Tag Archives: cream cheese

Cauliflower Crѐme Brûlée

Caution: reading this post, or any other tagged ‘Philadelphia cream cheese’ may cause you to catch the highly contagious “Philly Fever”. Symptoms include cream cheese dreams, recipe-itis, and increased appetite for Kraft products. As a victim myself, I feel it is only fair to warn you.

By now, many of you have probably heard the buzz about Kraft’s “Real Women of Philadelphia” casting competition. For those of you who are somehow out of the loop, I’ll fill you in. It’s not too late to enter!

Kraft and Anna Olson have teamed up to host a cooking contest starring Philadelphia cream cheese. Entrants are asked to create recipes using the featured ingredient and submit how to videos explaining their concoctions. Last week, we had to come up with creative side dishes using our favourite Philly flavours. Here’s what I created.

Breaking away from boring side dishes can be a challenge, but with this simple spin on a favourite dessert in your recipe arsenal, vegetables will soon be taking centre stage at your dinner table. This recipe will only take about 12 minutes, and makes 4 servings.
  • 1/2 to whole head cauliflower
  • 1 tsp. of butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp. of brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. of raw brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. of parmesan
  • 1/2 cup(s) of Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1/8 tsp. of cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of pepper
Watch my video for instructions, or simply follow the step by step instructions below.
  1. Preheat your broiler. (500 degrees)
  2. Depending on the size of your cauliflower, you will need to use between 1/2 and a whole head. Remove the leaves and core, and chop the florets and stalks into small pieces until you have roughly 4 cups. Place 1 tbsp of water and a pinch of salt into a casserole dish, add your cauliflower, and steam in the microwave for 5-6 minutes until tender.
  3. Heat butter in a pan over high heat. Roughly chop onion and add to pan, stirring until covered with melted butter. Reduce heat to med/med-low and add 1 tbsp brown sugar. Stir until combined. Remove onions from heat when they are translucent and lightly browned.
  4. In a small bowl, combine raw brown sugar and parmesan cheese. Stir until completely mixed.
  5. In a food processor, combine steamed cauliflower, quick carmelized onions, Philadelphia cream cheese, cayenne, salt and pepper. Blend for a few minutes, scraping sides, until mixture becomes a smooth purée.
  6. Divide mixture evenly among 4 ramekins, and smooth the purée to create a flat surface. Sprinkle a generous portion of your sugar/parmesan mixture onto each serving, coating the cauliflower completely. Give the ramekins a little shake to level out the sugar.
  7. Place under the broiler on a baking sheet for 1-2 minutes until the sugar has created a hard, brown candy coating. Remove from the oven and serve immediately. To prepare this side dish in advance, refrigerate your ramekins after filling them with purée. Right before serving, add the sugar topping and broil. Whether you are making it for a simple supper, or an elegant dinner party, you will be stunned by how easy this recipe is to prepare. With veggies this delicious, who needs dessert?
I hope you’ll give this recipe a  try, and while you’re at it, create your own and submit it to http://www.realwomenofphiladelphia.ca/.

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Filed under new flavours, pop culture, savory, super simple

Tiny Taco Salads

So, I am currently participating in Philadelphia cream cheese’s “Real Women of Philadelphia” competition, hosted by Anna Olson. So far, it’s been a blast. I have had so much fun creating and filming my cream cheesy concoctions. Here is a quick look at my first submission.

These miniature versions of restaurant style taco salad are the perfect party appetizer. Philidelphia cream cheese makes them extra delicious, and you can even eat the tiny little bowl! They only take about 30 minutes from start to finish and serve 8 guests. Get cooking! You’ll need:
  • 8 6-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 can cooking spray
  • 1 pound(s) of lean ground beef
  • 2/3 cup(s) of taco seasoning (1 packet)
  • 1/2 cup(s) of Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 2 cup(s) of shredded lettuce
  • 2/3 cup(s) of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup(s) of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cup(s) of sour cream
  • 2/3 cup(s) of salsa
Take a look at my helpful how-to video to get started with this recipe, or simply follow the instructions below.
Steps
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Begin by browning your ground beef in a large skillet over high heat. Break the beef up with your spoon as it cooks. When there are no pink bits left, drain off any excess fat.
  3. Add your taco seasoning and 1 cup of water. Stirring occasionally, cook on high until the excess liquid has cooked off.
  4. While your taco meat is cooking, prepare your taco bowls for the oven by spraying both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray. Using a muffin pan to form your bowls, fold the tortillas into cup shapes by creating four double folds around their edges. Gently, but firmly press the bowl shape down into your muffin pan, making sure that the bottom of your bowl is nice and flat. Watching the video will help you to master this part of the recipe.
  5. When all 8 of your bowls are ready to go, bake them for 7-10 minutes until they are nice and golden brown.
  6. Now, cut your cream cheese into small chunks and add it to your taco meat while your shells are baking. Reduce the heat to medium, and stir until all of the cheese has melted and your taco meat is nice and creamy.
  7. Remove your taco bowls from the oven, and press a large scoop of taco meat into the bottom of each one. Layer the rest of your toppings evenly amongst your eight bowls, and serve immediately.
  8. You can serve these in muffin liners for handheld appetizers at a cocktail party, plate them up for a sit down dinner, or, serve the empty taco bowls, and let your guests fill them with their favourite toppings. This super simple recipe will soon become a fiesta favourite!

