Posts about Food

raspberry white chocolate cheesecake, with a chocolate crust

September 30, 2010

This was my mom’s birthday cake this year. It may be the best dessert I’ve made yet! (I think that the second time I make it, it will look a little more pretty.)

I got this recipe from here, and only made a couple of changes.

Ingredients

  • Chocolate graham cracker crumbs (you need 1 cup, which is approximately 10 of the full length sheets of graham crackers)
  • 1/2 cup, plus 5 tablespoons sugar (will be split)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 10oz package of frozen raspberries
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 cups of white chocolate chips (one 12oz bag)
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
  • 3 8oz packages of low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

1) In a food processor, blend the graham crackers until they are thin crumbs. Measure to make sure you have one cup.

2) Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and the butter to the mix. Blend until well combined.

3) Press this mixture (the crust) into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan.

4)  Defrost the raspberries until they are soft (you could just leave them out, but I put mine in the microwave).

5) Put the raspberries into the food processor until smooth.

6) In a pot, put the raspberries (now blended), the 2 teaspoons of cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil and continue cooking for approximately 5 minutes. The sauce should thicken a little bit.

7) Push the raspberry sauce through a mesh strainer, to remove the seeds.

8) Preheat the oven to 325.

9) In a double boiler, or in the microwave, melt the white chocolate chips with the half and half. Stir occasionally, until the chips are completely melted.

10) In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and 1/2 cup of sugar using an electric mixer. Add the eggs, followed by the vanilla and melted chocolate/half and half.

11) Pour half of the cheesecake batter into the springform pan. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of raspberry sauce over the top. Pour the remaining cheesecake batter on top. Then pour 3-4 more tablespoons of raspberry sauce on top. Using a knife, swirl the raspberry sauce throughout the cake. This will give it a pretty marbled effect.

12) Bake for approximately an hour, or until the cake has set.

13) When you cake it out, allow the pan to cool. Cover the cake and refrigerate it for at least 8 hours before taking it out of the pan.

14) Serve with the remaining raspberry sauce! (I put it in a bowl and let people pour it on top of their individual pieces.)

apple crisp

September 17, 2010

I went apple picking with my mom last Friday at Brookdale Farm. Apples right off the tree taste nothing like what you buy at the grocery store. They are so crisp and fresh!

Over the weekend, I made apple crisp. I would pick apple crisp over apple pie any day! I’ve spent a couple of apple crisp seasons tweaking this recipe and making it better.
>>Preheat oven to 350

Ingredients

Filling

  • 8-10 medium apples
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Topping

  • 1 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) melted butter

Directions

1) Peel and slice the apples. Spread the apples out evenly into a 9×13″ glass baking dish.

2) Toss the apples in the sugar and cinnamon. I used a full tablespoon of cinnamon, but it might be too much for some.

3) Mix the oats, brown sugar, flour, and melted butter together. The oats should be moistened.

4) Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples. Press the topping down gently to keep the moisture of the apples in while it bakes.

5) Cook for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

Serve with vanilla ice cream!

lemon cake with lemon cream cheese frosting

September 17, 2010

I made this cake for my grandfather’s birthday in July. (I know, I’m really behind in posting…)

I based it off of this cake, but made some changes and used a different frosting.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

Frosting

  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2-4 tablespoons lemon juice (Be careful, if you add too much lemon juice the frosting will get very runny, like mine did. It’s hard to thicken back up! Add slowly.)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 5-6 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 lemon for decoration

Directions

>>Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 8-inch round pans.

1) Cream together the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy.

2) Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

3) Add the flour and baking powder.

4) Add the milk, lemon juice, and zest, but don’t beat long after they’ve been incorporated.

5) Pour the batter into the pans and bake for 30 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean. Move the cakes to a cooling rack.

6) To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, zest, and vanilla.

7) Add the confectioners sugar, beating in 2 1/2 cups, then adding the other 2 1/2 cups. Add more lemon juice or sugar as needed.

8) Spread the frosting on the top of one of the cakes (this will be the middle layer). Place the other cake on top. Frost the top of that cake.

9) Add very thin lemon slices to decorate, if desired. You could also sprinkle extra lemon zest on top (I thought of this afterward.)

blueberry lemon drop scones

July 15, 2010

A couple of days ago, I went to Parlee Farms and picked blueberries and raspberries. My mom, David, and I had picked strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries a week or two before at Brookdale Farm, but we’d run out. I picked a lot of blueberries, so I decided to make scones. I found this recipe at Allrecipes.com and made only a couple of minor adjustments.

