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Please excuse the lack of photos in some of my older posts as I am trying to slowly go back through and add the photos that were accidentally deleted

July 21, 2014

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake in a Glass

Secret Recipe Club time!

 


























































This month I was assigned to Manuela's blog, Manu's Menu. She lives in Australia! So cool! Her blog is filled with wonderful Italian recipes... lots of which were new to me and I had never heard of! I learned a lot perusing through her recipe archive (a visual recipe archive!). I was tempted to try my hand at macarons, this lamb curry looks magnificent, and omg look at this gorgeous dessert! But in the end I was intrigued by her adorable Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake in a Glass and decided to make that.



 





























































We loved the pairing of tangy, tart lemon and sweet strawberries and cream in these cutie no-bake cheesecakes! PJ claims he doesn't like lemon, so I made sure to only add a little bit of the lemon layer. He said it wasn't too much lemon and he really liked it! I love me a good graham cracker crust or crumbs, so that added a nice sweet crunch to all the creaminess. 


 



















































I have some of both the lemon and strawberry mixtures left because I only made 2 mini cheesecakes, 1 for each of us. I used a mini 9 oz dessert glass for each of us. So we've got lots of filling left and I know I'll be whipping up a couple more cheesecakes for us tomorrow, and the next day!




Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake in a Glass
adapted from Manu's Menu

For the Crust:
  • 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and press the mixture into the glasses. Chill for 30 minutes. 

For the Marinated Strawberry Garnish:

Meanwhile, slice some strawberries and add with sugar to a bowl to let marinate for 30 minutes.  

For the Lemon Cream:
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream + 1/2 tablespoon caster sugar
Put the softened cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice in the mixer bowl and whip it with an electric mixer until smooth. 

Whip cream and caster sugar until stiff peaks appear. Gently combine it to the lemon mixture. Set aside.

For Strawberry Cream:
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 8 oz strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream + 1/2 tablespoon caster sugar
Whip the whipping cream and caster sugar and set aside. 

Puree the strawberries with the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons caster sugar.


Beat the cream cheese and 4 tablespoons caster sugar until smooth. Beat in the strawberry puree until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream.


To Assemble:
Gently spoon the strawberry cream on top of the chilled base up to 2/3 of the glass. Top with the lemon cream. Garnish with the marinated strawberries and additional graham cracker crumbs. Serve chilled.

Printable Recipe
























































I know I've thrown 2 strawberry recipes at you recently (check out my Strawberries and Cream Pancakes!) but can you really go wrong with strawberries???


Check out my past Secret Recipe Club posts!






Linking up here.


Peace, and bacon grease!




 

July 18, 2014

Strawberries and Cream Pancakes

Hello there, long lost friends!

I'm back and I've brought you breakfast.

Well, if you want to call this breakfast. 

Maybe dessert is more fitting?

Whatever you call it, you'll call it YUM.








































You can easily make homemade pancakes, or go the Bisquick route like I did. 

The strawberries are a nice sweetness from soaking in the sugars, and the whipped cream isn't sweet since no sugar was added to it. So it does make it more appropriate for breakfast. Feel free to add a little sugar to your whipping cream if you're used to sweeter whipped cream.


Strawberries and Cream Pancakes
from Betty Crocker

  • 3 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups Bisquick mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
Mix strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar and set aside. Heat skillet over medium heat and grease with cooking spray.

Stir Bisquick, milk, 2 tablespoons sugar, vanilla, and eggs until blended. Pour by slightly less than 1/4 cupfuls onto hot skillet. 

Cook until edges are dry. Flip and cook until golden. To serve, layer pancakes, strawberries, and cream. 







What have you all been doing this summer? I've been grilling lots, drinking milkshakes, eating ice cream cones, and gaining weight I'm sure. 

Now I need to incorporate some summer salads and refreshing fruits into my diet. And when I say diet, I don't mean that kinda diet. Because me and diets just don't get along. They try to tell me not to eat all kinds of glorious foods. Foods that I live for. Psssshhh, I do what I want. 

