Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Recipes - Blood Clots and Vampire Blood Cocktails

It's Halloween but there's still a little time left to get ready for the witching hour.

I have two frightfully ghoul-ish recipes for your today.

This is the last batch of Halloween recipes till next year.

Tomorrow, after all, is another day.

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Blood Clots
OK, really cherry tomatoes tossed with spices - but don't tell anyone.
A ridiculously easy (and yummy) hors d'oeuvre but the thought of eating blood clots will gross out everyone.

Serves 6-8

1 (1 oz.) package ranch salad dressing mix (dry)
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes

Put dry mix into a plastic bag. Rinse tomatoes. Shake off excess moisture but don't dry. (You need a little moisture to get the mix to stick to the tomatoes.) Place tomatoes in the bag. Shake to coat. Arrange on serving dish and serve with tooth picks.


Vampire Blood Cocktails
A Halloween version of the Bloody Mary. To be authentic, serve at blood temperature, 98.6 degrees.

For each serving:
Put ice (if desired) into a tall glass. Add 1 shot (1 oz.) vodka or gin (or to taste). Fill with V-8 juice, tomato juice or Clamato juice. Stir in horseradish and/or hot sauce, if desired. Garnish with a slice of lemon or lime.

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Check back tomorrow for more blog chat from Cheesecake Farms.

Want to know more about our Cooking Classes, Gadgets, Karla's Cooking Made Easy On Line Magazine or our Bed and Breakfast?

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hallowwen Recipes - Spider Cake

Halloween is almost here.

I've been swooping around on my broom all morning trying to get things ready.

My horsey friend, Marilyn Cheek of Warrenton, gave me a bushel of apples from her tree yesterday and since then I've been peeling and poaching. But more about apple stuff another day.

Today's recipe is for a cake and since it is a know fact that every holiday needs a cake, what could be more fitting for Halloween than this easy one that looks like a spider !!

Gateau Arachnid (Spider Cake)
Everything sounds better in French
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Serves 10-12

2 (8 or 9 inch round) cake layers (any type, any flavor, purchase or home made)
Fudge frosting (enough to frost the cake layers - purchased or home made)
6 black licorice sticks (for legs - not shoe laces or whips)
2 lemon drop candies or yellow gum drops (for eyes)
5 pieces candy corn (plus extra to decorate bottom of the cake, if desired)


Place cake on serving dish and frost.

Using scissors, cut each licorice stick in half length wise cutting 3/4 up the length of the stick. (This makes 2 thin strips attached at the top.)

Stick the uncut ends of 3 licorice sticks into the cake on opposite sides to make the legs of the spider.

Position lemon drop (or gun drops) on one side (without legs) to make eyes. Stick 5 pieces candy corn (pointed side facing toward plate) under eyes as teeth.

If desired, surround base of cake with addition candy corn to decorate.

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Check back tomorrow for the last recipe before Halloween. It will be a ghouling experience!

Want to know more about our Cooking Classes, Gadgets, Karla's Cooking Made Easy On Line Magazine or our Bed and Breakfast?

Visit our web site : http://www.cheesecakefarms.com

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Recipes - Slime

We had a frost last night here in beautiful Sumerduck, Virginia, that caught me by surprise.

Once the sun comes up, I'll head out to the garden and see if there's anything to salvage.

This season, I grew this absolutely gorgeous and sweet variety of basil called "lettuce" basil. I hope there's some left and that the seeds can be collected for next year. The leaves are huge and crinkel-y all over. It's pale green and has a delicious taste perfect for people who don't like the heavy licorise taste of Italian basil.

There are just a few short days left until Halloween.

Today's recipe is for a very slimey drink - alcoholic for the adults and spirits free for the kiddies - guaranteed to gross out your guests!

Slime

Makes 1/2 gallon punch/16 (four oz.) servings

1 (3 oz.) package green gelatin mix (like Jello)
9 cups green fruit drink or punch (chilled)
1 - 1/2 cups gin or vodka (or to taste - optional)

Prepare gelatin according to package directions. Chill until partially set.
At serving time, put remaining ingredients into a punch bowl. Stir in globs of gelatin.

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Check back tomorrow as we count down to Halloween with scrumptious recipes for tricking and treating.

Want to know more about our Cooking Classes, Gadgets, Karla's Cooking Made Easy On Line Magazine or our Bed and Breakfast?

