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Apple Butter Yogurt Cheesecake

This is another one of my let’s-clean-out-my-fridge-before-I-move-out recipes, and conveniently happened to fall in time to celebrate a friend’s birthday. :D Recipe adapted from here! I made this about 1.5 months ago, but it feels like it’s been several decades. Funny what a life of studying and nothing (no need to get dramatic here, Farrah!) little else will do to you! :O

Apple Butter Yogurt Cheesecake

 

Ingredients:
-1 package light cream cheese at room temperature (you need it at room temp to have the right consistency!)
-2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2/3 cup 0% Fage Greek yogurt
1/4 cup apple butter
-12 vanilla wafer cookies
(Topping)
-crumbled coconut bars

Instructions:
1) Put cream cheese, milk and vanilla in a blender and blend/beat until very smooth. Add yogurt and apple butter and blend/beat until smooth.
2) Put vanilla cookies into a food processor/high power blender and process until they’re fine crumbs. (If you have a lot of anger in you/no food processor, you can stuff em’ in a ziplock bag and beat them with a rolling pin.)
3) Pour cookie crumbs onto 8″ pan and spread evenly over the bottom.
4) Top the cookie crumbs with even portions of the cheesecake filling and smooth it over with the back of a spoon.
5) Sprinkle crumbled coconut bars over the top and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. (I kinda wanted to stick it in the freezer for an hour to see how it’d turn out, but there was no space. If anyone tries that, please let me know how it goes!)

We stuck an umbrella on it to make it extra-fancy.

Full Time MamaThis was a DDT Featured Favorite! :]!

And lately, because no post is complete without some kind of randomness. Here’s one of my daily pop quizzes from my friend! She usually writes them on my whiteboard, but was out of town to take her exam, so she emailed it to me instead, telling me to be sure to answer it before 10:30 a.m. As it turned out, we weren’t allowed in the building because the fire alarm went off (thanks, we really needed that ;_; ), and I am slightly ashamed to admit that I was so intent on getting back into the catacombs to study that I completely tuned out and didn’t even realize the fire alarm was going off. -1 for survival skills. :[

(How is that med student so young!?!) There’s a stinking fire alarm going off so I’m answering you on my phone. :[
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome, effed up median nerve, Phalen’s & Tinnel’s (or nerve conduction study)! If it’s not treated, more pain/numbness/tingling down lateral side of forearm/hand, atrophy of the thenar eminence, possibly double crush if shit really goes down.
    • Large intestine stuffs, small intestine(?), and I’m sure I’m forgetting one of the sexy-time parts but I haven’t gone over the levels since the OPP final. :x will look at it today! Dry and ropy would be chronic, but if there’s edema and erythema at L2, I’d go with acute and more large intestine-y or prostate-y stuffs.
    • Pons houses CN 5, 6, 7 and 8, so you’d have effed up sensation to the face, facial expressions, loss of taste to anterior 2/3 of tongue, maybe some vertigo and hearing issues.

I WOULD STILL STUDY BECAUSE ‘TIS MERELY A FLESH WOUND; I must fight on!

The internet is being shitty, so I’m waiting for the meme to load still.

Have a safe trip, an awesomely relaxing day, and you shall kick all the butts tomorrow!!! <3!

In case you wanted to know what the meme was. heh heh heh.

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

I know people tend to associate pumpkin with fall/Thanksgiving/November/etc., but my friend wanted to make this the other day, so off we went! We adapted it from allrecipes and used a can of pumpkin pie filling because cloves/nutmeg are extremely expensive. :'(

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ingredients:
-2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-2 eggs
-1 10 in. prepared graham cracker crust
-1/2 cup pumpkin pie filling

Instructions:
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2) In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar + vanilla and beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread it into the bottom of the crust.
3) Add pumpkin pie filling to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Spread over batter in the crust.
4) Bake for 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours (better overnight).

