Irish Cream Cheesecake

Irish Cream Cheesecake recipe

Cheesecake is probably our favorite dessert.  We opted for a Key Lime Cheesecake when we got married instead of the traditional dry wedding cake that is often served. There’s just something about the creamy sweet feel of cheesecake.

I have made it several times, but it takes some time and patience. I am not always patient.  It may be because cheesecake can be difficult. It’s not impossible, it just takes a gentle touch and a lot of prayers.  I think the hardest part is baking it so it doesn’t crack.  Cracks just ruin the visual.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day I thought I would share my recipes for Irish Cream Cheesecake. It’s a delicious treat and one I haven’t made in a long while.

Irish Cream Cheesecake

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 1hour and 20 minutes

Ready in:  1 1/2 hours and 20 minutes

You need 1 9 inch spring form pan for this recipe.

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs

1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup butter (melted)

3 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese softened

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

3 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

For the crust:  In a large bowl mix the cookie crumbs, confectioner’s sugar and 1/3 cup cocoa. Add the melted butter and stir til well mixed. Pat into the bottom of the spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes then set aside.

Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees ( 230 degrees C)

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, white sugar, flour and 1/4 cup cocoa. Beat at a medium speed until well blended and smooth. One at a time add the eggs, mixing well after each one, but not over worked. On a low speed blend in the sour cream and Irish cream liqueur. Poor over the baked crust.

Place the spring form pan in a large roasting pan, then pour water into the pan to half way up the spring form pan. This will help keep the cheesecake from cracking.

Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temp to 250 and bake for another 60 minutes.

When you remove it, loosen the cake from the rim of the pan with a knife. Let it cool and remove the rim.  Chill before serving. If it cracks on you, you can take a damp spatula and smooth the crack then dust with chocolate cookie crumbs.

You can serve this with some fresh whipped cream or a drizzle of chocolate sauce.  It is really good!

Serve this up with a cup of Irish Coffee.

Sláinte

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Peanut Butter Cheese Cake Parfaits

peanut butter cheese cake parfaits

I have a sweet tooth and dessert is my favorite meal after breakfast.  Let’s face it though, desserts are a rare treat.  If I bake something sweet every week, I am the one to eat a majority of it. The last thing I need is to make a batch of brownies that will go mostly uneaten, or show up on my hips.  This year I opted to experiment with dessert recipes that are perfect for two.

I found a recipe for a low carb peanut butter cheesecake pie and realized I could adjust it with ease.   If there’s two things that this house loves it’s peanut butter and cheesecake. (we had a cheesecake wedding cake)  This recipe combines both of these making it an a winner .

The best part is its only 5 ingredients.

You will need:

½ cup of creamy peanut butter

4 oz of cream cheese

½ cup cool whip

8 Biscoff cookies crushed.

1 ½ tbsp of sugar

In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, sugar and cream cheese.  Fold in the cool whip until it’s well incorporated.

In small dessert cups, layer cookie crumbs, then peanut butter mixture, more crumbs and more peanut butter.  Cover the cups and freeze for up to an hour.  Serve chilled with a dollop of cool whip or fresh whipped cream.

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How we met

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Sometimes that perfect first date turns into the last first date you will ever have. That’s exactly what happened to us 24 years ago today.  I quietly pursued him for a month before he got the hint and asked me out to dinner. We were in college and dinner dates then usually meant some chain restaurant, but not this time.

He took me to a five star restaurant, where men wore jackets and ties and women dressed too.  He actually called me a few days before to let me know he would be wearing a jacket, just so I had a heads up to dress up for the evening too.  Call me impressed. Honestly, that was the type of restaurant I was accustom too, and that’s not to say I was or am a snob, it’s just family dinners out were usually five star affairs.

The restaurant was an old house converted to a restaurant and popular with Monday Night Football announcers. We were a few minutes early and waited in the bar. I recall being in awe of how beautiful the place was. Let’s face it, I am a sucker for pretty wallpaper, original wood finishes, and beautiful details. As I stood there taking it all in, he leaned over and kissed me gently on the cheek. It was very sweet and my fondest memory of the evening.

We talked all night, at dinner and back at my dorm room. We just clicked.

Two days later, back in class, things were a tad awkward. Neither of us knew why, though. The next day we went to grab a bite after class and haven’t been apart since.  The strange awkwardness was gone.

It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I found out he had spotted me in class the day before I met him in another class we had together. He pointed me out to a friend and said, “See that girl in the front, I bet I could date her”.  At our wedding I told that same friend “See that guy over there, I bet I could marry him”.

