Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

September14

I have been meaning to post this since early summer when we enjoyed it at the cottage during a torrential rain and subsequent power outage.  But truth be told-I borrowed the recipe from Sister #3 and then subsequently lost it.  Thankfully, with diligent searching she was able to find an on line copy because D says-this is the best cheesecake on the face of the earth!  It has lots of steps and is very time consuming, but more than worth it:

White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake Crust
18 vanilla wafer cookies
1 cup almonds, toasted
4 1/2 T unsalted butter, melted

Filling
4 oz imported white chocolate (such as Lindt), chopped
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 c sugar
2 t vanilla extract
3/4 t grated lemon peel
2 large eggs

3/4 c fresh raspberries or frozen unsweetened, thawed, drained

Topping
1 8-oz container sour cream
3 T sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract

2 1/2-pint baskets raspberries or one 1-pint basket strawberries
1/2 c seedless raspberry jam

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place large piece of foil on heavy large baking sheet. Set 8×2-inch bottomless heart-shaped cake pan atop foil. (If unavailable, use 8-inch spring form pan; omit foil.) Wrap foil around outside and 1 inch up sides of pan. Butter foil and pan. Finely grind cookies and almonds in processor. Add butter and blend until mixture forms very moist crumbs. Using plastic wrap as aid, press crumbs firmly onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Cool. Maintain oven temperature.

For Filling:
Melt white chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water until smooth, stirring often. Remove from over water. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and peel in large bowl until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined. Beat in white chocolate.

Spoon half of batter into crust. Top with 3/4 cup berries. Spoon remaining batter over. Bake until edges of cake are set but center 3 inches still moves when cake is shaken, about 45 minutes. Cool 20 minutes. Maintain oven temperature. Using fingertips, press down gently on edges of cheesecake to flatten slightly.

For topping:
Whisk sour cream, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Spoon over cake, spreading to edge of pan. Bake 5 minutes. Transfer cake in pan to rack. Run small knife around sides of cake. Cool completely. Chill cake overnight.

Fold down foil along sides of pan. Lift cake pan off cheesecake. Transfer cheesecake to platter, discarding foil. Cover cake with berries. Bring jam to simmer in small saucepan, stirring often. Gently brush jam over berries. Can be prepared 3 hours ahead; chill.

Kath’s quote: “There is something in the red of a raspberry pie that looks as good to a man as the red in a sheep looks to a wolf.”-E. W. Howe

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Tre Visi

September12

Not surprizingly we celebrate our wedding anniversary with a dinner date.  I remember back to our initial wedding anniversary-it was first time that we had left our new born daughter with a sitter.  We dined at Cibo’s which used to be in  the basement of the Townsite Building. I recall having the most delicious capaccio and then not sleeping all night long with worry that the garlic would stay with me, as I was nursing.  Didn’t even phase her……

We are partial to Italian and other Mediterranean food and chose Tre Visi for dinner.  Or I should say that I chose-D told the guys at work that it was a a Vietnamese restaurant.  Tre Visi one of the few restaurants on the east side of Main St that has had any longevity.  We had enjoyed its proximity to the theatre on previous visits.  The place was bustling on this Thursday night but our table was waiting and we were graciously served by a beautiful and attentive waitress.

Dinner started with a delicious little bread basket.  We were tempted to order more but were glad that we resisted because our dinners were so satisfying.  We started with Calamari that were huge and yet not too chewy and served absolutely piping hot which is a feat for this delicate seafood.  D professed that they might have been the best that he has ever tasted and that would be saying a lot since he has sampled the same in Greece and Italy.  For our pasta course we shared gnocchi that were tossed in a creamy pesto sauce.  The gnocchi had been made just a few hours previously and it was not hard to detect.  They were firm and yet tender and held onto the amazing, rich sauce.

For the our main dishes,  D ordered shrimp and scallops in a saffron cream sauce on angel hair pasta and I chose chicken and artichokes in a Madeira sauce.  I was pleased with mine but blown away by D’s and tried to resist too many forkfuls.  We chose an Argentinean Malbec to accompany our dinner and corked it up to share one last glass at home.  What a civilised concept!
Tre Visi on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “These things are just plain annoying. After all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual “food” out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps. Have the shrimp cocktail instead.”-Miss Piggy

Baked Expectations

September10

In the circle of life there are times when parents need little breaks from their children and then the loop reverses and the teenagers would just as soon not  connect with their parents.  We are entering the most wonderful portion of the ring right now-we crave being with our kids and apparently the feeling is mutual.

