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June 2019

Top Secret Recipes

Fraser Valley Food Truck Festival 2014

Sue and I thought we would share our food truck festival adventure with you today.

Sue, her hubby, Rob, daughter, Kenz, and I traveled down to Chilliwack to meet up with our friend, Shannon and her family to go to the first Fraser Valley Food Truck Festival that was held at the Chilliwack Heritage Park.

Turns out this was a fabulous idea.
Admission was only $2.00.

We counted 14 trucks in total and I think we sampled items from 9 or 10 of those. 

We thought we would share our photos and experience and encourage everyone to be sure to keep their eyes open for next year’s festival date. You most definitely will want to give it a go!

Holy Perogy Food Truck

You may or may not be aware that pierogies are my favorite food on the planet. As soon as I saw this truck I was all over it. They had several different things I was dying to try (Ummm…..poutine pierogies…hello) but finally decided on the Stompin’ Tom pierogies. They were potato and cheddar pierogies topped with onion, sour cream, and shredded beef jerky. 

They. Were. Amazeballs. 

Some of the best pierogies I have ever eaten. And I have eaten a lot of pierogies so I know what I’m talking about. 

Fijian Fusion Food Truck

If you like spice then this is the one for you!

We tried the chickpea curry with roti and it was amazing. Just the right amount of spice. Kenzie also got a vegetable samosa – which I wasn’t quick enough to catch a photo of – and it was super spicy. Too much spice for me – one bite was enough – but Kenz loved it. 

They had tons of different things to try. I’m not terribly familiar with Halal food but would love to be able to spend more time around this truck and get more familiar. 

Hot Grandma’s Kitchen

The corn dogs were a favorite of our friend, Shannon’s, son. Shannon’s hubby, Guy, tried The Bavarian Dog.  Onions, peppers, and sauerkraut. It smelled and looked delicious. They had deep fried ravioli on the menu but we didn’t give that a try. 

I am definitely going for that next year.  

Guerilla BBQ

Like BBQ? How about pulled pork?

We gave Guerilla BBQ a try and it was pretty good. Maybe a little disappointing with the pulled pork sandwich – it was kind of boring, but it tasted okay. The baked beans were very tasty and the tangy coleslaw was definitely different. The apple cider vinegar was a prominent flavor.  

The price was good for how much you got though!

Poomba’s Pulled Pork 

Okay, we didn’t actually sample from Poomba’s as we tried the pulled pork from Guerilla’s but the truck was very cute. Next year we will hit up Poomba’s!

Suburban Spoon

The Suburban Spoon truck was at the top of our list of things to try. Shannon got the Sweet Thai Chili Chicken on Fries and they were amazing! Sweet with a little bit of spice on top of crispy fries. 

Two thumbs up. Shannon was swarmed by Sue and Kenz and I once we tasted those little tidbits. 

Don’t worry, we left her one or two….

Wildcat Grill Express

So many different things to try on the Wildcat Grill menu. We finally decided on deep fried mac & cheese balls, deep fried pickle chips, and deep fried potato, cheddar, and broccoli bites. 

Deep fried stuff is tasty.

Really, really tasty.

So many more deep fried things to get to next year. This will be stop number one. 

Big Red’s Poutine

This was the first truck we hit up when we got through the gait. I didn’t get a snap of the truck – sorry about that. The poutine was ridiculous though. We tried the bacon poutine. 

Looks heavenly, no?

Reeeeediculously so.

Millie’s Minis

Maybe desserts are more your thing?

There was 2 dessert trucks there. This one, Millie’s Minis, which was fresh made mini cinnamon sugar donuts.

Which were soooooo good and very reasonably priced!

And the other dessert truck…

Slavic Rolls

These, right here, are like angels dancing on your taste buds.

Crispy, flaky pastry rolled in cinnamon sugar and then filled with your choice of filling – Bavarian cream, nutella, strawberry, raspberry, lemon, etc….

We tried the nutella – my favorite, and a mix of lemon/raspberry – everyone else’s favorite. So messy and delicious. It’s a good thing I don’t have access to this truck every day. 

Addicting.

There you have it. Our Fraser Valley Food Truck experience. 

Over all a very positive experience. 

The festival started at 11:00 and we got there at 11:15. The lines were pretty small at that time…

By noon things started to pick up, and by 1:00 it was getting pretty crazy.

