Posts Tagged ‘cheesecake’

Easy Menu for a Hot Evening

August 1, 2013

Last week, I had a lot of house guests, and not a lot of time. The temperatures were in the high 90’s and humid, making using the oven for a prolonged period of time unappealing.

When I get time crunched, I tend to  rely on our old standby “unrecipes”.

I created this easy menu, which was served as a buffet for 14 people.  All the food shopping and cooking was done the day of the event, except for the desserts, which were made the night before. I’d say it was a hit!

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My battle with hors ‘doeurves is well documented, so I kept it super simple.

We started with an array of hummus, served with pita chips and baby carrots, and a big bowl of cold, steamed shrimp. All were purchased, and devoured.

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For the main meal, we had balsamic marinated chicken, “tarted up” with lemon zest and parsley. We broiled salmon and served it with a low fat avocado cream on the side.

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Rice with shallots, corn and mint, a watermelon and feta salad, and a cool celery salad with walnuts and parmesan were nice make-ahead side dishes that can be served at room temperature.

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We finished the meal with cold desserts: a flour-less chocolate cake with white chocolate bourbon cream,( I owe you the recipe), fresh strawberries and a cheesecake.

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Everyone seemed happy with the selection, and took home leftovers, a sure sign of a good meal!

photos: indigo jones

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Unrecipe of the Week

April 3, 2010

One of my favorite desserts is from The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins.  Although it is called Easter Cheesecake, I make it so often that the book automatically flops open to it’s page. It is not really an “unrecipe” but it is easy and always gets rave reviews.  Happy Easter!!

Easter Cheesecake

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Crust:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

¼ chopped walnuts (* I usually substitute pecans)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup (1 stick) melted butter

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add melted butter and toss. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the mixture to top the cake later, and press the remaining evenly into the bottom and about 1 ½ “ up the sides of a 9” round spring form pan.

Conversely, I break a few graham crackers into the bowl of the food processor, toss in the whole nuts and brown sugar, and  coarsely chop it all up. I add the cinnamon and the melted butter and mix it again to blend. This isn’t necessarily easier, but it does take away the need to buy the graham crackers and the nuts pre -chopped. Confession: I don’t actually measure this part either!

Filling:

2 cups sour cream

3 – 8oz. packages of cream cheese

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Finely grated zest of one orange

Process the sour cream, cream cheese, eggs, salt and sugar in the food processor until smooth. Add the vanilla and the orange zest and mix to blend.

Pour the mixture into the crust filled pan and bake 50 minutes.
Sprinkle the reserved topping on the cake and bake another 10-15 minutes more. The top may crack, but should not become overly brown.

Cool the cake completely and then remove the sides and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

photo: Glasshouse Images


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