Posts Tagged ‘Recipe’

Cheesecake of the Month — January 2019!

January 15, 2019

For those of you who enjoy your coffee made by “forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans,” this dessert recipe is for you!  Enjoy!

Espresso Cheesecake

2-1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons of butter, melted
2 teaspoons of almond extract
4 (8-ounces each) packages of cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup of sugar
3 large eggs
8 (1-ounce each) sauares of semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1/3 cup of milk
2 teaspoons of espresso powder
Chocolate curls (garnish)

1. Combine the first three ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well.  Press the mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ springform pan.  Set aside.

2. Beat the cream cheese on high speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add the sugar, beating well.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add the melted chocolate and beat well.  Combine the milk and espresso powder and mix until the powder dissolves.  Add the espresso mixture to the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth.  Pour the mixture into your prepared crust.

3.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the center is almost set.  Cool (in the pan) at room temperature on a wire rack.  Cover and refrigerate (at least 8 hours) until you are ready to serve.  Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen before removing the pan, then garnish and serve.

Source: espresso definition (wikipedia); and Southern Living Little Book of Cheesecakes, p. 37.

Cheesecake of the Month – December 2018!

December 15, 2018

This month’s recipe (post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas), a pumpkin-based cheesecake, is ideally suited for the fall holidays.  I encountered several recipes with subtle variations.  So depending on the flavor you hope to achieve, take your pick.  The first recipe I found, courtesy of The Suburban Soapbox blog, is the Mini Bourbon Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake.  What is attractive about this recipe: the mini, muffin-sized cheesecakes; perfect for individual servings of this decadent treat.  The second recipe, and a variation on the first, courtesy of the Brunette Baker blog, moves the bourbon to the praline topping and adds maple (Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake with Maple Bourbon Praline Sauce).  The third recipe I found is a standard-sized cheesecake, courtesy of Epicurious, is the Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake.  All three sound marvelous . . . ah decisions, decisions.  Happy Holidays!

This One Sounds Gouda!

December 4, 2018

For all of you pasta carbonara fans out there, here is a variation that is sure to please.  Instead of using the standard Parmesan cheese, try making it with Gouda instead!  Yum!

Smoked Gouda Carbonara

1 pound of spaghetti
5 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 cup (4 ounces) finely shredded smoked Gouda (plus more for when you serve)
Salt and black pepper
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
6 ounces of slab bacon, finely chopped
3/4 cup crushed red pepper

1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente.  Drain, but reserve 1 cup of the cooking water.

2. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the whole egg, the Gouda, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of pepper.  Very gradually whisk in a 1/2 cup of reserved cooking water (tempers the eggs).

3. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat the olive oil.  Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until cooked but not crisp (5 to 7 minutes).  Add the pasta, crushed red pepper, and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water.  Cook, tossing until the pasta is coated (1 to 2 minutes).  Scrape the pasta mixture into the large bowl and toss vigorously until creamy (1 to 2 minutes); add more cooking water if needed.  Season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with additional Gouda at the table (if desired).

Source: Food & Wine magazine, April 2017.

Savory Potato Pie!

November 3, 2018

Now that we are well into autumn, with winter just around the corner, here is an incredible savory potato pie that will be a welcomed meal when there is a chill in the air . . . or any other time, for that matter.  Oh, and it has ale as an ingredient!  Enjoy!

Cheese, Ale, and Potato Pie

Two 14-ounce packages puff pastry, chilled
2-1/4 pounds of medium Yukon Gold potatoes
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup of ale (Bass or similar)
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream
15 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (5 cups)
3 large egg yolks, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten
1-1/2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard

1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each puff pastry to a 10-by-14 inch rectangle.  Stack the pastry sheets on a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper between them.  Refrigerate until chilled.

2. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with 1 inch of water.  Add salt, bring to a boil, and cook over moderately high heat until the potatoes are just tender (about 15 minutes).  Drain and cool under running water.  Pat the potatoes dry, then peel and quarter.  Gently crush with your hand or a wooden spoon.

3. In a medium saucepan, boil the ale over high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup (about 5 minutes).  Add the cream and cook, whisking until reduced to 3/4 cup (about 5 minutes).  Add the cheese and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce is smooth (about 3 minutes).  Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard.  Season the sauce with salt and pepper an let cool.  Carefully stir in the crushed potatoes and season again with salt and pepper.

