Sunday, January 17, 2010

Crazy White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cheesecake.

Here is a little something you should know about me. I’m safe. I color in the lines, and I don’t like to walk tightropes. I like feeling in control, and HATE the feeling in my gut when I feel out of control, not knowing the outcome. It’s the best part of me, and the worst part of me. Ask my best friends. You want stability?? Then stick with me. You want a nagging crazy woman who swears you will die if you do something even slightly over the top?? I’m your girl. Well, sometimes. Give me a bottle or 2 of moscato wine and I get crazy. Give me a couple of cocktails and I’m swimming in the dark and dancing on tables. Give me a couple shots, and things turn PG-13 real quick. But that’s a whole other post.

I’m the same way with cooking. I follow every recipe as close as possible; to make sure that my outcome is the outcome the recipe creator came up with. I want to taste what they tasted. I want to smell what they smelt. And I want to say, "Wow, that really WAS good!!" But every once in awhile.... every now and then.... every other full moon... I get this crazy idea to scribble outside the lines. I dibble and dabble and taste and add and mix and then pop it in the oven, only to pace the kitchen for a half hour, biting my finger nails.... I seriously do this. I develop a dang twitch and curse myself for being so wild and crazy sometimes. I even have to remind myself to breathe. I press the "oven light" button at least 27 times to get a foggy sneak peek of what is unravelling in my oven. All the while, I’m developing an ulcer.

3 nights ago... I had one of those nights. And no, wine was not involved. I decided I was going to be crazy! And by crazy, I mean... cheesecake crazy. From scratch. It was time to face my fears. And it was time to be insane.

I started with the crust. 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs (I used cinnamon ones... 'cause the more calories, the better!) melted butter, and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mixed it all up, until it was lumpy and pressed it into a spring form pan. (After sending my hubby into the wild world of baking pans to buy one for me. Never actually thought I would need one of these suckers!)

Then I made the filling. 4 packages of cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 3 tablespoons of flour, 5 eggs, 1 cup of sour cream, 1 tablespoon of vanilla, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Normal, right? Ohhh no... the wild baking beast in me was roaring! So... I melted about 1 1/2 cups of white chocolate chips in the microwave... and added it to the mix. Ohhh Myyyy Goshhh.....

As if I wasn’t already feeling like I had fallen completely of my gosh darned rocker... I added these little gifts from God. Ya, Macadamia nuts.

What you’re looking at right now, Ladies and Gentlemen... is the creation I like to call... PERFECT. But don’t get excited just yet...
Because, I have a short story to tell.
 (By the way, the only thing short about me is my height of 5'3. Nothing I do or say is ever short... so just deal with me, will ya?)
Anyway, Never in my life have a used a spring form pan. So, I stuck this crazy creation of mine in my oven of 325 degrees. Not realizing that a spring form pan isnt WELDED together. And, 30 minutes later... my entire house was full of smoke. EVERYWHERE! Hubby ran to open the back door, while I turned the oven off and opened it... then I proceeded to swing the front door back and forth to let the house air a bit, while hubby waved a kitchen towel around the smoke detector and prayed it wouldnt go off and wake up the neighbors, since it was 11pm on a Thursday night. Yes, I was making cheesecake at 11pm. Why? I dunno. But I’m glad my hubby puts up with my insane and crazy behaviour!
Moral of this story? Burned drippings on the bottom of the stove, well... sucks. And stinks. And causes a lot of smoke... and causes your husband to yell a bunch of obscenities. But... It didn’t phase me... because I was feeling crazy... remember???
So.... I took the half baked cheesecake out of the smoky oven. And proceeded to mop up burned drippings out of the bottom of my HOT oven with paper towels. (Kids, don’t try this at home) My cheesecake was going to be baked, whether my smoky house or irritated husband liked it or NOT!

And THIS is what I got after I stuck it back into the oven. This time, I put the spring form pan on top of a baking pan... so that the drippings wouldn’t drip, and burn, and cause my husband to hang me from my eye lids.

You know something is good when you find yourself calling out to Jesus as you suck up the crumbs.

I made some white chocolate shavings to dress up the top, and cream cheese cake frosting to fancy up the sides a bit.

STOP drooling!

Oh. My. Yum.
I decided something needed to balance out the amazing richness of this lustful dessert, so I whipped up some homemade whipped cream. (1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla).... whisk it up on high in your mixer for a few minutes, and ta da!

