Monthly Archives: June 2014

Dark and White Chocolate Cheesecake

It was Arielle’s birthday, time to make my white chocolate cheesecake.  She and Cam were making chocolate chip cookies, so they had all the baking chocolate out on the counter. But, to my surprise, there was only half the white chocolate than I needed. Oh, I was frustrated, I had already run to the store for heavy cream and cream cheese.  I did not want to go out again.

Luckily, there was plenty of dark chocolate, so I decided to use white chocolate in the crust20140624-213707-77827732.jpgand dark chocolate in the cream cheese body.20140624-213708-77828394.jpgHere is the outcome…20140628-180252-64972106.jpgTo celebrate the joint birthday of Arielle and her friend, Elyse, we spent the morning as zombies at he Zombie Mud Run…20140628-193024-70224524.jpgThen, after a cleanup, it was time for birthday cheesecake!20140628-180251-64971724.jpg

Dark and White Chocolate Cheesecake


1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup white macadamia nuts, finely chopped

4 oz white chocolate, finely chopped

1 egg, beaten (from Farmer Kim)


8 oz dark chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 Tbsp vanilla

3 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened

1 14-oz can sweetened-condensed milk

3 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

Raspberries, dark chocolate chips, confectioner’s sugar


Preheat the oven to 325F.

Make the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Cut in the butter/margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the remaining crust ingredients, mix well.20140624-213707-77827732.jpgPress into the bottom and sides of a 9″ springform pan. Refrigerate.

Make the cake: Combine chocolate and cheesecake in a double boiler, cook, stirring constantly over simmering water, until the chocolate is melted. Stir in the vanilla and keep warm.20140624-213708-77828762.jpgCombine the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in a medium-sized bowl. Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.20140624-213709-77829107.jpgAdd the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition.  Stir in the chocolate cream by hand, mix well.20140624-213709-77829623.jpgPour over the crust.20140624-213710-77830138.jpgBake 1 hour 20 minutes.20140624-213710-77830504.jpgRemove from oven and separate the cake from the rim of the pan (I ran a knife around).  Let cool.20140624-213710-77830856.jpgRemove the rim of the pan.  Once totally cool, refrigerate the cheesecake.

Garnish with raspberries, chocolate chips and confectioner’s sugar.

Enjoy!20140628-180252-64972106.jpgServes 12 – 14.

Categories: Dessert, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 2 Comments

Swiss Chard and Artichoke Dip

The beauty of swiss chard never ceases to amaze me. Even in a Lego Movie cup they make a great bouquet.


For a new twist, I used the above bunch to make a vegetarian adaptation of Guy Fieri’s spicy swiss chard and artichoke dip.  Lauren, our pescatarian, had a few friends staying with us, including a vegetarian, so this was a great snack before dinner.


Swiss Chard and Artichoke Dip – Vegetarian Version

adapted from Guy Fieri’s Spicy Swiss Chard and Artichoke Dip

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 – 3 tsp smoked paprika

8 cups (lightly packed) roughly chopped Swiss chard, stems removed

One 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, roughly chopped

1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapenos, drained

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

1/4 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup cream cheese, softened

1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for topping

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tortilla chips, for serving


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes.


Stir in the smoked paprika, artichoke hearts, pickled jalapenos and sun-dried tomatoes and heat through, 1 minute.


In a deep pot, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking, until golden, 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and slowly pour in the milk while whisking; cook, whisking constantly, for 5 minutes. Add the sauce to the chard mixture.


Stir in the ricotta, cream cheese, cheddar and Parmesan. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.


Transfer the mixture to a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with some grated Parmesan.


Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 20 minutes. Serve warm with tortilla chips for dipping.


Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Swiss Chard, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Grilled Asparagus & Avocado Quesadilla

Farmers market asparagus is the highlight in this interesting and tasty quesadilla that was inspired by a taco recipe in Runners World magazine.  That said, I am not sure what my favorite part is, the homemade white refried beans (made with oregano from my garden),


the grilled asparagus,


or the grilled avocado.

