Tag Archives: colorful

Deep Dish Lemon Soufflé Cheesecake with Blueberry Topping

26 Jun

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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

Ingredients


  • 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

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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.

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Spring Risotto Primavera with Crispy Lamb Sausage

9 May

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I got inspiration for this dish from last month’s Food & Wine. This dish screams Spring with every bite! While the sausage and risotto pair perfectly together, feel free to mix and match these recipes in with others. The risotto would be great with a poached egg.

Time: 1 hour                     Serves: 4

Ingredients


  • Risotto


  • 1/2 cup cherry, grape, or mini heirloom tomatoes – halved
  • 1 large carrot, peeled then shaved into ribbons with veggie peeler
  • 1 parsnip, peeled then shaved into ribbons with veggie peeler
  • olive oil
  • sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch asparagus tops (reserve rest for another use)
  • 1 cup cubed yellow summer squash
  • 1/4 pound baby bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 small leeks, cleaned well cut in half and sliced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh peas
  • 1 small bunch green onions, bottom white and light green parts only – chopped
  • 1 cup packed pea shoots
  • 1/4 cup assorted herbs, such as basil, chervil, chives, mint, parsley, and tarragon – chopped
  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • toasted pine nuts – for garnish
  • chive blossoms – for garnish
  • Sausage


  • 1 fennel bulb, minced – reserve fronds for garnish
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 slices bread, cubed (I used Udi’s Gluten Free Sandwich Bread)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 pound ground lamb

How to make it


  • Risotto


  • Preheat oven to 400F. Toss tomatoes in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a lined baking sheet and roast in oven for about 25 minutes.
  • Rub parsnip and carrot ribbons with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a wire rack and bake in oven for 6-8 minutes until dry & crisp but not too brown.
  • Toss asparagus in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a lined baking sheet and roast in oven for about 10 minutes until charred and tender.
  • Place 1 tbsp olive oil each into 2 large skillets over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and zucchini to one, and leeks to the other. Season each with salt. Cook stirring for about 6-8 minutes.
  • Add garlic to mushrooms and zucchini. Cook an additional 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
  • Add risotto to leeks once tender, about 4 minutes. Cook until all risotto is coated with oil and is lightly toasted 1-3 minutes.
  • Add white wine and cook, stirring, until no liquid remains, about 2-3 minutes. Begin adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until most of the liquid is absorbed before adding more. This process takes about 20 minutes in total. Rice should be creamy (not mushy) and slightly firm in the center.
  • Add red pepper flakes, lemon zest, cheese, peas, and green onions.
  • Add roasted tomatoes, roasted asparagus, squash, mushrooms, garlic, and pea shoots.
  • Top with cooked crispy lamb sausage and garnish with parsnip and carrot chips, fennel fronds, chive blossoms, and toasted pine nuts.
  • Sausage


  • Coat the bottom of a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Set aside to cool
  • Combine bread cubes and milk. Allow to absorb as fennel cooks.
  • Combine cooked fennel and garlic, soaked bread cubes, seasonings, and lamb. Form into four 1″ logs.
  • Heat a cast iron grill pan rubbed with olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook lamb until browned on all sides, turning every 2 minutes – about 8 in total. Let rest for a few minutes before slicing.

Chicken Pot Pie Mac & Cheese

25 Apr

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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

Ingredients


  • 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.

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  • 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.

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Chicken Wild Rice Casserole

4 Apr

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Although spring is trying to peak out, it’s still chilly here in SoCal where I’m currently based. I don’t mean to wine, I know it’s warmer than my native land. But I thought it would be nice to introduce a Midwestern favorite. A big salad is great for lunch but for dinner a hearty, satisfying, comfort food is in order. The array of vegetables not only pack a nutritional punch but they lend their colors to make this dish really pop. A great make-ahead meal. Prepare it up until the baking, cool completely and freeze, I usually divide into 2. Just defrost in fridge before baking, or up baking time by about 45min. I meant to add mushrooms to this dish but forgot, maybe next time.

Time: 90 minutes           Serves: 6-8

Ingredients


  • 1/2 cup wild rice, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 head broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small florets (I used orange cauliflower)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3/8 cup AP flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • salt and pepper, to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp each)

How to make it


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 2 8×8 or 2 quart casserole dishes with cooking spray.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, cook stirring occasionally for 4 minutes. Add carrots and cook, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes. Add celery and cook, stirring occasionally for another 4 minutes. Finally, add garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
  • Drop broccoli and cauliflower florets into boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes then remove and drain in a colander. Run cold water over top until cooled through or drop in an ice water bath.
  • In a large stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring. Add chicken stock in 3 parts, whisking to incorporate. Cook until thickened somewhat. Add 1 1/2 cups cheese and season to taste. Add all vegetables, chicken, and both kinds of rice. Mix well to incorporate. Spoon into prepared baking dish and top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, until bubbly and cheese has melted.