It was supposed to go until something like 7:00 at night but we heard that trucks started running out of food by about 4:00. I know when we picked up our mini donuts from Millie’s at 1:00 they had run out of boxes and had to put everything in bags. 

For a first time event it seemed to go smoothly. There was children’s activities and live music (The Johnson Brothers) and a beer garden too.  We are going to keep our eyes open for next year’s festival and mark it on our calendar as soon as they announce the date. 

We advise you do the same. 

You don’t want to miss out!

My Moms Recipes

The English Kitchen: Orange Poppyseed Muffins

 photo DSCN8774_zps3g140ed1.jpg

I am not sure what it is about poppyseeds, but I love anything with poppyseeds in them.  When I lived out West we used to be able to buy the best poppyseed sweet buns at the grocery store bakery in Medicine Hat.  They were to die for!  I have been craving them ever since!  I will have to find myself a recipe one day and make my own.  These muffins are not quite buns, but they are quite delicious in a different sort of way!

 photo DSCN8776_zps6xk5elxo.jpg

They really are fabulous muffins, with a lovely orange flavour. There is a whole TBS of orange zest in them.  This really gives them a nice bright flavour!

  photo DSCN87761_zpsoa77znbd.jpg

I like to add an orange glaze to brush on the hot muffins which adds an additional level of orange flavours and some moistness.  It’s optional though so you can certainly leave it off if you wish and the muffins will still be great!

 photo DSCN8777_zps3gfzt9w5.jpg

The poppy seeds add a bit of colour and crunch!  Nice, nice!

 photo DSCN8778_zpsbhwpwjob.jpg

They have a beautiful texture.  Nice and light!  Not heavy in the least.  Just like little puffs of air.   I hope you will give them a go!  You won’t be sorry!

 photo DSCN8775_zps8bc06g7c.jpg

*Orange Poppyseed Muffins*

Makes 9 muffins

These
have a lovely fresh flavour and I love the crunch of the poppyseeds.  I
have added an additional orange sugar glaze that you can brush on while
they are still warm.  You can also do these with lemon or tangerine
zest instead.  

175g of plain flour (1 1/4 cup)

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

120g butter, room temperature (1/2 cup)

144g of caster sugar (3/4 cup)

2 large free range eggs, separated

1 TBS freshly grated orange zest

1 tsp vanilla

120ml of buttermilk (1/2 cup)

2 TBS poppyseeds 

For the optional glaze:

65g caster sugar (1/3 cup)

2 TBS orange juice 

 photo DSCN8779_zpss5jiajek.jpg

Preheat the oven to 200*C.400*F. gas mark 6.   Butter a muffin tin really well which has 3 by 1 1/2 inch holes.  Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt.  Set aside.

Cream
the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg
yolks, one at a time.  Beat in the fruit zest and vanilla.  Add the dry
ingredients alternately to the creamed mixture, with the buttermilk,
beginning and ending with the dry.   Stir in the poppy seeds.

 photo DSCN8780_zpsxun1iyrx.jpg

Beat the egg whiles until soft peaks form. Fold them into the batter.  Divide equally amongst the prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 20 minutes, until well risen and a toothpicket inserted in the centre of one comes out clean.

 photo DSCN8782_zpsadtmscqg.jpg

Put
the sugar and orange juice for the optional glaze in a small boil. Heat
in a microwave for about 30 seconds to melt the sugar.  Brush over the
hot muffins while they are still in the tin.  Tip out onto a wire rack
and cool.

 photo DSCN8781_zps6saidfcg.jpg

Happy Sunday and Bon Appetit!

