December 15, 2017

Grandma's Japanese Cheesecake

Christmas brings back lots of wonderful memories and of course reminds me of my family that is no longer with us. My Grandma passed away after a courageous battle with cancer a couple years ago. We were lucky enough to share many Christmases together including Ava's first Christmas. 
My Grandma was Japanese and introduced me to so many delicious Asian foods that I still enjoy with my family today. One dessert that I was never able to make with my Grandma was Japanese Cheesecake. So for Inka Tour's 24 Days of Christmas Around the World, I decided to represent Japan and share Grandma's Japanese Cheesecake with y'all.
This cheesecake is different than your traditional rich and thick cheesecake. Japanese Cheesecake is light and airy. It puffs up like a souffle and has the look and texture of a sponge cake. I line the bottom of mine with raisins which gives it that flavor of rice pudding. 
I know Grandma would have loved it and I am sure you and your family will too.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!


Ingredients: 

  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 13 egg whites
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • powdered sugar, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 320°F.
  2. Line a 9 inch cake or springform pan with parchment. Wrap the bottom of the springform pan with aluminium foil to prevent any leaks.
  3. Sprinkle raisins on the bottom of the pan.
  4. In a small pot over medium heat, whisk the milk, cream cheese, and butter until smooth. Remove from heat and cool.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth, then slowly drizzle in the cream mixture, stirring until evenly combined.
  6. Sift in the flour and the cornstarch, whisking to make sure there are no lumps.
  7. Whisk in the flour mixture to the egg mix.
  8. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until you see soft peaks form.
  9. Gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat until you see hard peaks form.
  10. Take about ¼ of the egg whites and fold them into the egg yolk mixture, then repeat with the remaining egg whites until the batter is evenly combined.
  11. Place the cake pan into a larger baking pan or dish lined with 2 paper towels at the bottom. The paper towels ensure that the heat is distributed evenly along the bottom of the pan. Fill the larger pan about 1-inch with hot water.
  12. Pour the batter into the parchment-lined pan and shake to release any large air bubbles.
  13. Bake for 25 minutes, then reduce the heat to 280°F, and bake for another 55 minutes, until the cake has risen to almost double its height.
  14. Remove from oven, and carefully, invert the hot cake and peel off the paper. 
  15. Sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar, slice, and serve while still warm!



In a small pot over medium heat, whisk the milk, cream cheese, and butter until smooth. 
Remove from heat and cool.
Sprinkle raisins on the bottom of a lined cake pan.
Sift in the flour and the cornstarch, whisking to make sure there are no lumps.
Separate 13 eggs. You will need 13 eggs whites and 8 yolks. 
Use the remaining yolks for another recipe {or breakfast}.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth, then slowly drizzle in the 
cream mixture.
 Stir until evenly combined.
Now whisk in the flour mixture.
In another large bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until you see soft peaks form.  
Mix on med high speed until soft peaks form.
Gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat on med high.
...until you see hard peaks form.
Take about ¼ of the egg whites and fold them into the egg yolk mixture. 
Repeat with the remaining egg whites until the batter is evenly combined.
Place the cake pan into a larger baking pan lined with 2 paper towels at the bottom. The paper towels ensure that the heat is distributed evenly along the bottom of the pan. 
Fill the larger pan about 1-inch with hot water.
Pour the batter into the parchment-lined pan and shake to release any large air bubbles.
Bake for 25 minutes, then reduce the heat to 280°F (135°C), and bake for another 55 minutes.
 The cake should rise to almost double its height.
Remove from oven, and carefully, invert the hot cake and peel off the paper.
Sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar.
The airy cake has the texture of sponge cake and the flavors of rice pudding.
Slice and serve warm.
Merry Christmas friends!

Peace Grandma. Miss you always.


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December 14, 2017

Hot Cocoa Truffles

This content is sponsored by Stephen's Gourmet Hot Chocolate and Mom It Forward Influencer Network, but views and thoughts are my own.
I don't know about y'all but sippin' a cup of hot cocoa while looking at Christmas lights is one of my very favorite things to do during the holiday season! Growing up my family and I always drove to different farms and churches and walked around to see the beautiful light displays for Christmas. Of course, it wasn't complete without a cup of hot chocolate to sip on while we enjoyed the lights and each other's company. 
Now I am a Mom and I have passed on this favorite tradition to my kids. We love Christmas lights and y'all know we love hot cocoa! Stephen's Gourmet is my favorite brand for rich hot cocoa and today I am sharing these delicious and decadent Hot Cocoa Truffles made with cocoa mix, marshmallows, and melted chocolate chips. They are an easy no bake treat to make as gifts for the holidays! 
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December 7, 2017

Christmas Family Fun | Printable Bucket List + Santa.com

It's my favorite time of year and I am loving this fun holiday season! Every year my husband, kiddos, and I try to do all our family holiday activities and traditions in December. So I decided I would put them all together in a Holiday Winter Bucket List so we can print it and check them off every year - and you can too! Scroll down to print your own copy!
My pretty girls in their Christmas PJs.

