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Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles and I Heart California Strawberries

 

This is a sponsored post, all opinions, thoughts and ideas are my own.I Heart California-Strawberries

While standing in the middle of a strawberry field, having a true Farm to Table lunch (table in a farm?) I tried to think of one person I’ve ever met that doesn’t like strawberries. I couldn’t. I love strawberries, so when I got the invite from California Strawberry Commission to run around the beautiful strawberry fields in Oxnard I couldn’t say no.

I Heart California Strawberries23Look at those things, just  hanging out, looking so perfect. I love the California strawberries I can pick up at the grocery store and farmers markets, but right off the vine, slightly warm from the sun, those babies are incredible. By the way, if anyone ever invites you and your family to run around a strawberry farm, stuffing your face with berries right off the vine: say YES (enthusiastically).

I Heart California Strawberries8

I joined a handful of other bloggers for a day in the beautiful California sun, eating amazing food (and I’m not kidding about stuffing my face with berries right off the vine), a tour of the facility, and head farmer, Bill Reiman, joined the party to answered all of the Strawberry Question we could ever ask.

I Heart California Strawberries22

Here are a few of the Strawberry Facts I learned over the day (And by the way, I am just nerdy enough to think these are super interesting):

  1. None of the California Strawberries are GMO, all the CA strawberries that you can buy are GMO free (awesome).
  2. Strawberries will not continue to ripen once they are picked  (like tomatoes do) if you pick a green strawberry, it will never turn red.
  3. They freeze some of the best berries. They pick the berries that are so juicy and full of natural sweetness to freeze because although they are delicious, they are too fragile to pack and ship.
  4. Eating strawberries regularly has been proven to improve memory and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.

I Heart California Strawberries21

I love that I don’t have to feel guilt about buying frozen California strawberries (I’m a fresh produce girl, and I actually do feel guilty about buying frozen), this also reminded me that once my strawberries start to show their age, freezing them is a great idea. They freeze so well!

I Heart California Strawberries24

After the tour of the fields, a tour of the packing facility and a fun hay ride, the day ended with a gorgeous dinner cooked up by Tim Kilcoyne, Executive Chef and owner of The SideCar Restaurant in Ventura. The menu included:

  • Bruschetta with fava bean ricotta, house made strawberry mustard and arugula.
  • Braised Chicken Enchiladas with Swiss chard, roasted strawberry mole and queso fresco. Served with a black bean and quinoa salad
  • Chocolate Genoise with strawberry mousse, ganache and white chocolate dipped strawberry
  • Strawberry Basil Meyer Lemonade

I love the use of strawberries in a savory dish, that strawberry mole was incredible.

I Heart California Strawberries9

Apparently I was too distracted by the incredible food and the company of Farmer Bill, whom I sat next to, to photograph the dinner. My camera ended with shots of the menu.

I Heart California Strawberries20

I came home with a car load of strawberries that I couldn’t wait to use. I made popsicles that are perfect for those fresh berries that I love, but are also great for the frozen ones I now feel completly content buying.

Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles 5

Chocolate Stout Cheesecake Fudgesicle

Yield: Yield: 8 pops

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbs whole milk
  • 1/3 cup stout
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 6 standard sized graham crackers
  • 2 tbs melted butter

Directions

  1. In a bowl (or a food processor) mix together the cream cheese, sour cream and powdered sugar until well combined.
  2. Add the milk and stout, stir to combine.
  3. Add the chocolate chips to a microwave safe bowl, microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted. Pour the chocolate into the cream cheese mixture, stir until combined.
  4. Pour mixture into popsicle molds, leaving about 1 inch of the top empty for the crust (if you don’t have popsicle molds, use small paper cups and popsicle sticks) tap the molds gently on the counter to remove air bubbles.
  5. In a food processor add the graham crackers, process until only crumbs remain.
  6. While food processor is running, add the melted butter in a slow stream until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  7. Divide the crust evenly between the popsicles, press down gently to compact. Insert popsicle sticks, refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 3 days.
https://domesticfits.com/strawberry-cheesecake-popsicles-and-i-heart-california-strawberries/

Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles 6

 

Other Strawberry recipes:

Sweet:

