Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bottom Cheesecake

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bottom Cheesecake.
Photo: Southern Belle Taste.

As you know, peanut butter is a favorite in our home...mainly because of hubby.  Last week, he found this Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bottom Chessecake recipe and sent me an email saying, "Will You Make This For Me?" (and that was it...lol...nothing more, nothing less...lol)  Of course, I definitely said yes as I love making new things.  I've only made a cheesecake once, and it was an original cheesecake flavor. So, I knew this would be fun to try. The only thing I was suprised of is that hubby doesn't like cheesecake, but he wanted to try this one. It was the peanut butter and Reeses cups that got him.

So, this weekend, I made sure I had all of the ingredients and supplies.  I had a springform pan, but it is at my parents' home in Alabama, so we had to purchase one of those, as well. 

This will not be a detailed posting with ingredients and directions because you can head over to Tasty Kitchen or Erika's flickr site to get her recipe.  I'm simply doing a review, and what a review it is!

This cheesecake baked perfectly for 1.5 hours.  I did just as the recipe instructed, and there were no problems! I did have quite a bit of cheesecake filling left over, so I made a little graham cracker crust in a personal size baking dish, and poured the rest of the filling over it.  Many reviewers stated that they used their excess filling as miniature cheesecake bites....Aaaahhh, I wish I had read those reviews before I did mine!

Slice of Cheesecake.
Photo: Southern Belle Taste.

The cheesecake is definitely rich! Oooo, rich. So, don't think you can skip running with this one.  The peanut butter flavor is smoothly present and compliments well with the brownie crust. 

For the topping, I also had a lot of it left over.  I did not have chocolate chips so I used peanut butter chips and 2 white chocolate baking squares to create the topping. Tastes wonderful!

Try it out! Hubby said I can add this to my list of signature sweets.  Thanks Erika!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Strawberry Cobbler

Strawberry Cobbler.
-Southern Belle Taste-
For 3 consecutive weeks, I made a fruit cobbler each weekend.  First up was a Blackberry Cobbler.  I had never made one before because I had no need to!  My parents have a blackberry vine along the pasture fence beside their home, and each spring/summer we would always pick gallon buckets of blackberries.  We would wash them off and drive them up to grandma's house so she could make Blackberry Cobblers.  Ooooo, the best!

So, I called grandma and got her recipe for the Blackberry Cobbler.  It was so simple, but grandma reassured me of one thing, "Anytime you make a fruit cobbler, make sure you cook your fruit on the stove before baking in the oven in the pie crust."  And boy, I tell you, I have definitely tasted the difference between uncooked apples in apple pies vs. cooked apples in apple pies.  A world of a difference!

After making the Blackberry Cobbler, which I succeeded with it tasting just like Grandma's, I made a Peach cobbler the 2nd week with fresh peaches my mom had frozen for me and the exact same recipe grandma gave for the Blackberry Cobbler.

Well, the 3rd weekend, hubby wanted me to make a Strawberry Cobbler like his grandma would make. I have never heard or tasted a Strawberry Cobbler, so I did not know what to expect.  I simply went by the same ingredients and instructions that grandma gave me for the Blackberry Cobbler.  Hubby confirmed that the Strawberry Cobbler was a hit and that it tasted like his grandma's!  (I was sooooo happy!) However, for me, I would prefer the Blackberry Cobble over any cobbler.  Here is what I did.


Pie Filling
2 1/2 to 3 cups of sliced strawberries
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 to 1 Tbsp cornstarch (dissovled in equal ratio of water...refer to package instructions)

2 cups of flour
3/4 cups of Crisco shortening
1 tsp salt
Ice cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. First, make your crust. There are a lot of crust recipes out there, but this one hasn't failed me yet. In a mixing bowl, I combine the 2 cups of flour and salt.  Then, I dump the 3/4 cups of Crisco in and use my fingers to combine the flour with the Crisco. Many recipes say to cut the Crisco into the flour with butter knives, but that's for the bird watchers.  After all mixed, it should resemble cornmeal.  One tablespoon at a time, add ice cold water to the mixture to form a dough. It may take 4 tablespoons of water.  Roll dough into a ball and divide into two balls.  If you have time to refrigerate the dough balls, it helps when rolling out the crust.  If not, dash flour on the counter and roll out a ball for the bottom layer of your pie. Once rolled, place in pie dish. Roll the other ball out and save to top your pie. Refrigerate both while preparing pie filling.

