Skip to content

Posts from the ‘cheese’ Category

Block Party, Judging At Community Garden, A Bowl Of Vegetables And A One Bowl Chocolate Cake

It has been an exhausting few weeks. It was crunch time as our annual block party was coming up quicker than I would have liked it to. Organizing is not my strong suite but as the block association president much of the planning and prep work falls on me and I have to step outside my comfort zone and try to be the party planner. There is always so much to do, not enough time to do it and invariably something goes wrong. I have had torrential rain and had to cancel because of it, this year it was sunny and hot (way too hot for me) almost 90 degree’s. Something I have planned on for a year was cancelled, the rock climbing wall that our brave policeman bring to events, the kids love it and it’s so much fun for all. Last year my reservation for the wall got lost when the Officer retired and we only got it for an hour, I reserved it this year, almost a year ahead and 2 days before the event the police contacted me with bad news, the rock wall had broken and needs to be repaired. The children were all disappointed but the block party went off almost without a hitch and everyone had a good time.

Vegetables from the community garden

I live across the street from a Community Garden and they asked me if I would be a judge for a food event at their annual Harvest Festival, I was more than happy to do so. We tasted fresh vegetables grown in the garden which were judged on beauty and taste. Other things we tried were homemade pickles and desserts made with apples from the tree in the garden. It was a lot of fun, everything was delicious and some of the other judges were a food stylist, food photographer and cookbook publisher.

The block party is something everyone looks forward to all year, our block along with people from the neighborhood come together to eat, drink, talk, we all love watching the children have fun in the bouncy castle and ride their bicycles and skateboards in the street without fear of traffic. I usually have a bake sale but have been so incredibly busy I only made cookies which sold out very quickly. We grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, had pizza, drinks, music from a fantastic DJ and an amazing Ukelele group.

The day after I was completely exhausted and wanted a light simple meal. A bowl of roasted vegetables with cheesy cauliflower mash was exactly what I needed. I used an assortment of vegetables and mashed cauliflower with gruyere. Simple, healthful and delicious.  Had some green beans, zucchini, tomato and shallot drizzled with olive oil and roasted in the oven at 400 degree’s. Cauliflower mash is so easy, simply boil the cauliflower, let it dry in the oven on 200 for about 20 minutes then put in the food processor with some butter, sour cream and season with salt and pepper.  I added some grated gruyere and popped into the oven at 200 for a few minutes to heat and melt the cheese.

This super easy one bowl no measure chocolate cake is awesome. It’s a recipe on Food52. The fact that it’s quick and no measure immediately prompted me to give this recipe a try. The cake uses full fat plain Greek yogurt, I used Fage and you use the yogurt container as the means of measuring. Pretty cool right?

The cake will have cracks thats ok

Simple One Bowl Chocolate Cake

Recipe on food52

1  container (7 oz) plain Greek yogurt

1 container neutral flavored oil (I used canola)

2 large eggs

2 containers self rising flour

1 container unsweetened cocoa powder

1 container sugar

1 container warm water or coffee

Heat Oven to 350 degree’s. Prepare a 10 inch spring form pan by greasing or spraying the bottom, add a parchment round and then grease and flour the pan.

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix on low until the flour is incorporated, then increase to medium high and beat for approximately 2 minutes. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cake Tester should come out clean. Let cool in the pan, release the pan and remove the cake. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

 

No Bake Cheesecake And A New Computer

Hallelujah!  My new computer was delivered yesterday and I couldn’t be happier. It is so nice, pleasant and so much easier to write a post on my laptop. I had a Mac Air and got the same computer, I still have to go to Genius Bar at the Apple Store to see if my old computer’s hard drive is damaged, if it is, my data cannot be retrieved but if not they can transfer to the new one. Fingers crossed.

On July 4th I went to my friends house for a BBQ, I made some hummus using Ottolenghi’s great recipe, some pita bread, veggie burgers and a cheesecake. I found this recipe on Food and Wine, it looked ethereal, light and creamy and I had to give it a try. This is a no bake cheesecake so no hot oven and no eggs. It is very easy to make and the recipe calls for cream cheese, ricotta, mascarpone or sour cream (I used creme fraiche) and whipped cream, it is flavored with a little lemon juice. In the recipe they use a combination of amaretti and graham crackers, I used only graham crackers. Everyone at the BBQ said it is the best cheesecake they have ever had, I have to agree it is wonderful and this recipe will go into my must make again SOON file. They call for a 8 inch springform pan, I only had a 9 inch so I doubled the recipe. There was leftover filling which I made into a small upside down cheesecake. My cousins were in town and came over for dinner and I served it for dessert. The bottom layer was roasted rainier cherries, filing on top of the cherries and crushed graham crackers on top. This was also exceptional.

