I try to keep my fridge stocked with the basics - eggs, milk, and butter. The jar of white flour should be full, and there should be extra whole wheat flour stashed away somewhere. I keep sour cream or yogurt around because I tend to cook with it, but I try not to keep multiple packages of cream cheese around. Its dangerous!
So what to do when I just have to have cheesecake? (these are the important questions)
Yes, cheesecake. Very dangerous. Very rich.
It turns out, you don't need to use cream cheese. There are recipes for cheesecake which use a variety of other cheeses - like ricotta, or farmer's cheese. The beauty of using Farmer's Cheese, of course, is that you can make it yourself, and flavor it however you like while making it.
I tried this recipe using cheese made from apple cider vinegar and sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with applesauce. Awesome.
Cheesecake made from Farmer's Cheese - delicious, rich, and made from ingredients already in your fridge!
Pour your milk into a large pot, and gently warm until it is frothy. Use the apple cider vinegar to separate the curds from the whey and drain. Add cinnamon if desired.
(this is just the standard Farmer's Cheese recipe adapted; you can find more details here.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Cut in butter, as if you were making pie crust dough.
Beat 3 egg yolks and 3 tablespoons of sour cream together, and then add to the flour mixture. Mix until it forms dough (again, resembling pie crust dough). Roll out and place in pie plate.
Beat the 4 eggs and one egg white at high speed until frothy. You will probably want to use an electric beater!
Put farmer's cheese, granulated sugar, 1/2 cup sour cream, and vanilla extract in a blender. Blend well. The Farmer's Cheese will be naturally rather granular when first made; it should be chopped up until very fine and liquid. Add some of the egg mixture if necessary.
Fold together the farmer's cheese mixture and egg mixtures. Pour into the pie plate.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes. The cake will rise in the oven, turn golden, and set.
Cool for a few hours in the refrigerator before serving. Enjoy!
One thing I like about this recipe is that it does have instructions on making its own crust. You could definitely still do a typical graham cracker crust with this, but if you don't keep graham crackers around either, this makes it simpler.
Biscottis are just the cookie for the holidays. They are hard, but soften when dipped into coffee. Mmm. . .breakfast. . .
This recipe can be adapted to any flavor combination you like. Pure Almond, Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Cranberry, Cherry. . . you name it. The result is a substantial cookie.
If you buy biscottis at the store, you'll notice that they're very light and almost always fall apart when introduced to coffee or hot cocoa. These will not immediately fall apart. They are also not -quite- as hard. Both of these traits are pluses as far as I'm concerned.
Choco-Cranberry Almond Biscottis
Biscottis - a hard cookie perfect with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.
These scones are the result of several failed attempts at pumpkin bready things - including pancakes (they didn't cook properly), and an overly hard set of biscuits. At last, I think I have found the correct ratio of pumpkin to scone ingredients!
Please note - I always think of scones as sweet due to the "scones" for sale at grocery stores, and some bakeries. These are not particularly sweet.
Prepare your carrots. Finely grating them in fine, but so is cooking them down and mashing them. Put to the side.
Beat your two eggs. Add in oil, sugar, pumpkin puree, molasses, and vanilla extract. Mix well.
Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in another bowl. Combine your wet and dry mixtures.
Add carrots to your batter. Mix well. Pour the carroty mixture into a buttered 8x8 baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about one hour. Make sure the cake is done by inserting a knife into the center; it should come out clean.
Its fairly common to cut the oil required in a carrot cake recipe with applesauce, but pumpkin puree works well too! Its especially practical if you've been cooking down a lot of pumpkin recently.
Blackstrap molasses actually tastes acceptable in this cake - possibly because it is not the main sweetener, it just gives the cake a nice brown color. You could probably also use brown sugar and no molasses.
This cake is good enough to be dessert for sure, especially if you ice it with cream cheese frosting. But I like to leave it plain and have it for breakfast with my morning coffee. Yum!