Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats: February 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

Salted Caramel Rice Pudding Cheesecake

This post is sponsored by Veetee, but all opinions are my own.

Salted Caramel Rice Pudding Cheesecake...two wonderful desserts put into one!  Creamy, salty and full of caramel flavor! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Hey dear readers!  I'm back with my second installment in my partnership with Veetee rice. Did you have a chance to check out my Chicken Cordon Bleu Wild Rice Soup?  It tastes EXACTLY like the classic dish, only in soup form.  My family devoured it in about 3.5 seconds.

For this recipe, I got a bit crazy and used rice in a dessert!  I know it sounds weird, and well maybe it is, but trust me when I say it works.

I planned this stunning dessert around our Sunday dinner {Baked Ravioli Lasagna + Short Cut Chopped Caesar Salad}, because what Sunday pasta dinner doesn't go well with cheesecake?  I added sea salt and caramel, because you know, sea salt + caramel = perfection.

Salted Caramel Rice Pudding Cheesecake...two wonderful desserts put into one!  Creamy, salty and full of caramel flavor! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

What I love about Veetee rice is the simplicity.  Conveniently packaged in 10 oz. portions, it is perfect to heat up {in just 2 minutes!} to add along with a stir-fry, to mix into meat to amp-up tacos or to bulk up your favorite homemade soup.

I've used their brown rice, long grain white rice, wild rice and so many others.  In fact when my supply runs out and I have to go back to cooking rice the normal way I may just shed a tear.  Like real tears!  Not like the tears I shed over the weekend when one child had an accident in the bathroom, another child slammed her finger in the door and the other child was waiting for me in the van ready to go....ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

It will not be that kind of emergency.  But, it will be a sad, sad day.

Salted Caramel Rice Pudding Cheesecake...two wonderful desserts put into one!  Creamy, salty and full of caramel flavor! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

The bottom of this cheesecake is a crunchy, salty layer of vanilla wafers.  The perfect combo to go with the creamy, rich cheesecake layer that is studded with cream cheese {of course!}, sour cream, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, sugar, caramel and rice!

Yes, rice.

We've all heard of rice pudding, a popular dessert, so I figured why not combine the two? Classic rice pudding is when rice is cooked with milk until creamy and mixed with sugar, salt, cinnamon and often raisins.  It is about the only rice dish eaten as a sweet version.

Until now.

Wow.  These cheesecake bars hit our table after dinner and everyone stayed silent until their plates were virtually licked clean.

Salted Caramel Rice Pudding Cheesecake...two wonderful desserts put into one!  Creamy, salty and full of caramel flavor! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

There are a multiude of reasons to put this Salted Caramel Rice Pudding Cheesecake on your next menu that needs a stunner of a dessert.

1.  Umm....cheesecake.
2.  Salted caramel.
3.  It's incredibly easy.
4.  Make your friends guess the secret ingredient! 

Have fun with this one peeps.  It bakes up easily in a 9x13 pan {no fancy springform pan!} and doctoring up a store bought jar of caramel sauce with some sea salt can be mastered by anyone.

Salted Caramel Rice Pudding Cheesecake

Crust:
40 vanilla wafers, crushed
1/4 c. butter, melted
2 T. sugar

Filling:
4 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
1 T. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
1 t. sea salt
4 eggs
10 oz. cooked Veetee long grain white rice {or 1 1/2 c. cooked white rice}
3/4 c. caramel topping + additional for topping

1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line a 9x13 baking pan with tin foil allowing it to come up the sides.  Spray heavily with cooking spray.
2.  In a microwave safe bowl melt the butter.  Add in the sugar and crushed vanilla wafers and stir. Pour the wet crumb mixture into the pan, spreading out and pressing down to form a crust.
3.  In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer start mixing the cream cheese until it's smooth. Add in the sour cream and sugar until fluffy.
4.  Add in the eggs one at a time until combined.  Mix in the caramel, cinnamon, vanilla, and sea salt. Finally fold in the cooked rice.
5.  Pour the cheesecake mixture over the crust.
6.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  The cheesecake will be slightly cracked and a bit firm to the touch, yet still a little jiggly.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.  Then refrigerate for 4 hours.
7.  To serve, cut into squares, drizzle with caramel and sprinkle with additional sea salt. Store extra in the fridge for up to one week.  

