Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Strawberry Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake with Shortbread Crust


I whipped up this baby for Easter this year.  It's pretty simple and packed with spring-time flavor.  Need an added bonus?  It's damn good lookin' too.


Strawberry Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake with Shortbread Crust
Adapted from Closet Kitchen

Ingredients

for the crust:
1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour

for the cheesecake:
1 cup ricotta
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
sliced strawberries for garnishing

1. Preheat oven to 400.  Cream butter and sugar until smooth.  Mix in zest, salt, and flour until crumbly. Press mixture, using your hands, into 9 inch tart pan. Bake 15 minutes, crust will be lightly golden brown. Let cool before topping with cheesecake.
2. Mix ricotta, cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and zest.  Spread on cooled crust.  Garnish with sliced strawberries.



The cheesecake portion is no-bake, making it really easy to whip up!


Behold the beauty of sliced strawberries!  I am so happy there is new fruit at the supermarket.  I've been eating strawberries non-stop.


I really liked the freshness of the strawberries and the lemon in this recipe.  I will note that this recipe should not be made in advance.  The shortbread crust gets soggy the next day so make it the day you intend to eat it for the best results.  Happy spring!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Parmesan Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Pizza

It seems like an eternity since I've cooked dinner so it felt great to cook up something super tasty tonight.  This pizza has all the right ingredients: Parmesan cheese, bacon, and brussels sprouts.  The sauce is a cinch to make and there's very little prep work otherwise.

I may or may not have accidentally over-crisped the bacon, but never fear it still tasted great.


I felt the toppings order here is fairly important.  Sauce first, of course, then bacon, cheese, and finish with brussels sprouts.  I ended with the brussels sprouts so they would brown nicely.


Parmesan Brussels Sprouts Bacon Pizza
Adapted from Picky Palate

Ingredients
pizza dough
6 bussels sprouts, sliced
4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1/4 cup milk
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried thyme

1. Preheat oven to 500.  To make the parmesan sauce: melt butter in a small saucepan.  Whisk in flour then milk, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.
2.  Spread sauce onto prepared pizza dough.  Top with cooked bacon, cheese, and sliced brussels sprouts in that order. Cook 20 minutes, until dough has browned.


Is that not a beautiful pizza?  All your food groups are getting along so nicely together.


Ok, for realz, you need to go make this pizza. Look at that picture!  It's just asking you to take a bite.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Coconut Macaroons

Looking for the perfect addition to your Easter dessert tray? Look no further folks because you are not going to find a simpler recipe around.  These coconut macaroons take about 30 minutes to bake up and you probably have all the ingredients in your cabinet right now.


Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients
1 1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 egg whites

1.  Preheat oven to 325. Toss ingredients in a bowl and mix it until batter comes together.  
2. Drop rounded teaspoons of batter on to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Cook for 20 minutes, coconut will be slightly browned. 


How easy does that sound guys?  This recipe makes about 18 tiny cookies, so if you are cooking for a crowd you might want to double it.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cinnamon Streusel Chocolate Chip Muffins

I apologize for my lack of posting lately.  I can list off some excuses, but then again I can also say I really don't have a valid excuse.  I wanted post number 400 to be some-what of a show-stopper, but I clearly wasn't putting forth any effort since it's been over a week since my last post.



Ok, now that I got all that off my chest... on to some muffins!  These babies are an original creation and they came out pretty darn wonderfully so I really shouldn't be too down about them being my 400th post.


Cinnamon Streusel Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients
2 cups Bisquick
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips
For topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour

1. Preheat oven to 400 and line a 12 cup muffin tin.
2. Mix Bisquick, sugar, egg, cinnamon, and milk until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared muffin pan, cups will be about 2/3 of the way filled.
3. In a small bowl mix together sugar, butter, cinnamon and flour until mixture is crumble. Top each muffin with mixture.
4. Cook for 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.


Brown sugar might also be nice for the streusel topping; feel free to give it a whirl.


And there ya have it folks, post number 4-0-0.  Super easy delicious muffins to brighten any morning.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dulce de Leche Crepe Cake

This was supposed to be my 400th post.  It seemed like just the right kind of show-stopper for the big 4-0-0.  Unfortunately, it was fairly unattractive and not the most delicious cake I've ever made either.  So I shall walk you through this crepe cake since it was a fair amount of work, but I would not entirely recommend that you make one yourself.

The recipe was from Food Network Magazine and can be seen here.  Once again I will state that I do not recommend that you make this recipe and with only 3 stars, neither does the Food Network community.


Here are the chocolate crepes eagerly waiting to be slathered with dulce de leche frosting.


I assembled this cake shortly before we ate it, but apparently it was too long for the cake to sit.  The frosting separated and started oozing into a puddle on the plate.  You can see by this photo that it was not a pretty cake.  It was so unappetizing looking that I refused to let anyone view it.  I cut the slices in the kitchen and  brought them out to the eaters in the other room.


Above you can see a slice of the cake with all the crepe layers.  The frosting is entirely too sweet and the cake is very difficult to cut.

What sounded like a fantastic recipe was a real let down.  Sorry guys.  Wish me luck coming up with a successful 400th post!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Buffalo Chicken with Blue Cheese Toasts

This recipe is a great way to get that buffalo wing flavor without the fat and mess of deep frying.  It's also way neater to eat!  It all comes together quickly for an easy weeknight meal.


Buffalo Chicken with Blue Cheese Toast

Ingredients
1lb thin sliced chicken breasts
1/4 c flour
salt and pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 c chicken broth
1/3 c hot sauce, I used siracha
4 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 c blue cheese
8 slices baguette

1.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour.  Heat oil in a large skillet, cook chicken until brown on each side.
2.  Add broth and hot sauce and cook until chicken is cooked through and sauce has reduced.  Whisk in 2 tbsp butter.
3.  For toasts: combine 2 tbsp butter and blue cheese in a small bowl.  Spread mixture on baguette slices.  Broil until bubbly and slightly browned.  Serve alongside chicken.


I also made a simple green bean and almond side dish to get some nutrients in my belly.

Love, love, loooooved this recipe.  The blue cheese toasts are a must have!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Satisfries Review

Burger King recently came out with a new kind of french fry.  These Satisfries are krinkle cut fries with 40% less fat and 30% less calories than regular fries.  For some reason those stats that they post on the website are compared to McDonald's fries.

Here's a breakdown of the nutrition facts for small fries vs small satisfries.
calories: 340-270
fat: 15-11
sodium: 480-300
carbs: 49-41


Now, we all know this blog has never been about making healthy choices.  What intrigued me most about Satisfries was the fact that it meant Burger King has new fries.  I find their regular fries to be pretty disappointing as fast food french fries go.  They are for certain bottom of the barrel.


Satisfries on the other hand are a huge improvement in the BK fry world.  Everything about Satisfries is better than their regular french fries.  Below you can see a close up of the insides of each fry.  The inside of the Satisfries are less grainy and have a more real potato taste than the regular fry.


An upgrade to Satisfries will set you back a bit price-wise, but I would highly recommend doing it.  Satisfries are an improvement in taste, texture, and apparently nutrition.