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April 17, 2011

Helena's Favorite Cream Cheese Recipes

Another competition is on the roll and this time it is for Kraft PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese and Cooking Cream. This is a fun little adventure and it has made me come up with some new fun recipes that I hope you will enjoy.

Scroll down for Helena's Cheesy Croquettes, Working Wife Risotto, Pink Philly Ice Cream Sandwiches, Helena's "Cheezy" Bread Pudding, Philadelphia Blueberry Panna Cotta.

5 fun recipes to enjoy, more to come... in a week or two...

Side dish week 1:

Helena's Cheesy Croquettes....................................... Click here for video

This is a wonderful side dish to serve with any meat, poultry or fish dish. So creamy, crunchy and tasty; you will love this recipe.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4

4 Russet Potatoes
1 tbsp. of Unsalted Butter
1 tsp. of Salt
1/4 tsp. of Ground Black Pepper
4 ounce(s) of PHILADELPHIA Cheese Chive & Onion
1 Egg Yolk
2 Whipped Egg for crusting
1 1/2 cup(s) of Japanese Bread Crumbs
4 cup(s) of Canola Oil for deep frying


1. Peel potatoes and boil them until soft.
2. Mash potatoes with butter, salt, pepper and PHILADELPHIA Cheese.
3. When well mixed and slightly cooled down, whip in egg yolk.
4. Chill mix for minimum 30 minutes.
5. Shape mix into small meatball sized potato balls.
6. Dip potato balls into whipped eggs.
7. Drop potato balls in bread crumbs and roll them around until completely covered.
8. Deep fry crusted potato balls in 390 degrees Fahrenheit vegetable oil, a few at a time.
9. When golden brown, take them out of oil and put on a paper towel to dry off some oil.
10. Enjoy warm as a side dish for any meat, poultry or fish, accompanied with a fresh green salad.

Entrees Week 1:

Working Wife Risotto....................................... Click here for video

A simplistic and delicious Working Wife Risotto that will please your family's taste buds while being very affordable and filling. Yummy, tasty, heavenly creamy and cheesy - What more can we ask for? Enjoy!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

1 cup(s) of Medium Diced Yellow Onion
2 cup(s) of Sliced Mushroom
5 cup(s) of Cooked Rice
1/4 cup(s) of Small Diced Roasted Poblano Pepper
2 tbsp. of Chopped Fresh Cilantro
2 tbsp. of Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
10 ounce(s) of PHILADELPHIA Cooking Cream Original
1 tbsp. of Sambal Oelek
1/4 tsp. of Salt, to taste
1/2 cup(s) of Grated Parmesan Cheese

  1. Sauté onion and mushroom in vegetable oil on medium to high heat.
  2. Add Rice, chili and herbs, stir and take down heat to medium-low.
  3. Add PHILADELPHIA Cooking Cream and Sambal Oelek.
  4. Taste off with salt if needed.
  5. Stir in cheese.
  6. Plate the Working Wife Risotto in a deep plate and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and newly cracked black pepper.
  7. Enjoy with a crispy greens and a glass of red wine for dinne

Desserts Week 1:

Pink Philly Ice Cream Sandwiches....................................... Click here for video

My husband was craving ice cream for dessert so I decided to make ice cream sandwiches with the PHILADELPHIA Strawberry Cream Cheese. They are so cute and delicious and best of all, very easy to make. They are perfect to make ahead of time and you can keep them in the freezer for future cravings.
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Total time: 60 minutes
  • Servings: 6
  • 4 ounce(s) of Natural Yogurt
  • 4 ounce(s) of PHILADELPHIA Strawberry Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Vanilla Bean or 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tbsp. of Powder Sugar
  • 1/2 cup(s) of Chopped Mixed Nuts
  1. Whip yogurt with PHILADELPHIA Strawberry Cream Cheese until smooth.
  2. Split vanilla bean and scrape seeds into cream cheese mix.
  3. Add powder sugar and whip until fluffy and evenly mixed.
  4. Cover the top of a muffin pan with plastic wrap. Push the plastic wrap down in the cups.
  5. Add half of the chopped nuts in the bottom divided in 6 plastic covered cups.
  6. Spoon the cream cheese mix on top of nuts, divided into the 6 cups.
  7. Add the rest of the chopped nuts on top and press each mix down a little.
  8. Place in freezer until mix has firmed up.
  9. Your Pink Philly Ice Cream Sandwiches are now ready to enjoy.

