Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Cookies

Hello Blogosphere!

Just last year, I would have never imagined that my life would be at the point it is now. I am in the process of applying to graduate school (fingers crossed I get in), I have moved up the career ladder at work, I live on my own (successfully), I have a crazy puppy, and I am surrounded by great friends at work and in my personal life! Not only that… but now I am blogging.

With the semester at its end and a short time before summer school starts, I decided it would be a good time to try out some new recipes.

Over the years I have struggled with stomachaches and recently headaches, which I am starting to tie to the consumption of gluten. I know, I know, it probably seems like I am jumping on the gluten free train, but the effects of gluten have haunted me for years; it is time to make a change.

In the next few months, I am going to experiment with eliminating gluten from my diet… Hopefully it will make a significant difference in my health!

This week I decided to make BLUEBERRY LEMON CHEESECAKE COOKIES, which are gluten free, dairy free, AND vegan! They were absolutely delicious and very easy to make!

Image

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon flax seed (ground)
  • 2 tablespoons warm water

*** These two ingredients act as a substitute for egg

  • ⅓cup coconut oil
  • ⅓cup dairy free cream cheese
  • ½ cup sugar (raw, agave, coconut nectar)
  • 1 cup gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • Pinch salt
  • ¾ pint fresh blueberries  (you can use whatever type of berries you want!)
  • Zest of ¾ small lemon

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Take cream cheese out of fridge to soften.
  3. Put flax seed and water into a small bowl and stir. Place in the fridge where the mixture will set into a gel.
  4. Cream together coconut oil, softened cream cheese, and sugar. Use a mixer if available.
  5. Add in flax gel mixture as egg replacement.
  6. In a separate bowl mix baking powder, flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Once mixed, add to the cream cheese mixture.
  7. Mix in lemon zest.
  8. Fold in berries.
  9. Drop each cookie onto a prepared baking sheet. The recipe makes 12-15 cookies.
  10. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes.

Image

Advertisements

Beyond the Mixing Bowl

I can’t believe that the semester is coming to a close, it has been a long difficult ride, but it is finally nearing its end! Over this semester I have had some amazing classes and some that I could have done without; Multimedia Composition was surely one of my favorites. How cool is it that our main projects included a visual narrative, creating a blog, and producing a micro-documentary?

I am happy to say that I am pleased with the outcome of all of my products… And honestly, I hope to continue blogging. I loved it!

Today, I am sharing the final draft of my micro-documentary with you all. I focused on the behind the scenes work that goes into creating some of our favorite pastries and display pieces. I used two of Denver’s finest pastry chefs as interviewees.

I am no professional when it comes to interviews and filming, but I hope that you all enjoy nonetheless!

Bruxie – Waffle House

As it seems in the rest of my blog posts this semester, the theme of my life has been stress. It seems like I have more stacked on my plate than ever before. Between working 50+ hours a week, trying to pass 4 classes, applying to graduate school, making time for a growing puppy, and my best friend moving away, you could say that I’ve been busy (Just excuse me while I wallow in self-pity). With a short break between everything on Monday, I was able to sneak away from life for a few minutes and meet up with a good friend for lunch.

Recently, right off of Colorado Blvd and Kentucky, a new restaurant named Bruxie opened up. The restaurant, which serves gourmet waffle sandwiches, did not disappoint. The menu consists of a mix between savory and sweet items, incorporating waffles in almost every dish. Bruxie has several locations in southern California and has recently made its way to Denver.

Take_Out_Menu_Glendale_Colorado   Take_Out_Menu_Glendale_Colorado2

With so many options and only a short time, my friend and I quickly decided upon sharing the Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Waffle Sandwich and the S’mores “Sweet Treet.”

The Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Waffle Sandwich had a perfectly fried chicken breast, chili honey, and cider slaw. The flavors complimented each other impeccably; the sandwich melted in my mouth. There is also an option of adding pure maple syrup to the sandwich.

IMG_8914

The S’mores waffle, consisting of homemade marshmallow fluff, graham cracker, and Belgium chocolate was to die for. The graham cracker, which was crumbled up in the chocolate added the necessary crunch of a s’more. The flavors when combined with the waffle were the perfect amount of sweet.

With such an amazing tasting experience, I cannot wait to go back for more. Their menu has so much to offer, including house made pure cane sugar sodas… Yum!

I would highly recommend Bruxie to all readers, in Colorado and California. The staff was extremely helpful and the food will not disappoint!

Procrastination at its finest… Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread!

This week I have two final project rough drafts due, a ten page paper to write, two different novels to finish, and I am severely slacking on my Micro-Documentary… What better way to spend my study time than to bake?

