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.

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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

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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.

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Set aside to cool.

Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes 2

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

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

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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.

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Finish browning on the other side.

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Serve hot, topped with strawberry sauce.

Enjoy 🙂

Clara

Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes

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Apple Cheese Danish

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I am not, on a general note, a person who is easily embarrassed. I have been known to skip down the busiest street in town, flapping my arms, bird-like, at the hint of Christmas in the air. It is not at all uncommon for me to wait for the doors to close on crowded elevators to ask: “You must be wondering why I have gathered you here”, or to wind up in a ball on the floor in reaction to the loudspeakers at the grocery store, moaning “The voices! The voices are back!” In a nutshell, doing a lot of things that seemed like a good idea at the time… but weren’t.

Good times.

But I draw the line at singing. I do not sing. I have sung, on occasion, but only under duress, and after at least two human sacrifices, and half a bottle of vodka. And trust me when I tell you, it’s for your own good. “Oh, it can’t be that bad”, you must be thinking. “She’s being modest”, you might add. Oh, how I wish I was. I forgot myself the other day and began singing in the shower, and now feel solely responsible for two hurricanes, an earthquake, and the near-extinction of the red-barbed ant.

But – it’s Christmas, and everybody seems to expect me to go a-carolin’ around. I’ve politely declined so often I’ve started to go with “bah, humbug” to speed things up.

Over the years, I’ve learned a profound and enlightening truth: People don’t like other people who “bah,  humbug” more than strictly necessary. However, people do like other people who make scrumptious treats.

So I make scrumptious treats. And share them on the Internet to spread the Christmas cheer.

And, my friends, this definitely falls into the category of scrumptious, Christmas-cheer-spreading breakfast treats that make people really like you.

Like, really.

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Apple Cheese Danish

Adapted from the scrumptious Live Laugh Rowe.

Servings: 8

Prep time: 1 hour

You will need:

  • 4 or 5 apples, peeled and sliced
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry (any shape, really, but they should match)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup (250gr) sugar, separated
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon, separated
  • a good pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoons caramel sauce of choice
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Milk

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First off, place one sheet of puff pastry on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Bake in a medium oven for about 10 minutes, or until golden. Set aside.

Apple Cheese Danish 1

Place apples and butter in a large pan and cook until beginning to brown.

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At this point, add ½ cup of sugar, the flour, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and the nutmeg, and stir to mix.

Apple Cheese Danish 2

Add caramel and stir again.

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Cook for a few more minutes to caramelize a bit, then set aside.

Apple Cheese Danish 4

Beat the cream cheese with the remaining ½ cup of sugar and the egg.

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Allowing for some space along the edges, spread the cream cheese mixture over the baked puff pastry, taking care not to break through the surface. Spoon the apple mixture over that, distributing evenly.

Eat any stray apples straight out of the pan. Go ahead, it’s fruit, it’s good for you.

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Top with the second sheet of puff pastry and seal off the edges by pressing them together, or even folding them over a bit.

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Brush with a bit of milk, cut 5 or 6 small vents and sprinkle with sugar and the remaining cinnamon.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until a deep golden brown (I might’ve overdone it a wee bit here…). While this is baking, kick back into your couch and enjoy the heavenly smell wafting from your oven.

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Cool for a bit, carefully cut into triangles and enjoy it hot out of the oven, or completely cooled the next day. If you can even wait that long.

Enjoy!

Clara

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Gorgonzola Herb Butter & Rosemary Parmesan Butter

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Let me be completely honest with you. This start of term has been rough. It always is. Exchanging endless, lazy summer days and strolls in the mountains for dark, hectic early mornings and long, long, days on your feet trying to pound English and German into teenage brains, just isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Every September, on the clock, procrastination gets the better of me. There just are no limits to what you can accomplish when you are supposed to be doing something else. I can’t get out of bed. These blankets have accepted me as one of their own and if I leave them I might lose their trust.

It takes me about a month to get things under control again. But during the up-hill month of September, things like changing into actual clothes before dashing to the grocery store don’t seem quite as urgent as they may any other month of the year.

