Red Velvet Cheesecake!!! “Fiesta Friday #63”

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“Red Velvet, Red Velvet, send “Cheesecake” right over” LOL

Anyone remember playing “Red Rover, Red Rover” as a kid 😉 if not just google it LOL 😛

Anyway I was trying to start my blog out in a silly kind of way, but there is no silliness when “Red Velvet” is involved 😉

Of course Red Velvet everything starts to come out around Valentine’s Day, and this is around that time I made this delicious cheesecake.

Of course I did share with several friends and I must say I had “zero” complaints 🙂 LOL

So I thought this would be perfect for this week’s “Fiesta Friday #63”, of course our host is Angie@The Novice Gardener her new blog for Fiesta Friday’s is here and her co-host this week are Julianna@Food On Board and Hilda@Along The Grapevine.

So I’d like to thank them for letting me share this recipe 🙂

So without further ado here you go!!

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Ingredients

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Crust –

place biscuits in food processor

 

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Pulse until it becomes fine crumbs

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this is the 1 1/2 cup of the tea biscuits

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Add melted butter and crumbs together

 

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butter & crumb mixture

 

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spray your spring-form pan

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Pour crumb mixture into pan

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with your fingers firmly press crumb mixture into pan
and up the sides about 1 inch

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Filling – cream cheese softened

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blend the cream cheese until smooth

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add eggs one at a time, blending well after each one

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add the sugar

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add sour cream

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add salt & cornstarch

 

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add vanilla

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scrap your bowl

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put about 2 1/2 cup of the filling in another bowl

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add red food coloring and cocoa

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whisk together

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Pour red mixture on top of cream mixture
and give it a swirl and bake

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once its done turn oven off, crack the oven door open
and let cake sit inside for 1 hour

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remove from oven and let cool for 3 hours

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Chill overnight or for at least 3 hours before
cutting and serving

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Its came out just delicious!!!

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Enjoy!!

Red Velvet Cheesecake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Crust:
2 1/2 cups cookie crumbs (graham or flavored)
(I used 1 1/2 cups Cappuccino tea biscuits and 1 cup graham cracker crumbs)
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

Mix all together in a bowl, in a 9 inch spring-form pan press mixture down on the bottom and up the sides about 1 inch, set aside.

Filling:

2 8oz. bricks cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream, room temp
3 eggs, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. corn starch
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. red food coloring
1/4 cup cocoa powder

In a large bowl with a stand mixer or hand mixer, mix the cream cheese until smooth and creamy, add one egg at a time, making sure each is mixed in before adding the next.  Then add the sugar, sour cream, vanilla, salt and then cornstarch, scraping the bowl as needed.

Take 2 1/2 cups of the mixture and add it to a small bowl then mix in food coloring  and cocoa until fully combined.

Pour white mixture into the pan and spread around, then add red mixture and just swirl the 2 mixtures together.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, edges will be puffed up and slightly brown, turn off oven, leave the door cracked with cheesecake inside for 1 hour.  Then cool at room temp. for about 3 hours, place in refrigerator to chill for at least 2-3 before serving.

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Royal Chocolate Biscuit Cake!! Fiesta Friday #58

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Welcome to Fiesta Friday #58!!

I want to thank Angie@The Novice Gardener and her co-host for this week are Caroline @Caroline’s Cooking and Elaine @foodbod 🙂

I would like to share my “Royal Chocolate Biscuit Cake”

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This past weekend in the states was the final episode of Downton Abbey Season 5!

My friend Paul and I decided to get together and watch it together and have a little Downton Abbey Dinner.  He bought the Downton Abbey Cookbook so we picked out a couple of recipes to make.

We made Crawley Family Chicken Breasts with Caper Cream Sauce, Lord Grantham’s American Italian: Risotto alla Milanese and Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan.

Of course we had some cocktails too I made “Huckleberry Clover Club’s”  a few pictures of the night 🙂

Oh and Downton Abbey did not disappoint it was just wonderful with happy endings, I cried of course 😛

Our table 🙂

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Huckleberry Clover Club

 

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Our dinner

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I knew the dessert had to be special and for our love of Prince William, I decided to make Prince William’s Grooms Cake, this was his favorite cake growing up.

