Thursday, April 29, 2010

Valentine's Day (uh, late...) - Spicy Chocolate Cookies and Raspberry Rose Cheesecake!

Alright, so this is... this is a little late. I get that. I could just not post it at all. But-- but this was very nice, and very special, and a fantastic recipe. And I loved my Valentine's Day, it was the best.
It started with this breakfast in bed that I made for Brian. I made the cheesecake the night before while he also made some surprises for Valentine's Day. He had no idea what I was making, it was so cute. The recipe I made actually made two mini ones. The cheesecake is a white chocolate based cheesecake, with a raspberry and rose flavoured syrupy topping. I also served it with some whipped cream and breves! And a vase of flowers. I know, it's super silly and girly to do such a thing for your boyfriend-- but I really, really wanted to show him how much I care. And whatever, I'm a girl. I'm gonna show caring in a girly way. Sometimes it's in a boyish way. I guess. I dunno.

I had this recipe for the cheesecake in my archives for, I believe, over a year. I've had this post sitting in my posts for like... two months. Because I haven't felt like posting it. Its not that I didn't LOVE my Valentine's Day (I did), it's just that it's so long ago, who is going to care about this-- but thats also partially because I'm taking so long to post them. So let's see... I had this recipe in my archives, but was delaying because its use of rose made me go "wut, I gotta save this for valentine's day", so I did.

This cheesecake consists of a rich white chocolate (cheesecake) base. A chocolate crust. And a layer of raspberry 'sauce' that's cooked with rose water. I also used rose nectar (did I mention that before??)

The cookie on top is what I used to make the crust, per the suggestion of the recipe I got it from. It's a "mexican heart of fire" cookie. So it's got cinnamon and spiciness and amazingness. I really liked these, though they were slightly bitter. They were good with tea!!

I had such a great V-day. I made this for breakfast for Brian, then we went to the beach in Malibu and had a picnic (he made pasta salad!!) with strawberries, some of the aforementioned pasta salad, whipped cream, bread, cheese, and wine. Then he took me down to Santa Monica (I napped a bit on the way) and we had dinner at JiRaffe. it was sooo good. I was so full by the end of the night.
Ok, I think that's all I have to talk about. :x For now. I have a fashion show tomorrow (YES!) and some pretty packed evenings/days planned, but I think I'll have more things to post soon. :)

White Chocolate and Raspberry Rose Cheesecake
Recipe adapted from Luna's Cafe

1/8 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (listed below)
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 package cream cheese
3 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup raspberry jam
1 tablespoon rose flower water
1 teaspoon rose nectar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla vodka
1/8 cup fresh raspberries, mashed.

Oven at 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.

To prepare the cookie base, mix together the cookie crumbs and butter and sprinkle over the bottom of the pan, making a thin layer.

Begin by melting the white chocolate: put it in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Continue microwaving until creamy, 10 seconds at a time. Meanwhile, mix the cream cheese with the sugar with a hand mixer until smooth. Add in the eggs and white chocolate and pulse until combined well. Pour the batter into the cookie coated pan and bake for 15 minutes. Be sure to put a small pan of water in the oven to keep the cheesecake moist.
Remove from the oven and let rest for five minutes.

While baking, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream with the sugar and vanilla. Let set until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour the sour cream mixture over the cheesecake and return to the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

Make the raspberry topping by bringing the jam to a simmer in a small saucepan. Whisk in the rose water/nectar and vodka until smooth. Add the crushed raspberries in. Strain the mix through a strainer and let cool slightly, then spread onto the cheesecake. Refrigerate until set.

Serve with a dollop of rose flavored whipped cream (like I did) and some coffee. Or by itself!!

