Judi

Blueberry Lime Cheesecake

Blueberry Lime Cheesecake

This recipe combines limes and blueberries for a cheesecake that is perfect for summer. The citrus pairs well with the berries. I had made this cheesecake before, with the blueberry puree swirled into it, but without the lime. I have often used lemons and blueberries together, but not limes so much.

I had a few extra limes in the fridge that I had picked up at a local market, so I decided to try them out in this cheesecake. I thought the limes would be a nice addition this time.

I must say, I really like the flavor  the lime zest and juice adds to this dessert. Adds a nice zippy flavor. Leftovers can be frozen. But let’s be honest, there aren’t going to be any leftovers!!!

Blueberry Lime Cheesecake

Blueberry Puree

1 ½ c. blueberries

¼ c. sugar

2 t. cornstarch

1T. fresh lime juice

Crust

1c. graham cracker crumbs

2 T. sugar

2 T. melted butter

Filling

3 (8oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

1 c. sugar

8 oz. sour cream

Zest from 2 limes

Juice from 1 lime

2 t. vanilla

4 eggs, at room temperature

2 T. flour

For puree, combine berries, sugar and cornstarch in saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Puree in blender with lime juice and cool completely. For crust, combine crumbs, sugar and butter and set aside. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Press crumb mixture firmly into bottom of 9 or 10-inch springform pan and bake 10 minutes.  For filling, beat cream cheese until fluffy and beat in sugar until smooth. Beat in sour cream and vanilla, zest and lime juice. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour and pour batter into springform pan.  Drizzle blueberry puree over batter and use a knife to swirl it around. Place a roasting pan on lower rack of oven and fill with one inch of boiling water. Place springform pan on upper oven rack.  Bake 1¼ hour or until just set. Turn oven off and let cake stand in oven 1 hour more. Remove pan from oven. Cool down and refrigerate overnight. Remove pan side before serving. Serves 12.

Honey Glazed Western Ribs

Honey Glazed Western Ribs

Western ribs are one of my favorite cuts of pork. They are meaty and have just enough fat to be tender. They are easy to cook, too. You can grill, broil, bake, saute or braise them. I am sure I am leaving a few methods out.

This time I decided to pickle mine, in a way. I brined the ribs in pickle juice. The vinegar and salt flavor the meat and make it more tender. When I say pickle juice, I mean just that. I save the brine from jars of pickles and store them in the fridge until ready to use. The pickle juice has so many uses. You can use it as a base for salad dressings, sauces, dips and marinades. You can add pickle juice to Bloody Marys, too. For this recipe I used dill (sour) pickle brine.

I placed the ribs in a container and poured pickle juice over them. I poked them with a fork and kept them, covered, in the fridge for 3 days. They were sauteed in a pan and finished with honey and seasonings. They were really good. Here is a more exact recipe. Enjoy!!

Honey Glazed Western Ribs

4 Western ribs, about 2 lbs.

1 c. pickle juice -from dill pickles, not sweet pickles

2 T. oil

salt and pepper

2-3 T. honey

1 t. hot sauce, optional, to taste

At least 2 days and up to 4 days before cooking the ribs place them in a bowl or dish and pour over the pickle juice. Pierce the ribs with a fork to help get the bring inside the meat. Try to pierce all over the ribs. Cover and store in fridge until ready to cook. Drain the ribs, pat dry and heat oil in a skillet. Season the ribs and saute in the pan. They are pretty thick cuts of meat. You want them to get some color on them and cook through. I started them on high heat and cooked them on each side 4-5 minutes, or until they were getting nice and golden. Then I turned the heat down and let them cook through, turning a time or two. I would say this took another 10 minutes total. I added the honey and hot sauce to the pan. Then I spooned the honey over them and turned the heat up to medium. I spooned the honey and pan juices over the ribs until they looked nice and glazed and the glaze was starting to brown without burning. I spooned some of the glaze over them, being careful to drain the fat out of the pan first. Serve with whatever sides you like. These are great with coleslaw. Serves 2-4.

Lemon Italian Ice

Lemon Italian Ice

I hadn’t made Italian ice in a long time. As a kid, I remember getting little cups of this treat in the summer and I loved it. I decided it was time to make some again.

The recipe couldn’t be simpler. Just water, sugar and juice. You can also add zest. You don’t even need any special equipment. Lemon is more traditional, but lime works great, too. You can add more juice or less or more sugar to suit your own taste. I like my lemon ice to have a nice strong lemon flavor. Taste it before you freeze it to make it to suit your taste.

