Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes

Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes 9

Fasten your seatbelts, kids. By the time I’m done with you today, you will be down on your knees, begging for more, declaring your undying love for cheese blogs in general, but this one in particular, and declaring me Queen of Cheeses. Everyone else is merely my jester.

Let the merriment begin.

I might have mentioned this before, but I kind of look like and English rose. On the inside, however, I am a sweaty, hairy cowboy. It gets really confusing sometimes. So while the lady-like breakfast en vogue seems to be composed mostly of fresh fruit and sea breeze, I’m more into waffles and pancakes. And bacon, let’s not forget the bacon.

And of course, no meal is complete without cheese.

So while I’ve combined cheese and pancakes before on this blog (see Cream Cheese Pancakes), those were light and very lady-like indeed.

These here are a horse of a different color. They’re messily, stickily, blissfully un-lady-like. They will step on your average pancake and crush it to a sad, cheese-less pulp. They are the Beyoncé of pancakes.

I see no reason to ever make the plain recipe again.

Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes 10

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Vegetable Cannelloni

Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes

Servings: 4 to 6, or you know, 1

Prep time: 20 minutes

You will need:

For the strawberry sauce:

  • 3 cups diced strawberries
  • 1 cups sugar
  • tablespoons lemon juice

For the pancakes:

  • 8oz, or 250gr, of either cream cheese, ricotta, mascarpone, or a combination thereof (which is what I went with)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • about 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes 1

Combine all the ingredients for the strawberry sauce in a sauce pan. Place over medium heat, bring to a gentle boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until slightly reduced and thickened.

Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes 4

Set aside to cool.

Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes 2

Beat the first 7 ingredients on the pancake list until smooth.

Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes 3

Gradually add in the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes 5

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Measure out 1/4 cups of batter and pour onto the hot skillet, flipping the pancakes over as bubbles appear on the surface.

Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes 8

Finish browning on the other side.

Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes 6

Serve hot, topped with strawberry sauce.

Enjoy 🙂

Clara

Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes

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Berries and Cream Cake

Berries and Cream Cake 14

Fair warning: Ode to friendship ahead. Things are about to get mushy. Maybe even teary. There’s no sayin’. You have been warned.

Bombs away.

This little cake here was born last week, to celebrate the birthday of one very special person. 25 years of shared summer adventures, cups of tea, hikes into unsuspectedly nudist corners of the countryside, vicious games of Clue and Hotel, fried eggs, French fries, mosquitoes, sunburns, swimming pools, and cheese (in no particular order).

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my first memory is all of 20 years old, of wee Annie on her bike with little side wheels and a helmet, all curls and freckles. The nineties were a glorious riot of adventures, imagination, sleepovers and berry picking.

The latter was probably among the best things summer had to offer. After two months of running endlessly wild and free in the forest and continuously soaking up sun and water and laughter in the pool, September brought a bounty of blackberries, tumbling into our purple-stained little hands like so many little jewels.

It was utterly pure, unconfined bliss.

Those golden days shaped a friendship that has withstood the harshest tests of time. The blackberry brambles have dwindled, the unexplored paths in the woods left for the next generation of adventurers to discover – but to me, we remain unchanged. Eternally eight years old, conquering the world together. Some things never fade. Some memories are forever young. An inspiration, then and now, an unerring, unfaltering source of courage and solace.

There are no words. Years upon years of endless conversation, deep into the night, and now there are no words that will suffice.

Let’s leave it at thank you.

To summer, and friendship. They’re all your really need in life.

Berries and Cream Cake 15

Berries & Cream Cake

Servings: well, I could eat it alone, but let’s say 8

Prep time: 25 minutes, plus overnight cooling

You will need:

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup berry preserves
  • 2 1/2 cup blackberries, when in season, or raspberries or blueberries, when not
  • 230 gr, or 8oz, Neufchâtel cheese
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cream
  • slices of pound cake, enough to cover the base of your cake pan twice over

Berries & Cream Cake 1

Combine the 1/3 cup of water, honey and lemon zest in a small sauce pan. Heat while stirring to dissolve honey, then set aside to cool. Add lemon juice.

