Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mixed Berry Pavlova

 I have never made a Pavlova and I found this traditional recipe from the The Culinary Institute of America featured on Epicurious. It is filled with a luscious filling of mixed French Pastry Cream and Whip Cream. I used berries because I just love them, but the original recipe suggested mixed berries, kiwi and mangoes.

It is quite lovely in presentation. I would definitely serve this at an elegant dinner party. What I love most is that you can actually make all the components in advance, and just put together last minute.

For meringues:
3 egg whites
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

For filling:
1 1/2 cups pastry cream
1/2 cup heavy cream (Whipped)

Pastry Cream Recipe (Recipe Follows)
2 1/4 cups whole milk 
6 large egg yolks 
2/3 cup sugar 
1/3 cup cornstarch 
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

In medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup milk, egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, and cornstarch.

Transfer remaining 1 3/4 cups milk to heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add pod. Sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup sugar over, letting sugar sink undisturbed to bottom. Set pan over moderate heat and bring to simmer without stirring.

Whisk hot milk mixture, then gradually whisk into egg yolk mixture. Return to saucepan over moderate heat and cook, whisking constantly, until pastry cream simmers and thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, discard vanilla pod, and whisk cream until smooth. Transfer to bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto surface. Chill until cold, about 4 hours. (Pastry cream can be made ahead and refrigerated, wrapped well with plastic wrap on surface, up to 3 days.)

To serve:  3 to 4 cups assorted seasonal fruit 2 cups raspberry sauce

Make meringues:
Preheat oven to 150°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using 3-inch-diameter bowl or ring mold as guide, trace 5 circles on each sheet. Turn paper over so markings are on bottom. In large metal bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy. Gradually whisk in sugar, then cornstarch. Attach candy thermometer to bowl and set over saucepan of simmering water. Continue whisking until thermometer registers 130°F. Remove bowl from heat and, using electric mixer, beat mixture at moderately high speed until mixture cools and holds stiff peaks, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to pastry bag fitted with large star tip.

Starting at center and working in spiral outward, pipe meringue onto 1 traced circle. Pipe second layer in ring around edge to form outer wall. Fill remaining circles in same manner.

Bake meringues until dry on outside but still soft inside, about 3 hours. Transfer pan to rack and cool 5 minutes. Peel meringues from parchment and cool completely on rack. (Meringues can be made ahead and stored in airtight container in dry, cool place up to 2 weeks or frozen in airtight container up to 3 months.)

Make filling:
Using electric mixer, beat cream until stiff peaks form.

In large bowl, whisk pastry cream until smooth. Whisk in 1/3 of whipped cream to lighten, then fold in remaining whipped cream.

Raspberry Sauce 
3 1/3 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

In medium saucepan over moderate heat, stir together raspberries, powdered sugar, and lemon juice. Heat, stirring often, until raspberries begin to release juice. Raise heat to moderately high and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Strain through fine-mesh sieve, pressing on solids to extract all liquid. (Sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated, covered, up to 1 week.)

Assemble and serve:
Transfer each meringue to serving plate and fill with 3 tablespoons pastry cream mixture. Mound fruit on top of cream. Spoon raspberry sauce alongside on plate, and serve immediately.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Lemon Meringue Pie

My Mama loves Lemon Meringue Pie and I often make it for her.  I have a wonderful Mama and I love doing something for her.  She has done so much for me.  Love ya Ma!
Lemon Meringue Pie Mama's Oven

Lemon Filling:
6 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 1/4 cups water
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie shell

Use recipe below for quick and easy press in crust or use your own favorite pie crust recipe.
Can use pre-made pie crust just pre-bake or even a graham cracker crust, pre-bake for
10 minutes and cooled.  

1 recipe Meringue, recipe follows

Meringue Topping:
6 egg whites
1 pinch cream of tartar
3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a medium bowl whisk egg yolks, Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, water, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Turn heat on medium and, stirring continuously, bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Get your reserved egg yolks that you whisked and slowly (whisking vigorously), add hot mixture to egg yolks to temper eggs. Continuously whisking and add rest of mixture to eggs. Whisk until mixed well.

Return egg mixture to saucepan, turn heat down to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and gently stir in butter, lemon juice, and zest until mixed well. Pour lemon mixture into baked pie shell.

Hurry up and start the meringue. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Place Meringue on top of hot lemon filling pie. Make sure meringue completely covers filling and that it goes right up to the edge of the crust. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until meringue is golden. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Make sure pie is cooled completely before slicing.

