Cheesecake and Berry Weekend

I’ve been craving cheesecake for over a week and even though I bought all the ingredients last week I only managed to make it this week.

It was so easy and delicious.

Easy Cheesecake with Berry Reduction
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 


Course: Dessert
Ingredients
Crust
  • 1 packet plain biscuits, Petit Bur or Tennis Biscuits
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted margerine
  • 1 pinch salt
Filling
  • 2 packages cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 splash vanilla essence
Toppinb
  • 1 package mixed berries or berries of choice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon thickening agent (corn starch)
  • 1/4 cup water
Instructions
Crust
  1. Using a food processor (or a plastic bag and a rolling pin), break up the biscuits until they are a medium to fine powder, bigger bits are ok too.

  2. Add the sugar, salt and margarine and mix well.

  3. Prepare a round springform or pie dish and press the crumb mixture into the base, pressing it slightly up the sides.

  4. Set aside.

Filling
  1. With a hand mixer, mix the cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

  2. Gently pour the mixture over the crumb base.

  3. Bake in a 180C oven for 30 minutes.

  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool before adding the berry topping.

Topping
  1. While the cake is baking, add the berries, water, sugar and thickener to a pot on your stove.

  2. Mix well and bring to a rapid boil.

  3. Drop the temperature to a simmer and allow the berries to reduce by 1/3.

  4. Allow the berries to cool before pouring over the top of the cooled cheese cake.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour Easy Cheesecake

A taste of autumn.

After experiencing an unseasonably warm autumn in Israel, we had highs of 29C, its finally started getting cold and rainy.

What better way to spend a cold morning than baking?

I decided that cinnamon-y stewed apples were the way to go, and it just so happened we had some vanilla ice cream in the freezer and I also had the last of my Moir’s custard powder from SA that was begging to be used. 

Apple crumble was a go!

Hot Apple Crumble
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 


Course: Dessert
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and diced into 2cm chunks (I used Granny Smiths, you can use any type though)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or marge
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

  2. Place the diced apple, first lot of sugar and cinnamon, and the water into a pot.

  3. Bring to the boil while stirring and then drop to a low simmer.

  4. Keep stirring until the apples have softened.

  5. Place apples and any syrup into a pie dish.

  6. To make the crumble, using your hands, mix the flour, remaining sugar, butter, and cinnamon until the mixture looks like bread crumbs.

  7. Pour the flour mixture over the apples in an even layer.

  8. Bake the pie for about 30 min.

  9. Serve hot with ice cream and custard.

Got yogurt?

We did.

1.5L of Greek style yogurt.

Before it went bad I decided to look up a few recipes to use it up.

Two that stuck out were Snickerdoodle Cake and Frozen Yogurt Bark.

Both turned out delicious!

Snickerdoodle Cake
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 


Course: Dessert
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup Greek style labour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C and prepare 2 loaf pans.

  2. In a small bowl mix most of the cinnamon and 6 tablespoons of sugar together and set aside.

  3. In another bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and set aside.

  4. In your electric mixer (or a large bowl), cream the butter, sugar and oil on medium speed for about 1 minute.

  5. Add the eggs and mix.

  6. Add the vanilla and yogurt and mix until just combined.

  7. Add in the flour mixture and stir by hand until just combined.

  8. Scoop a 6th of the batter into each loaf tin, sprinkle a thick layer of cinnamon sugar over the batter, repeat 2 more times, ending with a cinnamon sugar layer.

  9. Bake for about 40-45 minutes.

  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from the tins.

  11. Serve warm with a little butter spread on.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Betty Crocker

 

Frozen Yogurt Bark
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 10 mins
 

Got some Greek style yogurt left over? This is a really quick and easy way to use it up.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Greek Style Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp honey You can add more or less depending on your taste
  • 1/2 cup fillings/toppings of your choice raisins, craisins, nuts, marshmallows, frozen berries, fresh fruit
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam heated until runny
Instructions
  1. Mix the yogurt and the honey until well combined.

  2. Add in any fillings you want.

  3. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or tin foil.

  4. Pour the yogurt onto the baking sheet. Thickness depends on you.

  5. Add desired toppings.

  6. Drizzle the strawberry jam over the top.

  7. Freeze for no less than 4 hours.

  8. Remove from freezer and break into pieces.

  9. Store in a sealed container in the freezer.

A taste of childhood

The other day, while hunting for a tin of coconut milk, I came across condensed milk. It can be tricky to find here so I grabbed one and then stuck it in the grocery cupboard and promptly forgot all about it.

Then last weekend while looking for something yummy to snack on, I pulled out the tin. I also spied a bag of desiccated coconut and an idea struck.

Coconut ice!

I remember the white and pink sugar overload from my childhood quite fondly and decided to whip up a batch and introduce it to my children. Faith was dutifully impressed, Aaron took one sniff and said no way!

