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

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

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream


Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream 11

So tomorrow is St Valentine’s. A day of love and chocolate and, ironically enough, a world wide bone of contention. If you don’t celebrate it, you might be called a ruthless, heartless, meagre excuse for a human being. If you do, you’ll certainly be labelled a consumerism-worshipping heretic on a good day. Personally I think it’s wonderful to watch people tearing each other apart over it, while I sit by and eat all the chocolate.

No, seriously, when did this become such a big deal? I mean, go out and be jolly; eat drink and be merry; stay home and be taciturn and anti-social; or celebrate the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia, for all I care. It’s on the same day. It’s fun. It involves an inordinate amount of R-rated activities. It’s fun.

It’s all the same to me. I’ll be eating chocolate if you need me.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream 7

So, on a different note, and smack on time for St. V’s, I took part in a production of Dido and Aeneas, and let me tell you, those guys can’t even handle it right now. I mean, seriously, Dido is the drama queen from hell, and Aeneas, poor chump, is the most emasculated hero in the entire history of Greek tragedy, which is saying quite a lot. There is this scene where he’s all “Behold, I’ve killed this here monster, come look at me flex my muscles”, and she’s like, “Whatever, it’s raining, let’s get outta here, I just did my hair”. And then freaking Jupiter tells the man to get himself away from that chick and rebuild freaking Troy, and all the man can say is “but the chick”, and I’m like, man, you survived the Troyan Wars and now you’re scared of a chick in a toga? Get a grip, cupcake.

That’s love for you, folks.

Now I’ve got that off my chest, let’s get the show on the road.

These cupcakes,

This buttercream.

It’s like – sublime. I actually ate the buttercream straight.

Yes, I did. I’m not one to resist temptation.

Go ahead, try it, see if you can.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream 10-checker

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream

Servings: 12 cupcakes

Perp time: about 1 hour

You will need:

For the cupcakes:

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons red food coloring
  • ½ cup buttermilk, or the same amount of milk + 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons white vinegar

For the buttercream:

  • 4oz butter, softened
  • 4oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream 8

Let’s start with the cupcakes. Cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg. In a small bowl, quickly whisk the cocoa powder with the red food coloring until it forms a paste.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting 1

Add to the batter and mix thoroughly, making sure the color is distributed evenly. Then add half the buttermilk, half the flour, and mix. Repeat, then add the baking soda and vinegar.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream 2

Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake in a medium oven for about 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre of one comes out clean.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream 3

Cool slightly, remove from the pan, and set aside to cool completely before topping with buttercream.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream 4

For the buttercream, quickly whip the butter and the cream cheese until well combined, then slowly add in the powdered sugar. Keep whipping until nice and fluffy.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream 5

Finally, top the cooled cupcakes with the buttercream (go on, lay it on thick, it’s worth it!).

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream 6

Serve right away, or store in the fridge to keep the buttercream fresh.

Eat up, and enjoy!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream 9

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna 7

Yes, you read that right. Three cheeses. Three different types of Italian cheese. In one dish. One glorious, comforting, soul-warming dish. One pan, minimal preparation, no need to throw on the oven, 30 minutes and you’re set. This is a bit too easy for our own good.

And it has three cheeses.

Have I mentioned the three cheeses?

I love this lasagna. I mean, take a look, three cheeses.

It doesn’t get much easier than this.

It doesn’t get much better than this.

Why, even Cicero swooned over this. Well, maybe not excatly this, but man did the guy love his lasagna (go on, google that). I’m telling ya, the man was wise. He wore a toga.

Plus, there is a chance the word originates from the Greek lasana, or lasanon, meaning “chamber pot”, which the Romans borrowed as lasanum. Something got lost in translation, though, because the Romans, despite wearing togas, firmly believed the word to mean “cooking pots”.

I find this the most hilarious story ever. We’ve been eating chamber pots for millennia.

Personally, I need no other reason to cook this every day this week. In case you do: Have I told you yet that this has three cheeses?

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna 8

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Braised French Onion Chicken

Other Parmesan dishes: Parmesan Potato Wedges, Parmesan Poppy Seed Twists, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Parmesan Lollipops, Date Bacon Parmesan Salad, Rosemary Parmesan Butter

Other Ricotta dishes: Lemon Ricotta Pasta, Vegetable Ricotta Pasta

Other Mozzarella dishes: Pistachio Mozzarella Salad, Vegetable Cannelloni, Potato Dauphinoise, Caprese Bread, Veggi Mozzarella Turnovers, Ultra fast Pasta with Mozzarella

 

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna

Servings: 4

Prep time: 30 minutes

You will need:

  • 250gr, or 1/2lb ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed chili flakes
  • 2 cups, tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4-6 lasagna noodles, depending on the size of your pot, soaked in warm water
  • 8oz, or 250 gr grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 2oz, or 60gr Parmesan cheese
  • 15oz, or 400gr Ricotta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil to garnish, optional

First off, heat some olive oil in a deep pan or pot, and cook the ground meat until no pink bits remain. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, basil and chili, and stir well to combine, and cook until fragrant, about 30 second.

