Category Archives: Cheese

Coconut flour Coffee Cake aka I can’t believe I made gluten free cheesecake and I loved it!

So, my last adventure with coconut flour was a disaster. 
I made pancakes and they were actually awful.

So the rest of the flour there was left had been sitting in my kitchen for months now, until last week my husband went to the store and bought 3 dozen eggs. Yes, this is what happens when you send a guy to the store and write “eggs” on the shopping list – you get 3 dozen of them. Too bad it doesn’t work like that when I write “ice cream” or “chocolate”.

Anyway, in order to use up those eggs I remembered about the coconut flour which always requires a lot of eggs.

I found a perfect recipe to try. Gluten free cream cheese coffee cake

I did made a few changes. I didn’t have pecans or maple syrup. And I used greek yogurt in place of the regular one (I think that what they meant in the original recipe). 

I think I found my new favorite cake and I do not feel guilty feeding it to the kids, also. 

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INGREDIENTS:

Filling:

  • 4 ounces queso fresco whole milk cheese ( I used it not because I wanted but because I didn’t have enough cream cheese)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature) – 8 oz (or more) if you don’t use queso fresco! 
  • 4 TBSP raw honey (more if needed)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBSP dutch cocoa 

Cake:

  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup mix dried cranberries and raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 

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DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease one 8-inch round cake pan.

2. Beat together all ingredients for cream cheese filling. Set aside.

3. Combine the first five ingredients for cake then add the dry ingredients through the salt. Mix well.

4. Pour cake batter into pan and drop cranberries and raisins on top of the batter.

6. Top with cream cheese filling and use a knife or tooth pick to swirl it around.

7. Bake for 25 minutes and let cool before slicing.

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After one bite hubby described it: “well, it tastes different“, and he didn’t eat any more. The thing is that if we all ate by his taste buds we would be eating cheeseburgers, BBQ pulled chicken, chilli and apple pie for 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

That meant that the whole cake is for me and the kids only, and I shouldn’t be so happy about it, as my pants are getting surprisingly smaller on me lately.  

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Have a great weekend my friends.

Soft Cheesy Pretzels with flaxseed meal

I was planning to make those pretzels for a while. 

I don’t know why I was waiting so long. They came out super delicious.

Soft and fluffy.

My daughter couldn’t stop eating them.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 C Water

1 TBS olive oil

1tsp Lemon Juice

2 TBS Sugar

1 tsp Salt

1 Egg YOLK

3 1/2 C Flour

1 TBS Active Dry Yeast

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

1/2 cup medium cheddar cheese (or any kind of cheese you like), shredded

Egg Wash:

1 TBS Heavy cream (or half&half)

1 Egg WHITE

coarse salt for sprinkling (optional)

 

Directions for bread maker:

1. Put all the ingredients to the bread maker in order as listed above (EXCEPT FLAX and Cheese!). Left out “egg wash” ingredients, too. Run bread maker on “dough” cycle.

2. During the second kneading add flaxseed meal and shredded cheese.

3. When the dough is ready knead it a few times on lightly floured surface.

4. Divide the dough into 14 to 16 pieces.

5. Roll each piece into a rope, about 12 to 14 inches long.

6. Fold into pretzel shape.

7. Place each pretzel on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 1 to 2 inches apart. 

8. Let them rest for about 30 minutes.

9. Whisk together egg white and cream. Gently brush each pretzel with the mixture.

10. Sprinkle coarse salt on top of each pretzel to your likes (optional).

11. Bake in 375 F for 15-20 minutes.

Directions for hand (KitchenAid) kneading:

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup of pretty warm water until bubbly. In a separate bowl mix together flour and salt. Make hole in the middle and pour the yeast mixture inside it. Gently mix with your hands adding remaining water, olive oil and lemon juice until the dough is not sticky anymore and forms a soft ball. Add flaxseed meal and shredded cheese. Knead until they are well incorporated into the dough.

At this point cover it with towel and let it rest for an hour or until doubled in size.

Follow the steps from 4 to 11 as in directions for bread maker.

Go well with almost anything, and they taste the best warm!

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Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie

My New Year Resolution was to bake a cheesecake this year.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cheesecakes. I really do… but I have never baked one on my own. The thing is that I really like to bake or cook from scratch and to make a cheesecake from scratch means to make graham crackers or whatever crackers from scratch as well. And I feel I am to lazy for that. In addition I do not have the right baking dish… and there is always something I find in order to not to make it… .

I made a cheesecakes bars this year but I feel like that doesn’t count. They were delicious, though :)

So, every time when we go grocery shopping I buy a cream cheese. Every single week I tell myself that I AM GOING TO make a cheesecake this week. 

Every single week I end up making a smoothie with it instead.

The first time I made it I wasn’t sure about the texture and the taste but after a few changes I really like it. It’s not the healthiest smoothie ever but once for a while it’s good to spoil ones self.

Ingredients:

6 big (or 12 small) cubes frozen milk,*

6 small cubes frozen vanilla yogurt,

1/3 cup strawberry yogurt,

1 cup strawberries, frozen

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup flax seeds,

2 Tbsp honey,

* this smoothies is thick. It has a consistency of very soft ice cream. If you want it to be less thick you can substitute the frozen milk with not frozen.

Put all the ingredients in blender. Blend until really smooth. The longer it blends the more of the cream cheese texture disappears.

Scattered Horizons

Three things I love to start my day with:

Coffee, 

smoothie,

browsing the web for new recipes

(in that order)

Have a good one, my friends!