Another thing I love about this time of year, of course, is everything to do with Christmas and the jolly guy himself, Santa! I found this awesome new site, Santa.com and I am loving all the fun features available. How cool is it that you and your kids can interact with Santa himself?!
Emails, texts, and even written notes are all part of this unique webpage along with a Santa blog and free printables!
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Crock-Pot Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Thanksgiving this year was different than any other. Since Ashton is in school and we just moved to Texas, we decided to stay home for Thanksgiving instead of spending the holiday with my family in Florida. This was a big change for me especially since it was the first time in my life that I did not spend Thanksgiving dinner with my parents. But thank goodness for modern technology and video chat! The girls and I saw them and wished them well, then we all spent a chill day at home watching parades and movies and of course, eating. But just because it wasn't our traditional Thanksgiving didn't mean we did not celebrate and cook a big meal! 
I made all my favorites including Crock-Pot Ham, roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and something new this year, Crock-Pot Loaded Mashed Potatoes
We gobbled down our dinner (ha!) and enjoyed leftovers for over a week! I swear I never get tired of eating Thanksgiving turkey!
These loaded potatoes are a breeze made in the Crock-Pot. It saves oven space and time and you simply just cook them, mix them, and serve when dinner is ready! 
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December 4, 2017

Caramel Apple Cookies

Christmas cookie baking makes my heart so happy especially when I bake with loved ones and share the treats with others! Cookie exchanges are such a  fun way to try other cookie recipes and share your own with fellow foodies and dessert lovers! These Caramel Apple Cookies were a fun creation I came up with in my kitchen when I was playing with all the fall flavors I love- caramel candies, tart apples, apple cider, and of course, cookies! These delicious holiday themed cookies are soft and chewy and filled with gooey caramel and tart apples on the inside!
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November 30, 2017

25+ Cabbage Recipes to Warm You Up This Winter


December is almost here and if you are like me you crave warm hearty soups and comfort food in this cold weather! One of my favorite fall and winter veggies to use is cabbage so I put together this mouthwatering list of 25+ Cabbage Recipes to Warm You Up This Winter for you to enjoy! Time to get cooking!
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November 27, 2017

Grinched Eggs | The Grinch Who Stole Christmas Party Food

It's Movie Monday again and that means we are sharing another tasty recipe inspired by this month's move theme! This month's theme is Winter & Christmas Movies and I knew right away I wanted to do a Grinch inspired recipe from one of our favorite holiday classics, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
 
My kids and I enjoy Dr Seuss books and the movies inspired by them and this hilarious tale is a Christmas favorite! I like both the cartoon version and the Jim Carrey Grinch movie and I wanted to make a appetizer perfect for nibbling while watching the movie. Grinch themed parties are also popular during Christmas season too and green Grinch recipes are fun to make and eat!
After some taste tasting, I created a simple but fun recipe: Grinched Eggs, my green take on Deviled Eggs. 
My kids love em' and got a kick out of the green eggs and filling. Even better, they take only a few minutes to make and are a hit at parties! 

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November 19, 2017

Gobble, Gobble Turkey Shaped Vegetable Platter

It's almost Thanksgiving and I wanted to share with you this adorable Turkey Shaped Veggie Platter we served at our family Thanksgiving dinner a couple years ago. Boursin had sent me their yummy cheese dips to serve and I decided to make a kid friendly presentation with the vegetable dippers. All you need is a round platter or chip and dip tray like I used and start with the dip and use your imagination for the turkey and feathers. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving.
Gobble, gobble.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 vegetable dip or spread {I used Boursin Garlic and Herb}
  • assorted veggies cut into bite size sticks such as mushrooms, peppers, and broccoli

Directions: 

  1. Spoon dip into a small bowl. This will be the turkey "head".
  2. Add veggies to look like arms and legs and the face.
  3. Set on a platter and arrange rows of brightly colored chopped veggies behind the dip on a platter to look like the turkey "feathers". 
  4. Serve and enjoy!

 
 I made my Baked Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms filled with Boursin cheese and they were a hit, as always!
Who can resist a good stuffed mushroom?!
 Flavored Boursin cheese was the perfect spread for veggies and crackers.
Such an easy and delicious appetizer!
I spy my Dad's famous Lobster tails for Thanksgiving dinner!
 We are a family of foodies, for sure!
 We have our hands full but we wouldn't have it any other way! Happy Thanksgiving.
Thanks for sending the holiday goodies and cheese spreads for us to sample,
 Boursin and Houseparty. 
As always all opinions are my own. 
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