Strawberry Swirl Dream Cake – Savory Simple

Chocolate Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart – Domestic Fits

Strawberry Crumble – Bake Your Day

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes – Domestic Fits

Strawberry Beer Sorbet – The Beeroness

Strawberry Pie Sour Cream Bars – Crunchy Creamy Sweet

Savory:

Strawberry Quinoa Salad – Domestic Fits

Chilled Strawberry & Beet Consommé with Horseradish Oil – Sippity Sup

Strawberry Balsamic Bruschetta – Pinch My Salt

Drinks:

Strawberry Sriracha Margarita – Domestic Fits

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Daiquiri – Country Cleaver

Strawberry Mint Julep – Culicurious

Strawberry Beer Lemonade – The Beeroness

 

This is a sponsored post, all opinions, thoughts and ideas are my own.

Chocolate Stout Cheesecake Fudgesicle

Chocolate stout cheesecake Fudgesicle

Chocolate-Stout-Cheesecake-Fudgesicles

Would you judge me if I tell you that I’m not a huge fan of ice cream? Clearly, I like it just fine I have several ice cream recipes on this blog, but it’s never my first choice.

Of course, I’ll eat it, although I do tend to prefer it in the winter (probably more of that inherent rebellion I told you about earlier), but there are just so many other desserts I’d rather run five miles to work off. Like, cheesecake. Or doughnuts. Or cheesecake doughnuts.

Chocolate Stout Cheesecake Fudgesicles

 I love cheesecake. So this cheesecake version of ice cream, in pre-portioned sizes (this addresses my serious portion control issues) is just about the most perfect way to consume a frozen dessert.

And because the recipe only calls for 1/3 cup, you are going to have some stout left over that you’re going to have to figure out what to do with.

I apologize for the dilemma this creates.

Chocolate Stout Cheesecake Fudgesicles

Chocolate Stout Cheesecake Fudgesicle

Yield: Yield: 8 pops

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbs whole milk
  • 1/3 cup stout
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 6 standard sized graham crackers
  • 2 tbs melted butter

Directions

  1. In a bowl (or a food processor) mix together the cream cheese, sour cream and powdered sugar until well combined.
  2. Add the milk and stout, stir to combine.
  3. Add the chocolate chips to a microwave safe bowl, microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted. Pour the chocolate into the cream cheese mixture, stir until combined.
  4. Pour mixture into popsicle molds, leaving about 1 inch of the top empty for the crust (if you don’t have popsicle molds, use small paper cups and popsicle sticks) tap the molds gently on the counter to remove air bubbles.
  5. In a food processor add the graham crackers, process until only crumbs remain.
  6. While food processor is running, add the melted butter in a slow stream until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  7. Divide the crust evenly between the popsicles, press down gently to compact. Insert popsicle sticks, freeze for at least 6 hours and up to 3 days.
https://domesticfits.com/chocolate-stout-cheesecake-fudgesicle/

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Stout Soaked Cherry Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust

Stout Soaked Cherry Cheesecake Bars with Pretzel Crust P

I need your help.

I’m somewhere around halfway done with this cookbook, and I need some feedback. I have about 50 recipes ready to go, but they have never been cooked outside of my kitchen.

I want to know if they work for you, if you like them (or didn’t), if the directions make sense. This part is important to me, it increases the chances that we can catch some of the flaws, some of the directions that may be misleading, or some factor I might have overlooked.

This book means so much to me, and the recipes working for as many people as possible is a high priority.

And I can’t do this on my own. If you are willing to make one (or more) of the Top Secret recipes I have in the works, keep it secret until the book goes to print, and give me your honest opinion, I need that.

If you’re at all interested, Please, check out my Book Page for more info. Please.