Pie Filling
2. In a medium saucepan, bring your strawberries and water to a boil. Let boil for about 5-7 minutes.  Add sugar. Let boil for another 5 minutes. Add nutmeg, vanilla, and butter.  Mix and do not let stick.  Add cornstarch/water mixture. Let thicken slightly.

3. Pour pie filling into pie crust. Top pie filling with pie crust either by simply placing the rolled out crust on top or doing a pie lattice. For assistance on completing a pie lattice, refer to YouTube.  Howdini has an easy one.  To prevent the crust edges from browning, cover with foil.

4. Bake pie in oven 50 minutes to an hour.

5. Let slightly cool (but not too much because warm cobbler is soooo good) and enjoy with a scoop of ice cream!

Blackberry cobbler w/ a scoop of ice cream.
-Southern Belle Taste-

Monday, May 21, 2012

Favorite Healthy Pantry & Frig Must Haves

Being a married lady, I have found the importance of keeping certain items in the frig or in the pantry.  Here are my household's favorite ingredients to "always" have available.

1. Peanut Butter- I never thought I would be such a peanut butter lover as I am now. Hubby did it to me.  His peanut butter must be Peter Pan. I like any kind, but I try to eat more natural or organic peanut butters, but that doesn't happen all the time.
2. Apples- I feel deprived if I don't have an apple a day. We literally buy a bag of apples from Sam's once a week.
3. Oranges- We now buy these oranges from Sam's that are very sweet. Love them!
4. Milk- I don't like drinking milk, but hubby must have it.  I usually try to keep Almond milk on hand.
5. Red Onions- I don't know what salads were like before red onions, and I love my black bean and corn salad w/ red onions.
6. Black Beans- I make the Black Bean and Corn Salad probably every other week, if not every week.
7. Nuts- Almonds, pecans, peanuts, cashews...love nuts!
8. Eggs- For 2 people, we sure do crack 18 eggs quickly.
9. Bottled Water- I think we should get away from buying bottled water.  My mom always scares me that water bought in a plastic bottle is nothing safe. Yikes!
10. Sardines- You're probably thinking, yucky!! I thought that too before I read how beneficial sardines are to the body.  Hubby loves the sardines in mustard or Louisiana Hot Sauce.  I've only tasted the ones in water.  I remove the inside spine(bones) and mix the sardines as I would tuna salad. This is a great grab and go lunch when we don't have time to make something.

These are our semi-healthy must haves!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Crock Pot Curry Chicken

Earlier last week, I made Curry Chicken for dinner via the wonderful Crock Pot. I had a random can of cocunut milk in the fridge and wondered what I could do with it.  I've been wanting to use the crock pot lately to have a week's worth of meals, so I thought of the Indian seasonings that I have and said to myself, "What about Curry Chicken?" I looked up a few recipes and put something together.
3 boneless chicken breasts (mine were thawed)
1/2 of an onion
1 bell pepper (I used a red bell pepper)
2 celery stalks
1 can of coconut milk
1 can of spaghetti sauce (it should have been a can of tomato paste, but I didn't have any)
2 tsp of cumin
2 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of pepper
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
Creole seasoning (or salt & pepper) to season chicken
2 sweet potatoes (cubbed)
2 cups of carrots
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1 1/2 cups of brown rice
1 tsp of cornstarch
cilantro for garnish
1. Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes. Season lightly with Creole seasoning or salt & pepper. Sit aside.
2. In a food processor or blender, place onion, bell pepper, celery stalks, coconut milk, spaghetti sauce/tomato paste, cumin, turmeric, pepper, and salt.  Puree together.
3. Place cubbed chicken in the bottom of crock pot. Place sweet potatoes and carrotts on top and pour chicken broth over the 3 ingredients.
4. Pour curry sauce over chicken and vegetables. Stir lightly to make sure the sauce travels to the bottom of the crock pot.
5. Turn crock pot on low and cook for 6-8 hours. (I'm usually gone to work for about 10 hours so my dish usually cooks on low for about 10 hours.)
6. When you return home, mix cornstarch in mixture 1 hour before serving.
7. Cook a pot of brown rice to serve with curry chicken.
8. Serve curry chicken over rice and garnish with cilantro if desired.  Enjoy!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Taste of Food: Chicken & Shrimp Fried Rice