Salted Caramel Rice Pudding Cheesecake...two wonderful desserts put into one!  Creamy, salty and full of caramel flavor! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

A big thank you to Veetee for sponsoring this post!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hot-n-Cheesy Slow Cooker Chicken Sandwiches

Need an easy, family friendly, fuss friendly dinner?
This one is for you!

Hot-n-Cheesy Slow Cooker Chicken Sandwiches...5 minutes of prep, 6 hours on LOW, dinner is ready!  Cheesy chicken on a bun! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

A few days back I needed a dinner that was simple to prep, required little maintenance, was slow cooker friendly and would feed the whole family.

If you are a mom you know that can be tough!

I searched the interwebs {that's the internet for you techy folks} and scoured for something easy.  We had a full day ahead of us and I needed a hot dinner to come home too.  Well, I guess we didn't NEED a hot dinner to come home to, but I WANTED a hot dinner to come home to....it just sounded good.

We had eaten our share of cold meat sandwiches over the weekend and for once I wanted to act like a food blogger and create a....meal.

Hot-n-Cheesy Slow Cooker Chicken Sandwiches...5 minutes of prep, 6 hours on LOW, dinner is ready!  Cheesy chicken on a bun! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I will be the first one to say that this meal isn't the "healthiest", but it is tasty and sometimes after a long day {tell me again why the kids had Monday off from school?} you want something filling and HOT.

I gave it this fancy name of Hot-n-Cheesy Slow Cooker Chicken Sandwiches, but really it could be called Slow Cooker Chicken Dump Sandwiches.  As like shown in the photo above, you literally dump in some pantry ingredients, along with chicken breasts and call it good.

All you really need is a good sized slow cooker {I use this 6-quart version - on sale for just under $30!} and some decent hamburger buns.  Not the cheap pack-of-8 version you can get at the store for 99 cents.  Splurge my friends and get the ones that are double the size, coated in seseme seeds and usually sell for around $2.99.

You see you need GOOD BUNS {in both life, and for eating, for opposite reasons}.  A good bun will not let you down.  It will not let the mixture soak through and make the bun fall apart.  This is essential.

Hot-n-Cheesy Slow Cooker Chicken Sandwiches...5 minutes of prep, 6 hours on LOW, dinner is ready!  Cheesy chicken on a bun! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This meal reminded me a bit of a turkey dinner.

Except it is chicken.

And there are no potatoes.

But it is creamy, hearty and rib-sticking good, just like a turkey dinner.

I worked SO HARD at this dinner {the 5 minute prep really did me in} that I went simple and served these sandwiches along side some sweet potato chips and fresh fruit.  Actually I'm wondering if it took me longer to open up the bag of chips and cut up the fruit than to actually make the dinner?

I'll never know.

Hot-n-Cheesy Slow Cooker Chicken Sandwiches


6 frozen, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. cubed Velveeta
4 T. unsalted butter
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper

1.  In a 6-quart slow cooker layer in the following; frozen chicken breasts, creamed soups, Velveeta, butter and seasonings.  Place the lid on and cook on LOW for 6 hours.
2.  After six hours remove the lid and taking two forks shred the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and combine with the sauce.  Keep on warm until ready to serve.
3.  Serve on GOOD buns with a side of chips and fruit.

Hot-n-Cheesy Slow Cooker Chicken Sandwiches...5 minutes of prep, 6 hours on LOW, dinner is ready!  Cheesy chicken on a bun! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

One Bowl Sour Cream Chocolate Birthday Cake

Homemade cake can be so easy.
This one only requires a bowl and an oven!

One Bowl Sour Cream Chocolate Birthday Cake...mix it all up in one bowl and watch it get devoured! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I love this cake so much I could scream!  I also loved it so much I had to put half of it in the freezer in fear I'd forget to take care of my own children as my whole mind, body and spirit was consumed by it's dark, rich, cocoa flavor.

I've never been one to be addicted to something.  I love an occasional drink, but I don't need it.  I never dabbled in anything stronger than alcohol.  I never had an afflication with video games or gambling.

But this cake my friends, was soon becoming an addiction.

Do they have a Cake Eater's Annonymous club?

One Bowl Sour Cream Chocolate Birthday Cake...mix it all up in one bowl and watch it get devoured! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

So imagine the horror when the husband started pulling that darn leftover cake out of the freezer for THREE NIGHTS IN A ROW after dinner.

I turned away.  I pretended to ignore seeing the pleasure on his face while taking bite after bite.  I left the room when the kids started joining in on the fun.