 

Stout Soaked Cherry Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust

Ingredients

  • 8oz sweetened dried cherries (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 2 cups stout
  • 3 cups mini pretzels twists, lightly crushed (about 1 ½ cups once processed)
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 24 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Place dried cherries in a bowl or tall glass. Pour stout over cherries until fully submerged. Allow to sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of the soaking liquid.
  2. Preheat oven to 400.
  3. In a food processor, add the pretzels and brown sugar, process until only crumbs remain, about 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly add the melted butter while the processor is running. Pour into the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch baking pan. Use the flat bottom of a heavy glass, measuring cup or mug to press the crust really well into a flat even layer.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cream cheese, beat on high until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sour cream and beat until well combined. Add the salt, flour and sugar, mix until well incorporated. Add the eggs and vanilla, one at a time, mixing well between additions. Add ¼ of the stout used to soak the cherries, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in the cherries.
  5. Pour cream cheese mixture over the crust, smooth out into an even layer.
  6. Place in the oven and reduce oven temp to 350. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes or until the cheesecake has puffed slightly and center no longer jiggles when you shake the rack it sits on. Don’t over bake, it will firm up once it chills. Remove from oven (allow to stand at room temp until slightly cooled, about 10 minutes) refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 4 hours and up to 24. Cut into squares for serving
https://domesticfits.com/stout-soaked-cherry-cheesecake-with-pretzel-crust/

 

 Stout Soaked Cherry Cheesecake Bars with Pretzel Crust2

 

 

 

Chocolate Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart & Dealing with New Mom Fears

New Mom Fears:

Zombie Attacks, Rouge Wild Cats, Cannibals, & What To Do About Them


When you get pregnant, people love to warn you about what will be missing from your new life once the baby comes. "You’ll never sleep again!!" They laugh upon hearing the great news. "Have sex now while you can!" His friends will tell him. "You are going to be so broke, those little suckers are expensive!" as if you just bought a tanking stock against their best financial advice. 

What they don’t tell you is that you will worry constantly. About everything. An irrational, gut wrenching fear that is so far beyond the non-mom worries you once had, any other type of fear just seems absurd. Even rational, legitimate non-mom fears seem silly in the face of your completely irrational New Mom fears. Forget that old fear of getting mugged late at night in a parking garage that has always given you the creeps, what about a Zombie attack?! What would I do with the baby if there are Zombies? She’s like a tiny appetizer! Fear of getting cancer? Forget it, what if a Mountain Lion wanders into the house and wants to eat the baby! Again, she’s like a tasty little morsel! What would I do?! I need a plan! 

You know how insane you’re being. You know it’s crazy. But you can’t help it. Forget sleep and sex and money, the hardest part of being a new mom is the crazy worry that wraps itself around you like a Boa Constrictor and squeezes the air right out of your lungs (Oh No! Boa constrictors?! What would I do if I’m at the park and one of those things got a hold of the baby?! Do they have those in California? Must. Google. It.)

 


So, for the sake of my own sanity, and I have to admit that I’m sure I’m WAY crazier than most of you, I’ve devised a few rules to help me cope:

1. Don’t watch the news. Especially local news. No good can come of bored reporters looking to sensationalize a story. Just watch reruns of Friends instead. This also applies to clinking on that story of a dead/missing/maimed toddler on the front page of Yahoo news. Just don’t do it.

2. Use the phrase, "Does it end well?" when those friends and family members, who LOVE to relay to you the most tragic news, start to tell you about a story that they just heard. And if they even hesitate for a moment, yell in their face, "WHY ARE YOU TELLING A NEW MOM A STORY ABOUT A DEAD BABY??"  It’s therapeutic, I promise.

3. Sometimes you have to make a plan. Even though it’s insane and you know that you will never be adrift at sea after your plane crashes in the atlantic with a toddler and a group of hungry cannibals, sometimes it makes you feel better to just make a plan so that your mind can rest.

4. Dumber People than you have raised kids. Sounds harsh, right? It makes me feel better. When I hear stories about crack addicted mothers living on the streets, turning tricks in dirty hotel rooms while the 6 year old and a newborn baby are locked in the closet, most people think, "That’s awful! Those poor kids!" Not me, I think, "Well if she didn’t manage to get her kids killed or eaten by the ravenous undead, I think I have a pretty good shot!" When I feel like I barely have a 50/50 shot of getting my kid out of childhood alive and intact, it makes me feel better to think, "Dumber people than me have done it."

And when all else fails, bake. But watch those Hansel & Gretel nightmares, those will keep you up at night.