Mexican Heart of Fire Cookies
Recipe from Luna's Cafe

1/4 cup flour
1/8 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup + tablespoon sugar
minced zest of 1/4 orange
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon orange extract
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon chile powder (I used ancho chile)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder

Oven at 325 Degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, and salt. In a separate bowl cream together the butter, sugar, orange zest, vanilla extract, orange extract, cinnamon, chile powder, and cayenne pepper. Once thoroughly combined, add in the flour mixture. Should be pretty dry. Divide the dough into pieces. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Once cool, remove from the fridge and roll to be thin, like 1/8" or so. Cut into heart shapes and bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 2 minutes.
Heat some of that white chocolate in a bowl in the microwave as per previous instructions and drizzle over these cookies for amazingness.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Chorizo Omelet

I winged this one morning when I had leftover chorizo from making kale stews. I gotta say, I love making eggy dishes on weekend mornings. During the weekdays Brian and I eat a lot of cereal-- usually until we run out of cereal, then we'll realize we've run out of cereal/milk/something and I make us egg sandwiches with a fried egg and some cheese. Those are nomnom (that's what we did this morning). But every now and then I make something tasty like this omelet. And filling too!!
I think this is very good hangover food btw. I may or may not have had a hangover when I ate this. It's hard to say so far back....
I've never been very good at making omelets. I would always get lazy and not fold them right and they'd sort of just turn into a scramble. This one wasn't folded quite right... you can see an inch of the interior. Which makes for a good picture, so I can't complain.

This omelet was soooooooooooo tasty. It reminds me of a chili omelet. I love chili cheese omelets. Or chili cheese anything really. Shh, it's a secret my agency isn't allowed to know! (winky face).


Chorizo Omelet

3 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon water
1/4 of a pack of chorizo
1/4 of a red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 of an onion, chopped
5 or 6 thin slices of pepperjack cheese
1/8 cup shredded cheddar cheese
a dash of cayenne
ground black pepper
a dash of salt
a dash of hot sauce

In a large skillet, saute the chorizo, bell pepper, and onion with the cayenne, black pepper, and salt until cooked over medium-high heat. This should only take a few minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, water, hot sauce, a dash of salt and pepper. In a small greased or non-stick pan, pour the egg mixture in and cook slowly over low to low-mediumish heat. When the eggs are cooked relatively thoroughly, place the chorizo and jack cheese as well as a sprinkle of cheddar on top. Fold and let the cheese melt and cook a few more minutes. Top with shredded cheddar.

Could be real good served with avocado. I didn't have any! Or sour cream. Or both. Nomnom.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Potato Kale Stew

Finally I'm getting around to actually catching up with my posts! Maybe when I catch up I'll feel like cooking more. :) There's nothing that gets me motivated more than running out of posts for Foodival, hah!!
I made this stew on my kale-kick. I'd say it's a really healthy stew, but it's full of coconut milk, which is not healthy. Otherwise it's just vegetables-- potatoes, sweet potatoes, the kale. Some onion. It's basically like a curry, but less awesome than the curries I've had at thai restaraunts. :( Though still very good.
Because this was supposed to be like.. you know, a soup or stew. It's supposed to be thinner and more liquidy. I wouldn't say it was perfect but it did a good job. And it was nourishing, though not my favourite. Brian liked it a lot, but I thought it was rather bland, personally. But I think that's because when I looked at it I expected it to be yellow curry, knew it wasn't, and it definitely didn't taste like it. I served it with a bit of toast, because I like toast with my stew.
It's a good try, it's vegetarian, so that's nice.

Potato Kale Stew
Recipe from 28 Cooks

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 small sweet potato, cut into 2" pieces
1 small white potato, cut into 2" pieces
1/4 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2" dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 can coconut milk
1 cups sliced fresh kale leaves

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and salt, and saute 3-4 minutes until it starts to soften. Add potatoes, bell pepper, garlic, ginger, and spices, and saute for a minute or two. Add coconut milk and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Add kale leaves, remove from heat, and allow to sit for a minute or two for kale to soften. Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rose Berry Float

I saw this post somewhere awhile ago and immediately fell in love. I love rose in things. Rose ice cream was one of my favourites at this ice cream shop in Savannah called Leopold's (a producer owned it, Leopold Stratton I think?). He made awesome rose ice cream. Also, rose in baklava, cookies, cheesecake, all good ideas. For Valentine's Day I made rose cheesecake (still haven't posted that... I think)-- but a rose float? oh jeez! That sounds amazing.

