KNR, p. 45 “Kerrian’s Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake”



We always serve special desserts on holiday weekends, whether we are having an all day BBQ, guests at a special meal, or a sit-down dinner after church. Sheila and I work as a team on the desserts. She bakes them and I do the taste-testing while she works on the balance of sugar and chocolate. Teamwork pays off!


Sunday’s recipe is a creamy chocolate cheesecake. Sheila says that it was easy to make. It was easy to eat the samples.


Kerrian's Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake
Serves: 8-10
  • Vegetable oil for springform pan (I use almond oil)
  • 20- 2” chocolate chip cookies
  • 4 Tbs butter (salted)
  • 10 oz. Ghirardelli milk chocolate baking chips
  • 10 oz. Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate baking chips
  • 1/3 cup extrafine sugar
  • 12 oz. whipped cream cheese
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • sour cream and fresh fruit (picture shows strawberries)
  1. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and wipe the sides with oil. Crush the cookies with a rolling pin. Melt the butter in a sauce pan, remove from heat, then stir in the crushed cookies. Press the cookie/butter mixture into the bottom (and ½ inch up the sides) of the prepared pan. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Place all the chocolate into the top of the double-boiler, with gently simmering water in the bottom. Melt the chocolate, stirring frequently until thoroughly blended. Remove from heat.
  3. Add sugar and cream cheese to the mixing bowl and beat on lowest speed until smooth. Slowly add the heavy cream and beat on the lowest setting until thick and creamy. Slowly add the melted chocolate and continue to beat on lowest setting until thoroughly blended. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and beat again. Add Bailey’s and mix until blended. Mixture should now have thick pudding consistency.
  4. Spoon into the springform pan and then level surface with butter knife or spoon. Chill in refrigerator for 2-3 hours (until very firm). Transfer to cake plate and serve with fresh fruit and sour cream. Also nice with ice cream.


Kitchen tools/supplies to have on hand for this recipe:

8” springform pan,

Parchment paper,

Pot with double-boiler insert,

Standing electric mixer with large bowl & paddle attachment


Recipe variations:


If you don’t own a springform pan, or are not comfortable using one, the recipe will also work nicely in a 9” deep-dish disposable pie pan. Press the cookie crumb/butter mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the unlined disposable pan, then follow the rest of the directions as written.


Spoon any extra filling into ramekins, chill, garnish with fruit, and serve as individual desserts.


*This recipe first appeared on chocolate guru Janet Rudolph’s site:


*The photo was taken by Patti Phillips. We promise that no bodies have ever been discovered in Kerrian’s Kitchen. 😉



KNR, p. 101 “Kerrian’s Shepherd’s Pie”


Kerrian’s Shepherd’s Pie


Ireland is a land with great small pubs tucked into the corners of the countryside, both a traveler’s relief and a tourist destination. Enter at lunchtime and prepare to enjoy one of the several rustic dishes that Ireland is famous for – lamb stew, colcannon, peasant soup, brown bread, bangers and mash, fresh fish, or Shepherd’s Pie.


During one of our trips, Sheila and I realized that there are as many versions of Shepherd’s Pie as there are cooks in the kitchen. We had always thought that perhaps, except for spices, the ingredients would be the same everywhere. Nope. I think the only common factors we found were the peas and carrots in every bowl (or plate) served. Even the toppings varied from pub to pub – we had both pie crust and mashed potatoes covering the tasty meat and veggie dish. Some had ground lamb for the meat, instead of the beef that we use in this recipe.


Shepherd’s Pie, in whatever form, is a fairly simple dish to create. After tinkering a bit, this is what Sheila created. And, of course, taste tested by me.


"Kerrian's Favorite Shepherd's Pie"
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Irish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 6 cups mashed potatoes (save the potato water to be used later)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups peeled, diced carrots
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced OR two Tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 pounds ground beef (we used 93% lean)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 4 Tablespoons of the mashed potatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup potato water
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  1. Heat oven to 400F
  2. Cook carrots in olive oil for 5 minutes on medium heat, cover while cooking.
  3. Sprinkle the salt over the carrots and stir.
  4. Sprinkle the onions (or onion powder) over the carrots, mix thoroughly and cook for another 2 minutes, keeping covered.
  5. Add the beef and stir well.
  6. Add black pepper and stir thoroughly.
  7. Brown meat (about 10 mins), then drain the fat.
  8. Add butter and peas and stir.
  9. Sprinkle the flour over the mix. Mix completely.
  10. Add 4 tablespoons of mashed potatoes, potato water, and Worcestershire sauce and mix thoroughly, keeping covered while cooking 2-3 minutes to thicken.
  11. Add chicken stock and stir, continuing to cook until gravy is thick, about 2-3 minutes.
  12. Season to taste.
  13. Divide meat into six pot pie dishes, then spread about 1 cup of mashed potatoes over each one.
  14. Arrange pies on cookie sheet in center of oven and bake about 20-25 minutes, until potato topping is lightly browned on top.

Serve right away, with brown bread and butter.

*Photo by Patti Phillips




KNR, p. 18 “The Giants are going to the Superbowl!”

(First posted in 2012, when the Giants really were on their way to the Superbowl. Alas, in 2013 and 2014, they did not even make the playoffs. The recipe still works, tho.  🙂  🙂


I don’t like to brag, but my team is going to the SUPERBOWL! And with a heart attack OT win! We expected a great game, but this was outstanding!


Sheila wasn’t all that happy about the Giants getting this far, but our fan rivalry is (mostly) good-natured and she took the ribbing pretty well.  At least she didn’t boo or wear her (purposely anonymous here) team’s colors during the game.


People descended on the house an hour before the playoff game against the 49ers, ready to eat. The guys from Homicide brought cheese steaks, Sheila put together subs, and I made our famous football soup. This one is a surprise favorite with our crowd, just right for the people who can’t handle my four-alarm chili and can be fixed from scratch to bowl in the time it takes to cook the rice.



Hearty Vegetable Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 32 oz. box Swanson’s no msg chicken broth
  • ¼ cup uncooked Basmati rice
  • 1 19 oz. can Progresso minestrone
  • 1 15 oz. can Progresso black beans
  • 1 15 oz. can petite cut diced tomatoes (with jalapenos if you can handle the kick)
  • 1 15 oz. can mixed veggies
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  1. Pour the chicken broth into a large pot. Add the rice. Cover and cook on medium-high until boiling, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the minestrone, black beans, diced tomatoes and mixed veggies and return to boil. Stir frequently until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let ‘rest’ for 20 minutes before serving. The flavors will deepen for a more savory taste.
  4. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle parmesan cheese on top, and enjoy!


Like the vegetable combination, but want to make it into a meal all on its own? Add meatballs. Now that’s a hearty soup.  🙂


Scroll to Top