I saw Carolyn Robb the former chef for the British royal family make this on Good Morning America in December and I was like I have to make that sometime for some occasion.

This was the perfect occasion to make it, here is the original recipe, but this is what I did I changed it slightly.

Ingredients

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Butter in the pan

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golden syrup added

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Melted all together

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the chocolate, vanilla and cocoa

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add the chocolate

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the vanilla

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now the cocoa

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whisk until silky smooth

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biscuits ready

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pistachios and figs

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Mix those together

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pour in chocolate mixture

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mix all together

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my pan

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pour into pan and cool

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rack

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now chilled

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place upside on rack

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melt chocolate with crisco

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pour on top of cake

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spread all over

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cake comb

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melt white chocolate with criso (blurry)

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drizzle over cake

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add maltesers

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Enjoy!!

Royal Chocolate Biscuit Cake

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

3 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup golden syrup
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup cup semi-sweet chocolate
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1/2 cup packed soft, plump dried figs, diced
1 pound digestive biscuits, each biscuit broken into 4 pieces
To Decorate:
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate
3 Tbsp. white chocolate
1 1/2 Tbsp. crisco & 1 tsp. crisco
small bag of ‘Maltesers’ or ‘Whoppers’

Melt the butter with the golden syrup in a small saucepan. Do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder, semi-sweet chocolate and vanilla. Stir until you have a very smooth, glossy mixture.
In a large bowl mix together the pistachios, figs and broken biscuits then pour the chocolate mixture over top and mix well.
Line a round 9 inch cake pan with plastic wrap. Pour the mixture into the tin and press it down well to fit, I did this lightly because I did not want to crush the biscuits. Leave to cool thoroughly at room temperature  for 2 hours before covering and chilling in the fridge for about 3 hours.
When set, remove from the tin, peel off the plastic wrap and place it on a cooling rack lined with wax paper upside down. Melt the semi-sweet chocolate with 1 1/2 tbsp. Crisco and white chocolate and 1 tsp. Crisco separately. Spread the semi-sweet chocolate all over the cake. I used a Triangular Cake Decorating Comb over the top of the cake, then drizzled the white chocolate all over, place the Maltesers around the top of the cake before the chocolate sets.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge, let set at room temp for about 30 minutes before cutting and serving.

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Everyone that got some LOVED IT!!!  You must make this one 😉

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Mini Strawberry Espresso Surprise!!! Fiesta Friday #55

35 Comments

Hello everyone it’s another Fiesta Friday!!! I want to thank our host Angie@The Novice Gardener and her co-host today Sue@birgerbird and Suzanne@apuginthekitchen.  Suzanne has become a great blog friend and I want to thank her 🙂  So enjoy Fiesta Friday everyone!!!

So earlier this week I went to my favorite place “Flying Olive” 🙂

The Flying Olive has 50 varieties of olive oils and vinegar’s, I love going there because you can taste anything before buying it 😛 check out their website for all the info and check out their 2 locations one each in Ohio and Kentucky.

I currently have Strawberry, Red Apple, Wild Blueberry, Cranberry Pear in the vinegar’s and in the olive oils I have Butter, Persian Lime, Cilantro and Roasted Onion and Tuscan Herb 🙂

During my recent trip I got Dark Espresso Balsamic Vinegar as I just love coffee so I knew I had to get it.

So I had some strawberries at home so I knew I was going to use those some how and I was thinking of using mascarpone cheese. After getting home and checking out what I had already in my pantry, I thought this would be a perfect mini dessert.  A couple of years ago for Christmas my friend Danny gave me a few sets of mini plates, bowls, spoons and forks, he know how I like to entertain 🙂 so this is my is my mini dessert.

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Ingredients (ended up not using the half n half)
If you wanted mascarpone to be more creamy
then I would add a little half n half.

