Archive for the ‘Kitchen’ Category

Cheesecake of the Month – February 2017!

February 15, 2017

I was perusing Pinterest the other day and ran across a recipe that sounded positively wonderful.  It is technically a pie, but a pie that incorporates a bit of cheesecake into the recipe.  I can’t wait to try it.

Upside Down Cheesecake Apple Pie

Ingredients
2 pie crusts
2 packages (8-ounce each) of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 eggs
6 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1/2 cup of sugar
2 Tablespoons of flour
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
Caramel sauce (garnish)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a pie pan with a pie crust.

2.  Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla on high speed until fluffy.  Add in the eggs and the milk and mix until combined.  Pour the mixture into the pie crust.

3.  In a large bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, sugar, flour, and cinnamon.  Place the apples on top of the cream cheese mixture.

4. Top the apples with your second pie crust, turning the crust inward.  Cut a few small slits into the top of the pie.

5.  Place the pie on a cookie sheet, cover loosely with foil, and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the apples are soft.  Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.

6.  Place a large plate over the top of the pie and flip it upside down onto the plate.  Cool for one hour  then refrigerate at least four hours.  Serve cold with caramel sauce.

Source: Recipe by Spend with Pennies at http://www.spendwithpennies.com/upside-down-cheesecake-apple-pie/

Cheesecake of the Month – January 2017!

January 15, 2017

I found a UK recipe, so I’m having to convert from metric to US measurements.  This may take a little “fiddling” with to get just right, but here’s my best guess.  Regardless, the flavors sound delicious and I can’t wait to give it a try.

Fresh Ginger Cheesecake

Ingredients
1 cup of crushed gingersnap cookies
1/4 cup of butter, melted
3 (8-ounce packages) of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of sugar
1 Tablespoon of flour
2 teaspoons of fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon of lemon juice (I may try lime juice just to be different)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of whipping cream
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 (8-ounce) carton of sour cream
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1/3 cup of caramel topping
Crystallized ginger, cut into strips (optional)

Directions
1.  Preheat your over to 350 degrees.  Stir together the crushed gingersnap cookie crumbs and the butter.  Press onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.  Bake for 5 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until smooth.  Beat in the sugar, flour, ginger, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt.  Beat in whipping cream just until combined.  Stir in the eggs, one at a time (do not overbeat).  Pour over crust and place in a shallow baking pan.

3.  Bake about 45 minutes or just until the center is set.  in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and the 2 Tablespoons of sugar.  Spread this mixture over the top of the baked cheesecake.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Loosed the crust from the sides of the pan.  Chill in refrigerator for at least four hours.

4.  Just before serving, warm the caramel topping and spoon over the top of the cheesecake (allow some to drip down over the sides).  Top with strips of the crystallized ginger is you desire.

Cheesecake of the Month – December 2016!

December 15, 2016

This month I will be doing a variation on a theme.  I have previously posted a recipe for a chocolate toffee cheesecake, but I’m going to change it up a bit to make a more “festive” holiday version (courtesy of Epicurious.com, thank you).

Christmas Cheesecake with English Toffee

Ingredients
Crust
1-1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup of toasted almonds (chopped)
1/2 cup of English toffee bits
2 Tablespoons of dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
6 Tablespoons of butter (melted)

Filling
4 packages (8 ounce each) of cream cheese
1 cup of brown sugar
4 eggs
1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of almond extract
8 ounces of chocolate-covered English toffee, diced

Topping
16 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Assorted candies (holiday colored M&Ms, gumdrops, etc.)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the first five ingredients for the crust in a medium bowl.  Add the butter and stir until evenly moistened.  Press the mixture over the bottom and up the sides of a 10″ springform pan.  Bake the crust for 5 minutes and set aside.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

2. Beat the cream cheese and the sugar in a large bowl until blended.  Beat in the eggs (one at a time).  Add the two extracts.  Pour half of the mixture over the crust; sprinkle the toffee pieces over the batter; pour the remaining mixture over the toffee.  Bake until the edges done but the middle is still jiggly (approximately 55 minutes).  Remove the cheesecake, but keep the oven on.

3. Mix the sour cream, the sugar, and the vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth.  Pour the topping over the hot cheesecake and return to the oven to cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack, run a knife between the cake and the sides of the pan and refrigerate overnight.

4. Remove the pan, slice, garnish with the candies, and serve.

Awesome Slaw!

December 11, 2016

I generally a fan of cole slaw despite the fact that the mayonnaise makes it a little less healthy option for consuming cabbage.  I will definitely be a fan of this recipe for slaw that doesn’t require mayonnaise, a win, right?  Well, it may not have mayonnaise, but it does have bacon which probably drops it right down to a category of bad equal to that of mayonnaise.  Alas, what is one to do.  But for all of you bacon lovers out there, here’s another option for you.

