A dessert with the holidays written all over it… white chocolate, cream cheese and cranberries. These last ones, look like jewels on top of it all.
Easy to make and fancy to the eyes. I brought it to a day-after-Thanksgiving get-together and my friends ate it all before I had a chance to take a good picture of it.
Is that enough proof on how good this is???
WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE WITH CRANBERRIES
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
½ stick butter, melted
8oz cream cheese
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla powder
1 ½ tsp egg replacer + 2 tbs water
¼ cup half and half
½ cup white chocolate chips
¼ cup dried cranberries
- Use the wrapper of the butter stick to grease the bottom and sides of a 5” x 7” baking dish.
- I break a few graham crackers in the bowl of my food processor. Process it until I get fine crumbs. I measure to make sure I have 1 cup of crumbs and return the measured crumbs to the food processor. Add the melted butter and pulse a few times to combine. It should be the texture and consistency of damp sand. Add the mixture to the buttered baking dish and pat the crumbs to the bottom of the dish and a bit to the sides.
- Bake in a 400F oven for about 10 minutes to create a nice crust base for our cheesecake. When the crust is golden brown, take out of the oven and chill for a few minutes to cool down as much as possible.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350F.
- In the meantime, let’s create the filling…
- In a bowl mix together using a hand mixer the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, egg replacer mixed with water, and half and half. Blend well until it becomes a smooth mixture. Add most of the white chocolate chips and cranberries and mix in using a spatula.
- When the crust has cooled, pour the cheesy white chocolate mixture on top of the crust. Decorate the top with the remaining white chocolate and cranberries. Bake in oven for about 25 mins. When the time has elapsed, turn the oven off, but leave the cheesecake in the oven for 10-15 additional minutes.
Take out of the oven and let it cool in a wire rack, so air can circulate from all sides. Refrigerate for about 2 hours for the cheesecake to set completely.
When you’re trying to lead a gluten-free lifestyle, even if it’s once in a while, I need to get creative…
I love cold cereal in the morning, but most of my favorite options include some sort of wheat component. And after a few days, plain old oatmeal can get a tad boring. I know…
Bring some spark to your mornings with carob and cranberries. It’s just as easy as making regular oatmeal, just a few extra ingredients and VOILA!
CAROB OATMEAL WITH CRANBERRIES
1 ½ cups almond milk
4 tbs quick cooking oatmeal
½ tbs carob powder
¼ tsp salt
2 heaping tbs brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla powder
1/3 cup dried cranberries
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat add the almond milk and season it with the sugar, vanilla powder, carob powder and salt. Mix together to combine well. Immediately after, add the oatmeal. Mix well again and partially cover allowing an opening for you to see the milk and how it’s coming to temperature.
- When the milk starts to boil, in about 2-3 minutes, stir everything to combine and allow all the boiling to subside a bit. Lower the temperature of the stove to low and continue to cook partially covered.
- After about 5-6 minutes of cooking, you’ll see the oatmeal starts to thicken a bit, but not quite done yet. I cover completely. Count to 10 and turn off the stove. Turn it off and walk away. Don’t look, don’t peek… just walk away.
- After about 15 minutes of letting the oatmeal stand, it’s done. I usually let it stand for about 30 minutes to allow it to be a tad cooler.
- Add the cranberries right before you’ll eat it to add a special chew and sweetness.
I firmly believe that God or the Universe, however you prefer to say it, puts the right people in our path for us to learn and grow… And Annie Mariel has been a real blessing in my life. It’s as if God, in his all-knowingness, understands and knows exactly the type of person you need in your life at a certain time in your life.
We got along almost immediately since we met each other about 5 yrs ago in a conversational French class. We have lots of things in common – we’re both consultants, we both enjoy anything French, we both enjoy to travel, we follow yoga and spiritual practices, we are both vegetarians… bueno, almost vegetarians because Annie Mariel still eats seafood and shellfish on occasion. But she gets my idiosyncrasies of being vegetarian. She has passed on to me her love of running and we even applied to run the Amazing Race together… (oh boy!!!)
Annie Mariel is a great supporter and fan of KarmaFree Cooking… and for my last supper of 2012 she wanted to contribute by bringing a salad. She knew I was going to cook pasta. She asked me to make it as light as possible, so I pleased her by making the sauce all tomato, instead of mixing it with some cream or half and half, like I like to do on other recipes. She told me she would surprise me with the salad… and that she did.
This salad had a little bit of everything… and it was delicious! I asked Annie Mariel if I could feature her salad in KarmaFree Cooking and she agreed. I hope I make her proud. Try it for yourself…
ANNIE MARIEL’S COMPOSED SALAD
Sliced Red Onions
Crumbled Blue Cheese
Toasted Almond Slices
Crispy Fried Onions
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
- In a large bowl add all the ingredients. Toss lightly to combine
- Dress the salad with vinaigrette.
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Sal and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Place all the ingredients in a empty glass or mason jar. Shake well to combine. Let rest for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to combine well.
- Serve on top of your favorite salad.
It’s been a few years now that I gift Cranberry Preserves as a Xmas gift. People love it…
Cranberry juice is popular here in Puerto Rico, but eating fresh cranberries is not. I usually get asked by EVERY cashier at the supermarket every time I buy the Ocean Spray bags of fresh cranberries what do I make with them. It’s super weird… I usually explain to them that I make a jelly with them… but now I can also mention that I make these trifles too… which will bring us to a different dilemma with them – explaining what’s a trifle?
I like this recipe because it makes use of any leftover cranberry preserves you might have from Thanksgiving and looks super pretty too. We made them last in wine glasses, but you can certainly make them in a large trifle dish too. I got the inspiration for this dish from the Everyday Food December 2008 issue. I like it because you can prepare some parts ahead, buy some others and just assemble… and if you purchase the pound cakes, no baking necessary.
2 cups of cranberry preserves – recipe here
1 loaf of pound cake – or make this recipe for egg-less yellow cake here… – cut up into 1” cubes
1 tub of whipped topping
½ cup passion fruit juice
- In your preferred presentation dish assemble first a layer of the cranberry preserves at the bottom.
- Then place a layer of cake cubes. Dampen them with a little passion fruit juice using a pastry brush.
- Place a layer of cranberry preserves on top of the layer of cake.
- Place a layer of whipped topping on top of cranberries.
- Continue layering this same way until you reach the top of the dish you’re serving it in… finishing with the whipped topping.
Place in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving. This will allow the flavors to mix in together.
Using my Cranberry Preserves recipe, I decided to try it in a dip. People flipped when they tried it.
It looks like frozen yogurt, but it’s only my Cranberry Preserves recipe and mixed it with cream cheese. That’s it. Tastes sweet and looks like the holidays. Enjoy!
CREAMY CRANBERRY DIP
1/4 cup of Cranberry Preserves recipe
4oz cream cheese, you can use the 1/3 less fat kind
- Mix Cranberry Preserves jelly with the cream cheese in a food processor.
- Garnish with a bit of the cranberry preserves jelly on top… so people know what’s in it.
Serve with your favorite cracker.