Friday, July 30, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
- Whenever you are using olive oil, know these things: a fruity, flavorful olive oil is good for anything you will taste directly (for instance, salad leaves) while an extra virgin olive oil is useful for sauteing.
- I like using red of yellow bell pepper for cooking, I just think the flavor is sweeter and less harsh than the green variety
- Pair this dish with a wonderful red or white wine
- There is no shame in accepting help. I grew up with a Persian mother who refused to let anyone (excluding family members) bring a dish with them when they came over. I think there's no problem with letting people be a part of the meal, especially if they have a special dish they want to share. Another plus is that by participating in the meal, people are more likely to feel more comfortable eating YOUR meal. Our guest, Kelly, brought an amazing salad and kindly shared the recipe with me, so look forward to seeing that in the near future!
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
In my opinion, everyone needs a fool-proof pasta recipe they can tweak and change according to what's on hand. Here's mine:
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Next I made the coconut filling - ooey gooey deliciousness
And here are the two layers kissing :)
Now the meringue frosting, beaten to stiff peaks. This frosting is so wonderful - it really tastes like a cloud in your mouth. And remember, all this frosting came from only 2 egg whites!
Finally, I toasted some extra coconut to bring out it's nutty flavor
Then iced the cake with the frosting...
...and sprinkled over the toasted coconut for garnish (see picture above)
Ok, I promise, there will be more meal ideas later this week!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Macaroni and Cheese from scratch used to scare me. Maybe it was the huge amounts of high-cal cheese, maybe the bechamel sauce, maybe...oh, who knows? The point is, thanks to some gentle prodding by a friend, I faced my fears and am now happy as a clam pulling out the butter and flour and mixin' up a tasty batch of homemade comfort food.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
- 2 packages 1/3 fat cream cheese
- 1/3 c cornstarch
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup lime juice, or 3 limes juiced
- zest of 2 limes
- 8 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups Nilla wafers
- 3 Tbs butter
- Tad cinnamon
Make the Crust
- Melt the butter
- Crush the wafers
- Mix the two, then add a dash of cinnamon
Press this mixture into the bottom of a cheesecake pan. I usually just do a bottom crust and don't press the crumbs up the side of the pan. My mom taught me this - partially because it cuts down on calories, partially because my mom doesn't particularly like crust. I, for one, LOVE crust - so I put it up the sides.
Bake this at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes until it's a golden brown color. Let this cool while you make the filling.Make the Tasty Filling
The crucial step here is that the cream cheese be room temperature when you mix this, otherwise you get those dreaded chunks of cream cheese speckled throughout the mixture. I have come to terms with my personal downfall of impatience, so I just shove the cream cheese in the microwave and nuke it. 30 seconds usually does the trick.
- Mix the cream cheese and ricotta, then the sugar
- Add the vanilla and eggs
- Add the cornstarch
- Pour in the lime juice and zest
Pour the filling into the crust and set on a baking sheet so if there IS a crack in your crust, the filling doesn't ooze out onto the floor of your oven. Bake this at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and crack the oven door - let the cheesecake stand in the open-doored oven for another hour before setting it in the fridge overnight.
Tips from the Chef
Use 1/3 fat cream cheese. This is kinda crucial because you aren't going to miss the fat if you aren't looking for it. However, if you use the NONfat cream cheese, just don't bother making this recipe because this particular type of cream cheese is narsty! Like, almost sour tasting. Please, please, don't use it.
A lot of people say that if your cheesecake cracks on top, it's a sign you did something wrong. To avoide this, you can use a bain-marie and more like steam/bake the cheesecake. But I like the cracks - it proves you made something from scratch. And it gives you an excuse to do the following:
Sour Cream Topping
Mix 1/3 cup to 1 cup sour cream with about 3-4 Tbs milk, 1 Tbs lime juice, and 1 Tbs confx sugar and pour over the top of your crackly-topped cheesecake.
But for my cheesecake, I arranged lime slices over the top, sprinkled them with a little sugar, and set a torch to them to caramelize. Then I piped whipped cream around the outside.
Enjoy all :)~Sheila