Red Velvet Cupcakes for Two

13 Feb

red velvet cupcakes

Perfect for a sweet ending to a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner, or anytime you want to express your love.

Time: 15 min prep, 20 min bake          Yield: 4

Ingredients


  • Cupcakes


  • 1/3 plus 1 tbsp AP flour
  • 1/8 baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tsp red food coloring
  • 1/8 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Frosting


  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 6 tbsp confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 drop red food coloring

How to make it


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line 4 cups of muffin tin with liners, outside edges will rise higher.
  • Cupcakes


  • Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, beat together oil, sugar, buttermilk, egg, coloring, vinegar and vanilla.
  • Slowly add dry ingredients into wet, mixing as you go.
  • Divide batter between four cupcake liners. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Frosting


  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat together until well incorporated. Frost cupcakes. I piped my icing out of a plastic sandwich bag with a small corner cut out.

King Cake

12 Feb

King cake

Laissez les bons temps rouler! I found this recipe in 2012’s February issue of “Louisiana Cookin'” in an article by Marcelle Bienvenu. She borrowed the recipe from Fleischmann’s Yeast. I cut the recipe in half, which may have affected the shape but the flavors & textures were not compromised. Though it’s a great way to celebrate Fat Tuesday, I would make this throughout the year. I would definitely use this for French Toast and think I’d try adding raisins to the cinnamon sugar sometime as well.

Time: 30 minutes + rise                   Serves: 8

Ingredients


  • Cake


  • 2 1/4 cups AP flour + more for work surface, etc.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 package Fleishmann’s Rapid Rise yeast
  • 3/8 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 tbsp butter (1 stick)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Glaze


  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted (I skipped this step and you can tell by my pic 😦 )
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • Colored Sugar


  • 3/4 cups sugar divided between 3 seal-able jars or plastic bags
  • food coloring: red, blue, yellow and green

How to make it


  • Cake


  • Combine 3/4 cup flour, 2 tbsp sugar, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl.
  • Heat milk, water, and 6 tbsp butter until very warm – about 120-130F.
  • Add milk mixture to dry ingredients and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Add egg and 1/4 cup flour. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in remaining flour (1 1/4 cup) to make a stiff batter.
  • Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Melt 2 tbsp butter. In a separate small bowl, combine remaining (3/8 cup) sugar with cinnamon and mix to incorporate.
  • Punch dough down. Move to a lightly floured work surface.
  • Divide into 3 equal portions. Roll each to about 12 in x 4 in.
  • Brush each with melted butter. Then, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  • Beginning at the long end, roll each up tightly – as if for a jellyroll. Pinch seams to form long ropes.
  • Braid. Then form into an oval – mine turned more into a (tighter) crown. Pinch ends together to seal.
  • Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover (I used a kitchen towel) and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size- about an hour+.
  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden.
  • Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack (I kept the parchment paper beneath, to catch glaze later). Cool completely.
  • Glaze


  • Combine sugar and milk in a bowl, starting with 1 tbsp milk and adding more if needed to reach desired consistency. Whisk until smooth.
  • Colored Sugar


  • The amount of food coloring you use depends on how dark/bold you want your colors. I’ll provide a range.
  • In a small bowl, mix 4-8 drops blue coloring with 8-16 red coloring. Add to one of the bags of sugar. Seal, and mix around with your hand to distribute the color.
  • Add 4-8 drops green food coloring into another bag of sugar. Seal, and mix around with your hand to distribute the color.
  • Add 4-8 drops of yellow food coloring into remaining bag of sugar. Seal, and mix around with your hand to distribute the color.
  • Pour glaze over cake. Sprinkle colored sugar over top.

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Pineapple “Fried” Rice

17 Jan

Leftover pineapple inspired me to create this dish. It has a great balance of flavors and textures. I served it with teriyaki-marinated roasted chicken thighs.

Time: 25 minutes              Serves: 4

Ingredients


  • cooking spray
  • 2 eggs, whisked in a bowl with s+p to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used Canola)s
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch crushed red pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed & halved
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups cooked rice (I used Basmati) – leftover 1-2 days is best
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple
  • sesame oil, to taste
  • soy sauce, to taste
  • rice vinegar, to taste
  • ground sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 1 green onion, trimmed & sliced thinly on an angle

How to make it


  • Prepare a small skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium. Add eggs and cook until set, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook another 1 minute, or until done through. Set on cutting board to cool. Once cool, roll up and slice in thin strips.
  • Heat veg oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add carrots and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, peas, and sprouts. Cook about another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peas are tender crisp.
  • Add rice, egg, and pineapple. Season with sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a bit of s&p (less is more to start). Mix to incorporate, cook to heat through – about 3-5 minutes. Add more seasoning if needed.
  • Garnish with sliced green onion to serve.