My Moms Recipes

The English Kitchen: Crock Pot Marinara Sauce

  photo DSCN8764_zpsr1lrlya0.jpg

I love this time of year when we blessed enough to be enjoying an abundance of fresh local produce!  I grew my own tomatoes this year and I have to say I did a really great job of it!  (Not to brag or anything!)  I took advantage of some of them, as well as some which I bought to make up the difference, to make a delicious homemade crock-pot marinara sauce.

 photo 20150622-tomato-guide-roma-shutterstock_zpsjifsau34.jpg

There is no greater taste on earth than fresh garden tomatoes, picked and eaten on the day with the warmth of the sun still on their skins.  A delicious sauce made with them is also a real treat and even more so when you take advantage of the slow cooker and let it do all the work for you!

 photo DSCN8765_zpsqavrstby.jpg

I like to peel my tomatoes first. It’s quite easily to do.  You just cut a small x into the base of the tomato opposite the stem end and plunge them into boiling water for a couple minutes, scoop them out into cold water and you will notice the skin already beginning to peel back from the x.  Just take a sharp knife and the skins should slip right off with no problem.

 photo DSCN8767_zpswsoshd1b.jpg

I also like to scrape out and discard the seeds before cooking.  This peeling and scraping makes a bit more work, but it saves work at the end.  You can just cook the sauce with the skins and seeds, but then you would have to put it through a food mill at the end and to me it is just simpler to remove them from the very beginning.

 photo DSCN8769_zpsparzh5fl.jpg

I also prefer my sauce to be a bit on the chunky side rather than pureed, so its just what works best for me. The longer you cook it, the thicker it gets, and the more concentrated the flavours.

 photo DSCN8770_zps02njo8mj.jpg

I like to sweeten mine with a bit of honey, but you can leave this out as well if your tomatoes aren’t that sharp.  For myself, I really enjoy a bit of sweetness.   In any case I do hope you will give this a go and that you will enjoy it!  If you don’t have your own grown tomatoes, you could substitute 4 small tins of chopped tomatoes (14 ounce tins/400g), or two larger ones, undrained. (28 ounce tins)  Enjoy!

 photo DSCN8767_zpswsoshd1b.jpg

*Crock-Pot Marinara Sauce*

Makes 2 pints or 4 cups

This
makes a great all round tomato sauce with lovely flavour.   The longer
you cook it the thicker it will get.  I think it is delicious.  I like
to freeze it in half pint/1 cup containers.  It’s a great way to use up
the glut of tomatoes in the garden! 

 5 to 6 pounds ripe plum tomatoes

60ml red wine (1/4 cup)

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 medium onion,  peeled and finely chopped

1 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped

2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive oil

1 bay leaf

2 TBS chopped fresh parsley

1 TBS chopped fresh basil

1 tsp chopped fresh oregano

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

pinch red pepper flakes

salt and black pepper to taste

1 TBS honey to sweeten if desired 

Prepare
your tomatoes by cutting an x in the bottom of each and blanching them
for 2 minutes in boiling water.  Remove and plunge into cold water. 
Peel and discard the skins.  (The skins should slip off very easily.)
Cut into quarters.  Scrape out and discard any seeds.   Place into a
large crockpot along with the garlic, onions, carrots, olive oil and
herbs.  Drizzle with the wine and olive oil. Cover and cook on low for 4
hours, stirring occasionally.  Mash the tomatoes down with a potato
masher.   Cover again and cook for a further 4 to 6 hours until
thickened.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and pepper
flakes.  Add the honey and heat through. 

 photo DSCN8768_zpsziqyzjh0.jpg 
As the Italians would say Buon Appetito!!


Recipes

kitchen flavours: Blitz Bread : No-Fuss Focaccia

No-Fuss Focaccia, is really no fuss at all! It is extremely easy and quick to put together, and you’ll be enjoying it within two hours! And it is really tasty and good! Found this recipe from King Arthur’s Flour, don’t you just love this fabulous site, I do!

I made this twice actually, the first time we had it on its own with a cup of tea. It is really tasty and good enough to eat it as it is. The next day, I made it again, this time we ate it with a can of Campbell’s Mushroom Soup. Simply dip into the hot soup, Yummy! This bread is best eaten on the day it is made.

Super easy to make. There’s NO kneading! Just mix all ingredients in the cake mixer, after about a minute, the dough which is actually very soft and sticky, is placed in a greased baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap, make sure you grease the plastic wrap well. Leave it in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.

After about an hour, it will be puffy and nice. Make indentations all over with your fingers and drizzle lightly with some olive oil all over and in the indentations. Sprinkle with any dried herbs you like, I use Pizza Seasoning,  and bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes. Simple, isn’t it?

Delicious smell from the oven when it is baking!

Leave it for 5 minutes in the pan after baking, and turn out to a wire rack to cool.