I'm hoping to get back to blogging more often. Not as often as I used to, but more than I have been. Stay tuned! I'll definitely be posting an SRC recipe on Monday  :) You won't wanna miss that.....

Linking up here.


Peace, and bacon grease!




June 19, 2014

Classic Banana Bread

Banana bread!!!!!!









































We made this delicious banana bread for PJ's mom on mother's day. It turned out super delicious, though a bit dense. I think I may have over-stirred the batter. So the results were a flatter, heavier, more dense banana bread that was still so good. I approved, PJ approved, family approved, and mama-in-law approved! 


Classic Banana Bread  
from Inspired Taste

* Yields: 1 loaf
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 medium bananas (overripe and brown)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped, optional (we didn't use)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5-inch (or 9 x 5 inch) loaf pan. Place the loaf pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked on top of the other.

For the batter, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together, set aside.

Mash bananas in a medium bowl. Whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla into the bananas until blended. With a large rubber spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, stirring gently until they disappear and the batter is smooth. Stir in nuts, if using.
  
Pour batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake 55 to 75 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean (if you use a 9x5 inch loaf pan, begin checking for doneness 5-10 minutes earlier). After 30 minutes in the oven, check the bread for color. If it looks like it is browning too quickly, loosely cover with aluminum foil. 

When the bread is done, transfer it to a wire rack to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and place right side up on the rack. Cool completely.

For Storing: Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature overnight or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.



Printable Recipe




Pictures were taken on my camera phone, hence the blurriness in them. This banana bread was still the bomb.com (do people still say that? apparently I do). 

Morale of the story. Banana bread makes all things better. Dare I even venture to say it's good for you? It has bananas in it, I mean come on! Ok Ok I'm pushing it. It is, however, good for the soul. True story.

Linking up here.
Peace, and bacon grease!



June 16, 2014

Broiled Goat Cheese Arugula Salad with Grapes and Candied Pecans

Sometimes you are lucky to come across something that will forever be in a part of your life. 

 




























































This salad is one of those things for me.

I was so lucky to have Debra's blog (oh, don't forget her cat Eliot!), Eliot's Eats, for this month's Secret Recipe Club. Lots of good recipes along with tales about her garden, travel and adventure, and even some non-food crafts. I inspire to be like her! 


 
























































Her Creamsicle Strawberry Pops sound like the perfect summer treat! Also eyeing her Jalapeno Relish and these Dulce de Leche White Chocolate Cookies. Ahh, so much goodness! But that Baked Goat Cheese Salad really caught my eye, and seemed like the perfect lunch for me when I was all by myself one Sunday afternoon. The perfect solo lunch. By the time I got around to making it though, it was almost dinner time, so I put it in the fridge, saved it for dinner, and let PJ have half.

So glad I did. He loved it! So much. He wants to put it on our regular menu and said it was one of the best salads he's had in awhile. I agree. 



Broiled Goat Cheese Arugula Salad with Grapes and Candied Pecans
adapted from Eliot's Eats

For broiled goat cheese:
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, minced
  • olive oil
  • 3 rounds of garlic goat cheese log (cut in 1/2 inch slices)
  • sea salt + freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For salad:  
  • arugula
  • 1/4 cup red seedless grapes, halved
  • 1/8 cup honey roasted pecan pieces
  • balsamic dressing 
Preheat oven to broil. 

Mix together Panko bread crumbs and minced thyme.  Generously coat a plate with olive oil. 


Dip each side of the goat cheese round in the olive oil and then coat with bread crumb mixture.   

Place goat cheese slices in a metal baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
Broil for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Let cool to warm before serving. 

Assemble salad with arugula, grapes, and pecan pieces. Top with broiled goat cheese slices and dressing and serve. 


Printable Recipe


 






















































Can you imagine all the perfect flavors and textures? Peppery arugula, sweet grapes bursting with juicy flavor, crunchy and sweet candied pecans, crunchy tart broiled goat cheese all topped with a sweet balsamic dressing. I used Private Selection's White Balsamic & Honey Dressing. Like I said, so good. 

