Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blueberry Breakfast Cheesecake

I have mentioned before that I especially enjoy Sunday breakfast with a "touch of sweet" as my Grandmother use to call coffee cake or any other "what not" that was baked up to be served with the meal.

There were two kinds of sweets eaters in my family. Our Mother preferred sweet to be the dominate flavor of a meal like breakfast. She would frequently have toast with (lots!) of King Kelly Orange Marmalade, taking a small spoonful of the marmalade for each bite of toast. This was washed down with coffee, that was sugared, but only lightly.

Our Father liked a big breakfast, with a "touch of sweet" at the end. I am sure he got that from his Mother, who was a wonderful cook and loved to bake. I am more like our Father, my first taste choice is not sweet. I like this cake along with eggs and a couple slices of bacon, it is delicious and not too sweet.

My row of blueberry bushes. I am wanting to add more, can you have too many?

This is the first time I have made this with a food processor.  The entire recipe worked up very quickly.  No excuses now, it will be fun to try different fruits in season, but there are always blueberries in the freezer!

Blueberry Breakfast Cheesecake
from the binder collection, adapted from (I believe) Sunset magazine.
425 degrees

2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 c butter (cut the cube down the middle and then crosswise in 1/4 inch slices)
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 16oz container cottage cheese
1/2 c sugar
1 T flour

2 c blueberries
1/4 c sugar
1/2 t cinnamon

Combine dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse until crumbs. In a large bowl beat the 2 eggs with the vanilla, stir in crumbs, continue to stir until mixture is large clumps. Dump into the bottom of a 9X13 pan and using your hands, pat evenly over the bottom.

Add the cottage cheese, sugar and flour to the processor bowl (no need to wash), process until smooth. Pour over the crumb base.

Sprinkle with the blueberries, combine the last of the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top.

Bake 30 minutes
Serves 12 - 15

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and visit, I appreciate your time.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Potted Gouda Cheese Spread

I have made this many times through the years and it is great to have on hand. It mellows with age, as all cheese spreads/dips/dunks/balls do. I am not a fan of the classic cheese ball. Not how a cheese ball tastes, how it looks after a few folks have had a knife swipe at it. Pretty and then immediately messy. Potted cheese presentation eliminates all that.  For this batch I simply pressed it into one of the old fashioned refrigerator pans, put a date label on it and that was it. There it sits waiting to be served.

 Potted Gouda Cheese
adapted through the years, recipe most likely found in a magazine, source now forgotten, but thanked.

1 8 oz ball Gouda cheese - grated
3 T dry white wine
1 t mustard
1 dash hot pepper sauce - shake the bottle well and give it a definite dash of flavor!

Grate the cheese.

Add remaining ingredients.

Process until smooth, scrape down sides, process again if needed.

Smooth into your chosen container. 

Label and place in fridge to mellow. To make sure this was "sealed" I used a double thickness of wax paper as a gasket.

This is delicious on crackers and in celery, this was a given.Is there a better match than cheese and crackers or bread?

But this is also wonderful to place a small dollop on a saute'd chicken breast or thigh and let it melt into a delicious sauce.

Toss with fresh steamed broccoli before serving.

Serve with crisp and tart apple slices.

Individual balls ( about 1 Tablespoon ) of this can be rolled in toasted pecans, etc and used to dress an appetizer tray or plate. 

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always thanks to taking a moment to stop and say hello, have a great Sunday!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lentil and Mushroom Stroup with kale and bacon

 It is a bright and sunny day here today! But very very cold. So cold in fact that there is a fire in the wood stove and a pot of fresh soup cooking in the kitchen.

Weather complaints aside, soup is a wonderful thing to cook on cold days, it also helps keep kitchen waste down.  There does not have to be any hard and fast rules about soup making, what you have available will usually make a nice pot of soup.

If is turns out a little bland, add a bit of zip with some extra seasonings or serve with a sprinkling of cheese. I have learned a thing or two about myself and soup.

I enjoy a brothy soup sipped out of a soup mug and then finished with a spoon at the end. And sometimes I only want the broth, I must be craving the warmth and the liquid.

I love rice with soup, but not in the soup, because it gets mushy. The way to avoid the mushy rice problem is to cook the rice separately and place a scoop of rice in the bottom of the bowl and serve the soup over the rice. This works especially well for soups that you will freeze and serve later.

The same is true with potatoes. I enjoy a robust meaty vegetable soup served over fried potatoes placed in my soup bowl. The flavor of the fried potatoes is far superior to potatoes peeled and added to the soup. Again potatoes do not freeze well in soup, when thawed and served they are mush and the soup texture is questionable.

Lentil and mushroom Stroup with kale and bacon
adapted from what you have on hand and experience from good soups made before!

6-8 slices bacon - diced
1 onion - diced
1 pound mushrooms - sliced
2 carrots - peeled and diced
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
1 qt chicken or ham broth
1 qt water
2 c lentils rinsed and drained
1 t thyme leaves, crumbled
1 1/2 t garlic salt

1/2 bunch kale, washed drained and cut into 1" pieces

Saute the bacon in a large flat bottom pan, remove bacon and set aside. Remove all but 1 T of the rendered fat and the "drippings", add onion turn heat to medium, cover and let braise about 5 minutes to soften the onion. Remove and set aside.

Add 1 T of reserved bacon fat and the sliced mushrooms, raise heat to high and cook stirring until mushroom begin to release moisture. Add all remaining ingredients except the kale. Simmer 1 hour, add kale and simmer additional 30 - 45 minutes or until cooked to your preferred texture.

Makes about 1 gallon, freezes great for those quick dinners. Even Honey liked this one and he is not the biggest soup fan.

Recipe rating:  It's Ok. (tasty but not special)

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello, I appreciate your time. 

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Shoo Fly Cake

This is a simple dessert, delicious on it's own, that can be added to. And by added to I mean, homemade applesauce or port stewed dried plums served along side, making it company fare. Or Sunday brunch or dinner for the family, we don't save everything for company around here!

I found this recipe so many years ago, and had featured it here when I first began blogging. This is one of those simple desserts that can be eaten several times a year, just like gingerbread, and you won't grow tired of it. With the end of March being so busy at work (I clocked 112 hours at payroll close) I decided to go back and remake some of the earlier offerings and take pictures this time around.

Shoo Fly Cake
adapted from a recipe found in a magazine many years ago, author unknown, but thanked many times.
350 degree oven

21/2 c flour
3/4 c sugar
1 t soda
Whisk together in a large bowl.

I have started using evaporated cane juice/organic sugar, it is darker in color, not noticeable in the finished baked goods.. 

1/2 c butter
Cut in butter until mixture looks like cornmeal. Reserve 1/3 c of this mixture and set aside. 


  This is so easy, add 1 c hot water to the cup, slowly pour molasses until total equals 1 1/2 cups, then stir.

 1 c hot water
1/2 c molasses
Stir together and add to the crumb mixture in the large bowl, stirring just to blend. Pour into a prepared 9 inch round baking pan.

Add 2 T brown sugar to the reserved crumb mixture, mix well. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the cake batter.

Bake 25- 30 minutes.
Serves 6-8 with whipped cream and fruit or just a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Recipe rating: Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always, thanks so much for taking a moment to stop and say hello, I appreciate it.