Thursday, December 12, 2013

American Cheesecake

Unable to find pecans for pecan pie or pumpkin for pumpkin pie, she decided to make an American cheesecake for Thanksgiving. American cheesecake is quite different from German cheesecake. It is much creamier and more sweet than savory.

She couldn't remember any of the recipes she has used in the past, so she tried this one. The cheesecake part came out great but she was not so impressed with the crust. This could have been because she had to use German crackers instead of Graham crackers or maybe it just was not a great recipe (not sweet enough for her!). However, with some experimenting, we believe this recipe can definitely be first class in the future!

One large cheesecake (large!!!)

~ 15 Graham crackers (she used Vollkorn crackers here in Germany)
2 Tbs butter

4 (8oz) packages of cream cheese (important to use Philadelphia in Germany)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbs vanilla
1/4 cup flour

Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) and get out a 9 inch springform pan

In a bowl, crumble the Graham crackers(quite fine) and add the 2 Tbs melted butter.

Once combined, push the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan.

Set aside and use a new bowl and mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. This was the first recipe that she used the new hand mixer and it made it so much easier than doing everything by hand!

Add the milk and eggs, mixing between each addition. Finally, mix in the sour cream, vanilla and flour.

Pour the filling (making sure it is smooth) onto the spread out cracker mixture.

Bake for one hour. After one hour, turn off the oven but DON'T OPEN THE DOOR! Let the cheesecake sit in the turned off oven for a few hours to keep it from cracking (or so the experts say, she let hers sit for more than 3 hours and it still had a huge crack).

Remove from oven after cooled and refrigerate until serving. This is when it is beneficial to live somewhere cold because we can use our balcony as an extra refrigerator :)

She served the cheesecake plain, but you can add a fruit topping or something else that makes it look fancy (and covers up any cracks).


Monday, December 9, 2013

Pickled Eggplant and Zucchini

When we translate the name of these recipes from German into English they say pickled, however, picked brings up the wrong images for us. Really these are thin slices of eggplant and zucchini, cooked in olive oil with garlic. We made these in about ten minutes, instead of the suggest hours and hours of cooking and marinating, so the least we can do is keep the recipe's name.

We made this for his birthday and could have made a lot more because it was gone quite quickly.

What you need:
1 zucchini
1 eggplant
3-4 cloves garlic
fresh parsley
a good amount of olive oil
balsamic vinegar (we used about 2 Tbs)

Wash the zucchini and eggplant and cut off both ends. Cut in thin slices. We thought they looked nicer being cut longways, but there is no reason you can't make small round pieces.

Dice the garlic and heat in a pan with a healthy amount of olive oil (a little more than just a thin covering). Heat this over medium-high.

Add each slice and cook on each side until cooked through and nice and oily. Remove from the heat, drizzle balsamic on top, and sprinkle with salt and some parsley.

Play around with what tastes good to you. With that much oil you can't really go wrong!