I like this recipe because it uses lemon yogurt in place of half and half or cream, for a lighter, lower fat version.

>>Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

>> Yields ~15 scones

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (my lemon was fairly large, so I used a lot more, maybe 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup lemon yogurt (almost two full 6-ounce containers)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries

Glaze:

  • 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • ~3 tablespoons of lemon juice (I used the juice of 1 lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel (I used more, maybe 1 teaspoon)

Directions

1) In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and lemon peel).

2) Add in the yogurt, egg, and melted butter. You can use an egg beater (though be careful–it gets really sticky) or a spoon.

3) Once the ingredients are well combined, stir in the blueberries.

4) Using two spoons, scoop the dough onto a greased cookie sheet approximately 2 inches apart. To make 15 scones, they should be around 2 1/2-3″, but you can really make them however large or small you want.

5) Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned.

6) Combine the glaze ingredients. If it’s too watery, add more confectioners sugar. If it’s not lemony enough, add more juice. While the scones are still warm, drizzle the glaze on top.

raw cookie dough balls, dipped in chocolate

July 15, 2010

These are, quite simply, amazing. Don’t worry, they are also egg & salmonella free!

I made this recipe by combining & adjusting a number of different recipes I found online.

>>Yields ~30 cookie dough balls

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup and two tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt (this is what replaces the eggs and holds the dough together)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips of your choice (I used semisweet)

To coat:

  • 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, melted

Directions

1) Cream together the butter and sugar, using a mixer.

2) Beat in the yogurt and vanilla, followed by the flour.

3) Using a spoon, stir in the chocolate chips.

4) Cover and chill the dough for one hour in the refrigerator.

5) Roll the dough into balls (1-1 1/2″), placing them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. They can be close together since you aren’t baking them!

6) Put the cookie sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes.

7) Melt 1 1/4- 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips using a double broiler or the microwave.

8) Jab the balls with a fork and use it as a dipping tool to coat with chocolate. You can coat the whole ball, or just half. (I preferred just half since they are so rich already.) Return the balls to the wax paper lined baking sheet.

9) Freeze until set, or another 20 minutes.

10) Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They should be good for at least a week! If you want them to last longer, you could freeze them.

Coconut Curry

July 15, 2010

I made this for the first time a couple of days ago. I don’t like it nearly as much as Chickpea Curry, and it takes longer to make, but it’s still pretty tasty. I think that next time I make it I will double the amount of the spices, since it didn’t have enough flavor.

I made minor adjustments to a recipe found in Perfect Vegetarian: a collection of over 100 essential recipes, published by Parragon Publishing.

>>Serves approximately 4

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped into a few chunks
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 fresh green chili/jalapeno peppers, cut in half with the seeds removed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ground tumeric*
  • 1 tsp ground coriander*
  • 1 tsp ground cumin*
  • Approximately 2lbs of mixed vegetables cut into chunks (I used carrots, zuchinni, cauliflower, and green beans)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Cilantro, to serve
  • Rice or quinoa, to serve

*I would double this next time, using two teaspoons of each.

Directions

1) Put the onion, garlic, and peppers into a food processor. Blend until the mixture is almost completely smooth.

My beautiful food processor (thanks Bruce & Randy!).

My beautiful food processor (thanks Bruce & Randy!).

2) Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion/garlic/pepper mixture. Stir for three minutes.

3) Add the vegetables and stir until they are well coated.

4) Add the coconut milk.

5) Cover the pot and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly soft.

6) Add chopped cilantro, if desired, and serve with rice or quinoa.

Chickpea Curry

July 15, 2010

I first made this in April and have made it many times since. It’s one of David’s favorites and it’s so easy to make! I always double the recipe because it’s great reheated.

I only made very minor adjustments to this recipe, which I found in The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook published by Murdoch Books.

*Please note that it’s fairly spicy*

>>Serves approximately four

Ingredients

  • 2 onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 14oz cans chickpeas
  • 2 14oz cans diced tomatoes (I get “no salt added”)
  • 1 teaspoon garam marsala (can be purchased at any Indian grocery store)

Directions

1) Slice the onions and dice the garlic.