Chocolate Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart

Strawberry Beer Sorbet

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups beer (pale ale with notes of citrus)

Directions

  1. In a sauce pan over medium high heat, add the strawberries and the sugar. With a potato masher, or mallet, smash and stir the strawberries until well macerated and combined with the sugar.
  2. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, stirring and mashing until all the strawberries have broken down, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in the beer and allow to cool. (If you want to strain the pulp and seeds, do so now. I didn't strain.)
  4. Place the strawberry mixture in the refrigerator until completely cool, about 2 hours.
  5. Churn in your ice cream make according to manufactures specifications. Place in a freezer safe container and chill until ready to serve.
https://domesticfits.com/chocolate-strawberry-cream-cheese-tart/

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Chocolate Beer Cheesecake With A Pretzel Crust

Choosing a beer for a recipe isn’t as arbitrary as it may appear. It also isn’t difficult, but it does require thought and planning. Substituting your favorite beer in a recipe isn’t always a good idea, and may result in an end product that is nowhere near the intentions of the recipes author.

Where do you start? The recipe or the beer?

A fair question, and it’s a toss up. Which ever way you begin, the recipe or the beer, make sure to be mindful of the flavors. Dark beers go well with "dark" recipes. If that beer you want to cook with is a stout, look for a recipe that calls for "dark" ingredients: chocolate, beef, bacon, etc. If the beer you love is a Pilsner, look for a recipe with "light" ingredients, lemon, chicken, fish, etc. There is some room to move around with this rule, but finding complimentary flavors is the key to success when cooking with beer.

Be careful with IPA’s. It’s incredibly difficult to cook with high hop beers due to the fact that the hops reduce to a very bitter product. If you are in love with an IPA, or another high hop beer, strong starches and sugar mellow hops a bit. Try a pumpkin muffin, or a sweet potato pie. Or look for recipes where the beer won’t be reduced, like marinades, beermixology cocktails, or dips.

If the recipe is where you want to start, make note of the flavors and try to find a beer that mimics those. If you want to bake a chocolate dessert, for example, look for a beer with chocolate notes, or coffee, or malt. Look at the list of flavor notes that the beer has and try to imagine those in your dish. Most large chain retailers of craft beer (like BevMo or Total Wine) have cards near the beers that explain the flavors in that beer and give you a fairly accurate flavor profile. If you are making a chicken soup, for instance, you might look for a beer with lemon or basil notes, not a beer with coffee and caramel notes.

Now that you have had your crash course in beer recipe development, please, go cook your beer loving hearts out. And don’t forget to share.

For this recipe, I choose Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot. I had four craft beers, mostly stouts, that were in the running for this recipe, and all would have made great choices. In the end, it came down to a gut feeling. Lagunitas WTF won out, although loosly categories as a "brown? ale" and more hops that I would generally recommend for this recipe, the flavors of chocolate and malt were an incredible fit for this recipe. This is a beer to keep an eye out for, it’s smooth and bold and fantastic. A fabulous drinking and cooking beer.

A chocolate stout makes an excellent choice for this recipe as well. I’ve made it with both and although I love the WTF, a chocolate stout seems to give more consistent results as far as a general beer style.

If you can’t get your grubby little hands on some WTF, a stout with notes of chocolate would make a great substitution.

Chocolate Beer Cheesecake With A Pretzel Crust

Chocolate Beer Cheesecake With A Pretzel Crust

Ingredients

    For the Crust:
  • 4 standard sized graham crackers
  • 1 cup pretzel rods
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 3 tbs melted butter, unsalted
  • For the filling:
  • 7 oz dark chocolate (60%)
  • 1 cup Chocolate Stout (or Laguanitas WTF)
  • 3, 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 salt
  • 1 tbs espresso powder
  • For the Sour Cream Topping:
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbs Lagunitas WTF