It doesn’t matter how long I have known about a paper or how many days I have to work on a project, I always find a way to put things off.  I am what you might call a professional procrastinator.  While spending my time not doing homework this week, I found an amazing recipe for Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread (Is it sad that I still have to rely on Gwen Stefani to spell banana sometimes… This s**t is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!!).  I ended up changing up the recipe a little and adding some chocolate chips, but with or without them, this recipe is something that you all need to try!

Image

Ingredients – Bread

  • 3 over-ripe bananas (smashed up) – I usually throw bananas in the freezer when they start to go bad, that way I always have ripe ones for baking!
  • 1/3 Cup Melted Butter
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 TSP Vanilla
  • 1 TSP Baking Soda
  • Dash of Salt
  • 1-1/2 Cup Flour

*** Add chocolate chips or nuts if desired.

IMG_0162

Ingredients – Cinnamon Swirl

  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 TBS Cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat Oven to 350.  Butter a bread pan. You can choose whatever size works for you!
  2. Mix smashed bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together.  Sprinkle in baking soda and salt.  Slowly stir in flour.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Add half of the bread batter into the bread pan, then sprinkle half of the swirl on top.  Add the rest of the batter and add the remaining swirl mix on top of that.
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes.

*** Make sure to use a tooth pick or fork to make sure the bread is done.  If you stick the toothpick in and it comes out clean, the bread is done!

Hope that you all enjoy 🙂 Hopefully you are all having a little more success with the final stretch of the semester than I am!

 

Sneak Peek – Expert Interview

Throughout the semester I have struggled with finding a topic that I felt would make a good micro-documentary.  I started with a focus on health crazes and their affect on the industry, but I became discouraged quickly with that focus.  There are large amounts of research on living a healthy lifestyle, but there is not much to run with when related to the restaurant/pastry industry. I hoped to pull most of my information from my expert interviews, but several of the people I contacted were uninterested or just flat out didn’t respond; This made starting my project a little difficult.

With a lot of thought and a short amount of time, I made the decision to change the focus of my micro-documentary.  We have all watched dessert competitions on TV or been to weddings with extravagant cakes and can’t help but stare.  The work is incredible, the time put in is unfathomable.  I currently work in one of the nations top country clubs where our pastry department is top notch; I have seen some incredible pieces of work!  I thought that I would start there.  I decided to create a micro-documentary about the planning and outcome behind some of pastries largest projects.  I will be interviewing a wedding cake decorator and an executive pastry chef in order to get the scoop on what really goes into these huge projects!

For my first expert interview, I interviewed the Executive Pastry Chef from Cherry Hills Country Club in Colorado.  I have only provided a short short clip of what is to come in my documentary.  I still have a lot of editing to do and a lot of piecing together!  Hopefully this small tid-bit can get you excited for what is to come.  Through my documentary viewers will see the hard work that went into the first project that Cate talks about, the 2013 Christmas display… Enjoy!

Micro-Documentary

Hello Everyone! For those of you that follow my blog, but are not in my Multimedia Composition class, this semester we have to complete a micro-documentary that relates in some fashion to our blog.

I have decided I am going to do my micro-documentary on the effect that today’s health crazes (gluten free, no carbs, etc.) have had on the sweets industry.  I am hoping to focus on the changes that pastry chefs have had to make in order to keep their products from completely disappearing from the market!

If anyone has any suggestions on where I should go from here, or who I should interview, the input will be greatly appreciated!

I would also love to hear anyones personal experiences with this topic.  Have any of you changed your sugar intake or adjusted it because of the current fads?

Thank you!

Strawberry Mango Salsa

I follow a blog called “Cooking with a Wallflower,” and although this is not a dessert item, I could not help but repost this recipe! It looks absolutely amazing!

Cooking with a Wallflower

Sweet and slightly sour with just a hint of spicy, this salsa will be a hit at any party. Bursting with so many flavors, it is a delicious dip with any chips. 

Strawberry Mango Salsa | Cooking with a Wallflower

It’s spring! Which means there are so many fresh fruits at the supermarket. One of my favorite combinations of fruits is strawberry and mango. It’s so tropical, isn’t it? The vibrant colors remind me of the sunset during a warm summer day. This salsa is not only pretty in color, it’s very tasty too. Filled with chunks of strawberries and mangoes, basil and mint, the juice of one lime, honey, and a little bit of red crushed peppers, it is an explosion of flavors on your taste buds! Once you try it, you won’t want to stop eating.

Strawberry Mango Salsa | Cooking with a Wallflower

This refreshing salsa is so easy to make with only several ingredients. The hardest part will be waiting for the…

View original post 141 more words

Sugar Mill Desserts

Hello Blogosphere Friends!