You have yourself a ridiculous, huge, rich, creamy piece of White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cheesecake, with the light, airy, subtle sweetness of homemade Whipped Cream.
Ok, you can stop breathing heavy. I’m done feeling crazy.
For now.
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

Cheesecake filling:
4 (8oz.) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbsp flour
5 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Handful of Macadamia nuts to sprinkle in
1 1/2 cups, melted white chocolate

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar.
Stir in melted butter until moistened.
Pour the mixture into a 9-inch spring form pan
Press the crumbs into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan.
Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature.
Sprinkle with handful of Macadamia nuts

To make the cheesecake filling, cream the sugar, cream cheese and flour with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy.
On medium, add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition.
On low, add sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla just until combined.
Go ahead and add the white chocolate.
Pour over nuts and crust
Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes at 325.
Make sure the edges look done, and the middle looks like it might be a bit.... undercooked. It continues to cook while it’s cooling. It should wobble a bit, but not too much. Just trust me; you will know when it’s done.
Remove cheesecake from pan once it has cooled.
Stick it on a fancy cake platter.
And do whatever your heart desires to make it all fanciful and pretty like.

I have faith that you will love this, and add it to your crazy day list of recipes.
Do it.
 I double dog dare ya.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


There is light at the end of my tunnel.
Turns out, my tonsils hate me.
So, They're being scrapped out in 1 week.
1 week.

So much for...... preparing?
1 week is definitely not enough time to eat all my favorite foods before I take the plunge into being a MUTE for 3-4 weeks.
Ya, 3-4 weeks.

Thank you, adulthood for making the good 'ole tonsillectomy a pain in the freakin rear.
Now I'm convinced being a kid is way better then being a tax doing, bill paying, laundry doing adult. Because TONSILS are easy when you're 5.
At 24, you have put them through too many years of whatever it is you do with tonsils.
So, they are now protesting, and jamming picket signs into the side of my throat.
So... Good bye tonsils!
Hellllllloooo baby food, popsicles, and Gatorade.
Good bye pizza, steak, and bagels.
Hello, weak stomach
Goodbye, pounds. And pounds. and more pounds.
Wishful thinking?
Hope not.
And Hello, weekend before the big ole surgery.
Maybe Ill make cookies in the shape of my tonsils?
no, that's just gross.
Ill figure something out. Something not so tonsil pleasing.
Peace out, Tonsils. I never liked you anyway!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The not so mini Cinnamon Rolls

Oh, whoops...
I guess you wanted to see the Cinnamon Roll BEFORE I ingested it.
Sorry, It was just so hard to resist.

This is me using Active Dry Yeast. I finally faced my fears, and opened up these delightful little packages of fungi... and before my eyes, it created one of the most fabulous things in the world.


It should be its own food group. Wait, never mind.

Bread has its own food group.

That's good enough.

I guess....

After rolling it out... the fun begins. (Not that yeast wasn't already a blast!)

Pouring melted butter.

Its a beautiful thing. A beautiful CALORIE thing.

This is where I start telling my subconscious to shut up.

What do we have here?

Heaven??... no no. Better!

Dough, melted butter, and sprinkled sugar and cinnamon.

Keep your tongue in your mouth. Slobbering is rude.


Please meet my messy stove top. And meet my cinnamon roll, ROLL.

This bad boy couldn't wait to be cut into.

He told me so.

Too bad I had to actually take the time to BAKE these before eating.

I mean really, has raw dough ever looked sooooo wonderful?

Holy, wow.

My babies. Ready for a 350 degree burning inferno. Or oven.

Those work too.

All done, and ready for another slathering of goodness gracious!

Help me.

No really. This is bad. Really bad. Because these are sooooo good!

And there are soooo many! and that is such a good thing.

Because these are ooey, and gooey, and sweet, and warm, and comforting.

They are meant to be shared. Or, devoured one by one.

Do what you want. I chose to share them.

But I will totally, totally, totally understand if you would want to eat all of them. Each and every last roll drenched in buttery cinnamini sugary goodness. Every last drop.

Because these are lick the plate good.

Wanna make your taste buds happy?

Make them for yourself.

You will be so glad you did.

I promise.