20140615-205258-75178344.jpg The flavors all blended so well, especially with some cheese (I used a salsa monterrey jack) and pico de gallo.  My local store makes a very good pico de gallo, so since my tomatoes are not ripe yet, I opted to use theirs.


The next day I brought the leftover refried beans, pico de gallo and avocado as my work lunch to each with some tortilla chips…yum!

Grilled Asparagus & Avocado Quesadilla

For the refried beans:

1 cup dried white northern or cannellini beans

2 quarts water

1 serrano chili, minced

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1/2 onion, minced

1/2 tsp dried oregano (from the garden)

1 Tbsp lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

For the quesadilla:

8 small whole wheat flour tortillas

refried beans (see recipe)

1 lb asparagus, grilled and cut in half (from Beechwood Orchards)

2 avocados, cut in half and grilled (oil the avocado so it does not stick to the grill or grill pan), then sliced

4 ounces grated cheese (monterey, pepper, or salsa jack)

pico de gallo


Make the refried beans:

Bring the water to boil in a large pot.  Pick over the beans to remove any discolored or shriveled ones.  Add to the water with the serrano pepper, cover and reduce heat to a simmer.

20140615-205255-75175942.jpgCook for about 1 hour 45 minutes, until the beans are tender. Reserve some cooking liquid, drain and roughly mash with a potato masher.


In a saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat.  Saute the onion and oregano for about 10 minutes. Add the mashed beans, 1/2 Tbsp oil, and saute for about 10 minutes.  Stir in lemon juice, season to taste with salt and pepper.  I like the beans with some texture.  If you desire a smoother mixture, you can transfer it to a food processor and process until smooth.


For the quesadilla:

Spray a 10-inch non-stick pan with olive oil.  Heat over medium-high heat.

Build the quesadilla by placing one tortilla on a plate.  Spread with a couple of tablespoons of refried beans.  Top with asparagus and avocado slices, sprinkle with about 1 ounce shredded cheese.


Top with a second tortilla, transfer to the heated pan. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, until the bottom tortilla is browned.  Flip and cook another 2 – 3 minutes until the other side is browned and the cheese is melted.


To serve, transfer to a plate and cut into sixths, top with pico de gallo.


Repeat the process to make 4 quesadillas. Enjoy!20140615-205300-75180389.jpg

Categories: Asparagus, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Strawberry Peanut Butter Pitas

I really enjoy having a farmers market just 4 blocks from my office at the University of Pennsylvania.  The PA growing season is a little behind mine in Delaware, so I get to extend the seasons for my favorite fruits and veggies.  I recently picked up some asparagus, bok choy, sugar snap peas and strawberries. The veggies went into three separate dinners, and the strawberries were mostly eaten straight up by my son and me with our lunches. Now, there are just a few left…


Some of these went into a simple, yet fun, lunch for me on my day off…Strawberry Peanut Butter Pitas!  Why use preserves when you have the fresh fruit around?


Strawberry Peanut Butter Pitas

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens PB and Strawberry Pockets

Recipe for 1 serving, just multiply for more servings:

1/2 large whole wheat pita bread, halved crosswise into semicircles

2 Tbsp peanut butter (I used white chocolate peanut butter)

1 Tbsp golden raisins

1/3 cup fresh strawberries, sliced (from Beechwood Orchards)

2 tsp sunflower seeds, hulled


In a small bowl mix together the peanut butter, raisins and 1/2 the sunflower seeds.

20140613-155635-57395162.jpgOpen the pita into a pocket.  Spread with the peanut butter mixture.  Top with strawberries and sprinkle with the remaining sunflower seeds.  Enjoy!




Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Sandwich, Strawberries, Vegetarian | 3 Comments

Roasted Cauliflower Frittata

As I have been saying, I am tickled with the cauliflower in my garden.  So far I have used the cauliflower in Spanish Cauliflower-Chickpea Salad and in a vegetable tempura that really good, but I did not get enough photos of to be able to build a post on it.  Tonight was a frittata I developed last year.