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Creamy and Rich: Homemade Ricotta

As a kid, since I can remember to about when I was 14 I spent me entire Summer break in a small village in Poland with my dad’s family. They didn’t have running water (just a well). We bathed in a huge washbowl and…  the toilet was outside. I would eat wild growing berries and drank milk straight from a cow. For two months I would forget how processed food tastes like. During the last few years we visited them they had a store (!). That tiny place was mostly used for buying an alcohol and sodas by locals. It didn’t last long, though. That’s how self-sufficient that village was (as most of the villages anywhere else in Poland).

One of the best memories I have from that period is milking cows. I was never good at it and I gave up very quickly in trying to get better, but I tried it and it was fun. While my aunty was milking her cows I would pretend I’m a cat and I tried to drink that warm and fresh milk straight from a bucket to which my aunty milked the cows. Once, a friend of our family came from behind while I was doing so and pushed my head deep inside that filled with milk bucket. Everybody laughed and I was mad… . I’ve never drank milk straight from a bucket since.

Despite that accident and many more (like me being attacked by a “gang” of angry turkeys) those 2 months spent there every year were the best times ever. I will cherish them forever.

The food we ate there is my goal to achieve in the future: home grown, home raised, homemade.

Right now I just learn how to “home make” stuff from what I can get at the store :)

This time I learned how to make ricotta.

I’ll tell you something: I will never buy ricotta again. The homemade is creamy, rich and nothing like the store-bought. NOTHING! The recipe I got is not the original ricotta recipe. The original calls for whey from making another cheese (like mozzarella). Whole milk is never used. I cheated here a little ;) It doesn’t matter, I think. The results are amazing and that’s what matters. Right?!

To make it I used:

3 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream*

1/2 tsp salt

4 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Directions that couldn’t be any easier:

Pour the milk, cream and salt into a saucepan. If you have a candy or deep-fry thermometer attach it to the pan and heat the milk to 190°F stirring occasionally. When it reaches 190°F remove from heat.

If you do not have the thermometer you should watch the milk-cream very closely until you see bubbles appearing around the edges of the pot. It means the liquid is ready to be removed from heat.

Add lemon juice. Stir couple of times (no more), very gently and slowly. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 to 10 minutes.

Line a sieve with a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a bowl. The bowl is to catch the whey. Later it can be used for baking breads.

Pour the milk mixture into the sieve and let the curds strain for at least an hour.

I didn’t have cheesecloth (but I do now) so I used an old t-shirt I don’t use anymore.

The cheese I got after 2 hours of straining was firm but very easy spreadable, it looked and felt almost like cream cheese. No curds just creamy and silky texture.

I am not sure for how long you can store it. I kept mine in airtight container in the fridge. It lasted for 4 days before I ate it all.

I ate it with fresh baked bread… .

You can’t beat that!

For an extra twist to this cheese visit Polish Mama on the Prairie… I’m definitely trying her idea the next time I’ll make it.

* the heavy cream in this recipe can be skipped. doing so you’ll get cheese with big curds and much more drier texture. 

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Potato Casserole Polish Way

I remember this dish from Poland. Years back when my sister used to make it. I don’t really mean that it’s a “Polish way” dish but I’d looked for some recipes in English and I couldn’t find any. I found many potato casserole recipes but they were not what I had in mind, what I remembered.

So finally I google that dish in Polish: “zapiekanka ziemniaczana” and: SUCCESS!!! Most of the recipes I’ve found were asking for pre-cooked potatoes but I really don’t like to deal with previously boiled potatoes. It’s never worked for me. They are always too hard to cut or too soft and they simply fall apart. I’m not talking about making mashed potatoes or potato salad, of course. For example, a few time I’ve tried to make twice baked potatoes… disaster… every single time.

Anyway, I finally found a recipe that uses raw potatoes on Darianna’s Blog.

I changed it a little.

I used 9×9 inch baking dish.

Greased the bottom and sides with butter, cut potatoes into less than 1/2 inch thick slices and make my first layer. Sprinkled it (just a tiny bit) with salt. I used red potatoes as they have less starch, taste better and we just like them more. For this casserole I even didn’t peel them just washed really good.

For the meat I used 1 lb of ground turkey mixed with one Italian sausage (but you can skip the sausage part), it was just something that was hanging around the house for quite some time and I had to use it before it went bad.lol

I fried it with handful of sweet peas. I spice it with salt and pepper and chili powder.

The second time I made it I added more veggies: carrots, celery, and corn. With this dish you have the freedom to actually use what ever you prefer. Almost anything will work, I think. :)

I poured the meat over the layer of potatoes. I didn’t drain the liquids. I used everything what’s in the pan. Next layer was yellow onion (about half of medium size). On top of it went second layer of potatoes sprinkled with fresh basil and a bit of salt.

Covered it with foil and baked in 400 F for about 45 minutes. In meantime I made the sauce. Mixed together in a medium size bowl:

3/4 cup whole milk (orignal recipe calls for sour cream)

1 egg

1 cup cheddar cheese

3 cloves garlic

After 45 minutes of baking I poured the sauce over the potatoes spreading the cheese evenly on top and baked for another 30 minutes – uncovered.

Waited for about 10 minutes before digging into it :)

It was really good. Exactly what I was looking for! So far I’ve made it twice and now I can say it’s added to our family menu. My husband likes it, our Little Stinker likes it, and I like it. That’s a great success in this household and such a relief for me when I don’t have to cook different meals for each of us. Yes, it happens in here… .