Its really, really easy to make and took no time at all. The hardest part was the mixing, its really good for toning your arms!

Traditional Coconut Ice
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

Super sweet, super sticky, coconut treats.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1 tin condensed milk
  • 500 g icing sugar
  • 400 g desiccated coconut
  • 3 drops red food colouring you can use any colour you like and even add flavouring if you want
Instructions
  1. Pour the condensed milk into a large bowl.

  2. Add the icing sugar and the coconut and mix together. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl to get all the condensed milk.

  3. Keep mixing. The mixture will be very stiff. Keep going.

  4. Line a square or rectangular, deep sided dish with baking paper.

  5. Scoop out half the mixture and using your hands or the back of a spoon, press the mixture into the dish. It doesnt have to be perfect but the more uniform the thickness is, the better it will look when you cut it into squares.

  6. Add your colouring (and/or flavouring) to the remaining mixture and mix well until the entire mixture is coloured to your liking.

  7. Scoop out the coloured mixture and using your hands or the back of a spoon, spread it over the first layer in the dish and press it down.

  8. Once everything is smoothed out to your satisfaction, place the dish, covered, in the fridge for a few hours.

  9. Once cold and set, remove the coconut ice from the dish, peel off the baking paper and slice into small squares with a sharp knife.

  10. Store in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

You can add a bit of cocoa powder to the 2nd half of the mixture instead of food colouring to make a vanilla chocolate ice.

 

Yes, another recipe.

A while back I bought sour cream and since it was on special I bought 5 pots. Then I only used one. 

Since the sour cream was about to reach its expiry date (can sour cream really expire? Does it just get more sour?) I asked around for recipes to use up the last 4 pots.

I used one pot to make a creamy nutmeg pasta sauce the other night and then last night I used another pot to make these quick and really delicious scones.

Scones my wife made

 

Sour Cream Scones
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
Course: Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Servings: 6
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 envelope baking powder (about 3 teaspoons)
  • 200 ml sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons water approx/as needed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200C.

  2. Mix together all the dry ingredients.

  3. Add the sour cream and start mixing it in.

  4. The mixture will start to look like bread crumbs.

  5. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough starts to come together.

  6. Use your hands to kneed the dough into a ball. The dough will be quite sticky.

  7. Coating your hands in flour, take small handfuls of the dough and form balls.

  8. Place on a baking tray and flatten slightly.

  9. Bake at 200C for about 15 minutes.

  10. Allow to cool slightly before breaking them open and slathering butter, jam and cream over them.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from AllRecipes here.

Healthy homemade burgers

The last two days I have been home sick with Aaron. He’s ok, just another bout of viral-thing-itus. But, being home meant plenty of time to cook.

Over two days, we made homemade pizza, homemade chicken burgers and we made another batch of pasta sauce.

Here is the recipe for the chicken burgers. They were so good we ate all (8!) of them in one sitting!

Breaded Chicken Burgers
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Quick and easy to make breaded chicken burgers
Course: Main Course
Servings: 8
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 500 g chicken mince
  • Half onion minced or grated
  • A few cloves of garlic minced
  • Half cup breadcrumbs/panko
  • Salt, pepper, sweet chili flakes to taste
  • 1 egg
  • More breadcrumbs/panko for covering the patties
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients well.
  2. Take handfuls of the mixture and shape into balls then flatten to desired thickness (my kids did this part and had a blast).
  3. Set the patties aside and heat some oil in medium heat pan.
  4. Dip each side of the pattie into the crumbs before placing in the hot oil.
  5. Fry for 5-10 min each side (depends on thickness of patties).

Homemade

Recently I have been trying to make more things from scratch. Not only is it healthier but most of the time its far more cost effective than buying ready made.

I posted about my pasta sauce the other day. The total cost of that was under ₪10 (about R35). It was also sugar and preservative free and was totally delicious. 

I also want to start making my own burger patties and pizza bases.

One of the things I’ve been making myself each week is our Shabbat challah. I started off making it because I got myself a stand mixer with a dough hook and it is just so easy but now I make it because its cheaper, healthier, tastes amazing and its really special to have homemade challah on a Friday night too.

I have reduced the original recipe to make 2 small medium sized challot but the original recipe makes enough for 4 challot or 2 challot and a dozen cinnamon rolls. Here is my amended recipe.

Challah
Prep Time
1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
2 hrs
 
Course: Side Dish
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons instant/dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups flour (approx)
  • 1 egg for brushing
  • sesame seeds/kosher salt/herbs for topping
Instructions
  1. Place water, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl.

  2. Leave for about 5 minutes or until it starts foaming.

  3. Add eggs, oil, salt.

  4. Add 3 cups of flour and start mixing.

  5. Slowly add the 4th cup of flour until the dough becomes smooth and not sticky.

  6. You may need more or less flour, go by feel.

  7. Either kneed by hand or with a dough hook on your mixer until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

  8. When the dough is ready, lightly oil your bowl and place the dough inside.

  9. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let the dough rise for about an hour or until double in size.

