Lemon Cheesecake Pie {Almost No-Bake}

2 Jul

Lemon Cheesecake Pie 2
Ok, so I have to apologize for being so MIA lately around here. I don’t really have a big excuse for it, just a lot of little things. Joel was in NYC last week, Hannah is teething and will only allow me to hold her (every waking minute) and Noah is in the nonstop questions stage. So I’m pretty sure my brain has melted which really makes it impossible to blog. Dramatic much? Seriously though, it’s just been a bit hectic but I promise I’ll be better!
Lemon Cheesecake Pie 4
I made this cheesecake pie about a month ago when some friends were visiting from Seattle. I had been craving cheesecake but wanted to make it a bit summery and bright. I also didn’t want to crank on the oven since it was incredibly hot and humid. And out of these things I came up with the almost no-bake lemon cheesecake pie.

The crust is a combination of graham cracker crumbs, almonds and coconut for a bit of a tropical feel. It’s lightly baked, cooled then topped with a no-bake cheesecake layer. And the grand finale is a thin layer of homemade lemon curd spread on top. It’s a nice combination of rich, creamy, light and zippy.
Lemon Cheesecake Pie 1
This pie would be a great end to your 4th of July celebration.

Lemon Cheesecake Pie

Crust:
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1 stick butter, melted

Cheesecake Layer:
recipe from Martha Stewart

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup lemon curd

1. For the crust: pulse the almonds in a food processor until you get coarse crumbs. Add coconut, graham cracker crumbs and butter and pulse until it just comes together. Press into a 9-inch springform pan and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.

2. Meanwhile, for the cheesecake layer: beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the condensed milk, 1/4 cup at a time. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into cooled pie crust and cover with plastic wrap. Let chill in refrigerator for 3 hours.

3. After cheesecake has chilled, gently spread the lemon curd on top. Recover with plastic wrap and refrigerator until ready to serve.
Lemon Cheesecake Pie 3

Veggie Lo Mein

20 Jun

Veggie Lo Mein 4
When Joel is out of town or has to work late, I almost always make some kind of version of this. Whether it’s all veggies or chicken and broccoli, it’s always my go to meal. He’s not a big veggie guy if you guys haven’t figured that out by now.
Veggie Lo Mein 5
This is quick and easy to make while making sure your 3 year old isn’t throwing a baseball in the house and the baby isn’t crawling up the stairs or chewing on cords. Not that I know from experience or anything.
Veggie Lo Mein 3
Since I’ve always preferred pasta over rice, lo mein is far superior to fried rice in my book. And this is so filling it’s a meal in itself. Perfect for those crazy, busy summer days!
Veggie Lo Mein 1
Veggie Lo Mein
recipe adapted from Chinese Food DIY

6 ounces vermicelli, uncooked
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3-5 cups chopped bok choy (I couldn’t find any so I used cabbage mix)
1 cup low sodium fat free chicken broth
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup coarsely shredded carrot
1/4 cup chopped green onion
Additional low sodium soy sauce

1. Cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions.

2. Meanwhile, heat a wok or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat then coat with cooking spray. Add sesame oil, garlic and bok choy and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, soy sauce and crushed red pepper and stir fry 1 more minute. Add carrot and stir fry another minute.

3. Stir in pasta and cook for a minute until thoroughly combined and heated through. Add more soy sauce if desired.
Veggie Lo Mein 2

Homemade Ketchup {Clean Eating}

16 Jun

Homemade Ketchup 1
One of the hardest things for me when I started making eating clean a priority was condiments. I love dip, you may even call it an addiction. Although ketchup is never my first choice in condiments (gasp, how un-American of me) it is necessary during grilling season for burgers and hot dogs!
Homemade Ketchup 5
To try out a clean ketchup, I turned to one of my favorite healthy food blogs Skinny Taste. The sugar or corn syrup usually present in ketchup is replaced by a bit of honey. And a major plus is every single ingredient is a pantry staple so I can whip up a batch any time we need it. It’s not quite as sweet as store-bought ketchup but you I don’t think you’ll miss it.
Homemade Ketchup 3
Homemade Ketchup
recipe from Skinny Taste

6 oz. can tomato paste
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Whisk all ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Homemade Ketchup 2

Roasted Garlic Chicken Bacon and Gouda Pizza

10 Jun

Roasted Garlic Chicken Bacon and Gouda Pizza 5
Have you had enough of all my talk about roasted garlic yet? If you have, so sorry but here’s one last recipe for awhile. I told you I was going to share this with you last week but life happened and this didn’t.

