Here is a repost for Halloween, the best time for caramel apples! I know, enough with the honey caramel, but I just couldn’t resist one more time. Caramel apples are one of my favorites and Daughter asked me to send some caramel for her and friends after seeing the …
I love the things that can be done with fondant, but although nobody seems to acknowledge it, the stuff doesn’t really taste very good. Years ago I saw the recipe for white chocolate (which I adore) plastic but had forgotten about it until I saw it again recently and thought …
Recipe for Chocolate Cream Cheese Panna Cotta
This weekend’s episode was Chicken Canzanese and it looked so good I had to give it a try. I was not disappointed nor was the family! The chicken skin was crisp, the interior was moist and the sauce was fantastic. This is a chicken meal that you could definitely …
I’ve had such good luck with the summer fruits I just couldn’t resist getting more. This time they were even better, the raspberries and cherries were great and I have never seen such large white peaches – only 5 of them weighed over 4 pounds and they were sweet and …
I absolutely love Heidi Swanson’s blog 101 Cookbooks. Her recipes are wonderful but even more, her pictures are gorgeous and inspiring. I decided to try her No Bake Chocolate Cake. This is so simple and quick and the family gave it the thumbs up. I will definitely make it again! Basically just cream and chocolate, it takes about 5 minutes to make and you can change it up depending on what flavors or spices you add. I made it plain this time and served with strawberries and maraschino cherry jelly and cherries. Don’t forget the salt, it really made a difference!
I used some mini ceramic pans and they looked really cute. I was a little apprehensive about getting the slices out, but I didn’t have any problem except one of the first slices was a little misshapen. After slicing I used a very small, thin rubber spatula to get them out. Also since the containers were small, the slices were proportionately a little larger.
While I was visiting the LA Times test kitchen, Noelle Carter was gracious enough to share a great trick with me. Instead of whipping cream with a whisk or mixer, try doing it in the food processor. The cream has less air and is more substantial so it holds better and tastes amazing, a little more buttery. I couldn’t wait to get home and try it out and since I had collected quite a few fruits from my sister-in-law’s trees and the Santa Monica farmer’s market, I decided to make a citrus cream parfait. I used the lime cream recipe (Printable Lime Cream Recipe) substituting a mixture of lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges to make a double batch. Use whatever citrus fruits you have, as long as it equals the right amount of juice. I zested all the fruits because I like things tart, but you can do only some if you prefer a slightly sweeter recipe.
Once the citrus cream was ready, I made the whipped cream by adding 2 cups of heavy whipping cream, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to the food processor and processing for a brief (1-2 minutes) time until it was smooth and thick.
Gently fold 1/2 of the whipped cream with 1/2 of the citrus cream. In dessert cups or nice glasses, add a layer of the citrus cream, a layer of the cream mixture and a layer of whipped cream, then repeat if you are using large glasses. You could also do it in a single large glass bowl like a trifle. That’s it!
A double batch of the citrus cream and 2 cups of whipped cream makes 4-8 servings depending on the size of your glasses.
The citrus cream is great for desserts or put it in a jar for gifts. You can use it to make pies, filled cookies, tarts and almost anything you would use lemon curd for, even just on toast or muffins so while I was at it, I also made a double batch of the lime. I put it in a pre-baked pie shell and sprinkled with some toasted coconut for another quick dessert.
Cheesecake is always popular around here and I recently got a large container of blueberries. When I asked what I should do with them, Son’s girlfriend suggested blueberry cheesecake and since she was about to graduate and planned on celebrating at an Italian restaurant it seemed like a great idea for an at home dessert after the meal. Of course Son (who loves cheesecake but not so much blueberries) forgot to take or mention it so it didn’t make it to the celebration. I have no doubt it will be eaten anyway! I recently used this same basic recipe for an Oreo version requested for a birthday and found it is an excellent one, a little lighter texture than my usual favorite (which uses 2 2/1 pounds of cream cheese and no sour cream).
Printable Version Blueberry Cheesecake
1 1/2 cups finely ground cookie crumbs (I used the white chocolate peanut butter ones)
2 tbs butter (because these cookies were very moist I didn’t add the extra butter to keep the crust from being soggy, but if you use a dry cookie you should)
9 or 10 inch springform pan
1 1/2 lbs cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs (room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup flour
8 oz sour cream
1 lb (about 4 cups) fresh blueberries (frozen or canned works too – if you use canned in syrup, don’t add sugar)
1/2 cup sugar (I like them to stay a little tart so if you want sweet add 1 cup instead of 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon butter
grated zest from one lemon
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 cinnamon sticks
Place the cookies in a food processor and grind them finely.
If the crumbs will not stick together between your fingers, add small amounts of melted butter until you can just flatten them together. Place on the bottom of a springform pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Set aside.
Beat the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy, add sugar gradually and keep beating until it is mixed in completely.
Add the eggs one at a time blending well after each egg.
Add the vanilla, salt and flour and mix until smooth, scraping down the bowl to incorporate all ingredients.
Add the sour cream and mix well.
Pour into prepared pan and bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. When the time is up slightly open the door and let the cake stay for an extra hour without disturbing – no peeking you want it to cool slowly to prevent cracks, although in this case the blueberry topping will cover any that might happen. After an hour, cover with plastic wrap – not touching the top but over the pan and refrigerate at least overnight.
Wash the berries and place in a medium saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients.
Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to a simmer to thicken to the consistency you prefer. A little less time and you will still have some whole blueberries, a little more and a thicker sauce. Remove the cinnamon sticks and refrigerate, covered until ready to serve.
For serving you can either cover the top of the cheesecake, or serve the blueberries on the side, topping each slice separately.
Ok I admit it, I lied. It is #NationalHamburgerDay and it’s been years now so I’m reposting this one. I’m also making them for the holiday. I know everyone is probably tired of these, but in honor of their being chosen in the Top 5 by the LA Times Battle …
I’ve watched the little Italian ladies on TV make fresh pasta on a board by just putting down the flour, making a well for the egg, adding a little water and maybe some olive oil and gracefully mixing it up into a beautiful dough. Unfortunately my first few attempts were …