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna 1

Stir in about a third of the tomato sauce and water, then top with the lasagna noodles, taking care to cover the meat as evenly as possible. Break up the noodles if it helps.

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna

Pour the remaining sauce and water over the noodles, and whisk a bit to combine the liquids. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes. Once the noodles are nice and tender, uncover and sprinkle with half the Parmesan and Mozzarella. Place dollops of Ricotta all over the top, and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan and Mozzarella on top of that.

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna 2-side

Cheese heaven.

Cover and cook for a few more minutes until the cheeses melt.

We definitely want the cheese to melt.

Garnish with basil, if desired (I didn’t), dish up, and enjoy!

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna 6

Dig in. I did 🙂

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna 9

 

Clara

A cheese-laden birthday feast!

Happy birthday to us!

We’ve been cheesing it for a year now, and we have been celebrating.

With cheese.

Of course.

So today we bring to you not one, not two, not three, but four recipes to put together an entire scrumptious meal orbiting around cheese.

We begin with an appetiser, featuring Feta cheese and ground walnuts, which technically make these little taste-bomb healthy. Almost. Be that as it may, these were absolutely, totally, like, awesome.

Our first course starred creamy pasta with Ricotta, paired with the freshness of lemon. The sheer simplicity of this dish belies the wonderful taste, which manages to transport you straight back into summer.

We chose chicken for our main course, and of course Parmesan, which simply had to make the cut. Dried tomatoes and basil rounded up this lovely, comforting one-skillet dish. We do, however, apologise for the pictures, but this was so good we literally forgot to take any more… You’ll just have to trust us on this one. Have we ever led you astray? 🙂

And last, but indeed not least, you cannot have a birthday without a cake. A cheesecake, of course. Scroll down and find out more about this little crowning jewel of today’s feast…

How can you say no?

Walnut Feta Cookies

Walnut Feta Cookies 6

Servings: about 40 cookies

Prep time: 20 minutes

You will need:

  • 40 g ground or chopped walnuts
  • 120 g, or 1/2 cup flour
  • 120 g butter
  • 120 g feta cheese
  • salt and pepper

Walnut Feta Cookies 7

Let’s start out with the walnut. If you couldn’t find them ground, you can use a pestle and mortar to do the job. (We did 🙂 )

Walnut Feta Cookies 1

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients until you obtain a homogeneous dough, then roll it out to a thickness of roughly 1,5 cm.

Walnut Feta Cookies 2

Cut them out in any desired shape. We used a round cutter, but any shape will do, really.

Walnut Feta Cookies 3

Place on a greased or lined cookie sheet. Leave a little space between them, but not much is needed, since they really don’t grow at all. You can brush them them with a slightly beaten egg, or even milk, at this point, but this really isn’t necessary.

Walnut Feta Cookies 4

Place in a low oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until light golden.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 5

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Lemon Ricotta Pasta 5

Servings: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes (seriously)

You will need:

  • 350gr short pasta
  • 200gr fresh Ricotta cheese
  • the zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons dried, or 10 leaves fresh basil
  • grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish

Lemon Ricotta Pasta 3

Cook the pasta as per package instructions.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Reserve two cups of pasta water before draining.

Meanwhile, beat together the cheese, lemon zest and basil until thoroughly combined.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta 2

Thin out with pasta water until fairly liquid, but still creamy. Return the drained pasta to the pot and mix in the Ricotta mixture.

Serve garnished with Parmesan and a few basil leaves.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta 6

Creamy Parmesan Basil Chicken

Creamy Parmesan Basil Chicken 2

Servings: 4

Prep time: 30 mintues

You will need:

  • 4 large chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 bread crumbs
  • olive oil to cook the chicken
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup minced dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat a large skillet on low heat with the olive oil. Salt and pepper both side of the chicken breasts. Dip in the milk, then coat with bread crumbs and place in the pan. Cook for about 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through (times may vary here depending on the thickness of the breast).

Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken 1

Remove from the pan, and add the broth to the same pan. When it boils, stir in cream and tomatoes and give it a good stir. Add the remaining ingredients and give it a few minutes to cook through.

Return the chicken to the pan.

Eat up. 🙂

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 10

Servings: 8

Prep time: 30 minutes, plus 50 minutes baking time, plus 2 hours chilling

You will need:

For the cheesecake:

  • 1 cup shortbread cookies, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate, cut into squares and melted
  • 2/3 cup sugar (optional; I didn’t think it was necessary)
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs

For the raspberry sauce:

  • 1 1/4 cup raspberry jam
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 8

Combine the crushed cookies with the ground almonds.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 11-side

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 13

Mix in the melted butter until it forms a crumbly paste. Press into the bottom of a greased pan.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 16

Combine the cream cheese with the melted chocolate.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 15

Add the sour cream, sugar and eggs. Pour on top of the cookie crust.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 14-side

Bake on medium high for 30 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and centre is still slightly wobbly, but set. It will firm up as it cools.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 1

Place in the fridge to cool for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 4-side

Meanwhile, place the raspberry jam in a small sauce pan over medium heat until it melts down. Add the raspberries and bring to a simmer. Cover and chill until serving time.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 7

Spoon the raspberry sauce over the cheesecake slices as you serve.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 9

Enjoy! 🙂