Friday, March 27, 2009

Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake

My husband, bless his soul, doesn't eat cake. No matter how I make it, no matter who enjoys it, he does not eat cake. His real hearts desire is cheesecake! This is the one I made for his birthday this year, which was a hit with all of our guests!


  • 2 c. chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1/4 white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 oz. squares semisweet chocolate
  • 1/4 c. + 2 TBS whipping cream
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c. espresso**
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 2 TBS confectioners sugar
  • 2 TBS coffee-flavored liqueur


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 or 10 inch spring form pan. (I use cooking spray but butter works well too).
  2. Combine the chocolate wafer crumbs, softened butter, 1/4 c. sugar, and the cinnamon. Mix well and press the mixture into the prepared spring form pan. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup white sugar, mixing until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating at a low speed until smooth.
  4. Melt the 8 oz. of semi sweet chocolate in a double boiler. When the chocolate is melted and slightly cooled, add 2 TBS of whipping cream; remove from heat and beat until smooth.
  5. Add chocolate mixture to cream cheese mixture and blend well. Stir in sour cream, salt, espresso, and vanilla; beat until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
  6. Bake in the center of the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. The center will look undercooked, but will firm up when chilled. DO NOT OVER BAKE. Leave the cake in the oven with the heat turned off and the door a jar for 45 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and chill for 12 hours.
  7. To make the flavored whip cream, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add confectioners sugar and 2 TBS coffee liqueur. (do not make flavored whip cream ahead of time)
  8. Just before serving, top the cheesecake with mounds of flavored whip cream. Garnish with chocolate curls if desired.

**if you don't have an espresso machine, you can substitute 2 tsp of instant coffee that's been dissolved in 1/4 c. of hot water.

Birthday Barbeque

So, my wonderful husband turned 35 yesterday! And while we enjoyed taking him out to dinner, I think we're all anticipating our barbecue that we have planned on Sunday to celebrate with our family and friends.

This year we decided to do a Mexican themed food spread. Our menu will consist of Carne Asada Tacos, Mexican Corn on the Cob, Cocktel de Camaron, Sweet Corn Cake, and a yummy Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake (yes, not Mexican at all, but my husband's favorite!). Family and friends will be bringing food too, but this is what will be keeping me in the kitchen for the next two days!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese

Everyone has a favorite recipe. Mine comes from my friend Miranda. She's not the original creator, but I'm giving her credit!! This is creamy and cheesy and really yummy, a definite family pleaser (even for my kids, who don't usually enjoy onions!)


  • 14 oz. elbow macaroni (or mini penne) 
  • 2 cans (11.5 oz.) cheddar cheese soup
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 6 oz. can of French Fried Onions (the cheddar ones are extra yummy!)
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Use cooking spray to grease the bottom of 2 qt (8x8x2) casserole dish (it will stick if you don't). Mix the milk, cheddar cheese soup, and 2.5 cups of cheddar cheese.  Then add the pasta and add to your prepared dish. This can be made up to 24 hours in advance, just refrigerate until ready to cook. If refrigerated first, mix before putting into oven.
  2. Bake covered for one hour. Then remove cover, add French Fried Onions, and the remaining cheese on top and cook for another 20 minutes uncovered. Makes 4 to 6 servings.