Italian ice is a great, light dessert or it can be served as a palate cleanser. Make more than you think- it goes fast. A friend stopped over last night and we added scoops to our vodka cocktails. Very tasty!!

Enjoy!!

Lemon Italian Ice

2½ c. water

1½ c. sugar

1¼  c. lemon juice*

Zest of 2 lemons, optional

Combine water and sugar in bowl and stir until sugar dissolves. Add lemon juice and zest, if adding, and stir until well combined. Freeze.

You have options here. You can place the mixture in a shallow tray- preferably one with a tight lid- and place in the freezer. Or you can put the mixture in any shape container with a tight lid and freeze. It kind of depends on how you plan to serve your ice, once it is frozen. Some recipes call for stirring the mixture every 30 minutes as it freezes. Then to serve it, you just scrape over the surface with a heavy spoon for a grainy ice- a granita. This is one option and a tasty one. Works best in the flatter, longer container.

Another option is to just freeze it. Once frozen, allow the lemon ice to soften a few minutes, then break into chunks and place in a food processor. Run the processor until the mixture is smooth- then serve or put back in the freezer until you want to serve it. You can even repeat the food processing part another time for a smoother end product. This is what I did with this batch. I wanted a sorbet – like texture.

If you didn’t have enough choices already, you can also put the lemon juice mixture in an ice cream machine to freeze. This method will also give you a sorbet like final product.

No one way is best- it is just what you like. Makes about a quart.

* you can use lime juice and zest instead, for lime ice- or even use them together.

S’Mores Ice Cream Sandwiches

S’mores Ice Cream Sandwich

Summer is the time for picnics, campfires and S’mores. Summer is also the time of year to eat lots of ice cream and other frozen treats.

This dessert combines the ingredients of S’mores in a frozen treat. How fun is that?

They aren’t hard to make, but you need to allow time for ingredients to freeze. The mixture is frozen, then cut into squares and sandwiched between Graham crackers. They get returned to the freezer to harden up. It is a nice treat to have on hand.

We make these in cooking camp every year. The kids love them!!

So here is the recipe.

S’mores Ice Cream Sandwiches

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

2/3 c. chocolate syrup

1 c. coarsely crushed graham crackers

1 c. mini marshmallows

2 c. whipping cream, whipped

72 graham cracker square halves

In large mixing bowl combine sweetened condensed milk and syrup. Fold in crackers, marshmallows and whipping cream. Pour in foil lined 9×5-inch loaf pan and freeze until firm, about 6 hours, or longer. Remove from pan and peel off foil. Slice loaf in half lengthwise and then each half into 18 (½ inch) slices. Place one slice between two crackers and repeat with rest. Wrap and freeze until ready to eat. Makes 36. Note: You can slice the filling thicker. You’ll have fewer “sandwiches”, but they will have more filling. I usually get about 2 dozen.

Strawberry Vanilla Jam

Strawberry Vanilla Jam

Once you taste homemade jam, you will understand why it is worth the effort to make your own. Homemade jams, preserves and jellies are a great way to save seasonal fruits to enjoy all year. They also make nice gifts.

One of my favorite homemade jams is strawberry. I like the addition of a little vanilla to my strawberry jam. I think it adds an additional layer of flavor, without covering up the natural beauty of the berries. Of course, you can omit the vanilla, if you prefer.

I try to make enough to last all year, but I end up running out quickly. This jam is great on toast, but also a nice addition to several desserts I make.

We made this jam in class the other night. The picture does not do it justice. The color is so beautiful.

In grocery stores, berries are often sold in one pound packages, not in quarts. A quart of strawberries should weigh 1 1/4 pounds. That should help you figure out how many berries you will need.

Here is the recipe.

Strawberry-Vanilla Jam

2 qts. strawberries, stemmed, washed and crushed (2 1/2 lbs.)

2 T. pure vanilla

1 package powdered pectin, (1.75 oz.)

1/4 c. lemon juice

7 cups sugar

Combine  berries, vanilla, pectin and lemon juice in large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.  Add sugar and turn heat up to high. Stir often until mixture comes to a boil. Boil hard one minute stirring constantly. Ladle hot jam in to jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe rims and screw on lids comfortably tight. Place in boiling water bath and process 10 minutes. Remove to cooling rack, towel or wooden surface to cool. Makes 8-9 half pints.

