Two best friends, baking and blogging across the miles

Thursday, June 30, 2011

No Bake Challenge 1: “Strawberry Fields Forever!!

Now, I don’t really like Rachael Ray, for a variety of reasons: her voice (which I know has gotten better, but before I would have rather sat through nails on a chalkboard), and just because she seems a bit frantic when she cooks…I watch cooking shows to be relaxed, but when I watch her I feel like I have an exam to study for! However, when I stumbled upon this super easy recipe for Individual No Bake Strawberry Cheesecakes, I had to give her some credit! Not only does in require a minimal amount of ingredients, most of which I already had, but it leaves a lot of room for flexibility and they were the perfect treat on a hot summer day!
The only thing I would caution about the recipe is that the end product isn’t exactly “cheesecakey”, or rather that at least in my case the mixture was still runny. I did incorporate a box of strawberry Jello, as one of the reviewers had suggested, and while it did make it thicker, it was still way too liquidy to have a cheesecake texture. So I left it in the fridge for a few hours too, and that did the trick! So, don’t expect it to be super solid at first! However, it was very tasty, and I loved being able to use the mini graham cracker crusts-too cute! I also used these cute little dessert dishes my mother bought at Pier 1, and sprinkled graham cracker crumbs on top. See?! So much room for your own touches!

Enjoy making these lovely, simple treats! I sure did!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Prepare for a Meltdown

Get ready!
Lu and I will be hosting a ten recipes series focusing on no bake recipes.
With it lingering in the high 80's in PA and hitting the low 100's in good ole SC, no one wants to run their oven and heat up the house. (At least I don't, as we don't have AC!!) We'll be showcasing sweet treats that you can make while still beating the summer heat! The series will start in July so until then please feel free to share your favorite nobake treats with us!

Lu's Next Challenge

 So, Miss Lu, your next challenge is to make a cake or cupcake inspired by the flavors of a candy bar. And no, sprinkling snickers bits on top or inbetween layers doesn't count. Think about the flavors and actually make them into the dessert. Happy baking!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Big Fat Greek...Baking Challenge!

Lu: Well look at this!! A lovely visit from my HotGlue culminated in one of our more difficult baking challenges, which was learning how to make baklava!
Rachel: Lu considered making baklava when I gave her the challenge to make something that begins with the letter b, I wanted to learn the skill and had amazing baklava on my first trip to Pittsburgh. So Lu found an easy recipe for us to follow and we each brought some ingredients to the table.
Lu:The recipe we followed was by Michael Symon and can be found here:
Something to keep in mind when brushing the phyllo dough: make sure to keep the sheets moist! We did this by putting a damp towel on them, because if they dry up they tend to crumble easily. Also, the recipe calls for 4 sticks of butter, but we only used 3 and were just fine.
Rachel: Shelling the pisachios was annoying, but not hard and the rest of the recipe seemed to go fairly well. (Although, thats easy for me to say because Lu seemed to do most of the work). I loved that Raul thought the baklava was yummy and ate several pieces. I bought some home for Mike and he said that he wasn't the best he'd ever had (I think he had some in Europe) but that it was up there
Lu: Haha...that's one thing I learned from this recipe...always remember to read the ingredients in detail!! If I had noticed it said ground nuts we could have saved a bit of time! Nevertheless, it was still a lot of fun. And of course it was the best way to celebrate our reunion!!