Visit our web site : http://www.cheesecakefarms.com/

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween Recipes - Vampire Eyes

Frost is on the pumpkin!

We've finally gotten a cold snap here in Fauquier County, Virginia so Fall is finally on the way.

Today's recipe as we count down to Halloween creeps me out but the kids will love it!

It's really just plain old stuffed eggs with olives but you don't have to tell any one!!

Vampire Eyes

Makes 12 eyes

6 hard cooked eggs (shells removed and chilled)
1-2 tablespoons (Miracle whip or mayonnaise - to taste)
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard (optional)
1 (7 oz.) jar green olives stuffed with pimentos (any size)
Red food coloring (optional)

Cut eggs in half length wise (from small oval end to bigger rounded end) making 2 halves like for stuffed or deviled eggs. Remove yolks being careful not to break whites.

Mash yolks with Miracle whip (or mayonnaise) and mustard. Stuff back into egg whites. Position an olive (pimento facing up) into each yolk so they resemble eyes. If desired, use a tooth pick to squiggle a little red food coloring on the whites to make them look blood shot - in which case you could call this recipe "Blood Shot Vampire Eyes."

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Check back tomorrow as we count down to Halloween with scrumptious recipes for tricking and treating.

Want to know more about our Cooking Classes, Gadgets, Karla's Cooking Made Easy On Line Magazine or our Bed and Breakfast?

Visit our web site : http://www.cheesecakefarms.com/

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween Recipes - Franks in Steins

This Halloween treat is really fast!

Hot dogs, sauerkraut and baked beans topped with yummy melted cheese served in a beer stein...... guess you'll have to serve your beer in something else.

Franks in Steins

Makes 4 steins

1 (16 oz.) package cocktail franks (heated - or you could use regular hot dogs cut into bite size pieces)
1 (14 -16 oz.) can of sauerkraut (rinsed and heated)
1 (28 oz. ) can baked beans (any type)
Cheese sauce (like Cheese Whiz or Tex-Mex Cheese Salsa Dip - heated)
4 handsful tortilla chips (any type)
Condiments: Ketchup, mustard, relish, hot peppers etc. (optional)


Layer beans, sauerkraut, franks and cheese sauce in heat proof steins. Top each with a handful of chips. Serve with condiments.

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Check back tomorrow as we count down to Halloween with scrumptious recipes for tricking and treating.

Want to know more about our Cooking Classes, Gadgets, Karla's Cooking Made Easy On Line Magazine or our Bed and Breakfast?

Visit our web site : http://www.cheesecakefarms.com/

Friday, October 26, 2007

Halloween Recipes - Toxic Waste

Ready for a little Toxic Waste?

Reminiscent of a trip to the land fill. Great for Halloween but also nice to serve at a gathering of your environmental conservation society, political caucuses or at any anti-growth/anti-development meeting.

It's a beverage that makes a statement!

Toxic Waste

Makes about 1/2 gallon (16 - four oz. servings)

1 (6 oz.) can lemonade concentrate (reconsitiuted according to package directions)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup grapefruit juice
1/2 gallon lemon sherbet
2 cups gin or vodka (or to taste - optional)

Mix everything together. Refrigerate until serving time.

When ready to serve, pour mixture into a punch bowl and add:

1 quart club soda
6 Lemon or lime fizzing candy tablets (like Fizzies - each 1 inch round)

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Check back tomorrow as we count down to Halloween with scrumptious recipes for tricking and treating.


Want to know more about our Cooking Classes, Gadgets, Karla's Cooking Made Easy On Line Magazine or our Bed and Breakfast?

Visit our web site : http://www.cheesecakefarms.com/

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Halloween Recipes - Smothered Brains

Here I am again with another Halloween recipe.

One can never have enough recipes, can one?

Today's recipe is for Smothered Brains...... so yucky your kids will love it!


Smothered Brains
OK, not really brains. Cauliflower, actually, with cheese sauce but kids today are so dumb they won't know the difference.

Serves 4-6

1 head cauliflower (well washed, leaves and stem removed)
1 (8-12 oz.) jar cheese sauce or Tex-Mex cheese dip
2 tablespoons bread crumbs (any type)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (well washed, stems removed and finely minced)

Put whole cauliflower into a deep pot. Add 2 inches water. Cover pot. Bring to boil on high. Lower heat to simmer. Simmer cauliflower till tender - about 20 minutes. Drain.