It was awful.  It was like being a kid stuck in a candy store, yet not being able to sample anything.  I wanted to tell myself, "just one bite" but I knew better.  I've never met a cake that could grab you by the lips and suck you in as much as this one did.  

One Bowl Sour Cream Chocolate Birthday Cake...mix it all up in one bowl and watch it get devoured! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

The whole point of making this deliciously evil cake was because it was the husband's birthday weekend.  He got his requested cheesecake but had to share with friends, so like a sucker I felt sorry for him and made him MORE dessert on his actual birthday.

I'm so nice.

I'm so nice I made myself suffer.

Prehaps what makes this cake so good is that it requres limited ingredients, one bowl and the oven. My five year old and my two year old even helped!  I handled the frosting, but the cake was all their doing.

Its richness comes from the sour cream, I have no doubt.  It has deep flavor, is incredibly moist and will stay fresh on the counter for 3 days.  I have proof.  After three days it was still so damn good that I {as you know} threw it in the freezer.

One Bowl Sour Cream Chocolate Birthday Cake...mix it all up in one bowl and watch it get devoured! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

The next time you have a birthday celebration in your house dig up this recipe!  If they like chocolate that is...this will become their new favorite.

And don't forget the frosting.  It's makes it.

One Bowl Sour Cream Chocolate Birthday Cake 

2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. cocoa powder
1 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 eggs
2/3 c. sour cream
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 t. vanilla
1 c. hot water

Frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter
4 T. cocoa powder
6 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
4 c. powdered sugar

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13 cake pan with cooking spray.  
2.  Using a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3.  Add in the eggs, sour cream, milk, oil, vanilla and hot water.  Using a spatula stir to combine into a thin batter.
4.  Bake for 40-43 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let the cake cool completely before adding the frosting.
5.  To make the frosting melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in milk, vanilla and cocoa powder.  Take off the heat and whisk in the powdered sugar.  Continue to stir until smooth. The frosting will be thick.  Spread over the cooled cake.
6.  The cake will stay fresh covered on the counter, but can also be kept in the fridge.

One Bowl Sour Cream Chocolate Birthday Cake...mix it all up in one bowl and watch it get devoured! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Want other birthday cake inspiration?  We love every single one on this list!


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The BEST Potluck Baked Beans

Oh, these beans!  This recipe will be the one that everyone asks you for...

The BEST Potluck Baked Beans...these will be the hit of the party!  Sticky, salty and sweet this is the only way you'll want them from here on out! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Did everyone recover from Valentine's Day?

Even if you are not attached to someone via a legal document I hope you were able to spend the day, or at least a part of the day with the people you love.  Or at least watching sappy romantic dramas on Netflix and dreaming of that someone who got away.

Hey, we've all been there.

This mushy holiday is always a double holiday for us as the husband's birthday is a couple of days prior.  I'm always torn.  One gift?  Two?  Combine it all and call it good?  Well, as it turns out we had company over the weekend, so I made his requested birthday dinner, my homemade lasagna {seriously, the best} and this homemade cheesecake with cherry topping, not only for him but to feed the crowd.  It was all a big hit.

He may have had to stay upright after that dinner due to overconsumpution, but it was all good.  Then since I was feeling super ambitious and he had to "share" his dessert over the weekend I went ahead and baked him a cake after everyone left.

It's coming next.  You don't want to miss it! 

The BEST Potluck Baked Beans...these will be the hit of the party!  Sticky, salty and sweet this is the only way you'll want them from here on out! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Then the next night I made him another dinner {either I'm really nice or I was really bored!}.  I cooked up a delicious pork tenderloin, sauteed onions and mushrooms and served these beans on the side.

I'm not going to lie. My baked beans usually consist of opening a can.  And honestly, I did do that here....but hold on, I doctored them up so well, it became a new dish.  One that my family loved and I am sure with be a hit among the potluck circle come this Spring.

Is there such a thing as a potluck circle?

Here's the other piece of the puzzle.  It's been warmer here than it really should be.  It's February in Iowa and we've been enjoying some 50 degree weather days.  We should have snow and wind and cold.  So I'm technically getting WAY ahead of myself and I'm already longing for Spring.  We've been stuck inside since November and I'm over it.

So, hence...these beans.

The BEST Potluck Baked Beans...these will be the hit of the party!  Sticky, salty and sweet this is the only way you'll want them from here on out! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I most definitely think of baked beans as a summer food. In fact my birthday dinner requested every single August for the past 35 years {gulp} has been burgers on the grill, this insanely good potato salad and baked beans.

