Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pot Roast Sandwiches and Tater Salad! Yum!

A few weeks ago, I was in California visiting family, and I happened to go to a deli that had “pot roast” sandwiches.  I was so excited!  Until I got my sandwich.  I was picturing a gooey, gravy laden, cheesy hot sandwich.  You know, like pot roast your grandma used to make…..simmered all day with carrots, onions and potatoes.  What I got was a cold sandwich with what looked like sliced roast beef on it.  I guess perhaps it was pot roast at one point.  Pot roast that was cooled, drained of gravy and sliced thin?

I knew then and there that I was going to go home and make the best possible pot roast sandwich I could.  One that was exactly what I didn’t get at the deli.  A gooey, cheesy masterpiece was what I was after.  I practiced a few times.  I read every pot roast recipe I could find on Pinterest.  I took random polls over the phone (No I didn’t).  I think I came up with a pretty phenomenal pot roast sandwich.  It made a mess when I ate it….and I think that is a pretty good indicator.

Like I said, I read every recipe for pot roast that was on Pinterest.  Some had liquid, some didn’t, some had exactly five pepperoncini placed atop the roast, and some had butter thrown in.  I took some helpful hints from some of these, and came up with a recipe all my own.  And no, I didn’t carefully and artfully arrange pepperoncini atop my roast.

I started with a beef chuck roast that actually said on the package “Great for pot roast!”  Well, perfect.  I knew I was going to use my slow cooker, so I browned my roast on all sides in a large pot first.  I am a firm believer in browning my meat before it takes a long bath in the slow cooker.  I think this adds flavor and texture.

I set my browned roast on a bed of thinly sliced onions because onions are a must for pot roast. Now it gets fun.  Well, fun for me anyway.

I sprinkled a package of mushroom gravy mix over my roast, and then a package of dry ranch dressing mix.  I also added two tablespoons of butter, and then I covered the entire thing with one bottle of beer.  Any kid will do.  I used pale ale, but use what you have. 

I let this cook all day on low.  When my roast was about thirty minutes from being done, I added a pound of fresh sliced mushrooms to the slow cooker.  This gives the mushrooms a bit of time to cook, but not too much.  They can’t stand the hot tub all day like onions can.

When the roast is done, it will literally fall apart when you try to take it out of the pot.  I shred the meat with two forks and then return it to the slow cooker to absorb all the yummy juices.

I serve my sandwiches on soft, fluffy rolls topped with melted provolone cheese.  Every sandwich gets roast, tons of mushrooms and tons of onions.  I think my sandwich has everything I was looking for at the deli in California.  It was gooey, warm, dripping with juices and melty cheese, and all together fantastic.  And anything made in the slow cooker is an automatic win since it is virtually no work.


What to serve on the side….hmmmmmmm.  How about Grilled (or roasted) German Sweet Potato Salad?  This is one of my favorites.  It is packed with sugary grilled sweet potatoes, bacon, green onions and a tangy mustard dressing.  And no mayo…….Yes, this salad is perfect for summer parties. 

If you happen to have your grill going, by all means, slap your sweet potatoes on there.  But, if you used your slow cooker for pot roast, you probably don’t.  This salad is equally good with roasted sweet potatoes.  I promise.

I start by par-boiling the sweet potatoes.  This just means that I threw them in a pot with water and boiled them until they were fork tender, about 20 minutes.  I didn’t peel them or cut them for this step.  I put the whole potatoes in cold water.  Once the water came to a boil, I set the timer for 20 minutes.

Once the potatoes cooled enough that I could touch them without getting third degree burns, I sliced them into wedges.  Then, I coated them with a bit of olive oil.

From here, the potato wedges can go straight onto the grill, or straight into a hot oven.  If you are grilling the wedges, it is about two minutes per side.  The skins might char a bit….no big deal, just toss that part.

If you are broiling them, same idea, just flip them after two minutes.  Then go another two.

When the potatoes were done grilling, I chopped them into bite sized pieces and mixed them in with some cooked bacon and green onions. 

