Blackberry Cheesecake Bars

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies 1

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies



I am an avid reader of magazines that involve cooking. Be it straight out cooking mags like Bon Appetit, Saveur, Food Network and Food & Wine, or others like Family Circle and Womans Day, I am subscribed to them all. I search until I find them for wonderful prices like $5.99 a year (honest Injun… you can get some great deals on magazines if you look around; and not just the “womens” mags either!!) and then and only then will I get them. Then, when I’m done with them, which includes tearing out recipes I want to try, they go to the residents at the long term care facility my husband works at. The residents there never lack for magazines to look at, I’ll tell you that much!

Sadly though, even when I tear out recipes from the ones like Woman Day or Family Circle, I never have a whole lot of success with the recipes themselves. I’m not sure if it is a lack of proper testing at the test kitchens or what, but there ALWAYS seems to be an issue or two that needs fixed. I got this recipe from Womans Day and it was, unfortunately, no exception. I lost the paper version, so had to look it up online and found it on their site, but the recipe itself was so fraught with errors in direction and ingredients that I had to pick through it and work with it. I’m an experienced cook, so it turned out delicious, but I shudder to think what would have happened with a novice cook. The pan size was wrong, the sugar measurements were off, etc etc.

BUT!!! Like I said, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck yesterday when it comes to cooking (yet another saying about which I ask, “wth does that even mean!?”), so I fixed the “boo-boos”. Once done, this is a delicious cheesecake bar. It uses up some of the last of the season fresh blackberries quite nicely. You have a VERY rich brownie base layered with a creamy cheesecake filling and finally that part is swirled with fresh blackberries. So your mouth gets a nice mix of “ooo, chocolate. No, creamy. No, berries!” to keep you guessing.

So, you know the drill. Get to cooking!

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

  • Brownie base-
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cheesecake filling-
  • 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 ounces blackberries, mashed (one small container)
  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch square pan with foil, leaving enough to overhand the edges of the pan. You’ll use that as a handle later to lift the brownies out of the pan. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small pot, over low heat, melt together the butter and 1 1/4 cups of the chocolate chips, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when melted and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the 3/4 cup flour, the cocoa powder and the salt. In a large bowl, on low speed with a hand held mixer,  combine the sugars and the 3 eggs. beat JUST until combined. Stir in the flour mixture and the last 1/2 cup of semi sweet chips. Gently fold the chocolate/butter mixture into this. Set aside to make the cheesecake batter.
  4. Wash your beaters and in a large bowl, on low speed, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons flour. beat just until smooth and creamy. Add in the 2 eggs and the vanilla extract; beat just until combined.
  5. Scoop about half the brownie batter (about 1 1/2 cups) of the brownie batter into the prepared pan and smooth. Top that with half of the cheesecake batter, then the last half of the brownie batter. Carefully pour the other half of the cheesecake batter on top and gently smooth it out.
  6. Put dollops of the smashed blackberries on top of the cheesecake batter and use a butter knife to swirl it through the batter, being careful not to reach down into the brownie part (though the world won’t end if you do)
  7. Bake at 350 degrees just until the top is set, about an hour. The edges will be set, but the center should still have the tiniest bit of a jiggle to it. It will finish setting up as it cools.
  8. Let cool in the pan for an hour, then refrigerate for at least two hours to overnight to finish firming up.
  9. Use the foil “handles” to lift the brownies out onto a cutting board and then use a large serrated knife to cut into bars, dipped in hot water and wiped dry in between each cut.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake



Sometimes, you just want easy. You either aren’t up to or don’t have time for pasta sauce made with organic home grown tomatoes and fresh basil. You don’t want to fuss with rolling tiny meatballs using beef that you raised yourself, slaughtered humanely (not even sure what that MEANS) and added freshly grated Parmesan to…from cheese that you made yourself.

You just want….easy. Quick. Tasty. Get me in the kitchen and out. Maybe even make enough at once that I can freeze some for another time when I’m feeling extremely lazy too busy to fuss with a huge multi course meal.

So you cheat a little. You buy some good quality jarred sauce for your pasta and doctor it up. You buy meatballs from the frozen aisle at the grocery store. You add in some spices, some delicious Italian sausage, toss it all with your favorite pasta and voila… dinner for tonight and if you make the whole recipe of what I’m about to share, dinner for 2 to 3 more nights in the future, all nicely frozen. Just wrap tightly in foil, label and freeze. Then the next time you don’t feel like cooking because you instead want to veg out in front of netflix and an orgy of Criminal Minds… I mean, next time life gets busy and you are teaching little Suzy to play the Cello while also supervising little Tommy’s soon to be award winning science fair experiment, you’ll have dinner ready to thaw and toss in the oven.

