So You Said to Yourself You Wanna be a Foodie

Monday, July 19, 2010

When I haphazardly (no, that's probably a lie) decided I wanted to be more of a foodie,
foodie: n. syn. epicure. a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment. (especially good food & drink)
and consider going back to school to train as a chef, I failed to realize that waistlines
would reflect my efforts.

Things that kill working out constantly & making progress at the gym are:
1. Watching cooking shows 24/7 & trying out just about everything watched.
2. Spending insane amounts of time in the "Food" sections of bookstores.
3. Perusing food websites/recipe books & then experimenting in my kitchen.
4. Going on vacation for a week to Spain & engorging in all kinds of festively cultural goodies.
5. Finding an American food store in London one week prior to said food vacation.
6. Finding an American food store website prior to the London American food store.
7. Homemade no-bake cheesecake.

Since Spain, I kind of took an unplanned hiatus from food experimentation. Opting for quick foods instead of really duking it out & coming up with some fantastic new things. Instead, I've picked up some new habits: working on a book I'm writing for a MA project and applying for jobs. Not as thrilling, but both necessary.

In a moment of weakness a few nights ago, I gave in to the urge and hunkered down in the kitchen (for all of thirty minutes) and whipped up one of my favorite desserts: no bake cheesecake. It's such a simple, rich dessert and I needed something to hit my sweet tooth, plus, I missed the monotony of measure, pour, mix, wash et cetera et cetera of the kitchen.

The best thing about this cheesecake is the super-easy base. Yum yum. It's only brown sugar, walnuts, pecans, butter and flour but it's amazing. Sometimes I pulse the ingredients in a mixer to make it a really fine consistency and sometimes I leave big chunks of pecans and walnuts for a nutty treasure. :)

No matter what you decide, all you do is combine one cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of plain flour, chopped pecans and walnuts and a few tablespoons of butter or margarine. Once it's at your desired consistency, press the crust into the base of your dish. For this week's quick treat, I used four ramekins, namely because I had half a tub of cream cheese left over and wanted to use it up.

Once the crust is pressed into place bake for 15 minutes (or until it's the way you want it) at 180 C/350 F. Let rest and whip up the filling: a simple combination of cream cheese, whipped cream (spray cream works as well!), vanilla flavoring and sugar. The measurements aren't important for this part, do it to taste. Spoon the mixture over the base, top with fruit pie filling or fresh fruit. Let set in oven for a few hours or overnight and then top with confectioner's (icing) sugar and serve.

To make it a bit more decorative, try candied mint. Simply dip your mint leaves in water (or egg whites), coat with sugar & freeze. I didn't have any fresh mint in the house or I would have added this to the top of my ramekins!

Latent apologies: I just tried to upload photos of the no-bake cheesecake & they didn't work. So hopefully I'll have some soon for you guys. :)

Coming up: I'm trying a newly-found recipe for grilled peaches as well as vodka-infused fruit jello.

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