Thursday, July 30, 2015
Delish! I had some concerns about this one when I was developing the recipe. I've never made a cheesecake with an alcoholic beverage in it before - other desserts, yes... but not cheesecake. I wasn't sure if it would work, but it did. I added one tablespoon of Amaretto to the batter, plus I combined that wonderful San Saba River Pecan Company Peach Pecan Amaretto preserves with some Amaretto and swirled it all into the middle. I just poured half the batter in, swirled in dollops of the preserve mixture, and topped it with the rest of the batter. I used the remaining preserves and put them in a food processor along with more Amaretto and a little powdered sugar to make the glaze and the finished it off with some fresh white peach slices in the center and some chopped cinnamon pecans. I was hoping the little chunks of peach and the pecans in the preserves wouldn't sink all the way to the bottom of the batter, and they didn't but they did sink a little.
Next time, maybe I'll add a little more of the batter to the bottom layer and see what happens, and perhaps try adding a little peach nectar to the batter, but I don't want to overpower the delicate flavor of the Amaretto, so I'm not sure about that. I also decreased the amount of sugar in my basic recipe to account for the sweetness of the preserves. It was just right. I'm happy with this one. It's almost time to start seeking inspiration for the next one! I hope I still fit through the pantry door by the time I'm over this crazy cheesecake obsession I'm in the midst of. Stay tuned!
Friday, July 24, 2015
I'm talkin' bout the Peach Pecan and Amaretto Preserves produced by The Great San Saba River Pecan Company in San Saba, Texas.
About five or six years ago, I received a jar of it in a Christmas gift basket from one of my sisters who found it in a gift shop in Fredericksburg, Texas. I was hooked as soon as I tasted it for the first time! The fruit isn't mushy - the combination of textures with the peaches and pecans is perfect. I actually use it more for baking than spreading on hot buttery biscuits or toast, but if I don't stop talking about it pretty soon, I may just have to go open a jar and slap some onto a cracker before I can even finish gushing over how good it is here.
You can visit the Company's site at http://greatpecans.com/index.htm and see all the other items they have available besides the one I'm so crazy about. Their pecans are beautiful, and they offer a variety of great products. One of these days, I'm going there!
I had to do a little research in my area to locate the nearest place to buy the preserves, but no need to panic, since I can always buy them online if I need to. Anyway.... back to the cheesecake inspiration thing. I just finished tweaking the recipe, so next up is a Peach Pecan and Amaretto cheesecake, which will include fresh peaches as well. I'm pretty excited about this one. If I'm the only one in my house that likes it, that's fine. One me, one cheesecake, one fork..... no problem!
Thursday, July 16, 2015
I have a long personal history with wooden spoons - going all the way back to my childhood. That's when I first took real notice of them, as my mother was swatting me on the bottom with one. My punishment for doing something I shouldn't have. There were five of us kids, and we all remember the wooden spoon whippings. More than a few of those spoons sustained broken handles over the years! You'd think I'd want nothing to do with them ever again after the spoon whipping years, but me and my bottom somehow survived all that and those memories eventually got replaced with better ones.
My mother used wooden spoons... lots of them.... when she cooked. I have two of her spoons, and am so happy to have them now that she is no longer living. Little things make me happy! I think of her every time I see them, and sometimes, when I'm cooking a dish that was hers, just the way she used to cook it, I use one of her spoons. Here they are. I mark them with a M for Mama so I will always know which ones they are.
I also have lots of wooden spoons from far away places. Most recently, my son and his wife went to Germany and while they were at it, toured Spain, Amsterdam, France, and Switzerland. Before they left, they wanted to know what I wanted from Germany. " Just get me a few wooden spoons", I said. They came back with thirteen, some from every country they visited. What a treat! I was so excited. I haven't used any of them yet. I keep thinking I need to make some specialty dish each country is known for as I use them the first time. Sheeeeeesh. That will probably never happen, so I may as well just go ahead and use them. Here they are:
and these little ones, none of which are more than 5 inches long..... oh, and that non-spoon thing there, that's an olive pick. I allow it to mingle with my spoons just because I like it so much. Naturally, it's made of olive wood, as are quite a few of my spoons.
and finally, well almost finally... here is one of two HUGE ones. I stuck it in with my regular ones so you can see how big it is. No, I don't use them. I've had them for almost 30 years. One of these days, who knows? I might happen upon a really big pot of something that needs to be stirred!
And this, which I lovingly refer to as "the ugly spoonling", because, let's face it.... it IS! I use it for pickling because the pickling spices stain wooden spoons, so therefore, a designated one. I never use it for anything else. Hey... I need to post about my homemade Jalapeno Garlic Dill Pickles one of these days!
I even want to make my own wooden spoons. I know I can do it..... I'm sure I can, so one of these days, I just might get around to it. I've only watched a gazillion Youtube videos on the subject. I'm just slightly concerned about all those really sharp hand tools and keeping all my fingers intact during the process. I need all my fingers to get a good grip on my wooden spoons while I'm stirring stuff....
So there you have it, you have officially been introduced to all the spoons of Spoon City Kitchen!
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
My inspiration for this one is my son's favorite cookie - Nutterbutter Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies, and he prefers them dipped in chocolate. So that's where I began - I dipped cookies in semi-sweet chocolate and allowed them to set before I moved on to the next steps.
This is a triple whammy experience because not only are the chopped dipped cookies folded into the batter, but I also used them to make the crumb crust, and obviously, the top is loaded with the chopped cookies as well, which are resting atop a luscious caramel/peanut butter glaze.
I'm feeling pretty confident my son will be expecting more of these in his future!
Monday, July 13, 2015
Here's what you need to make them:
3 sleeves Ritz original flavor crackers
1 package dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing/dip mix - Fiesta Ranch flavor
1 package dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing/dip mix - Spicy Ranch flavor
1 tablespoon Dangold Hot & Spicy Cajun Style Spice Blend
3/4 cup canola oil
2 gallon size zip top bags
|If you can't find Dangold Cajun Spice Blend, use any other brand!|
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. I like to line my baking sheets with foil, but it isn't necessary, just time saving. Use any size baking sheets you have - the smaller, the longer it takes to get them all baked.
|They should look like this when wet, ready to bake... all nicely coated!|
Once the crackers are lined up single layer on the baking sheet, place it in the oven and set a timer for 2 minutes, then remove them, flip all the crackers (you can do this with your hands, they aren't hot enough to burn you), and then return them to the oven and set the timer for another 2 minutes.
Once both sides have baked for 2 minutes, remove from the oven and place on a long sheet of foil to cool completely to room temperature before you store them in an air tight container.
The spices can burn if you bake these at a higher temperature, so I don't recommend doing that. These crackers stay nice and crispy for as long as they will last before someone finishes them off!
Here mine are, ready to make the trip to East Texas. I'm pretty sure this container will be empty when I bring it back home!
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Well, here it is. If only it didn't need to be refrigerated overnight before I can cut into it and find out if it tastes as good as it looks. I want to know now! Here's how I did it:
Look at those ribbons of gooey cinnamon swirl stuff!
Well, here's a cut piece so you can see all that cinnamon goodness on the inside:
Now I have to use this swirly concept on more flavor combinations. Yeah!!!