You’re welcome.

You know the drill…..

Keep in mind that this makes a lot deliberately. if you want just enough for one meal with maybe leftovers for lunch, cut it in half.

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

  • 2 lbs of your favorite tube type pasta (I used Rigatoni), cooked according to package directions, drained and set aside
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 2 lb bag frozen Italian style meatballs, thawed
  • 1 lb Italian sausage links, cooked, then coarsely chopped or sliced thin
  • 2 24 ounce jars of pasta sauce (just use your favorite flavor)
  • 1 15 ounce jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/4 pounds Mozzarella cheese, grated (please don’t use the pre-grated stuff. it doesn’t melt as well)
  • Parmesan cheese for grating on top
  • If making full batch, foil pans and foil for long term freezer storage
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 13×9 dish (I personally prefer glass because it doesn’t leave any ‘off” tastes in food) with cooking spray.
  2. Pour the olive oil in a LARGE pot. Add in the chopped onion, green pepper and minced garlic. Saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the veggies are limp and tender, but not browned. Dump the meatballs and Italian sausage in and stir for just a minute or two.
  3. Pour in the pasta sauce, the Alfredo sauce and the red wine. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning and give it all a good stir. Let come to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Now, here’s why I had you use a LARGE pot.
  4. Dump in the cooked pasta. Use a large wooden spoon to stir it all up and get the pasta all coated with sauce.
  5. Sprinkle about 3/4 of the Mozzarella cheese into the pasta, about half of that amount at a time. Stir to combine and then after it is well mixed, add the next part.
  6. Scoop or pour about 1/4 of the mixture into the prepared 13×9 baking dish. Divide the rest between two to three greased square foil pans.
  7. Sprinkle the one you’re using now with the remainder of the grated Mozzarella cheese as well as some grated Parmesan and bake in a 350 degree oven until browned and bubbly, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  8. Wrap the foil pans tightly in a double layer of foil, label the contents and freeze. To reheat them, just set the pan in the fridge early on the morning you want to make it, then about an hour before you’re ready to eat, place in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for about 35 minutes, still wrapped. Unwrap the dish, sprinkle with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and continue baking until browned and bubbly.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

Chocolate Covered Raspberry Milkshake & A Hamilton Beach Giveaway

Chocolate Covered Raspberry Milkshake

Chocolate Covered Raspberry Milkshake



Hey everybody! It’s time for a creamy Summer recipe and a Hamilton Beach giveaway. I still so love being one of their ambassadors. Their products are wonderful and this one is no exception.  Before I give you the recipe and details on the giveaway, let me tell you why you want this blender. 😀

BlenderRaise your hand if you’ve ever had a blender that came with a cheap, “look at this funny and it’ll break” plastic jar! *Raises my hand and waggles it around wildly*. Not with this bad boy. This jar is SOLID. It’s a nice thick, heavy glass jar with a good heft to it. If you can manage to break this jar, you should probably not be trusted with kitchen appliances or sharp objects, hehe.

Also, have you ever been making something in the blender and it gets stuck down by the bottom? Then you have to turn it off and shove a spoon or butter knife down by the blades and try to unclog it. That won’t happen here for two reason. The first is that this has a 700 watt motor and it makes the liquids move! The “wave action” continually forces the mixture down towards the blades so it doesn’t get clogged. This recipe used some thick ice cream and not a whole lot of liquid, but the blender had no problems breaking it down. The second is that if things DO get stuck, they give you what they call a “stir spoon”, a thick plastic spoon that works wonders for stirring things up down by the bottom of the blender.

Another plus to the Hamilton Beach Wave Action Blender is the pour spout. This one seals up when the blender is in use and gently pulls open when you’re ready to pour and you don’t end up with a puddle on the counter as you have with some blenders that are hard to pour from due to an overly large pouring area.

The ONLY issue I have with the Hamilton Beach Wave Action Blender is the lid. It fits so well that it can be difficult for hands like mine, that are arthritic, to pull off. Even if I opened the pour spout to let air in, it was still a struggle to get the lid off. BUT… that said, for those of you with no joint pain, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Now, on to what I know you want; the recipe for a creamy, delicious Chocolate Covered Raspberry Shake and a chance to win one of these fantastic blenders.

