White Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies

White Chocolate Blueberry Cookies platedSo my daughter moved all the way to Hawaii and had to learn to cook for herself and her boyfriend. She is not into baking, but she suggested I come up with a cookie recipe that did not require her to purchase baking products (such as baking powder or soda.)  Because she would probably never use those again. Challenge accepted! With a little help from a prepackaged muffin mix and some leftover blueberries from my lemon blueberry mini loaves recipe, this is what I came up with.


  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 (7 ounce) boxes of Jiffy blueberry muffin mix
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, vegetable oil and brown sugar.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each is added.
  3. Add muffin mix and flour until just combined.
  4. Stir in white chocolate chips. If you have chosen to add fresh blueberries, stir in as well.
  5. Chill dough in refrigerator at least 2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, line your baking sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  7. Scoop cookie dough into 1 tablespoon balls and place on your baking sheets. Be sure to keep them at least 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown on edges.
  9. In between baking batches of cookies, make sure to return unused dough to the refrigerator.
  10. This recipe yields 36 cookies.

White Chocolate Blueberry Cookies

These cookies came out crispy on the bottoms and soft in the centers. I recommend you store in an air tight container in your refrigerator to keep fresh.

So what do you think? Did I live up to the challenge, Ashley?

Joann and Ashley

Joann and Ashley


Chinese Spare Ribs in Black Bean and Garlic Sauce

Chinese Black Bean Spare RibsHere’s a traditional Chinese dish that may look complicated, but is really easy to make. The main ingredient that does all the flavoring for you is a concentrated black bean and garlic sauce.  You should be able to find this in most grocery stores that have an Asian or International aisle. I like to use the Lee Kum Kee brand, but any brand should work.

Black bean and garlic sauce


  • 2 lbs. pork rib tips (if you cannot find, substitute with country style pork ribs)
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion cut into 1/4 inch half-moons and separated
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons black bean and garlic sauce
  • 32 oz. beef broth
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice wine or mirin – not rice wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1 cup Chinese long beans cut into 1-2 inch pieces (you can substitute with fresh green beans)
  • 3 russet potatoes peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes (optional)


  1. Cut the pork rib tips into sections, leaving only one bone per section. (If you are using country style pork ribs, cut into 2 inch cubes.)
  2. In a large pot (or wok that has a lid) add vegetable oil and turn heat to medium high.
  3. When oil begins to ripple, add onions and pork. Continually stir to saute onions and pork for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add black bean and garlic sauce, enough beef broth to cover pork, rice wine (optional), sugar and stir to mix.
  5. Once broth comes to a boil, lower heat to medium low, cover pot and let cook for 1 hour.
  6. After an hour has passed, turn heat back up to high.
  7. Make a slurry in a small bowl with cornstarch and cold water. Mix well.
  8. Add remaining beef broth if any. If not add 1/2 cup water.
  9. When broth is back to a boil, add slurry mixture and stir until thickened to thin gravy consistency.
  10. Add Chinese long beans (or green beans) and potatoes (which is optional, but I like them to cut down the saltiness of the black bean and garlic concentrate.) Stir.
  11. Lower heat down to medium and cook for 20 more minutes. (10 minutes if not adding potatoes.)
  12. Serve over rice.

Makes 4-6 servings


Easy Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Cups

sugar cookie cherry cheesecake cupsIngredients

  • 2 bars of cream cheese 16 oz total
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon (or vanilla or other extract)
  • 1 log of sugar cookie dough
  • 1 can of pie filling (cherry, strawberry, lemon, etc.)


  1. Preheat oven according to sugar cookie dough package directions.
  2. Place cupcake liners in a regular cupcake pan.
  3. Mix together cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Place 1/4″-1/2″ slice of cookie dough into bottom of each liner (may have to use fingers  to create crust layer).
  5. Bake crust layer for roughly 10 minutes (they will make the liners a bit greasy).
  6. After crust is done. IMMEDIATELY add about 2 tablespoons of cheesecake mixture in the middle of the crusts and place back in the oven for 20 minutes.
  7. Refrigerate for an hour and top with pie filling of choice.
  8. Remove liners when ready to serve and plate.
  9. Makes about 18-24 cups