The dressing for this salad is Gourmet Rooster Carolina Style BBQ sauce (a mustard based BBQ sauce), sugar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and salt & pepper.  This all gets whisked together and poured over the potatoes, bacon and green onions.  The warm potatoes soak up the dressing and are filled with flavor.  Sweet potatoes are perfect with mustard!  And bacon!

This salad gets better the longer it sits.  It is perfect for a potluck because it can sit on the table and nobody has to worry about getting food poisoning from rotten mayo.  I love mayo as much as the next guy, probably more, but I think this salad is the perfect potato salad.  And I know this salad is perfect with a pot roast sandwich!  Try it!  You’ll like it.


Perfect Pot Roast Sandwich

2 tablespoons oil

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

3-4 pound chuck roast

1 onion, sliced

2 Tablespoons butter

1 package dry mushroom gravy mix (.75 ounce)

1 pacakge dry ranch dressing mix (.4 ounce)

12 ounces beer

1 pound white button mushrooms, sliced

4 to 6 large sandwich or hoagie rolls

6 slices provolone cheese

Brown roast (in oil) on all sides in a large deep pot, about 3 to 4  minutes per side over high heat.  Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper.

Layer onion slices in the bottom of slow cooker.  Place roast on top of onions.  Sprinkle gravy mix and ranch dressing mix over roast.  Add butter and beer.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

When roast is 30 minutes from being done, add mushrooms.  Cook remaining 30 minutes.

Remove roast from slow cooker and shred meat.  Return shredded meat to slow cooker.

Split rolls in half and layer provolone cheese over bottom halves.  Broil in oven until cheese is melted and rolls are slightly browned, about 4 minuites.

Top bottom half of rolls with roast, mushrooms, onions and cooking juices. 

Makes 4 to 6.


Grilled Sweet Potato German Potato Salad

4 large sweet potatoes

½ cup green onions, diced

10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 tablespoons Gourmet Rooster Carolina Style BBQ sauce

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

½ cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon

Par boil sweet potatoes in a large pot filled with boiling water  until fork tender, about 20 minutes.  Let cool, and slice into wedges.  Coat wedges with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.

Grill wedges over direct heat for about 1 to 2 minutes per side or broil in oven for 2 minutes per side.  Let cool and chop into bite sized pieces.  Add grilled potatoes to green onions and bacon.  Combine remaining ingredients to make dressing and pour over salad.  Serve warm or cold.

Serves 6

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Shmears For Everyone!

If you could only have one food for the rest of your life….what would it be?  Hands down, no question….mine would be cheese.  Any kind of cheese.  Just think of how versatile cheese is.  True, I guess my diet would be lacking in vitamins and nutrients, but my calcium would be off the charts!  I think my favorite cheese is cream cheese.  I think cream cheese is a welcome addition to just about anything.  Especially a bagel.

I love bagels and cream cheese.  I dream about them.  For me, there is no better breakfast.  But you know what?  The bagel is really just a vehicle for the cream cheese.  I couldn’t care less about the bagel.  I just want cream cheese.  Plain is fine….but it is flavored that I really want.  Chive, jalapeno, strawberry, chocolate chip….I could go on all day.

I’ve had to come up with a few recipes of my own because I really can’t go out for bagels and cream cheese every morning.  Well, I suppose I could, but that really isn’t practical, now is it.  Today I am going to show you my three favorite flavored cream cheese, or “shmears” if you prefer that term.

And the best thing about these recipes?  They are all super easy!  Anyone could make these. 

My first recipe is for Sun Dried Tomato Cream Cheese which is my all-time favorite.  When I went to college in Chico, there was a little coffee shop that had bagels and sun dried tomato cream cheese.  It was too die for.  I spent way too much time there.  I probably missed out on a few classes because of my bagel addiction.

The recipe starts with a brick of cream cheese as all my flavored cream cheese recipes do.  It must be softened, so I usually leave it out on the kitchen counter for a while.  I also always use Neufchatel cheese which is the 1/3 less fat kind.  It tastes the same as full fat, so why not save some fat and calories?

