Strawberry cheesecake
January 20, 2012, 5:36 pm
Filed under: cake, dessert, food issues, recipe, strawberries | Tags: , , , ,

Strawberry Cheesecake

2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs
1 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 package (10 oz.) frozen strawberries, thawed
1/2 pint fresh strawberries, sliced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.


I made a pecan graham cracker crust for this cake. It was good!

Dump one sleeve graham crackers, and 1/2 cup pecans into food processor. Whirl. It’s about

3/4 cup graham crackers and 1/2 cup pecans
3 tablespoons butter melted.

Press into pan and bake 350 for 5-8 minutes.

Beat 1/2 cup sugar, cream cheese, lemon juice and lemon peel with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.

Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each egg is added just until blended. Pour into crust.

Bake 50 minutes or until center is almost set. Apparently a lot of people overcook their cheesecake. Mea culpa. I read about it and you’re supposed to see about 2 inches or so of jiggly. That stresses me out, but I tried it. The first bite was less cooked I thought but if that’s how you do it, ok I guess!

Cool cheesecake. Top with strawberries. In a medium saucepan cook em then mix in cornstarch, blending well. Add a bit of water if necessary. I think next time I’d use a combination of jam in there. I thought the frozen nature of the berries was not nice! Little doode, who doesn’t like strawberries and at first scraped his topping off, ate the berries when he was informed that they were from Argentina! To him a mark of exotic goodness? Dunno, we were thinking how crazy it is that our frozen organic fruit came from so far away.


peach cobbler!!!
August 16, 2011, 4:42 pm
Filed under: cherries, dessert, recipe | Tags: , , ,

a lot of peaches

Wowee. This was good. Easy too. Unusual steps though.

You put 1/4 cup of butter in a baking dish and warm it in the preheating oven til melted. Take it out.
Peel 9 peaches and chop em up. Cook them on the stove with 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to boil then take off heat.
In a bowl mix 1 cup flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1/2 cup sugar. Pinch of salt. Stir in 1 cup of milk then pour the batter over the butter in the dish. Don’t mix it up. Pour peaches over top. Bake in the oven til golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream!! Great hot or cold.

This makes a nice cobbler, a sweetish dough, puffy sort of angel food cake like almost. Very different from the sticky oatmeal crisp variety bake. Both have their place, this was a nice change. I recently made two clafoutis–this peach cobbler is in between clafouti and a biscuit type of dough. Here’s last year’s clafouti, and this year’s version. I think I liked this year’s version (I doubled the recipe).

From a recipe here.


1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk
4 cups fresh peach slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)

  • Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
  • Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir).
  • Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.
  • Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool.

banana bread
April 21, 2011, 1:18 pm
Filed under: dessert, recipe | Tags:

I don’t make banana bread that often, but there were four bananas sitting there getting closer and closer to the point of no return. So I made a variation on this recipe (I used more bananas and didn’t glaze it). I generally like banana bread with walnuts but this was a nice change of pace. Tasty! Will be amazing with the glaze. If I get to that before it gets eaten entirely that is…

Banana Bread with Coconut
(one loaf)

2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
4 ripe bananas
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut

1 tablespoon flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350. Grease loaf pan with butter. Mix butter and sugar til creamy. Add in yogurt, rum, eggs, vanilla, and bananas. Mix well. Add in coconut and mix gently. Add flour baking soda and salt mix around dry ingredients in top, then mix with beaters. (I don’t like to mix the dry ingredients separately so i do it this way and it seems to work ok).

Turn mix out into pan. Sprinkle coconut on top. Bake for 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out cleanish.

I haven’t put the glaze on it yet. But it sounds good! This baked up fantastic!

tricycle tart-AKA treacle tart–AKA fancy sugar pie
November 23, 2010, 6:34 am
Filed under: bread, dessert, recipe | Tags: , , ,

treacle tart is good!

Hard to believe that after so much anticipation the Harry Potter Premier has come and gone. Yes, we survived the midnight showing. The girl was so keen on this day. Sheesh! I put out a walkway of lumieres for their drive in from school (gets so dark early now!), just to add to the excitement.

I made a cardamom carrot cake for that night, and she thought/ hoped it was tricycle tart. She explained that treacle tart is Harry’s favorite. She thought it was pronounced tricycle tart which we all thought was pretty funny!

Anyhow I had some Lyle’s Golden Syrup in the house and I thought I’d try to make it.

