Monday, January 21, 2013

Lion House Cheesecake

I made this cheesecake for Christmas Day and am just now getting around to posting it.  If you are looking for a true, home made, delicious cheesecake recipe....this is it.  It's good plain, or with your choice of favorite topping.  I chose to serve canned cherry pie filling on the side for those that wanted it.  I highly recommend making this at least a day or two before you plan on serving it.  The longer it is able to chill, the better it is.  And, you will need a 9 or 10 inch spring form pan.  If you don't have one, get one!  They're cheap and kind of fun to me. 

 Did I mention this is really good?  

Lion House Cheesecake
found on Jamiecooksitup!

You will need:

-1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (find them already prepared on the baking aisle)
-3 Tbsp sugar
-6 Tbsp melted butter, real unsalted
-1 tsp cinnamon

-3 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
-1 cup sugar
-3 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla

-1 pint (16oz) sour cream
-3 Tbsp sugar
-1/2 tsp vanilla
*Preheat oven to 300
*Mix all the crust ingredients together and press along bottom and about 1 inch up the side of the spring form pan.  
*In a mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until very smooth.  Then add the sugar (1/4 cup at a time), mixing well in between.
*Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in between.  Add vanilla and mix again
*Pour cream cheese mixture into the crust and bake at 300 for 1 hour and 15 minutes (it won't be totally done, but you are going to bake it more later)
*Mix all the ingredients for the topping together.  Spread the topping mixture over the cheesecake and bake for an additional 30 minutes.  (Fyi, the top will not appear fully set, but will firm up when it is chilled)
*Let it cool on a wire rack.  Once it was completely cooled I removed the sides of the pan and transferred it to the fridge to chill (better if chilled for at least a day).  
***If you want to prevent the cheesecake from cracking, place a shallow pan with a little bit of water on the rack below the cheesecake while baking***

Taco Pizza

Here's a combination of two of my favorites, pizza and mexican food!  I found this recipe on and have already made it several times.  Once again, Kevin being the pizza nazi he is, was not too thrilled when I told him we were having taco pizza for dinner.  "", he said.  But I had faith in it that it would be good, and I was right, it was a hit for the whole family!  Kevin loved it, and even our picky eater Hunter was a fan.  So..... maybe he learned to think outside the culinary box a little bit:)  
The first time I made this I realized that instead of getting regular refried beans, I had accidentally picked up a can of refried black beans (didn't even know they made these, so I was pretty surprised when I got home).  I decided to go ahead and try it with the black beans, and after making it with both types now, I honestly think I prefer the black beans....probably a little healthier too.  We also omitted the olives in the original recipe....we just don't like them, plain and simple.  You can serve this with sour cream and guacamole and tortilla chips, or alone with a side salad.  And, to my surprise, it was very good re-heated the next day for leftovers.  

Taco Pizza
adapted from Life-as-a-Lofthouse
You will need:
-one pound ground beef
-one envelope taco seasoning (I used low sodium)
-one (11oz.) can refrigerated pizza dough (I used Pillsbury, thin crust)
-one can refried beans (regular, or black beans)
-2 cups shredded cheese (I used colby jack)
-1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
-4 green onions, chopped
-sliced black olives (optional)
*Preheat oven to 375.  Line a cookie sheet with non stick foil, (wrap foil around edges of cookie sheet, so it is fully covered).
*Brown ground beef over med-high heat until no longer pink and drain.  Return to skillet and add taco seasoning.  Cook according to taco seasoning packaging for a few minutes.  
*Unroll pizza dough over cookie sheet.  Press dough over bottom and up the sides of the cookie sheet.
*Bake pizza dough for 9-10 minutes and remove from oven.
*Place refried beans in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for one minute.  Stir well, then spread beans evenly over top of warm pizza crust
*Top with ground beef, sprinkle the cheese, and add tomatoes, green onions, and olives.
*Bake for an additional 6-7 minutes until cheese is melted.