Place whole cauliflower in a serving dish. Heat cheese sauce and pour over top. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and parsley.

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Check back tomorrow as we count down to Halloween with scrumptious recipes for tricking and treating.


Want to know more about our Cooking Classes, Gadgets, Karla's Cooking Made Easy On Line Magazine or our Bed and Breakfast?

Visit our web site : http://www.cheesecakefarms.com/

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Halloween Recipes - Breaded and Baked Witches Fingers

Hello again!

Ready for another ghoul-isous recipe?

Today I'm magically transforming plain, old (well, fresh actually - not really old - just boring) chicken breasts into Witches Fingers.

The kids will love this ... and it's the perfect entree for your Halloween dinner party.

Breaded and Baked Witches Fingers
Raw chicken cuts best if your freeze it till firm but not rock hard.

Serves 4-6

Baking pan size not important but an 11 X 15 pan with sides no higher than 1 inch works well.
Cookie sheets are not recommended because the chicken may give off some juice.

1 (5 3/4 oz.) package chicken coat and bake mix (like Shake & Bake - any flavor)
6-8 chicken breasts (skins removed and partially frozen)

Garnish
2 cups pasta sauce
6-8 pieces of vegetable peel (like carrot, cucumber or radish for a ring)

Position oven rack so chicken will bake in center. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat pan with baking spray.

Rinse partially frozen chicken breasts under cool running water. Drain but don't dry.

Using a sharp knife, make 4 cuts lengthwise through the meat beginning at the narrower side of each breast. Cuts should run about 2/3 the length of the breast leaving the pieces attached in fan like fashion.

Toss cut breasts with coating mix as directed on package.

Place coated breasts on prepared pan and spread the fan a little to resemble a hand.

Bake 20-25 minutes or as directed on package. How frozen your chicken was will determine the exact amount of baking time.

To serve, heat pasta sauce and divide equally between plates. Put cooked chicken on top of sauce. Drape a piece of vegetable peel over the third finger of each hand to resemble a ring.

Cook's tip: Not sure if your chicken is cooked? The meat will be firm to the touch when cooked and the juices will run clear when cut.

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Check back tomorrow as we count down to Halloween with scrumptious recipes for tricking and treating.

Want to know more about our Cooking Classes, Gadgets, Karla's Cooking Made Easy On Line Magazine or our Bed and Breakfast?

Visit our web site : http://www.cheesecakefarms.com/

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Halloween Recipes - Honey Peanut Butter Pop Corn Balls

Hi everyone!

I promised I'd be back with more recipes for Halloween and Fall Harvest Festivals.
Here's a sweet treat that's on the healthier side.

Take freshly popped corn and smothered it in honey and peanut butter. Add some sunflower seeds or raisins - yum!


Quick and Easy
Honey Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls


Makes 6 (three inch) popcorn balls

1/2 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup peanut butter (any type)
6 cups freshly popped corn (regular or hot air popped- about 1/4 cup unpopped kernals)
Cooking spray
Optional: 1 tablespoons sunflower seeds or 1/4 cup raisins

Heat honey and salt in a small sauce pan. Whisk in peanut butter. Mixture should be smooth. Bring to a boil - uncovered. Boil 1 minute. Immediately pour mixture over popped corn (and sunflower seeds or raisins). Toss to coat. (A rubber scraper works well.)

Lightly mist your hands with cooking spray and, while mixture is still warm, form popcorn mixture into balls. Pack balls well so popcorn sticks together but not so much that you crush the kernals.

Put popcorn balls on a dish or rack to cool completely - at least an hour. Wrap balls individually in plastic wrap or store in a plastic container. I like to keep them in the refrigerator but storing them at room temperature is OK.

Cook's tip: We used natural (unsweetened) peanut butter to test this recipe but any peanut butter will yield good results. Just be sure the peanut butter is thick.

Some brands of natural peanut butter are soft and runny at room temperature which will prevent the popcorn balls from holding their shape. If this happens, keeping them in the refrigerator will help them stay firm.

Another cook's tip: After you've popped the corn, pick through it very carefully to remove any unpopped or partially popped kernals and discard them. You don't want your little goblins breaking their teeth.

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Check back tomorrow as we count down to Halloween with scrumptious recipes for tricking and treating.

Want to know more about our Cooking Classes, Gadgets, Karla's Cooking Made Easy On Line Magazine or our Bed and Breakfast?

Visit our web site : http://www.cheesecakefarms.com/

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hungarian Ghoul-ash Makes an Easy Halloween Supper

I can't believe it's been 10 days since my last post!

The days just slip by.

Since Halloween is almost here, I thought you'd like a Halloween recipe.

Garlic is an important part of Halloween cooking because it keeps the vampires away. They just can't stand the taste or smell.


Hungarian Ghoul-ash (with meat or vegetarian)
A tummy warming dinner for all your little goblins and your ghoul-friends.

To make this a vegetartian ghoul-ash, substitute 4 (12-16 oz.) packages portabello mushrooms sliced 1/4 inch thick for the meat.

Serves 6-8
Skill level: Easy

1/4 cup vegetable oil or butter
2 medium onions (chopped - about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic (smashed)
2 pounds very lean ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes in juice (undrained)
2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika (or Old Bay Seasoning)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (14-16 oz.) package wide egg noodles
1 cup regular sour cream (low fat or fat free not recommended)
1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped - leaves only, no stems)

Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onions and garlic. Cook over low heat until transparent - about 10 minutes. Do not brown. Add beef. Cook, stirring occassionally, until meat is no longer pink. (For vegetarian, add mushrooms and cook until they're are soft - about 5 minutes.) Add tomatoes and paprika. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer on low, uncovered, until liquid is almost evaporated - about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions. Drain. When ready to serve, stir sour cream into meat mixture and heat briefly to warm through. Do not boil.

Serve over cooked noodles and garnish with parsley.

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Check back tommorrow for more spooky recipes.

Happy Halloween!


Want to know more about our Cooking Classes, Gadgets, Karla's Cooking Made Easy On Line Magazine or our Bed and Breakfast? Visit our web site : http://www.cheesecakefarms.com/

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Cheesecake Lady's Diet For Good Health and Optimal Weight - How Much & How Often

How do You Know Which Foods Are Good For You?
How Much Should You Eat - and How Often?

No one would ever berate someone for not looking good in certain colors or how often they take a breath because we accept that each person is an individual. But when it comes to food, we overlook the fact that each of us is different in that respect as well.

While we all share the same general needs for nutrients and calories, each of us has specific needs to insure the well being of our own unique body.

Within the generally accepted guidelines of good nutrition, it is possible for a family to sit down to a meal together but unrealistic to expect that each person at the table should eat the same way, in the same amounts or even enjoy the same foods.

So how do you know what's good for you and what isn't?

The first step is to listen to your body. You already know what's nutritious food and what isn't.
Within that frame work, choose the foods that are the most appealing to you.

For example, all people need protein. How and where you get that protein is up to you. Some people prefer beef. Some chicken. Others fish. Vegetarians receive ample amounts of protein from beans and tofu. While a varied diet is considered the most healthful (because we really don't know enough about individual nutrition and it's the best way to cover all the bases) people can and do live healthful lives eating only fish or beef or chicken or tofu. The point is, food that appeals to you (assuming it's healthful) is good for your body. If you don't like it, don't eat it.

Food preference is a very basil human set point developed over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. At a very basil level, food that tastes good is probably good for you. Food that doesn't taste good (to you) is probably of little or no value to you and may even be harmful. Interestingly, the very foods you don't care for may be a favorite of someone else which would mean that they were healthful for them.

This is not the same thing as choosing not to eat certain foods because you are not familiar with them. Tasting new foods can and does open up a whole new world of good taste and interesting possibilities plus a varied diet is considered to be the most healthful.

The basic foods in this wellness plan allow for individual food preferences. Choose the healthy foods that appeal to you and be open to new possibilities. When your body is fed properly, severe cravings go away. Cravings are the body's communication that it's searching for a nutrient or nutrients it needs.

How much you should eat (your portion size) is up to you as well. Some women have hearty appetites, some very small appetites. Some women do well with three meals. Some prefer to graze all day long. You already know how you like to eat because how you eat makes you feel the best. Should you change your eating pattern? Only if you want to.

Women over eat because we are trying to satisfy a physical need. While there is certainly a psychological component to over eating, most women don't choose to over eat. Most women want to look healthy and feel good.

