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Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes


winefest_fan_club.jpgAs much as we love baking cheesecakes, we also enjoy other cooking! (Yes, we realize that is real hard to believe, but it is true!)

We will be posting some of our other favorites here, just to let you know that one cannot live by cheesecake alone!

Let us know what you think when you try these!

(Reminder… Where we live and bake out here in the glorious Grand Valley of Colorado, we are at an altitude of around 5,000 ft, so if you are baking at a different altitude, please adjust your times

Key Lime Cookies
(This one is really easy!)

1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1-1/2 tsp grated lime peel
1/2 cup confectioner's (powdered) sugar

In a large bowl, mix butter, sugar, egg and egg yolk until creamy.

Thoroughly mix in flour, baking powder, salt, lime juice and lime peel.

Spray cookie sheet with nonstick vegetable coating. 

Form dough into 1/2-inch balls. 

Place on prepared cookie sheet.(If you have it, use parchment paper, if not, spray each cookie sheet lightly with a no-stick spray.)

Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
(Turn your cookie sheets around after 4-5 minutes!)

Remove to wire rack.

While still warm, sift confectioners' sugar over cookies.(Each oven will be a little different, so keep an eye on these!

If you are using a regular oven rather than a convection oven,
you may want to turn the temperature up to 370 degrees)

The following recipe, always a fan favorite, was demonstrated on KREX TV in Grand Junction on Thursday, January 29th, 2009.

For some reason, they like having us on twice a month now, go figure!

Baked Jalapeño Pepper Poppers

Yield:  52 Pepper Poppers

26 Jalapeño Peppers (Get the largest you can find!)
2 TBS Oil
1 lb. Chorizo
1 Red Bell Pepper, Diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, Diced
1 medium Red Onion, Diced
2 Garlic Cloves, Diced
1 tsp Cinnamon

1 cup Shredded Cheese (I like a Cheddar Jack, but you can substitute your favorite!)

½ cup Cilantro, chopped
Crushed Tortilla Chips

Cut Jalapeños in half, length-wise and remove the seeds and ribs.
Place in pot of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain them well! (Always remember to wear gloves when handling Jalepenos!)

In a medium to large sauce pan, heat your oil and cook the chorizo
for 3-4 minutes. Add your diced peppers, diced red onions, diced garlic and cinnamon and cook for 4-5 minutes until translucent.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.Using a teaspoon, scoop a spoonful into each jalapeño half.

Arrange on a sheet pan or cookie pans and top each with a nice
spoonful of the shredded cheese.

Pop under a broiler for about 3 minutes, or until the cheese is
nicely melted and just starting to brown.

Pull out and transfer to serving plates and sprinkle your chopped cilantro and crushed tortilla chips over each.

For the past seven years, I have been honored to be one of the 'Peach Cuisine with Colorado Chefs' demonstrations at The Palisade Peachfest, here in Palisade, Colorado where I live.

Everybody expected me to do some kind of 10,000 calorie dessert, so what did I do?


The first two recipes here are from the 2007 & 2008 Peach Cuisine with Colorado Chefs,

Grilled Chicken Salad with Balsamic Peach Marinade, Palisade Peaches, Quinoa and Toasted Walnuts

Serves 4


1 cup fresh peaches, mashed
½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 TBS Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Honey
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
½ tsp garlic, crushed
1 TBS fresh thyme
½ cup Walnut Oil                                                                                    

4 chicken breasts


5 TBS Walnut Oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 green onions, minced
1 shallot, minced
4 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp Dijon mustard
4 peaches, large dice (1/2 inch)
½ cup radicchio, thinly sliced
4 c mixed baby greens
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup toasted chopped walnuts

Combine vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, pepper, garlic and thyme
and whisk until combined.

Add walnut oil.

Add in peaches and pour over chicken breasts.

Marinate for 2 hours.Fire up BBQ to medium high heat, cook chicken until done, about 5 minutes per side.

Whisk oil, salt, pepper, onions, shallot, vinegar, thyme and mustard
in large bowl.

Mix peaches and radicchio into dressing, toss to coat.

Add half of walnuts.


Divide Salad Mixture on 4 plates. Spoon ¼ of couscous on center
of each salad mixture

Slice chicken into thin strips and arrange over salads.

Toss remaining ½ cup of walnuts over top.

Summer Asparagus Medley with Peaches, Pistachios and Scallions


2 lbs Fresh Asparagus
1 cup Pistachios, shelled
9 Palisade Peaches
Scallions, 2 bunches
Olive oil
1 /4 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Cayenne
Salt & Pepper to taste

Trim Asparagus and blanch in boiling water, chill immediately in ice water bath.

Cut into 1 inch pieces.

Peel peaches and cut into bite-size pieces.

Clean and wash scallions, cut into bite size pieces.In a large bowl, toss cut peaches with cinnamon and cayenne.

Add Asparagus, Pistachios and Scallions and toss with olive oil to moisten.

Add Salt and Pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

From time to time, we have the privilege of cooking at The Palisade Brewery in what we call ‘BBQ at The Brewery’.

This recipe was from the very first cookout that we did there.



2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardoman
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 1/4 cups Orchard Amber Ale (opened for a while)
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnut halves


Preheat oven to 350°.

