No baking required -- Nutella Cheesecake

With temperatures near 100°, I really didn't want to turn on the oven but we did need a dessert. So, it seemed the perfect time to try out a dessert I found on Pinterest. This yummy recipe, created by Nigella Lawson, is perfect for summer.

No-bake Nutella Cheesecake    Makes a 9" cheesecake
10 oz. graham crackers
5 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1 13-oz jar Nutella (at room temperature)
¾ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
1 lb. (2 - 8 oz. pkg.) cream cheese, (at room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
Whipped cream for topping cheesecake if desired (made with 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, 1/3 cup powdered sugar & 1 teaspoon vanilla)
  1. Process the graham crackers in the work bowl of a food processor until they are finely ground.
  2. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon Nutella and 3 tablespoons of the hazelnuts; pulse until mixture looks like fine sand.
  3. Pour mixture into the base of a  sprayed 9" springform pan; press evenly into the bottom of the pan using your hands. Refrigerate until firm.
  4.  Refrigerate until firm.
  5. Beat the cream cheese and powered sugar until smooth.
  6. Add the remaining Nutella and continue beating until combined.
  7. Carefully smooth the Nutella mixture over the chilled crust.
  8. Scatter the remaining chopped hazelnuts over the surface of the cheese.

  9. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. For best results keep refrigerated until ready to slice and serve. Run knife around the edge of pan before removing cheesecake from springform pan. Slice and serve. Note: We passed whipped cream so guests could add a dollop as desired.
Recipe without photos . . .
No-bake Nutella Cheesecake    Makes a 9" cheesecake
10 oz. graham crackers
5 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1 13-oz jar Nutella (at room temperature)
¾ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
1 lb. (2 - 8 oz. pkg.) cream cheese, (at room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
Whipped cream for topping cheesecake if desired (made with 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, 1/3 cup powdered sugar & 1 teaspoon vanilla)
  1. Process the graham crackers in the work bowl of a food processor until they are finely ground.
  2. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon Nutella and 3 tablespoons of the hazelnuts; pulse until mixture looks like fine sand.
  3. Pour mixture into the base of a  sprayed 9" springform pan; press evenly into the bottom of the pan using your hands. Refrigerate until firm.
  4. Beat the cream cheese and powered sugar until smooth.
  5. Add the remaining Nutella and continue beating until combined.
  6. Carefully smooth the Nutella mixture over the chilled crust.
  7. Scatter the remaining hazelnuts over the surface of the cheese.
  8. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. For best results keep refrigerated until ready to slice and serve. Run knife around the edge of pan before removing cheesecake from springform pan. Slice and serve. Note: We passed whipped cream so guests could add a dollop as desired.
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Asian-style Slaw

Coleslaw is a mainstay at our house but
this Asian-style slaw is a yummy variation.
Our firecracker-popping 4th of July menu consisted of Barry smoked ribs, potato salad, pickled beetscracked wheat berry breadBoston Baked Beansblackberry crisp, and Asian-style Slaw. 
Make ahead tip: Prepare dressing and refrigerate for several days. Shred  cabbage and carrots, bag and store in refrigerator. Toast sesame seeds several days in advance and store at room temperature.

Asian-style Slaw
Dressing:
  1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil
  2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  1/2 teaspoon salt
  1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1 seasoning packet from 3 oz.pkg. ramen noodles
  1/3 cup vegetable (canola) oil
Base:
Toasting sesame seeds in
a small skillet.
  4 cups finely shredded cabbage
  2 carrots, peeled & shredded
Additions:
  1 (3 oz.) pkg. ramen noodles, crushed 
  2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (add seeds to a 
     small skillet; heat over medium heat under they begin to 
     turn golden brown; stir while toasting)
  2 to 3 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
  1. Dressing: Combine ingredients, except for vegetable oil, and mix thoroughly. Drizzle in vegetable oil, whisking as it is added.
  2. Salad: About 15 to 30 minutes before serving, combine shredded cabbage, carrots, and crushed ramen noodles.
  3. Toss with dressing to coat evenly.
  4. Top with toasted sesame and sunflower seeds.
Recipe without photos . . .
Asian-style Slaw
Dressing:
  1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil
  2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  1/2 teaspoon salt
  1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1 seasoning packet from 3 oz.pkg. ramen noodles
  1/3 cup vegetable (canola) oil
Base:
  4 cups finely shredded cabbage
  2 carrots, peeled & shredded
Additions:
  1 (3 oz.) pkg. ramen noodles, crushed 
  2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (add seeds to a small skillet; heat over 
     medium heat under they begin to turn golden brown; stir while toasting)
  2 to 3 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
  1. Dressing: Combine ingredients, except for vegetable oil, and mix thoroughly. Drizzle in vegetable oil, whisking as it is added.
  2. Salad: About 15 to 30 minutes before serving, combine shredded cabbage, carrots, and crushed ramen noodles.
  3. Toss with dressing to coat evenly.
  4. Top with toasted sesame and sunflower seeds

Boston Baked Beans -- baked in a bean pot!

