Butterscotch Tiramisu Cheesecake ~ easy and gorgeous too!

I wanted a special dessert for my grandkids combined birthday celebration because they are teenagers now.  And, I wanted something that not only tasted wonderful, but looked special too.  I found the original one on The Painted Apron's blog and fell in love with her presentation.  Mine is adapted, but just as nice I think.

This is a very easy cake to do and I made mine the night before and left it in a spring form pan overnight in the fridge.  The next day, I easily transported it to my oldest son's house.  Then I released the sides and tied my bow on it.  It was a huge hit.   But for me, I found it a tad sweet and I love chocolate so this lovely and easy cake wouldn't be my choice.  However, if you have teenagers or men in the house, they loved it!

Here's how to make it.

24 soft ladyfingers
4 T. melted butter, cooled
2 T. Cointreau liquor

Cheesecake/Tiramisu filling:
4 - 8oz. pkgs. of cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup of white sugar
4 eggs
2 T. Cointreau
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of butterscotch chips, plus more for the top decoration

Toast 12 split ladyfingers in an 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Watch after 7 minutes, so they don't burn.  Remove from oven.

Place toasted ladyfingers in food processer along with melted butter and 2 T. Cointreau.  Pulse until medium crumbs.  Press into the bottom of a sprayed 9 inch spring form pan. 

Place the rest of the split ladyfingers on the sides of the spring form pan, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using a paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and white sugar together.  Add sour cream, brown sugar and remaining Cointreau.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Pour half the batter into the spring form pan (no need to measure).  It's okay if it's not perfectly half the batter.  Sprinkle the butterscotch chips in one layer over the batter.

Pour the rest of the batter over the top of the butterscotch chips and place in the oven for 55-60 minutes.  It will still jiggle in the middle a little.  Shut off oven, open door ajar for 1/2 hr.  Then remove the cake from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for another 1/2 hr.  Place a row of butterscotch chips around the outside edge of the cheesecake.

At this point, you can place a piece of plastic wrap to cover the cake refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.  Unmold sides.

I served it with Curtis Stone's Butterscotch sauce on the side.   But before I did, I tied it up with a pretty ribbon for a special night!

I'm joining the lovely Michele Lee West at Rattlebridge Farm, Foodie Friday....


Curried coconut cauliflower soup ~

It's soup weather again.... not my favorite time of year, but I love to be back in the kitchen again chopping and cooking.

And I love soup any time of the year, but the best time for me is now.  The weather is cool, the leaves have turned and I can add color to my dishes that our cold weather took away from our yards and gardens.

This soup is an adaption of one I found on foodgawker.  Their blogger put parsnips in it and I didn't have any, so I added a diced potato.  I thought the potato would add some creaminess to the soup without the extra calories of well, cream!

Here's the recipe.  The lime and cilantro brightens the flavors really well and makes it a very easy and delicious little meal.  Just add a salad to round it out and perhaps a slice of fresh bread. 

1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 granny smith apple, pealed and chopped
1 medium potato, diced (doesn't matter what kind)
1 large stalk of celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 15 ounce can of coconut milk
2 cups of chicken stock
1 whole lime, juiced
2 Tablespoons of fresh cilantro chopped
1 tsp. of curry powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 small pinch of nutmeg (optional)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt, divided

In a dutch oven, heat oil on medium.  Add onion and 1/2 tsp. of kosher salt.  Saute for 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and wilted.
Add the celery, potato, cauliflower, apple, curry powder and salt. Stir and sauté for 5 minutes, turning it down to low if need be. (depends on your stove)
Add stock, coconut milk and bring to a simmer.  Turn stove on low and partially cover.  Let simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir in nutmeg and turmeric.  Turn off stove and let sit for another ten minutes and when it's cool enough use an immersion blender to make it smooth.  Add cilantro, lime juice and stir.  Adjust seasonings if needed.


A sunset I captured at a friend's lakehouse in NH.  I love how the lake looks like glass.  Sad to say good bye to summer!

I'm joining Michael Lee West at Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday today ~

Penang Curry ~ Easy & yummy!

This curry tastes like restaurant quality, but it doesn't have all the labor intensive spices and ingredients that makes it practically impossible to do in a short time.  However, you won't notice the short cut in it's flavor.  This recipe short cut was given to me as a  tip by a Thai chef, who uses this short cut all the time.   And it tastes fabulous!

The tip she gave me comes in a can (sshh), Maesri Penang Curry paste.  It's the size of a can of tuna and it's packed with flavor.  I got my can at an Asian market, but check your ethnic section in your grocery store.  Or Amazon does carry it too.  Even if it doesn't say Penang Curry, look for any yellow curry paste. 

Add the contents of the can of paste to a medium sized stockpot, and pour in 1 can of coconut milk (15 oz).  Fill the coconut milk can with water and add that to the stockpot.  Bring to a simmer, add large diced chicken breast and simmer for 15 minutes on low.  Add a pinch of red pepper and shut of the stove.  You can serve it above as is, sprinkled with chopped green onion. Of course, it's even better with good Naan bread to sop up some of the sauce. 

