Tag Archives: delicious

Sneak Peek: Mini Espresso Cheesecake Bites

Tonight, I am going to a midnight showing of the Hunger Games.  Generally, I behave in a grandmotherly fashion and go to bed at 10pm on weekdays, since I obviously need to conserve my precious energy for weekend boy scouting. This, however is a special occasion.

So since it will be late and the it is the Hunger Games, after all, I decided to make an espresso flavored treat to help my fellow tributes and I stay awake past our bedtimes. I think this proves that I am Peeta’s real soul mate. We can bake together and it will be beautiful.

As long as I don’t kill him in the games first.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

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Cheesy Garlic Bread with A Fried Egg

Garlic and egg?

Yes, garlic and egg.

You think I am crazy. Let’s not get ugly here, people – I much prefer the term “dangerous.” My palate and I live on the edge. Plus we had very few ingredients in the cupboard to work with last night.

But remember – the only thing crazier than my ideas is the deliciousness they create.

Begin with cheese. This is the secret to every great savory dish. Always begin with cheese.

Toast yourself some bread, preferably Whole Foods “seeduction bread.” So witty, those Whole Foods folk.

If you are feeling decadent, toast it in a pan with butter. As I nearly vomited during my spin class last night, I felt a little butter was necessary. Don’t want to go getting too thin, now. Then no one will believe that I can cook unless I change my name to Giada (bitch).

Once the bread is toasted, rub it with a clove of garlic. But don’t use the whole thing unless you are trying to ward off the Cullen clan, which I would never want to do.

Garlic bread, meet cheese.

Heat the broiler, and stick these little friends in for 3-4 minutes, until bubbly and browning.

Oh, lordy. What could possibly make this better?

Yep, that’ll work.

Stare at the cheesy bread for a while and admire its beauty. When you have sufficiently gawked, top with the fried egg.

Even though you’re bursting with joy and rainbows right now, try not to cry. It’s embarrassing for everyone.

Okay, now you can cry. It’s just too beautiful to hold back the tears.


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Strawberry Ricotta Cheesecake with Sweet Balsamic Drizzle

At the risk of causing an insurgent uprising here at RFTL, I am going to make a confession: I am just not that into cheesecake. I ask that you please postpone setting your vehicle ablaze and fashioning war paint from eyeliner until after I explain myself.

Cheesecake is pretty nice and creamy, but I feel the same toward boring desserts as I do toward boring people. Both lack depth and have a slim-to-none chance of getting anywhere near my mouth.

But this cheesecake is so very different. It dances with surprising and delightful flavor combinations. This is the cheesecake you bring home to mom.

The inspiration for this recipe came from one of my all-time favorite desserts: Ellie Krieger’s Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream. Ellie Krieger is a goddess of healthful and delicious food. So I thought to myself… how can I make this recipe more fattening? Turn it into a cheesecake.

The base recipe that I used is Giada’s Honey Ricotta Cheesecake. I like how she takes credit for the recipe that was clearly written by someone else, as that woman has never held down a bite of cheesecake in her life.

I made my own strawberry concoction to swirl in, as well as a balsamic drizzle that I macerated some of the strawberries in. The swirling is a particularly amusing part of the cheesecake process. You start with a cake that looks infected with leprosy and end with a design worthy of gracing a shower curtain. At least.

And now I shall put you out of your misery, and give you the recipe for what I believe might be the only cheesecake worth making.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 8 oz biscotti
  • 3/4 stick melted butter 

Filling

  • 1 (12-ounce) container fresh whole milk ricotta, drained
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange blossom or clover honey
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 4 large eggs

Strawberry Swirl

  • 1 package fresh strawberries
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1/4 c sugar

Balsamic Drizzle

  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • Fresh basil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil. Finely grind the biscotti in afood processor. Add the melted butter and process until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom (not the sides) of the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Cool the crust completely on a cooling rack.

Blend the ricotta in a clean food processor until smooth. Add the cream cheese and sugar and blend well, stopping the machine occasionally and scraping down the sides of the work bowl. Blend in the honey and orange zest. Add the eggs and pulse just until blended.

To make the strawberry swirl, remove the stems of the strawberries and puree them. Add orange juice and sugar and simmer over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.

Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Spoon the strawberry mixture on top and swirl with a toothpick. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cheesecake is golden and the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour and 5 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold).

To make the drizzle, heat the vinegar and sugar over medium-low until mixture thickens slightly. Soak some sliced strawberries in this for topping.

Transfer the cake to a rack and cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. Garnish with fresh basil, strawberries, and drizzle. Cut the cake into wedges and serve.

And in case you were wondering… this particular slice was eaten. Partially by my dog. That should teach me to conduct photo shoots on the floor.

That was delicious! …now I want more.

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Sneak Peek: Strawberry Ricotta Cheesecake with Sweet Balsamic Drizzle

You will all be shocked to learn that Giada and I are in a fight.

I am sentencing her to a week of the silent treatment after she neglected to mention that you have to wait eight hours for cheesecake to cool and chill before you eat it.

EIGHT HOURS.

If that bitch thinks I am doing anything with the next eight hours of my life but sitting by the refrigerator, she is sorely mistaken.

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Chocolate-Dipped Potato Chips

Be still, my sweet and salty heart.

 If you’ve ever wondered what chocolate and potato chips taste like together, the answer is delicious. And if you can’t tell, this recipe is rather simple.

In fact, I’m not even going to post it. If you can’t figure it out from the pictures, you should seriously consider re-enrolling the first grade. Unless, of course, you’re blind – in which case it’s totally cool if you email me for the recipe. Sorry to offend you, and be careful crossing the street.

The primary reason I love making things with chocolate so much is that my ex-husband was disgusted by it. I know – what kind of a person does not appreciate the pure, divine bliss that is chocolate? An idiot, obviously.

That really should have tipped me off that there was something wrong with him. In my next personal ad, I will be sure to add a disclaimer: “Chocolate haters need not apply.” Best to put the important filters front and center.

For those of you wondering, this is what I did with my free time yesterday. I contemplated folding the laundry, but combining potato chips with chocolate just seemed more urgent. I hear wrinkles are coming in style, anyway. I’m just being avant-garde, people.

In a completely unrelated story, why don’t I have any dates lined up for this week?

In any case, you should all try these. Refrigerate them to let them set. Or just eat them as you dip. I won’t judge.

 

…and on a completely serious note, we are getting dangerously close to what would have been my one-year wedding anniversary. I hope that everyone is looking forward to reading a tearjerker in four days.

And if you’d like to send sympathy cards and mass quantities of chocolate, contact my people. We’ll get something set up.

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