake layer on top of the brownie layer and smooth out.

Top with the rest of the brownie layer and spread out evenly. Use the handle of a  spoon (or your finger), to swirl the top brownie layer down into the cheese cake layer just a little.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake is a little crinkled and the center is cooked. Cool to room temperature, then chill for at least a couple hours.

Lift Brownie Cheesecake out of the pan by grabbing the edges of the parchment paper. Make sure the cheese cake is very cold before cutting.

Store covered in the refrigerator


Monday, March 12, 2018


After reading about BACON JAM for quite a while now, I finally made a opinion? WOW, where has this been all my life? Sticky, sweet, smokey, bacon-y, yummy..........It is excellent right off the spoon on toast, burgers, grilled cheese, scrambled eggs and even as an accent on pizza!!

The Internet has dozens of recipes for bacon jam: some with bourbon, some with tomato, some with pineapple, etc. etc. etc.  I decided on a basic, no frill, bacon jam recipe and the result was yummy!!! 

1 pound bacon cut into thin strips  
2 medium size sweet onions (like Vidalia) (thinly sliced)
1 teaspoon SMOKED paprika
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup REAL maple syrup(not pancake syrup)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground pepper (use less if fine ground)
pinch of cayenne pepper

Cook the bacon in a large fry pan over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, to separate the pieces.

Remove the bacon when it starts to crisp up (but before it gets hard-crisp). Drain on paper towels (save 2 tablespoons of the fat).

In 2 tablespoons of reserved bacon fat, saute two thinly sliced onions until soft and translucent (takes about 8 minutes or so).

Sprinkle the onions with the smoked paprika and stir until coated. Add 1/2 cup of water and scrape the bottom of the pan to get any bits loosened up.

Add the maple syrup, brown sugar, cooked bacon, vinegar, salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir and bring to a strong simmer (but not a boil).

Simmer (stirring every couple of minutes)until it starts to thicken a takes about 10 minutes. (see important note below)

While still hot, put the mixture into the food processor and pulse it several times to chop everything up into a "jam".

That's it!! It tastes best at room temperature, but be sure to keep it in the fridge. It stays good in the fridge for two weeks, but it doesn't last that long at our house.

NOTE: I use kitchen scissors to cut my raw bacon into 1/4" slices. Since the jam goes into the food processor at the end of the recipe, you can cut the bacon into any size pieces you want. However, I've found that cutting the bacon into thin strips, helps them separate in the frying pan faster.

NOTE: When deciding how long to cook this jam....keep in mind that when the jam chills in the refrigerator, it gets MUCH thicker. If you cook the jam to a THICK consistency while it's still in the pan, it will be hard like a rock once it's chilled.

NOTE: This jam (at least to me) tastes the best at room temperature. So, take it out of the fridge a little before you want to eat/use it.

NOTE: There is no guaranteed safe recipe for canning bacon jam and making it stable and safe for shelf storage.

Note: Original recipe from Noble Pig recipe blog, with adaptations by me.....I couldn't help myself.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


Sesame Chicken is my Picky-Picky husbands all time favorite. I'm glad, since it's very easy to make. It is sweetish, sticky-ish, quick and easy-ish......and makes an easy weeknight favorite.

It is my opinion, that boneless-skinless chicken thighs make the BEST Sesame Chicken because they are super moist and flavorful (chicken breast tends to get a little dry). Picky-Picky hubby says he HATES chicken thighs (but he loves this recipe) so I just don't mention that it's made with thighs (snicker).

Cut 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 1" pieces (maybe a little bigger). Put them in a bowl that has about 1 cup of flour in it (no other seasonings). Take chicken pieces out of flour, shaking off excess. In another bowl, whisk an egg with a tablespoon of water and put the flour coated chicken pieces into the egg bowl, stir to coat....then back into the flour bowl. Toss to coat with flour (a second time) shaking off excess flour.

In a fry pan (I use my electric skillet), brown the chicken pieces in a couple tablespoons vegetable oil (takes about 3 minutes or so per side). Drain them on paper towels.

In a sauce pan, mix:
1 cup of sugar
1/3 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 
1 tablespoon soy sauce
pinch of cayenne

Mix well and bring to a gentle boil. Let it simmer (gently) for a couple of minutes, then add the fried chicken pieces, stirring to coat. Let the chicken simmer gently in the sauce until it thickens a little(takes just a very few minutes).

Serve over hot buttered rice and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
To toast the sesame seeds, just put them in a DRY fry pan, over med-high heat for a minute or so, till light golden (stirring).