Yield: topping for 1 (9-inch) pie

Oil Press In Pie Crust

This crust is a perfect crust for pre-baked crust request and savory pies without the sugar. There is no rolling just pressing into pie pan. How easy is that?

2 cups flour
pinch salt
*2 T. sugar only if using for a sweet pie
½ cup vegetable oil plus 2 T.
4T. cold water


In a bowl mix all dry ingredients with a whisk. Add all wet ingredient. Mix well and form into a ball.
Wrap with clear wrap.

Place in fridge for ½ hour.

Spray your pie pan heavily with a non stick spray.

This is press in pie crust. Press with your fingers down on dough and spread evenly through pan and up sides. Pinch edges with a decorative design. Add a sheet of parchment and pie weights or dried beans. Bake in a 400 degree oven until golden brown. About 35 minutes.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Plastos Pie

Filled with greens and Greek Feta
Ready for Oven

This is what I grew up on and all the grand-kids in my family.  My mother made this and it originates from Greece.  My mother was born in Epirus, Greece.  It basically is a pie made from wild field greens, eggs, cornmeal and feta.  Well, in America I don't have any wild field greens growing in my yard, but if you do, I highly recommend you use them.  I love this pie when zucchini blossoms are in season, chop them up and add them to the mix.  Wow, those blossoms take it to another level.  We call it in my family, ba-sty-hra or something like that.  The easy version is Plastos.

My mother traditionally serves it with a bowl of buttermilk.  You would crumble a piece of room temperature Plastos and add it to the butter milk, touch of salt and pepper, a drizzle of Greek olive oil.  Yummy and healthy!

Now, this recipe is kind of one that you throw in what you have available more or less, but I do recommend green onions, dill, leeks and zucchini blossoms, but hey, if you have chard, arugula, etc.  go ahead and toss it in.  Here is a base recipe to work with below.

All Your Greens:
4 packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
Can use fresh spinach but just add a lot more it shrinks to nothing
5 to 6 green onions sliced thin
1 sweet onion chopped
3/4 cup chopped dill
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 stalk of leek (white part only) sliced fine
2 cloves garlic grated
5 Zucchini blossoms if available, chopped
* Any kind of greens you have in fridge (Chop them up and toss in)

Cheese Mixture:
1 medium container cottage cheese, more or less
2 cups, more or less crumbled feta
1/2 cup grated cheese (sharp) like romano
* Can add some ricotta or shredded cheeses
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
4 whole eggs (beaten set aside)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 stick butter (melted set aside)

1 box corn bread mix (such as Jiffy)

In a very large skillet, saute onion with olive oil until translucent.  Add all other Green ingredients and saute until everything is soft, but not thoroughly cooked. It should look fresh.

Remove from heat, cool down.  In a large bowl add saute greens and the Cheese Mixture, plus box of corn bread mix.  Mix all ingredients well with a big spoon.

Use a very well oiled round deep dish pizza pan.  I use a 16 inch round.  Drizzle a little extra oil on bottom of pan.   Add entire green/cheese mixture and spread out evenly in pan.  Bake in 375 degree oven for about 1 hour until very golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool several hours before cutting into squares.  Refrigerate left overs.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lemon Poppy Seed Bars

I love lemon bars and this recipe comes from Dede Wilson.  However, I did make some changes.  I added poppy seeds, cut back on sugar and a little extra flour. Her original recipe was awesome, but I just prefer a little less sugar and a slightly thicker lemon filling.  Try hers, try mine it's all good.  Lemon Heaven!
Lemon Poppy Seed Bars
Adapted from: Pastry Chef Dede Wilson

    1 stick unsalted butter, melted
    3 tablespoons sugar
    Pinch Salt
    1 ¼ cups flour
    1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
    1 cups sugar
    3 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
    2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    3 room temperature eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Position rack in center of oven.
  2. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil and coat foil with nonstick spray; set aside.
  3. For the Crust: Whisk together the melted butter, sugar, poppy seeds and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in flour just until combined. Pat into prepared pan in an even layer.
  4. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or very light brown all over the crust.
  5. For the Filling: Best to do this while crust is baking.
  6. Whisk together the sugar and flour in a clean bowl, then whisk in the lemon juice.
  7. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until combined. When the crust is done, turn the oven down to 325°F, pour filling over crust and bake for about 18 to 22 minutes or until set. Cool pan on rack.
  8. Bars are easier to cut if chilled for at least an hour.
  9. To cut, first lift edges of foil to bring the bars up and out of the pan.
  10. Peel foil down to expose sides of bars. Cut into 16 squares.
  11. Bars are ready to serve or store refrigerated in airtight container in single layers for up to 4 days.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mama's Banana Cream Pudding