Berries and Cream Cake 7

Combine the 1/4 cup of water, preserves and berries in another sauce pan. Cook over medium low heat until it begins to thicken. Set aside to cool.

Berries and Cream Cake 10

Beat the cheese and sugar together.

Berries & Cream Cake 2

Berries and Cream Cake 3-side

Beat the cream until until stiff peak form, the gently fold into the cheese mixture.

Berries and Cream Cake 8

Cover the bottom of your cake pan with a single layer of pound cake, cutting up piece where necessary. Sprinkle half the lemon-honey mixture onto the cake. Top with half the berry mixture, then cover with half the cream mixture. Repeat.

Berries and Cream Cake 9-side

Refrigerate over night (cover with plastic wrap to avoid cracks… I didn’t 😦 ).

Top with fresh berries to serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Berries and Cream Cake 13

Brie en croûte

Brie en croûte 11

This just happened in my kitchen.

There are no words. I will not even attempt at writing a post befitting of this recipe. I will just tell you how to make it yourselves, and know that, if I should do nothing else at all, I will have left the world a tiny bit better than I found it.

We should all worry less about what others do, do more of what makes us happy, and eat more cheese.


Brie en croûte 8

(This picture… I know, NOT sexy. But I found it impossible to capture the oozing molten cheese flood in a sexy way, when all I wanted was to bury my face in it)

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Provolone Salad

Other Brie recipes: Baked Cherry Brie Bites, Chips del Diamant, Strawberry Almond Brie Salad

Brie en croûte

Brie en croûte 10

Servings: 1, if it were up to me. Probably more like 4, though, or 8, depending of the size of your brie round

Prep time: 45 minutes

You will need:

  • 1 Brie round
  • 1 sheet of round puff pastry, large enough to cover the entire brie round
  • 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut up into little chunks (more if using a large brie round)
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water, beat together
  • apples, crackers, veggies or any other dip-able fare you can come up with

Brie en croûte 1

To begin with, roll out the puff pastry sheet onto a flat surface and place your little brie round right in the middle.

Brie en croûte 4

In a small bowl, mix the tomatoes with the thyme.

Brie en croûte 3

Spoon (in my case, more like heap) the mixture onto the brie round, as well as around the sides.

Brie en croûte 5

Then gather the pastry up to create a little pouch, and cinch it shut. You can also get creative and make nice variations and spectacular designs.

But I am lazy. I hereby officially extend the invitation to be lazy with me.

It will taste the same. Promise.

Now brush the puff pastry pouch with the egg wash, the place in a medium oven for about 20 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Brie en croûte 7

Allow it to cool for a bit before digging in, or, you know, blistering pain.

Brie en croûte 6

Serve with the crackers, apple slices et al.

Enjoy. 🙂

Clara

Greek Salad

Greek Salad 5

So I’ve been gone for a while.

You see, I’ve changed apartments, and currently my entire life is in boxes. It’s been three weeks since I last saw my socks. I haven’t cooked since – oh, I can’t even remember when. My kitchen appliances are scattered to the four winds, and it seems like I have at least three worm holes in my new apartment.

A salad is all I’ve managed to throw together. It’s a good salad, mind you, and the weather here does seem to warrant salads and ice cream. But making ice cream is quite out of the question. So salad it is. I’ve made this countless times, and it’s always a hit. I call it Greek salad, although any Greeks out there will probably scoff at my ignorance. Oh, well, so be it.