20140531-230045-82845967.jpg The key to a good frittata is good eggs.  Mine, of course, came from Farmer Kim…free-range organic eggs.20140531-230046-82846563.jpg

The eggs beat up so beautifully…


Making the perfect base for my Roasted Cauliflower Frittata.


Roasted Cauliflower Frittata

1/2 medium or 1 small Cauliflower (from the garden)

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 large onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced (from the garden)

8 eggs, beaten (from Farmer Kim)

1/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano


Heat the oven to 400F.

Cut the cauliflower into small florets.  Toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt & pepper to taste.  Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast for 25 – 30 minutes. Remove from the oven.  Reduce oven to 350F.


In a large, oven-proof, non-stick skillet, cook the onion in 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat until browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.  


Reduce the heat to medium.  Add the cauliflower in 1 layer. 


Pour in the eggs. Top with cheese.


Cook for 5 – 7 minutes, until the center is not quite cooked through.


Place in the oven and cook for 5 minutes. Broil for 2 minutes.


Serve and enjoy!  


Serves 6 as an appetizer, 3 – 4 as a main dish.




Categories: Cauliflower, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Spinach Salad with Sweet Roasted Pecans and Gorgonzola

The spinach in my garden is finally getting big and full enough to harvest.  When I went out to the garden I picked enough for a nice lunch salad.


It had been a long time since I ate gorgonzola, I had forgotten how much more I like it than blue cheese; to me it has a lot more zing.  This is a simple salad: spinach, pecans, gorgonzola and a shallot dressing.  As lunch it was a real treat; light yet satisfying and actually filling.


Spinach Salad with Sweet Roasted Pecans and Gorgonzola

by Dave Lieberman

1 package triple-washed spinach

3 to 4 handfuls pecan halves

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

A few pinches sugar

A few pinches salt

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

2 small shallots, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small wedge Gorgonzola, crumbled (about 2 ounces)


 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place spinach in serving bowl.


 Toss pecans with vegetable oil, sugar and salt. Lay out on baking sheet. Roast until shade darker and aromatic, about 7 to 8 minutes. Set aside.


Make dressing by combining olive oil, vinegar, shallots and salt and pepper in a bowl and whisking together or place in sealable container and shake.


Toss spinach with dressing,


Gorgonzola and pecans. Serve and enjoy!

20140608-200925-72565599.jpg Serves 4.

Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Spinach, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Big Sur Hide Bread (Rolls)

What to do with the millet in my pantry?  I have been waiting for the perfect bread recipe to use it in. If you have not had it before, millet adds a great texture to breads. I have a millet bread that I used to make in college, but it is a yeast bread and I was looking for something a bit faster and less fussy.    This recipe combined the millet with bran, flax, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds – an all-star texture combination.


The resulting rolls are a real treat.  Like english muffins, they are best sliced in half and toasted. 20140524-212206.jpg

They are equally good with dinner, as the base for a turkey sandwich, or as breakfast.  They can be simply toasted with butter, but I love mine with date spread.


Since there are no preservatives in the rolls, after the 2nd day I would advise slicing them and storing them in the freezer.  I then microwave them for about 15 seconds before toasting them.

Big Sur Bakery Hide Bread

5 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra flour for dusting
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 cups oat bran
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup amaranth, quinoa, millet, or poppy seeds (or any combo of these) – I used millet
2 tablespoons dulse flakes, or 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons beer
2 1/2 cups buttermilk, half-and-half, milk, or water – I used buttermilk
unsalted butter, softened for serving


Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper if desired.

Place all the dry ingredients in an (extra-large) bowl, stir them together, and make a well in the center.


Add the beer and the buttermilk.


Mix with the handle of a wooden spoon until a thick, wet batter forms. Sprinkle a layer of flour over the top. Turn the batter onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a loose log about 2 inches in diameter.


Cut it into 1 1/2-inch-thick slices and par them down with your hands to form patties. Place the patties on the baking sheet and bake them for 45 minutes, until golden brown.


Let them cook completely.


To serve, slice each patty in half, toast it well, and smear with butter (hs note: a sprinkling of salt works wonder here as well). And seriously, make sure to toast it. Hide bread is similar to an English muffin in that if you don’t toast it, it’ll taste raw.