This pizza has some of my very favorite things in life, chicken, bacon, cheese and of course the garlic. Seriously, how could it not be good?
Roasted Garlic Chicken Bacon and Gouda Pizza 3
The pizza feels lighter than most since there’s not really a sauce but I’m sure it’s not (calorie wise) due to all the deliciousness. Joel missed not having sauce so he drizzled it with ranch for a spin on a chicken bacon ranch pizza.
Roasted Garlic Chicken Bacon and Gouda Pizza 1
Another thing I love is black pepper and I just happened to find a black peppercorn smoked gouda that was an amazing addition to this creation.
Roasted Garlic Chicken Bacon and Gouda Pizza 4

Most of the prep for this pizza can be done ahead of time (think pizza dough in the freezer, cook bacon and chicken the night before, shred cheese) so you can just throw it together when you are ready to eat. I love that with a little planning and prep work we can have fresh, homemade pizza on a busy weeknight. And fancy pizza at that. Especially seeing that my boys are “fantastic lovers of pizza.” Yep, the 3 year old came up with that. How could you not serve pizza?

Roasted Garlic Chicken Bacon and Gouda Pizza

1/2 whole wheat crust recipe (2 disks)
2 heads of roasted garlic, mashed very well
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large chicken breast, grilled and cut into small bite size pieces
6 strips of bacon, crisp and crumbled
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded smoked gouda

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Roll out pizza crust to desired thickness and place on a pizza stone.

2. Mix together roasted garlic and olive oil then spread evenly over the crust. Top crust with chicken, bacon and cheeses.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden and bubbly.

It’s National Doughnut Day!

6 Jun

So let’s celebrate. I have to admit that I haven’t made a whole lot of doughnuts in my time but I sure have eaten my fair share. I have to say my favorites are the classic blueberry cake and lemon filled covered in powdered sugar. Today I’m going to share some delicious looking doughnuts from around the web. I want to make every single one and shove them in my face.

Homemade Crullers from Lauren’s Latest look so so delicious.

Crullers 12

Orange Sugar Fried Donut Holes are how we are celebrating Doughnut Day today! Forget the popcorn for movie night…doughnuts for life. Well, let’s be serious we’ll have popcorn too seeing that Noah and I are addicts. But we air pop our own so it’s all good.

I fell in love with beignets when we were in NOLA so these New Orleans Beignets from Seeded at the Table are at the top of the list.

My little chocaholic would love these Glazed Chocolate Donuts from Buns in my Oven.

Glazed Chocolate Cake Donuts - my favorite recipe!

Old Fashioned Sour Cream Doughnuts sound ah-mazing!

Sour Cream Old-Fashioned Doughnuts - TheMessyBaker.com

Annie Eats Strawberry Vanilla Doughnuts are drool-worthy.

These Snickerdoodle Doughnuts would be at the top of Joel’s list for sure. I mean, a streusel crumble and glaze. I die.

Snickerdoodle Crumble Donuts | www.somethingswanky.com

And of course the classic Glazed Doughnut (Krispy Kreme inspired).

And there you have it. Like I said, drool.

How To: Roast Garlic

3 Jun

Roasted garlic is a glorious way to flavor dips, veggies, potatoes, steaks and salad dressing or to just slather on French bread. There are so many delicious ways to enjoy it! As you can see, I have mentioned it many times around here but have never shared in an official manner how to make it. So here you go, a how to on roasted garlic. You’re welcome.

And I have an amazing recipe later in the week using it so make sure to watch out for it. You won’t be sorry.

First, cut off a bit of the top of the garlic to expose the cloves, drizzle with olive oil and season with kosher salt.
Roasted Garlic 2
Wrap it up tight and roast in the oven.
Roasted Garlic 3
After 45 minutes, you have this. And your kitchen will smell like sweet, nutty garlic. Try to contain the excitement.
Roasted Garlic 4
After it has cooled, squeeze out the garlic (making sure to keep the olive oil too) and smash it up.
Roasted Garlic 5
This stuff is seriously amazing.

Roasted Garlic

1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Slice off the top of the garlic just enough that all of the cloves are exposed. Place on a square of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt. Close tightly and roast in oven for 45 minutes. Once cool, squeeze out all garlic cloves and any olive oil and smash.

 

Favorite Summer Recipes

30 May

When summer rolls around, I love cool, fresh salads, anything on the grill and sweet, juicy fruits. Now that the weather is hot and seems to be sticking around this time, I thought I would share some of my favorite things to eat in the summer.

Light, refreshing Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade.
Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade 1

I guess I have a thing for wraps in the summer…Sesame Beef Lettuce Wraps, Spicy Lemon Chicken Wraps and Chicken Caesar Pitas.

These little turkey sliders with avocado ranch are pretty delicious too.

Club Sliders with Avocado Ranch

Salads are always a go to in the summer heat. And Cobb Salad is my fav.

Cobb Salad 3

This is a close second.

And while we’re talking about salads, I love me some Cucumber Tomato Salad.

Cucumber Tomato Salad 1

Balsamic Chicken Pasta Salad is kind of perfection too.

And what barbeque is complete without baked beans? Not a single one.

