Things with Cream Cheese

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

make-ahead-mashed-potatoes

There is so much cooking to do on Thanksgiving Day which is why I like to do as much prep as possible the day before.  This way, I can enjoy the day and just pop things into the oven.  Peeling, boiling, and mashing potatoes, while trying to time all of the other dishes, is one of the most frustrating parts of preparing the Thanksgiving feast.  So, a few years ago, I started making these mashed potatoes and I haven’t looked back.

They are just as creamy and luscious as any potatoes I’ve ever made on the day and the cheesy parmesan crust makes these Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes even better than the standard version of mashed potatoes!

This recipe was inspired by Ina Garten’s Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes Recipe.

Ingredients:

Approximately 8 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

Milk, to taste

1 bar cream cheese

1 stick of butter

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Grated parmesan cheese

Boil the potatoes in a large pot until soft all the way through.  Drain the potatoes in a colander and remove all of excess water.  Immediately put the potatoes back into the pot, add the cube of butter and bar of cream cheese.  Put the lid back on the pot and let sit for five to ten minutes, so the butter can melt and the cream cheese can soften.

Using a hand mixer, blend the potatoes until they are broken apart and well blended with the butter and cream cheese.  Add the milk in small parts and continue mixing until they are smooth and have very few lumps.  Make sure the potatoes are a little runnier than you like, as they will lose some moisture in the fridge overnight.  This way, they will be the perfect consistency when you serve them.  Also, the cream cheese helps prevent the potatoes from drying out.

Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Put the potatoes in a buttered 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.  Let cool completely, cover, and store in the refrigerator.  Take the casserole out of the fridge approximately one hour before baking time so they are at room temperature when you put them in the oven.

Sprinkle them generously with the parmesan cheese.  Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the cheese is browned on top and the potatoes are heated through.  A good way to test this is to insert a knife in the center.  If a good amount of steam comes out, then they’re ready!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars with cream cheese and Heath Bar bits!  These moist, chocolately bars are simple to prepare.  The combination of pumpkin, spices, and chocolate chips make these perfect for any Fall-themed or holiday potluck dessert.

Joanna brought these yummy treats to a work potluck and they were a total hit.  Her addition of the cream cheese and Heath Bar to the original recipe puts these bars over the top (genius!).

Ingredients:

1 box of spice cake mix (dry)

1 – 15 oz. can of pumpkin

1 cup chocolate chips (I can’t lie. I added a little more than this.)

1 bar cream cheese, softened

1 bag of Heath Bar bits

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl with a mixer.  Don’t worry if there are some chunks of cream cheese after your finished mixing (bonus bites of cream cheese in these bars is a good thing!)

Grease a 9 x 13″ pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.  Let cool completely.  Cut into squares and store in an airtight container until potluck time!

Quick and Easy Chocolate Oreo Truffles

Quick and Easy Oreo Truffles

Only 3 ingredients are needed for these Quick and Easy Chocolate Oreo Truffles!  You can keep it simple by rolling them in powdered sugar or get fancy with crushed candy, coconut, sprinkles, or nuts.

This recipe was provided by Sam from the Sugar and Sam Blog.  She and I share an affinity for chocolate and Cadbury Mini Eggs and I love her blog!  She has tons of fun recipes, so check out it out at http://sugarandsamblog.com.

Ingredients:

1 box of Oreos

3/4 cup (or 6 ozs.) of cream cheese, softened

Powdered sugar, nuts, crushed candy, or other ingredient of your choice, for rolling

Put all of your Oreos into a really good blender or food processor and blend until most of the big chunks are gone.  If you don’t have a blender or food processor, put them in a large ziploc bag and crush them using a rolling pin or the smooth side of a meat tenderizer.  Pour the crumbs into a large bowl.

Cut the cream cheese into small cubes and pour in the bowl with the crumbs.  Mix together until smooth.  Measure out approx. 1/8 cup (or use a melon baller) and roll into small balls.  Place them on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper.  Once they’re all rolled out (it should make approx. 24 balls), then roll them in powdered sugar or your favorite ingredient.

Place in an airtight container until Potluck Time!

 

 

 

Chicken Tortilla Dish

Chicken Tortilla Dish

This Chicken Tortilla Dish is a rich and buttery version of white chicken enchiladas!  The combination of butter and jack cheese makes the tortillas crisp up perfectly, while the green chiles give it just the right amount of kick.  These are absolutely delicious and perfect for any potluck.   Thank you, Mara, for sharing this recipe!

Ingredients:

8 flour tortillas, dipped in butter

4 chicken breasts, cubed and cooked

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 oz. can green chiles

2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

Salt

Pepper

1/4 cup cooking sherry

1/2 lb. grated jack cheese

1/2 pint heavy whipping cream

Coat a 9 x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray.

