Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Best Cheesecake Ever.

Marble Swirl Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I use Annie's Bunnies)

3 TBS melted butter

2 pounds cream cheese, softened

1 1/3 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups heavy cream

7 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup water

Preheat the oven to 325. Grease a 9" springform pan.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the crust is just set and slightly firm. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Lower the oven temp to 300.

Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Add the vanilla and cream, beat well, and scrape the sides of the bowl. Remove 1 cup of the batter and set aside while you melt the chocolate.

Combine the water and chocolate and melt over low heat. Mix in the reserved batter.

Pour the vanilla batter into the pan. Pour or spoon the chocolate batter over the top of the vanilla batter in a circle. Run a small knife through the chocolate and vanilla batters to create a marbelized effect. Don't overdo it or the two will just mix together.

Put the cheesecake in a larger pan. Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for another hour (or all night if you forget)!

Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

As American as Apple Pie

I scored two free pounds of organic, free-range lard. What could a girl do but make REAL pie? My project for this spring is going to be making my own lard...outside on the grill. The pie was wonderful hot out of the oven. It must have been wonderful cold too because there isn't any left!

Apple Pie with Gruyère

3 lbs. tart red apples
1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
5 tsp. cornstarch
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Gruyère Pie Crust–recipe below

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Take dough out of fridge.

Peel, core and slice apples into quarters. Slice each quarter thinly. Mix with other ingredients.

Roll the larger piece of dough into a disk about fourteen inches in diameter. Ease dough into plate. Roll smaller piece of dough into circle twelve inches in diameter. Pile apples into pie plate, scraping any juice on top of the apples. Place smaller round of dough on top of the apples. Seal two crusts together, brush with the beaten egg, and make three parallel slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Wrap the edges in foil to prevent burning.

Place pie on a cookie sheet to catch any drips, put in oven, and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake 50 minutes to an hour, or until you can see the filling bubbling up between the slits in the crust. Cool on a wire rack at least 20 minutes before serving.

Gruyère Pie Crust

Makes one double-crusted 9-10 inch pie.
2 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp. sugar
13 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1" pieces
7 tbsp. lard (or more butter, if you don't have access to REAL lard)
2 oz. Gruyère, grated with a microplane rasp grater
6-7 tbsp. ice water

Mix flour, salt, sugar and Gruyère in a large mixing bowl or bowl of a food processor. Using a food processor, pastry blender, or your fingers, cut in the lard until no large pieces remain. Add the butter, and cut into flour until the largest pieces of butter are the size of large peas.
Remove flour-butter mixture from food processor, if using, and place in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle ice water over flour in increments of one tablespoon, toss with fork after each addition. When dough clumps together when squeezed in your palm, gather dough together into two disks. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Who Wants Fresh Buns??

My Mom's Buns (heeheehaaha)

1 C Lukewarm Water
2 T butter
1 Egg
2 C Flour
1 1/4 C Whole Wheat Flour (you can use all white)
1/4 C Sugar or Honey
1 t Salt
3 t Yeast

Place in bread machine in order listed and run dough cycle. Shape into buns, let rise. 375 for 8-12 minutes, depending on size.

What's this down here? Is that a bun in my oven?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tuna Melts

You'll Need:

Bread, toasted
Tuna salad to your liking
Freshly ground pepper
Crushed pineapple, drained
tomato, sliced
Mozzarella cheese slices

Layer in the order listed and toast open-faced in the oven until hot and the cheese is lightly browned. For maximum enjoyment eat with Kettle™ Salt & Vinegar chips.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Tator Tot Hotdish *GASP*

Imagine my surprise when I found out my sister-in-law thought Tator Tot Hotdish was a joke and not real at all!!!

Tator Tot Hotdish My Way:

1 pound hamburger, browned with Lawry's, fresh pepper and dried onion to taste

1 can organic green beans

1 can Health Valley Cream of Mushroom

1 can Health Valley Cream of Celery

1 bag of Cascadian Farms Spud Puppies

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a casserole and top with Spud Puppies. Bake at 350 until hot and bubbly and the Puppies are toasted. It will be pretty runny since the soup isn't a condensed blob like Campbell's, but 1 can isn't enough and 2 cans makes perfect leftovers. Just use a bowl the first time around.