We can’t forget about dessert. Lemon Coconut Poke Cake is sweet and tart and cool.

And if you are more of an ice cream person (if you aren’t I kind of wonder about you….), this Raspberry Swirl Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream will totally do the trick on a hot summer night.

Raspberry Swirl Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Cuban Burgers

28 May

Cuban Burgers 1
I made these forever ago and for some reason, the photos have been sitting on my computer just waiting to be featured. Why it took me so long, I don’t know but now that the weather is soo nice it’s about time that you guys are enlightened.
Cuban Burgers 3
Seriously, a Cuban sandwich is pretty much my favorite ever (and Joel’s too) so when I saw this recipe for a Cuban style burger it was kind of a no-brainer.

Salty ham, melty cheese, tart pickles, creamy garlic mayo and mustard atop a rich, beefy burger. If this doesn’t scream summer, I don’t know what does.

Cuban Burger
recipe from Bobby Flay

1 pound ground chuck
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 cloves roasted garlic, pureed
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
4 soft, classic hamburger buns
8 slices thinly sliced Swiss cheese
4 slices thinly sliced smoked ham
Thinly sliced dill pickles

1. Preheat the grill to high. Form the meat into 4 (1/4-inch thick) burgers. Season patties with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes on both sides for medium doneness. When the burgers are done, remove from the heat and reduce heat to medium-low.

2. Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise and roasted garlic in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread both sides of each bun with mayonnaise and mustard. Place a slice of cheese on the bottom portion of each bun, place the burger on top of the cheese, then top the cheese with a slice of ham and another slice of cheese, and finally, the pickle slices. Place the tops of the bun over the pickles, wrap the burgers in aluminum foil and place them on the grill. Using a heavy pan or a brick wrapped in foil, press down on the burgers for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Lower the lid on the grill and continue grilling for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the bun has become pressed and firm. Another option is to assemble the burgers and place them in a Panini press (this is what I did). Cut in half and enjoy!
Cuban Burgers 4

Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps

22 May

Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps 2
I love a good lettuce wrap. They are light and healthy yet still filling. Joel on the other hand, does not share my sentiments. He put on his super sad face when he found out what we were having for dinner. And instead of being a sweet, caring wife I kind of laughed at said sad face. He’ll survive.
Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps 5
The combination of the cool, crisp cucumber slaw and the hot, orange sesame chicken is out of this world good. I’m pretty sure I dreamed about them that night. Then I wanted to make them for dinner the next night….I didn’t but that would have been funny!
Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps 3
These are perfect for summer. Serve alongside some grilled zucchini for the ultimate light, healthy and delicious meal.

Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps
recipe adapted from Alexandra Cooks

1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 tablespoon)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. dried chili flakes
1 green onion, green and white parts, sliced
8 to 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small cubes or strips

For the cucumber slaw:
3 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 thick carrot (about 4 ounces), cut into 1/8-inch strips
1 cucumber, cut into 1/8-inch strips
2 to 3 green onions, white and green parts, sliced on the diagonal
16 lettuce leaves (romaine, Boston, Bibb, or green or red leaf)

1. First make the marinade. Whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice, oils, ginger, garlic, chili flakes and green onions. Pour into a zip top bag and add chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (I marinated for 3 hours).

2. Meanwhile, make the cucumber slaw. In a medium bowl, whisk vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and ginger. Stir in the carrot, cucumber and green onions. Let sit in the refrigerator until ready to use.

3. To cook the chicken, heat a skillet over medium high heat; add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Cook chicken in one layer at a time until browned and cooked through.

4. To assemble, lay a lettuce leaf on a plate then top with cucumber slaw and chicken.

Loaded Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

16 May

Loaded Peanut Butter Cookie Bars 2
These dense, chewy cookie bars are bursting with peanut butter and two different kinds of chocolate. They start out with my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe then huge handfuls of peanut butter M&M’s, dark and white chocolate are mixed in for some crazy good decadence. Then they immediately get taken to work with Joel because I have no self control. And apparently his co-workers don’t either because they were gone before lunch.
Loaded Peanut Butter Cookie Bars 1
I did save a little square for Noah and I to share because you know, I have to be able to tell you about the deliciousness. Gosh, the things I do for you! I really didn’t have to try them since I’m pretty sure the ingredient list and pictures speak for themselves. Who wouldn’t want to inhale one of those? Well, besides someone allergic to peanuts. That would be a bummer.
Loaded Peanut Butter Cookie Bars 4
Loaded Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco
1 1/4 brown sugar
1 large egg
3 Tbsp. half and half or milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup peanut butter M&M’s
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream peanut butter, shortening and brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg; mix well. Stir in milk and vanilla.

2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in M&M’s, dark chocolate and white chocolate.

3. Grease a 13×9 and spread cookie dough evenly. Bake for 18-22 minutes.
Loaded Peanut Butter Cookie Bars 5

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