I had mentioned in my earlier Thanksgiving post that I made a cheesecake for the family on Thanksgiving this year, and I wanted to share the recipe with you all. I took a couple of photos along the way so you guys can follow along…
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- 30-40 graham cracker squares
- 1 stick melted butter
- 3 (8 oz) blocks of cream cheese (about a pound and a half)
- 4 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 pints sour cream
- zest of one large lemon
- 3 teaspoons vanilla
For the optional blueberry topping, you’ll need:
- 1 1/2 pints blueberries
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 5 tablespoons sugar
Set the oven to 375 degrees. Start off by taking about 30-40 squares of the graham crackers and breaking them down as much as possible. I did this by placing the squares in a plastic bag and using the bottom of a cup to break the pieces down. Once they have been crumbled to your liking, place the graham cracker crumbs in a bowl and add the butter. Mix together well and spread the mixture on the bottom of the springform pan evenly (you can press the bottom of a cup along the edges to make sure the crust is even at the bottom of the pan).
In a separate bowl, add the cream cheese and mix until smooth (an electric mixer would work best for this, but since I didn’t have one, I just used a whisk… it takes longer this way, but still gets the job done). Add in one egg and continue to whisk. Continue adding the remainder of the eggs, one at a time, and mixing the batter. Add in the sour cream, vanilla and lemon zest and continue to whisk the batter until smooth. Add in the sugar slowly, and continue to mix. Once the batter is completely smooth, pour it in the springform pan over the graham cracker crust.
Wrap the bottom and edges of the springform pan in aluminium foil and place in a larger roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water has reached halfway up the edges of the springform pan, making sure that no water leaks into the springform pan (the aluminium foil should prevent this from happening). Place the roasting pan in the oven and allow the cheesecake to cook for about 1 hour 45 minutes. When you remove the cheesecake from the oven, the sides should be hardened, but if the center still jiggles, that should be okay. Allow the pan to cool for about 20-30 minutes and then place in the fridge overnight (or for at least 4-5 hours) before serving.
In a separate pan, add the blueberries, lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar and place over medium-high heat. Cook for about 6-8 minutes until the fruit begins to break down and juices release. Remove from heat and allow the topping to cool until the cheesecake is ready to be served.
This is a cheesecake that turned out pretty good for a first time try, although I only allowed the cake to bake for about an hour in the oven so it was a bit underdone. The family still loved it, so I’ll definitely be trying this again soon (with the new time of 1 hour and 45 minutes in the oven) and hope you guys enjoy making it too!
His & hers.
Thanksgiving Day, 2013.
On Thursday afternoon, Poria and I headed to my youngest aunt’s house for Thanksgiving this year with my mom’s side of the family. From the moment we walked into the house, we were hit with the aroma of savory food cooking over the stove top and the sound of laughter coming from my aunts and younger cousins. We spent the early part of the afternoon helping out with preparations and catching up on recent family events in the kitchen. My aunt wanted us all to be in the same room for the big family meal, so we managed to set up two tables in the dining room and all seventeen of us sat down together for our family Thanksgiving dinner. Afterwards, we all played our part by helping to clean up, and spent the remainder of the evening snuggled up by the fireplace laughing and snacking on sweets. Surrounded by loving family and loads of delicious food, it was hard not to count all of our blessings and what we were thankful for over the last year.
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends as well, and are smoothly transitioning back into the work week on this Monday morning!
PS - I helped out by making cheesecake this year for dessert (for the very first time, too!)… and I’ll be sharing the recipe soon!
Ending the week early to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends…
Hope you all have a beautiful long weekend and Thanksgiving!
Sunday Brunch at Sequoia
Sunday brunch has become a bit of a tradition for us on days when we don’t have much else planned (remember this, this and this?)… and when we can’t go out, we’ll even prepare a little brunch at home.
Over the years, there has been one location that we continuously revisit even after dabbling and trying new locations, and I feel safe to say has become one of my favorite restaurants for Sunday brunch: Sequoia located in Georgetown, DC. With floor to ceiling windows letting in beautiful natural light and views of the district from every angle of the building, just walking into the restaurant is a breathtaking experience alone. But that’s not to take away from the highlight of the trip for me: the food, of course! From an omelette station, savory seafood bar, seasonal vegetables, and meat carving station, there isn’t anyone left unsatisfied. Oh… and that’s not even beginning to touch on the sweet station which includes hot, freshly fried doughnuts hand dipped in sugar and chocolate, and delectable pastries of all shapes and sizes.
Next time you’re in the city on a Sunday afternoon, you’ll definitely know where to go…
Enjoy your Friday and hope you all have a beautiful weekend ahead!
Hot and Sour Tom Yum Goong Soup
During our Thai Cooking class with Living Social, one my favorite new recipes that Poria and I learned to cook was a hot and sour tom yum goong soup. With bold and spicy flavors balanced perfectly with a cool citrus lime combined in this soup, it was easy to see why I fell in love with it so easily, and that’s why I wanted to share the recipe with you all too!
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- 1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- 2-3 lime leaves
- small piece (1-2 inch) fresh galangal/ginger
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon crushed red chili paste
- 1 green chili (or more, to your liking of spice)
- 1/4-1/2 cup fresh straw mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 lb fresh shrimp
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 green onion
- small bunch of cilantro
- 1 quart chicken broth
Start off by slicing the lime leaves thinly, chopping the green onion, green chili and cilantro, and placing each ingredient to the side. Then place the juice of the lime, sliced lime leaves, chopped green onion and green chili in a small bowl. Mix well and place to the side to allow the flavors to release.
Add the chicken broth to a pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the chicken broth comes to a boil, add in the lemon grass pieces, galangal, soy sauce, fish sauce, red chili paste, and mushrooms. Allow the mixture to boil for about 3-5 minutes before adding in the fresh shrimp to the soup. While the shrimp cooks (about 5-8 minutes), take the lime juice mixture and pour into serving bowls. Once the shrimp has cooked through, add the soup over the lime juice mixture in each bowl (trying to avoid any pieces of the galangal or lemongrass since these aren’t edible) and garnish with cilantro.
Stir well and enjoy the hot, sour and spicy soup!