2 Boxes of the cheapest Ginger cookies you can find at the supermarket (mine were a dollar each)
2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
3 8oz blocks of room temperture cream cheese
1 cup Ricotta
1 Teaspoon each: Ginger, Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
3 Teaspoons Almond Extract
1/2 Cup Molassase
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 cup Sour Cream
5 Tablespoons White Sugar
1 Teaspoon almond extract
handful white chocolate chips
red and green sprinkles
Preheat over to 350
blend cookies until smooth, mix with butter and press into a greased spring form pan. make sure to have a TICK bottom and go high up the sides of the pan. use extra butter if necessary. bake for 15 minutes.
Dump all those ingredients into a bowl and MIX MIX MIX until mostly smooth and color is consistent (such a yummy gingerbread color). dump mixture into mostly cooled pie crust. bake for 70 minutes,
blend sour cream, sugar and extract until smooth. spread VERY gently spread the topping over the cheese cake. make sure to cover the top of the cake to the edges. take white chocolate and sprinkles and mound in the center of the cake.
bake 10-15 minutes longer until the cake is solid and the topping has begun to melt. you may need to cover the cake with foil to prevent the topping from browning while the cake finishes baking. add more chocolate and sprinkles to decorate. watch your family aw over what and awesome cheesecake maker you are ;)
here is the easiest way to use up left over bananas.
Ahhhh! Vacation! it was very much needed and we were lucky enough to be able to go as a whole family. Me and the hubby, the brother and the rents. we found a GREAT and cheap house to rent on airbnb, packed it up and spent 10 days in the outer banks. One of the main highlights of our trip was an offshore fishing venture that produced a Ton of Mahi-Mahi fish that we proceeded to process, cryo-vac and eat.
on the way back to shore (it was two hours each way) we had a chance to talk to the captain about some of his favorite ways to prepare the white meat and hearty fish. among a few suggestions (ceviche', marinades, etc) that i will post later was this particular recipe.
the captain described this method of cooking to be a 'eat until your gut bursts' type of meal and he was right. while it is certainly decadent, and a bit more time consuming this recipe is by far worth every single minute and calorie
ok...so i made this for thanksgiving, but make it for Christmas and i bet you $10 bucks no one complains. Super decadent and rich. this is a great end to any holiday meal.
Someone once said to me, "Well, do whatever the heck you want!", they then threw their hands up and walked away. I took their advice, joyfully, and have done things just the way i wanted ever since. This cake is good evidence of my disposition. I KNOW there is some kind of FORMAL recipe for a Hummingbird Cake, but i didn't follow it. rather i gathered that a hummingbird cake involves bananas, nuts of some sort (in my case, coconut. yes i stretched the rules again) pineapple and maybe fruit.
In other words, i took a Hummingbird cake to be a bright, happy jubilation of 'Spring is Coming!" goodness. so i made my version of that feelings. the cake is rich and warm,
Humming Bird Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
first you want a large tray, i used a pizza pan because it was the perfect size and shape. place that aside for later. at this point you can cut a piece of cardboard about 1 1/2 larger then the base of your cake (makes the finished product easy to move) or you can follow my lead (however misguided) and use a sheet of the parchment paper you froze the cake in as a base. its your choice, but place you bottom layer onto of one or the other.
ice the top of the bottom cake and them place the nest layer on top. ice the second layer and place the third layer on top, place the forth layer on top and STOP! use your hand to hold the cake steady from the top (that is why we didn't ice the top layer...though licking icing off your fingers IS fun...) and use a standard bread knife to cut strait down along the edge of the cake and even up the sides. just take your time and you will be fine.
peel away all the trimmings and munch away. you have earned it girlfriend/boyfriend! brush any crumbs off the side of the cake. NOW you can ice the top, and the sides. dont worry if its a bit messy, this is the first layer. the second layer of icing will smooth out the look of the cake.l
let the cake sit for 15 minutes, this allows the icing to set. once the icing firmed up, add a second layer. once covered feel free to smooth the icing to look however you prefer. it wont show to much since we are going to cover the cake in coconut. get out a bag of the regular sweetened shredded stuff, and pinch up a good bunch. press the bunch against the top layer on the side of the cake and let the excess fall. i take pinched of the excess and press it along the places that did not cover. do this all around the cake. and then cover the top as well.
once you have covered the cake in coconut clean off the edges of your base a bit. then you can either lift up the cake on the cardboard and place it on the pizza tray, or slide the cake on the parchment onto the tray. the tray will get a little messy, just wipe it off with a slightly damp paper towel then dry. take a large paper doily and hold it over your cake to see how big of a piece you need to cut from the center. remove the center and lay the doily down around the cake, if you end up with a gap where the ends of the doily circle meet, cover it with a decorative flower.
feel free to top the cake with more decorative flowers (please nothing poisonous), maraschino cherry and birthday candles.
