Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vanilla Mousse Cheesecake

40 NILLA Wafers, crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened, divided
1 cup sugar, divided
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. vanilla, divided
3 eggs
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed

HEAT oven to 325ºF.

MIX wafer crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

BEAT 3 pkg. cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp. vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.

BAKE 50 to 55 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool completely in pan.

BEAT remaining cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in COOL WHIP; spread over cheesecake. Refrigerate 4 hours. Remove rim of pan before serving cheesecake.

Chicken Castellina

I made a new recipe last night. Chicken Castellina from Olive Garden.
I followed the recipe exactly, except I used Smoked gourmet bacon instead of pancetta. Next time I will use pancetta because the bacon was a little to strong for this dish. Overall it was great and I would give it a 7 out of 10. My husband didn't like it, but he does not like dishes with an alfredo type sauce like this one.

Here is the recipe:

Chicken Castellina


1/4 cup pancetta (or bacon), diced
6 Tbsp butter, cubed
1 tsp garlic, chopped
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ½ cups milk
1 oz cornstarch
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup smoked Gouda cheese, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
8.5 oz can sliced artichokes, drained
1/4 tsp pepper
¼ cup mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 lbs pasta of choice, cooked according to package directions

1 1/2 lbs skinless/boneless chicken breasts, cut in 1 - 1 ½” pieces
¾ cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup white wine
Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)



1. SAUTÉ pancetta (or bacon) in a 3-qt sauce pan or large pot, over medium/high heat until crisp and golden brown. Reduce heat, add butter and allow it to melt. Add garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Sauté for approximately one minute, stirring frequently (do not brown).
2. WHISK in cream, milk and cornstarch. Raise heat to medium/high. Whisk in Parmesan and Gouda cheeses. Once cheese melts, add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring continuously.
3. REMOVE from heat and let stand uncovered.


1. MIX flour with salt and pepper. Coat chicken in seasoned flour, shaking off excess flour.
2. HEAT olive oil in large sauté pan. Add chicken in a single layer and cook until golden brown on both sides (approximately 7 minutes total). Juices should run clear.
3. ADD wine to chicken in pan (caution: there will be a low flame in pan). Toss gently until wine is evaporated. Add sauce and bring to a boil on medium/high heat.
4. TRANSFER drained, cooked pasta to large platter. Evenly distribute chicken and sauce over pasta.
5. GARNISH with chopped parsley and serve.

Hope you all enjoy!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My big fat Southern Idea

As a food lover, I wanted to be able to share my passion of food with others. After watching "Julie and Julia" and being able to relate to the both of them, I realized that I would write my very own food blog. Only mine would be devoted more to the history and culture of Southern food. However, I do not only cook Southern foods. I love Paula Deen and the Neely's, but I do not want to consume a pound of butter per day. So, my blog will take the fatty, butter-covered Southern foods that we all love and try to transform them into more healthier foods for today's society. With that being said, I will cheat from time to time. I am Southern after all!!
I hope you all enjoy my blog.

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