Monday, March 12, 2007

THE Cheesecake would probably have been the perfect cheesecake if only I had made it perfectly. I decided to take advantage of this girl's quest for the perfect cheesecake. I, too, would like to eat perfect cheesecake. She was scientific about it in a way I wish I was, but I will never be, so I just decided to take her word for it that THE Cheesecake is what we have been searching for. Thanks for doing the brainwork, Kitarra! Whoever you are!

I love that this cheesecake has no crust because it allows the velvety texture to shine. And was it ever velvety. It was practically winter formal wear. It was just the right density- dense but not dry. The taste was also very nice and tangy with just a hint of lemon.

If you make it- be sure to get your springform pan water tight (via directions in the recipe) I didn't do a good job and some water leaked into the cake, so some spots on the bottom were not velvety like they should have been. Also- you might want an oven thermometer if your oven (like mine) doesn't have 200 degrees on the dial. This can also create some texture issues.

Before I link to the recipe, here's my take on a hard-to-find ingredient, and also a warning on the time consumption of baking this cake. She calls for kifir cheese or labnan, a type of cheese. In my searching I discovered that they are more commonly spelled "kefir" or "labne". You can make the cheese if you buy your own kefir, or you can use her suggested substitution, drained greek yogurt. That is what I did. I don't know what the difference is between greek yogurt and regular old plain yogurt. It tasted like it was full-fat and thicker than your average american-made yogurt. I think you could easily and undetectably substitue sour cream.

Finally- read the baking directions before you decide to start making this at, say, 9 o'clock at night (start at 500 degrees for 15 minutes, turn oven down to 200 degrees for an hour, loosen the cake, bake again for an hour, turn up the heat again....) Consider yourself warned.

Without further ado, here's the link to the recipe, plus the creator's novel of comments about her quest.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Very Bitter Greens
Is it not true that certain plants are bitter tasting as a warning that they are actually poisonous?

If so, then I don't know how on earth broccoli raab came to be acceptable for human consumption.

Broccoli Raab is actually pronounced like "broccoli rob". It is also called broccoli rabe or rapini. Last night I made broccoli raab with sausage and grapes.

Somebody must like it, but Ryan and I couldn't even eat our dinner so I am not posting the recipe. Maybe we just aren't the healthy vegetable-lovin type. Rachel, if you want this recipe, then email me.
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Saturday, March 03, 2007


In an effort to mature my palatte, I have decided to incorporate vegetables that I have never tasted, prepared, and/or never enjoyed into our dinners. Feel free to join me in my adventures, or send recipes you love for vegetables that are generally less-loved.

First up: turnips. So ordinary, but I have never tried them. Plus: they are available at the pathetic produce section of my most local grocer.

I made these pureed. No exact recipe is needed. That is, if you know how to make mashed potatoes. In fact, for thickness, throw a potato or two in with the turnips. I used 2 turnips and one potato.

Peel and cut the potato and turnips into cubes. Boil them (in a pot of boiling water, of course) until the turnips are very soft. They take longer than potatoes alone- about 20 minutes total. Then drain the potato and turnips and puree them with a bit of butter, salt, and pepper. No milk is needed because they should be thin enough.

MY VERDICT: Turnips do nothing for me a potato can't do better. Not bad, though.Here's to an effort towards a well-rounded palette.

Join me next time for adventures with broccoli rabe!
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