Banana Pudding is an American comfort food, as is apple pie. This recipe was given to my mom at a potluck some 40 years ago. It's an oldie but goodie. Enjoy this for holidays, barbeques, birthday parties, etc.....It's that good.
     Mama's Banana Pudding

    1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
    1 1/3 cups ice cold water
    1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
    1 tsp. banana extract
    4 cups heavy cream
    2 T. powder confectioner's sugar
    1 (12-ounce) box Nabisco Nilla Wafers
    4 to 5 cups sliced ripe bananas 
Using a mixer, beat condense milk, water until mix well at medium speed.  Add vanilla pudding mix and beat for a few minutes until mixed well.  Cover pudding with clear wrap.  Place wrap right on top of pudding as to prevent pudding from forming a skin.  Must be allowed to set for 4 to 5 hours.
After pudding has set, using a mixer with whip attachment, whip the heavy cream, powder sugar until stiff peaks form. Remove 1 cup of whipped cream for piping rosettes on top of pudding. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and combined well.

To assemble the pudding, I use a 10x 12 aluminium disposable pan. Can use a trifle bowl.  Place one-third of the vanilla cookies  to cover the bottom of the pan, then one-third of the sliced bananas and one-third of the pudding mixture. Repeat the layering two times more.  Time to decorate pudding.  Add additional wafers on top with piped reserved whip cream or crush vanilla cookies and sprinkle on top.  

Place pudding in fridge and refridgerate for 6 to 8 hours. Time to serve!

Monday, February 23, 2015

BlueBerry Muffins

Love all berries and I love muffins.  So here you go, this is a no-brainer.  The only thing I do different with all my muffin batters is after mixing, I let them sit out for 1/2 hour before putting into my muffin tins.  This resting period gives you  a higher top muffin. 

BlueBerry Muffins
 I use a jumbo size muffin tin and paper liners.  I yield about 10-12 jumbo size.  

Dry ingredients:
3 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tb baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Pinch salt

Wet Ingredients:
1 1/2 c milk
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

Add ins:
2 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 
Line  muffin cups. 
Sift dry ingredients in a large bowl.

In another bowl whisk all wet ingredients and combine wet and dry.  Do not over mix, but make sure everything is incorporated well.  
Add fruit and mix in.  Set aside for 1/2 hour.   
Bake for 20-25 min or until a toothpick comes out clean and tops are golden brown. 


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Banana Bread

This is absolutely my favorite banana bread.  My family has been making it for years.  It's super moist and gets better the next day.  Enjoy this delicious bread with coffee or tea.  Can be iced with a cream cheese frosting but I just like it plain.  Great as a snack to pack in lunches. 

Banana Bread

2 1/2  sticks unsalted butter
2 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
5 over ripe, pureed ripe bananas

3 1/2 cups all purpose bread flour
pinch salt
2 tsp baking soda

4 large whole eggs at room temp (beaten) set a side
optional: 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Prepare pans with butter and flour or a non stick spray, use  (3 - 1 qt loaf pans) or use a 10 x 12 aluminum pan with 2 inch sides.

Melt the butter and add the sugar. Mix for a few minutes until sugar starts to dissolve. Add pureed bananas and vanilla.  

Combine the flour, salt, baking soda and nuts. Stir into the butter/sugar mixture.

Add beaten whole eggs to batter and mix well.  

Spoon the batter into the prepared pans. Fill pans no more than 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until baked through. Can do toothpick test.  I made this bread in different ovens, and temperature times varied greatly.  Use your judgement. 

Remove from pans after 15 minutes of cooling.  Place on cooling rack.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cherry Kuchen

This is a fairly simple recipe that uses can pie filling.  It's great for coffee get together with friends.  

Cake Ingredients:
2 sticks butter, room temperature (soft)
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
1 can 21ounce cherry pie filling or what ever you like

1 cup powder sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
milk  (approx. 3 tsp.)  as needed to get a thin glaze consistency

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a separate bowl add flour, salt and baking powder.  Sift ingredients, set to side.  

In mixing bowl beat butter and sugar until creamy about 3 to 4 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla and continue to beat until creamy and smooth.   Mix flour and baking powder and add slowly to creamed butter mixture.   Do not over beat after the mixture is combined well.  Remove about 1 1/2 cups of dough and set to side.  Spread remaining dough onto a greased 15x10x1 inch baking pan.  Spread evenly and bake in oven for about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven spread pie filling onto dough.  Add remaining dough into small golf size mounds onto pie filling.  Place back in oven and bake for another 30 minutes, until golden brown on top. Place pan on a cooling rack and cool in pan.  Drizzle glaze over Kuchen and cool completely before cutting into bars.  Enjoy.  