Helena's "Cheezy" Bread Pudding....................................... Click here for video

This is the perfect dessert to bring for a potluck or family gathering. It is so moist and buttery from the base of Croissants and Chocolate Cake that also makes a beautiful texture. The PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese brings a silky, creamy feel to the bread pudding and is of course a wonderful flavor addition. This is a family favorite for sure. I hope that you will enjoy this recipe too.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6

2 cup(s) of Whole Milk
1 tbsp. of Vanilla Extract
1 tbsp. of Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. of Ground Nutmeg
1/2 cup(s) of Granulated Sugar
1 pinch of Salt
4 Eggs
8 ounce(s) of PHILADELPHIA Original Cream Cheese
4 cup(s) of Day Old Cubed Bread (3 Cups Plain Croissant & 1 Cup Chocolate cake)


1. Heat up oven to 375 ° F
2. Bring milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and salt to boil.
3. Whip eggs fluffy and temper with hot milk mix (to temper, pour hot milk into egg a little by little while whipping vigorously)
4. Stir in PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese into milk mix.
5. Pour milk mix over bread in a big bowl. See so bread cubes get properly soaked and let it sit for a few minutes.
6. Spray an oven safe dish and fill with soaked bread.
7. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top of the bread pudding feels firm and not soggy. Do not let bread pudding cook so it dries out though, you want it to be moist and juicy inside.
8. Serve with whipped cream and powder sugar and enjoy as dessert or for brunch.

Philadelphia Blueberry Panna Cotta....................................... Click here for video

Would you like to look professional and fancy with your dessert? I have the recipe for you; this is the ultimate fluffy, creamy, delicate berry mousse that will impress your guests. You and I are the only ones who know how easy this dish is to make. Enjoy the recipe!
  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Total time: 55 minutes
  • Servings: 6
  • 3 Sheets Gelatin or 3 tsp. Unflavored Gelatin Powder
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) of Half & Half
  • 1 cup(s) of Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tsp. of Orange Zest
  • 8 ounce(s) of Fresh Blueberry Purée
  1. Bloom gelatin, soak gelatin leaves in water until soft.
  2. Heat cream and sugar until sugar have melted.
  3. Squeeze water out of gelatin sheets and let them melt into hot milk mix while whisking. Set aside to cool a little.
  4. Whisk orange zest with blueberry purée and softened PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese until fluffy. Scrape bottom of bowl with a spatula half and mix again to avoid lumps.
  5. Add liquid slowly into cream cheese mixture while whipping on low speed. Scrape bottom of bowl with a spatula half and mix again to avoid lumps.
  6. Scoop mixture into 6 glasses and place in freezer for minimum 40 minutes or until firm but not hard.
  7. Decorate with whipped cream and orange slice.

April 14, 2011

Crispy BBQ Chicken with Creamy Pasta Salad

After the rain comes sunshine - It is time for my hubby to light up the barbeque so we can grill off our chicken for lunch - yum!

This crispy chicken with creamy pasta salad makes a wonderful dish to enjoy any day of the week for lunch, dinner or when you are throwing a party for family and friends. It also makes superb left overs, so I would definitely recommended to make a few extra portions than needed. The pasta salad is served cold and the chicken can either be served warm or cold, so this is also the perfect food to bring on a picnic or potluck.

4-5 Servings

Ingredients for grilled chicken:

4-5 Legs of Chicken, bone in and skin on.
1/4 Gallon Butter Milk, can be substituted with 1/4 Gallon Milk mixed with 1 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 Tbsp Salt
3 Tbsp Paprika Powder
3 Tbsp Herbs de Provence or Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
Cooking Spray

Ingredients for BBQ Sauce:

1 1/2 Cup Diced fresh or Canned Tomatoes
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Hot Sauce
2 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
1/4 Cup Fresh Orange Juice
1/2 Cup of Water
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
Salt and Black Pepper to taste off

Ingredients for Creamy Pasta Salad:

4 Cups Penne Pasta
6 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp Horseradish
1 Tbsp Rice Wine or White Wine Vinegar
3 Tbsp Ketchup
3 Tbsp Chopped Red Onion
1 tsp Chopped Fresh Garlic
1/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 Carrot
1 Tomato

Directions for Grilled Chicken:

1. Soak chicken legs in buttermilk a couple of hours - Wondering if that type of bath would "tenderize" my sore legs after running too????
2. Fire up your BBQ on high heat.
3. Mix flour with spices, dry herbs and salt, cover all sides properly.

4. Try to only grab the chicken by the drumstick bone, so crust stay intact. Spray both sides of chicken.
5. Put the legs, thick side down, on a well greased piping hot grill. Let brown well until crispy and "toasty." Brown other side - remember to grab chicken by the drumstick bone to not break your beautiful crust - turn down heat and continue cooking on low heat or indirect heat approximately 30 minutes or until they have reached an inner temperature of minimum 165 degrees Fahrenheit (75 degrees Celsius.)

Directions for BBQ Sauce:

1. Simmer tomato, sugar, hot sauce, Worchestershire Sauce and orange juice until liquid is reduced to half. Add water and let simmer a few more minutes.
2 Pour hot chunky tomato mix into a blender and cover with a lid. Pulse first and then go to high speed until blended fine.
3. Add lemon juice and taste off with salt and pepper. Run blender until properly mixed.

4. Brush BBQ Sauce on top of chicken and serve extra sauce on the side.

Directions for Creamy Pasta Salad:

1. Bring water to a boil, add pasta, stir pasta around and leave to boil according to package directions or cook until al dente. Strain in a colander and toss under cold running water until chilled. Set a side to dry.
2. Mix mayo, mustard, horseradish, vinegar, ketchup, chopped onion, chopped garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender.