I may or may not have made another salad that night.  
 

Check out my past Secret Recipe Club posts!





Linking up here.

Peace, and bacon grease!



 

June 11, 2014

Obsessions + Confessions

Hey you!

I love love love writing these obsessions + confessions posts. No photo editing or finding the right words to say about a recipe or restaurant. It's all about what I'm currently loving and stuff that's going on in my life (though hardly exciting), and if I can't find time to edit photos, I can always find time to share my current obsessions + confessions.

SUMMMMMMMMMMMMER!!!!!! .... is almost here. But pretty much, right? The weather has been amazing (except for this week, yucky rain!) and I've been grilling up a storm. I've got a whole summer bucket list going on (think festivals, grilling, farmers markets, vacations, kayaking, s'mores-making, and more). I love bucket lists, what can I say?? Really just lists in general. I have so many lists in my life right now. With hardly anything crossed off  :) I can seriously make a list for anything. Dare me. Anyways, on to my obsessions + confessions. 


I can't even! Ice cream cone-shaped s'mores!

Homemade Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino, you know, like from Starbucks. I'm so happy I found you. 

Like I said, summer is upon us!! Whole Fruit Popsicles!

Can I have this Grilled Lobster with Sriracha Butter everyday this summer??

To go with all those grilled sliders? How about some Everything Slider Buns

Annnnd since it's basically summer, of course I'm dreaming of beaches and islands. Ok this Hawaiian Hula Pork Fajitas with Pineapple Slaw + Coconut Rice is close enough.

I love Amy Schumer

This girl's got moves. Chunky adorable cuteness!




RIP to the great, inspiration, powerful Maya Angelou. She was always such a role model for me, I loved writing and poetry growing up. I cherish some of her books and quotes to this day. 




And since I'm on the topic of poetry - this touched my soul.

Ok one more soul-touching moment. Inspirational, real, poignant, tear-jerking. (Disclaimer: I do cry at the drop of a dime though). Speeches like this should happen more often at graduations, maybe teens will listen!

What else have I been up to, you ask? Well, the usual. Work, internship, and FOOD. Like these cupcakes I've been eating from Gigi's Cupcakes


I'm also trying to plan a FOODIE VACATION!! I love the beach, but I always want to try so many restaurants around the country, so this summer we're going to hit up some places I've heard about that I want to try! We're going to stop at a restaurant in Tennessee, and then another in Atlanta. Then we'll probably see a few touristy places, stay in a hotel in Atlanta, and then be on our way back home. Any hotels, restaurants, bakeries etc you recommend? We'll be staying either near the Decatur, downtown Atlanta, or Buckhead area. 

Well that's all for now. Recipes and restaurant reviews coming soon!


Peace, and bacon grease!



May 30, 2014

Restaurant Review: Krishna in Clifton

I haven't posted a restaurant review in so long, people!

 










































I'm back reviewing an Indian carryout joint in Clifton on Calhoun.... Krishna!  

Well, I pretty much love all Indian food. I used to not think I liked it, but what was I thinking? Naan, chicken tikka masala, saag paneer??? All delicious.


While not the best Indian food I've had, it was still tasty. The restaurant itself is very small, with only a few small booths and a line to order your food. I totally understand the need for a place like this in the midst of UC... perfect for quick dine in or carryout good Indian food.


My friend ordered the Saag Paneer and enjoyed it. Can't really go wrong with Saag Paneer. Like ever. 
 











































We shared Garlic Naan and both enjoyed it. The best way to make naan even better is to add garlic. Actually, that theory applies to most foods not just naan.
 



















































































I ordered the Chicken Tikka Masala. Delicious as well. They also give you sooooo much food! I definitely had leftovers to take home for later. Winning!!! 













































Everything was good! I'd definitely go back!


Peace, and bacon grease!