I like to use my standing mixer for this, but a hand mixer works just as well.  I throw my softened brick of cream cheese into the bowl of my standing mixer.  I add sun dried tomatoes that come in oil, but I drain the oil off the tomatoes and give them a quick rinse...and a quick chop.  Why do I bother using the ones packed in oil you ask?  I prefer the texture of the tomatoes that come in oil, but the oil itself will make the cream cheese too liquidy.  I also add fresh basil, fresh minced garlic, salt and pepper.  I blend this until smooth, and it’s ready to go.  I like this spread on an onion bagel.  I also always add sliced tomatoes.

This spread is salty, a little bit spicy from the black pepper and all together amazing.  I know there are some other Chico alum that remember this spread from CafĂ© Paolo.  You know you want some.

My next spread is a combination of everything you would want if you were getting a bagel from a delicatessen in New York City. Seriously, everything.  I actually call it my “Everything Spread”. 

I start with a softened brick of cream cheese again, but this time I blend it with sliced smoked salmon, red onion, garlic salt, capers, poppy seeds and some lemon juice to round it all out.  I start this one in my food processor since I don’t want to chop all of the ingredients.  I blend this till smooth, but still a bit chunky.  You don’t want to turn the lox into paste.  I like this on an “Everything” bagel, but really, it would be good on a plain bagel since it has so much going on.  And like my last spread….I always top this with sliced tomato.

I love this spread because it is briny, salty, sharp from the onions and super fresh tasting because of the lemon juice.  This is a New York bagel experience in one bite.

My last flavored cream cheese is for all of the sweets lovers out there.  You know who you are.  You get a blueberry bagel, or a pumpkin bagel.  You stick with fruity cream cheese or maybe a cinnamon flavored shmear.  My kids are like this.  For them, I created my Peanut Butter, Honey and Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese.  Most the time I can’t even get them to eat the bagel too.  They lick the cream cheese off like frosting on a cupcake.

I start with my brick of softened cream cheese (I told you I would every time!) in the bowl of my mixer.  I add peanut butter and honey and blend till this is all mixed.  Then, I add mini chocolate chips and give it a little blend as to not break the chips.  I love this on a strawberry bagel or a cinnamon sugar bagel.  I like to top this with sliced bananas or……BACON!  Yum!

I love the saltiness of peanut butter with the sweetness of honey.  And chocolate chips for breakfast?  Come on….everyone loves that!

For those days when you just can’t get your act together to go out and buy bagels….try one of my recipes!  A brick of cream cheese and a bag of bagels, and you really can’t go wrong!

Sun Dried Tomato Cream Cheese

8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, rinsed and chopped finely

¼ cup basil leaves, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer, or a mixing bowl if using a hand mixer.  Blend until almost smooth, leaving tomatoes a bit chunky.

Makes 1 heaping cup


“Everything” Cream Cheese

8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature

3 ounces smoked salmon, roughly chopped

½ cup red onion, roughly chopped

¼ cup capers, drained

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

The juice of one lemon

Place all ingredients in food processor.  Pulse until blended, leaving salmon chunky.

Makes 1 ¼ cups


Peanut Butter, Honey and Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese

8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature

½ cup creamy peanut butter

2 Tablespoons honey

¼ cup mini chocolate chips

Place cream cheese, peanut butter and honey in bowl of standing mixer of mixing bowl if using a hand mixer.  Blend until completely smooth.  Add chocolate chips.  Blend quickly to mix in chocolate chips.

Makes 1 ½ cups

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Fondue for Your Mama!

It’s almost my day!  OK, ok….it’s a day for all mothers, but believe me….I milk it for all it’s worth.  I love getting breakfast in bed, getting little gifts from my kids, and not having to lift a finger all day.  Well, the “not lifting a finger” thing never really happens, but one can always dream.

One thing I really like on Mother’s Day is watching my husband attempt to cook dinner for us.  Let’s get one thing straight here….the hubs in not a cook.  I mean, he can’t even make boxed macaroni and cheese.  Everything about the kitchen befuddles him.   But on Mother’s Day, he steps up to the plate and cooks dinner.  And the last few years have been a doozy….because he finally found something he can make.  He found a few of my recipes for fondue, so now in our house, Mother’s Day is Fondue Night!  And it is my favorite night.

