Sunday, January 17, 2010


Decadence: dec⋅a⋅dence  /ˈdɛkədəns, dɪˈkeɪdns/ [dek-uh-duhns, di-keyd-ns]; unrestrained or excessive self-indulgence. I think that explains tonight's food gorging accurately.

See, Pete and Colleen are visiting, which is so much fun. You know those friends that have known you long enough that you don't have to explain everything with a whole story? You can quote a movie line and everyone laughs because you all watched it together almost a decade ago (or more), and it was funny then, so it still is. I love that. Having friends visiting is also a perfect excuse to make food, and lots of it, and not just hamburger gravy, but to break out that roast that you froze, waiting for an occasion to make it. Yeah, that's what we did, actually.

First, we made Awesome Pot Roast.

My modifications to the recipe:

I dip the meat in flour and sear it in a pan before putting it into the crock pot. (And, obviously, I use a crock pot liner. This time I forgot until everything was in the crock pot and I literally dumped it into the liner, washed the pot and put it all back in. It was so worth it, I didn't even have to rinse the pot after dinner.) This roast was half-size, so I halved everything, and I added beef bouillon to the water to make beef broth. When it was done cooking, I picked up the liner and just snipped it and let it pour through a strainer into a sauce pan, then brought the strained drippings to a boil. I added about two tablespoons cornstarch and a teaspoon or two of beef bouillon to a quarter cup of cold water and mixed it into the drippings

We also had green beans and plain ol' mashed potatoes:

And what's Sunday dinner without bread? I was planning to make rolls from scratch, but was running short on time. So, I pulled out my backup Rhoades rolls, only to find I only had a dozen. (Not nearly enough for our now-large families.) And I couldn't do my other backup, because I only had a dozen Pillsbury bread sticks. So, I did both. I made Italian-Style Rosettes with the bread sticks. I didn't post a picture when I made them before, so here you go:

So, we ate. And ate. And ate. I think we have a couple of rolls and some green beans left--and that's all. Mmmmmm . . .

Now, for the inspiration for this post. Yesterday, as Colleen and I sat in the kitchen chatting, she was flipping through my February issue of Better Homes and Gardens which had just arrived. She came to a recipe for Decadent Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cheesecake and said, "Mmmm. This looks good." I looked at it, and had to heartily agree. I said, "We could make it for dessert tomorrow." So, we did. It is incredibly heavy and rich. And even though we made it with milk chocolate chips, it had almost a bitter, dark chocolate taste.

Decadent Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cheesecake
18 graham cracker squares, finely crushed (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tbsp sugar
2 8-oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate pieces (I used milk chocolate chips)
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
peanuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine crackers, melted butter, and 2 tbsp sugar. Press into bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch springform pan; set aside. In bowl beat 1 pkg. cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in peanut better and 1/4 cup sugar until combined. Fold in 1 lightly beaten egg; set aside.
2. In saucepan stir chocolate over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Cube remaining cream cheese; add to chocolate. Stir to combine. Stir in milk and vanilla until smooth. Fold in 2 lightly beaten eggs. Spread half the chocolate mixture into pan. Carefully spread all the peanut butter mixture over layer. Evenly spread remaining chocolate mixture.
3. Bake 45 minutes or until top is set when lightly shaken. Outer 2 inches of top will be slightly puffed and dry-looking; center will look darker and wet. Cool in pan on rack 15 minutes. Use small sharp knife to loosen crust from sides; cool 30 minutes. Remove sides of pan; cool completely on rack. Cover, chill 4 hours. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving. (Sprinkle with peanuts if desired.)

Here's what our slices (well, except for Adam's, his was a little mangled thanks to me) looked like:

As we sat finishing off second (and maybe third helpings of dinner), I said, "You know what would be really good with that cheesecake? That Bunny Tracks we have in the freezer." Pete said, "You two are really bad for each other!" No doubt about it, it was a gluttonous meal. But so delicious. And I even think it was worth it. Mmmm . . .


John Quintana said...

Thanks for the tip on the crock pot liners. I will have to remember that one ;). And good call on the modified Pilsbury. Looked great!

Stephanie said...

Looks tasty!

Molly said...

This reminds me I was going to by those liners for throw up bowls.

Molly said...

Ha! The fact I spelled buy wrong is proof I can't talk on the phone, calm a fussy baby, and type! I should stick to multitasking and leave the multi-multitasking to the professionals!