We eat it warm (couldn’t wait!), really good!

I’ll be making this again!

Blitz Bread : No-Fuss Focaccia
(source from : King Arthur’s Flour)
1-1/2 cups warm water
3 tablespoons olive oil (plus additional for drizzling)
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
3-1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
4 teaspoons Pizza Dough Flavour, optional
1/4 cup Vermont Cheese powder, optional
Pizza Seasoning, optional

  1. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan, and drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil in the bottom.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients, and beat at high speed with an electric mixer for 60 seconds.
  3. Scoop the sticky batter into the prepared pan, cover the pan, and let it rise at room temperature for 60 minutes, till it’s become puffy.
  4. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375F.
  5. Gently poke the dough all over with your index finger.
  6. Drizzle it lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with pizza seasoning, and/or the dried herbs of your choice, if desired.
  7. Bake the bread till it’s golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
  8. Remove it from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Uncategorized

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Jump to Recipe

White chocolate raspberry cheesecake with a rich Oreo crust, white chocolate cream cheese base, and tasty raspberry swirl. Just like Cheesecake Factory’s recipe!

If you love cheesecake, you have to try this white chocolate raspberry version. This dessert is so full of flavor and takes our classic cheesecake to a whole new level.

White chocolate raspberry cheesecake on a white plate topped with raspberry sauce

Do you like cheesecake?

You know how much I LOVE white chocolate! I prefer it over any other type of chocolate, and some of my favorite desserts are made of it (like White Chocolate Lasagna and White Chocolate Scotcharoos).

I decided to try a white chocolate cheesecake recipe, and it’s actually similar to Cheesecake Factory’s recipe! It ended up so flavorful and great, if you love cheesecake.

It has a delicious chocolate Oreo crust, white chocolate cheesecake base, and raspberry sauce swirled on top. Three amazing flavors all combined into one tasty dessert! I like to add whipped cream and fresh raspberries, and serve it with leftover raspberry sauce. SO yummy!

process shots of oreo crust, cheesecake filling, and adding raspberry swirl on top

Making Raspberry Cheesecake

CRUST: Mix together the cookie crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar and melted butter in a medium bowl, or use a food processor. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

RASPBERRY SAUCE: Combine raspberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch and water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes while the sauce thickens up. Strain the sauce through a mesh strainer to remove any seeds.

CHEESECAKE BASE: Preheat oven to 325. Melt white chocolate chips and half and half in a medium pot on low heat, stirring constantly until smooth.Mix together cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and beat. Add vanilla and melted white chocolate and mix well.

Pour half the batter over the crust, then 3 tablespoons of the raspberry mixture over the batter. Pour remaining batter into the pan and spoon 3 tablespoons of the raspberry sauce on the top. Create a marbled effect by swirling the batter with the tip of a knife.

BAKE: Bake cheesecake for 55 to 60 minutes or until filling is set. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours before removing from the pan. Serve the cheesecake with the leftover raspberry sauce.

white chocolate raspberry swirl cheesecake

Tips and Tricks:

  • Use room temperature ingredients for best results. It will allow the ingredients to combine most effectively.
  • You definitely need a springform pan for this recipe! A cake pan won’t quite give you the same result.
  • You can make it a bit healthier by using low-fat cream cheese and fat-free half and half. Texture will be slightly different, but it will still turn out great.
  • Use a food processor or blender to finely crush the Oreos for the crust.
  • Make the crust with Golden Oreos or graham crackers for a flavor twist.
  • Let the cheesecake cool completely after baking before putting in the fridge to set.
  • If you’re in a time crunch, you can put the cheesecake in the freezer to speed up the setting process.

TOPPINGS: I like topping this cheesecake with homemade whipped cream, fresh raspberries, and leftover raspberry sauce. You could also add white chocolate chips or white chocolate shavings, nuts, Oreo crumbles, chocolate syrup, or even caramel.

STORING: Keep leftovers in the fridge, covered tightly with plastic wrap or tinfoil for up to 5 days. You can freeze an entire cheesecake, or freeze individual slices wrapped tightly in plastic or foil, then place in a freezer bag.

