You Can’t Hurry Love (Or Cheesecake)

 

cheesecake hearts

It is almost Valentine’s Day. I know, I know – you have yet to implement your New Year’s Resolutions and here we are zeroing in on mid-February. Well, no need to do today what you can put off until tomorrow – so skip the gym just one more time and, instead, bake someone special (this can and should include you) this amazing cheesecake. If you didn’t believe in true love, you will now.

This cheesecake recipe is courtesy of my Aunt Joy. My cheesecake never taste like hers, even though I call her every single time when I am making it. Still, even my amateur efforts pay off big.

Be forewarned, this cheesecake needs time to bake and set, but surprisingly little time to eat. Odd.

I’ve made it twice and both times it was during the early weeks of having a newborn at home, which was a blessing in disguise because I was already wearing a lot of sweat pants and I had a baby that would wake up in the middle of the night demanding to be fed. Again. So I would bake it in the evening and let it sit in the oven until that dreaded 2AM feeding. It’s called multi-tasking, for all you men out there.

Make this and top it with anything you like – melted chocolate, fresh berries, a picture of yourself wearing your best sweatpants. I suggested to my Aunt Joy that we top the cheesecake with another whole entire cheesecake! She just sighed, but I think it was because she didn’t think of it herself. Some of us are just more creative than others, you know?

Cheesecake 

Prep time: 25 minutes | Bake time: approximately 2 hours | Total time: 4 hours

Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1.5 sticks butter

Crust Directions:

  • In a medium bowl, combine flour and sugar
  • Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly
  • Add 2 slightly beaten egg yolks
  • Add vanilla
  • Mix lightly with a fork just until pastry holds together and leaves sides of bowl
  • Chill

Cheese Mixture Ingredients:

  • Five (5) 8oz packages of cream cheese
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbl vanilla
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 pint sour cream

Directions: 

  • Pat 1/3 chilled cookie crust evenly over the bottom of 10″ spring form pan
  • Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for 8 minutes or until lightly browned
  • Pat remaining dough evenly onto sides of pan
  • Chill
  • Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth and fluffy
  • Beat in eggs and yolks one at a time
  • Stir in sour cream
  • Pour into spring pan with baked bottom crust and unbaked shell
  • Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes
  • Lower oven to 250 degrees and bake for 1.5 hours
  • Turn off oven and let cake remain in the oven for 1 hour
  • Remove from oven and and cool
  • Take out of pan before refrigerating
  • Love the one you’re with – and if you are alone, more cheesecake for you!
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Shake It Up This Valentine’s Day

strawberry-banana-smoothie-recipe
Want to start your Valentine’s Day off with something sweet? This berry breakfast shake is delicious and nutritious; and who doesn’t love that? Plus, wouldn’t you rather kick-off the holiday with this heart-healthy concoction rather than a handful of stale candy hearts and a box of chocolates? On second thought, don’t answer that. But make the shake – and drop the candy.

SweetHeart Shake for Two
Prep time: 2 minutes | Blend time: 2 minutes | Serves: 2

Ingredients:
  • 4 large kale leaves
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh blackberries or blueberries
  • 1 cup fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 1 tbs honey
Directions:
  • Blend washed kale and coconut milk in a blender until finely ground
  • Add berries, yogurt, orange juice, cinnamon and honey and blend well until all ingredients are combined
  • Sip your heart out

Dippity Do On Valentine’s Day

chocolate-covered-marshmallows--500x500

Marilyn Monroe claimed that diamonds are a girl’s best friend . . . but we’re in a recession here, folks, so leave it to Epicurean Catering to come up with something much more doable. Make that “dippity do-able”. Chocolate dipped marshmallows are simple, sweet, and love-ly on a tight budget. Make these for your sweetheart, your little tykes or the friends you’ve invited for a Valentine’s Day party and remember that good things come in small packages – even if that package isn’t necessarily a blue Tiffany’s box.

Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 high-end chocolate bars in your favorite flavor
  • 1 tbsp shortening
  • 1 bag large marshmallows
  • Pink and red sprinkles, colored sugar, crushed “message” hearts and Red Hot candies
  • Wooden skewers or colored toothpicks

Preparation:

  • Prep marshmallows by poking skewers/toothpicks into the top of each marshmallow
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Combine chocolate bars and shortening in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave in one-minute intervals until chocolate is melted
  • Gently dip a marshmallow in the melted chocolate and twirl marshmallow so excess chocolate can drain
  • Dip chocolate-covered marshmallow in crushed candies and place on parchment-lined baking sheet
  • Repeat, repeat, and repeat again (you’ve already eaten at least four at this point, burning the roof of your mouth each and every time…but sooo worth it)
  • Place the marshmallows in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to set the chocolate and candies

Serve these treats on a pretty platter or add them to piping hot mugs of cocoa! Need a quick gift? Wrap decorated marshmallows in cellophane bags and deliver with a hand-written note. Sweet!

– Ciao

Stephanie Blackford
Marketing Director, Epicurean Culinary Group
sblackford@epicureanCG.com