Thursday, March 28, 2013

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

Ahhh cheesecake!  Who doesn't love cheesecake?!  Well, my sister has made another kind of swirl cheesecake. This time it's with strawberries!


Strawberry  Swirl Cheesecake

Cheesecake part adapted from foodess

Ingredients You'll Need:

For Strawberry Curd:

  • 2 cup sliced strawberries
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 4 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 Tablespoons cold water

For crust:

  • 1 1/3 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter

For Cheesecake Filling:

  • 3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions on how to make the:

Strawberry Filling:

  • Combine the strawberries and sugar into a blender and puree until smooth.  In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch until smooth; add to the strawberry mixture.  Pure until as smooth as possible.
  • Strain the mixture into a medium saucepan and discard the seeds.  Cook over medium heat until the mixture starts to boil.
  • Stir frequently and cook a few more minutes or until it thickens.  Strain again and let cool to room temperature.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Press into a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes; cool on wire rack.


  • Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F. In the large bowl of a standing mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Beat in sour cream and vanilla until well combined.
  • Pour two-thirds of the cheesecake batter into the crust, and top with half of the strawberry curd. Swirl gently with a knife. Top with remaining cheesecake batter and strawberry curd, and repeat swirling. 
  • Bake in center of oven for 75-85 minutes, until set (center may still jiggle a bit, it will firm up). Ovens vary.  Start checking at the 60 minute marker just to be safe.  Some may need to cook more than 60 some less, it really depends on the temperament of your oven.  Cool completely before serving.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kickin Red Burritos

These burritos are so good!  In the past the only kind of burrito I've made is the kind you add taco seasoning to and then roll up in a tortilla.  This was an exciting change of pace (yes exciting, I love food okay?).  Not to mention that if you're juggling a lot of things, this is still pretty fast and easy to make.  A great big PLUS in my book.  This also goes fantastic with tortilla corn chips.  I use them to scoop up some of the red sauce that's left over on the plate.  

Anyone remember when Wal-Mart used to have little concession like area in the back? They served slushies, hot dogs, nachos, and burritos with corn chips.  It tastes like that.  Wow, talk about taking me back to a simpler time!  

Kickin Red Burritos

Adapted from a recipe found on Food

Total Time: 45 mins Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 30 mins
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients You'll Need:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (4 1/2 ounce) can diced green chili peppers
  • 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chili without beans
  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 6 (12 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • Sour cream (optional)


  • Crumble ground beef into a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until evenly browned. Add onion, and cook until translucent. 
  • Drain grease, and season with garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir in the green chilies and refried beans until well blended. Turn off heat, but keep warm.
  • In a saucepan, combine the chili without beans, tomato soup and enchilada sauce. Mix well, and cook over medium heat until heated through. Turn off heat and keep warm.
  • Place a warmed tortilla on a plate, and spoon a generous 1/2 cup of the ground beef mixture onto the center. Top with lettuce and tomato to your liking. Roll up tortilla over the filling. Spoon a generous amount of the sauce over the top, and sprinkle with cheese. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Top with sour cream if desired.

And there you have it, fast and easy burritos! Enjoy!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Death By Chocolate Cake

If I were on my deathbed and I could have one last thing to eat, this cake would be a contender.  It's got not only two layers of chocolatey goodness, but also two layers of ganache. The first layer of ganache is on the bottom of the cake.  Then, when the second layer is put on top, the cake is sliced into 9 large pieces and MORE ganache is poured over each slice, forming a chocolate lake at the bottom of the cake.  I could swim in that chocolate.  It's sooo good.  When I bit into it, it takes me to cloud 9.  My happy place.  I've already got requests to make it again for Mom's birthday, and Mother's Day.  I think I can handle that. ;)

Death By Chocolate Cake

Time: 1 hr 35 min Prep 30 min Inactive 30 min Cook 35 min
Yield: 8-9 servings
Adapted from recipe found at Food Network

Ingredients You'll Need:

For the Cake: (This makes 2- 9 inch cakes)

  • Butter
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

For the Ganache:

  • 3 cups Whipping cream, Divided
  • 6 Tablespoons Sugar, Divided
  • 12 ounces Bittersweet chocolate, chopped, Divided
  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted butter, Divided

Directions for the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
  • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  • Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. 

Directions for Making the 1st Layer Ganache:
  • Combine 1 cup cream and 1 Tablespoon sugar in a small saucepan and heat to a boil. Pour the hot mixture over 4 ounces chocolate and 1 Tablespoon butter in a medium bowl. Stir until completely melted and smooth.
  • Strain through a fine wire mesh into a serving bowl. 
  • Pour the ganache on the cake, making sure it's covered as well as possible.  
  • Place Second cake layer on top, rounded side up.  Cut the cake slices into either 8 or 9 pieces, moving the pieces apart so when you pour the chocolate it runs down the sides.  *If your cake layers start to slide apart don't panic!  Take a toothpick and snap it in half and insert it longways into the layers to keep them together.  Just remember to tell your guests there is one hiding in there in case they are a little too enthusiastic in the consumption of the cake ;)
Directions for Making the 2nd Layer Ganache:
  • Combine 2 cups cream and 2 Tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan and heat to a boil.  Pour the hot mixture over 8 ounces chocolate and 2 Tablespoons butter in a medium bowl.  Stir until completely melted and smooth.
  • Strain through a fine wire mesh in a serving bowl.
  • Take a large spoon or ladel and pour it over each slice, making sure to get a little running down all sides.  Use all of the ganache, even if it makes a big pool at the bottom of the dish.  You want this! It makes it that much more decadent and chocolatey.
  • Do not cover.  Place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 7+ hours so the ganache firms up. 

Enjoy, and don't feel embarrassed about licking your fingers.  ;)


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