It tastes even better frozen! :O

Blueberry Cheesecake

I guess it’s kinda been a long while since I’ve posted a recipe. My apologies! I have less than a week left to hang out with people I like, so I’ve basically been running around doing that. >_>

Back when I was living in NJ, one of my housemate’s friends made this for her on her birthday. She [we] liked it so much that she went over to learn how to make it, and here we are now. <3

Blueberry Cheesecake

Ingredients:
(Crust)
-2 cups graham crackers
-1/4 cup walnuts
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 stick butter
(Filling)
-3 eggs
-2 packages cream cheese
-3 cups sour cream
-1 cup sugar
-1/4 tsp salt
-2 tsp vanilla
-1/2 tsp almond extract
(Topping)
-blueberries (can be any fruit)
-sugar
-instant tapioca pudding
-1/2 tsp of cinnamon
-1 tbsp vanilla

Instructions:
1) (Crust) Crush graham crackers, chop walnuts and add cinnamon then butter at room temperature. Mix well with hands (should be a bit sticky, if dry add more butter).
2) Press into the sides and bottom of a spring form pan.
3) (Filling) Mix well in mixer and add to spring form pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. The cake should expand, crack and turn brown on top when ready. Cool completely and then refrigerate.
4) (Topping) Combine berries and sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add a little extra tapioca if the fruit is very juicy; for example if you are using raspberries. Remove fruit from juice and place in a separate pot. Add tapioca to the juice and stir frequently for 10 minutes allowing the mixture to come to a boil if not stirring. Stir until the mixture thickens adding additional juice from berries.
5) Add a little corn starch to thicken if needed. Combine fruit with juice mixture, mix well and put in the refrigerator to cool. Add berry topping to cheesecake.

If you don’t add the blueberries, it becomes a plain ol’ cheesecake. :O

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

This one’s arguably one of my most popular recipes. :D! I’ve probably made it the most times out of…basically anything while I’ve been out here. :O Here’s the original recipe.

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients:
-1 cup frozen strawberries, diced/minced (can also be fresh)
-1 tbsp cornstarch
-1 3/4 cups cinnamon graham crackers, finely crushed
-1/4 cup butter, melted
-2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
-1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
-2 large eggs
-1/3 cup lemon juice
-1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:
1) Heat oven to 350 F. If you have a blender, puree the strawberries. If not, dice/mince em’ as best you can. No one complained when I did that, so you should be in the clear. :O
2) In a saucepan, combine the strawberry puree and cornstarch. Cook and stir until thickened. Cool.
3) Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter in a small bowl. Press firmly on bottom of baking pan.
4) In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix well and pour over crust.
5) Drop strawberry mixture by spoonfuls over batter. Gently swirl with a knife or spatula. Bake 25-30 minutes until center is set. Cool. Cut into bars. Chill and serve!

[Take 2!]

[Take 3!] (no pictures: no lemon juice, but it turned out fine)


[Take 4!] Modifications: Fresh strawberries! <3

Family Night Dinners #1

Melanie apparently used to have “Family Dinner” nights on Sunday where she’d cook food and they’d all eat together. This tradition was broken last year because everyone would “no thank you” her and go to their rooms to eat their already-made food. I found this somewhat disheartening, so here’s a conversation from Saturday!
H: Hey, how was your day?
F: Not bad. I’m trying to decide what to make. I’ve gotten as far as BBQ chicken, as you can tell. (gestures to BBQ sauce and chicken sitting on cutting board with knife)
H: That’s better than me. I got as far as the rice.
F: If we’re ever mutually free, do you want to make food together? :O
H: How about tomorrow?
F: I like your enthusiasm! Lemme dig up some recipes! :D !

And thus, family dinner nights were/will be reborn! We used yesterday to gauge just how ambitious/enthusiastic we can be every week. We will likely be defaulting to Sunday because Melanie and Laura (y’know, the two with cars) are often gone over the weekend, but are both usually back by Sunday night. We’re also using what we made to persuade them to join us in our culinary endeavors, but it shouldn’t be too difficult, considering that both of them wanted to go to culinary school before they decided to become dietitians. :O

On the Menu:
-Garlic Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
-Apple Pie Cheesecake
-Vanilla Custard Dip

Garlic Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients:
-½ lb fresh garlic pasta
-8 oz mushrooms
-3 big handfuls of spinach
-3 cloves garlic
-basil, minced
-1/3 cup half & half
-Parmesan cheese
-salt, to taste
-pepper, to taste

Instructions:
1) Saute sliced mushrooms in olive oil. After mushrooms have cooked for a few minutes, add minced garlic and spinach.
2) Cook until spinach has wilted, then add half & half and Parmesan cheese. Cook everything for a few more minutes, then mix well with pasta.
Note: If the sauce is too watery, add a little cornstarch.


We ended up only needing to use 2 Granny Smith apples (the original recipe called for 4), and opted to sacrifice the crust-shape tops so we could instead make two pies. Since we didn’t have a crust-shape top, we just topped them with caramelized pecans instead of using what was listed in the recipe and bam! A masterpiece was born! It really sucked having to wait til today to eat it, but we finished it at 7 p.m. and figured we shouldn’t stay up til 1 a.m. just so we could eat it. :[

Apple Pie Cheesecake


Ingredients:
(Pie)
-1 box of 2 refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
-2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
-½ cup sugar
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 eggs
-2 large apples, peeled, thinly sliced (about 7 cups)
-1 lemon, squeezed for juice
-2 tbsp packed brown sugar
-4 tsp cornstarch
-1½ tsp ground cinnamon
(Topping)
-1 egg white
-1 tablespoon water
-1 teaspoon sugar
-½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions:
1) After all the apples are peeled and sliced, pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
2) Leave cream cheese out to soften at room temperature before mixing the cheesecake batter. Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth. (Use high speed on electric mixer if you have one. If not, work out those forearms.) Then beat in eggs.
3) Pour cream cheese mixture into the crust-lined plate. In another large bowl, toss apples and lemon juice to coat; stir in brown sugar, cornstarch and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Spoon apple mixture over cream cheese mixture. If you want to get fancy, make apple-shaped (or whatever shapes you want) crust shapes to place on top of pie.
4) In small bowl, beat egg white and water until blended. Brush mixture over crust shapes. In another small bowl, mix 1 tsp granulated sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle over crust shapes.
5) Place pie on a cookie sheet in oven. Cover pie with sheet of foil; bake 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake 20-25 minutes until crust is golden brown. Cool pie on a wire rack; refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. Serve cold and enjoy!


Hamidah also mentioned that there was a pretty awesome fruit dip recipe that she had happened upon a while ago, but that she’d lost it.

F: (face wilts)
H: I’m sorry.
F: (brightens) It’s okay! Do you remember anything about it? Was it made with yogurt?
H: I’m not sure. I think it was a Martha Stewart recipe.
F: (Googles “Martha Stewart fruit dip recipe”) Score!

We accidentally left it slightly unattended while it was on medium-low heat (I was washing dishes and Hamidah was checking on our pies), so some of the egg cooked a little. We didn’t have a sieve, but neither of us cared very much because it still tastes super awesome. Here’s where we got it from.


Vanilla Custard Dip

I admit, not the best picture in the world, but it’ll do.

Ingredients:
-4 large egg yolks
-3 tbsp granulated sugar
-pinch of coarse salt
-1 1/2 cups milk
-1 piece (1 inch long) vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or substitute with 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract)

Instructions:
1) Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside.
2) In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt until well combined.
3) Pour milk into a heavy-bottomed, nonreactive saucepan. If using the vanilla bean, scrape seeds from pod halves into the milk using the tip of a knife. Add pod halves. Place over medium heat until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan.
4) Remove from heat and slowly pour milk mixture into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a spatula, until slightly thickened and coats the back of the spatula, about 5 minutes. Pour into a medium bowl and set bowl in ice water bath. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Stir in vanilla extract, if using.
5) Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into another bowl, cover, and refrigerate until serving.