  10. Kneed down and divide the dough into 2 equal parts.

  11. Form 2 challot, either by plaiting or forming rounds.

  12. Turn the oven to 180C and let the challot sit, covered until the oven is ready.

  13. Brush challot with beaten egg and top with desired topping.

  14. Bake for 30 minutes.

  15. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Recipe Notes

This recipe is adapted from Sy's Challah on AllRecipes.

Gobble gobble gobble

Last night, while scavenging the freezer for something to make for dinner, I found a turkey breast tucked away in the back of a draw.

I forgot I had it and we haven’t had turkey in a while so there was all kinds of excitement.

Except… I always make turkey breast in a tomato and red wine sauce and that sounded boring. So I created a new recipe.

 

Sweet Chili Turkey
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 large turkey breast. Mine was skinless and boneless but it would work with skin too.
  2. 1 medium onion, sliced into rings
  3. 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  4. 1 tablespoon sweet chili flakes
  5. Olive oil
  6. Lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. In a pirex dish or oven proof dish with a lid, place the turkey breast skin side up if you are using one with skin.
  3. layer the onion around and on top of the turkey.
  4. Sprinkle the garlic and sweet chili over the top of the breast.
  5. Drizzle the oil and lemon juice to taste over the breast.
  6. Cover and bake for 50 minutes.
Notes
  1. If you use a breast with skin, remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes so the skin gets crispy.
  2. The turkey came out moist and delicious and the lemon juice and olive oil made a nice sauce to pour over rice or couscous.
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Mrs Balls, eat your heart out!

So a while back I mentioned that one of the things I missed from South Africa was Mrs Balls Chutney

While you can get Mrs Balls in Israel it comes at a premium since it’s a specialty import. 

So I decided to make my own. And it’s delicious!

For some reason my recipe card add on isnt working so please excuse the ugly recipe below… I found a new recipe add on so now the recipe is all pretty!

Fruit Chutney Recipe
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 20 mins
 
A traditional South African fruit chutney. **The recipe requires that you leave the fruit soaking in water over night, the times below do not include the soak time*
Servings: 6 jars
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 500 g dried pears
  • 500 g dried peach
  • 500 g dried apples (I didnt have apple but I did have mango so I substituted)
  • 500 g dates
  • 500 g sultanas
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic , pressed
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon sweet chili mix
Instructions
  1. Roughly (or finely) chop all the fruit.
  2. Place in a bowl and cover with the water.
  3. Leave over night.
  4. The next day place the fruit in a large heavy bottomed pot.
  5. Add all the remaining ingredients to the pot and mix well.
  6. Bring to the boil.
  7. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours.
  8. Bottle the mixture into clean glass jars while still hot.
  9. You can eat the chutney straight away but it’s better to let it mature for a few weeks (6-8 is recommended).
Recipe Notes

This time I couldn’t find any dried apple in the store so I left it out.

Basically you can add or leave out any of the fruits depending on availability or the taste you are looking for.

If you don’t have rubber sealed lids on your jars, then place some wax paper between the jar and the lid before sealing.

You can eat the chutney straight away but it’s better to let it mature for a few weeks (6-8 is recommended).

 

Its not just banana bread

So I mentioned that I bought a stand mixer the other day. Well, it arrived and so far I have made 2 batches of challah using the dough hook (NEVER kneading dough again!) as well as a batch of cinnamon muffins and on Friday I made an apple and banana bread/muffin recipe.

I have absolutely no idea what prompted me to add apples into the mix but I’m glad I did. They were amazing!

Apple Banana Bread
Yummy fresh apple and banana bread.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 large grated or finely chopped apples (I used 2 green and 1 red and left the skin on)
  2. 3 large ripe or overripe bananas, mashed
  3. 2 cups sugar (I used sugar replacement)
  4. 3 cups flour
  5. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 2/3 cup of oil
  9. 2 teaspoons vanilla (I didn't have so didn't add and it was absolutely fine)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C and grease 2 loaf pans or like I did, 1 loaf pan and 2-3 muffin trays (12-18 muffins).
  2. Add all the ingredients into a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer.
  3. Mix well, ensuring all the flour is incorporated.
  4. Separate batter into the desired pans and place in the oven.
  5. For loafs, bake for about 1 hour.
  6. For muffins bake for between 30 minutes and 45 minutes.
Notes
  1. The original recipe called for half a cup chopped nuts and half a cup raisins. I had neither on hand so didn't add them and the recipe came out fine. You could also add craisins or even chocolate chips to this recipe and it would be delicious.
Adapted from Food.com
Adapted from Food.com
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/