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Added the vinegar to my strawberries

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Added the vinegar to the Mascarpone cheese

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Mixed up

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I crushed the Biscotti and added a little to bottom on the dishes

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Topped the biscotti with the strawberries that were soak in the Vinegar
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Then a dollop of the mascarpone mixture

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drizzle of more vinegar

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shave some chocolate, I thought this chocolate would go perfect

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Done…serve or chill until your party begins 🙂

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Mini Strawberry Espresso Surprise

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

3/4 cup Flying Olive Dark Espresso Balsamic Vinegar, divided
2 containers tiramisu flavored mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
3 chocolate biscotti’s, crushed
1 piece dark chocolate

In a bowl add the chopped strawberries and 1/4 cup vinegar, stir and set aside.

In another bowl add mascarpone and 3 Tbsp. of vinegar and whisk together, set aside.

Set out your mini dishes that you are going to use, add about a teaspoon or a little more of the crushed biscotti to each dish, then add strawberries on top of biscotti, start with a teaspoon on each then add more to each to finish up the strawberries.  Dollop mascarpone cream on each dish, then with a teaspoon drizzle a little of the vinegar over top the mascarpone and finish with some of the shaved chocolate.  I like this recipe as a mini since it has a great richness to it 🙂

Serve or chill until needed.

This was so good, it was not overly sweet, and that tartness at the end from the balsamic vinegar was just perfect!!!  Enjoy the rest of your Fiesta Friday!!!

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Blueberry Crumb Bars!!

19 Comments

These Blueberry Crumb Bars turned out so delicious!!!

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I was invited to a luncheon and I wanted to bring something for everyone to take home and enjoy!! And I really must say they are very tasty 😛

So I made Blueberry and I made Raspberry, I wrapped them up in this cute matching wax paper and bags along with cute stickers all from Michael’s…don’t you just love Michael’s!! 🙂

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I had such a great time visiting with the ladies, one of the ladies “Val” just moved into a new high rise along the river that over looks downtown Cincinnati and her place was just exquisite!!!!

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I tried to take a “selfie” I am not very good, but sun was shining and it was hard to see, I was trying to get the Reds Great American Ball Park in the background too 😛

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I met these wonderful ladies through a friend of mine Robin, we both used to work for the same company and we remained in touch and good friends.  She had me cater a few parties at her house so that is how I got to know this group of lovely ladies.

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So “Thank you Val” for including me and I hope all the ladies enjoyed the bars.  I know I had a great time!!! 🙂

I hope you all make these bars for your friends or family!!

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Ingredients

Crust

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Blend in processor

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Blended, pour into sprayed baking dish

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press down all over and bake

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baked

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Filling ingredients

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jam

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since I made both I used this one for the raspberry

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spread over top of crust

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blueberries and flour

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toss together

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sprinkle on top of jam and crust

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Ingredients for topping

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pulse

Topping

pulsed 🙂

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sprinkle over top the blueberries and bake

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Done and ready to cool

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Blueberry Crumb Bars

  • Servings: 9-16
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Crust

3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. powdered sugar
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

Filling

1 pint blueberries or “3” 6 oz. containers of raspberries, about 2 cups
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/3 cup blueberry jam or raspberry if using raspberries

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

Preheat over to 375 degrees and spray or grease an 8×8 baking dish.

Crust – combine, flour, powdered sugar, salt and butter, place in a food processor or use a pastry blender until butter is the size of small peas.  Sprinkle mixture into the bottom of the baking dish and press down evenly and bake 12 minutes.

Filling – if the jam you are using is thick and is not spreadable then place into a small sauce pan and heat jam to make spreadable, you can use the microwave as well.  Pour the berries in a large bowl and sprinkle flour over top and gently toss to coat them.

Once the crust is done, spread jam evenly over the crust, crust will be warm so the jam does warm up and makes it easy to spread. Sprinkle berries over top the jam, any left over flour in the bottom of the bowl can be just sprinkle evenly over the berries.

Crumb Topping – in food processor add flour, brown sugar and butter, pulse mixture until crumbly, then sprinkle over top the blueberries and bake 35 – 40 minutes.