Barry's bean pot full of Boston Baked Beans.
The Fourth of July has past and I'm finally getting around to posting recipes. Barry smoked ribs and I made potato salad, Asian-style slaw, pickled beets, cracked wheat berry bread, blackberry crisp and Boston Baked Beans. 
We have several old-fashioned bean pots -- handmade by Barry. But I have to admit that I had never made baked beans in any of those pots. Inspired by an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, I decided it was about time to use the bean pots for something besides storing cookies, crackers, etc. 
The guy on DD&D said that Betty Crocker taught him to make his famous beans. After digging out my vintage edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook,  I consulted several other recipes online and here's what I came up with . . .

Boston Baked Beans . . . baked in a bean pot
2 cups dried navy beans
1 /2 lb. bacon, cut into pieces
1 onion, sliced thin
3 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
  1. Soak beans overnight in cold water according to package directions.
  2. Next day simmer the beans in the same water until tender (between 1 to 2 hours). 
  3. Drain and reserve the liquid.
  4. Preheat oven to 300°.
  5. Layer the following in a bean pot that has been sprayed with pan release: about half the onion slices, beans, and bacon; top with additional layers of onions, beans and bacon.

  6. In a saucepan, combine molasses, salt, pepper, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and pour over beans. 
  7. Pour in the reserved bean liquid to cover beans; if there is not enough liquid, add hot water to cover. 
  8. Add lid and bake 4 hours. 
  9. Remove lid, add more hot water is beans seem dry and bake uncovered for 2 to 4 more hours.
Fourth of July Celebrations -- dinner and fireworks!


Recipe without photos . . .
Boston Baked Beans . . . baked in a bean pot
2 cups dried navy beans
1 /2 lb. bacon, cut into pieces
1 onion, sliced thin
3 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar

  1. Soak beans overnight in cold water according to package directions.
  2. Next day simmer the beans in the same water until tender (between 1 to 2 hours). 
  3. Drain and reserve the liquid.
  4. Preheat oven to 300°.
  5. Layer the following in a bean pot that has been sprayed with pan release: about half the onion slices, beans, and bacon; top with additional layers of onions, beans and bacon.
  6. In a saucepan, combine molasses, salt, pepper, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and pour over beans. 
  7. Pour in the reserved bean liquid to cover beans; if there is not enough liquid, add hot water to cover. 
  8. Add lid and bake 4 hours. 
  9. Remove lid, add more hot water is beans seem dry and bake uncovered for 2 to 4 more hours.

Pig Sausage Souffle

This is another one of my sister's (Marla Newell Payne) recipes that will make you squeal with delight!
Note: This recipe can be cut in half for smaller groups.



Pig Sausage Souffle  10 to 12 servings
8 slices bread
3/4 lb. grated sharp Cheddar cheese (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 lb. sausage, fried (I fried the sausage with a chopped onion and a chopped green pepper)
4 eggs, beaten
2 1/4 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 (8 oz.) can condensed mushroom soup (or use 1 cup of white sauce with sautéed mushrooms)
1 (4 oz.) small can mushroom (or an equivalent amount of sautéed mushrooms)
  1. Cut crusts off and cube bread; place on borrow of a greased or sprayed  8x10" casserole dish or in a greased or sprayed shuffle dish.
  2. Add cheese and then the cooked sausage.
  3. Mix eggs, dry mustard, milk.
  4. Pour egg mixture over sausage mixture.
  5. Let stand overnight.
  6. Spread soup and mushroom on top. 
  7. Bake in a preheated 300 to 325° oven or 1 1/2 hours.
Recipe without photos . . .
Pig Sausage Souffle  10 to 12 servings
8 slices bread
3/4 lb. grated sharp Cheddar cheese (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 lb. sausage, fried (I fried the sausage with a chopped onion and a chopped green pepper)
4 eggs, beaten
2 1/4 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 (8 oz.) can condensed mushroom soup (or use 1 cup of white sauce with sautéed mushrooms)
1 (4 oz.) small can mushroom (or an equivalent amount of sautéed mushrooms)
  1. Cut crusts off and cube bread; place on borrow of a greased or sprayed  8x10" casserole dish or in a greased or sprayed shuffle dish.
  2. Add cheese and then the cooked sausage.
  3. Mix eggs, dry mustard, milk.
  4. Pour egg mixture over sausage mixture.
  5. Let stand overnight.
  6. Spread soup and mushroom on top. 
  7. Bake in a preheated 300 to 325° oven or 1 1/2 hours.

