Turtle Cheesecake

Hey Hey Hey I’m alive!
Yup, I know you were worried, but don’t fret, I’m still kickin. We are just crazy busy and I have been everywhere but in my kitchen lately. BUT, I was in there a while back making a delicious cheesecake for one of my closest friends, Jenna (if you don’t know her, she’s an amazingly talented photographer. Check out her work here!!!!)

I’ve been missing my kitchen soooooo much but I have to just take life as it comes and right now it means ordering in and going out to eat a lot…oops. I gotta say, I don’t hate it…although my waste and my wallet are not big fans.

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This cheesecake is super amazing and is a simple graham cracker crust. You could 100% do an Oreo crust. I think I would have actually preferred that in this case even though I’m a sucker for a graham cracker crust. The actual bones of this cheesecake could be left as is OR made any way you want. You can add any cookie or fruit to the cheesecake batter before baking (oreos, blueberries, reese pb cups, chocolate chips, Peanut butter, Nutella, etc) or you can add any different drizzle you want on the top: Fruit sauce, any cookie or candy topping, marshmallow/chocolate/graham for S’more…literally I can go on for days.

Whatever you decide I’m sure it will be amazing! As always, this cake is super rich and a large glass of milk is a must!

With summer in full swing I hope to see you as often as possible, I miss my baking and blog world dearly and look forward to bringing you something delicious soon! DSC_0878

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Lemon Almond Bread

What up hump day??

Is this week crawling by for anyone else?

I know what will make your hump day better; Make this bread. It’s great. It’s also kinda similar to my all time favorite bread/food/dessert/snack cake, Almond Poppyseed Bread.

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This bread is light enough to eat for breakfast and sweet enough to have for dessert. If you have a sweet tooth and love to have a pastry with your coffee, this is you jam. You can eat it as is or you could get crazy and spread it with some butter/jam/lemon curd. I know, so crazy.

I made this bread for Mikey’s brother and our sis-in-law a couple weeks ago because they birthed a beautiful baby boy! He’s a perfect little nugget and has been the best little addition to their family of two little girls. My other sister-in-law is also ready to pop at any second and I can guarantee there will be some sort of delicious bread situation headed their way when she does.

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I feel like I’m always apologizing for my posts being few and far between these days. Truth is, being an adult means I’m busy. When I started this blog I had a much more carefree job/lifestyle and now I have a million things going on. So when I can post I will and I appreciate the love and support ya’ll still give me!

I have a few recipes coming down the pipeline but it takes time to edit my pictures and get them posted so I swear to you that I will get them your way soon!

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It’s getting so nice here and I can smell summer, kinda. My allergies have literally decided to wreak havoc on my entire body and the past two weeks have been a combination of all the things you hear on the commercials: Sneezing, wheezing, coughing, sneezing, red/itchy eyes, the list goes on. I have gone through about 12 boxes of Kleenex in the past couple weeks. Every morning at yoga I sound like a dying frog and I have to reassure my students that I’m not sick and won’t spread some terrible disease to them.

BUT, allergies always mean summer is coming and I’m sooooo excited! We have sooo many weddings/showers/bachelor/bachelorette parties coming up I can’t even keep it all straight. I love weddings (especially when they are for your best of friends) and can’t wait to surround our besties with love and dance the nights away. I hope and pray I’ll be able to keep up with the blog! Cross your fingers for me.

My animals are losing their minds right now. I’m about to lose mine. If my cat doesn’t stop humping/kneading dough on my dog I’m going to throw him out the window. Their best talent is knowing when I’m trying to get something done on my computer/relax for one second. I love them but right now I’m going to go beat them. K, LOVE YOU GUYS! Go make some bread!

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“Worlds Best Cake”

It’s a cakkkeeeeee (like they say in My Big Fat Greek Wedding). It never fails that every time I make a cake Mikey says, “It’s a cake” in his best greek accent.

So now whenever I see cake I think or say the same thing. And no, this is not a paid advertisement for the new My Big Fat Greek Wedding movie. Although I do still want to see it despite the bad reviews. The first one is literally so freaking good. Its weird how many things are quoted from that movie on a weekly basis in our family. The other one we say allllll the time is, “You don’t eat no meat? It’s ok, I make lamb”.

TANGENT.

SO, about this cake!

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Disclaimer: I am not the one to title this as the worlds best cake. It was the name of it in the recipe I found so I went with it. It’s a good cake, not the worlds best. I’ll be honest, I baked mine a bit too long and the cake layer was a little dry. I wish I would have known it was a bit dry because I would have soaked it in a bit of sweetened milk/liquid (similar to a tres leches, yum).  This was a good cake but lacking a bit of moisture and sweetness. Do not fear, I adjusted the sweetness in the recipe below so you should be all set. I also added almond extract (sorry Mom) and that was super delicious/I wished I had added more.