Every year.  Never changes.

Warmer weather has me craving warm weather food.  The other day it was a juicy B.L.T. Heck, even one day it was a salad.  This weekend?  Baked beans.

Being who I am, I doctored this up, probably to the point that some might even have to search for the beans, but trust me, this dish is delicious!  It can be made a day ahead and sit away in the fridge to forget about or can be thrown together right before it goes in the oven.

The BEST Potluck Baked Beans...these will be the hit of the party!  Sticky, salty and sweet this is the only way you'll want them from here on out! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Impress your church ladies, card club or extended family with these beans!  And don't forget the bacon strips on top slathered in barbecue sauce.  It makes the dish taste better and look better.

And then promptly tuck away this recipe for summer as you'll want to put it on your weekend barbecue schedule.

The BEST Potluck Baked Beans


1 28 oz. can baked beans 
1/2 lb. ground pork sausage
8 strips of bacon
1/4 c. honey
1 T. onion flakes
1 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 c. barbecue sauce

1.  In a skillet over medium-high heat cook the ground sausage until no longer pink.  Drain off the excess grease and set cooked sausage aside.
2.  In that same skillet chop 4 slices of the bacon into bit sized pieces and cook until crisp.
3.  In a large bowl combine the cooked sausage, bacon, beans, honey and spices.  Stir together and pour into an 8x8 baking dish.
4.  Lay on the remaining 4 strips of bacon and liberally brush with the barbecue sauce.
5.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top bacon is crisp.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes before eating.

The BEST Potluck Baked Beans...these will be the hit of the party!  Sticky, salty and sweet this is the only way you'll want them from here on out! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Need some other great potluck inspiration?  I have some great ones!


Friday, February 10, 2017

Double Glazed Citrus Loaf

This delicious, mouthwatering quick bread reminds me of Spring!
Grab some oranges and lemons and get baking.

Double Glazed Citrus Loaf...tangy, soft, full of citrus flavor and glazed...TWICE! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

There are a few things I've realized in the past two days.

1.  I want to go back to the tropics where it is 80 degrees, sunny and spectacular.
2.  I'm having a hard time not drinking a mojito at breakfast here at home.
3.  I was completely at a stand still today at lunch when the amazing buffet of chips, salsa and guac weren't placed in front of me.
4.  I will continue to rub tinted lotion all over me in the hopes my tan lasts until June.
5.  I realized yesterday that I haven't baked since the holidays.

So I may be in a bit of a funk.  We came back to cold temperatures and having to shovel snow.  My face is peeling, yet I'm stuck in the middle of winter!

In an attempt to feel "spring-ish" I grabed some orange juice, some freshly squeezed lemons and got to work.  While firing up the KitchenAid mixer I suddenly thought to myself, "I haven't baked anything since the end of December!"

That needed to change.


Double Glazed Citrus Loaf...tangy, soft, full of citrus flavor and glazed...TWICE! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I wanted to bake a quick bread that would be great with morning coffee or as an afternoon pick-me-up when the kids got home from school.

And....it needed a glaze.  A thin, syrupy glaze full of flavor that soaked in and stayed put.  I'm pretty sure I accomplished both.  I even went as far as poking holes in the cooled bread with a kabob stick so that when I poured the glaze over it went through the whole loaf.

Oh, and a fun tid bit.  I learned on vacation that sucking on lemons {or limes} gets rid of the hiccups! We may or may not have had an episode of extreme hiccups at dinner one night. And it works people, it really works.


Double Glazed Citrus Loaf...tangy, soft, full of citrus flavor and glazed...TWICE! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Shortly after these photos were taken a set of little two year old fingers grabbed the cut up lemons, a hunk of the bread and walked away liked she owned the photo shoot.  She promptly sat down at the table and had herself a little snack.

"What are you doing?"

"Eating".

"Did you ask for a piece?"

"No, but excuse me mama, I'm eating."

Well, okay then.


Double Glazed Citrus Loaf...tangy, soft, full of citrus flavor and glazed...TWICE! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

If you have an event you need to bake for, this Double Glazed Citrus Loaf would be perfect! It makes two large loaves, or four smaller ones.  Great to deliver to a friend or neighbor, make for a baby or wedding shower or as the sweet for Sunday brunch.