Call it what you like, but I’m tellin’ ya, this tastes of summer.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Goat Cheese and Leek Pasta

Other feta cheese recipes: Spanakopita, Feta Bites, Feta and Herb Sweet Potatoes, Walnut Feta Cookies

Other salads: Strawberry Almond Brie Salad, Provolone Salad, Pistacio Mozzarella Salad, Date Bacon Parmesan Salad

Greek Salad 6

Greek Salad

Servings: varies

Prep time: 20 minutes

You will need:

  • fresh mixed salad greens
  • cucumber, peeled and diced
  • black olives, pitted and sliced in half
  • feta cheese, cubed
  • pita bread, cut into quarters
  • olive oil and balsamic vinegar, to taste
  • oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Greek Salad 1

This is quite straightforward. Heat up your grill and add a drizzle of olive oil. Lay out the pita quarters in a single layer on the grill, and sprinkle with oregano. Allow to brown until nice little lines appear, then flip them one at a time and sprinkle with oregano again. When the other side has browned as well, remove them from the grill and place on a paper-towel lined plate.

Greek Salad 8

Meanwhile, toss the greens, cucumber, olives and feta in a large bowl. Now, you can either arrange the pita quarters around the salad bowl, or you can dish up the salad and artistically place a few quarters on the side. Or just eat them like they’re chips. No, really, I betcha you can’t stop at one.

Greek Salad 2

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Voilà, summer holiday on a plate. And it’s very nearly healthy.

Enjoy 🙂

Clara

Greek Salad 7

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 7

“Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.”  Clarence W. Hall 

I’ve been teaching for over ten years. Ironically, it is not my calling. It is, however, a means to put money in my bank account so I can buy cheese. And chocolate. And bacon. Let’s not forget the bacon.

Now, when teaching languages, I’ve repeatedly encountered the insurmountable obstacle that English makes no sense whatsoever, and German makes too much. If my words are not enough for thee, check out the poem “The Chaos”, by G. Nolst Trenité (1922). Then read “The Awful German Language”, by Mark Twain. Go ahead. Then come back, and read on.

Welcome to my everyday life. The excess of logic in German grammar and the absolute lack of it in English spelling regularly reduce my students to tears.

It’s so much fun to watch.

The greatest challenge for a language teacher is attempting to convey the many layers and fascinating nuances of the word. Some languages are easy. Some languages are not. Some are intuitive, like English, following no recognizable logic whatsoever. Others are but slight variations on a theme, close cousins, if you may, like all Romance languages. Differences notwithstanding, each language opens a door into an unknown world; centuries, no, millennia of history, psychology and anthropology unfolding before your eyes as you delve deeper into their secrets. A people’s deepest fears and yearnings are laid bare, just as bones cleared painstakingly of dirt in ancient burial sites. A civilisation’s language bears the unmistakable imprint of humanity, and when you begin to study them, you tap into an endless ocean of nuances, influenced by a myriad of seasons, woven together in an intrinsic filigree, an impossible dance, a virtuoso composition of colors you have yet to see. Through language, history comes alive.

It’s riveting.

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 6

And then there is German.

You see, European languages are, for the most part, fairly similar, due to geographically and demographically imposed proximity.

German is no exception, of course, but try telling that to my exasperated students. There are rules, and rules for the rules, rules for the exceptions to the rules, and a seemingly endless supply of vocabulary. It is a language for mathematicians, logical and predictable and complex as hell.

But for all their linguistic shortcomings, Germans are the indisputable kings of seasonal celebrations. Christmas and Easter are feasts to behold, riotous and joyous, belying the complexity of their world.

Let us celebrate that complexity with sweets. German Easter sweets, of course, slightly tweaked so they could have their place on this blog. Sweets, like languages, give fascinating insight into different worlds. Eat up, and be comforted – it is merely a study in anthropology.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Shepherd’s Pie

Other cream cheese sweets: Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins, Cheesecake Chocolate Mousse, Apple Cheese Danish, Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake, Old Style Cheesecake, Cream Cheese Pancakes, Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bites, Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream, Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 4

Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Easter Eggs

Inspired by the one-of-a-kind Raspberri Cupcakes

Servings: 6-8 eggs (depends on their size)

Prep time: 1 hour

You will need:

  • 6-8 hollow chocolate eggs
  • 150gr cream cheese
  • 30gr, or 1/4 cup, powdered sugar
  • a good squeeze of lemon juice
  • vanilla extract, or vanilla sugar, to taste
  • 125ml, or 1/2 cup, cream
  • apricot or peach jam, or any yellow filling you like

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 5

Use a sharp knife to remove the top of the chocolate eggs. I went for the rustic, cracked look so I used a serrated knife. If you want smooth edges, hold your knife under warm water before cutting – it’ll make things easier and neater. Keep the chocolate eggs in the fridge while you prepare the cheesecake filling.