Despite those couple flaws, I think this cake is super beautiful!

If you can’t tell from the pictures-it’s huge (height-wise). It is stacked up super high from the meringue and the massive amount of (delicious) vanilla bean whipped cream. It looks like a giant sandwich. Yum. The meringue stays a bit squishy like a marshmallow and the almonds add some toasty crunch. The original recipe made this cake in two 6 inch springform pans but I didn’t have 2 of the same size so just made one big one (9×13) and cut it in half.

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I brought this beauty to our Easter dinner with Mikey’s family and my niece kept running around signing about the “Easter cake”. It really did seem like a perfect easter dessert (I almost made a coconut bunny cake. Almost).  Also, side note: We celebrated the birth of my newest nephew, Quinn woooooooo! My bro-in-law and sis-in-law have two little girls so we were all so happy when we found out it was a BOY!

I am SSSOOOOO glad that we are headed into a new season and that the world is beginning to sprout open here in Chicago! I’m over the cold and the snow and love the little weeds that are coming up through the sidewalk and the birds that are distracting our puppy on every walk. I hope you had a great Easter and have some type of celebration/excuse to make this beautiful cake very very soon (it will impress people, I promise)!

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Dirty Girl Scout Shooter

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Keeping with the theme of ice cream and girls scout cookies…I made a boozy shooter. Because what do you do when you have a ton of milkshakes in your freezer…? You add booze of course!

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These are like, stupid delicious. I know there is a real shot called a dirty girl scout and I think it has ice cream, creme de menthe and creme de cacao (or something like that). I made mine with ice cream, creme de menthe and thin mint cookies. You don’t have to drink this as just a shooter either. It would make a delicious after dinner dessert and you can adjust the alcohol level to taste (adding Bailey’s would be great too).

Sometimes things keep evolving and they just get better. Unlike my physique after the evolution of ice cream experiments.

I am actually a little bit Irish! Or like, a quarter maybe (Mom, can we fact check that? K, thanks).

Mikey is half Irish (he clings hard to the other Italian half, i.e. super loud, tan, and the use of his hands at all times) but the biggest way you know he’s Irish is that he is covered in freckles and he can drink like a fish.

When we were dating we visited Cork, Ireland together and it was such a fun place to be. We went to the Blarney castle and kissed the Blarney Stone. It was foggy and rainy the whole time and literally everything I imagined Ireland to be. I would love to go back someday and explore different areas, but for now I’ll remember the teeny little pubs and the amazing food that made the trip so memorable!

Today is probably Mikey’s favorite day of the year. St. Patrick’s day and The NCAA Tournament begins. Cheers, my friends, it’s a good day (unless your our poor pup, Badger. he’s getting snip-snipped as we speak, Lord help him).

Oh, one last thing! My sister-in-law and great friend/boss are about to pop and I’m crossing my Irish fingers as hard as I can that they have them today! I can’t image a better Holiday to share a Birthday with!

Sláinte!

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Dirty Girl Scout Shooter

  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
2 Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream
1 Shot (1.5oz) Creme De Menthe
2 Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies

Directions:
Combine all in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve chilled in a small shooter glass OR large glass as a dessert! Cheers!

Thin Mint Milkshake

I don’t have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie, ok?

I like them all…but mostly Thin Mints, Samoas and Tagalongs.

I have been on a fat-kid streak lately and this is my most recent concoction. You can use any kind of ice cream and any cookie…you can also add booze. The ideas are endless and if you’re like us there always seems to be a box lurking in the freezer.

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I don’t know if my town had Girl Scouts…I wasn’t one. I think growing up in the woods you become a natural girl scout…it’s just not an option.

For example, I knew how to use a blowtorch at a very young age (I don’t think my parents knew about that though. My brother was a pyro).

I also built forts using nails, a hammer and stolen sheets (I swear I don’t know where that blanket is mom…).

I loved growing up in the woods where we had to make our own fun and were pretty much only allowed inside when it was meal time or bed time.

We also had no kids in my neck of the woods and my brother only wanted to play with me when it involved him “blowing up” my doll house or playing “twister” with my barbies. All of which resulted in tears and broken toys. Therefore I was a weirdo. I had tons of imaginary friends and was a pro at playing alone for hours. I had a big imagination and my parents never held me back from wanting to try new things (like baking muffins with 1 cup of salt..).

I am so grateful for the fun and adventurous childhood I had and wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m sure being a girl scout is awesome, but I’m pretty sure I was one and I didn’t even know it or need a badge to prove it!

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These would make an AWESOME dessert for your St. Patty’s day this Thursday! Add a little Baileys, Guinness or Creme De Menthe if you really want to get wild. This would also be great with some chocolate sauce or a fun ice cream flavor. Get crazy! Share your creations by using the hashtag #mikeysinmykitchen.

Love ya’ll! Cheers!

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