Double Glazed Citrus Loaf


3 eggs
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. orange juice
3/4 c. vanilla Greek yogurt
2 t. vanilla
3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 lemon - juice and zest

Glaze:
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 lemon - juiced
3 T. orange juice
1 t. almond extract

1.  In a stand mixer or large bowl with a hand held beater combine the eggs, applesauce, orange juice, yogurt, vanilla and sugar until smooth.
2.  Zest the lemon fully into the batter and then cut in half and squeeze all juice {careful to catch the seeds} also into the batter.
3.  Sift together the remaining dry ingredients, adding to the mixture and fold together gently.
4.  Pour into two greased loaf pans.
5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until a deep golden brown and the center is set.  Allow to cool completely.
6.  When the loaves have cooled, use a kabob stick or a fork and poke small holes into the loaf.
7.  To make the glaze sift the powdered sugar in a bowl.  Add in the orange juice, almond extract and the juice of a lemon.  You will want a thin glaze, so if too thick add in more orange or lemon juice. Pour half of the glaze over the cooled loafs and allow it to harden.  Then pour the remaining glaze of the loafs.
8.  Store in airtight containers to keep fresh.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Fried Nutella Wontons

Just three ingredients and you have a thrilling dessert on the table!

Fried Nutella Wontons....just 3 ingredients and you have a delicious, hot, crispy, oozing with chocolate dessert! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

If you are reading this...guess what?  I'm on vacation!  Yes, I'm soaking in the rays on a tropical island far, far away from any work, kids or stress.  I would have loved to bring you along, but alas my luggage has a weight ban and my swimsuits, loungwear, books and tolietries are MUCH more important that....well, you.

Sorry.

But, I didn't want to leave you empty handed.  I most certainly don't want you to be thinking about me getting pampered or being served on hand and foot 24/7.  Not at all.  I will not have cocktails in my hand, chilled and ready for sipping.  I will not go to dinner and order multiple entries just because I can.  And I will NOT order room service.

I'm lying.

I will be doing all of that.

Fried Nutella Wontons....just 3 ingredients and you have a delicious, hot, crispy, oozing with chocolate dessert! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

In between packing and list making {hello, both of our parents need to know how to keep these children alive while we're gone}, I made these Fried Nutella Wontons.

For no reason at all really.  Just because it was a random Monday afternoon and the babe of the family was napping and I was a bit bored.  

I had leftover egg roll wrappers in the fridge that I wanted to use up and a half eaten jar of Nutella in the cupboard.  A dear old friend of mine {hey, Erica!} made something similar to these years ago while I was at her house.  I remember all of us devouring them hot out of the oil dusted with powdered sugar {really, the only way to eat them} and then I promptly forgot about them until some 10 years later.

Biggest mistake of my life.

Fried Nutella Wontons....just 3 ingredients and you have a delicious, hot, crispy, oozing with chocolate dessert! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

It really was a shame the older two kids were at school when I made them, as I had them all to myself.  Hot, crispy, oozing with melted chocolate.

I saved the rest for the kids who had them for an afterschool snack {unhealthy, I know haters}, but they heated up nicely in the microwave and they were none the wiser.  The house may have smelled a bit like a fried donut factory, but I chalk that up to another lesson in cooking for them.

Fried donut smells trump everything else in life.

Gather up these 3 simple ingredients {wontons, Nutella and powdered sugar} and watch this special treat disappear before your eyes!

Fried Nutella Wontons

Print this Recipe!

1 pkg. wonton wrappers
1 jar Nutella
powdered sugar
oil for frying {I used canola oil}

1.  In a deep skillet or dutch oven pour in enough oil to cover the bottom and come up the sides 1inch and bring to a medium-high heat.  You will know the oil is hot and ready when it starts to "ripple".
2.  Cut the wonton wrappers in half on an angle making triangles.  Place a teaspoon of Nutella in the center.  Using wet fingers {a small bowl of water near by helps}, fold over the wonton and seal the edges.
3.  Place in the hot oil cooking about 30 seconds on each side.  These will cook up very fast, you know they are ready to flip when they've turned golden brown.  Immediately remove from the oil, place on a paper-towel lined plate and dust with powdered sugar.
4.  Eat them fresh and hot!

***Please note you can make as little or as much of these wontons as you like, just fry up as many as you know you will eat at the time.  Leftover wonton wrappers will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 1 month, just seal them tightly in a plastic bag.

Fried Nutella Wontons....just 3 ingredients and you have a delicious, hot, crispy, oozing with chocolate dessert! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)