To thaw, place in the fridge overnight, or for quicker thawing, set out on the counter. It will thaw in about 30 minutes at room temperature.

cheesecake factory white chocolate raspberry cheesecake on a plate with whipped cream and fresh raspberries on top

For even more Cheesecake recipes, check out:

  • Pecan Pie Cheesecake
  • Milk Chocolate Cheesecake
  • Mini Coconut Lime Cheesecakes
  • No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Recipe

Print
Save Recipe Rate

White chocolate raspberry cheesecake with a rich Oreo crust, white chocolate cream cheese base, and tasty raspberry swirl. Just like Cheesecake Factory’s recipe!

Course

Dessert
Cuisine

American

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Refrigerating Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 30 minutes

Servings 12
Calories 337 kcal
Author Kristyn Merkley

Ingredients

  • 1
    cup
    Oreo crumbs
  • 3/4
    cup
    sugar
    (plus 1 tbsp)
  • 1/4
    cup
    butter
    melted
  • 1
    10 oz.
    package frozen raspberries
  • 2
    tsp
    cornstarch
  • 1/2
    cup
    water
  • 2
    cups
    white chocolate chips
  • 1/2
    cup
    half and half
  • 3
    8 oz.
    cream cheese packages
    softened
  • 3
    eggs
  • 1
    tsp
    vanilla

Instructions

  1. Mix together the cookie crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar and melted butter in a medium bowl. Press this into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

  2. Combine raspberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch and water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes while the sauce thickens up. Strain the sauce through a mesh strainer to remove any seeds.

  3. Preheat oven to 325. Melt white chocolate chips and half and half in a medium pot on low heat, stirring constantly until smooth.

  4. Mix together cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and beat. Add vanilla and melted white chocolate and mix well. 

  5. Pour half the batter over the crust, then 3 tablespoons of the raspberry mixture over the batter. Pour remaining batter into the pan and spoon 3 tablespoons of the raspberry sauce on the top. Create a marbled effect by swirling the batter with the tip of a knife.

  6. Bake cheesecake for 55 to 60 minutes or until filling is set.

  7. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours before removing from the pan. Serve the cheesecake with the leftover raspberry sauce. 

 

Cheesecake Factory White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Recipe

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Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative – from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Jump to Recipe

Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative – from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

More by Kristyn

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White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Recipe

Print
Save Recipe Rate

White chocolate raspberry cheesecake with a rich Oreo crust, white chocolate cream cheese base, and tasty raspberry swirl. Just like Cheesecake Factory’s recipe!

Course

Dessert
Cuisine

American

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Refrigerating Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 30 minutes

Servings 12
Calories 337 kcal
Author Kristyn Merkley

Ingredients

  • 1
    cup
    Oreo crumbs
  • 3/4
    cup
    sugar
    (plus 1 tbsp)
  • 1/4
    cup
    butter
    melted
  • 1
    10 oz.
    package frozen raspberries
  • 2
    tsp
    cornstarch
  • 1/2
    cup
    water
  • 2
    cups
    white chocolate chips
  • 1/2
    cup
    half and half
  • 3
    8 oz.
    cream cheese packages
    softened
  • 3
    eggs
  • 1
    tsp
    vanilla

Instructions

  1. Mix together the cookie crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar and melted butter in a medium bowl. Press this into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

  2. Combine raspberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch and water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes while the sauce thickens up. Strain the sauce through a mesh strainer to remove any seeds.

  3. Preheat oven to 325. Melt white chocolate chips and half and half in a medium pot on low heat, stirring constantly until smooth.

  4. Mix together cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and beat. Add vanilla and melted white chocolate and mix well. 

  5. Pour half the batter over the crust, then 3 tablespoons of the raspberry mixture over the batter. Pour remaining batter into the pan and spoon 3 tablespoons of the raspberry sauce on the top. Create a marbled effect by swirling the batter with the tip of a knife.

  6. Bake cheesecake for 55 to 60 minutes or until filling is set.

  7. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours before removing from the pan. Serve the cheesecake with the leftover raspberry sauce. 

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Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative – from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

More by Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative – from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

More by Kristyn

My Moms Recipes

The English Kitchen: Courgette Gratin (Zucchini)

SAM_1012

I was given a mammoth Courgette the other day. I didn’t mind at all . . . we kinda like courgettes, and as long as they aren’t overly large, there’s still a lot of value in them.  Once they get too big, they get a bit too spongy for me. I prefer small to medium sized ones, but the larger ones are quite good to use to make tasty courgette loaves.  In North America you will probably know this vegetable as the indomitable Zucchini!