Mix together the softened cream cheese, sherry, chicken, chiles, cilantro, salt, and pepper.  Put some filling  in the center of a tortilla, roll it like an enchilada, and place it in the baking dish.  Repeat until you’ve rolled all the tortillas, making sure to divide the mixture evenly between all the tortillas.

Sprinkle jack cheese on top of the tortillas and then pour the whipping cream over the top evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

This pumpkin soup is great for any Fall potluck!  The combination of pumpkin and cream cheese give it a rich, creamy texture and the cinnamon, ginger, and brown sugar provide just the right amount of sweetness.  The original inspiration for this soup came from The Joy of Cooking cookbook.  I omitted the ham and added a bar of cream cheese.

Ingredients:

1 T. butter or olive oil

1 cup minced onion

1/2 cup minced celery

3 cups canned pumpkin

3 cups scalded milk

1 bar of cream cheese

2 T. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

Heat the butter or olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and celery and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes.  Stir in the pumpkin, milk, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.

Heat through, but do not boil.  Use an immersion blender, or a regular blender, to puree the soup.

You can make this soup the day before your potluck.  Reheat the soup on low and then transfer to a crockpot for potluck time.  You can also serve it with a side of toasted pumpkin seeds or croutons for toppings!

Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Bars

These pumpkin bars are insanely delicious!  The combination of pumpkin and cinnamon, topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting make these bars a perfect dessert for any Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Fall potluck.  Thank you to Joyce, who got the recipe from Debbie, for sharing these!

Ingredients:

Bars:

4 eggs

1 cup oil

2 1/4 cup sugar

16 oz. can pumpkin

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup chopped nuts, optional

 

Frosting:

3 oz. cream cheese, softened

6 T. butter or margarine, softened

1 T. half and half or orange juice (which ever you have)

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Beat eggs, oil, and sugar.  Mix in pumpkin, then flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir in nuts.  Pour into a greased 12 x 11 inch baking pan (you can also use a 9 x 13 inch pan).  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.  Let cool completely.

Beat cream cheese with butter or margarine until creamy.  Add half and half or orange juice, powdered sugar, and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.

Spread the top with cream cheese frosting.  Cut into bars*.  Makes 40.  Refrigerate until potluck time.

*Alternate serving idea:  Use a 9 x 13 inch pan and serve it as a pumpkin cake instead!

Pizza Dip

Everyone loves this ridiculously easy dip!  This recipe comes from Brandy, who got it from Kori J.  And if you like this one, you have to try the Salsa Dip recipe.

Ingredients:

1 box cream cheese

Pizza Sauce

Shredded Cheese

Pepperoni (optional)

Black olives (optional)

Spread cream cheese in the bottom of a 9 x 13″ glass dish.  Pour pizza sauce over the cream cheese.  Top with shredded cheese.  Top with optional pepperoni and/or black olives.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Serve with sliced baguette.

Salsa Dip

Everyone loves this ridiculously easy dip!  This recipe comes from Brandy, who got it from Kori J.  And if you like this one, you have to try the Pizza Dip recipe.

Ingredients:

1 box cream cheese

1 jar of Pace salsa

Shredded Cheese (cheddar or a mexican blend works best)

Tortilla chips

Spread cream cheese in the bottom of a 9 x 13″ glass dish.  Pour salsa over the cream cheese.  Top with shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Chili Cream Cheese Dip

Chili Cream Cheese Dip

You can’t go wrong with chili, cheese, and lots of cream cheese in this dip!  Ridiculously easy to make and eat, it’s great served with tortilla chips.  And if you make this for a bbq potluck, you can steal some to make an amazing topping for your burgers and hot dogs!

Thank you to Jamie G. for sharing this great, go-to potluck dip recipe!

Ingredients:

2 packages of cream cheese

3 cups shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese

4 oz. jar of diced, green chiles

1 can Hormel chili with beans

1 can Hormel chili with NO beans

Dash of hot sauce

1 bag of tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13″ pan with PAM.  Take the 2 boxes of cream cheese and break into 1 to 2 inch pieces with your fingers until the entire pan has a layer of cream cheese.  In a bowl, mix together the chili, green chiles, and hot sauce.  Pour over the cream cheese.  Top with the shredded cheese.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until the dip is bubbling.  Serve with tortilla chips!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

If you love buffalo wings and blue cheese, then you have to try this dip!  My friend, Jamie G., shared this recipe and it is so good!

Ingredients:

1 cooked, small rotisserie chicken (meat, pulled and shredded)

2 packages of cream cheese

1 cup ranch dressing

3/4 cup Franks hot sauce

1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 stick of celery, diced (optional)

3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13″ glass pan with PAM.  Mix chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over low heat, until heated through.  Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing and diced celery (optional).  Cook, a few minutes, stirring until warm.  Mix in half the cheddar cheese, and transfer the mixture to glass pan.  Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheddar and blue cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted!  Serve with Wheat Thins and celery!