You really need that syrup. I’d never used it before (must have bought it to make something, though I don’t know what). When I opened it up I knew it was unlike any other. It’s sugar cane syrup and it is so thick. Nuts man! I tasted it and after a while figured out what it reminded me of. Do you remember those little ice cream cone treats from the candy store? They had syrup inside and a solid bit at the top to keep it in the cone? That was some good eating. I never see them anymore, but the syrup in them –that’s golden syrup! But I digress.

Treacle Tart

For the pastry

1 cup flour
1 stick butter diced
1/2 cup sour cream

For the filling

1 1/2 cup golden syrup
2 cups fresh bread crumbs (I used two slices of wheat bread in food processor)
juice and zest one lemon
2 eggs
pinch of salt

Whiz flour and butter in food processor, add in sour cream. It’ll be crumbly but just starting to come together. Put on waxed paper and ball it up. Flatten into a disk and put in freezer for about 15 minutes.
Roll out to fit a 9 inch tart pan. Put gently into tart pan. Line with beans or pie weights. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 375. Remove beans and then bake another 5 minutes or until it looks like it’s a tad bit dried out in the middle.
Note: the pastry recipe I was using was in grams. So I estimated. The tart was pretty gloopy, but it worked and it was pretty flakey. Note: use parchment in between beans and shell. Don’t ask me about that.

Anyhow after your shell is ready, mix up the filling ingredients and pour into base. Bake at 325 for about 50 minutes. Serve cold. Whipped cream is good.

I tasted the filling while it was warm. Not so good. But cold this tart was pretty great! The lemony flavor was great.

how to use up all that pumpkin? pumpkin pecan rolls
October 24, 2010, 3:22 pm
Filed under: dessert, gardening, pasta, pumpkin, recipe

We’ve got three Musque de Provence pumpkins size large sitting in the house. They’re begging to be used.

Alas, we’ve still got aways to go with this pumpkin usage situation. I’ve got a freezer full of pie pumpkin, butternut squash. And two big butternut squash sitting next to these musque de provence ones. Maybe we overdid a bit?

I’ve got some extra puree from this morning but we’re still hardly putting a dent in this bad boy!

a lot of pumpkin!

Last night we had pumpkin and goat cheese penne. Easy recipe.

To serve two.

Roast a cup or two of pumpkin cubes with olive oil and sage (about 2 tsp fresh), and 1/4 cup of red onion diced.
Cook up enough penne for two people.
Mix together and add in some goat cheese (about 1/2 cup). Season with salt and pepper.

Keeping with the pumpkin theme today I made some pumpkin cinnamon rolls!

one of two pans of goodness!

I roasted another big chunk of a big pumpkin–450 for about 30 mins. depending on size of chunks. Just roast it peeled, plain, and then, when soft take it out and throw it into the food processor. Whirl until smooth. You’ll need almost two cups for this recipe (15 oz).

This recipe was for no knead rolls. I mixed these in the stand mixer. They were good.

Pumpkin Pecan Rolls with Brown Sugar Glaze

Makes 16-18 rolls

For the dough:

1/4 cup water
1 scant tablespoon yeast (1 package)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree or fresh pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups pecans – toasted, chopped, and divided in half (optional)

For the glaze:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup brown sugar
pinch salt
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

(i’d half this glaze recipe next time–it made an insane amount of glaze!)

Sprinkle the yeast over the water in a stand mixer and let it sit a few minutes until the yeast is dissolved.

Meanwhile, warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan on the stove top until the butter is melted.

Let the milk mixture cool until it is just warm to the touch – NOT HOT. Then stir in the yeast and the pumpkin and the sugar. My pumpkin was still hot from the oven at this point, so I made sure it was cool enough to not kill the yeast.  Add the salt and five cups of the flour all at once, mix until all the flour has been absorbed. The dough will be sticky, but should come together in a shaggy ball. If it’s still more the consistency of cookie batter, work in an additional 1/2 cup of flour. If you’re using fresh pumpkin it’ll be pretty moist and I needed to add an extra 3/4 cup of flour to make it at least resemble a dough. The dough doesn’t need to come away from the sides of the mixer. It should just be stringy on the dough hook.

Cover the dough and let it rise for 1-3 hours. During this time, it should double in bulk. At this point, you can punch the dough down and refrigerate it overnight or continue shaping the rolls. I made the mistake of trying to punch it down, and it was still so wet. Sigh. But it was ok.

To shape the rolls (either immediately or with the refrigerated dough), sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and dump the dough on top. Pat it down into a rough rectangle and then use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a rectangular shape about a half an inch thick, longer than it is wide. If the dough gets sticky, sprinkle a little more flour on the dough’s surface and on your hands. The dough was so light and wonderful. Sticky yes, but soft, you could tell it was good!