New Day Cleveland- Frozen Cheesecakes

Chocolate Malted Frozen Cheesecake

Here is my latest appearance. Thanks to David, Natalie and the whole crew for making it so much fun.

https://fox8.com/on-air/new-day-cleveland/frozen-cheesecake/

Frozen Chocolate Malted Cheesecake

1 (28 oz.) carton of cottage cheese

¾ c. chocolate syrup

¾ c. malted milk powder

Sugar to taste, I used about ½ cup

1 T. vanilla extract

5-9 graham crackers, crumbled depending on your preference

Combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor or blender until very smooth. Taste to see if you want to add more sugar. Pour into a 2 quart bowl and stir in the crushed crackers. Place mixture in a freezer safe container that has a lid. Affix the lid and freeze. Makes 5-6 cups.

Note: I could see a lot of possible variations for this recipe. I used cinnamon graham crackers, but it might be fun to use chocolate graham crackers or crushed up chocolate sandwich cookies. You could add some instant coffee powder or mint extract. Perhaps some chopped chocolate. Have some fun with this recipe.   

Frozen Lemon Cheesecake

1 (28 oz.) carton of cottage cheese

Sugar to taste, I used about ½ cup

1 recipe lemon curd- recipe follows, or 2 cups store bought  lemon curd

2-4 T. lemon juice

1 T. vanilla extract

6-9 graham crackers, crumbled

Combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor or blender until very smooth. Taste to see if you want to add more sugar or lemon juice. Pour into a 2 quart bowl and stir in the crushed crackers. Place mixture in a freezer safe container that has a lid. Affix the lid and freeze. Makes 5-6 cups.

Lemon Curd

1/2 c. lemon juice

zest from one good sized lemon- you should have 2-3 teaspoons

1/2 c. sugar

3 eggs

6 T. unsalted butter- cut into little cubes

In medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Whisk the mixture until the eggs are well blended. Cook over medium low heat, whisking often, until the mixture thickens. This will take 5-7 minutes. Whisk more often as mixtures warms and starts to thicken. Better to heat over lower heat and take longer than cook over too high a heat. You don’t want the eggs to scramble. Once the mixture is thickened , transfer to a bowl or jar. Cover the surface with a piece of plastic wrap to keep the surface from developing a skin- like any pudding will do. Chill until ready to use. Makes about 2 cups. Will keep in fridge a week or two.

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

I am not sure why I never combined ladyfingers with strawberries before. Using them together in this dish made a wonderful dessert- that was also very easy. It was something between a trifle and a shortcake so I called it both!

I want to just say something about ladyfingers. There are two types I see in stores around here, soft or crisp. The soft ones are smaller and cake-like and found in bakeries in grocery stores. Like sponge cake. The other ladyfingers are crisp and larger. I find the crispy type at Italian stores and sometimes at specialty grocery stores. The ladyfingers you want for this recipe are the larger, crisp ladyfingers.

I was happy with how it came out. The ladyfingers were soft, not mushy. They actually were kind of fluffy. The flavors blended so nicely. Great summer dessert. Light and refreshing, but a little rich, too. I made vanilla pudding, but make life easier and just use store bought or instant from a box- if you prefer.

Here is the recipe. Enjoy!!

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

1½ – 2 pounds strawberries, washed, stemmed and sliced

½ c. sugar

24 ladyfingers

1 recipe vanilla pudding- recipe follows

¾ c. Hazelnut chocolate spread

Whipped cream or whipped topping

Combine strawberries with the sugar and set aside. Make the pudding, if you haven’t already. You can use premade pudding. You’ll need 2-3 cups of pudding. I had some leftover from the recipe I made. In a 9×9-inch baking dish, place one layer of the cookies. You might have to trim them a little to fit. I had 2 rows of 6 cookies, but I had to break off a little for the second row to fit. Spoon over half of the strawberries, with some of the liquid in the bowl. Spread a layer of pudding over the berries. For the next layer, spread some of the hazelnut spread over each lady finger before putting it in the pan. When you put them in the pan, place them with the spread on the under side. Add another layer of the pudding, then top with the rest of the strawberries. Cover and place in fridge until ready to serve. You can do all this up to 2 days ahead. Before serving, remove cover and top with whipped cream or any whipped topping you like. Serves 6-8. 

Vanilla Pudding

1 c. sugar

½ c. cornstarch

½ t. salt

3 ¾ c. half and half

1 T. vanilla- or a little more

2 T. butter

Combine dry ingredients in a medium saucepan. Whisk in half and half and vanilla until well mixed. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to bubble and get thickened. Mixture will get pretty thick. Turn down heat to keep it from scorching. As soon as pudding is thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted. Place pudding in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use. Makes about 4 cups.        