That is, of course, the day you run into every single person you know. And you’re all “I’m usually beautiful and glamorous… but today is my day off”, and all they do is stare at your bunny slippers and hair, which chooses this precise moment to display its unique ability to defy the laws of gravity. I’m betting Newton had some bad-ass anti-frizz shampoo, or he wouldn’t have postulated such a debatable theory.

But to the point. As I announced two weeks ago, we’ll be trying our hand on butter today. These recipes are perfect for September procrastinators and start of term franticness (That is an actual word. I checked.). They’re quick, useful, delicious, and the perfect comfort food for those first crisp fall nights. Slather these butters on toast, savoury scones, English muffins or American biscuits. Place a pad on red meat or chicken, or melt it into a boring pasta dish. Trust me, this stuff is golden.

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Gorgonzola Herb Butter and Rosemary Parmesan Butter

Servings: about 1 cups each

Prep time: 10 minutes

You will need:

For the Gorgonzola Herb Butter:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted, softened butter
  • 1/2 cup softened Gorgonzola
  • 3 tablespoons fresh, or 2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh, or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons fresh, or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 pine nuts
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the Rosemary Parmesan Butter:

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 3 tablespoons rosemary flowers, if you can get them, otherwise 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • quality salt of choice, to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon

Let the festivities begin.

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For the Gorgonzola Herb Butter, place the thyme, rosemary, parsley, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, pine nuts, salt and pepper in a mortar and grind with a pestle until roughly combined and pine nuts are broken up into little bits and pieces.

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Place the butter and Gorgonzola cheese in a bowl and mix with a fork until creamy and well combined.

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Add the herb-pine nut mixture and incorporate.

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For the Rosemary Parmesan Butter, combine the softened butter with the Parmesan cheese until well incorporated, then mix in your salt.

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I used about 1/2 a teaspoon, as the Parmesan is already plenty salty, but the level of saltiness is entirely up to you. Do use good quality salt here, though, as the taste shines out quite clearly. I used a fancy red Hawaiian salt I had on hand, but any other good sea or mineral salt.

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Fold in the rosemary flowers carefully. If not using flowers, forget the “carefully” and just beat the daylights outta that butter.

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These little butters freeze nicely if need be. I placed mine in an ice cube tray and stored them in the freezer for quick meals or snacks.

They’re best, in my humble opinion, simply slathered on hot toast.

Herb and Cheese Butter 2

Enjoy!

Clara

Chocolate Raspberry Mascarpone Pie

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Please believe me when I say I was not going to make this pie. Especially after the Cheesecake Bite Overload Going Straight To Hell Debacle I posted two weeks ago. If the cheesecake bites guaranteed you VIP treatment in the underworld, this here is the shortcut. Actually, this will probably guarantee you VIP treatment most anywhere you take it.

I really shouldn’t have made this.

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But I honestly couldn’t help it. I had a rebellion on my hands. All my sweet recipes so far have starred cream cheese as the leading part (see Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake BitesCream Cheese Pancakes, Carrot Cake, and of course, the infamous Bites). Annie branched out with her Cottage Cheese and Strawberry Creation, but alas, I did not.

Anger was brewing in the cheese drawer in my fridge. There was talk of mutiny. They were getting organized. I swear I heard one of them yell, “Charge!”

So you see, I could not allow my cheeses to start attacking one another. I need happy cheeses that will pliantly meld into my kitchen experiments. I need them to feel safe and content and buoyant. That, and Lady Cream Cheese was getting cocky. That kind of fame would go to anyone’s head.

So today I present to you a new player on this blog. No, not the cream cheese understudy. This is a whole new rising star on the horizon of my shopping list, which already includes a ridiculous amount of cheeses. She has an Italian temperament, yet oozes a smooth grace and a suave demeanor few other cheeses can put forth.

Without further ado, I give you: Mascarpone.

She is very pleased to meet you. Yes, indeed, she is sitting right next to me, nodding encouragingly and smiling diplomatically, in a distinctly let-them-eat-cake kind of attitude.

I really need to stop talking to my cheeses.

Let us eat cake.

Or, what’s more: Let us eat pie.