Melt the butter in the microwave and stir in the brown sugar and the spices. Spread this over the rectangle of dough, leaving an inch of bare dough at the top. Sprinkle one cup of the toasted pecans over the dough, if using. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch it closed at the top. The spices are sort of like a paste. It’s hard to spread them evenly on the dough, but all is good.

Rub a tablespoon of soft butter into the bottom of two 9×13 baking dishes, two 9-inch cake pans, or a combination. Using a bench cutter or a sharp knife, cut the cylinder into individual rolls 1 – 1 1/2 inches thick. Place them into your baking dishes so they have a little wiggle room on all sides to rise. Cover them with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise until they fill the pan and look puffy, 30 minutes for already-warm dough and 1 hour for dough that’s been refrigerated.

About 20 minutes before baking, begin heating the oven to 375°. When the rolls are ready, bake them for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden and starting to look toasted around the edges. Rotate the pans halfway through cooking.

While they are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and butter. When the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and salt. Stir until the brown sugar has melted. Remove from heat and strain into a mixing bowl to remove any sugar clumps. Stir in the powdered sugar. This should form a thick but pourable glaze.

Let the baked rolls cool for about five minutes and then pour the glaze on top. Sprinkle the remaining cup of pecans over the top, if more nuttiness is desired. Eat them immediately. Leftovers will keep for several days and are best reheated for a minute in the microwave.

thanksgiving pies–pumpkin/ apple
October 12, 2010, 7:46 pm
Filed under: dessert, pumpkin, recipe | Tags: , , , ,

Best pumpkin pie I’ve ever made is this one. Try it! From Bon Appetit.

I make it with a gingersnap crust.

1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 large eggs

Gingersnap crust:
2 cups crushed gingersnaps
2 tbsp butter, melted
Press into pan. Bake at 400 for 5-8 minutes. Sometimes it’s super crunchy–if you bake it too long I guess. Last time I put 5 tbsp butter in and that was crazy.

Ok so for the pie: Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Add in the eggs last, then pour into the crust. Bake for 55 minutes at 350 or until just slightly jiggly. Cool and serve.

Whip up some cream (1/2 cup) with a tbsp of sugar, and a splash of bourbon! Or serve canadian style, spread with a bit of creamed honey.

Ok and for the Apple pie. See the post and recipe here. Alas, I’ve made this one a lot, and I still have some issues.

So, for the record–
1. grease the pan before you put the crust in.
2. put the walnut/ sugar topping on BEFORE you put the top crust on!!
3. cook it for longer than 55 minutes. I tend to undercook the apples. Really wait until it’s bubbly and the apples are softer.

cafe au lait cheesecake
August 16, 2010, 9:29 pm
Filed under: cake, dessert, recipe | Tags:

Buds from the west coast Darren and Andrea made this cheesecake way back when, and ever since, it’s been my go-to cheesecake. It’s SO good! A couple of notes–it makes a lot of filling and it’s quite liquidy. I always seem to end up with big chunks of creamcheese floating around aimlessly in the milk and egg mixture, but no worries. The melted chocolate seems to wind up looking like little chipits floating around, but no worries. It works out in the end. And did I mention? It’s GOOD!

Cafe au lait Cheesecake

2 cups (500ml) graham wafers finely crushed (38-40 wafers)
1/3 cup (75 ml) butter, melted
2 packages (250gr each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups (300 ml) sugar
1 square Baker’s semi sweet chocolate, melted
2 tbsp (30ml) flour
2 tsp (10ml) vanilla
4 eggs
1 tbsp (15 ml) instant coffee granules (instant espresso powder)
1 1/4 cups (300ml) milk
1/3 cup (75ml) coffee flavoured liqueur

Combine wafer crumbs and butter. Press over bottom and 2 inches (5cm) up the side of a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan; set aside. You can also bake this for 8 minutes at 375 if you like. Depends on whether you like a cooked crust or a more crumbly one.

In large mixer bowl beat cream cheese until smooth.
Gradually beat in sugar, melted chocolate, flour & vanilla.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Dissolve coffee granules in milk; stir milk mixture & liqueur into cream cheese mixture.
Pour into prepared crust; set springform pan on a jelly roll pan–just in case. It’s never overflowed on me, but once a bit escaped from the springform bottom because I put it in the ring upside down. ARGH!

Bake in preheated 375 F (190 C) oven 50-55 minutes or until set. Cool; chill.
To serve, top with whipped cream and chocolate sauce if desired (we never did this part).