Friday, November 22, 2013

30 Minute Chicken and Leeks

A family staple this quick meal is loved by everyone. We serve it over rice sometimes wild rice.

A wonderful message left by the family! We are a library family.

 Chicken and Leeks

2 leeks
4 (6 to 8-ounce) pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine (I use 1/2 cup wine and 1/2 cup chicken broth)

Trim leeks of tough green ends and roots. Split leeks lengthwise, then cut across into 1/2-inch slices. Place sandy slices of leeks into a large bowl filled with cold water. Separating the layers of each slice to free the grains of sand. Allow the sand to settle to the bottom of the bowl. With your hands, gently lift the leeks out of the water leaving the sand and dirt behind.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to skillet to coat the pan, then add chicken breasts. Brown chicken breasts 3 to 4 minutes on each side, then transfer to a plate.

Add a little more oil to the pan, then pour in leeks. Saute leeks 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add 1 cup wine to the pan and nestle chicken breasts down into leeks. Reduce heat to simmer and cook chicken 5 to 7 minutes longer.

To serve, remove chicken from pan and slice on an angle. Fan and arrange sliced chicken breasts over a bed of Sauteed leeks on each dinner plate or a warm serving platter. Serve with rice and salad.

Recipe found online at:
Read more at:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pumpkin Cheesecake

I have a few favorite cookbooks. Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook is one of them.  The pumpkin cheesecake recipe is to die for. I made a couple additions but it is perfect that way it is too. I made this for Thanksgiving last year and hope to make that a holiday tradition.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
recipe found at

2 cups graham-cracker crumbs (I added 14 ginger snaps crumbs to make 2 cups)
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted


1½ cups (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
1 cup pumpkin puree, room temperature (I say rounded cup)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 large eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a 10-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Make the crust: Mix the graham-cracker crumbs, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Stir in the melted butter until all the ingredients are well mixed.

3. Turn the crust mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly over the bottom (but not the sides). Press down firmly to form a crust.

4. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and, let cool, while you start on the cheesecake batter. Turn down the oven temperature to 325.

5. Make the batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla and spices until smooth. Add the pumpkin puree and heavy cream and mix until combined.

6. Add the eggs one at a time, until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.

7. Assemble the cheesecake: Pour the batter over the baked crust.

8. Bake for 1 hour in the water bath (see note, below).

9. Turn off the oven, prop open the oven door, and allow cake to cool for 10 minutes. Remove cake from oven and cool completely in fridge overnight.

10. Cut with a hot knife and serve.

Note: To make a water bath, use any roasting pan that is large enough to hold the pan in which you are baking. Try a roasting pan with two handles. It’s a good idea to wrap your springform pan in heavy-duty foil before adding water to the roasting pan. Use hot tap water for the bath and make sure the water lever is at least 1 inch up the sides of the pan but not so high that water will splash into the springform.

Update 2017: Made this for a cheesecake-o-rama for school. Life can be so fun. The lesson I learned from this event was that balance feels best. This cheesecake although amazing should have been made on a different day. Such a crazy week was made for cookies not cheesecake. Or I could have been smart like a co-worker and purchased something to bring. I am learning a lot about life through baking!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Corn Pudding

3 years in the making! You can tell by the photo of my kitchen helper who is almost 6 now. So funny to see how long it is taking me to get to things.

I love corn pudding. This recipe reminds me of Anna Burns. We worked at Pulaski Elementary School together. I shared this recipe with her after we had quite the discussion about our love our corn pudding but how it sometimes is less than wonderful when homemade. She is the nicest lady and had these magical snow earrings that when she wore them it always snowed the next day. This recipe also reminds me of a long lost friend, Karen Newell. She is the best cook on the planet and shared most of my greatest recipes with me. This recipe is out of the cookbook she said was a must have in my collection. It is from A Pinch of Salt Lake Cookbook.

Pennsylvania Dutch-Style Corn Pudding

2 16 oz cream-style corn
4 eggs, beaten until frothy
4 Tb flour
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tea salt

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and pour into a well-buttered 2-quart casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Yes one and one half hours.