Cool completely before cutting. Enjoy!!

This picture when I made both, I used bigger pans and doubled the recipe 🙂

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Super Bowl 2014!! Seahawks Win!!!!

6 Comments

Congratulations Seattle Seahawks on your 2014 Super Bowl Win!!!!

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I must say I am happy that Seattle won, they really controlled the entire game, which was a lot easier to watch then sitting on the edge of your seat with the score going back and forward 🙂

So I was able to enjoy the commercial’s (which some fell short) and I do have my favorites 🙂

And talk about an AMAZING Halftime Show!! Bruno Mars is such an amazingly talented man, I have  always enjoyed seeing him preform on “Award” shows 🙂

But before we get to all of that, I did a Super Bowl snacking spot for one of our local news channels, guacamole and Bean and Corn salsa along with Endive Taco Boats.
Here is the link if you would like to watch the spot 🙂

http://www.local12.com/health/features/medical-edge-reports/stories/medical-edge-super-bowl-snacking-175.shtml

Bean and Corn Salsa recipes are a plenty as well as guacamole recipes but this is how I make mine 🙂

Bean and Corn Salsa Recipe

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 can corn with peppers, drained
1 can chunky tomatoes with green chilies (mild or Hot you choose), drained
1 1/4 cup fresh pico de gallo (salsa) you mostly can find this in the produce dept. or you can just add 1/2 cup diced onion
1 tsp. garlic salt and black pepper
1 cup Zesty Italian dressing
zest of 1 – 2 limes

Mix all together, chill overnight for best flavor, you can also add and diced jalapeno for more heat.
Serve with Tortilla Chips and Endive leaves.  (can size 14.5 – 15.5)

Guacamole

3 ripe avocados
1/2 cup fresh pico de gallo or you can use your favorite salsa
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. garlic salt, to taste
juice from 1/2 or 1 lime, also to taste

Mix together and serve with Tortilla Chips and Endive leaves
You can add fresh cilantro or diced jalapeno, really you can make this your own.

Taco Endive Boats

Breast meat from 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
4-5 tsp. taco seasoning, from powder packet

Toss chicken and seasoning together
You can place chicken in a bowl, Salsa in a bowl and guacamole in a bowl have a platter of Endive Leaves and let your guest make their own Taco Boats, chicken then salsa topped with a little guacamole.

These recipes were a big hit with everyone back at the station along with everyone at the office that got to have all the leftovers 🙂

These were my favorite commercials 🙂 

1. Volkswagon (this one made me giggle)

2. Mcdonalds (this one was funny too)

They removed this one from youtube, but if you search around you’ll find it 🙂

3. Budweiser –  A Soldier’s return (this one so touching and I had tears)

– this link is the full story – get your tissues ready!!!

Below is the Commerical 🙂

4. Another cute Budweiser – Puppy Adoption

5. Audi – Doberhuahua – this one you just have to watch 😛

Of course there were more that were good but these were my top picks!! 🙂

And here is one of the BEST SUPER BOWL HALFTIME SHOWS EVER!!!  (not a fan of the RHCP, so I would have left them out and just kept more of Bruno!!!)  Turn your speakers up!!! and get ready to Dance!!!

Hope you enjoyed!!!!  Have a great day!!

My Birthday 2013

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Well as I mentioned in my last post, this past week was my Birthday

(This came up when I signed into Google..SO COOL!!!)

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and I had a little party this weekend celebrating along with  a friend who also had his Birthday this weekend

The day of my Birthday was great, spent some time with my folks and we had cake…I made this cake with bright food coloring…I loved it!!