SAM_1013

Courgettes are probably one of the easier vegetables to grow, and in truth will take over your garden quite quickly. We didn’t plant any at all this year, but whenever we have, we have had courgettes coming out our ears.   I have about a  bazillion ways of preparing to cope with the glut and this is one of the tastier ones!

SAM_1014

Courgettes are one of those vegetables that will just about take to any flavours you want to put with them. I love that you can eat the blossoms . . . as well as the flesh. Both are incredibly tasty . . . depending on what you do with them. The other day I decided to use half of the large one, grated and baked into a tasty loaf . . . and then the other half I made into this delicious gratin.

SAM_1015

It’s simply wilted courgettes and onions, layered in a dish with both a strong cheddar and a parmesan cheese . . . a garlic cream poured over top . . . and then the whole thing sprinkled with crunchy homemade garlic and herbed croutons.  It makes a very ample supper for two when served with a salad and some crusty bread (if desired) or a side dish for four.

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All in all it makes for quite a delicious and simple late summer repast . . . there won’t be many more of these if I am to trust that very tangible chill that I can already feel in the air . . .

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Ahhh summer . . . you came to us too late and then left us far too soon . . .

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*Courgette Gratin* (zucchini)
Serves 2 as a main
Printable Recipe

Something delicious to create when you’ve been gifted with an oversized courgette!

1/2 of a large cougette (zucchini)
(or 2 medium ones)
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, peeled and bruised
250ml of heavy cream (1 cup)
freshly grated nutmeg
fine seasalt and freshly ground black pepper
120g of strong cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)
2 TBS finely grated Parmesan Cheese
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
a handful of crushed garlic croutons

If you are using a very large courgette, you will have to cut it in half and scoop out the seeds and discard them. Once you have done that, slice the courgette into half moons and place into a large microwaveable bowl. Cover with plastic cling film and cook on high for about 3 minutes. Remove and let stand for about 5 minutes. Place the thinly sliced onion into a microwaveable container, cover with plastic cling film and cook on high for about 2 minutes. Set aside for a few minutes. Drain the courgette slices and the onions well.

Place the cream and garlic in a small saucepan. Heat gently until warmed through. Let stand for 10 minutes to infuse. Remove and discard the garlic at the end of that time. Season the cream with a bit of freshly grated nutmeg.

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/gas mark 6. Butter a medium sized gratin dish. Layer half of the courgette slices into it. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Cover with all of the onions. Sprinkle with half of the cheddar cheese, 1 TBS of the parmesan cheese and pour half of the cream evenly over top. Lay the remaining courgette slices over top of all. Season lightly again. Pour over the remainder of the cream. Sprinkle on the remaining cheeses and cover with the crushed croutons.

Bake in the heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until nicely heated through and the cheese is melted and the gratin is golden brown. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

Recipes

kitchen flavours: Rachael’s Spring Chicken Soup

What did we had for lunch? Pasta in Spring Chicken Soup. Rachael Ray called this Cure-a-Cold Spring Chicken Soup. According to her, “If you feel a cold coming on, take your vitamins, drink lots of fluids, and make a pot of this”. Well, I do not have a cold coming on, nor do any of us, but that does not stop me from making this! 🙂

Simple and yummy bowl of pasta in tasty chicken soup. Perfect for lunch!

This recipe calls for the zest and juice of 1 lemon, which I omitted. I just want the delicious taste of the chicken soup without the addition of sour lemon. For the pasta, I just  mixed some Elbow Pasta with Vegeroni Shapes Pasta.

The kids finished their meal with their bowls clean, not even a drop of soup left, me included! 🙂
This is a simple, yet satisfying lunch.