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Chocolate Raspberry Macarpone Pie

 Adapted from the lovely blog Pass the Sushi

Serves: 8 to 12, depending on the size of your sweet tooth

Prep time: about 1 hour, plus at least 3 hours refrigerating time

You will need:

  • 1 recipe for my all-purpose lazy-girl Pie Crust (check it out in the Quiche I used it for last)
  • 175gr, or 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, plus a bit more to grate
  • 500gr, or 18oz Mascarpone cheese
  • 125gr, or 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 250gr, or 1 cup whipping cream
  • 500gr, or 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 80 gr, or 1/3 cup raspberry jam
  • optional: 30ml, or 2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur

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Let’s get the show on the road.

Chocolate Raspberry Mascarpone Pie 1

Preheat your oven to high. Prepare the crust and place it into a pie plate. Remember to prick the crust with a fork, or you’ll end up with a crust-balloon, which is certainly a conversation piece, but no really what we are going for here.

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Cover with a double layer of aluminium foil and bake for about 8 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 8 minutes, until Mr. Golden Brown arrives.

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Roughly chop up your chocolate and place it in a large saucepan along with the mascarpone and the powdered sugar. (Trust me when I say large. The first time around making this pie I thought, yeah, whatever, small will work to. It didn’t.) Cook over medium heat, stirring steadily, until nicely melted and smooth.

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Turn off the heat and stir in the raspberry liqueur, if you are using any. I don’t, because I never feel like buying a whole bottle of raspberry liqueur for just the 2 tablespoon-fulls. It will taste just grand either way.

Now comes the hard part. You need to allow this to cool to room temperature. You need to put that spoon away and stop “tasting” every other minute. You know it still tastes good.

Self-control is such a hard-acquired ability. I never really got the hang of it.

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Once your mascarpone-chocolate batter is nice and cool, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Carefully fold half the whipped cream into the batter, then add the remaining cream and fold in gently until completely incorporated.

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Cover the pie dish and refrigerate for at least 3 hours until set.

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Finally, place the jam in a medium saucepan over low heat until melted.

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Remove from heat, cool for a bit, then stir in the fresh raspberries so they are nicely coated.

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Cover the top of the pie with the raspberries, then top with some grated chocolate to give it the finishing touch.

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Now, enjoy!

Clara

Cottage cheese, strawberries and spring

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Ara que ha arribat l’abril ja podem dir oficialment que som a la primavera. Sí, ja ho sé, tècnicament la primavera arriba al març, però sempre he pensat que quan realment tens una plena sensació de primavera, és a l’abril.

És un mes fantàstic! Hi ha Setmana Santa, que després d’un segon trimestre sense gaires festius és molt benvinguda, i també hi ha Sant Jordi, que és el dia màgic, romàntic i primaveral per excel·lència. Em direu que el maig també és primavera, sí, però quan arribes al maig ja comences a tenir més acumulació de feina, perquè llavors el curs s’està acabant i ja pots ensumar de ben a prop els exàmens que vindran amb el juny, així que podríem dir que el maig forma part d’aquella part de la primavera que et passes patint per la feinada que tens abans que s’acabin les classes. Del juny ja ni en parlem, i  llavors quan acabes els exàmens normalment ja ets a l’estiu, que això ja forma part d’una altra història. Per tant, si comptem que el març és encara un mes molt hivernal, que el maig és estressant i que el juny ens el passem tancats a casa estudiant, arribem a la conclusió que l’únic mes on realment podem gaudir de la primavera és a l’abril. O sigui ara.

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I què ens ve al cap quan pensem en primavera? Indiscutiblement: maduixes. I si la Clara ja ens feia un primer avanç del menú primaveral a finals de febrer amb la seva amanida de Brie, maduixes i ametlles, jo avui us porto les postres. Per a fer-les necessitareu bàsicament dos ingredients: maduixes, evidentment, i mató. Sembla molt senzill, però si ho voleu fer bé, heu de seguir dos passos: en primer lloc, aneu al mercat i compreu unes maduixes del Maresme. El plat es pot fer amb qualsevol maduixa o maduixot de supermercat, però el resultat només serà perfecte si les maduixes són perfectes. Després, poseu-vos les botes i aprofiteu el magnífic dia assolellat i primaveral que farà per pujar d’excursió a Montserrat a comprar un bon mató. (de fet també s’hi pot pujar amb cotxe, però el mató és infinitament més bo quan el vas a comprar a peu) (de passada, quan aneu a Montserrat compreu coca, és potser la millor coca de la història) (i sí, també és molt més bona si hi aneu caminant). Quan arribeu a casa, uns quants minuts a la cuina i us podreu menjar la primavera a cullerades!