Krishna on Urbanspoon

May 29, 2014

♥ My Memorial Day Weekend ♥

Hey there friends!

I've still been slacking on the recipes, so sorry! But I've been eating of course! Just thought I'd pop in to share what I was eating this past Memorial Day weekend. 

Memorial Day (and summer, really) means LOTS OF GRILLING! I love everything about grilling... the smell of food cooking on the grill, relaxing and having a beer while grilling, and the taste of grilled meats and veggies... AH!! I'm obsessed. My goal this summer is to grill anything and everything

On Saturday, we grilled up some veggies for an avocado salsa to top our grilled steaks. Look at that veggie rainbow!









































Grilled steak filets and garlicky lemony grilled asparagus. Mmmm.












































































Love grilling with my man! Quality time :) 












































A counseling friend and I went to the Taste of Cincinnati on Sunday early afternoon, thinking maybe we'd beat the crowd. We didn't! The weather was perfect and so everyone was out. 





























Menu items for the most part were about $4 or $5, which I expected. I didn't get to try as much as I wanted, and I really really wanted to try Alfio’s Buon Cibo (who won first place for best appetizer, entree, and dessert) but the line was so long. My friend Tia chose a restaurant, I chose another, and then we had to share a funnel cake for dessert, duh! 

Now that I look back on it, we could have sampled a couple more things had we not both ordered the same things lol! But what we did get, we loved. We both ordered the Grilled Chicken Thai Style ($5) from Arloi Dee Thai Bistro and it was tender and nicely flavored. It was a decent sized portion too! I found myself getting filled up already after only sampling this so far! Thanks to my friend for suggesting it because honestly, I woulda never thought to order it! I just googled it and unfortunately Arloi Dee is all the way out in Mason. Why, Arloi, why?!?! I would seriously eat you daily.





























I have been dying to try McCormick & Schmick's for so long and was so excited to see that they had a booth there too! We both ordered their Crab Cake Sandwich ($5) and it really hit the spot. It was a plump cake with fresh lump crab pieces and I was surprised at the quality! I guess I was expecting subpar quality at a Taste of Cincinnati booth but I was wrong! I would have liked a little more of the sauce though, I'm a sauce kinda gurl. We enjoyed the Funnel Cake from Down Under too but I forgot to get a picture :(

I loved everything I had, so much that I was tempted to go back the next day to try some other restaurants and/or make PJ try some of the goodies I got to try. If only money grew on trees... I think next year I'm going to try to save up money and make it a whole weekend event so I can try lots of different booths. I wanted to try dessert booths and more booths of restaurants I've been wanting to try for so long. I'm actually looking at the list of restaurants right now and am getting very sad because we decided not to venture too far down and so I missed all the fancy restaurants like Prime 47 and Ruth's Chris, and a food truck I'd been wanting to try called Red Sesame. Next year, I shall be prepared!!!!

After The Taste, I hurried over to Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant in Kenwood for dinner with my family. I'll be reviewing that soon so won't go into detail but look what we had! I had Short Ribs but just couldn't get a good pic due to low lightning in the restaurant. I need to start requesting a table near a window/good lighting when I make reservations. 






























And finally, more grilling on Memorial Day Monday. Lounging, beer, grilling... that's my idea of the perfect holiday and day off from work. I love toasted grilled buns, they really take a burger or slider to another level. We slathered these buns with garlic and shallot mayo and topped our sliders with some pepper jack cheese too. Grilling the corn with the husks on makes for juicier corn, we learned. And I am officially obsessed with Johnsonville's Beddar with Cheddar Smoked Sausage Links + their Cheddar Brats. I thought I wasn't a brat gurl, but I'm definitely now a brat gurl and proud of it. Don't mind PJ's squinted eyes lol, he hates sunglasses (they give him a headache) and the sun was shining right in his eyes! He's still a cutie... and a trooper to put up with all of my picture-taking  :)





























Thanks to all the veterans who have made this possible for all Americans.... freedom and the pursuit of happiness  ♥



Peace, and bacon grease!