2) Heat the oil in a medium/large pot. Add the onion and garlic, cooking until the onions become soft.

3) Add the chili powder, tumeric, paprika, cumin, and coriander. There will be a lot of spices–more than will cover the onions. Stir the spices in until the onions are coated.

4) Add the chickpeas and the tomatoes (undrained). Stir until everything is mixed together.

5) Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

6) Stir in garam marsala, then simmer (covered), for another 10 minutes.

Marbled caramel chocolate bars

April 12, 2010

Adapted from Cookies: Over 300 Step-by-Step Recipes for Home Baking.

THESE ARE SOOOOOO GOOD! Very, very rich! These were a huge hit on Easter, at my parents’ house.

Ingredients

The Base

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cups superfine sugar
  • 3/4 unsalted butter, softened

The Filling

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • Two 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk

The Topping

  • 3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate (I used a bit more)
  • 3 1/2 ounces milk chocolate (I used a bit more)
  • 2 ounces white chocolate (I used a bit more)

Directions

>>Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

1) Put the flour and superfine sugar in a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture is crumbly, like breadcrumbs. Continue to squeeze the dough with your hands until it forms a dough.

2) Put the dough into the bottom of a lightly greased 13×9″ pan. Press it out evenly with your hand so it covers the bottom. Use the bottom of a spoon to smooth it out.

3) Prick the dough all over with a fork.

4) Bake for about 20 minutes or until firm and a very light brown color. Leave it aside until it’s completely cool.

5) For the filling, place the butter, brown sugar, and condensed milk in a pan, stirring over medium heat until the sugar and butter have dissolved.

6) Stir the mixture constantly, bring to a boil.

7) Reduce the heat and simmer, while constantly stirring, for 5-10 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Don’t let it burn!

8) Pour the hot filling over the now cool base. Spread it out evenly. Allow to cool, then refrigerate until it’s cold.

9) For the topping, melt each type of chocolate separately. You will make alternating 1 1/2 - 2″ wide stripes of milk and semisweet chocolate, and will then add spoonfuls of white chocolate on top. Using a skewer, you will swirl the white chocolate, forming a marbled effect.*

10) After the chocolate completely hardens, cut into thin bars. I prefer to refrigerate these (I like the way they taste when cool), but you don’t have to.

*This was challenging because the base and middle layers are so cold that the chocolate hardens very quickly. I’d recommend making part of a strip, then adding the white chocolate and creating the marbled effect, then finishing the strip, adding more white chocolate, etc. This will enable you to create the marbled effect as you go (and the chocolate is still melted), rather than after the stripes are hardened.

Peanut butter cookies

April 12, 2010

Adapted from Cookies: Over 300 Step-by-Step Recipes for Home Baking.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup crunchy or smooth peanut butter (up to you!)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

>>Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

>>Yields ~24 cookies

1) Beat together the butter and sugar with mixer.

2) Beat in the egg and vanilla.

3) Add the peanut butter, continue to beat batter with electric mixer.

4) Add the flour and baking soda, continue to beat.

5) Roll 1″ balls of dough. Place on two lightly greased cookies sheets.

6) Press the balls flat with a fork into round shapes, making a cross cross pattern (first press the fork in one direction, flattening the ball, then place the fork in the opposite direction to make the pattern).

7) Bake the cookies for around 12 minutes, or until lightly colored.

Apple, Berry, Citrus Crumble

April 12, 2010

The lighting in this photo doesn't do this dessert justice. It was really good--a nice mixture of tart and sweet!

Adapted from Vegetarian: Over 300 healthy and wholesome recipes chosen from around the world.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cooking apples (I used Cortland)
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh mixed berries (I used a frozen bag of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries)
  • grated zest and juice of one orange
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • vanilla ice cream, to serve

For the topping

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon

Directions

>>Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

1) Grease a 9×9″ pan.

2) Peel and slice the apples, placing them evenly in the pan.

3) Scatter the berries evenly over the top of the apples.

4) Sprinkle the orange zest and brown sugar evenly over the top of the fruit.

5) Pour the orange juice over the top.

6) Begin making the topping. Put the flour in a bowl and rub the butter in until the mixture is crumbly and there aren’t large chunks of butter.

7) Stir in the sugar, hazelnuts, and cardamon.

8) Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top of the fruit. Press the topping down, especially at the edges to trap in the juices.

9) Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden.

10) Serve warm, with ice cream.