Bacon Slaw

Cook six (6) slices of thick-cut bacon in 1 Tablespoon of olive oil; drain the bacon and crumble. To the bacon drippings: add 1/2 sliced red onion, 1/4 cup each of the cider vinegar and the water, 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of celery seeds.  Mix well then toss with six (6) cups of shredded cabbage; add the bacon and toss.  Enjoy!

Source: www.foodnetwork.com

Seasonal Holiday Tart!

November 29, 2016

If you are looking for something new this holiday season, here is a recipe for an amazing tart (courtesy of Sqirl’s pastry chef, Meadow Ramsey).

Hazelnut-Rosemary Caramel Tort

Ingredients
Pastry
1 cup, plus 2 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt
1-1/2 sticks of cold butter, cubed
2 large egg yolks
Ice water

Filling
1-1/2 sticks of butter
1 Tablespoon of chopped rosemary
1-1/2 cup of hazelnuts
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 cup of packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup of brown rice syrup
1/4 cup of honey
1 teaspoon of fine sea salt
2 Tablespoons of heavy cream
1 Tablespoon of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Flaky sea salt (for garnish)
Whipped creme fraiche (for garnish/serving)

1.  Make the pastry.  In a food processor, pulse the flour with the confectioners’ sugar, baking powder, and fine sea salt.  Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Ad the egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of ice water and pulse until the pastry just comes together; add another tablespoon of ice water if it seems dry.  Turn the pastry out on to a work surface and pat into a disk.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled (about an hour).

2.  On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a 12-inch round.  Ease the round into a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom, pressing it into the corners and up the side.  Trim off any overhang.  Freeze the tart shell for 30 minutes.

3.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights.  Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes before removing the pie weights and parchment; bake for an additional 10-15 minutes longer, until it is lightly browned.  Allow to cool completely.

4.  Make the filling.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat.  Remove from the heat and add the rosemary (allow to steep for 20 minutes).  Strain the butter into a small bowl and let cool.

5.  Spread the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven  until fragrant and golden (the skins should just be starting to split, about 12 minutes or so) .  Let them cool slightly then transfer the nuts to a kitchen towel and rub together to remove the skins; let them cool completely.  Coarsely chop the hazelnuts and spread them in your cooled tart shell.

6.  In a large bowl, beat the whole eggs and yolks with the brown sugar, brown rice syrup, honey and fine sea salt.  Gradually whisk in the rosemary butter then whisk in the cream, flour, and vanilla.  Pour the filling into the tart shell and sprinkle the flaky sea salt on the top.  Place the tart shell on a rimmed baking sheet and bake the tart for 50 minutes at 375 degrees (until the filling is set at the edge, but slightly jiggly in the center).  Remove from oven and cool completely.  Store in the refrigerator.  Serve at room temperature (or just slightly chilled) with a dollop of whipped creme fraiche (or plain whipped cream).

Source: the November issue of Food & Wine magazine, p. 98.

Cheesecake of the Month – November 2016!

November 15, 2016

Here’s a recipe supplied by a friend of mine (thank you Martha) that may take a bit of experimenting (as I’m forced to convert from metric [grams, centimeters, and milliliters] and centigrade).  But if I can get it close, this one sounds marvelous!

Lemon and Sultana Cheesecake

Ingredients
500g cream cheese
150ml heavy cream
125g sugar
3 medium eggs (separated)
grated zest of 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon of cornflour mixed with the juice of 1 lemon
100g sultanas (white raisins)

For the “crust”
1 medium egg
40g sugar
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
40g flour
15g butter, melted and cooled

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (C).  Grease and line a 20 cm springform pan with parchment.

Make the crust: whisk the egg and sugar together until the mixture becomes soft and moussey (it should leave a ribbon-like trail when the beaters are lifted).

Fold in the lemon zest, flour, and butter very gently using a large metal spoon.  Spoon into your pan and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the cake is golden.  Press it lightly in the middle  and it should spring back.  Remove from the oven and cool.

Beat together the cream cheese, heavy cream, sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest vanilla, and cornflour mixture until thoroughly combined.

Whisk the egg whites in a  clean, bowl until stiff peaks form.  Fold one large Tablespoon of egg white into the cream cheese mixture to loosen it then gently fold everything together.

Carefully spoon the mixture into the pan on top of the crust.  Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until it is set but still has a slight jiggle in the middle.  Cool in the pan, then chill overnight before serving.  Remove from the refrigerator 30-60 minutes prior to serving.

Source: “Tea Fit for a Queen,” by Lucy Worsley (London: Ebury Press, 2014)

Eat More Chicken!