I have always loves fondue, ever since I was a kid.  I love the idea of everyone sitting around a steaming bowl of melty cheese, and dipping bread chunks into the cheese until you can’t stuff anymore in you.  It is a meal that brings your family together.  You can’t eat fondue in your room while watching TV.  You have to be with a group.  You have to be involved.  And really, what mom doesn’t want all her family at the table enjoying dinner together?  This is why fondue is the perfect Mother’s Day meal.

I am a fan of the old standard fondue, or course, but I won’t be giving you a recipe for that.  You know, the Swiss cheese fondue that people normally think of when they hear fondue?  There are recipes everywhere for that, so you can surely find a recipe for that on your own.  My only suggestion is to substitute white grape juice for the wine and Kirsch if you are feeding kids.  My kids can sniff wine out in anything.

Speaking of my kids….my first fondue recipe that my husband likes to make is one I call “Kid’s Fondue”.  Because yes, this is the one my kids love, and the one they always ask for.  I start with a jar of pasta sauce, any flavor, you pick. I usually choose a meaty pasta sauce. I also use a pound of processed cheese product….yes, Velveeta.  Remember, this is for kids!  I melt the two of these together with a bit of red wine (yep, the kids know it’s there) and a bit of beef stock. 

Once this has all melted together, it really is heavenly.  You will be surprised that something so simple can be so amazing.  I give the kids chunks of sourdough bread, chunks of salami, ravioli and roasted broccoli as dippers.  They are as happy as clams with this.

My second fondue recipe is my favorite, so it is the one that my husband always makes sure to make me for Mother’s Day.  I call it Smoked Cheddar and Apple Fondue.  I use apple juice, a smoky cheddar, Fontina cheese, nutmeg, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard.

I start by grating the cheeses.  Sometimes it helps to pop the cheeses in the freezer for a few minutes to get a better grate.  Once the cheeses are grated, and I use about half pound each, I toss the cheeses with a couple of tablespoons of corn starch.  The corn starch is absolutely necessary for a smooth fondue.  It stabilizes the cheese and keeps it from getting stringy, or seizing up.

Then, I add my apple juice to a medium sized pot.  I heat the apple juice to a simmer, and then I add the cheeses that have been coated in corn starch.  I cook this slowly over medium heat so that the cheese can melt.  Once the cheese is melted and smooth, I stir in a pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper.  I also stir in a heaping spoonful of Dijon mustard.

See how easy that is?  Fondue is the perfect thing to make if you are a newbie cook.

The apple juice and smoky cheddar are amazing together.  I love the combination of sweet and salty in this.  I like to serve this fondue with bread, of course, but also fresh green apple slices.  Sometimes I will round out the dippers with boiled potatoes and chunks of grilled chicken, but the bread is always the first to go.

Are you wondering how I keep my delicious fondues warm for serving?  No, I don’t have a plethora of fondue pots.  I have one tiny fondue pot which I like to use for a dessert fondue (we will get to that in a bit), but I mainly utilize my slow cookers for fondue.  I like to keep the slow cooker on “warm” which seems to be the perfect setting for fondue.  I also have used a Pyrex or glass dish that I have warmed in the oven beforehand.  The dish will retain the heat and keep the fondue warm for a bit.  You may just have to eat fast.

We are finally to the best part….the dessert!  I prefer the old standby….chocolate fondue.  But I jazz mine up, of course.  I like to make my Dark Chocolate Fondue with Philadelphia Snack Delights.  Have you heard of this?  It is relatively new.  It is basically flavored cream cheese, which isn’t new, but these flavors are.  The flavors are all sweet, dessert type flavors like Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate, Caramel and Cinnamon.

I use a whole tub of Dark Chocolate cream cheese, semi-sweet chocolate chips, heavy cream and a dash of orange extract.  I melt this all together, stirring constantly, until it is smooth and delicious.  The cream cheese gives the fondue an extra creamy tanginess that you don’t normally get in a chocolate fondue.  And the orange extract takes this to a whole new level.  I LOVE orange and dark chocolate together.