Makes about fifteen 4-inch patties.




Categories: Bread, Kosher, Recipe | 1 Comment

Macerated Strawberries

I didn’t think you could make strawberries taste any better than they do fresh out of the garden.


But I was intrigued by the recipe for macerated strawberries in The Batali Brothers Cookbook by Benno and Leo Batali (Mario’s sons).  It was so simple, I just had to try it.


Again I used a mix of my own and other local strawberries. I am lucky to have several farms to choose from on my way home from Philadelphia.

This was delicious.  My husband and I ate the whole bowl in one sitting!


Macerated Strawberries

from The Batali Brothers Cookbook by Benno and Leo Batali

1 pint strawberries, preferably small berries, washed, hulled and quartered (I used mine whole) (from the garden or local)

2 Tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt


Combine the strawberries, sugar and salt in a bowl.


Stir and let stand for 30 minutes.


Taste the berries for sweetness, and add more sugar if necessary before serving.


Makes about 2 1/2 cups.







Categories: Dessert, Kosher, Recipe, Strawberries, Vegetarian | 2 Comments

Spanish Cauliflower-Chickpea Salad

Cauliflower is ready to be harvested! All 4 of my plants are producing. This is the first time that has happened. Typically I only get heads on 2 of the 4, so I am very happy. This post is about what I did with the first two heads…


My two favorite ways to prepare cauliflower are pan searing and, what I did here, roasting. I had never tossed them with smoked paprika before, that was a neat addition. And look at that great color!


Here is the parsley from my garden, isn’t it pretty?


Bring together the roasted, smoked paprika cauliflower, some chickpeas, and parsley along with oil, vinegar and seasoning and you get a beautiful salad or side dish.


We had it as a side dish with arroz con pollo; it was a very tasty combination.


Spanish Cauliflower-Chickpea Salad

adapted from Food Network Magazine

1 medium head or 2 small heads cauliflower, cut into small florets (from the garden)

2 Tbsp olive oil

Kosher salt

3/4 tsp smoked paprika

1 cup canned chickpeas, drained & rinsed

1/4 cup chopped parsley (from the garden)

1 Tbsp white wine vinegar


Heat oven to 425F.

Toss the cauliflower with 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt and paprika.


Spread on a baking sheet, roast for 20 minutes. Let cool.


Toss with chickpeas, parsley, salt remaining olive oil and vinegar.


Chill until serve.  Enjoy!


Makes 3 servings.


Categories: Cauliflower, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Cammy’s Hide and Seek Muffins

Our “top chef” agreed to come back to the kitchen to make the Hide and Seek Muffins from Mollie Katzen’s Pretend Soup cookbook.


My strawberry plants are still young, so they are producing sweet berries, just not that many.


So, we used a mix of strawberries from our garden and other local strawberries.  Cracking eggs may be his self-proclaimed specialty, but her also enjoyed rolling the strawberries in sugar before burying them in the muffin batter.


We made these as a breakfast treat for Lauren and her visiting friends. But that doesn’t mean the Top Chef doesn’t get to enjoy his own creation…


Hide and Seek Muffins

from Mollie Katzen’s Pretend Soup 

1 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar

2 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1 cup milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

4 Tbsp butter, melted

12 medium-sized strawberries (from the garden and/or local)

2 to 3 Tbsp sugar for rolling strawberries


Preheat the oven to 375F and place reusable or paper liners in the muffin pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

In another bowl, crack the eggs. Add the milk, vanilla, melted butter.  Whisk about 20 times.


Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture.  Mix with a spoon until the flour is “all gone”.


Use a 1/4 cup measure with a handle to fill the muffin cups halfway.

Roll each strawberry in sugar.  Put one in the center of each muffin, pushing it down with your finger.



Bake 15 – 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted all the way down comes out clean.  Remove from pan to cool.


Cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.


Makes 1 dozen muffins.



Categories: Breakfast, Cammy's Cooking Adventures, Kosher, Recipe, Strawberries, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

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