Copycat Woolworth’s Unbaked Cheesecake…

Happy New year everyone! Long time no talk. I have not been blogging….obviously. I’m sorry. I haven’t been able to get used to my laptop. That’s one reason. The other reason, well, is life. It just get’s so busy and sometimes very stressful.

I hope you all had great holiday time and I wish a very good new year for us all!

I didn’t do much baking this holiday season. I have a crappy oven and baking can be frustrating! Anyway, this recipe is a no bake delicious dessert. I’ve been seeing it all over the internet for some time now.

When I was growing up, my mom and I used to go to Woolworth’s store. How many of you remember it? Well, they had a wonderful café and had the best fried chicken ever. We would have our chicken lunch and always share a piece of their famous cheesecake. I always remembered it being so light and creamy and fluffy. I dont know what took me so long to make it, but wow. I am so glad I did. It’s just as I remembered it. This is not your typical dense cheesecake. It’s very light and fluffy. I may make this again and try adding a bit more cream cheese. Hmmmmmm.

You have to make this! Mmm-mmmmm.  Sorry the picture isn’t that great.

Woolworth’s Famous No bake Cheesecake

3 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs (almost a whole box)
1  3oz box lemon jello
1  cup boiling water
1  stick butter (1/2 cup), melted
1  8oz block of cream cheese
1  cup granulated sugar
4  Tblsp fresh lemon juice
1  can evaporated milk, WELL CHILLED

Dissolve the jello in the boiling water. Cool just until slightly thickened.
Mix all but 1/4 cup of the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter together. Pat it all down into a 13×9 baking dish. Save the rest of the crumbs to sprinkle on top.

In a large bowl, using a mixer, whip the chilled evaporated milk until fluffy. Set aside.

In another bowl, using a mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice together until smooth. Add the thickened jello and slowly mix in the evaporated milk.

Spread the mixture all over the crust and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup crumbs on top. Chill for at least 4 hours, covered. Better if chilled longer, but it’s so hard to wait!!!! I mean come onnnnnnnnn.

Asian Black Bean Chicken with Tofu….

Let me start by saying, that you dont have to use tofu in this dish. It’s perfectly delicious without it.

Are you wrinkling your nose at the mere mention of the word tofu?  If you haven’t tried it, I hope that you give it a chance. It really has no real flavor by itself. Some people are weirded out by the consistency. I always go for the medium or soft kind. It’s not slimy or mushy. The consistency is kinda like biting into jello. Tofu is very good for you.  But aside from the healthy factor, there are so many things you can do with it. It absorbs any juices or flavorings of whatever you add it too. I grew up eating it. My mother would slice it up chilled, sprinkle it with grated fresh ginger and sprinkle it with soy sauce. M-mmmmm. You can get it at almost any Japanese restaurant, as a side dish.

I’ve used tofu in meatloaf, potstickers, meatballs, soups…so many things.  But I love it in stir fry dishes. This black bean sauce chicken dish goes great with the tofu. The tofu absorbs the sauce and it is delicious.

Trust me and don’t fear the tofu!! You will like it, I’m sure.

As for the black bean sauce. It’s a fermented, salty and tangy black bean sauce. It’s quite pungent and delicious with stir fry dishes. You can find this at any Asian market and even in your local grocery store. This is what makes this dish. It’s quite salty, but so tasty.

   



Asian Black Bean Chicken and Tofu

serves 3

4 chicken thighs, bone removed and cut in pieces
1/4 cup black bean sauce (there are several different brands, found in the Asian section of store)
1  Tblsp soy sauce
1  Tblsp chili paste
1  small onion, sliced
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
feel free to add bell peppers, mushrooms or other veggies
1 package of soft or medium Tofu. Drain the liquid. (I use the House Foods brand. Found in the produce section of grocery stores. Also available at all Asian markets.)

In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil. Add the chicken pieces, garlic and onion slices. Also add other veggies if you want. Toss around until the chicken is cooked through. Add the black bean sauce and the soy sauce. Toss and taste. If you feel it needs more black bean sauce, add a wee bit more.
Cut the tofu in large cubes and very gently stir it into the chicken mixture. Once everything is heated through, remove from heat and serve with rice.

 

Creamy Mushroom Soup….

Soup weather! It has been a bit chilly here lately. B-rrrrr. Ugg boot weather. Yesssssss!

Oh how I love a good hot soup when it’s cold outside. Now, I would never think of opening a can of cream of mushroom soup and eating it as is. I like cooking with canned soups. I have no problem with that. But I like to eat homemade soup. This is a good one. Nothing fancy….simple and easy to make.

This soup has such an intense mushroom flavor, which I love. It’s creamy and delicious. I would love to try it with some shitake mushrooms sometime. YUM! This soup is so good just plain, I ate some of it with egg noodles and some with rice. Over rice, it was just tooooooo good. But then again, anything with rice is good to me! Oh, and I also enjoyed dipping my buttered toast in the soup. M-m-m-mmmmm.

I hope you will try this. Experiment with different mushrooms! Enjoy.

 

Creamy Mushroom Soup

1 pound fresh mushrooms (I used baby Portobello), chopped
2  1/2 cups chicken stock (you could use vegetable stock)
1  garlic clove, minced very fine
1/2 cup minced onion
1  1/2 cup heavy cream
3  Tblsp flour (4 if you like a thicker soup)
salt and pepper to taste (I went heavy on the black pepper)
3  tblsp butter

In a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Saute the mushrooms, onion and garlic in the butter. Add the flour and mix until mushrooms appear coated. Pour in the stock and heat for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper.  Stir in the cream. Simmer until hot, for about 15 minutes. Do not boil. Eat.

Slow Cooker Asian Shredded Pork….

Whenever I go to Hawaii, the first thing that I want to eat is the Kalua Pig/pork. I love it so much. Traditionally, a whole pig  is wrapped in banana leaves and cooked slowly in a pit that is dug in the ground. It’s so good and has such a smoky flavor. I love shredded pork and I just do my version, which is in the crock pot. Yep, it’s delicious and so moist.

I love this shredded pork. This is perfect for some lettuce wraps, which is really good. But I love it on top of some hot rice. It’s delicious, especially when you spoon some of the juices on top and the rice absorbs that juice. M-mmmmm.

This is an easy dish and you won’t be disappointed. I usually use a pork roast for this….like a pork shoulder or pork butt. Oh, and it should be a little on the fatty side. I have also used the boneless country short ribs. They are thick and a little fatty. Either works great, but using a roast will obviously take a little longer.

You’re going to love this. I just know it!!

Asian Shredded Pork 

4 pound Pork shoulder roast or country pork ribs
2 cloves of fresh garlic, halved
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
1 Tblsp liquid smoke (optional….it’s just as good without)
1/4 cup soy sauce (I use low sodium)
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup water

Place the pork in a crock pot. Throw in the garlic, ginger, liquid smoke and soy sauce. Add the water. Sprinkle in the black pepper. Cook on low for about 6 hours, or high for about 4-5 hours. Be sure to test it after about 3 hours to make sure its not already cooked. Using a fork, you should be able to shred it easily. Remember, if you are using the country pork ribs, the cooking time will be less.

Serve over some hot cooked rice. Oh, and a fried egg on the side is good too! YUM!!!

Chocolate Donut Balls…….

Who doesn’t like donuts? I love a good soft, chewy, yeasty donut. But I also love a good cake donut. These amazing little, pop in your mouth donuts are so yummy. If you like a good cake donut, you will love these. I experimented with several recipes and this is the best. They go great with a hot cup of coffee. I like them with chocolate glaze and this glaze here, is thick and rich. If you want something a bit lighter, the donut balls are great tossed with powdered sugar and cocoa powder.

I just use a mini muffin pan to make these, but if you have a donut pan, that’s great too.

I have to warn you….these are addicting and you won’t be able to have just one. They are just so good.

Chocolate Donut Balls

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2  cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2  TBLSP butter, melted

In a mixing bowl using the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add in the eggs, milk, vanilla and butter. Beat for a full 2 minutes at medium speed. Spray a mini muffin pan with baking spray. Fill each little cup about half full.

Bake at 325 for 7-9 minutes. Cool in pan for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Drizzle glaze on them, or toss them with powdered sugar and cocoa:

Cocoa/Sugar – 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa and 3/4 cup powdered sugar.

Glaze –
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 TBLSP +/- hot water
1/2 tsp vanilla

In small bowl, pour the hot water over the butter. Mix in the rest of the stuff, until smooth. Spoon over donuts or dip each donut in the glaze. It will set up. EAT!!!