Directions

  1. Place one oven rack in the middle position, with one rack below. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. In a food processor add the graham crackers, brown sugar and the pretzels and process until it's the consistency of crumbs. Turn the food processor on, remove the stopper from the lid and slowly add the butter and process until it resembles wet sand.
  3. Coat the inside of a 9 inch spring form pan with butter. Pour the crust into the spring form pan. Using the bottom of a heavy, flat bottom glass, press the crust very well into the bottom of the pan until well compacted.
  4. In a pot over medium high heat, add the beer and the chocolate, stir until melted and remove from heat. Allow to cool.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the cream cheese and the sugar and mix until smooth. One at a time, add the eggs, scraping the bottom of the bowl between additions. Pour the cooled chocolate into the mixer and beat until well combined. Lift the head of the mixer and sprinkle the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt over the batter, stir on low speed until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan over the crust.
  7. Place the pan in the oven in the middle position. Place a baking dish on the rack below the cheesecake, fill with water.
  8. If you have experience with a water bath, feel free to use that technique instead of the water pan below the cheesecake.
  9. Bake the cheesecake until the center just slightly jiggles, but doesn't slosh, when you shake the rack, about 60-75 minutes. This isn't a situation where a tooth pick inserted in the middle should come out clean, you just need the center to set and it will continue to set as it cools. Remove from oven.
  10. For the sour cream topping: add the ingredients to a bowl and whisk until well combined. Top the cheesecake with the sour cream topping and return to the oven for 8 minutes. Remove cheesecake and chill in the pan until ready to serve, at least 3 hours.
https://domesticfits.com/chocolate-beer-cheesecake-with-a-pretzel-crust/

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Bruleed Blood Orange and Ricotta Mini Cheesecakes

That miniature cheesecake pan I have has begun to taunt me from my kitchen.

Reminding me that my previous reasons for not making cheesecake, namely my drive to avoid having an entire huge cheesecake in my fridge, is now void.

Small, adorable cheesecakes and the ability to "test" a recipe without having to deal with an entire HUGE cheesecake.

And I had an unsightly amount of homemade ricotta after deciding that I should not just make one batch, but I really needed to make two because it was so much better than anything I have ever bought in the grocery store.

All willpower was lost once I remembered the blood oranges I had.

And then I began to wonder how that delicious sour cream topping, that you are sometimes lucky enough to find on top of a cheesecake, would taste if you made it with ricotta.

Then I decided that it needed the crunch of a bruleed sugar crust on top.

I really just don’t know when to stop.


Bruleed Blood Orange and Ricotta Miniature Cheesecakes

I used the Chicago Metallics Miniature Cheesecake pan, and this recipe made 12. You can also use a standard muffin tin lined with cupcake papers, this recipe will make about 6. If you want to make a standard sized cheesecake in a spring-form pan, I would suggest that you triple the recipe. 

Crust:

4 standard sized graham crackers (about 3/4 cup crushed)

2 tbs brown sugar

3 tbs melted butter

Cheesecake:

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup ricotta

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tbs orange zest

1/4 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice

Topping:

1/3 cup ricotta

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla

Plus 2 tbs granulated sugar for the brulee crust

Preheat oven to 375.

In a food processor, add the graham crackers and brown sugar, process until nothing is left but crumbs. Add the butter and process until it resembles wet sand, adding more butter or graham crackers if necessary to achieve the right consistency. 

Place metal disks into place in the bottom of each slot. Spray with butter flavored cooking spray.

Place about 1 tbs of crust into the bottom each Cheesecake slot. Press very well into place until compacted. 

Place the cream cheese and ricotta in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high until well combined. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar beat on high until creamed. Add the egg, orange juice, and zest and beat until well combined, scraping the bottom of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are well combined. 

Spoon the batter on top of the crust, filling the cheesecake slots until 3/4 of the way full. 

Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until the cheesecakes no longer giggle in the middle when the rack is shaken. This is not a situation where "a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean."

Allow to cool for 20 minutes before attempting to remove from pan. 

Once cool, press upward in the hole on the bottom of the pan. Disk should remove easily. 

Once the cheesecakes cool, they will sink in the center, this is normal.

In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, powdered sugar and vanilla until well combined. 

Top each cheesecake with enough ricotta mixture to fill to hole in the center until level.

Chill until ready to serve, at least on hour. 

Just prior to serving, sprinkle an even layer of granulated sugar over each cheesecake. 

Slowly pass a kitchen torch over the sugar until it melts into a liquid and becomes a golden brown. 

Be careful, sugar burns are super nasty and hurt like a mother. 

Seriously. 

Don’t brulee the sugar until just prior to serving, the sugar will start to turn to liquid after about an hour.

 

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