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 1

For the filling, beat the cream cheese with the sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth, creamy and uniform – no unsightly lumps here, folks.

Now pour the cream into the container of an electric mixer and beat until stiff peaks form – we’re going for light whipped cream consistency here. If you feel like getting in a good workout before overloading on dessert, go on and hand whip it. But be prepared to sweat.

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 2

Carefully fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake until just combined.

Now spoon the filling into the chocolate eggs – you’ll need a spoon small enough to fit into the openings you cut earlier. Once filled to taste, chill the eggs in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 3

When the cheesecake has firmed up nicely, use the same spoon you were using to fill the eggs, and spoon out the centre of the eggs, in order to create a little hollow in the middle of the filling. Fill the hole with the apricot or peach jam (I used a homemade combination of both). Chill for another half hour before serving.

Enjoy 🙂

Clara

Cheesecake Filled Easter Eggs 8

Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting

Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 12 So St. Patrick’s Day exploded all over my closet-sized kitchen. I have green food coloring in the most impossible of places – including under my fingernails. I’m the Wicked Witch of the West. I’ve got Irish beer overflowing from my fridge and cabinets. A leprechaun is soaking comfortably in my sink, and I can’t get rid of him. He says he wants cake. I know better than to cross a leprechaun. So I made cake. Let me rephrase that. Remember those Red Velvet Cupcakes we made for St. Valentine’s? Well I made two layers of green velvet cake and put and entire cheesecake in between, because, what the hell, that’s why. I smothered it all in marshmallow cream cheese buttercream frosting for good measure, and also topped it with sprinkles, because, you know, sprinkles. Golden Fudge Truffles 6 And then, after my kitchen was all nicely covered in food coloring, sprinkles and marshmallow fluff, I decided to go in for the kill and made these ridiculously easy two ingredient chocolate fudge truffles, and I just went ahead and made them golden to keep my leprechaun happy. Note that the cake is the epitome of over-indulgement, and the truffles whomever still stands after eating the cake. So go ahead, eat cake, eat chocolate, and get drunk. ‘Tis the season, after all. Happy St Patrick’s Day to you all – a bit ahead of time 🙂 – and may all things green, Irish and lucky be with you.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Cream Cheese Pancakes

Other cream cheese recipes: Carrot Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins, Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites, Cheesecake Chocolate Mousse, Apple Cheese Danish, Old Style Cheesecake, Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bites, Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 8 Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting

Servings: a gazillion

Prep time: 2 hours

You will need:

For the cheesecake:

  • 1 cup, or 250gr, cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoons sour cream, or cream with a dash of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cream

For the cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cups vegetable oil of choice
  •  3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, or cream with a dash of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon green food coloring

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup, or 250gr, cream cheese, softened
  • 5 1/2 tablespoon of butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • green sprinkles, to garnish

Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 16 Cheesecake: Beat the cream cheese with the sugar until nice and light. Beat in the egg, then add the sour cream and cream and mix until smooth. Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 1 Pour into a small, round, greased pan, and bake on medium for about 40 minutes, or until set and only slightly jiggly. Let it cool completely, then remove from the pan and place in the freezer. Now please take a few moment to appreciate the beauty and perfection that is this cheesecake. Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 3-side I mean, please. Green Velvet Cake: Mix together the flour and cocoa powder. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and pour in the  oil. Beat the sugar into the oil. Beat in the egg. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and baking soda. Prepare for some fizzling. Add this mixture to the liquids, along with the buttermilk and food coloring. Finally, incorporate the flour and cocoa powder, and beat gently until well incorporated. Pour the batter into a small cake pan, the same size and shape as the one you used for the cheesecake, and bake for 30 minutes on medium, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely. Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 2 Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 5 Frosting: Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese with the butter. Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 7 Add the marshmallow fluff, then, gradually, the powdered sugar, and keep beating until light and fluffy. Assemble: Remove the cooled cake from its pan. Trim off the top if it puffed up, so that you end up with a flat top. Using a long, sharp knife, cut it half lengthwise. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and place it between the two layer of cake, thus: Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 6 Now frost, frost, frost this baby like there’s no tomorrow. Go ahead, go wild. It’s St Patrick’s Day, and sipping Irish cream on the rocks is so passé. Finally, sprinkle away with any green sprinkles you have at hand. If you have no sprinkles – gasp – you can also sprinkle with cocoa powder. Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 15 And that’s that. Keep in the fridge until time to serve. But watch yourself – a rogue leprechaun just might get into your fridge next Tuesday.

Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake 13   Bonus recipe: Golden Fudge Truffles

Golden Fudge Truffles 5 Disclaimer: This recipe contains no cheese, but it’ll rock your world anyway.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Servings: anywhere from 10 to 25, depending on the size of your molds

You will need:

  • 1 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • edible gold paint

Golden Fudge Truffles 1 Place the chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan. Pour the condensed milk on top. Golden Fudge Truffles 3 Let’s get a close up of this, because man, this is heaven. Golden Fudge Truffles 2 Place the saucepan over low heat, and slowly melt the chocolate into the condensed milk, stirring often. Golden Fudge Truffles 4 Once smooth, allow the mixture to cool completely before rolling it into little balls and pressing into the desired molds. Allow to harden for a few hours before removing. Paint with edible gold paint and allow color to set for another 30 minutes. Set out for leprechauns to eat. Golden Fudge Truffles 8 Or enjoy them yourself 🙂

Clara

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 5

“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” -Federico Fellini

So, pasta. Specifically, gnocchi. I love that stuff. They’re like pasta, but better than pasta. They’re like riotous balls of glorious Italian sunshine. They’re endlessly versatile. You can make them out of cheese.

Gnocchi are the food of the gods. Forget nectar and ambrosia. When no one was looking, or while the Spartans and the Athenians and the Persians where killing each other, or while the Greeks were hiding in their wooden horse at the gates of Troy, or while – well, you get the picture – while their worshippers were busy elsewhere, the gods were stuffing their faces with gnocchi. No, seriously, I’ve been reading into it. Prometheus was chained to that stone not for stealing fire, but for stealing the secret recipe for gnocchi. There’s been a massive mistranslation throughout history. Not fire – gnocchi.

OK, I may or may not have made up that last bit.

But they’re seriously good.

And this recipe is seriously easy. And you end up with crispy-soft gnocchi, a creamy sauce, and even vegetables, to keep the health-nut in you happy.

Life doesn’t get much better than this.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Strawberry-Almond-Brie Salad

Other Parmesan recipes: Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Parmesan Potato Wedges, Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna, Parmesan Poppy Seed Twists, Date Bacon Parmesan Salad, Parmesan Lollipops, Rosemary Parmesan Butter

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 7

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi

Servings: 4

Prep time: 30 minutes

You will need:

  • 1/2lb, or 300gr, fresh gnocchi
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 4oz, or 100gr corn
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons Parmesan
  • basil, fresh or dried, to taste
  • olive oil, for cooking
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the gnocchi and leave unstirred for about 4 minutes, until the bottom is nicely browned and crispy. Toss the gnocchi and continue cooking until browned all around. Set aside.

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 3

In another skilled, cook the zucchini and corn, stirring occasionally until soft and lightly browned.

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 2

While the vegetables are cooking, beat the Parmesan cheese into the cream until well combined.

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 4

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi

Remove the vegetables from the heat and stir in the cream and cheese mixture. Finally, add the gnocchi to the vegetable skilled, season with salt, pepper and basil to taste, and serve hot from the pan.

Enjoy!

Clara

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 6