Today I got back from the beach, it's always good to walk in to my own home. It's really home sweet home. My family loved the time we spent at the beach, the location of where we stayed was perfect. Siletz Bay is a quiet place to have a weekend getaway that my husband said that we should go back more often to the area to explore it. I'm all for it! My husband had a great birthday celebration, it's the way he'd like it, just us and his best friends. My son also had a blast, I let him stayed up late for two nights, way up late, but he amazingly could sleep with the noises the other two boys made. After two nights of late night sleep, too much laughs, food, and walking around the beaches, I'm ready for a quiet week. Unfortunately, this week till the third week of June, mine would be busy. I'm ready to spill an introduction of what my life would be in the next few months.
Early on this year, I was approached by the editor of Indulge magazine. Indulge is an online publication from Zupan's grocery store, which is a locally owned in Oregon. To my surprise, she liked what she saw and read in my old blog. I was asked if I wanted to write for them for the summer edition, recipes and photos, the whole work. I could hardly believe my ears, me? I was starting to know my way around photographing food, to make it the way I wanted it to represent my style. But I'm still making mistake and thus, still learning with each photo I make for my blog. Of course, I then said yes :) Why would I want to pass this opportunity? If I screw up, then the worst thing that'd happen was that she'd say no. My first assignment was making pizza, complete with the dough and basic tomato sauce recipes, along with three pizza recipes and an introduction. This week the magazine is up and running, looking at the recipes and my name on them make me feel so proud of myself, so relieve that finally someone pays notice, so happy that I could cry any time I see my name in it. Ever to correct myself though, I still think that I could do better with the photos, which I would do it on the next issue :) The link for the magazine could be accessed here by clicking on the image.
So, what's next for me? I'm going to do some other shoots they asked me to do and also a few recipes to make and photos to shoot; all has to be done before I'm going for my vacation towards the end of June. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, no surprise there. Not since I graduated from college that I have to do something that has dateline, this is one of the thing that I have to get used to. I'm pretty good at pacing myself and I hate to procrastinate so finishing early is no problem for me. It's the execution and photo shoots that still get me doubting myself. Plus, imagine finding fresh produce many months ahead before the intended season arrives, it's not easy to find. I'm praying that one thing that I need to make will be available within the next two weeks, or I'll be toast!
Leaving that thinking for a while, I will share a cheesecake recipe that I tried a while back. No, this was not something I made for my wedding anniversary; I didn't have time to make one myself but my friend bought us a cake to beach for us to enjoy. I just need to write it down right now before time is running out for me. This cheesecake was so good with cherry kirsch sauce or chocolate fudge buttercream. To make cherry kirsch sauce, simply simmer 1 cup of cherry juice from jarred sour cherries along with 2 cups of the cherries. Add 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of kirsch, cook until the syrup becomes thick and reduced to about 1/2 cup. Voilà, you'll have cherry-kirsch sauce good enough to eat with every slice of cheesecake. The other thing that was good paired with the cheesecake was truffle fudge topping which I will share here too.
Makes 12 to 16 bars
For the crust:
2 1/2 cups almond biscotti crumbs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 lb mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup Marsala wine
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the crust: Line a 13- x 9-inch pan with aluminum foil and grease the foil with butter. In a bowl, combine biscotti crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan and freeze.
To make the filling: In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, sugar and flour until very smooth, for 3 minutes. Add whole eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in wine and vanilla. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Pour over the frozen crust, smoothing out to sides of pan. Bake in a preheated oven until top is light brown and center has a slight jiggle to it, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before cutting into bars. Serve with cherry-kirsch sauce or truffle fudge frosting with lots of chocolate shavings.
Truffle Fudge Frosting
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
12 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
In top of double boiler over simmering water, melt milk and bittersweet chocolate, stirring until smooth. Let cool until no longer warm to the touch.
In a mixer bowl fitted with whip attachment, beat butter and melted chocolate on medium speed until uniform in color, about 3 minutes. Place bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm the frosting. Return to the mixer and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Decorate the cheesecake any way you want it with the frosting!
Source: adapted from The Cheesecake Bible by George Geary