Ta-Da! you are now a splendid baker! Have fun transporting it!!!!
Well, there was an apple going soft in the fridge, and exactly 2 cups of milk left in the older gallon, what to do?
Bake something. It's Sunday anyway and this is my favorite day to doodle around in the kitchen, mix something differant up and then relax on the couch while the oven does its job.
my goal here was to create a sturdier-then-your-ususual-quick bread, the reason for this is that i have visions of cheddar grilled cheese on apple bacon bread dancing in my head. more on that later
Apple Bacon Bread
My husband can be very picky with his lunches. sometimes i struggle to get all the apples out of the fridge before they turn soft (helloooooo apple pie!) and i often end up with a pile of bananas in the freezer because they have become 'too yellow'. this is fine, because when i was growing up, a growing pile of bananas in the freezer meant we would soon be having something delicous, like banana bread or pancakes.
somehow, dispite the fact that it was made from leftovers, how banana bread from the over was always the best breakfast in the world. dense, moist and fragarant. add a schmear of butter and you were eating the breakfast of kings.
Usually i will take the banana right out of the freezer and start peeling. this is a bad idea for two reasons. one little bits of peel tend to stick to the frozen fruit, and two, very numb fngure tips. try to control your enthusiasm a bit and run the bananas under hot water before peeling
this is a double batch (i waited until we has ALOT of bananas) and can easily be cut in half to make 2 small loaves or one large loaf...its good though, and goes fast, so i would reccomend the double.
Moist Banana Breakfast Bread
Here is my ode to thanksgiving leftovers.
While plenty of the cranberry sauce i made was eaten at dinner and taken home for spooning on reheated turkey, i still went home with 1/3 of a 4 quart container. this is probably due tro the fact that i tend to over cook.
my husband will attest to this, as when i make soup, chili, a roast, or any other delishousness, he knows that it will be appearing in his lunches and dinner for the next week. well, tough cookies, honey bunny, i would rather have to much then the dreaded 'to little'. who knows when you are having company for dinner anymore?
plus, i love leftover recipes, there is something so rewarding about being able to transform leftovers into a beautiful new meal. it also never hurts to have a couple quart size bags of turkey and sausage gumbo, or venison chili hanging out in the freezer for a busy day.
So here is my use for the excess cranberry sauce i brought home. needless to say my husband found this to be a very pleasant surprise when returning from a side job on Sunday night (my baking day!). this made for a tart and somewhat healthy after dinner treat or packed lunchtime 'snackie'. so whip out the cool whip and enjoy!
LEFTOVER CRANBERRY SAUCE PIE
one year, at Easter, my aunt forgot to buy the 'lamb butter' (butter molded to look like a lamb) and was so upset that i offered to carve one for her. since that holiday, i have to be sure to arrive early to carve the butter for the holiday table. ha! here is this years turkey butter and a little pumpkin butter to boot
Today was one of those lazy Sunday mornings. we turned the clocks back last night and i was NOT going to be stopped at getting that extra hour of sleep. Glorious. EXCEPT, that my husband seemed to have a caffeine jolt before the alarm even went off. he wakes up at 6am and is talking to me about all kinds of plans for the day, meanwhile i'm hiding under the covers and throwing spare pillows at him.
the good part about his early morning burst of energy was that he wanted orange juice, which means he was going to have to go to the store, ANNNDDDD pick up all the other stuff we need. Bingo. so he perched on the bed next to me with pen and paper to find out what wasn't in the fridge. somehow in my slobbering half sleep, i remembered to tell him we needed pie crusts. "Why?" you ask, because i have a bushel of pears from a friends tree that need to be put to good use and i keep forgetting to pick up the unbaked crusts at the store. there are plenty of things we do with these pears. my father makes wine (o YUM!) my mom makes cobblers, and there is always jam. but for a quick fix, i like to buy the unbaked pie crusts and whip up a delicious dessert that melts hearts an is SUPER simple to make.
i think the most standout part of this pie (and its really not hard to do once you get the trick for it) is the lattice crust. any pie is just a pie, until you get that beautiful criss-crossed pattern on top, then people think you spent hours on the whole thing and it was only really a good excuse to stay in your pajamas a bit longer.
(does anyone else do that? i love using morning cooking and baking as an excuse to sip coffee and be pajama clad a bit longer. i mean, why would i get 'real' cloths dirty when im already in this?)
usually i keep this process to the minimal simple, but i had a new container of quick oats and decided to add a little flare to my pie, hense the crumble. if you happen to be out of oats or short on time, this recipe is quite good and just as impressive without it. i liked the fact that a smattering of oatmeal made me feel as if i was giving my family a kinda-sorta-not-really healthy
type of dessert.
Pretty (Simple) Pear Pie
Samantha Lee Gornowicz