Before we cut it

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A slice

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I love my Tye-Dye Cake

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Then later that night I met up with a friend of mine and he took me out to dinner, we went to the “Blue Elephant”

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and I had “Pad See Ew” and I ordered this only because  Miranti  from the blog “The High Heel Gourmet” post this recipe click here http://highheelgourmet.com/2013/04/18/pad-see-ew/ and I thought is sounded so good, that I would make it sometime 🙂

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It was really good, I would definitely go back to this restaurant again for sure 😛

So Saturday the 14th was my party and I shared this party with my good friend Paul, we had food, drinks, cake and lots good times with a few friends 🙂

Oh and if you were wondering…Pinnacle Rainbow Sherbet Vodka mixed with Fruit Punch…is really good 😛

So here is how is went 🙂

Making my candle holders 

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My candles

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Little touches to my flatware holders

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The cake – Which was made at one our stores,
by Linda she is awesome 🙂

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The table

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Outside on the deck

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Some friends ready to eat

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Sam’s says bring on the food 🙂

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Okay Food is Ready, picture is kind of dark, but we had
BBQ Ribs, BBQ Chicken Legs, Apple Slaw, Bean Salad, Fresh Tomatoes, Caramelized onions on grilled Bread
my homemade Pickles, deviled eggs, and what is not in the picture is Paul’s Haluski 🙂

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More Friends

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Then we sang and had Cake

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It was a great Birthday and I thank Paul for sharing with me and all my friends that made it
Abe, Laura and little Ben
Chris, Shannon, Sam and little Anna
Jason and Jamie
Danny, Joe, Monika and Michael Todd 🙂

And thanks to all you who took the time to read this, thank you for indulging me!!!

Strawberry Bruschetta

1 Comment

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A friend of mine was coming over because we were going to go see Theresa Caputo – The Long Island Medium.  She was in town doing a show, and if you know who she is or watch her show then you know who I’m talking about, no we did not get read.
But the show was much more then that, it was great experience and I’m happy for the people who came and might have gotten a glimmer of hope and peace.

And since we were not going to be having dinner, I thought maybe a little appetizer and a glass a wine before hand would be nice.

I had been thinking of this recipe and how I wanted to make it a little different then other recipes…well it came to me…maple syrup 🙂

(you can see from the pictures I cut the recipe in half, the recipe below is the full recipe)

Ingredients

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Dice the strawberries

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add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup

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add a pinch of salt and stir, let set for 1 hour

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add maple syrup to ricotta and a pinch of salt, stir

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Slice your baguette, brush with olive oil, bake to brown

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till light brown

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stack your basil leaves on top of one another, and roll like a cigar

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Chiffonade

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Ready to assemble 

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spread ricotta, then top with strawberries

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then basil….One done 🙂

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The rest done 🙂

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Recipe – makes 18 – 20 pieces

14 strawberries, diced (1 1/4 cup)
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. good balsamic vinegar
 couple pinches of salt (I used Kosher)
1 cup ricotta cheese 
18 – 20 slices of a baguette
olive oil
Fresh Basil, chopped

In a small bowl add diced strawberries, vinegar, 2 tbsp. maple syrup and a pinch of salt, stir to fully coat all the strawberries, set aside for for 1 hour, stirring about every 20 minutes. You can leave longer, the strawberries will start to release their juices, this is a good thing since we will be using all the left over juice.

In another small bowl add ricotta and remaining maple syrup, along with a pinch of salt, stir to fully combine, keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Take slices of baguette and brush with olive oil and bake on a baking sheet at 400 degrees until lightly brown.   Let cool.

Putting them together, divide ricotta among the slices of bread and spread over top, top ricotta with strawberries, but try not to get too much of the juice, you can drain, but reserve the juice for a tip later in this post.

Take you basil leaves and stack them on top of one another and roll like a cigar, take your knife and slice roll (like in photo above), this is called Chiffonade.

Top the strawberries with a few pieces of the basil and serve with the beverage of your choice…ours was some Sweet Strawberry Wine 😛

These were so delicious, what great appetizer for a party or a great dessert after a summer meal.  It’s light and it really it the spot 🙂

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Okay now I told you to keep the juice from the strawberries…which is now Strawberry Maple Balsamic Vinegar
Which you can put on a salad like I did, or you can whisk in a 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil as well and toss with your lettuce or mixed greens.
This would be great on a salad with sliced strawberries and candied pecans too!!

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