I have tried different pie fillings and they are all delicious.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Blackberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

I had these gorgeous blackberries in my fridge.  I used my basic muffin recipe and just added in blackberries, white chocolate chips, bit of coconut and almonds.  My daughter loved them.  She thought they were fantastic!

Blackberry White Chocolate Muffins
Makes 8 large muffins
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Use paper liners (large) Texas Size

Basic Muffin Mix Ingredients:
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt

Wet :
2/3 cup buttermilk or whole milk
2/3 canola oil or melted coconut oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract or coconut
2 whole eggs (extra large/ room temperature)

Add ins:
1 cup blackberry roughly chopped if too large
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Have two bowls.  Add all dry ingredients in one bowl mix well.  Add all wet in another bowl and mix very well. Than combine the two and mix well but not over mixing to toughen the dough.  Add your add ins and combine thoroughly.  I use large muffin pan and paper liners.  Fill almost to the top of paper liner.  Add a little extra toppings for decoration.  Bake for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven and than reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake for another 5 to 8 minutes. You will know when they are done when you press gently on top and they are firm and golden.   Enjoy!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Yiayia's Kourabiedes

Round Shape
Half-moon Crescent Shape

Okay, according to all the grand kids, Yiayia makes the best of everything.  I had to include her recipe for these Greek cookies called,  Kourabiedes.  I know they would want to pass this recipes to their kids one day.  So here it is, kitties. Enjoy and think of Yiayia.  She loves you all. 

These cookies can be shaped in rounds, crescent moons, and  s-shape cookies.

Yiayia's Kourabiedes
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees
Bake time:  20 minutes
2-3 dozen

1 pound butter, room temperature soften
1 egg yolk. room temperature
1 cup powder sugar (confectioner's sugar)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. almond extract
optional: shot of ouzo
pinch salt
4 cups plus  3/4 cup all purpose flour plus an extra 1/4 cup if needed. 

About an extra pound confectioner's sugar

Beat butter, yolk and confectioner's sugar until creamy and light.  Add extracts and pinch salt. Continue to cream.   Blend flours together and slowly add until a dough forms.  Dough should be soft but easy to form a ball shape.  If too wet, add a little more flour.  Do this sparingly. Becareful with the adding too much flour.  This can change the lovely buttery, melt in your mouth texture.  You just want the dough to come together and easily formed into your desired shape.  In this case less is more. 

Round a small walnut size ball in hand.  Flatten slightly on cookie sheet.  Make a dent in middle with finger.   If a crescent moon, roll dough out 1/2 inch thickness and cut with a round cutter or glass into crescent shapes.  If s-shape roll is desired roll out like a cigar shape and form into a soft s-shape.  Bake for about 20 minutes until lightly brown.  Immediately, have a bowl with a few cups of powder sugar.  Let cookies cool for 5 minutes, place in bowl with confectioner's sugar and cover.  Do this to all cookies.  When completely cool, place cookies on a tray and sift powder sugar on top to cover cookies completely. They last about a week and improve in taste as they age. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Koulouria II

I love Koulouria (Greek butter cookies)  and I am always experimenting in my kitchen with my recipes. You can never have enough recipes for Koulouria, This one got the thumbs up from my Greek clan.  Enjoy this wonderful traditional Greek butter cookie.  

Koulouria II
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2 cookie sheets lined with parchment or silpat


1 pound unsalted butter (must be soften)
2 cups sugar
4 large or XL eggs (must be at room temperature)
6 tsp. baking powder
7 -8 cups all purpose flour (start with 6 cups) add more if needed
pinch salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ouzo

Egg Wash (one egg in a cup with a 1 tablespoon water, mix well)
Sesame seeds

Using mixer, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at time,  mix well. Add extract and ouzo. Sift flour and baking powder with pinch salt. Slowly add four until the dough comes together and is not sticky. Do this slowly. The dough should be soft but not sticky. You should be able to roll it out easily into a long rope, about 6 inches, bring ends together together and then twist the dough. Place cookies on cookie sheet. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds on each cookie. Bake for about 20 minutes. You want a golden color. Cool cookies on cooling rack. You can make them bigger or smaller. It's up to you. Adjust time to size.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Polish Cheesecake

Polish Cheesecake

 I really love ethnic desserts and I have to say I am very partial to European style pastries.  Polish cheesecake is called Sernik.  This is not a typical American style cheesecake.  This is very European and I adore it.  It's encased in a cookie like crust and the filling is dense.  Make a strong espresso and cut yourself a small piece of heaven.   Enjoy this homey, yet sophisticated Sernik.  

