Saturday, April 30, 2011

Crack Proof Cheesecake

The first cheesecake I ever baked. Good memories from our first year of marriage. I was so nervous about it cracking or not being cooked right. Then I remember thinking it was huge and suggesting we invite some people over to help us eat it. My husband tasted it and then said "tell no one about this cheesecake". He ate half of it on his own. Excellent recipe because of the detailed instructions and tips.

Click here to access recipe from show Food 911 on Food Network.

Crack Proof Cheesecake

2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 30 squares)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 lemon, zest finely grated
1 pint sour cream
Blueberry Topping:
2 tablespoons butter
2 pints blueberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 lemon, juiced


To prepare crumb crust: In a mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients together with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Firmly press the mixture over the bottom and 1-inch up the sides on the pan, use your fingers or the smooth bottom of a glass. Refrigerate the crust while preparing the filling.

To prepare filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute just until smooth and free of any lumps. Gradually add the sugar and beat until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to slowly beat until combined. Stir in the vanilla and lemon zest. Blend in the sour cream. The batter should be well mixed but not overbeaten. Overbeating incorporates too much air and will cause the cake to puff when baking, then fall and crack when cooling. Pour filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

To prepare water bath: Set the pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides. This will prevent water from seeping into the seams of the springform pan. Carefully set the cake pan in a larger roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan.

Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 45 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle, it will firm up after chilling. Be careful not to overcook! Do not do a toothpick test in the cake's center, this will make a crack. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours to set up. Demold and transfer to a cake plate. Slice the cheesecake with a thin, nonserrated knife that has been dipped in hot water and wiped dry after each cut.

Blueberry Topping:

Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring up to a slow boil and stir gently until the berries breakdown and release their natural juice. The consistency should remain a bit chunky. Cool to room temperature and serve on top of cheesecake. Yield: 2 1/2 cups
(It's a delicious basic cheese cake with a light lemon flavor and a blueberry topping recipe.)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Strawberry fig preserves

Tastes like strawberry jam but uses figs. Recipe from my neighbor who has a fig tree.

3 cups mashed figs
3 cups sugar
1 small box strawberry jello

Mix well all ingredients. Bring to simmer and keep simmering for 20 minutes. Pack in hot sterile jars and process in hot water bath.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cranberry Salsa

12 oz pkg fresh cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 med. jalepeno, remove seeds
1 green onion
1-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp cumin
8 oz brick cream cheese, softened.

Put all ingredients except cream cheese in food processor, process until mixture is coarsely chopped. Storei n refrigerator overnight to allow flavors to blend. Pour over cream cheese and enjoy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mexican Double chocolate chocolate chip cookies

Newspaper clipping - winner of a contest, recipe says from Chaim Potter of Napa, CA
Tried them and they are pretty good.

Mexcan double chocolate chocolate chip cookies

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/8 tsp finely ground black pepper
1/4 lb coarsely chopped good quality dark chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 F. Whisk first 6 ingredients, set aside. In double boiler, melt chocolate and butter. Let cool slightly, then combin in an electric mixer with sugar eggs and vanilla at medium speed. Reduce to low and gradually add flour mixture, fold in chocolate chips.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Use 1 1/2 inch ice cream scoop to drop scoops on paper, 2 inches apart. bake 15 minutes until look flat and surfaces crack (cookies should still be soft in texture). let cookies cool on parchment on wire racks. Store for up to 3 days. Makes 3 dozen.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

This recipe is from my friend from Brazil. Table cream can be found at the Mexican grocery store.

1 1/2 lbs stew meat
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
8 ounces fresh mushrooms
4 Tbsp ketchup
2 Tbsp mustard
1 can table cream

Marinate meat with spices and olive oil. Cook until tender, using water as needed. (She doesn't boil the meat, but simmers it with water.) Add mushrooms, ketchup and mustard. After turning off heat, add table cream. Serve over rice or noodles.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Charro Beans

Really delicious beans from a lady at church.

2 cups pinto beans
1 package bacon
4 beef franks (hot dogs)
1 large tomato
1/2 onion
1/3 cup cilantro
2 tsp salt

Place pinto beans and salt in slow cooker and add enough water to fill to top without overflowing. Cook overnight or 3 horus in a regular pot. Chop all ingredients into small pieces. Place bacon in a skillet and cook until crispy. Drain grease then add other ingredients and cook until brown. Season with a bit salt. Add beans to skillet and some of bean water and combine. bring to boil, turn off heat. Beans should be soupy, not dry.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hot Cross Buns

From Ree, the Pioneer Woman. Click here for recipe with detailed picture instructions.

These were really delicious.

Hot Cross Buns

  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • ½ cups Canola Oil
  • ½ cups Sugar
  • 1 package (2 1/4 Teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • ½ cups (additional) Flour
  • ½ teaspoons (heaping) Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoons (scant) Baking Soda
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ cups Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Spices: Cardamom, Nutmeg, Allspice (optional)
  • ½ cups Raisins
  • 1 whole Egg White
  • Splash Of Milk
  • Icing
  • 1 whole Egg White
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Splash Of Milk

Preparation Instructions

Combine 2 cups milk, canola oil, and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan. Stir and heat until very warm but not boiling. Turn off the heat and allow to cool until mixture is still warm, but not hot–about 30 minutes.
Sprinkle yeast over mixture. Add 4 cups of flour and stir to combine. Mixture will be very sticky. Cover with a towel and set aside for 1 hour.
Add 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir till combined.
Combine 1/4 cup sugar with cinnamon and whatever other spices you want to use.
Lightly flour surface. Press to slightly flatten dough. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle on about a third of the raisins. Then fold the dough over on itself and flatten again so the dough is “plain” again. Repeat the sugar/raisin process, then fold the dough again. Repeat a third time until all the raisins are used. (You won’t use all the sugar/cinnamon mixture.)
Pinch off ping pong or golf ball-size bunches of dough. With floured hands, quickly roll it into a ball, then turn the edges under themselves slightly. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes…an hour-plus is better.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 degrees
Mix 1 egg white with a splash of milk. Brush onto each roll.
Bake for 20 minutes, give or take, or until tops of buns have turned nice and golden brown.
Remove from pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
Mix 1 egg white with enough powdered sugar for icing to be very thick. Splash in milk as needed for consistency.
Add icing to a small Ziploc bag and snip the corner. Make icing crosses on each roll, making sure they’re completely cooled first.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Taco Seasoning Mix

1 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt (or 3/4 tsp table salt)
1 tsp black pepper

Mix ingredients.

To use: Brown 1 lb ground beef in frying pan. Drain off extra fat. Add in a can of beans if desired. Add mix and 1/2 cup water to pan, stirring and mixing until water is gone.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Creamy Cracked Wheat Cereal

1 cup uncooked cracked wheat
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup powdered milk
4 Tbsp sugar

Add dry milk to water and whisk together. Bring to boil. At medium high temperature, add wheat, sugar and salt. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the water is absorbed. Makes 3 cups cereal. (4 servings)


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