strawberry-cottage cheese

Strawberry Cottage Cheese Cups

Servings: 4

Prep time: 20 min

You will need:

  • 350g cottage cheese
  • 350g strawberries
  • about 4 tsp honey
  • 4 tsp walnuts, chopped

Blend the cottage cheese and the honey in a bowl using a fork, until you have a homogeneous mixture. Now taste it before going ahead: some cottage cheeses are more acid than others, and it might not be sweet enough with only 4 tsp of honey. I’d say just add honey to taste, until the desired sweeteness.

Wash and crush the strawberries until you have a nice red purée. Some sugar or honey can be added if the strawberries are too acid. Once again, it’s a matter of taste (I personally like the combination of the sweeteness of the cheese with the acidity of the strawberries, but it’s your choice).

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With the strawberry sauce and the cheese-honey mixture all done and ready, it’s time to assemble the cup. Place some walnuts at the bottom of a cup, or, in fact, any kind of artsy glass you may happen to have. Layer the cottage cheese over the walnuts, and last but not least pour some strawberry sauce on top. If you feel springish-ly (is that even a word?) creative today, go ahead and decorate it with some beautifuly fresh strawberries or a leaf of mint. Or go crazy and do both.

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Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Pancakes, or the Ghost of Mornings Yet to Come

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This week, it’s all about mornings. To begin on a completely recipe-unrelated note, someday I’m totally going to wake up my kids to this:

And if that doesn’t work, I’ll play this:

That ought to do the trick. Because if Mufasa pacing regally across the African savanna doesn’t get the kids out of bed, Darth Vader sure will. Disney and Star Wars, those are totally gonna be my educational values.

I mean, admit it, you cried when Mufasa died. And Bambi’s mom. That was traumatic. And don’t even get me started on Dumbo. I was a mess after Dumbo. And these are supposed to be kids’ movies. Kids’ movies! Look at me! I’m scarred for life.

But I digress. This all started with mornings. Mornings mean breakfast. Breakfast means pancakes.

Duh.

With my mixed-up heritage muddling up much of my life, in this I can say I am a true American: I love pancakes. Let me rephrase that: I adore pancakes. Pancakes are the ultimate breakfast food. They are perfect in so many different ways. But they have one major drawback: They do not, traditionally, include cheese.

Of course we needed to remedy that ASAP. It turns out, you can make pancakes with just cream cheese and eggs. Yes, that’s right. Cream cheese and eggs. Which, granted, is basically cheesecake in a pancake-disguise. Zorro mask and all (are you picturing that? I am). And tell me, dear friends, what more can you ask for?

True pancake lovers beware: These are not your traditional fluffy pancakes. These are wonderfully light and delicate. These are fairy pancakes. These are pancakes you will eat by the dozen, guilt free. I believe we have found paradise.

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Cream Cheese Pancakes

Servings: 3 or 4, depending on how much you love pancakes. 1 if you are me.

Prep time: 10 minutes.

You will need:

  • 120gr, or 4oz, cream cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • optional: sweetener of choice
  • optional: vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, or whatever you might like to try
  • optional: topping of choice, e.g. powdered sugar, maple syrup, etc

Cream Cheese Pancakes 1

Place all ingredients except the toppings in a bowl. Beat until fully incorporated. You will note this batter is very liquid compared to other pancake batters. Remember that it will spread out quite a bit in the pan, almost like a small crêpe.

Cream Cheese Pancakes 2

Heat up your pan or skillet with a drizzle of vegetable oil. Pour one or two tablespoons of the batter into your pan, and cook for a couple of minutes on one side. Carefully flip them over and cook for maybe one more minute. Repeat the process with the rest of the batter.

Serve with a light sprinkling of powdered sugar, as shown. Or drown them in maple syrup, as not shown, but definitely the way I ate them.

Enjoy!

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