Tuesday, January 31, 2012

baking: lemon blackberry cheesecake

so this serves as my disclaimer...
i have never made a cheesecake before.
i usually buy the ones already made at the store and then just make a fresh compote
i cheat.
but i figured i would try it out and see if there are ways i could make it healthier as well!
{ there are! }
microwave 3 tablespoons of butter
use 1 tablespoon and grease your spring form pan
use the remaining butter and add to 1 cup of crushed grahm crackers
pour crumbs in pan to form the crust
take 2 pounds of cream cheese and add 1 and a half a cup of sugar
i used a low fat cream cheese
{ so i wouldn't feel so guilty later when i eat 3-5 pieces while the kids are in bed }
mix well
add 3/4ths a cup of milk
{ again... watching your ingredients... i used skim }
slowly add 4 eggs into your mix
one at a time
now add 1 cup of low fat sour cream and 1/4th a cup of flour and 1 tablespoon of vanilla
mix and separate the batter into two bowls
to one bowl you are going to add two packages of blackberries, lemon juice from one fresh lemon and some zest
mix well
pour the berry mixture into the pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes just for it to set
then pour in your plain batter on top and cook the cake for another hour until it looks like this
let cake cool on wire rack for one hour before place in the fridge
cool in fridge for at least 2 hours
when ready to serve, garnish with a slice of lemon and some zest
i cut into my cheesecake a little too soon
since i wanted to get a good picture of it in the sunlight...
plus i didn't know if it was going to make it to tomorrow
look at those blackberries exploding from the inside of the cake
as i devour daintily eat my slice of cake.
lopsided or not... it tastes as it should

Saturday, January 28, 2012

cooking: seafood stew

for some reason i have been craving seafood
not just a little but MOUNDS of seafood
so that's where stew comes in!
add a tablespoon of olive oil to a tablespoon of butter to a large pot
saute garlic, carrots, red and green pepper and some onion for 10 minutes
add one can of coconut milk, a third cup of white wine and 4 cups of cream and bring to a boil
prep and clean 2 pounds of shrimp, 2 pounds of clams and 2 pounds of scallops
once to a boil add your seafood and continue to boil for the next 2 minutes
add two tablespoons of tomato paste
mix well, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes
garnish with some parsley and cilantro
hope you enjoy this as much as i did!

Friday, January 27, 2012

cooking: shrimp and avocado salad

when we first moved to seattle, we went to pike market and had lunch at this roof top spanish eatery
instead of getting paella, like my wonderful husband who so gladly shared...
i got this great refreshing salad
layered some romaine with mozzarella cheese
pile on the avocado and black olives
add some cooked shrimp, a good ole's squeeze of lemon juice and olive oil
also add some salt and pepper... as usual

Thursday, January 26, 2012

baking: blueberry pie

this is my first attempt at a blueberry pie
i went to go follow my sister in laws recipe
and then realized i only had half the recipe written down
smooth moove, emily!
so i improvised and i gotta tell ya... it came out pretty darn good!
roll your pie crust into the bottom of your pan
i used pre-made pillsbury pie dough
i'm not gonna act like everything i do is homemade... because it's not!
take your pint of blueberry rinse, drain and douse with a good sprinkling of lemon juice
add one cup of sugar, a fourth cup of flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and some nutmeg
i don't measure spices because i like to adjust to my liking
toss lightly and put in your pie crust
{ this is where my recipe stopped... so from here on out... i'm winging it! }
cover your filling
i used a cookie cutter... to make it perrrrty!
whisk an egg yolk and brush it on the top crust
bake at 400 degree for 40-50 minutes
here's a glamour shot of the gooey goodness!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

cooking: red cabbage salad

eating raw veggies is the one thing that reminds me of summer
a crispy colorful salad is a way to reminisce of sunny and cheerful days
round up your vegs
using your mandolin slice them all very thinly
add a squeeze of lime
some salt and pepper
toss and eat up!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

cooking: couscous pita with tzatziki sauce

this is was an easy and quick lunch or dinner idea
that the whole family will love!
gather your ingredients for your tzatsiki sauce
to make the sauce you are going to add equal parts greek yogurt and sour cream
2 cloves of garlic, salt and pepper, dill and some olive oil
mix and chill in the fridge
spray your pitas with some olive oil and place on your grill pan
i put some glass containers on the pita to flatten and to make sure i got some good grill lines!
make your couscous according to the instructions
i purchased toasted pine nut and rosemary couscous
cut half a tomato, some red cabbage and some yellow pepper
when your couscous is done, add all your vegs
build your sandwich- pita, couscous, sauce, romaine and then the other pita
this sandwich had awesome flavors thanks to the sauce 
great textures thanks to the raw vegs and was really quite colorful!