3. Peel carrot, cut tomato apart and spoon out all seeds and tomato water (can be added to your BBQ Sauce.) Cut both carrot and tomato into small dice.
4. Add vegetables with the pasta into a big mixing bowl and coat with dressing until rich and creamy.

Plate all your goodies and enjoy with a cold beer and a green salad.

April 10, 2011

What a dream pie: Chocolate - Peanut Butter - Banana

I found this great natural peanut butter at Andy's Produce in Sebastopol, flavored with honey.
In the mood for pie, I began looking for a recipe where I could incorporate peanut butter into the recipe. OK, we'll go rich and creamy tonight and I will for sure need a bit of exercise tomorrow :)

Pie Crust Dough:
200 g (7 oz) Peanut Butter
4 Tbsp Butter
2/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Powder

200 g (7 oz) Milk Chocolate
2 egg Yolks
1 1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract or 1/2 Vanilla Bean (scraped out)
2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar

3 Tbsp Roasted Unsalted Peanuts
1-1 1/2 Fresh Banana
1 1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2 tsp Granulated Sugar


1. Turn oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cut cold butter in small cubes. Mix all pie crust ingredients in a mixer with a paddle just until smooth.

3. Spray a pie pan and with your fingers, work the dough out evenly to cover pan and go up over the edge. Place shell in freezer or refrigerator until dough is cold and stiff.
4. Place the shell on a sheet pan in the hot oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until shell starts to turn golden in color. Let cool on rack.

5. To make the filling, melt the chocolate over a water bath on low heat. When chocolate is completely melted, take it off the heat and stir in one egg yolk at a time. Add peanut butter and and set a side to cool a bit.
6. Whip heavy whipping cream with sugar and vanilla to a soft peak.

7. While whipping slowly continuously add a little by a little of the chocolate mix into cream until all is incorporated and smooth.
8. Spread the chocolate cream in pie shell.

9. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over and refrigerate for minimum a couple of hour to set.

10. Slice banana. Whip the cream with sugar for topping.
11. Cut pie into 10-12 slices; if you clean off the knife between each cut, the slices will come out more nicely and less messy :) Cut off extensive crust so pie pieces can be lifted out with a spatula.
12. Plate each slice with a few banana slices and a spoon of cream.
13. Enjoy!

April 06, 2011

Springtime Flavor Art #7 April 28th

Another Flavor Art Dinner is approaching and spring is in the air :)

Thursday April 28th at 5:30 pm
Limited seats @ Old World Winery
About winemaker Darek Trowbridge

This dinner will also feature two new releases of Old World Winery:
2005 Fogline - a unique field blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon from true Sonoma Coast and the 2008 Fulton Folderol, a blend like no other with 50% Abouriou and 50% Zinfandel from dry farmed vineyards.

Call (707) 490-6696 for reservations
- limited seats.
Price $65 per person for food and wine
Wine club members $45

Vegan or Vegetarian Option will be available upon request.

Springtime Flavor Art #7

Hors d’oeuvres

Carpaccio and Chips of Abalone with Meyer Lemon-Cucumber Dressing
Paired with 2008 Tweek Block, Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast

Butter Lettuce Wrapped Apple and Red Baby Beet Salad with Red Clover Sprouts
Paired with 2007 White Knight, Rose, Russian River Valley

First Course
Breaded Sardines with Pepper Chutney and Arugula on Flatbread
Paired with 2008 Bon Temps LeBlanc, Sauvignon Blanc, North Coast

Second Course
Grilled Spring Chicken, Bean Medley, Kale, Fresh Mozzarella and Red Wine Syrup Drizzle
Paired swith 2007 Pinot Noir Sterling Family Vineyard, Russian River Valley

Third Course
Spring Lamb Tree Ways, Herb Grilled Loin, Wine Braised Roast, Cotija Sausage and Risotto with Corn, Mushroom and Chili
Paired with 2005 Fog Line, Red Wine (Cabernet and Syrah), Bei Du Rocchi Ranch, Sonoma Coast

Fourth Course
Warm Camembert Style Goat Cheese with Dark Berry-Orange Compote and Elderberry Essence
Paired with 2008 Fulton Foderol, Red Wine (Abouriou and Zinfandel), Sonoma County


April 03, 2011

Helena's Summer Cocktail "Golden Hills"

"This is a cocktail that I named Golden Hills. Living in northern CA, our coastal Sonoma hills turn golden from the sunsets,which inspired me to the name. I love mixing cocktails and I find it fun to incorporate textures, like the floating chopped mint and orange zest that in this drink escaped through the strainer into the glass. Bacardi Gold is a wonderful product with a smooth, rich flavor that is great to work with in the bar. Golden Hills is a well balanced and refreshing cocktail while still being edgy and interesting."

Click here for video and recipe