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Filed under a party, savory, super simple

Bejewelled Cheesecake Bars

These cheesecake bars are so easy, even my dog could make them. And she’s not the smartest dog in the park.  The bright fruit gummies make them look impressive, so your friends will think that you are a kitchen genius, even if you can barely scramble an egg. With only a few simple ingredients, they will become a go-to on your list of bake sale worthy recipes. One batch yields about 36 small squares with spare edges for tasting. You’ll need:

  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 500 g (2 packages) cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 small can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package vanilla pudding mix (low cal is okay)
  • 1 cup chopped swedish berries (you can also use jujubes, or small baking gums to save yourself the chopping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9 inch pan with aluminum foil, and spray it with non-stick spray. Mix together your melted butter and crumbs, and press the mixture evenly over the bottom of your pan.

Bake for 10 minutes while you prepare the rest of your recipe. In a medium bowl, mix together your cream cheese, condensed milk, egg and pudding mix on high until well blended. Remove your crust from the oven, and cover it evenly with half of your cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with half of your gummies, and cover those with the remaining cream cheese mixture. Spread the remaining gummies evenly over the top of your squares and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and let cool. To cut your squares, lift them out of the pan with the foil. Peel the foil away from the edges and slice lengthways, then crossways. Avoid cutting through too many gummies, because they can be tough to divide.

Refrigerate your squares in an airtight container, and serve them chilled. Your recipients are in for a sweet surprise when they bite into a square and find a chewy candy jewel!

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Filed under squares, super simple

Lavender Tea Cakes

I first started cooking with lavender when I made a lavender and white chocolate cake as per request for my Mom’s birthday two years ago. Once you learn how to infuse lavender into liquid ingredients, you can add it to just about any recipe. You can usually find it at health food or gourmet shops, and it is relatively inexpensive. It is a complex flavour, and adds sophistication to the most basic ingredients. These bite sized treats are delicately scented with lavender and topped with smooth honey cream cheese frosting. I made 48 tea cakes (mini cupcakes), but you can make full-sized cupcakes if you prefer. The miniature versions would be the perfect addition to an afternoon tea party. You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup cooking lavender
  • 1 box Duncan Hines moist white cake mix (you can use any mix that adds egg white, water, and oil)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • concentrated purple gel food colouring (optional)
  • cupcake liners (optional)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp softened butter
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar

This recipe is based on a cake mix that calls for 1 1/3 cups of water. If the recipe on your box calls for a different quantity, use that amount to measure your milk. I added a bit extra to compensate for the milk that you lose when the lavender absorbs some. If your mix calls for whole eggs or different quantities of oil, follow those directions instead.

In a small saucepan, pour your milk, and 1/4 cup of lavender. Cover and heat on low until milk is scalding (not quite a boil). Let cool, and strain out the lavender flowers. You should be left with about 1 1/3 cups of lavender infused milk, which you will need for your cake mix. Discard the used lavender.

In a large bowl, pour your cake mix, and add the extra ingredients according to the package. You will be substituting your lavender milk for the water in the box recipe. Beat together the mix, milk, eggs and oil on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl as you go. Add your vanilla, and food colouring if you wish. I added colour to overpower the slightly grey cast that the lavender leaves behind.

If you have a mini muffin pan, place your liners inside. Otherwise, place your liners on a flat baking sheet. Fill them about 2/3 full with batter, and bake according to the directions on your mix. Your baking time will probably be less than indicated for standard cupcakes, so keep an eye on them if you are making minis.

While your tea cakes are cooling, you can make your frosting. Cream together butter, cream cheese, and honey in a large bowl on medium-low speed. Add the icing sugar about 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down your bowl as you go. Continue adding until you reach a thick but workable consistency.

To frost your tea cakes, you can either spread or pipe on your icing. I filled a piping bag, and used a round tip to cover my cakes with a generous dollop of frosting. They will look cute either way; the honey gives the icing a nice shiny look. Now sprinkle your cakes with a few lavender flowers to finish them off. If you are making these in advance, keep them refrigerated until about an hour before serving.

As I said earlier, these little mini cupcakes would be adorable at a fancy tea party or lunch. Enjoy them with friends who share your adventurous appetite for new flavour combinations!

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Filed under cupcakes, new flavours