I am bringing this dessert with me to Fiesta Friday #179. This weeks co hosts are Petra@Food Eat Love and Laura@Feast Wisely. Hope you all have a chance to stop by, it’s always a fun party!!

Triple Cheese Cheesecake

Food and Wine

Makes an 8 inch cake

Graham Cracker Crust

1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers (approx 12 crackers)

pinch of kosher salt

1/4 cup sugar

5 tbs melted butter

Mix the crushed graham crackers, salt, sugar and melted butter until fully incorporated. Heat oven to 350 degree’s. Press the graham cracker mixture into the spring form pan coming about half way up the sides of the pan. Bake approximately 12 minutes. When you smell it it’s done, it should be lightly browned. Let cool and set aside while you make the filling.

Filling

1 tsp powdered gelatin

2 tbs cold water

3/4 cup chilled heavy cream

2 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup ricotta (whole milk)

3/4 cup sugar

pinch of salt

1/4 cup mascarpone, sour cream or creme fraiche

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

In a microwave safe bowl sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tbs of cold water. Set aside.

Whip the cream into soft peaks and refrigerate.

Add the cream cheese, ricotta, sugar and salt to mixer and whip on high speed until light and fluffy about 5 minutes. Beat in the mascarpone/sour cream or creme fraiche and lemon juice until combined.

Microwave the gelatin for about 5-7 minutes until it melts. Scrape into the cheese mixture and whip until combined.  Fold in the whipped cream. Spoon into the baked graham cracker crust, smooth the top, cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours but best overnight.

Serve with fresh fruit, fruit compote or roasted or poached fruit.

Upside down cheesecake with leftover filling

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pip See’s A Pug…or Four And Dog Treats

img_9983

I LOVE collaborating with Teagan at Teagans Books on a blog post, it’s fun and I truly love her work.  Here is more from her feisty flapper Pip,  another snippet which this time includes “Wriggles” the pug. The recipe for dog treats is a copy cat version of Sherman’s Barkery’s Cheesy Num Nums. Percy gives these 2 paws up, that say’s a lot since he is Mr. Picky. There are only a few simple ingredients, they are super easy to make and are a great treat for our fur kids.

Blogging should be fun otherwise it becomes work and integrating Teagan’s whimsical and delicious writing with my food is exactly that. Thank you Teagan for the contribution, giving me a creative boost and and making blogging fun!! You are the best. Take it away Teagan…..

Thanks for doing another joint post with me, Suzanne!  Whey you said you could do a dog treat recipe, I thought of my character, Wriggles.  He’s a pug from one of my “Three Things” novellas (The Three Things Serial, a Little 1920s Story).  The character was inspired by your blog!3-things-cover_3-2016

Some of you may remember a little pug dog named Wriggles.  He was introduced in the third of my blog serials, Three Ingredients-2,  a Ghost in the Kitchen.  In that story he was a new dog for the character, Arabella Wong.  However, this vignette takes place prior to that story.  So I made him a puppy and gave him a different owner.

So once again, here’s a story from the Three Things “universe.”  Did you ever get the feeling you’d have to be “hit over the head” with something before you finally got the message?  Well, that was true of Pip.  I hope everyone enjoys this tidbit.

Pip Sees a Pug… or Four

“Floyd?  Hey, Floyd!”

That was definitely him.  The last time I saw Floyd — which was also basically the first time I saw him, the police were putting him into the paddy wagon when they arrested some bootleggers.  Yet there he was on a side street in Savannah.

Maybe it had all been a mistake, I thought hopefully. 

After all, Floyd was as sexy as the Sheik of Araby.  Then I remembered how rude he had been to me and Alastair Wong.  He didn’t seem sexy at all before that thought even got halfway across my noodle.  However, he heard me and looked over his shoulder.Sheik of Araby

“Well now, aren’t you a choice bit of calico,” Floyd said as he turned to walk toward me.  “Oh, it’s you!  You’re a real bearcat, but you’re bad luck,” he said.  “Go chase yourself,” he told me and spat on the sidewalk.

I know.  I should have ran the other way and not even called out to him.  However, in the small Florida town where I grew up, if you saw somebody you recognized, then you said hello to them.  I don’t remember what I meant to say to Floyd when he started to continue on his way, but I opened my mouth to speak, taking a step toward him.