November 1, 2016

Here’s a recipe that will make it easy to abide by the Chick-Fil-A slogan to “eat more chicken.”

Chicken with a Mustard/Bacon Sauce

Ingredients
1/3 cup of Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon of paprika
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
8 strips of bacon, uncooked and chopped
1 cup of chopped onion
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
3 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
1-1/2 cups of chicken broth

Directions
1. Combine the mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Spread mixture evenly over both sides of the breasts and set aside.

2.  In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon on medium-high heat until it starts to brown.  Remove the bacon to a plate.  Add your chopped onion to the bacon grease and cook until softened.  Remove from the pan.

3.  Add 1 Tablespoon of oil to the hot skillet and cook the mustard-smeared chicken on medium heat for about 1-1/2 minutes per side.  Remove the chicken (it won’t be done, but will continue to cook in a later phase of the recipe).

4.  Add the chicken broth to the skillet and scrape the bottom of the pan.  Bring to a boil.  Add back the bacon and the onions and mix well.  Add the chicken breasts back to the skillet and reduce the heat to low-medium and cook for about 15-20 minutes (turning the chicken once), or until the chicken breasts are fully cooked.

Serve with wild rice and your choice of vegetable (I use my carrots au gratin recipe and freshly steamed broccoli).

Cheesecake of the Month – October 2016!

October 15, 2016

Here’s a new recipe that I will be trying out this week that was forwarded to me by a friend (thank you Justin).  I’m sure it will be just as delicious as it looks! (And, super easy to make!)  I may have to make these for next week’s event . . .

Snickers® Cheesecake

This visual “how to” video has been circulating on facebook . . . https://www.facebook.com/buzzfeedtasty/videos/1810535682532406/

Or, if you prefer the printed word (an actual recipe) over a video representation, check out an actual recipe at: http://www.handletheheat.com/snickers-cheesecake/

Substitutions in the Kitchen!

May 4, 2016

How often have you found yourself missing an occasional ingredient when you are cooking or baking?  Here is a handy infographic that provides some simple and basic substitutions for just such an occasion.  Happy cooking/baking!

this-for-that

Trivia in the Kitchen, Number Fifty-Five!

September 19, 2015

Last month when I was on vacation, I was going through some of my mom’s old recipe boxes and found a wonderful article (from the May 1992 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine) on how a variety of fruits “measure” up.

Apples
1 pound  equals . . .

  • 4 small apples, 3 medium apples, 2 large apples
  • 3 cups (diced)
  • 2-3/4 cups (sliced)
  • 1-1/2 cup (grated)

Bananas
1 pound equals . . .

  • 3 medium bananas
  • 2 cups (sliced)
  • 1-1/2 cups (diced)
  • 1/3 cup (mashed)

Oranges
1 medium orange equals . . .

  • 10-11 sections
  • 1/2 cup (bite-sized pieces)
  • 4 teaspoons grated peel
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup of juice

Lemons
1 medium lemon equals . . .

  • 3 teaspoons grated peel
  • 3 Tablespoons of juice

Grapefruit
1 medium grapefruit  equals . . .

  • 2/3 cup of juice
  • 1 cup (bite-sized pieces)
  • 10-12 sections
  • 4 teaspoons grated peel

Tomatoes
1 pound of tomatoes equals . . .

  • 3-4 medium tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 cups of pulp

Peaches
1 pound of peaches equals . . .

  • 2 large peaches, 3 medium peaches
  • 2 cups (sliced)
  • 1-2/3 cups (diced)
  • 1-1/2 cups (pureed)

Strawberries
1 pint of strawberries equals . . .

  • 12 very large berries
  • Up to 36 smaller berries
  • 3-1/4 cups (whole berries)
  • 2-1/4 cups (sliced)
  • 1-2/3 cups (pureed)

Tangerines
1 medium tangerine equals . . .

  • 8-12 sections
  • 2-3 teaspoons grated peel
  • 3-4 Tablespoons of juice

Pears
1 pound of pears equals . . .

  • 2 large pears, 3 medium pears
  • 2-1/2 cups (sliced)
  • 2-1/3 cups (diced)
  • 1-3/4 cups (pureed)

Nectarines
1 pound of nectarines equals . . .

  • 3 medium nectarines
  • 2 cups (sliced)
  • 1-3/4 cups (diced)
  • 1-1/2 cups (pureed)

Limes
1 lime equals . . .

  • 2 Tablespoons of juice
  • 2 teaspoons of grated peel

Plums
1 pound of plums equals . . .

  • 6 medium plums
  • 2-1/2 cups (sliced)
  • 2 cups (diced)
  • 1-1/4 cups (pureed)