One evening D was going to get caught up on our banking and I was settling in to watch one of “my” dance shows, when the phone rang.  It was Daughter #2 calling to ask us to meet she and her fella for dessert.  OMGoodness-even in the pouring rain, we were there in less than seven minutes!

Baked Expectations has been around since my husband and I were courting and is still serving up consistently sumptuous tortes, cheesecakes and pies.  We nestled in for from scratch hot chocolate and flavoured milks.  D&I decided upon one item to share but the kids were not so successful in spite of their determination to do so.

So Crazy Chocolate Cake, Caramel Pecan Cheesecake and Tia Maria Torte were sampled.  All were distinct from each other and the tastes of fine ingredients were apparent.
Baked Expectations on Urbanspoon

Demographically, D&I we were the minority in that bustling little place.  We didn’t care.  Our glow extended to the paying of the cheque -hey we raised a very clever child.  Love you Boo.

Kath’s quote:  “….I can dream away a half-hour on the immortal flavor of those thick cheese cakes we used to have on a Saturday night.”-Mary Antin

Cherry Pistachio Cremes

September9

Three things I love came together earlier this summer: the company of women, delicious food and newborn babies.  We had assembled to celebrate the births of a little girl and a little boy.  We rocked babies, visited and sampled little treats-both savoury and sweet.  My idea of a perfect evening….

This was my favourite taste:

1/4 c butter, softened

1/4 c powdered sugar (I use icing is that the same as powdered?)

1 egg

1 1/2 c flour

1/4 t salt

1/3 c finely chopped pistachio nuts

granulated sugar

1 1/4 c powdered sugar

1/4 c butter, softened

1/2 t vanilla

1-2 T maraschino cherry juice

In a large bowl, combine 1/4 c butter and 1/4 c powdered sugar.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well mixed., scraping bowl occasionally.  Add egg, beat until combined.  Gradually beat in flour and salt on low speed until well mixed.  Form a large cookie log.  Cover and chill about 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place pistachios in a shallow pan.  Roll the cookie log in nuts to coat.  Slice into 1/2 inch slices (you may require a glass of water to keep the knife moist) and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with the granulated sugar.  Bake for 8-9 minutes or just until edges begin to turn golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.  In the mean time, prepare filling: in a small bowl, combine 1 1/4 c powdered sugar, 1/4 c of butter and vanilla.  Beat in enough of the cherry juice to make a filling of desired consistency.  Spread a healthy teaspoon of filling on the bottom half of the cookies.  Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down, pressing lightly together. Makes about 21 sandwich cookies.  To store: layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Kath’s quote:  “When I make cookies, I eat just four and throw the rest away. But first I spray them with Raid so I won’t dig them out of the garbage later. Be careful, though, because that Raid really doesn’t taste that bad.”-Janette Barber

The Redhead

September8

The Redhead 349 13th St. between 1st and 2nd Ave. in the East Village.  We found this crazy/cozy little place on line and it was a pleasant stroll away from our home away from home in the Gramercy/Flatiron neighbourhood.

They do not take reservations and so our party of five had to perch in the bar until our table was ready.  We were content to start with Allagash “White” beer (from Maine)-a taste sensation that we do not enjoy back home on the Canadian prairies.  We also sampled the perfect bar snack-Bacon Peanut Brittle.    It satisfied our sweet/salty craving and was just enough to satiate us until we were transferred from the bar to the dining room-mere steps away.

I could go into detail about the housemade waffle fries with butter braised onion-dip , low country shrimp in Anson mills antebellum grits and pan-roasted grouper that we ordered but there is no need because the star of the menu and our evening was that ultimate comfort food-Buttermilk Fried Chicken!  Do not order anything else or you will sacrifice your taste of the most amazing fried chicken that I have ever tasted.  I am even including the freshly killed, fresh home bread  crumb-coated and lard fried version that my little Grandma used to make.  We speculated that the boneless breast and drum/thigh,  pieces were marinated in buttermilk to tenderize and maintain the unequalled juiciness.  All this was served with cornbread and a spinach, strawberry and almond salad for only $18.

We saw the Crawfish “Macaroni and Cheese” with tarragon and truffle jus being enthusiastically enjoyed at another table.  So too, the fried green tomatoes.  We could not resist an order of the Fried Blueberry Pie with lemon ice cream that we shared 4 ways.

The Redhead is a fabulous New York find for southern/comfort food at its finest.  To top perfection, they deliver individual cello wrapped coconut cookies with the bill!

Redhead on Urbanspoon
Kath’s quote:  “Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort.”-Norman Kolpas

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