Yellow (Crookneck) Squash Casserole

Squash harvesting has begun so I'm experimenting with yellow squash recipes. Inspired by several online recipes, we deemed this version quite TASTY! Reminiscent of a corn casserole, this tender squash dish has a custard base, just enough cheese for flavor and a crunchy topping. 
I actually prepared the casserole in advance, refrigerated it in a Pyrex casserole dish and then baked it right before dinner.

Yellow (Crookneck) Squash Casserole
About 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cups sliced small yellow squash (if using larger squash, scoop out larger seeds and dice)
About 35 crackers, crushed (I used a combination of CHEEZ-IT and saltine crackers to equal a heaping cup; I "crushed" them in a blender to a fine consistency.)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk or half-and-half
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch or two of black pepper
  1. Heat oil. Add onions and sauté until tender. Add squash and a small amount of water. Cover and cook just until squash is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and place in casserole dish.
  2. In a bowl, mix together cracker crumbs and cheese. 
  3. Stir half of cracker-cheese mixture into the cooked squash and onions.
  4. In another bowl mix together eggs, milk (or half & half), softened butter, salt and pepper.  
  5. Pour egg mixture over squash mixture.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining cracker mixture.
  7. Bake in a preheat 400° over for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and a little crispy on top.
Other yellow squash recipes on our site include:

Recipe without photos . . .
Yellow (Crookneck) Squash Casserole
About 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cups sliced small yellow squash (if using larger squash, scoop out larger seeds and dice)
About 35 crackers, crushed (I used a combination of CHEEZ-IT and saltine crackers to equal a heaping cup; I "crushed" them in a blender to a fine consistency.)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk or half-and-half
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch or two of black pepper
  1. Heat oil. Add onions and sauté until tender. Add squash and a small amount of water. Cover and cook just until squash is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and place in casserole dish.
  2. In a bowl, mix together cracker crumbs and cheese. 
  3. Stir half of cracker-cheese mixture into the cooked squash and onions.
  4. In another bowl mix together eggs, milk (or half & half), softened butter, salt and pepper.  
  5. Pour egg mixture over squash mixture.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining cracker mixture.
  7. Bake in a preheat 400° over for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and a little crispy on top.

Fern's Veggie Dip

Creamy & packed with flavor, this dip is
perfect for veggies
or chips.
Lots of activity in our kitchen as we prepare recipes for the upcoming family reunion. We just mixed up a dip that Barry's mom, Fern, used for fresh veggies. It appears in Clara's Clan family cookbook.



Fern's Veggie Dip
1 (16 oz.) carton sour cream
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese @ room temperature
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 cup chopped tomatoes, drained well
1 small pepper, finely chopped (green, red, yellow or orange)
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (this was our addition)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 (  oz.) pkg. Italian Salad Dressing (dry) Mix

Combine all ingredients and mix. Best is allowed to refrigerate at least overnight.


Kansas Caviar, aka Lorraine's Black Olive Dip

We are in the process of making snacks for the upcoming family reunion -- using some recipes from Clara's Clan Recipe Book. This recipe, that appears in the book, comes from Barry's sister, Lorraine.
Clara's descendants get together every other year and it is Kansas clan's turn to host this year.  Of Clare's seven children only one, Bert, is still alive. Barry's mom and her twin sister were born in 1916 and would have been 100 this year.

Kansas Caviar / Lorraines's Black Olive Dip
2 medium tomatoes, chopped fine
4 to 5 scallions (green onions), sliced thin (green & white parts)
6 oz, can black olives, drained & sliced
3 oz. can chopped green chilies
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (our addition)
Up to 24 oz. chunky salsa or picante
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt to taste
  1. Mix tomatoes, scallions, olives,  chilies and cilantro together. 
  2. Add as much salsa and oil as desired (I used all of the picante and 3 Tbsp. of oil).
  3. Taste and add salt if needed.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips.
Recipe without photos . . .
Kansas Caviar / Lorraines's Black Olive Dip
2 medium tomatoes, chopped fine
4 to 5 scallions (green onions), sliced thin (green & white parts)
6 oz, can black olives, drained & sliced
3 oz. can chopped green chilies
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (our addition)
Up to 24 oz. chunky salsa or picante
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt to taste
  1. Mix tomatoes, scallions, olives,  chilies and cilantro together. 
  2. Add as much salsa and oil as desired (I used all of the picante and 3 Tbsp. of oil).
  3. Taste and add salt if needed.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips.