Tag Archives: cheese

Deep Dish Lemon Soufflé Cheesecake with Blueberry Topping

26 Jun


One of my dearest friend’s, Ashley, and I made this on my birthday last month. It’s a riff on another friend’s recipe. I am in love with the flavor combo of lemon and blueberry so to me this is pure perfection!

Time: 30 minutes + 90 bake + cool                      Serves: 8-10


  • Crust

  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 30 Canelitas cookies (Mexican cinnamon cookies), processed to crumbs equaling 2 1/2 cups
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 13 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • Filling

  • 32 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Blueberry Topping

  • 3 cups blueberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest


Here are the Canelita cookies. And me! With my Mexican feast and delicious cocktail. Not a bad way to spend a birthday, not at all.

How to make it

  • Crust

  • Combine cookie crumbs, cinnamon, and melted butter (reserve one tbsp)  in a mixing bowl.
  • Spread remaining tbsp of melted butter on bottom and sides of a 6-inch spring-form pan. Sprinkle brown sugar around bottom.
  • Press cookie crumb mixture into the bottom of the spring-form pan. Press down to make an even crust, going up the sides to create a deep-dish effect.
  • Wrap pan in aluminum foil to prevent the water bath from seeping in. Place in refrigerator to firm up while you make the filling.
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  • Filling

  • Preheat oven to 325F.
  • Put a pot of water on to simmer.
  • Place cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Continue beating, and gradually add 3/4 cup sugar. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, 1/4 tsp salt and heavy cream until well blended.
  • In a separate bowl, with clean dry beaters, combine egg whites, 1/3 tsp salt, and cream of tartar. Begin to beat, gradually adding remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Beat until soft peaks form, about 3-5 minutes. Do not over-beat.
  • In three parts, fold egg white mixture into cream cheese mixture.
  • Remove pan from refrigerator. Place pan in a large roasting pan and pour hot water around it, going about 3/4 up the sides.
  • Place in middle rack of oven and bake for 90 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, place in refrigerator for at least two hours before you plan to serve.
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  • Topping

  • Combine 1 1/2 cups of blueberries, sugar, and lemon zest in a small saucepan. Cook on medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the berries burst. Remove from heat and stir in remaining berries. Set aside to cool.
  • Once cooled completely, spread over top of cooled cheesecake.


Chicken Pot Pie Mac & Cheese

25 Apr


I’ve been back in Detroit for almost two weeks and Spring has definitely come through here and there but it’s still not in full swing. This comforting dish is nice on a rainy, cool spring evening and reminds me of the saying “April showers bring May flowers” because of how colorful it is,  incorporating fresh spring produce. This was my beau’s brainchild and I’d say an experiment gone

Time: 1 hour           Serves: 10


  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast (b/s), poached in 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, shredded*
  • 8 oz. elbow quinoa pasta, cooked al dente (or short cut pasta of your choice)
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced (about 1 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup corn, frozen
  • 1 cup fresh peas
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour (or flour of your choice)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • sea salt & black pepper, freshly ground  (I used about 1/2 tsp each)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 oz. New Zealand white cheddar, shredded – divided
  • handful pea sprouts, for garnish

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 1 13×9 or 2 8×8 or 2 quart casserole dishes with cooking spray.
  • Melt butter in a large 5 qt. pot. Add onion, cook until softened. Add carrots, cook for 2 minutes. Add celery, cook for 1 min. Add garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Add flour. Cook until a lightly brown roux forms around the veggies.
  • Slowly add stock, and whisk to incorporate. Remove from heat. Add shredded chicken, mayo, cooked pasta, corn peas, and half shredded cheese. Mix to incorporate. Pour into casserole(s), I set one aside at this point to cool completely to freezer for another great dinner.


  • Top with remaining cheese. Bake on middle rack for 15-20 minutes until bubbling. Transfer to top rack and turn on broiler. Broil until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Allow to set for 5-10 minutes before serving. Garnish with pea sprouts.


Broccoli And Sausage Pasta In Creamy Tomato Sauce

12 Oct

Another quick, versatile pasta recipe that may be mixed & matched to suit your tastes and what you have on hand.

Time: 20 minutes             Serves: 4


  • 1/2 pound pasta (I used penne), cooked al dente
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 specialty chicken sausage, sliced or diced (I used spinach & Asiago)
  • 1 cup chopped onion (about one medium)
  • 4 oz baby bella mushrooms (or more if you’d like, that’s all I had)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes – with liquid
  • 1/2 large head broccoli cut into florets – lightly steamed
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • sea salt & black pepper, freshly ground – to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes – to taste
  • fresh basil to garnish
  • grated Parmesan to garnish

How to make it

  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until translucent – about 5 minutes. Add sausage and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic, stir, cook for 5 more minutes. Add broccoli, tomatoes with liquid, and cream cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well to incorporate. Add pasta and toss well. Serve garnished with basil and Parmesan.

Sloppy Joes

11 Oct

My guy saw a can of Sloppy Joe at the store & said “why don’t we make some?”, so we did! They were great.

Time: 30 minutes               Serves: 6


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef (we used ground round)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp paprika (smoked if possible)
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp + brown sugar (according to your tastes, we went a little sweet)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard (prepared)
  • 3/4 tbsp vinegar (we used apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • To serve

  • buns
  • shredded mild cheddar cheese (optional)

How to make it

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add beef and begin to brown. Add water to skillet. Add onions and garlic and continue to brown, stirring to cook evenly. Drain most of the drippings. Return to heat and add remaining ingredients. Mix well then turn heat to low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes. Serve on bun, topped with cheddar cheese if desired.

Apple Cheese Danish

27 Sep

This is a recipe from A Cozy Kitchen blog with some minor adjustments made for our tastes and available ingredients. It’s impressive without being very difficult to put together.

Time: 20 min prep, 20 min cook                 Serves: 8


  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice (about half of a lemon)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar, divided
  • 1 large apple, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces – I used Northern Spy
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1 egg beaten + a splash of water (egg wash)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • splash of milk
  • flour to sprinkle

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Combine cream cheese, Ricotta, zest, vanilla, salt and 1 tbsp sugar and mix until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl combine apples, 1 tbsp sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice and toss to coat.
  • If pastry is folded, carefully unfold. Sprinkle a piece of parchment with flour and carefully transfer pastry to paper. (If your puff pastry is a circle, cut into a rectangle. Mine was from Trader Joe’s and came as a square.)
  • Slice off the top corners of the pastry sheet. Slice 1-inch strips into either side of the dough, leaving the center uncut. Do your best to cut the same length into each side. I had about 7 strips per side.
  • Spread cheese mixture evenly down the center (uncut) part of the pastry. Top with apple slices.
  • Braid the pastry by folding the strips over the filling, alternating sides, until you’ve worked your way down. Trim off any leftover strips or extra dough with your knife.
  • Transfer parchment to baking sheet and top with egg wash. Bake for about 20 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, combine powdered sugar and milk and mix until smooth. Add more milk or sugar to reach desired consistency, should coat the back of a spoon. Drizzle top of danish and let set before serving.

Pattypan Squash Stuffed with Chicken Sausage

25 Aug

Pattypan squash are in season now and may be found at your local farmers market. They are so lovely! The small ones are perfect for a simple saute and the larger sized variety are perfect for stuffing to showcase their beauty.

Time: 30 minutes           Serves: 4


  • 4 large pattypan squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz. chicken specialty sausage (about 2), diced
  • 1 small-medium vidalia onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 oz. baby spinach
  • handful parsley, roughly chopped
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste, freshly ground
  • splash lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated + more for sprinkling

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare baking dish or sheet with cooking spray.
  • Bring 2 quarts of salted water to boil. Add squash and cook for 7 minutes. Remove from water and allow to cool completely. Once cool, carve tops and scoop out middle to create a vessel. Discard hard seeds and dice usable flesh. Be sure to leave the walls at least an inch thick to retain shape. If needed, cut bottom slightly to level.
  • Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add sausage and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring, until beginning to brown. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Add spinach and parsley and toss so it begins to wilt. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese. Spoon mixture into squash and sprinkle tops with more cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes until heated through and beginning to brown slightly on tops.

Heirloom Tomato and Feta Salad

17 Aug

Simple and elegant. Another summer great!

Time: 5 minutes             Serves 2


  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced about 1/4-inch thick (about 6 big stackable slices, reserve other parts for another use)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tsp basil oil (I used Kenzoil. If you don’t have it, whisk together olive oil with basil chiffonade and minced garlic.)
  • black pepper, to taste

How to make it

  • Place one slice of tomato on a plate. Top with some feta. Repeat and overlap slightly as you go. Drizzle with basil oil and season with freshly ground black pepper.

Frittata with Swiss Chard, Italian Sausage, and Feta

9 Jul

I got this recipe from June 2011’s issue of Bon Appétit magazine. It was featured as an appetizer but I served it as a main dish, so cut the pieces a bit larger (and I think it would serve about 6 this way). It is so good!

Time: 30 min prep, 1 hour cook                Serves: 6 entree/20 appetizer 


  • nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 12 oz bunch of Swiss chard, stems and center ribs removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 8oz mild Italian sausage(s), casings removed, sausage broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (about 4.5oz) crumbled feta cheese (I used garlic & herb and closer to 5.5oz)
  • fresh Italian parsley leaves

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 325F.
  • Spray 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add Swiss chard and cook just until wilted; about 2 minutes. Drain. Finely chop, then place in kitchen towel and squeeze dry. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat (we have an electric stove so I go medium). Add onion to skillet and saute until soft, 4-5 minutes. Add sausage and saute until brown and cooked through, breaking up with fork, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Add eggs, cream, salt and pepper to a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add chard and cooled sausage mixture, then feta. Stirl to blend. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.
  • Bake until set in center, 45-55 minutes. Transfer baking dish to rack and cool 15-20 minutes.
  • Place platter atop dish with frittata. Using oven mitts, hold baking dish and platter firmly together and invert onto platter; place another platter atop frittata and invert again so that it is right side up. Cut to desired portion size.
  • Garnish with parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • *Note: This can be made 1 day ahead. Place frittata pieces on rimmed baking sheet. Cover and chill. Rewarm in 325F oven until heated through, about 10 minutes

Asparagus Bacon Boursin Pizza

26 Jun

A wonderful tribute to the end of asparagus season here in Michigan.


  • 1 12″ Boboli Original crust, or comparable
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, Kenzoil w/garlic & basil if possible or similar
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed & cut diagonally into 1-2″ pieces
  • 6-8 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 3 oz. garlic & herb boursin cheese
  • crushed red pepper, to taste

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • Drizzle 1 1/2 tbsp oil on crust.
  • Top with shredded mozzarella, followed by asparagus and bacon.
  • Crumble Boursin over top, making sure to distribute as evenly as possible.
  • Drizzle with remaining oil and top with crushed red pepper.
  • Bake directly on center rack of oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on your preference of crispness.
  • Cut into 6 or 8 slices with pizza cutter & allow to cool just a bit before biting in, if you can 😉 I say serves 4-6 as it would be 2 slices each for 4 people or 1 bigger slice each for 6. Or half of it for each person, serving two, just kidding! Or am I ?!

Tiella Calabrese

25 Jun

This dish was inspired by a recipe I found on the Food Network’s website by Chef Michael Chiarello. I’ve never seen or heard of Tiella before so I did some research and while there wasn’t much usable info out there on the web I did find some interesting tidbits on about.com, which is how I figured out how to name this recipe. (The comment by Member ThomasLucente was most interesting.) A beautiful, simple preparation that incorporates some of summer’s greatest offerings: zucchinis, tomatoes, basil.

Time: 15 min prep, 1 hour cook                  Serves: 4-6


  • 6-8 small redskin potatoes, sliced in 1/4 inch disks
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced in 1/4 inch disks
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained (feel free to sub for fresh garden tomatoes!)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used a blend of Asiago, Provolone, Romano, and Parmesan)
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs (I used panko)
  • salt & pepper to taste (I used sea salt & freshly ground black pepper)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare an 8×8 casserole with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place potatoes in a medium glass mixing bowl and the zucchini in a separate medium glass mixing bowl. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to each. Divide garlic and put half in each bowl. Season each with salt & pepper. Toss each one well to coat with oil & evenly distribute seasonings.
  • Spoon 1/3 of the can of tomatoes into bottom of casserole dish. Make a layer potatoes and zucchini, alternating between the two. (Try to put the ends of the potatoes on the bottom layer for a more attractive looking end product.)
  • Spread another 1/3 of the tomatoes over top. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese, half of breadcrumbs and basil. Make another layer of potatoes and zucchini. Top with remaining tomatoes, cheese, bread crumbs and basil. If you’d like, make a small pattern on top of this layer but be sure to sprinkle this part with some cheese & crumbs as well!
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Cover (with foil) and bake for another 30 minutes. Uncover again and bake for 10-15 minutes until top browned. Remove from oven allow to cool to room temperature (to allow flavors to deepen). Tiella may be served room temp, warm or hot. Cut into squares and serve at desired temperature.