Asian food is one of my favorite cuisines. Growing up, my mom would create stir fry dinners and add some of my dad's smoked meat to it. Delish. But, I also grew to love the quick Asian buffet dinners that you could purchase from the mall food court. Out of the options, fried rice was certainly a favorite.

I had never thought about making fried rice until hubby mentioned it one day. As a bachelor, he used to make this dish, or he would  run by Panda Express and get a "healthy" meal. Not really sure how healthy it was, but at least it was a change from his dependable Wendy's #7 combo.

I did an overview of our frig to see what we had in stock to make fried rice.  Here is what I came up with:

Chicken & Shrimp Fried Rice

Serving Size: 4

1 chicken breast (or 2- depends on how much you desire)
1 cup of cooked medium shrimp
1 cup of brown rice
2 celery stalks (chopped)
2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
1/2 onion (chopped)
1 Tbsp minced garlic (I buy the minced garlic in the jars. Sooo hard for me to peel and chop garlic!)
4 eggs
Soy Sauce
Sweet Chili Sauce
Olive oil for sauteeing meat and scrambling eggs


1. In a medium size boiler, begin cooking brown rice according to package instructions. When rice is done, transfer to a glass bowl and refrigerate if time permits. (Refrigerating the rice helps to prevent it from being too sticky.)

2. In a separate boiler, boil chopped carrots and celery until tender.

3. Cut up chicken breast into bite size pieces. Season with seasoning salt and spices.

4. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet. Saute chicken pieces. Add shrimp to skillet with sauted chicken.

5. In a skillet, saute onion and garlic, and then, scramble eggs with onion/garlic.

6. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in wok. Add brown rice, carrots and celery, chicken and shrimp, and egg/onion/garlic mixture. Combine and fry. Finally, add soy sauce and sweet chili sauce. (I add just enough of both to coat the mixture.)

Enjoy this entree with green beans, broccoli, or a salad.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Southern Belle Taste from Bama

Born and raised in the Black Belt of Sweet Alabama, I would like to consider myself a true Southern Belle.  You know, one that knows about sundresses and sweet tea, cows and homemade buttermilk, shelling peas and shucking corn, and suntans with no beach in sight. While my hometown was a tiny place to grow up, nothing can replace the experience I had and the appreciation I have grown to cherish being taught and learning true Southern hospitality.  Now, as an adult and a married lady, I still reside in the South, just a couple of states over in the great state of Texas.

Since being married, I have grown to love the quest to lead a healthy lifestyle. While we would love to have our own gardens, we just don't right now.  So, we make our shopping adventures interesting. Now, everything I cook is definitely not labeled healthy, and I'm positive that I am not your "I only eat healthy foods and no sweets" belle. Life is about enjoying it, not deprivation, and for me enjoying life includes enjoying the taste of food. I've learned that the key aspect of leading a healthy lifestyle is moderation and exercise.  So here at Southern Belle Taste, you will get a taste of a variety of dishes that I will attempt to make whether it may be southern, Mexican, asian, healthy, or my favorite sweets. Also, you will learn some tricks I've discovered to keep me feeling healthy. My taste is to enjoy food and aim to be healthy all in-one. So, here's to cooking, eating, and burning calories so I can repeat this cycle. Find your taste today!