Acai Bowls- Welcome to the Amazon

Acai Bowls- Welcome to the Amazon, zambazon

(these photos were taken by the lovely Megumi who has her own food/fashion/photographer blog! Check her out!)

So…. it is 3:44 a.m. and I just can’t fall back asleep! This seems to be a ‘trait of inheritance’ because every time I am excited about something, I work on little to no sleep just like my old man. Or it may be that spring is here and it is a million degrees in my little place here in the tropics!  I had a fan.. but I put it outside to clean yesterday, and a sweet Tongan lady stopped and asked if she could have it, and for some reason I said, ‘Oh ya,  sure, take it!’ I don’t think I thought that one through, but hey that must mean some good Karma is coming my way- right? Anyway, dead winds in Hawaii can make for some hot sleepless nights, so I best be getting me a fan by tonight!

Whatever the reason for my early rise, I am up and full of energy which I am sure  will be fizzling out around 7 a.m. when my son wakes up.

So let 3:44 a.m. be the inspiration for today’s recipe- The Acai Bowl also known as The Original Rio Bowl. Click here to Read More

Posted on by Andrea in Breakfast, Dairy Free, Gluten-Free Meals, Hawaiian Grinds, Snacks and Healthy Treats We truly love to hear from you, Please Leave Us a Comment.

Cheesecake Tips, Tricks & Recipes

 

Before I ever made a cheesecake I used to think to myself, “now that is one thing I am just too scared to try!” I don’t know what it is but they just look intimidating. Well after a while it started bothering me that I was scared of it and so I decided to tackle it head on!

I began reading different recipes, looking at reviews, reading articles on how to make the perfect cheesecake, and it all was a little overwhelming.

A few days later I was talking to a neighbor of mine, and she mentioned she knew how to do it! She gave me her tips, and I said to myself “okay I am just going to trust this is going to work and go for it”. I picked a recipe with good reviews, used my neighbor’s cheesecake tricks and poof… right before my very eyes sat thee most perfect looking cheesecake!

I could not believe how easy it was! It worked! So, I did some more research, made a bunch of different cheesecakes and decided that I needed to share these simple tricks with everyone who needs a little confidence booster in the cheesecake department. Right now… you are going to learn how to be a Cheesecake Genius!

Rules of the Cheesecake…

#1. Treat it as you would a newborn baby… think gentle, with care and without trying to disturb it too much.

#2 When mixing the ingredients- try not to over mix-this will cause the cheesecake to crack in the end (if you do though… not a big deal! You can fill those cracks with fudge or whatever is delicious to you! No one will ever know it once had some blemishes!

#3 The water bath… take a pan, set it on the rack right under the one that has the cheesecake on it and pour water into that pan- this allows moisture in the oven which helps prevent cracking and the crust from burning.

#4 After it baked in the oven for aprox. 75min.-jiggle the cake pan and if the cheesecake wiggles a little in the middle, and  its firm on the edges and the top is starting to brown- its done.- Turn the oven off but leave the cheesecake in there for 1-2 hours more.

#5 Transfer the cheesecake from the oven to the fridge and let sit for another 6 hours- the reasons for rules 3 and 4 are because you are lowering the temperature of the cake gradually which prevents cracking and cheesecake needs time to ‘set up’. This is going to produce a beautiful creamy consistency. The longer you let it sit the better. I make mine the night before so I am not tempted to poke at it-which also creates cracking!

In conclusion the thing to remember is… If a baby was sleeping you wouldn’t wake it right? You would be gentle and try not to disturb the sweet angel as much as possible! Just think baby… baby that cheesecake and its going to be good to you back I promise! And guess what… that’s it! You are now officially a Cheesecake Genius! You are capable of a Cheesecake masterpiece!

I mostly use one cheesecake recipe but alternate it to create completely new tasting cheesecakes. So far I have made, Turtle Cheesecake, Roca Butterscotch Cheesecake with Salted Butterscotch Frosting, Salted Caramel Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache, Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake with White Chocolate Frosting, Candy Bar cheesecake with Caramel Drizzle, and Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake.

Another thing, cheesecakes store really well!  You can put them in the freezer and it will last months or in the fridge for a couple weeks.

Here is the recipe for the plain cheesecake. Let’s call it the “Blank Slate cheesecake”

Blank Slate Cheesecake

Ingredients for Blank Slate Cheesecake

Crust:

3 cup (2 pkgs) Graham Crackers (crushed)

1/2 cup Margarine (melted)

Filling:


3-8 oz pkgs Cream Cheese

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 cup Sugar

3 Eggs

3 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon Vanilla

Directions:

Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter in bowl with fork & press into bottom & 1-1/2 inches up sides of spring form pan. 
Just do the best you can.

Beat Cream cheese and condensed milk together until creamy.

Add remaining filling ingredients until well combined. Do not over mix.

Bake at 300 for about 75 minutes-until light golden on top , edges are firm and middle moves slightly- giggle pan gently. (Put a pan of water underneath to prevent burning the crust and  for extra moisture).

Once done, turn off oven and leave the cheesecake for another 1-2 hours. Then move to fridge for another 6 hours. Remove outer ring and serve as is or top with desired toppings and serving!

Want to make it Fancy and Layer cheesecake flavors? It is so easy and here is how…

When you have the mixed cheesecake batter, take a cup of it and set it to the side. Melt ¾ cup of chocolate (white, milk, or dark, or butterscotch chips) and mix into the cup of batter. Pour half the plain batter into the crust and then the chocolate batter and top with the rest of the plain and swirl.  This creates a layered effect! Do this with as many layers as you would like! Have fun and get creative!