Since then we have had many adventures together.  We packed up our lives in Massachusetts and moved to Florida with nothing lined up but a place to live. We explored Key West, St. Augustine, and Yellowstone. We’ve been camping and white water rafting. We have helped great causes together, and found our shared creative outlets.  We’ve met wonderful people from diverse backgrounds that have enriched our lives.  We’ve had our share of ups and downs but always weathered the storms together.  Every day is an adventure.

Tonight, I am making us a wonderful dinner with a decadent dessert to celebrate 24 years of friendship and love.  Here’s to 24 more…..

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Edible Cookie Dough

edible cookie dough

I admit it, I like raw chocolate chip cookie dough. I know, I know, it’s the worst thing in the world to eat raw. The eggs pose a salmonella threat, and there’s a risk of getting violently sick.  Still, sneaking a bite or two is always an inevitability when I make chocolate chip cookies.  So, imagine finding an eggless cookie dough recipe that is meant to be eaten raw and not baked.

At first I was excited and then rather skeptical. The only way to find out if the cookie dough was worth any effort was to try it. So, I set out last night to give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised.

It’s a decent substitute for the regular cookie dough, despite a grainy texture.  The grainy texture wasn’t quite as noticeable after it was chilled for a bit.  Overall, it gets two thumbs up from me.

It’s fairly easy to whip up with only a handful of ingredients.

Edible Cookie Dough Recipe

You will need:

1 cup of flour

a pinch of salt

3/4 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup of butter, softened

1/4 cup of milk

1/4 tsp of vanilla

1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Directions:

Start by creaming the sugar and butter in a medium bowl with a hand mixer.  Then add in the vanilla and milk. Next, slowly add the flour and salt. Lastly, stir in the chocolate chips.

Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

Enjoy with a spoon.

This would be a perfect treat for girls night in, or a kids sleep over.  Heck, I would keep it on hand for that sweet treat craving.

The next time I make it, I may try adding unsweet cocoa to it to give it a little more chocolaty goodness.  You could also switch out the chocolate chips for peanut butter morsels, or butterscotch chips.  This is one recipe that can be played with a little and will still be a sweet treat.  Healthy? Absolutely not.

 

 

 

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Unveiling of the RH Tampa Gallery

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A week or two ago I had the opportunity to attend the unveiling party of the new RH Tampa Gallery. The party was amazing, with hand passed appetizers, a wine bar, Peach Bellinis, and a vintage candy bar. They brought in a great Indi band, Larkin Poe to perform and had a DJ spinning tunes on another floor. Ok, I was impressed with the party, but honestly, I was more impressed with the new 60,000 square foot gallery. OMG…. swoon worthy, inspiration and gorgeous layouts forever.

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As you approach the space you’ll notice the big iron gates framing a courtyard in front of the main entrance. You’re greeted by a very open space with a furniture staged as welcoming living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms. Throughout the first floor they feature what they refer to as Restoration Hardware classic, or their standard transitional collection. Just opposite the entry is a grand staircase that takes you up through the three other floors, where you will see RH Modern, RH Baby & Child, RH Teen and then RH Outdoors. It’s amazing

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The next day I was invited to attend the ribbon cutting and a press round table with their CEO. I had to laugh when their CEO, Gary Friedman, was relating the story of having contractors rip down a ceiling to move a light fixture a mere six inches. Most the crowd seemed to think it was overkill, but when it comes to impeccable design perfection is everything. If a fixture needs to be moved, it needs to be moved. Everything was in place and stunning to look at.

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I didn’t realize that they have 92 different leathers, and over 100 different fabrics. All of it was on display in their new Design Ateliers. Their design service is free, and you can bring your own designer, or work with one of theirs. It struck me though, that their colors all seem to coordinate with each other, as if their overall available scheme is limited to a few neutrals and not a lot of pops of color. RH_leathers

None of their stock is cash and carry. Each piece, from curtains to bedding to small accessories are ordered and shipped to you from the store. For me, if I buy towels I want to walk out of the store with them. Furniture, I understand has to be shipped. It’s a bit bulky unless it’s flat packed like Ikea, but then if that’s what you are looking for you won’t be at RH for it.

The grand staircase is breathtaking. As you stand on the first floor and look up, you’ll notice 23 identical chandeliers hung from the fourth floor down. It’s a sight to see. I tried to capture it, it just doesn’t do it justice though. It’s unfortunately a little blurry. It may have been the three glasses of wine I had before I realized the magnificent touch the chandeliers offer.

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It was quite the experience.  RH Tampa is a great new gem for the city and surrounding areas. It’s nice to know with the housing market rebounding there will be a lot opportunity for RH.  I am sure I will be back there for a dose or two of inspiration…..

 

 

 

 

 

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