I serve my Dark Chocolate Fondue with chunks of pound cake, strawberries, marshmallows, pretzel rods and graham crackers.  I bet you could come up with some pretty good dippers too.


Can you think of a better way to end Mother’s Day then this fondue?  If you have a mom or even just know a really good mom, you must make these for her for Mother’s Day.  Gather ‘round the whole family….and get to dippin’!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you amazing moms out there!  And don’t forget to come see Gourmet Rooster and many other fabulous vendors at the Mother’s Day Farmers Market at the Summit Mall on Sunday, May 12th, 10am to 3pm!


Kid’s Fondue

16 ounces tomato pasta sauce, any flavor

16 ounces processed cheese product (Velveeta), diced

½ cup red wine

½ cup beef broth

In a medium sized sauce pan, bring wine and broth to a boil over medium high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and add sauce and diced cheese.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted and fondue is smooth.

Serve in a fondue pot or slow cooker to keep warm.

Feeds 6 hungry kids


Smoky Cheddar and Apple Fondue

8 ounces smoked cheddar, grated

8 ounces Fontina cheese, grated

2 tablespoons corn starch

1 cup apple juice

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard

Toss grated cheeses with corn starch.

IN a medium sized sauce pan, heat apple juice to a simmer over medium heat.  Add cheeses and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted and smooth.  Stir in nutmeg, salt, pepper and mustard.

Serve in a fondue pot or slow cooker to keep warm.

Serves 4 to 6


Dark Chocolate Fondue

8 ounces Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese (Philadelphia Snack Delights)

12 pounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

¼ cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons orange extract

IN a medium sized pot, melt together chocolate cream cheese, chocolate chips and heavy cream over medium heat, stirring frequently.  Once chocolate is smooth, stir in orange extract.

Serve in a fondue pot or slow cooker to keep warm.

Serves 4 to 6

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cookie Butter!!

I have a new obsession.  Like crazy obsession.  Have you tried Cookie Butter?  Have you heard of it?  Cookie Butter is an amazing treat that is somewhat similar to peanut butter in texture.  But it is made from cookies.  Yep, cookies.  I don’t know how they do it, but they blend cookies that taste like graham crackers into a smooth, thick butter. 

Who makes such a yummy treat, you ask?  I have found my favorite at Trader Joe’s.  It is in a peanut butter-esque jar, and it is called Speculoos Cookie Butter.  Apparently Speculoos cookies are some sort of magical Belgian cookie.  My second favorite, and it is a very close second, is Biscoff Spread.  It is made from Biscoff cookies, which are again….European.  Biscoff is pretty widely available.

The first time I tried cookie butter, I knew I wanted it on everything.  As a dip for pretzels, on sandwiches, on pancakes, on ice cream, by the spoonful, etc.  I started getting creative with it.  I have come up with a million different uses, and today I am going to show you my three favorite.  So run on out and get yourself some cookie butter because you will want to make all three of these recipes ASAP.

My first recipe is Cookie Butter Whoopie Pies.  Whoopie pies are cake like sandwich cookies, basically.  The filling in the middle is usually pretty similar to frosting.  I use a chocolate cake mix for my “cookies” and my filling is a magical mixture of cookie butter and marshmallow fluff.  Let me walk you through it.

I start with a chocolate cake mix.  Easy enough, right?  But instead of following the directions on the back, I use butter instead of oil, a little bit of milk instead of a large amount of water, and two eggs.  The object is to get a thick cake batter.  While cake batter would normally be runny, this will be thick like cookie dough.  I scoop the batter onto a cookie sheet with a mini ice cream scoop and let the guys bake for about eight minutes.  The cookies will flatten, but they will remain cakey and soft.

The filling for these Whoopie Pies is just what I said above.  I mix together marshmallow fluff with Cookie Butter in my mixer.  I add a smidge of milk to smooth it out.  This filling gets sandwiched between two of my cooled cake like cookies.  The result is pure genius.  The cookies are soft and chocolatey and the filling taste like smooth creamy graham crackers and marshmallows.  The whole thing is very reminiscent of S’mores.

