Meatless Monday – On demand

After rave reviews on my Father’s Day strawberry cheesecake, I decided to share the recipe here. It is vegetarian but a straight substitution with a good quality vegan cheese, some agar agar in place of the egg, coconut oil instead of butter and vegan graham crackers should make it sufficiently vegan.

Serves two for a couple servings each but recipe can be doubled to serve a small crowd.

Ingredients 

  • 1 package (1 cup/200g) cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL yoghurt
  • one-third/76g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup/40g graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon each of semolina flour and rolled oats
  • 2½ tablespooons/37g melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon/14g icing sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • strawberry jam

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Put cream cheese and egg on counter to warm slightly before mixing. Room temperature ingredients makes for a smoother batter.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the crust by melting the butter then mix it with graham crumbs, icing sugar, salt, semolina and oats. Press into slightly greased pan. A springform pan is ideal.
  4. In bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar together. When uniform, add egg and vanilla and continue stirring until smooth. Add in cornstarch and stir until blended in.
  5. Pour mixture into prepared pan and place in oven to bake about 30 minutes.
  6. The centre will be slightly jiggly when done. Let cool to room temperature then place in fridge to cool further a minimum of 4 hours; overnight is best.
  7. When completely chilled, remove from pan and top with strawberry jam.
Photo by Kimberley (c)2017

December 18 is National “I Love Honey” Day — Foodimentary – National Food Holidays

National “I Love Honey” Day Five Food Finds about Honey Greeks and Roman referred to honey as a food fit for the gods. A honey wine was developed, and largely consumed by many. Its given name was mead. Honey was so in demand in the eleventh century that it was a stipulation for German peasants […]

via December 18 is National “I Love Honey” Day — Foodimentary – National Food Holidays

What a wonderful post to see! Thanks Foodimentary for giving me a reason to eat honey today! For the holiday season, why not try some pohutukawa honey from New Zealand. The pohutukawa is considered the New Zealand Christmas tree.

Other naturally sweet treats you can enjoy this holiday season are pomegranates (sweet and tart), persimmons (great made into jam) and oranges (clementines should be in season).

For some other easy to make sweet treats, try a spirited beverage. Mead is honey wine, a traditional drink at the Yuletide season. Mulled wine or cider is served warm and contains sweetness, spices and citrus. And of course eggnog and rum are a classic. There are many coconut and almond milk based versions theses with the main flavours being granulated sugar and nutmeg.

Not a fan of fruitcake? Perhaps fruitcake inspired oatmeal will change your mind. Gather together your favourite dried fruits and add to cooked oats.*

*A combination of steel-cut and rolled oats make  a palatable and more healthy mix.

When cooking the oats, mix with orange zest, spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and ginger) and water. Or to be really decadent and true to the fruitcake and holiday spirit, cook in eggnog and rum! Top with spiced brown sugar or drizzle with maple syrup. Breakfast may never be the same again!

Happy Sugar Sunday everyone!

Sugar Sunday – The rain made me do it

Product review

Inclement weather and indulgent dining go hand in hand.

It had been raining on and off the last few days and my curbed appetite for sugar was reawakened with every falling raindrop. Despite following responsible shopping practices (don’t go shopping when you’re hungry and only buy what is on your list), I was intrigued by a tub of cashew-based ‘ice cream’.

I had eaten less than an hour before and was mostly firm in sticking to my list, yet I couldn’t pull myself away from the “dark chocolate fudge frozen dessert”. At $7 for a 500mL tub, I talked myself into buying it. I reasoned that it wasn’t an item I could easily make at home as ultra smooth cashew cream befitting frozen dessert is difficult to attain with my food processor. I also felt the need to product test as a duty to my blog followers (you’re welcome).

The result? Absolutely delicious!

Most of the ingredients are recognizable and pronounceable with the added bonus of containing fair-trade cocoa. It is produced by Oregon company So Delicious Dairy Free.

http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/about-us

A serving size, ½ cup, has 180 calories, 9g of fat and 18g of sugar. That’s a lot of sugar but not a lot of dessert. To put it into perspective, a ½ cup is about half the size of your fist or 4 generous spoonfuls. Indulge responsibly! This treat is best enjoyed as an accent to some fresh raspberries or strawberries (or whatever healthy fruit you have available. Chocolate pretty much goes with anything).

product link:

http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/products/cashew-milk-frozen-desserts/dark-chocolate-truffle

Oh and I broke another ‘rule’. Instead of sticking to less than a serving size, I polished off that tub in two sittings. I wonder what the salted caramel cashew cream frozen dessert is like….?