Start by layering strawberries over a base of ladyfingers
Once layers are done, chill until ready to top with whipped cream
Ready to serve

Lemon Curd Ice Cream

Lemon Curd ice Cream

This is one of the easiest ice creams to make. You don’t need an ice cream machine to make it and there are only three ingredients, if you count the lemon curd as one ingredient. I did make my own lemon curd- recipe follows, but you can just use a jar of store bought. It has the nicest flavor and texture.

This ice cream came about because I had made lemon curd for a party and had some left over. I also had whipping cream that needed to be used up. I combined the two and it was even better than I thought. Two friends have tried it so far and both really liked it.

Here is the recipe.

Lemon Curd Ice Cream

1-1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 cups lemon curd

1/2 c. powdered sugar

In a medium mixing bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Beat in the lemon curd and sugar and place in a freezer container and freeze until ready to eat. Makes about a quart. I told you it was simple!!!

Lemon Curd

1/2 c. lemon juice

zest from one good sized lemon- you should have 2-3 teaspoons

1/2 c. sugar

3 eggs

6 T. unsalted butter- cut into little cubes

In medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Whisk the mixture until the eggs are well blended. Cook over medium low heat, whisking often, until the mixture thickens. This will take 5-7 minutes. Whisk more often as mixtures warms and starts to thicken. Better to heat over lower heat and take longer than cook over too high a heat. You don’t want the eggs to scramble. Once the mixture is thickened , transfer to a bowl or jar. Cover the surface with a piece of plastic wrap to keep the surface from developing a skin- like any pudding will do. Chill until ready to use. Makes about 2 cups. Will keep in fridge a week or two.

Vanilla Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

Vanilla Cupcake with White Chocolate Frosting

I must admit to being a sucker for the classics. This cupcake is certainly a classic. I made these the first time several years ago when two dear friends were getting married. I offered to make a dessert for the party after and Jon requested white cupcakes with white frosting. I agreed that these are perfect for any reception.

I normally top them with a vanilla buttercream, but decided to make a white chocolate frosting instead. Yes, I know white “chocolate” is not really chocolate. But when I say white chocolate, everyone knows what I am talking about.

I used a white chocolate bar- and broke it into pieces, before melting, but you could you use white chocolate chips instead. The frosting has a really nice flavor and fluffy texture, without being too sweet. Jon and Jim loved them, as did their guests.

So here is the recipe.

Classic White (Vanilla)  Cupcakes

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 12paper liners. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cupcakes are done when they springs back to the touch. Makes 12.

White Chocolate Frosting

6 oz. white chocolate – if using bars, chop before melting
1 stick (4 oz.) cold butter, cut into cubes
1-2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla

Melt chocolate. I just melt mine in a microwave safe dish, but you can use a double boiler. Let chocolate cool down a little. Beat butter into the melted chocolate. Beat until smooth and then beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip until frosting is smooth and fluffy. I normally beat for 5 minutes or longer. If too thick, add a few drops of water or milk.

This post in dedicated to my dear friend Jon. Love you bunches.

Mom’s Macaroni Salad

Mom’s Macaroni Salad

I’ve been in a nostalgic mood this week. Remembering, fondly, the picnics and cookouts from my childhood. For summer cookouts, we always had this salad. Long enough ago that it was called macaroni salad, not pasta salad. I loved it then, and I love it now.

I won’t say I don’t make other pasta salads. I do. I make all sorts of combinations, but this is the salad that brings me home.

Mom used mostly mayo, with a little salad dressing like Spin Blend. She felt it gave the salad just a little more zing. I use straight mayo, but that part of the recipe is flexible.

She added quite a few hard cooked eggs and I think they add a richness to the dish. My dad would cut up the celery and green onions for her. Mom liked the veggies cut into a fairly small dice in this dish, and Dad had great knife skills.  I love the image of them cooking together.

So here it is- a family recipe wrapped up nicely with some memories, too.

Mom’s Macaroni Salad

1 lb. uncooked pasta, shells are preferred
Salt and pepper
Mayonnaise, about 11/2 cups
3-4 ribs celery, sliced thin
4-5 green onions, trimmed and sliced thin
8-12 hard-cooked eggs, cooled and peeled

Cook pasta according to package directions, but do not overcook. Rinse with cold water and drain well. Place drained pasta in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add mayo and vegetables and stir until well mixed. You may want to add more dressing to suit your taste. Chop eggs and stir into salad. Adjust seasonings if needed and chill before serving. Serves 8-10.

Subscriber to our Mailing List

Follow us on Social Media

Support This Site

Donate Now

New Release: