(all available at LaVerde's--in much larger quantities, of course)
- 2- 8oz packages of cream cheese (any variety will do)
- 1/2 cup regular granulated sugar (sugar and spice make everything nice)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (you can get drunk off of this stuff; it's
- 2 eggs (any size or quality)
- 1 9" prepackaged graham cracker crust (Keebler makes some good ones)
- 1 large mixing spoon or whisk
- 1 large mixing bowl (Tupperware works great...just make sure it's big
- 1 oven
- 1 refrigerator
- 1 set measuring cups and spoons
- 1 knife, 1 fork, & 1 plate (for eating on--of course, your friends will
have to bring their own...hey, you baked it...)
- Let the cream cheese stand in room temperature for about an hour to allow
it to soften.
If you want to speed up the process, unwrap the cheese completely into a microwave
safe bowl and nuke it for 5 minutes at half power.
- Now, with the cheese softened in the mixing bowl, add the sugar and vanilla
and mix throughly. (This is when having softened cream cheese is good--the
mixture would be too hard otherwise.)
- With the cheese mixed, add one egg, stirring until well blended.
- Then add the other egg (don't add the shell, though!), and mix until the
entire mixture is smooth (or your arm is about to fall off).
- Pour the cheese mixture into the crust (remove the clear plastic lid, leaving
the crust in the pie tin.)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Place the cake in the middle rack, baking for 50 minutes or until the center
is almost set and the sides are a light brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cook for at least an hour.
- Replace the plastic cover on the pie, and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
- Before serving, you can also add a cherry or strawberry pie topping.
- A strawberry topping can be made by microwaving 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries
with a 1/4 cup of sugar for 1 minute on high power.
- 6 cups water
- 1-1.5 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 large finely chopped onion
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1.5 tsp ground allspice
- 6oz can tomato paste
- 1.5 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 3 large bay leaves
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp total dry spices/salt
- 1 pound mild cheddar cheese, finely shredded
- 2 pounds thin spaghetti
- Tabasco sauce
- Put water and beef in a large pot.
- Crumble beef in the water with your hands until there are no clumps.
- Place pot over high heat and add tomato paste.
- Add the rest of ingredients.
- Cover and bring to a boil stirring frequently.
- Uncover and reduce heat to a moderate boil.
- Cook for 1-2 hours.
- Gradually reduce heat to maintain a boil without making a mess of the kitchen.
- Stir frequently.
- When chili is slowly boiling and splattering significantly, reduce heat
to make this bearable and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile cook (slightly overcooked is best) the spaghetti.
- Serve chili over spaghetti and top with a heap of shredded mild cheddar
- Add Tobasco to taste.
Serves 8 hungry people.
For the more adventurous, here's an easy chocolate-rich treat.
(Don't ask me about the calories though)
(LaVerde's run...but Star Market is cheaper.)
- 1 package of oreo cookies
- 1/3 cup of orange juice
- 1 8oz package of milk chocolate chips
- 1 baking sheet
- 2 sheets of wax paper
- 1 blender or one ziploc bag
- 1 spoon
- 2 mixing bowls (again Tupperware works nicely)
- 1 double boiler (or 2 pots, one which fits inside the other (except
- 1 sandwich bag
- 1 Stove
- 1 Refrigerator
- Wash your hands!!
- Now, separate out 24 cookies, coarsely crushing these by either placing
6 in the ziploc bag and grinding them up by hand, or putting them into a blender
and using the blend button (be careful here--make sure the lid is on--oreo
cookies can really fly. Also, you will need to periodically empty the blender
as the crumbs tend to clog the bottom and prevent all of the cookies from
- Now, with the crushed cookies, add the orange juice and mix well. It should
be a gooey mess.
- Place the entire mixture into the freezer for about 5 minutes.
- While that cools, take the remaining cookies, and finely crush these.
- Set these aside in a separate container.
- Going back to the cookie/juice mixture, remove it from the freezer and
proceed to use a teaspoon to scoop out a lump of the mixture.
- Roll this, in your hand, into a ball.
- Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet.
- Work quickly, as the mixture will start to become gooey again in your hand.
(Now do you see why you needed to wash your hands?)
- If the mixture becomes too soft to work, place it back into the freezer
- Also, the balls should be roughly bite-sized-- not golf-ball sized!
- With all of the mixture formed into balls, place the baking sheet into
the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Now, in the double boiler, add water to the bottom pot and heat to a boil.
- In the upper pot, melt all of the chocolate.
- Remove the pot from the stove.
- An alternate method to melt the chocolate is to place it in a microwave
bowl and heat it for 1 minute.
- Stir it, then if it is not completely melted, repeat the process. Careful,
the bowl may get extremely hot.
- Now, get the truffles from the refrigerator.
- Dip each truffle into the chocolate, allowing the excess to drip back into
- Roll the dipped truffles in the finely crushed cookies.
- Place it back on the waxed paper-lined baking sheet.
- If the chocolate gets too hard to dip well, reheat it over the double boiler,
or in the microwave.
- Now with all of the truffles dipped and coated, take the remainder of the
chocolate and place it into the sandwich bag.
- Squeeze it into one of the corners, then carefully snip the edge of the
corner, such that a thin stream of melted chocolate can come out.
- Drizzle the chocolate over your truffles.
- Then chill the truffles in the freezer until firm (about 30 minutes).
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or serve as is.