Floyd shoved me and kept going.  Unfortunately I also kept going — backward.  I slipped, fell, and cracked my head.

pugs-4-smoking-vintage

I think I was actually unconscious for a minute or two.  Then I felt something wet wiped across my face.  When I opened my eyes, the world was a spinning blur.  I saw a little pug dog.  It licked my face.  It was wearing a top hat and bow-tie, and smoking a cigar.  As I gazed at it uncomprehendingly I realized there were four of them.  However, when I held my hand out toward the dog, I seemed to have an uncountable number of fingers.  So I figured there was only one dog.  I wasn’t sure what to think about the hat and cigar.

The sound of a police whistle prompted me to try and sit up.  There hadn’t been any “mistake” about the coppers hauling in Floyd.  He had probably escaped and they were after him again.  A voice intruded on my thoughts.  I realized it had been trying to get my attention for a while, but it was hard to hear it over the bells ringing inside my head.

“Huh?” I mumbled, looking for the source of the voice.

“Young lady are you hurt?” asked what must have been the world’s oldest woman.

Her face was so covered in creases and crow’s feet that it was impossible to imagine what she must have looked like in youth or even in middle age.  Even so, bright eyes shown sharply from between the wrinkles.pugs-2-vintage

Despite her fragile appearance she took my arm in a vice like grip.  She put her walking-stick in my hand.

“Wriggles, get off the poor thing!  That’s a good boy.  I’m sorry, he’s still a puppy.  Here dear.  Use my cane to help yourself up,” she said but proceeded to help me up with unexpected strength.

Once I was on my feet, if shakily so, I looked at the pug.  There was only one of him.  The hat and cigar were gone.  That much was a relief, but he still wore the bowtie.  It bothered me that I wasn’t sure whether or not the tie was really there.

Moments later I sat at the kitchen table in her tiny home.  It was a good thing she lived right around the corner.  I was dizzy and my head felt like it had gotten in the way of a sledgehammer.

A young boy “helped” us get inside her backdoor on the pretext of getting a cookie.  However, she gave him an errand.

“What’s your name, dear?” she asked me as she handed me a cup of tea. 1916-good-housekeeping-woman-tea-cup

I noticed the cup had been cracked and repaired.  The one she used for herself had a chip in the rim.

“Pi… Paisley Peabody,” I stammered, still shaken.

“Peabody?  Would you be kin to Phanny Peabody?”

“Yes ma’am.  That’s my granny.”

“Billy,” she addressed the little boy.  “Take another cookie and run down to Miss Phanny’s house.  Let her know her granddaughter is here.”

Billy’s eyes lit up at the prospect of helping.  Although the extra cookie didn’t hurt.  He took off like a rocket before I could protest.

“Yes ma’am, Miss Olive,” Billy exclaimed as he disappeared.

The pug, Wriggles barked as if he picked up and shared the boy’s excitement.  I reached down to pet him and the little dog wagged his tail so hard that his entire back half wagged along with it.  The woman handed him a treat which was gone before I got a good look at it.

studebaker1920_2

“Paisley, I know you’re from a small town,” Miss Olive began.  “You come from honest, trusting folk.  But in this day and age, a young lady alone has to be careful.  Now, you tell Miss Olive if that man did anything he shouldn’t, you hear?”

I shook my head and immediately wished I hadn’t.  “No.  I recognized him and just meant to say hello.  It would have been rude not to,” I replied and was rewarded with a smile.

The elderly woman patted my hand.  I put my nearly empty teacup on the table and thanked her.  Miss Olive took my cup and swirled the dregs looking at the contents curiously.

“You haven’t gotten off to the best start here in Savannah, have you Paisley?” she commented consolingly.  “But you will make good friends here,” she swirled the tea again and a smirk, a smile she seemed to try and suppress came to her lips.  “And you will have grand adventures.”

I heard the sound of Granny Phanny’s Model-T outside.  Wriggles lived up to his name as he yapped to make sure his lady knew she had company.  Miss Olive put the tea kettle back on the stove.  I felt comforted by the entire scene.  Safe.

The End

***

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

img_9994

Copy Cat Cheesy Num Nums

Makes approximately 2 dozen depending on size

1 cup oat flour

1 cup barley flour

1/2 cup whole oats

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup cheddar cheese

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

1/3 cup +1 tbs spring water

Mix all the ingredients together until it is a cohesive dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degree’s. Line a sheet pan with parchment. Roll or press the dough to about 1/2 inch thick and cut into the shape desired. Sprinkle some grated parmesan on top of each cookie and bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.