Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I got this recipe from Epicurious when I was searching for a light and fresh tasting lemon cheesecake. I was totally amazed at the taste, it was awesome. I did half non-fat and half lowfat cream cheese as suggested, and it was wonderful. I made the cheesecake for a ladies luncheon, and it was a big hit.

light-as-air lemon cheesecake

Low-fat versions of traditional cheesecake ingredients make this delicious dessert an elegant (and easy) end to a special meal. You can make this even lighter by using all nonfat cream cheese in the recipe, but I find the consistency better when using half nonfat and half lowfat cream cheese.

1.5 Cups Almond Biscotti Crumbs
(to make crumbs, crush biscotti with a rolling pin between two pieces of waxed or parchment paper)

1 cup plus one tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup butter (at room temperature)

1 (8 oz.) packages of nonfat cream cheese (at room temperature)

1 (8 oz.) package of reduced fat cream cheese (at room temperature)
2 cups (16 oz.) nonfat sour cream

2 large eggs

2 large egg whites

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons cake flour (or regular flour)


1. In food processor, process crumbs (to make crumbs,, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press mixture firmly over bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake in a 350˚ oven until lightly browned (about 10 minutes).

2. In clean food processor, combine 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar, both packages of cream cheese, 1 cup of the sour cream, eggs, egg whites, lemon peel, lemon juice and flour. Process until smooth.

3. Pour cream cheese filling into crust. Return to oven and bake until filling jiggles only slightly in center when pan is gently shaken. (35-45 minutes) Cool in pan or on rack for 30 minutes. After you take the cake out of the oven, stir together remaining 1 cup sour cream and remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar, cover and refrigerate. Spread cooled cheesecake with sour cream topping. Cover and refrigerate until cold (at least four hours). To serve, remove springform pan rim. Garnish with fresh raspberries or strawberries, if desired.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I am always looking for healthy ingredients to bake with and these cookies fit the bill and pass the kid test for taste. I of course did not make them Itsy Bitsy, I made them a little over an inch in diameter, and I got about 48 cookies. I used a teaspoon and dropped them on the parchment paper, then flattened them before baking. I also used dark chocolate chips that I put in the food processor to chop into smaller pieces. I didn't have a dark chocolate bar on hand. The thing I really love about these cookies is that they are crispy, but yet a little chewy.

Recipe from http://www.101cookbooks.com/

Itsy Bitsy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I use whole wheat pastry flour here, but you can substitute unbleached all-purpose flour if you like, or if that is all you have on hand. You might also add-in some finely chopped crystallized ginger, chopped raisins or currants, or wheat germ. You could try barley flakes or spelt flakes in place of the rolled oats. There are lots of different ways to take this cookie.

5 ounces good-quality semi-sweet chocolate bar (Scharffen Berger 62%)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup walnuts, very, very finely chopped (by hand)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
scant 1 cup natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
scant 1 tablespoon organic unsulphured molasses (blackstrap)
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup large-grain sugar (for ex: turbinado)

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees, racks in top and bottom third. Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.

Finely chop the chocolate bar into 1/8-inch pieces, more like shavings really. Try to avoid big lumps and chunks, which make flattening out the cookie dough later more difficult.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, oats, walnuts, and shaved chocolate. Set aside.

Using a mixer (or by hand) beat the butter until fluffy. Beat in the sugar and mix until it is also light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Beat in the molasses, then the egg, mixing until both are well incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mix and stir by hand until the ingredients barely come together into a uniform dough.

I like these cookies tiny, barely bite-sized, so I scoop out the dough in exact, level teaspoons. I then tear those pieces of dough in two before rolling each 1/2 teaspoon of dough into a ball shape. Place two inches apart on your prepared baking sheets. Gently flatten each dough ball into a thin, round patty with two fingers and then sprinkle the top of each cookie with a pinch of large-grain sugar. Bake for 7 minutes or until cookies are golden and fragrant. Remove from oven, and cool on a wire rack.

Makes about 12 dozen tiny, bite-sized cookies.

Why I wish everyone could eat organic.

I wish everyone had the knowledge of where our food comes from. Most people just have a singular belief, and that is, that organic is more expensive. Of course organic does cost more, I think we need to go deeper than "it's more expensive"; after all it's going into our bodies! The government warns us about smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking drugs. Does the government tell us about the chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, genetically modified foods and grains people ingest every day? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_organisms

For me, I chose organic and locally grown. I am totally in agreement with the slow food movement started in San Francisco. A meal should be made with fresh organic ingredients, cooked with love and savored. http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060911/waters

My plan for this blog is to share my favorite recipes, all of which  I make with organic ingredients.