I’m sharing this with
Full Plate Thursday over at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
Recipe Swap Thursday over at Prairie Story(adapted from “Look+Cook” by Rachael Ray)
Serves 4
2 pieces boneless skinless chicken breast (6 ounces each)
2 onions, 1 halved and 1 chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
2 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
3 small to medium carrots, peeled and chopped or thinly sliced
4 small celery stalks, finely chopped
salt and black pepper
1 quart chicken stock
1/3 pound wide egg noodles
4 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
1/4 cup finley chopped fresh flat-leaf parlsey
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
zest and juice of 1 lemon

In a sauce pot, combine the chicken, halved onion, garlic, bay leaf, and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the EVOO over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery, season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Remove the poached chicken from the liquid and add about 2 cups of liquids, poured through a strainer, to the soup pot. Dice the poached chicken, then stir in the egg noodles, add the chicken, and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the scallions, parsley, dill and lemon zest and juice. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.





Top Secret Recipes

Technicolor Kitchen – English version: Peanut butter granola + Woody Allen and Larry David

Peanut butter granola / Granola de manteiga de amendoim

A couple of nights ago I was on my couch, watching “House M.D.” and being horrified by the fact that a child almost as tall as me was wearing diapers on that episode when the reminder for “Whatever Works” appeared on my screen; after watching the movie I thanked the Universe for putting Woody Allen and Larry David together – the witty text, perfectly performed by the fantastic David and a very sharp and talented Evan Rachel Woods, with the addition of a divine, funny and gorgeous Patricia Clarkson made me laugh so hard I was afraid my neighbors would think I’m crazy. 🙂
There are hundreds of great lines throughout the movie – you can find some of them here – and one of them is absolutely real: “The human race. They’ve had to install automatic toilets in public restrooms, because people can’t be entrusted to flush a toilet.” – it always amazes me – in a very bad way – that the Man has walked on the moon but some people seem incapable of flushing a freaking toilet. Go figure. 😀

This die-hard fan of “Mighty Aphrodite” loved the movie and if you like Allen’s sense of humor I’m sure you’ll love it too – watch it and then let me know what you think. Can I ask for one more thing? Make this granola – it’s the best granola I’ve ever eaten and the real challenge here was stop eating it right out of the oven so there would be at least half of it left to store in an airtight container. 😀
The recipe comes from a website I adore so much I cannot wait to buy their book.

Peanut butter granola
slightly adapted from the always amazing Food52

250g rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon table salt
½ cup crunchy peanut butter
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup (44g) lightly brown sugar, packed
¼ cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (110g) dried cranberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 165°C/325°F.
Combine oats, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine the peanut butter, oil, brown sugar, honey and vanilla. Pour mixture over granola and stir until oats are fully coated.
Spread gently in an ungreased 22x32cm (13x9in) pan. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until granola is toasted, stirring gently every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in pan.
Stir in fruit, if using, and store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to a month.

Serves 8-10

King Chef recipes

My Moms Recipes

The English Kitchen: Refresh with O-teas

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I was recently sent a sampling of Oteas to try out, some of their herbal blends and fruity teas.  I don’t drink regular tea, so its always nice to try something herbal that I can drink.

Oteas was born out of a desire to promote and support an active, healthy and balanced lifestyle. Their teas are expertly blended with the highest quality ingredients.  They are sourced from around the world, from countries including India, Sri Lanka, China and Japan.

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 The tea is  in pyramid shaped bio-degradable bags to maximise their infusion and to provide a superior taste. They come in 7 different ranges,  each with a variety of different blends.   You can choose from Black, Detox, Fruit, Green, Herbal, Organic or Rooibos and indulge in mouth-watering blends such as Date & Lime, Moroccan Mint and Lemongrass, Ginger & Cinnamon.

The blends are available in pouches or tins, each containing 15 bio-degradable tea bags, with prices ranging from £3.39 to £4.49 per pack.   The most eye catching and quirky member of the Oteas family is their individually boxed tea bags, which is what I received.   They are available in collections of 3, 12 or 24, with prices starting at just £1.29.   These delightful miniature boxes make the perfect gift for any tea-lover.   They would make great stocking stuffers coming Christmas time.

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For those who are keen to embark on a health kick, they also offer a Detox range, called ‘Oteatox’ which is currently stocked in Lloyds Pharmacy.

Oteas also offers around 400 different teas in a loose-leaf only format, which is rising in popularity.

I quite enjoyed the selection I was sent.  I think my favourite was the Liquorice one.  I love Liquorice anyways and this had a lovely flavour without it being over-powering!  I also loved the cute little pyramid boxes.  Great for gift-giving.

To find out more  do check out their webpage.