Or  you can add sliced red pepper along with your chicken to cook and serve over cooked basmati rice.  Add a sprinkle of of cilantro at the end. 

It's wonderful either way and it tastes really yummy.

Enjoy ~

I'm linking to Rattlebridge Farm's  Foodie Friday here ~


Cucumber and Avocado Summer Rolls with homemade Peanut Dipping Sauce ~

I love ordering these rolls in an Asian restaurant.  I love the flavor of the dipping sauce too, it's yummy.  I knew I wanted to try and make these at home, they looked so easy to do.  But, I heard people say that working with the rice paper was tricky, or a pain to work with.  I am here to tell you that it is not.  It's almost easy.  The only little tricky part, is not to walk away leaving the rice paper in the bowl of water.  As a matter of fact, feel the rice paper with your fingers all around when you place one in the bowl.  You will feel how stiff they are.  Then in about 15 to 20 seconds, they turn pliable.  And that's when they are ready.  You just lift them up and out of the water, holding it over the bowl to let the excess water drip for a few seconds.  Then spread it out on your waiting towel and it will be good to go.  Another tip is to roll them kind of tightly, just like a burrito, rolling the sides in as you go.  You'll keep them together better and they will look neat and pretty.

Here's the recipe:

    Cucumber and Avocado Summer Rolls
    (adapted from Williams Sonoma 2008)
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sugar 
  • 1 Tbs.. soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (I used Planters)
  • 2  avocados
  • 20 rice paper rounds, 6 or 8 inches in diameter (I used the one with a Red Rose on front of pkg)
  • Leaves from 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded (I used the large setting on a box grater) 
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled & cut into thin strips


In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce and sugar until the sugar dissolves; set aside.

Halve, pit and peel the avocados, and then cut them into thin slices.

Place a wide, shallow bowl of warm water on a work surface. Lay a clean kitchen towel next to the bowl. Dip 1 rice paper round into the water for about 20 seconds to soften, then lay it flat on the towel. . Using another towel, pat the top of the rice paper dry.

Center a lettuce leaf on top of the stacked rice paper. Starting about one-third in from the edge closest to you, arrange a few of the basil leaves in a line across the lettuce. Top with a small row each of the carrot, cucumber and avocado; be careful not to overstuff the roll. Lift the bottom edge of the rice paper up and over the filling and then roll once to form a tight cylinder. Fold in the sides of the rice paper and continue to roll the paper and filling into a tight cylinder. Set aside, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rice paper and filling ingredients to make 10 rolls.

Cut each roll in half crosswise and arrange, cut side up, on a platter. Place the sauce alongside for dipping and serve immediately. Makes 20 rolls; serves 8 to 10.

Here's a picture I took of a hay field in NH, last week.  Fall is such a gorgeous time in New England, nothing quite like it.  Wouldn't you agree?

I've joined the lovely people at Rattlebridge Farms for Foodie Friday ~


Thai inspired soup ~ Red pepper, red lentil, carrots....

This soup is adapted from jillyinspired's website, I bumped into it while visiting Foodgawker.  I really liked reading about the twist of spices and flavors in this soup, but the color is what really caught my eye. And the use of cinnamon and ginger instead of cumin intrigued me. Hmmm, how would it be for a savory soup?  It turned out great and it's really a delicious little soup.  Plus you don't really detect the cinnamon, more of a warmth than anything else, not that I don't love cinnamon, but think of it more for desserts.  I did add a pinch of red pepper at the end of cooking, thought that would help with any hint of sweetness.  So it has a bit of a kick to it, but it's not overpowering at all.

And this soup is really easy to make, so that gets lots of points in my book. Oh,  it's also low fat and low in calories, a nice little bonus.

Here's the recipe:

1&1/4 cup of red lentils (I used Goya)
1 cup of carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 large red pepper
1 Tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 T. canola oil (I used grapeseed)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 jalepeno pepper, small diced
4 cups of chicken stock
1/3 cup of coconut milk (I use TJ's light)
1/2 fresh lime juice

Roast pepper either in oven at 450 F., for 15 minutes or under the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes.  Place in plastic baggie and set aside.  After it cools, peel skin off pepper and chop.

In a large dutch oven, sauté the onions and carrots on medium low heat for about 5 minutes.  Stir, every once in a while, you don't want the onions to brown, just wilt.  Add the jalapeno pepper, stir and cook for 1 more minute.  Add four cups of chicken stock, bring to a boil and turn down to low.  Add lentils, red pepper and ginger and cinnamon, stir and cover for about 25 to 30 minutes.  Take off stove, stir and let cool for ten minutes.  Use an immersion blender to make the soup as smooth as you like.  Add 1/3 cup coconut milk and stir.  Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 lime at the end of cooking.  Let sit for 5 minutes and adjust seasonings.

I'm joining the lovely gals over on Foodie Friday today....