Friday, April 27, 2012

Recipe Review..Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits

I love strawberry season.  The season came early this year.  The farms have been opened for several weeks.  I headed to one of my favorite berry farms...Holland Farm in Cary NC. What to make? I found a recipe on Pinterest that looked amazing...Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits. It comes from a blog called The Italian Dish.  (I need to go on this blog site soon and explore:-)

I studied the recipe... 
(As usual I made changes you will find it in parenthesis:-)

makes 4 large parfaits or 6 smaller ones
1 pound of strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter
12 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted (I was too lazy to sift the sugar)
2 teaspoons Amaretto (I did not have Amaretto so I put 1/2 tsp of vanilla)
1 cup heavy cream (I used cool whip:-)
(I also added about a tsp of lemon juice)
mint springs, for garnish

Slice the strawberries into a bowl and sprinkle with one tablespoon of sugar.  
Toss and set aside.

Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and one tablespoon of sugar.

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.  
Add the sour cream, confectioners' sugar and Amaretto and beat until combined.

In another bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form 
(I did not have to do this because I bought the cool whip:-).  
Fold into the cream cheese mixture.

Assemble Parfaits:

Place about a tablespoon of the graham cracker "crust" in the bottom of your glasses.  
Layer some of the cheesecake filling in the glasses, then some of the 
strawberry topping and sprinkle some more of the 
graham cracker on top.  Amounts will vary according to how many 
parfaits you are making, so just adjust accordingly. 
Repeat layers and top with mint. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I gathered my ingredients

Yum, so good.                                                                                                                                           I would have to give them a 9/10 on my cooking scale.
When I make them again, and I will, I would change one thing.
I would use much smaller containers.  It is very rich and these cups,
although lovely, held way too much rich goodness.  
I ate mine over a span of 4 days.

Happy Cooking and Eating!
Enjoy Your World:-)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg Continued...."Oh The Food"

I can't say enough about how good the food was in Williamsburg.  Granted it is pricey but it is also delicious.....Our first culinary adventure was at The Williamsburg Inn. We were seated in The Terrace Room Restaurant.  The atmosphere was casual warm and inviting.  The folks taking care of us were friendly and helpful.  The food amazing!
 Below you see a pretzel roll. They were very common in Williamsburg.  Good too:-)

 It has been awhile since we were there but I believe this is their Signature Crab Cake.  Erica loved it.
 Stephanie had the Honey and Pistachio Crusted Salmon....delicious...
 I had the Roasted Chicken Pot Pie...creamy and delightful....The crust was light and beautiful...
Here is the menu I found online for the Terrace Room...Terrace Room at Williamsburg Inn.  
That evening we didn't want a huge meal and thought maybe we could find light fare at The King's Arms Tavern.  And we did....
First up was their Champagne Cocktail (Champagne, Sugar Cubes soaked in Bitters, a Cherry, and a Twist) You can see the sugar cube at the bottom of the glass.  I stirred it up to get the sweetness throughout and it was very good....
 See below what we ordered to share....
The Cheesemonger’s Selection (A fine Sampling of assorted local and imported Cheeses, and fresh fruit garnish with Sippets).  It was really good. 
I had King’s Arms Apple Salet (Seasonal Greens with Cucumber, Tomato, Gala Apples, caramelized Onions drizzled with Apple-Cider Vinaigrette), which I really enjoyed. 
I think if I recall correctly that Steph had the Romaine Salat (Fresh crisp Romaine Hearts with house-made Anchovy Dressing, paired with buttery Parmesan Cheese, Croutons,and fresh-ground Black Pepper)
Erica decided to try Mrs. Vobe’s Peanut Soupe (A southern favourite and a tavern specialty garnished with roasted Peanuts and Sippets) It really did taste like peanuts.  Interesting flavor for a soup:-)

 We were taught the proper use of the large cloth napkins you see Erica and Stephanie wearing.  You tuck it in your shirt, let it drape loosely in your lap and then bring the other end up under your plate.  That way if anything is dropped it lands in the pocket of your napkin.  Easy cleanup:-)

 We decided to share a dessert....The Meringue Shell (Baked Egg Whites served with Vanilla Ice Cream and fresh Strawberries) I have never been to crazy about meringue but the strawberries and ice cream were divine. Needless to say it did not take long for this wonderful dessert to disappear. 
 What a great time we had at the King's Arms Tavern.  There was singing and laughter and just a festive feel to the entire meal.  We would love to go back...
King's Arms Tavern on Urbanspoon
We came across this saying in a coffee shop.  
I liked it and it was food and drink related so I had to add it:-)
We stopped for a quick lunch at The Trellis Restaurant in Merchant Square
Beautiful restaurant. We loved, Blue Cheese with Honey (Maytag Blue Cheese Glazed with Honey, Toasted Walnuts, Croutons and Greens), that you see below.  We wished we had ordered more....
I don't remember the name of my sandwich but it was great!
When I was telling folks at work about The Trellis Restaurant they had heard of it.  One person said The Trellis had a famous chef and were known for their amazing chocolate cake.  Probably this one I found on their menu
 A Study in Chocolate - A Seven Layer Chocolate Torte with a Hand-Rolled White Chocolate Truffle, our Chocolate Ice Cream and Dark Chocolate Sauce 
I think the couple next to us ordered it.  It looked amazing!
For some reason The Trellis only got 68% on urban spoon.  I have to disagree, I found it to be a lovely setting with great food and service.  We would go again.
The Trellis Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Our final night in Williamsburg.....One last meal.  Where to go?  We decided to try Berret's Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill.  Lovely drinks for starters...

This was the highlight of the meal for me...She Crab Soup drizzled with Sherry...Amazing!!!
I just had to see it again.....Yum!!
Erica had Salmon which she said was great....

I had the crab cakes.  Which were wonderful but my mind kept going back to that amazing She Crab die for:-)
Berret's Seafood Restaurant & Taphouse Grill on UrbanspoonAnother wonderful night on the town.  Good food and friendly service.  Makes me hungry just looking at the pictures...

Oh the restaurants of Williamsburg. They are wonderful.  I wish we would have had the time and money to try them all.  Can't wait to go back.
Get out and explore,
Try a new restaurant....I suggest you try one in Colonial Williamsburg!
Enjoy Your World:-)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Recipe Review...Melt In Your Mouth Chicken

You guys know my new favorite site....Pinterest!  Well I am saving recipes I want to try on one of my boards.  There is one chicken recipe that I have tried twice and loved each time...."Melt in Your Mouth Chicken".  It was pinned from a Blog called Singing With Birds. I found it to be both moist and delicious.
I studied the recipe...

Melt In Your Mouth Chicken Breast
  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves, (rinsed and patted dry)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt, (I use Lawry's)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Mix mayonnaise, cheese and seasonings.  Place chicken in baking dish and spread mixture over the chicken evenly.  Bake at 325 for 1-1/2 hours uncovered.

I gathered my ingredients....
Mixed up the topping.....
Spread over the top of the chicken and bake....

I was on my own for dinner and it was a beautiful evening.  So I sat on the back porch to enjoy my meal and read the paper....

Brodie was close by and couldn't wait to give the chicken a try.  You see him here looking through the screen with his giant toy Flea.
He loved it!  Roxy did too!
If you get a chance try a new recipe.  If you want an easy and yummy one give Melt in Your Mouth Chicken a try!
Happy Cooking!
Enjoy Your World:-)