4. Arrange 1 chilled puff pastry sheet on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with some of the beaten egg.  Spread the potato filling on top, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Top with the second sheet of puff pastry and press the edges together to seal; crimp decoratively.  Brush the top of the pie with more of the beaten egg and cut a few slits for venting.  Refrigerate until firm (at least 30 minutes).

5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Bake the pie for 25 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, rotate the baking sheet and bake until the pastry is browned and the filling is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes longer.  Let cool slightly before serving.

Note: the assembled pie can be refrigerated up to four hours before baking.

Source: Food & Wine magazine, December 2015.

Cheesecake of the Month — October 2018!

October 15, 2018

I was recently challenged by a colleague to attempt a “vegan” cheesecake.  Before I could do any research myself, another colleague had forwarded me a recipe for a quick and easy vegan cheesecake (courtesy of Vegangela).  Vegangela further referenced a recipe by Allyson Kramer that was gluten-free as well as vegan.

I adapted Allyson’s recipe a bit by substituting ground pecans for the almonds, and blueberry preserves for the blackberry topping . . . but, this “base” vegan cheesecake recipe could prove to be a keeper that just gets adjusted as I try new flavors.  Yum!

This recipe is super easy, and, it requires no baking!

Yummy Dessert?!

October 4, 2018

This is a delicious recipe that I found in Food & Wine magazine (December 2015) that is a wonderful dessert, or hors d’oeuvres, or late night snack, or . . . breakfast? (It does have coffee as an ingredient.)  It is a little on the labor-intensive side, but well worth th effort; a real crowd pleaser.  Enjoy!

Coffee-Caramel-Jam Toasts

1/2 cup of crushed coffee beans
1-1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of whole milk
1 cup of sugar
1 Tablsepoon of light corn syrup
2 teaspoons of instant espresso
1/8 teaspoon of fine sea salt

Chocolate Crumble
3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of almond flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt
1 stick of cold butter, cubed

Serve on dark rye toasts

1. Make the jam . . . preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spread your coffee beans on a baking sheet and toast for ten (10) minutes, until fragrant.  Transfer the beans to a large bowl.  Stir in the heavy cream and the milk, cover, and let steep in your refrigerator overnight.

2. Strain the coffee cream through a fine sieve, pressing on the solids; you should have 2 cups.  In a large saucepan, cook the sugar over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until a light amber caramel forms (about 5 minutes).  Slowly add the caramel cream (exercise care as it will boil vigorously).  Add the corn syrup, espresso and sea salt and bring  to a simmer; the caramel will harden, but will dissolve again as it simmers.  Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until a candy thermometer inserted in the caramel jam  registers 210 degrees (about 12 minutes).  Carefully transfer the jam to a blender and puree until smooth and shiny.  Scrape into a medium bowl and let cool to room temperature.

3. Make the crumble . . . In a medium bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour with the almond flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and sea salt.  Using your fingers, rub in the butter until coarse crumbs form.  Spread the crumbs on an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until firm (about one (1) hour).

4. Preheat your over to 350 degrees.  Bake the crumble for about 18 minutes, until golden.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

5. Spread some of the coffee-caramel-jam on the toasts.  Sprinkle the chocolate crumble on one half of each toast (press gently to help the crumbs adhere).

Note: these are meant to be served at room temperature.   The jam can be refrigerated for up to one (1) week; he baked crumble can be stored in an airtight container for one (1) week or frozen for one (1) month.

Source: Food & Wine magazine, December 2015

Cheesecake of the Month – September 2018!

September 15, 2018

Here is a recipe for a Turtle Cheesecake that I ran across the other day . . . I’ve never made this form of “pastry crust” for a cheesecake before and am anxious to see how it turns out.

Turtle Cheesecake

1 cup of flour
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of finely chopped pecans
6 Tablespoons of cold butter, cubed

4 packages (8-ounces each) of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup, plus 1 teaspoon, of flour, divided
2 Tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1/4 cup of caramel ice cream topping
1/3 cup of chopped pecans

1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons of chopped pecans
Additional caramel ice cream topping

1. Securely wrap the outside and bottom of a greased 9″ springform pan in heavy-duty aluminum foil.

2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and pecans; cut in the butter until crumbly.  Press onto the bottom of your prepared pan.  Place your pan on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until set.  Cool on a wire rack.