So I went to this little market in the Farmers Market on 3rd Street to Monsieur Marcel's and they had not only rose water (yumyum) but rose nectar, which is like... already sweet, and from... the nectar, I guess? So I also have a bottle of that-- it's a soft, perfumy pink fluid sitting in my fridge (still). And it's amazing.

Part of the reason I got the nectar was for this float, it seemed like a good idea. I had strawberry ice cream in my freezer for forever, as well as some frozen berries (including ones I picked last year with Jeff in San Fran. Woops.) Those ingredients combined made this amazing float-- luxurious and delicious. I admit, the water with the rose was... perfumy, not as much sweet. I think a float goes better with more sweetness in the liquid. Maybe mixing a strawberry or raspberry juice with carbonated water and the rose would have been a bit more appetizing, then also floating the berries and strawberry ice cream in it. Yeah, that'd be good. Or perhaps using a sweeter soda water than I did.

But whatever the case, I still really enjoyed it-- I felt like Marie Antoinette, drinking a rose flavoured delicacy. And as far as I'm concerned you can't steer wrong with that.

Rose Berry Float
Recipe from The Jewels of New York

1 1/2 cups sparkling water
1 teaspoons rose syrup
1 teaspooon rose nectar
1 scoop strawberry ice cream
raspberries and blackberries to garnish

In a tall tumbler, mix in Pellegrino and rose syrup. Add in raspberries and blackberries and top with a scoop of strawberry ice cream.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Honey Walnut Baked Apples

Sometimes I like to be healthy. Really! I know I make a lot of pastries and I'm not exactly the most health conscious person to eat nomnoms, but sometimes I really do like making healthy things! This is... more on that path. I actually meant to make two of these, but I didn't end up using the other apple (I forgot it was in the fridge [yes I keep my apples in the fridge]). But Brian and I ate this for dessert one night after a deliciously filling meal. It was good-- nice and rich and juicy without being excessive. It felt nice, healthier than my usual cake/cookie/brownie/chocolate creations. I like baking, but sometimes it's nice to just make something simple and more au natural.

I really think I would've liked to use a Honeycrisp apple for this-- I loove honeycrisps (and pink ladies). Unfortunately my grocer didn't have either, so I used a... a granny smith, I believe. Or maybe a golden delicious? Its sort of hard to tell and I don't really remember. Like most things I've been updating with recently, I made this awhile ago. I really should do better at catching up (sorry, readers).
Or maybe this was a honeycrisp. Hmmm. Those are usually like, the only applies I buy. But whatever the case, the skin sort of got... soggy, I think I cooked it too long. But the apple was sort of caramelized by everything, which went well with the ice cream. It was a nice treat-- I should make more, except that I haven't been feeling up to cooking a lot lately. Though Brian and I made a tasty Easter dinner together last night and that was fantastic. :D

Anywho, that's it for now, more updates soon! Sorry this one is mostly pictures! :D

Honey Walnut Baked Apples
Recipe from Cooking by the Seat of my Pants

1 medium apple
1 teaspoon sugar
a dash of cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, or in a deep bowl or cup in the microwave. Add sugar and cinnamon to a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add honey and melted butter, whisk until smooth. Stir in walnut pieces sit a long spoon. Set aside.

Core the apple and cut a shallow slit around the center of each apple, just through the skin, approximately 1/8 of an inch deep. Fill each apple with 1 to 2 tsp of the filling mixture. Arrange in a high-sided baking dish just large enough to hold the apples. (I used an 8-inch square baking dish for these, but a pie tin would have worked as well.) Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until apples are tender. If filling begins to blacken, cover the apples with foil and continue cooking.

When done, set on serving plate and serve immediately with a little honey or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.