The best part about these?  They take minutes to make and they could not be easier.

My next use for Cookie Butter is in a soft, smooth buttercream frosting.  I bake lemon cupcakes, again from a mix, and the cupcakes get topped with a mixture of butter, Cookie Butter, powdered sugar and heavy cream.  Are you kidding me?  Heaven on a cupcake.

For my lemon cupcakes, again, I don’t follow the directions on the box.  I use milk instead of water, and I throw in an extra egg.  This makes for a richer, less “store-bought” cupcake.

For the frosting, I mix Cookie Butter, softened butter and powdered sugar in my standing mixer.  I add a dash of heavy cream to smooth things out. 

The lemon cupcakes pairs so well with the Cookie Butter Buttercream.  I have always loved lemon and graham crackers together, and this combination is beyond perfect.  I gave these cupcakes to my daughter’s softball team last night, and they were a hit!  I think this frosting would also be perfect on a spice cake, or even a carrot cake.  Really, what cake wouldn’t benefit from a Cookie Butter Buttercream?

My last little treat using Cookie Butter has a long name……Cookie Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Strawberries.  Did I just blow your mind?  These are the perfect dessert “finger food”.  They look fancy, but they really are so easy to make.

I start by cutting just the very bottoms of my strawberries off.  This will give them a flat bottom to sit on.  These need to stand up since they are getting stuffed!  Then, I hull the strawberries with my melon baller, scooping out a tad more than just the hull so I have a nice little well to fill with cheesecake.

Once the strawberries have been cut and hulled, I dip them in melted chocolate and let them sit on their little flat butts while the chocolate hardens.  While they sat, I blended together softened cream cheese, Cookie Butter, powdered sugar and a bit of heavy cream.  Once this was smooth, I piped it into my strawberry “wells”.  I used a piping bag, but you can absolutely spoon it in if you want.  I let these guys chill in the fridge for a bit, and then I serve and let the compliments fall all over me.

Everybody loves chocolate covered strawberries, right?  When you stuff them with Cookie Butter Cheesecake….it takes it to a whole ‘nother level.


You’re on your way out to buy Cookie Butter now, right?  You should be.  This stuff is amazing!

Cookie Butter Whoopie Pies

1 boxed chocolate cake mix, any brand

2 eggs

¼ cup butter, melted

¼ cup whole milk

For filling:

1 cup marshmallow fluff

1 cup Cookie Butter, Trader Joe’s or Biscoff

1 tablespoon whole milk or heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, blend together cake mix, melted butter, eggs and ¼ cup whole milk with a hand mixer for two minutes, scraping sides of bowl frequently.  Batter should be thick.  Scoop batter onto cookie sheet using a mini ice cream scoop for even sized cookies.  Space cookies about 1 to 2 inches apart. 

Bake cookies at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes.  Let cool.

For filling:

In a large mixing bowl, blend together marshmallow fluff, Cookie Butter and milk/cream with a hand mixer until fluffy and smooth, about a minute.  Divide filling evenly among half of the cookies.  Top each with another cookie, forming a sandwich.

Makes about 30.


Cookie Butter Buttercream

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened

1 cup Cookie Butter

3 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream

In a large mixing bowl, blend together softened butter, Cookie Butter, powdered sugar and milk with a hand mixer until fluffy and smooth.

Makes enough for 24 cupcakes.


Cookie Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Strawberries

1 pound ripe strawberries

Two 7 ounce containers Baker’s Dipping Chocolate

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup Cookie Butter

½ cup powdered sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream

Rinse and dry strawberries.  Using a paring knife, cut off the very bottom of each strawberry to help it stand up.  Hull each strawberry with a melon baller or teaspoon, taking out a little extra to form a well. 

Melt dipping chocolate according to package directions.  Dip each strawberry in melted chocolate, letting chocolate go about ¾ the way up.  Set strawberries upright on foil to let chocolate harden.

In a large mixing bowl, blend together softened cream cheese, Cookie Butter, powdered sugar and milk or cream with a hand mixer until smooth.  Fill each strawberry “well” with filling.  Let strawberries chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Makes about 20.