Chocolate Covered Raspberry Milkshake

  • 2 cups chocolate ice cream
  • 1/2 cup good quality chocolate milk (GOOD stuff here, not some cheap watery store brand)
  • 2 dry pints fresh raspberries
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • chocolate syrup and whipped cream for garnish
  1. Dump your raspberries in a large bowl and smash them down to pulp. The easiest way I’ve found is simply to take a flat bottomed glass and smush them. No getting out a food processor and it takes just seconds.
  2. Then, push them through a fine mesh strainer (I use the same flat bottomed glass to push them through) into a large measuring cup. You should end up with about 3/4 of a cup of puree. It’s ok if it’s a bit less or more.
  3. Dissolve the coffee granules in the chocolate milk. Pour the milk into the blender, then add the ice cream and 1/2 cup of the berry puree. If you want a thinner shake or just want to make it go farther, add a bit more chocolate milk. Just make sure to add some more raspberry puree also, so you don’t overpower the raspberry flavor with the chocolate.
  4. Use the milkshake setting on the Hamilton Beach Wave Action Blender to blend it all up until it’s smooth and creamy.
  5. Get two 8 to 12 ounce glasses out. Tilt the glasses sideways and drizzle the chocolate syrup in a circle over the inside of the glass. It will drizzle down and make a pretty design on the inside of the glass. Divide the shake mixture between the two glasses and top with whipped cream, some of the extra raspberry puree and some chocolate syrup. Enjoy!!

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Hamilton Beach provided me with a Hamilton Beach Wave Action Blender for review  and will send one to one winner of my giveaway, 18 years or older, in the United States. I received no other compensation for this and all opinions are my own.

Bacon Wrapped Faux Chicken Cordon Bleu

Bacon Wrapped Faux Chicken Cordon Bleu

Bacon Wrapped Faux Chicken Cordon Bleu



One of the things I loved when I lived in Germany many moons ago was the food. Lots of pastries and beer everywhere; what’s not to love, right? But they had excellent “real” food also. There was one restaurant my ex husband and I used to go to that served an amazing cordon bleu. This sucker was so thin and tender and filled up the entire plate with cheesy, hammy goodness. But know what? I’m rarely that ambitious 😛 I’ve made the real thing before as well as it’s cousin, Chicken Kiev and maybe at some point I will actually post those delicious recipes.

But the other night, I was tired and just wanted something a bit quicker, but still tasty. So I took the boneless skinless chicken thighs I had, schmeared them (gosh, I love the word schmeared. It’s so fun to say! Lol) with horseradish mustard (use your favorite flavor of mustard), shoved ham and cheese inside, folded them in half, then wrapped them in bacon. Then I sprinkled them with some Parmesan and baked them up. There you go. You don’t even need a recipe. 😛 I pretty much just gave it to you. Yes, it’s that easy.

But, since I love you all (not you…go away), I will make it an official recipe. Then, I feel all professional and all that rot and you all have something to print out besides my rambling. Cool with you? Alrighty then. Lets get to it.

When I made this, I used a full 9 chicken thighs because I live with pigs… I mean males. But I’ll cut this down to six for the recipe. Thing is, this is so easy, it’s simple to make it with however many you have on hand. Just increase or decrease the amounts of cheese, bacon and ham to go with the thighs.

You know the drill… get to cooking! Well, go…shoo!

And yes, I know the last thing I did was bacon wrapped, but c’mon…bacon!

Bacon Wrapped Faux Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, excess fat trimmed off
  • 1/4 cup horseradish mustard
  • 6 slices good quality deli ham (please don’t use cheap crap.I’ll cry.)
  • 6 slices Swiss, Provolone or Mozzarella Cheese (just use your favorite. I thought about using Muenster which is a favorite, but mine had molded *sobs)
  • 12 ounces good quality bacon
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or at least decent store grated)
  • Toothpicks to hold meat closed
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking dish with non stick foil.
  2. Take a chicken thigh and lay it open and flat. Drizzle the desired amount of mustard on top of the thigh. Take a slice of deli ham and lay a slice of cheese on it, then fold it in half.
  3. Lay the ham and cheese on top of the chicken thigh. Fold the chicken thigh in half and wrap it in bacon so the open side of the meat is sealed off with bacon. Secure with toothpicks if needed.  Set in the prepared pan.
  4. Repeat with each chicken thigh.
  5. Bake at 375 until the bacon is browned and the chicken thigh is fully cooked, about 35 to 40 minutes. You can run the dish under the broiler for a minute if the bacon doesn’t get crispy enough. Thighs are a bit more forgiving than breasts when it comes to overcooking.
  6. Let sit in the pan for about five minutes so they aren’t so oozy that you have no cheese left inside the chicken when you cut it. Serve.
  7. These are also really good later, when cold, sliced thin and arranged on an onion bun with some mayo!

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Bacon Wrapped Faux Chicken Cordon Bleu