Over eating occurs because the chemical needs of the body have not been met and those needs may have had psychological causes. For example, stress can cause women to over eat because stress depletes nutrients and the body is trying to replace them.

Feed the body properly and it will support you rather than be a burden. While you are on the path to wellness, the basic foods will support your well being while the body relaxes and embraces your spirit rather than being at war with it.

As you move down the path of wellness, you'll naturally choose smaller portions because you'll need less. When a child cries out for love, we don't hug them briefly than push them away saying "that's enough." We hug them until they're satisfied and comfortable to go off on their own. The same is true for our bodies. We need to embrace them and make them comfortable until they feel secure because we've been pushing them away for far too long.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Cheesecake Lady's Diet For Good Health and Optimal Weight - Basic Foods

What Should I Be Eatting?

This is a record, a journal if you will, of my search for wellness.

If you think any of the techniques I discuss would be helpful to you, please talk them over with your doctor or other qualified health care provider before including them in your life.

Wellness will be evidenced by my weight stabilizing at a healthy level. Right now it goes up (mostly) and down (some) always seeking the set point that I seem to be comfortable at for whatever is going on in my life at that time.

Weight going up forms a protective blanket of comfort around us to shield us from unhappy, unsure or uncertain events in our lives. When we don't pay attention, we eat foods that we find comforting. They're called comfort foods.

There's got to be a better way to reach my best weight than counting calories and going hungry
neither of which seem to have ever done anyone any good in the long run.

So, I'm beginning with what I'm going to call my base of foods. These are health and life promoting foods that will feed my body so my soul has a place to live, work and rest without being tomented by a body that's struggling for food.

The Base Foods:

Protein: lean meat, fish, eggs

Vegetables and Fruits: Any and all

Starches: (up to 2 servings per day) whole grains, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, potatoes, corn, peas, no sugar, packaged breafast cereals (like puffed wheat, puffed rice, shredded wheat, 100% bran)

Dairy: low fat/fat free/soy

Fats: 1 tablespoon of healthy oil per day


Sounds like just about every diet out there doesn't it? But that's OK. This is only the beginning.
This is my base. I'm going to put food to work for me instead of against me.

The Cheesecake Lady's Diet For Good Health and Optimal Weight - Beginning

The Begginning

Well, I've gained a few pounds. A lot of pounds actually. I'll admit it. I like to eat and since I'm always testing recipes, I have a good excuse to keep on eating - actually "tasting" is what I officially call it.

I don't mind so much how I look, I mind how I feel. My joints ache and I don't have the energy I once had although my husband, Tony, says I have more energy than most people years younger.

But putting on pounds is just a fact of modern life. The truth is that we just aren't as naturally active as we were years ago and have not adjusted our eating habits (and please note that I call them "habits") to match our lower level of activity - although everyone would say, if asked, that they're always on the run. Add to that tons of yummy, addicting, refined, pre-made, pre-packaged foods that tempt us into oblivion. It's just too much yummy-ness to resist.

Over the years, I've digested (if you'll excuse the expression) hundreds, no probably more like thousands, of diet books by very credible sounding authors and I've tried everything they've ever recommended. All the diets work for a week or so then I'm back to my old ways feeling like a failure.

Last week I had a realization that hit me hard right in the middle of Border's Books. I had picked up and was glancing though a book called something like "Health Secrets They Don't Want You To Know About."

The chapter on weight control scared me to death. It was an absolutely impossible to follow litany of unappealing foods to be eaten in complicated fashion followed by a colonic routine. "If that's what it takes to be thin, then I don't want any part of it," was my response.

As I put down the book, I noticed that the author was a man. Not that a man can't write a diet book for women but I realized that EVERY diet book for women I'd ever read had been written by a man. I searched the racks for diets books written by women and came up empty. There didn't seem to be any. No wonder these books never worked for me even though my husband was able to use them to drop pounds effortlessly. While men mean well in their desire to help women drop pounds, men cannot possibly understand fully the female perspective.

So I decided then and there that a different approach was needed - an approach for women by a woman. As a professional Home Economist, I can surely bring health and well being to a good for you meal plan that will help you (and me, too) be our most beautiful selves.

Please join me as I manage the well being of my body, the earthly home of my spiritual self.