My love for Cinnamon rolls have just reached a whole new level of Oh My God.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Holy freakin Chocolate Sheet Cake

I love Chocolate. I live for chocolate. I'm obsessed with Chocolate. So, when I found this recipe I knew I needed to try it. And wow. Just WOW. That's the only words I can come up with.
Boy oh boy.
Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman. I'm obsessed with her also. ALMOST as much as chocolate. Ya, shes that amazing. A city girl who fell for a hottie cowboy. She is heaven on a plate, and I enjoy everything about her old school big city life, and her current cowgirl ranch life of a mom and wife. She has an amazing cook book, and a blog that is sure to catch your attention.
Now let me explain this sheet cake. Its light and rich. Its moist. Almost moist beyond comprehension. Its sweet. VERY sweet. And so so so sinful. This cake if why milk, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream was created. It is the closest thing to heaven, and I'm almost sure there will be a big 'ole chunk of it with a tall glass of cold milk waiting for me when I get there. This cake is REALLY that good. I'm not kidding. I'm not exaggerating. And I think you should make it. Like, right now. Your mouth will thank you. And so will your stomach. And you will instantly become the most popular person you know. That is, if you do decide to actually share some. But, you should thoroughly think that through before you give away a chunk of your own personal heaven.

Mmmm.... Seriously. Are you drooling? Because I am...

I had to taste it. You know, to make sure it wasn't going to be harmful. I wanted to make sure no one would choke if they were to take a delectable bite. Actually... I couldn't stop. I grabbed a fork, and went to town.

And I made all kinds of weird noises. Ohhhs and ahhhhs.. and oh my gawds!!!! I couldn't control myself. And that's OK. Because the Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe , is to die for. Seriously.

I would lay my life down for this hunk of chocolate goodness.

Wow. Ok, I'm done. Blogging that is. I'm not done talking about this cake. I think Ill take it to my grave, and definitely expecting it when I get to heaven.

What? I hear something. Hmmm.. something is calling my name.

Do you hear it?


Hmmm.... Wait! There it is again! My name! I hear it!

Oh! Its my Chocolate Sheet Cake!

Its calling me from my kitchen, and chanting EAT ME.

I must oblige.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Weight just one dang minute!

My mind has been in over drive since my last post. How will I manage to lose half of myself (ok, not half... but a big freakin chunk), AND fulfill my passion in life of baking and creating mind blowing treats that are completely delicious. AND blog about the whole thing? Because as everyone knows, I am NOT a failure. Tell me I wont do something, and then sit back and watch the show. Because honey, I would LOVE to prove you wrong. That's my hard headed side. I get it from my mom. Thanks, mom.

So, Lets get down to the nitty gritty. The nitty, is that I'm skinny. The gritty, is that I'm stuck. In someone else's body. I thought that was important to explain before we keep going. Its totally not fair, but hey... gotta deal with the cards life gives ya.

You see, once upon a time... I wore a tiny little size, and was obsessed with my tiny little self. I kicked ass, and took names. I spent my leisurely days laying on the beach, and worshipping myself. I was hot, and I knew it. I spent hours obsessing about my weight, what I wasn't going to put into my mouth, what color my toes were going to be painted, and should I wear a halter or a tube top. Mirrors were my friend.

Now a little history here. Back before I started worshipping myself, I grew up in a Cuban Italian home. What does that mean exactly? Bread, Pasta, Beans, Cheese, Sauces, Rice, Butter, and creamy ridiculous desserts. Its in my blood. I LOVE the carbs. I crave them. If you were to look into my blood stream, I'm positive you would find mini Cuban sandwiches and chunks of lasagna in there. I love my history. I love my heritage. and I love my food. Italians and Cubans love their families. They love their friends. and the love to cook. So.. What do we have here? Cubans and Italians that love to cook for each other. Because it makes everyone happy. Food=happiness. Had a bad day? Lose a loved one? Stub your toe? EAT! It makes everything better.

I decided to gain control of my Cuban Italian life, and decided a scrambled egg, half a bagel, a boat load of grapefruit juice, and a few granola bars was a sufficient amount of food... daily . And this is where I became obsessed. With what I wouldn't eat, and what I looked like. It consumed my life.

And then one day, I met a handsome man who swept me right off my size 8 stilettos. Soon after, I found myself staring into his perfect blue green eyes, and I was butter. Literally. Everything in my world went away. Nothing else mattered, except 2 things. I loved this man, and I was going to make him happy. Just like his existence made me.

