Monday, March 10, 2014

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars with White Chocolate Chips

On Sunday I prepared Brunch at St. John the Apostle MCC in Ft. Myers. I served an assortment of breakfast egg casseroles based on my previous post (Made four pans of the sausage version, three of the corned beef, and one vegetarian). I also served Raspberry Cheesecake Bars from a recipe that appears on the Krusteaz Raspberry Bar Mix. I  modified it by adding almond flavoring and white chocolate chips. It turned out great!

The dining room was decorated with dark green and light green tablecloths and tulips on both the buffet table and the individual round dining tables. I enjoy creating an atmosphere that feels special and inviting.

These tulips were on the Buffet Table at Brunch. I had individual yellow tulips in bud vases on the dining tables. 
Raspberry Cheesecake Bars with White Chocolate Chips

I couldn't find real white mini-chocolate chips so had to use regular size baking chips. I think the white chocolate would be better, but they are hard to find for my Raspberry Cheesecake Bars.

1 package Krusteaz Raspberry Bar Mix (1 pouch each crust mix and raspberry filling)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
16 oz (2 cups) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond flavoring
2/3 cup mini white chocolate chips, divided


Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 13x9x2-inch pan.

For Crust: Place crust mix and melted butter in medium bowl. Stir with a fork until mixture is crumbly. Press crust mixture firmly into bottom of pan. Bake 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Set aside.

For Filling: Place cream cheese and sugar in medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix on low speed until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla or almond flavoring. Continue to mix on low speed until smooth. Stir in 1/3 cup mini white vanilla chips.

Spoon cream cheese mixture evenly over baked crust. Cut corner of raspberry filling pouch. 
I poured the raspberry filling in to rows the long way, and then used a toothpick to draw lines crosswise.

Randomly squeeze raspberry filling over cream cheese mixture. Swirl with knife for marbled effect. Bake 28-32 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely and cut into squares. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tater Tots and Corned Beef? Possible?

I've been thinking about this recipe for weeks now. I've been scouring the Internet and have been trying to come up with a recipe that includes both Tater Tots and corned beef. I am doing Sunday Brunch at church this weekend and am working with a St. Patrick's Day theme--table covers, napkins and flower arrangements all in an assortment of greens. I've settled on a Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Gorgonzola crumbles and toasted pecans lightly dressed with a honey balsamic vinagrette, but am still stumbling with the main dish. My intention is to use this recipe, which I've cobbled together from a number of recipes, and substitute diced corned beef in a couple of the casseroles (I am making 8--3 corned beef, 3 sausage, and 2 vegetarian).

If you've ever made this type of casserole and used corned beef I would love to hear from you!

Note from Sunday Brunch: Although I liked the corned beef version, the pork sausage recipe is much tastier!

Overnight Breakfast Tater Tot Casserole

1 pound bulk pork sausage
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
8 eggs
2 cups half and half
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 32 ounce package tater tots
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Baking spray

Brown sausage in olive oil until no longer pink. Add onion and green pepper and sauté until vegetables are wilted. Drain off extra oil.

Spray 9 x 13 casserole pan with olive oil baking spray. Spread sausage mixture in bottom of pan. Allow to cool.

Sprinkle with 1 cup cheddar cheese. Spread tater tots over sausage and cheese and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of cheese.

Combine eggs, half and half, mustard and salt in blender. Blend until smooth about 1-2 minutes. 
Pour egg mixture over tater tots.*

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until eggs are set and tater tots have browned.

*If you are making this dish overnight, you may  cover the sausage, cheese and tater tot mixture with tin foil and store in the refrigerator overnight. Make the egg and milk mixture in the morning and pour over the casserole and bake as directed.