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
2 large eggs
3 T. heavy cream
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt

Place all ingredients in food processor and process until it forms a dough.  Remove, cover in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 1-2 hours. 

Cheesecake Filling:
8 oz. Ricotta Cheese (Whole Fat)
1 8 oz. cream Cheese (room temperature)
1 cup cottage cheese (full fat)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1T. rum
1 tsp. almond extract
1 grated lemon rind
1/4 cup raisins, soaked in rum (discard rum)
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix three cheeses, butter and sugar until creamy, beat on low.  You do not want to over beat or whip you want a dense cheese mixture not airy mixture.  Add eggs mix well.  Add flour, vanilla, rum, almond extracts.  Add lemon rind, raisins and mini chips mix well.  Set aside.  

Line a 9x9 square pan with aluminum foil with an overhang of 2 inches on each side for easy lifting.  

Take 2/3 of dough and pressed onto cookie sheet.  Prick with fork.  Bake for about 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven until lightly golden brown.  Remove and cool.  

Add cheese mixture and spread evenly with offset spatula.  

Take remaining dough, on a well floured surface roll out dough like a pie crust.  Using a fluted pizza cutter, cut strips and do a criss-cross design on top of cheese mixture.  Add more strips around edge of cheesecake.  Look at pic above.  

Bake in oven for about 1 hour.  Shut oven off, crack door open and leave Cheesecake for another hour.  Remove from oven, cool and place in fridge for 4 to 5 hours. 

Using a sharp knife cut around the edge of pan where the aluminum foil is not.  Using the overhand pull out cheese cake.  Put on a plate. 

Cover with glaze.  I use a pastry brush and brush the glaze on.  Let glaze set by placing back in fridge for an hour or so.  

When ready,  cut into small squares.  Enjoy!


This is a take on a village-style Greek pizza. The name Alevropita actually translates to flour pie.  I remember eating this as a small child at a dear friends house who happened to be Greek, and her family was from the same village as my family.  It's definitely something I did not invent, but remember eating fondly.  

My mother grew up during WWII in a typical Greek Village in Epirus.  She shared stories of hardship and starvation during the war.  She often shares recipes with me that she remembers during this time.  Greeks definitely lived off the land.  My mother has a real knack for finding edible weeds and making a feast out of nothing.  I'm sure in Greece when food was scarce in the old days, and all you had to eat if you were lucky was feta, flour, eggs and olive oil this was probably served as dinner.  


3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 
1 1/3 cup water
1 egg
1 1/ 2 cups  all purpose flour
Pinch salt
1/2  tsp. baking powder

3 Tablespoons olive oil for brushing on pan
12 oz. feta, crumbled
2 tbsp. unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
1 tsp. dried oregano (optional)
 A little extra Olive Oil to Drizzle on to top of pizza

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a half size rimmed sheet pan or a round 16 inch pizza pan with rim into hot oven for 10 minutes.

2.  In a bowl, whisk together 3 Tablespoons olive oil, egg, and 1 1/3 cup water in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, salt, and baking powder. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and whisk until smooth, similar to pancake batter. 

3. Brush remaining oil over bottom of hot pan and pour batter, smoothing batter with an offset  spatula to coat the bottom evenly.  Add cheese uniformly over batter, and dot with butter cubes. Sprinkle dried oregano and drizzle a little olive oil on top.   Bake, for approximately 20 minutes until crispy.  I turned my pan once to rotate during baking.  This helps to bake evenly.   Cool slightly before cutting with pizza cutter.  Serve as appetizer or even a main course with a Greek salad.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Love these bars from Kraft. They got rave reviews from my family.  I always make these bars for Thanksgiving, but we love pumpkin, so I make them all the time.  

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars Recipe
Recipe Source:


1-1/3 cups  flour
¾ cup  granulated sugar, divided
½ cup  packed brown sugar
¾ cup  cold butter or margarine, cut up
1 cup  old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
½ cup  chopped PLANTERS Pecans
1 pkg.  (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 can  (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 Tbsp.  pumpkin pie spice


HEAT oven to 350°F.
LINE 13x9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; spray with cooking spray. Mix flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar in medium bowl until blended; cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats and nuts.
RESERVE 1 cup oat mixture; press remaining onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 min. Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, pumpkin and spice with mixer until blended; pour over crust. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture.
BAKE 25 min.; cool 10 min. Use foil to transfer dessert from pan to wire rack; cool completely.

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