I have been severely slacking on my blogging lately.  You would think with spring break coming up, that I would have had a chance to sit down and rest, but it seems like life only keeps getting busier!

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to take some time out of my work and school schedule and grab some lunch with one of my friends – a fellow dessert connoisseur.

During my time in Denver, I have lived in a few different neighborhoods, including downtown and Capital Hill.  About a year ago, I moved away from all of the action and settled down in Glendale; I love the area, but the food selection is terrible.  With a yearning for the downtown atmosphere and a craving for good food, we ventured down to 24th and Larimer.

Image

Sugar Mill, which opened about four months ago, is one of the most phenomenal food experiences I have ever indulged in.  Walking in, I instantly fell in love.  The restaurant, which probably seats about forty people, has a modern but comfortable vibe.  The seating includes a community table, a few smaller “couple” tables, and bar seating.  The bar, which is where my friend and I sat, looks right over the “chefs line” and the preparation counter; It was incredible to not only watch the chefs prepare our food, but to engage in conversation with them as well.

Seating only a limited number of people, the restaurant is a one-waitress location.  Sitting across from the chef and pastry chef, they took over the role of waiter.  In most restaurants the kitchen staff is insistent on staying in the kitchen and avoiding customers – I loved that the people making our food were also describing it… And making it RIGHT in front of us! It was such a different, exciting experience.

Image

Sugar Mill serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Pastries, cocktails, and cakes are also some of their over the counter specialties.  The menu is small, but extravagant.  The restaurant offers daily sandwich and drink specials.  To start off, my friend and I treated ourselves to their specialty cocktail, the “Ladde & Go.”  The drink, made with white wine and a peach balsamic, created a taste similar to that of white sangria. What a perfect drink for the first day of spring!

Image

While looking over the menu, the pastry chef pulled a batch of fresh coconut macaroons out.  Seeing us ogling over the sight, he let us try a few.  If you are looking for the world’s best macaroon, Sugar Mill is the place to visit.  In most of my macaroon experiences, I have found that there is a lack of balance between the coconut and the flour.  Most of the time they far too dry.  The balance between the moisture and the flavor was mouth watering.

Image

The next adventure was lunch.  The Báhn Mì, which was the daily sandwich special, is a Vietnamese sandwich, consisting of: traditional duck pâté, chicken liver, pork, and a slaw on French bread.  Although the combination of these meats seems a little alarming, the flavors and texture lead your taste buds to paradise!  Báhn Mì is typically a market or food truck food; seeing it on the menu meant that the ingredients would be fresh and the time put into the dish would only add to the overall taste.  My friend got a steak salad, a light dish with bold flavors.

Image

After an incredible lunch it was finally time for the most important course: DESSERT!  With so many options, we decided that we would order two different desserts: the Chai Bar and the Apple Tart.  During our meal, one of the pastry chefs spent her time making fresh apple tarts; to pass up on the dish would have been foolish.  The Apple Tart was basically a miniature apple pie with crème fraîche (homemade) ice cream.  The tart crust was the perfect amount of flakey and the apples had the perfect crunch.  If you love apple pie, you will be pleasantly surprised!

Image

The other dish, the Chai Bar was my absolute favorite.  Every time I go to Starbucks, no matter how many times I say I am going to change my order, I end up leaving with a Chai Latté in hand.  The spice and sweetness of chai leaves me always wanting more.  The Chai Bar was basically a chai gelatin, layered over a chocolate bar, and served with marshmallow ice cream.  The gelatin captured the perfect essence of the spice and sweet that I can’t get enough of.  With an added layer of chocolate, the dish had some added texture and a complimentary taste.  Over the top were caramelized bananas, which were caramelized in front of our eyes.

Image

If you cant tell from the length of my blog, I would recommend Sugar Mill 100%.  The atmosphere left me wanting more and the food was phenomenal. Everything is made in house by the talented staff. If you are looking for a quick gourmet lunch or an evening cocktail, this is the place for your taste buds.  The staff is extremely welcoming and the environment is inviting – You will NOT be disappointed!

The Results Are In…

A few weeks ago I put a poll up on my blog, the results are finally in:

Slide1

In the next few days I will be making the all time classic: Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Although I am looking forward to making all of these through the semester, this will be my next project.  I am hoping to find a recipe that all of you enjoy!

In the “OTHER” category, I had a few people ask for sugarless desserts and another ask for cheesecake.  For those of you that are looking for desserts without sugar, I recommend checking out my baking substitutes post! It provides different alternatives for a variety of ingredients – including sugar- helping to make your desserts healthier! I will try and post a sugarless dessert very soon though 🙂

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, keep your eyes open for a cookie post!