3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugars until smooth.  Beat in the 1/4 cup of flour, the cream, and the vanilla.  Add the eggs and beat on low speed just until blended.  Remove one cup of the batter and combine with the melted chocolate.  Pour this mixture over your crust.

4.  In another bowl, mix the caramel topping, remaining flour, and the pecans.  Drop by Tablespoonfuls over the chocolate batter.  Top with the remaining batter.  Place the springform pan in a large baking pan and add an inch of hot water to this larger pan.

5.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours, or until the center is just set and the top appears dull.  Remove the springform pan from your water bath and remove the foil.  Cool the cheesecake on a wire rack for about ten minutes before attempting to loosen the sides of the pan from the cheesecake with a knife.  Cool for one hour longer before refrigerating overnight.

6.  For the ganache, place the milk chocolate chips in a small bowl.  In a small saucepan, bring the cream just to a boil before pouring over the chips; whisk this combination until smooth.  Allow this mixture to cool slightly; continue stirring occasionally.

7.  Remove the sides of your pan.  Spread the ganache over the cheesecake and sprinkle with the pecans.  Refrigerate until set.  Add additional caramel topping (if you so desire) prior to serving.


Better Chicken Nuggets!

September 4, 2018

I ran across a recipe the other day (courtesy of Natasha’s Kitchen) for chicken fritters that sounded positively delicious.  I’m going to have to give these a try very soon.  Hmm, college football season is upon us and this would make a great “snack” for during games.

Cheesy Chicken Fritters

Ingredients for fritters
1-1/2 pounds of chicken breasts
2 large eggs
1/3 cup of mayonnaise
1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
4 ounces of mozzarella cheese (1-1/3 cups shredded)
1-1/2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
2 Tablespoons of olive oil

Ingredients for Aioli dip
1/3 cup of mayonnaise
1 garlic clove (pressed)
1/2 Tablespoon of lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of black pepper

1. Dice your chicken breast into 1/3″ piece and place in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add the remaining fritter ingredients (but not the olive oil) and stir until well combined.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or overnight).

3. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until the oil is hot.  Add the chicken mixture a heaping Tablespoon at a time.  Slightly flatten the fritters and cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes on the first side before flipping and cooking an addition 3 minutes (or so) on the other side, or until the outside is golden brown and the chicken is fully cooked.  Add additional oil as needed while cooking the remaining fritters.

4. To make the aioli dip, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir together until smooth.



Cheesecake of the Month – August 2018!

August 15, 2018

Are you looking for a different kind of cheesecake (texture and flavor)?  Here’s a recipe that is sure to offer this difference.

Italian Ricotta Cheesecake

1-1/2 cups of pecans, ground
1-1/2 pounds of ricotta cheese, drained
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of flour
4 eggs
1 teaspoon of almond extract (can substitute 1 teaspoon of almond liqueur)
1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar

1.  Crust: sprinkle (generously and evenly) the bottom of your cheesecake pan with the ground pecans and set aside.

2.  Filling: in a large mixing bowl, beat the ricotta cheese and sugar on medium-high speed for three (3) minutes.  Add the flour and mix for an additional three (3) minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add the almond extract (or liqueur).  Pour the batter over your crust.  Bake for fifty-five (55) to sixty-five (65) minutes or until the top is light brown and the center has a slight jiggle to it.  Cool on a wire rack for two (2) hours.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least six (6) hours before decorating.

3. Decoration: after the cake has chilled, dust the top with a sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar.

Chocolate-Lovers Beware!

August 5, 2018

Happy Sunday!  I ran across this recipe a few weeks ago while perusing our local newspaper and it is certainly a keeper, especially if you enjoy chocolate.

Double-Chocolate Waffles

2 packages of Shawnee Mills Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle mix
4 Tablespoons of cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar
2 cups of milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 cup of canola oil or melted butter
2 (2-ounces each) dark chocolate bars, chopped
Whipped light cream
Chocolate syrup
Maraschino cherries

1. In a large bowl, stir together the waffle mix, cocoa powder, and sugar.  Add the milk, eggs, vanilla, and oil or butter, and stir until combined.  Chop up one of the chocolate bars and fold into the mixture.

2.  Heat your waffle iron.  Pour the mixture into the waffle iron, filling to the edges.  Cook until the waffle is set in the center and slightly crisp on the edges.

3. Top each waffle with the whipped cream, chocolate syrup, remaining chopped chocolate, and a maraschino cherry.