How exactly was I going to make him happy? I was going to cook. Meals rich in carbs, butter, and cheese. And it worked. It made him happy. He loved me, and he loved my food. So, I cooked more. and more. and more. Not just meals, but desserts too. Lots and lots of desserts. I no longer worshipped myself. And I no longer worshipped my skinny jeans.

My clothes started clinging to me more and more, but I didn't care. I was in love, and he was in love with me. We wanted to get married, and spend the rest of our lives.. loving, eating and making babies who would love eating! (like I said, its in our blood) We became engaged, had the fairytale wedding, glamorous honeymoon... and started buying WAY bigger clothes. Within a year. The best year of my life. My waist line would beg to differ.

So here we have it folks. My story. My story about my life of loving food, or myself. But never at the same time. and so begins the newest saga to this thing I call my life. Learn to love me, and food. At the same time. And take those darn skinny jeans from the depths of my closet, and get those bad boys back on! AND create wonderful ooey gooey high calorie goodness so that my husband and family still loves my hard headed self.

Are you ready for the adventure? Please tell me I wont do it. I would LOVE to prove you wrong.

Me. In here. The me stuck in this other persons body.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Baking and....... Dieting?

The holidays are over. Seriously? All that anticipation. Shopping. Stressing. Baking. Family visiting from out of town. And its over. The goodies are eaten, the gifts are given, family is settling back into their pre holiday routines in places much colder then Florida and my decor needs to come down sometime between now and the 4th of July. Bah Hum Bug. Talk about depressing.

I loathe this time of year for one main reason. I have no reason to bake. And anything that I make, will seem excessive. Why? Because New Years Resolutions are in full force (at least for the next 4 days) and the last thing anyone wants after a season of eating... is more eating. Unless, your name is Angela and you are in a contest with an elephant to see who can have the widest set of hips. I kid, I kid.

In all seriousness though. Hubby and I have not gained the newlywed 9. We have gained the newlywed 90. Ok, maybe not 90...but enough that if he knew I was blogging this, he might bury me in an early grave.

So, my cookbook ventures of baking, blogging, sifting, blogging, sugar eating, blogging, pastry cutting, more blogging, chocolate dipping, blogging, and cupcake obsessing (and much more blogging) begins. And so does my healthier life style. Ummm.. what? How will I make this work? I haven't figured it out yet. NO NO NO. I'm not making low cal treats. I'm a people pleaser. and people are not pleased with asparagus cookies, or chick pea cupcakes. People want ooey gooey sticky treats that make their tummies flutter in excitement. Low cal desserts make you want to excuse yourself to the nearest bathroom, and then emerge back with a plastic smile as you ask for the recipe (Because, omg! I cant believe that's cal free! I love it) then you stick that healthy little recipe in your purse, and lose it for a year... where you will one day find it and shudder at the thought of its horrific healthiness, and quickly ball it up and throw it out. Then you eat a piece of heavenly chocolate, and curse the Gods for creating something as stupid as "calories".

I mean, really now. What is a calorie? A stupid number on a package. That's what it is. A stupid little number that sends guilt up my spine as it dances in my head trying to forbid me from enjoying a morsel of sinful goodness. I've never been good with numbers. Or counting calories. or math. or saying no to something over 300 calories a bite.

Lord help me. And my hips. We need your strength. and your chocolate.


Sunday, January 3, 2010


OK, Its time to get down to this blogging business. How the heck am I going to write a cookbook one day, if I cant even promise myself to blog regularly? The insanity. is. beginning. Right. NOW.

My new years resolutions for 2010:

Learn to deep fry bananas (amazing)
Learn how to make sugar cookie cutouts that keep their shape and don't taste like crap.
Master the art of Royal icing. I'm seriously convinced that's its a real deal ART.
Make a pie. From scratch. And if it turns out good, make many pies.
Home made cheese cake. Enough said.
Use fondant. Like, really. No more ALMOST buying and deciding good ole butter cream is the way to go. FONDANT!
Whip up some (or LOTS) of whipped cream.
Mix all things listed above to make the worlds most amazing, highly caloric, sweetest, most wonderful dessert in all the world. Or breakfast. Sweets for breakfast! yummmmmm.

And last but not least.. Blog. Blog. Blog.

Now... check out what I got for Christmas.

That's right. I got cupcake martini glasses. Have you ever seen something so perfect in all your life?? Love it!