Friday, September 3, 2010

Lemon Cheesecake Bars...

So I asked for suggestions of yummy things to bake, and my friend Mary Ann suggested some type of yummy bar. So tada... here they are. (Full recipe is listed at the end of the post.)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take a 9"x9" square pan and line it with parchment paper. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. I promise you that you will regret it when you are spooning your "bars" out of the tin cause they stuck.
Mix the crust ingredients together until they form a dough.
Press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Put the pan in the oven for 15 minutes.
While the crust is baking, cream together the cream cheese, sugar and flour. (I used the same bowl for this that I made the crust in, and didn't even rinse it out, heck the ingredients are all getting baked together anyways.)
Add the eggs one at a time and mix on low.
Add sour cream and vanilla and mix on low for one minute.
Once the crust has baked for 15 minutes remove from oven and pour cheesecake filling on top. Smooth out the top with a spatula. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees and return the pan to the oven for 20 minutes. While this is baking, mix together all lemon filling ingredients in the same bowl you used to mix the cheesecake filling. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. After the 20 minutes of baking is complete, gently pour the lemon mixture on top of the cheesecake and return to the oven for 30 - 35 minutes until the center of the cheesecake is not too wobbly.
Remove the pan from the oven and let cool. This part is hard, it smells so yummy.

Remove the cheesecake from the pan and slice into bars. Look how easily the bars came out of the pan because of the parchment paper.
Then you can taste. Mmmm... I would recommend that you cut these bars small since they are extremely rich.
And look, all this yumminess was created only using these few dishes. Now if you know me you know I hate to do dishes, so this recipe gets bonus points for this.


11 T butter (softened)
1 1/3 C flour
2/3 C powdered sugar

Cheesecake Filling:
16 oz cream cheese
2/3 C sugar
1 T flour
2 eggs
2/3 C sour cream
1/2 t vanilla

Lemon Filling:
3 eggs
1 1/3 C sugar
4 T lemon juice
1 T lemon zest
4 T flour

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Zucchini Bread

What do you do with a two pound zucchini?

Well you shred it of course to make zucchini bread...

And then you mix the zucchini with 4 tablespoons of sugar and place in a colander to drain. This step is essential as the massive amounts of water in the zucchini will make your bread mushy and inedible if you use it as is.

Mix eggs, sugar, melted butter, and plain yogurt together...

Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt ...

Add zucchini and wet ingredients to the flour and stir together until combined...

Your batter should look like this. Do not overmix.

Pour batter into two greased and floured loaf pans and bake at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Once baked, let cool for 20-30 minutes and then slice and serve.

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Desk ...

My aunts, my mom and I went shopping today at a consignment store that had some amazing stuff. Have you ever walked into a store and just been drawn to a particular piece? Well this desk just spoke to me.

They just don't build furniture like this anymore. This looks like it was an old school desk. Check out how the side flips up and gives you some extra space. (It is the same on the other side as well.)

Here is a close up of the top, it has a little ceramic ink well...

And the top flips up for storage. Now I just have to decide where exactly in my condo I want to put this. Do you think it would be wrong to use it to store my laptop and all my other computer-y components?

Birthday Cake...

So back in the craziness of making a wedding cake, one of my great college friends asked me if I knew how to make gluten free cakes. Now I am no expert on gluten free baking and I knew that I didn't want to tackle all the crazy ingredients that are in some of the recipes out there for gluten free baking. Where does one find xantham gum anyways?

So my friend needed a gluten free cake, and she needed it for the day after the wedding that I was making the cake for. So I said sure, I can do that. Might as well make one more cake while I am elbow deep in sugar and cake. I decided that I would make a flour-less chocolate cake, since it is easy and intrinsically gluten free and she requested cream cheese frosting.

So I took a little bit of liberty with the cake filling and the design on the outside. So I made a four layer, flour-less chocolate cake filled with strawberry/apricot jam, frosted with cream cheese icing and covered in fondant.

I tinted small bits of fondant with three shades of blue/green and cut small circles out of the fondant and applied it to the cake to make a little bubble pattern.

I think this cake turned out really well. And apparently it was a hit at the party, so I will have to make it again when I will get to taste it.

Also I have to get better about keeping my camera in my kitchen and taking pictures of each step in the process instead of just the final results. Any other food bloggers out there reading that have tips for remembering to take pictures of each step?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Almost Christmas ...

I was reminded the other day that there are now less than FOUR months until Christmas. Which gets me to thinking that I should start contemplating gifts soon or else I will be too busy to actually do anything.

I have in the past made homemade gifts, like the cookie mix in a jar, handmade ceramic bowls or aprons. I think that making a gift for someone is a lot of fun. Also it tends to be more economical so I can often make a much nicer gift than I could buy.

So I am looking for suggestions, bear in mind that I cannot knit and have been working on crocheting a scarf since I was in college. But I do have pretty good kitchen skills and I know my way around a sewing machine too.

So please comment below and let me know what kind of handmade gifts you have received that you really loved and or what type of thing you would love to see under your Christmas tree this year.

Some photos from my summer trip...

Just some random pictures from my trip to London this summer.

My ride across the pond ... "I do believe in fairies, I do, I do..." "And isn't she just first class?" ;)

Church that I don't know the name of in London.

Grenadier Guard ...

Wall at Cardiff Castle...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Making Whoopie ... Pie

So whoopie pie has apparently become a trend and our newspaper food section did some articles on them a while back and I thought they sounded and looked tasty. Well today I decided to make them to take to a family bbq. I used the recipe found here.

Mix according to the recipe until the batter is fluffy and smooth...
I used a scooper to portion out little balls of batter onto parchment paper lined baking pans...
While the cake portion was baking I gathered the ingredients for the filling ...
Once the cakes were baked, I let them cool...
I paired up the cakes by size and piped on the filling...
Then put the top on and press down gently...
And repeat until all are filled, then step back and admire...
And taste ... om nom nom ... Cakey marshmallow-y goodness, in a handy little snack that you can pick up and eat. Perfect for a picnic, a backyard bbq or to pack in your lunchbox for tomorrow. Although I can't guarantee that it will still be there at lunchtime. *Sneaks back to the fridge for another one*
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