 

 

Posted on by Andrea in Back to Basics, Cakes and Cupcakes We truly love to hear from you, Please Leave Us a Comment.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake with Vanilla White Chocolate Frosting

white chocolate, rasberry cheesecake, north shore, hawaii

Crust:

3 cup (2 pkgs) Graham Crackers (crushed)

1/2 cup Unsalted Butter (melted)

Filling:


3-8 oz pkgs Cream Cheese

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 cup Sugar

3 Eggs

3 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon Vanilla

3/4 cup White chocolate

Instructions:

 

Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter in bowl with fork & press into bottom & 1-1/2 inches up sides of spring form pan. 
Just do the best you can.

Beat Cream cheese and condensed milk together until creamy.

Add remaining filling ingredients  (Except for White Chocolate Chips) until well combined. Do not over mix.

Remove 1 cup of filling and stir in melted white chocolate chips.

Fill crust with half of the filling and then add the white chocolate filling and top with the rest of the plan filling. Swirl with a knife.

Bake at 300 for about 75 minutes-until light golden on top , edges are firm and middle moves slightly- giggle pan gently. (Put a pan of water underneath to prevent burning the crust and  for extra moisture).

Once done, turn off oven and leave the cheesecake for another 1-2 hours. Then move to fridge for another 6 hours. When ready to serve remove outer ring and serve frost the the top of the cheesecake. Then top with fresh raspberries and the rest of the Frosting in desired formation.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake with Vanilla White Chocolate Frosting

Vanilla White Chocolate Frosting

1 stick butter

1 box Confectioners Sugar (16 0z)

Couple teaspoons of Milk (I used vanilla coffee creamer for added flavor)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup White Chocolate Chips (melted)

Instructions

Take the stick of butter at room temperature and dice it into a bowl. Add with confectioners sugar with 1 tsp of milk and vanilla. Mix until well combined. If it is too stiff add one more tsp of milk. Always gradually add milk because you do not want your frosting to be runny. It should be fairly thick. (It will thicken a little when it cools off in the fridge too).

Once you have a good consistency, melt white chocolate and let cool off for 3-4 minutes and mix into frosting!  OptionalLick the bowl and beaters clean before you start to frost your cake!

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake with Vanilla White Chocolate Frosting

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake with Vanilla White Chocolate Frosting
Author: 
Recipe type: Cheesecake, Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-18
 
The frosting is not in this print version. Refer to the Vanilla White Chocolate Frosting recipe in this post!
Ingredients
  • White Chocolate Cheesecake Cheesecake
  • Crust:
  • 3 cup (2 pkgs) Graham Crackers (crushed)
  • ½ cup Margarine (melted)
  • Filling:
  • 3-8 oz pkgs Cream Cheese
  • 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • ¾ cup white chocolate
Instructions
  1. White Chocolate Raspberry Cheese Cake Instructions
  2. Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter in bowl with fork & press into bottom & 1-1/2 inches up sides of spring form pan. 
Just do the best you can.
  3. Beat Cream cheese and condensed milk together until creamy.
  4. Add remaining filling ingredients (Except for White Chocolate Chips) until well combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Remove 1 cup of filling and stir in melted white chocolate chips.
  6. Fill crust with half of the filling and then add the white chocolate filling and top with the rest of the plan filling. Swirl with a knife.
  7. Bake at 300 for about 75 minutes-until light golden on top , edges are firm and middle moves slightly- giggle pan gently. (Put a pan of water underneath to prevent burning the crust and for extra moisture).
  8. Once done, turn off oven and leave the cheesecake for another 1-2 hours. Then move to fridge for another 6 hours.
  9. When ready to serve remove outer ring and serve frost the the top of the cheesecake.
  10. Then top with fresh raspberries and the rest of the Frosting in desired formation.

 

Posted on by Andrea in Cakes and Cupcakes We truly love to hear from you, Please Leave Us a Comment.

White Chocolate Chip Cake Box Whoopees with Peanut Butter Filling

My neighbor gave me this awesome recipe for Lemon Cake White Chocolate Chip Cookies which were a huge hit at my nephews birthday party. I don’t think any of the kids got a taste because they were inhaled by the adults before they made it to the table.  I will make sure to make a posting of this variation very soon.

Cake cookies are beauties because they are so simple and quick! They are soft and chewy and you can get as creative as you like. I have heard of Carrot Cake Cookies too which might be the next best thing. I will have to try those out and let you know if they make the cut!

These ones were something my son and I created together. If you have never made Cake Box Cookies you are in for a treat. I promise these will become one of your go-to- recipes when you need to whip up a treat in a hurry but still want to impress!

Click here to Read More

Posted on by Andrea in Cookies and Candies We truly love to hear from you, Please Leave Us a Comment.

Date Ball Madness


Date balls and I  go way back. I always thought they were good but didn’t realize how good until I made a batch for my amazing sister-in-law, who lives 5 doors down. She put a plate of them on the table for her cooking group and reported back that they went “unnaturally wild” over them.  

I thought my SIL was just exaggerating until one by one all the women in the cooking group came knocking on my door seeking out the recipe for the apparently intoxicating date balls. Lucky for them it’s got to be on the top of the list for the world’s easiest recipes.
These really are a sweet gem of a treat . But word of caution… Don’t make them bite size or you will literally not be able to stop popping them in your mouth. 
If you have kids, it’s fun to have them help roll the rice crispy date paste into balls and coat it with coconut, or powdered sugar.

Click here to Read More

Posted on by Andrea in Dairy Free, Gluten-Free Meals, Snacks and Healthy Treats We truly love to hear from you, Please Leave Us a Comment.