Cream together butter and brown sugar. With your mixer at low, add maple syrup.

Slowly add your flour, baking soda and spices.

Start to slowly pour Ale in until a soft dough comes into being.

Prep two cookie sheets by lightly spraying with a non-stick sprayScoop (a #70 scoop works real well and are available at most kitchen stores) or use a tablespoon and drop onto your prepared cookie sheets.

Top each with a walnut half.

Bake 12-15 minutes until lightly browned.

Cool for a minute or two on the cookie sheets then move them to a cooling rack.

(I have also finely ground up some brown sugar and cinnamon in a spice grinder, high, and dusted these right after I pulled them out of the oven!)

And for those of you who like trying something different...

(4 servings)

1 lb scrapple 

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

1/4 onion, finely chopped

4 medium eggs

Remove scrapple from the refrigerator a few minutes before using and mash with a fork or potato masher.

Add chopped onion and parsley.

Divide scrapple mixture into 4 individual bakers or custard cups.

Shape the scrapple so that it forms a cup.

Break one egg into each cup.

Bake in 350 deg F oven about 20 minutes.

You can find Scrapple in most markets.

Stir-Fried Cheesesteaks

Serves 4

1 lb Angus Roast Beef, sliced thin (or 1 lb of wafer thin sliced Rib Eye)
½ lb Provolone Cheese
1 large Yellow Onion
4 large Onion Rolls
Oil for frying


Shredded Lettuce
Sliced Tomatoes
Hot Peppers


Heat a wok or large frying pan.

Open your rolls on a plate. Place a slice of provolone of the bottom half of each roll.

Add about 1 TBS of oil to your wok/frying pan.

Add ¼ of your onions to the heated pan and stir fry for about a minute or two.

Add ¼ of your sliced beef and stir-fry for about a minute or two. (If using rib-eye, cook until no longer red or pink).

Place on top of the provolone cheese.

Top with your favorite toppings.


Pfeffernusse Spiced Cookies
(sometimes called Pfeffermusse)
Makes 24-30, depending on size

4 cups of All-Purpose Flour                                                                    

1 tsp Baking Powder                                                                             

¾ Ground Cloves                                                                                  

½ tsp Ground Allspice                                                                           

½ tsp Ground Cinnamon                                                                       

¼ tsp Ground White Pepper                                                                  

¾ cup Honey                                                                                          

1 cup Dark Corn Syrup                                                                         

2/3 cup Sugar                                                                                         

2 TBS Butter                                                                                           

1 TBS Shortening

Preheat oven to 400°

Spray 2 cookie sheets with non-stick spray (or use two sheets of Parchment Paper)

Sift together the flour, baking powder, ground cloves, ground allspice and ground white pepper in a large bowl and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the honey, corn syrup and sugar to a boil and stir until all of the sugar is dissolved.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from hear and stir in the butter and shortening.

Add 1 cup of your sifted dry ingredients and beat until smooth, then add another cup and another cup until all of the dry ingredients have been added, stirring after each addition until smooth.

After all has been added and beaten smooth, use a small ice cream scoop (or use a large spoon) and drop the batter onto the prepared batter on your prepared cookie sheets, about an inch apart.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned and firm when you touch them.Let cool.

Optional Almond Glaze

1 Cup Powdered Sugar
½ tsp Almond Extract
1 tsp Rum or Lemon Juice
2 TBS Cold Water

Stir the sugar, almond extract and rum (or lemon juice) together until completely combined. Add the water and mix until the glaze is smooth.

Dribble the glaze over the cookies while they are cooling, but still a little warm.

Beef Braised Short Ribs

(from Kitchendaily.com)

3 lb beef chuck short rib, bone in

2 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp Grey Poupon® Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp stone ground mustard

2 scallion, chopped

2 sprigs thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary

2 clove garlic, sliced

½ bottle dry Italian red wine

2 cup low-sodium beef broth

2 cup water

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Generously season ribs with salt and pepper. Heat butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat and add ribs. Sear ribs on all sides until they get nice and brown.

Remove ribs and add scallions, garlic, both mustards, thyme, rosemary. Saute for approximately 2-3 minutes then add in the wine, beef broth and water. Bring to a boil and add back in the ribs.

Remove from heat and place entire Dutch oven with lid in a 350 F oven and bake for 3 hours. Check at least once per hour and rotate the ribs. Remove entire Dutch oven and place on your stove burner.  Remove the ribs and place on a serving dish.

Turn the heat to high and let the remaining broth come to a boil and reduce down to a thickened sauce; approximately 5-8 minutes.

Strain sauce and pour over ribs.

Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

(from seasonalrecipes.com)


Serves about 6

6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, minced
3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup diced, seeded and chopped roma tomato
3/4 cup diced pineapple
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 (4 ounce) can green chili, drained
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter

Make pineapple salsa by mixing together in small bowl cilantro, ginger, 1/8 teaspoon of the salt, tomato, pineapple, onion, chiles and lemon juice; set aside. In a frying pan, place butter and melt over medium heat. Add chicken and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Saute, turning about 6 minutes, or until light brown on all sides. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook about 5 minutes or until fork can be inserted in chicken with ease. Arrange chicken on serving platter and spoon pineapple salsa over chicken. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.