The Cheesecake Addiction

My Life in Food

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Poetry: Friends sharing a bottle in winter

…A nice foodie poem for this cold Chicago night!

Lords of the Drinks

We believed it was time for some poetry again. The only problem was we had no more alcohol related poems laying around. So it was time to ick up a pen ourselves. Last night Micky wrote his first poem ever and now we’d like to share this with you. A bit of an exciting moment really, but staying in your comfort zone gets you nowhere. It’s called “Friends sharing a bottle in winter”. Hope you’ll enjoy it.

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Happy New Year

Hi all!

Happy New Year! I hope it treated you well. I, for one, was face down most of the day dealing with the flu. Yippee!

 

But I’m proud to announce the launch of my new youtube channel! Checkout The Cheesecake Addiction’s first ever video!

 

The Cheesecake Addiction: Episode 1

 

2013 in review–Thanks to all my readers!

Dear readers,

 

Thanks so much for stopping by this year. My New Year’s Resolution is to kick this blog into high gear, so your support is continuously appreciated!

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 17 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Have You Seen the Trailer for 30 Minutes Yet?

Check out my old college bud’s trailer for 30 Minutes!

A Photo Blog

Kids, there is no frickin way I can recount the foodie adventures this past month!

It has been a crazy long time since my last post and CDR and I hosted Friendsgiving, we made mozzarella (yeah, we did!), and made FRESH guava jam. We milled our own flour, I catered a WEDDING, and a million little yummies happened in between. So, in no particular (though I tried to stay chronological) order, feast your eyes on the glory that was our month in food!

*For the mozzarella, jam, and flour grinding, there will be separate and more in-depth posts.

FIRST. Let's talk about the curtains I made! I ordered this fabric on Fabric.com and when I had some time to do nothing except make curtains and watch Law and Order: Criminal Intent, I measured out the 10 yards of fabric.

FIRST. Let’s talk about the curtains I made! I ordered this fabric on Fabric.com and when I had some time to do nothing except make curtains and watch Law and Order: Criminal Intent, I measured out the 10 yards of fabric.

I used no-sew adhesive tape! Iron on some tape, peel the paper off to expose the other sticky layer, fold your hem over, iron again and you got curtains!

I used no-sew adhesive tape! Iron on some tape, peel the paper off to expose the other sticky layer, fold your hem over, iron again and you got curtains!

Have your handy, dandy CDR hang up your curtain rod and attach these babies with clip-on rings from IKEA. We have another window decked out in the same fabric.

Have your handy, dandy CDR hang up your curtain rod and attach these babies with clip-on rings from IKEA. We have another window decked out in the same fabric.

Complete the look with a Christmas tree. Isn't it cute?! Whoville, anyone?

Complete the look with a Christmas tree. Isn’t it cute?! Whoville, anyone?

And that’s phase 1 of Christmas!

For Friendsgiving, we were in charge of the stuffing, turkey, gravy, an appetizer, and a dessert. I made bacon-wrapped dates and cheesecake. The turkey was from Trader Joe’s. Awesome. And the stuffing:

The stuffing is so incredibly delicious. And sweet. We added chopped carrots and fennel to clear out the fridge! Recipe:http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/italian-sausage-and-bread-stuffing-240559

The stuffing is so incredibly delicious. And sweet. We added chopped carrots and fennel to clear out the fridge! Recipehttp://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/italian-sausage-and-bread-stuffing-240559

Also, this pretty lady turned 17 on Nov 17th! Golden Birthday!

Also, this pretty lady turned 17 on Nov 17th! Golden Birthday!

And here’s just a few pictures of the cheese making, the guava paste, and flour milling. Waiting on a certain SOMEONE to send me some more pictures from the wedding. 🙂 So, I’ll update the post in a few hours!

Simmering guava juices and sugar has to get to 212 degrees before you can whip it and cool it! YUM! The WHOLE Dunn-Rankin house smelled like GUAVA!

Simmering guava juices and sugar has to get to 212 degrees before you can whip it and cool it! YUM! The WHOLE Dunn-Rankin house smelled like GUAVA!

You'll have to wait for the in-depth post to get the full scoop on the mozzarella, but here's an "after" shot.

You’ll have to wait for the in-depth post to get the full scoop on the mozzarella, but here’s an “after” shot.

Grind whole wheat through the mill THREE times. You'll go from this after one grind...

Grind whole wheat through the mill THREE times. You’ll go from this after one grind…

To THIS.

To THIS.

Again, more pictures are coming! CDR has to send me some wedding pictures, and I’ll put the pictures of my cupcakes and small bites up too! Stay tuned, too. Because I’m about to launch The Cheesecake Addiction Store.

Back soon–and for REAL this time.

UPDATE***

Here’s some more pictures courtesy of my honey, CDR!

Peanut Butter cups, anyone? These guys were so YUMMY!

Peanut Butter cups, anyone? These guys were so YUMMY!

Check out these gorgeous vanilla cupcakes! Buttercream and strawberries on top? With some gold sprinkles? Country-chic Cupcakes.

Check out these gorgeous vanilla cupcakes! Buttercream and strawberries on top? With some gold sprinkles? Country-chic Cupcakes.

Cheesecake bite, peanut butter cup, pumpkin cupcake, and a vanilla cupcake. The only thing missing on the plate were the brownies…which were SO NOT from a box…wink, wink.

Cheesecake bite, peanut butter cup, pumpkin cupcake, and a vanilla cupcake. The only thing missing on the plate were the brownies…which were SO NOT from a box…wink, wink.

Annie approves. Cousin love.

Annie approves. Cousin love.

 

 

 

So I’ve Been Away…And It’s Been CRAY

WHOA! It cannot have been more than a month since my last post?!

Oh my gosh, it’s been more than a month since my last post.

Well, that has to be fixed.

It’s hard to come back after so long and really narrow it down. I mean, so many things have been cooked. We’re getting into fall, so CDR and I have started making a lot of soups…we’re back on making stock, too. The other night I made a delicious dinner of baked Arctic Char (kind of like salmon) and…oh gosh…I have no idea what I served with it. BUT, I know that I marinated the fish in white wine, salt, and pepper for twenty minutes. Then I dried off the filets and rubbed them with olive oil, dijon mustard and sprinkled on some fresh rosemary, salt, and pepper. The white wine went into the pan as well, and it all baked at 400 for about twenty minutes. Drizzle that biz with some lemon, and you got winner winner good fish dinner! 

Boom Dynamite! (That’s for you, Ms. Archer if you are reading)

Additionally, I recently started mentoring an awesome woman named Georgia. She’s in culinary school and so we get to spend a lot of time cooking together. On Tuesday, she wanted to make pumpkin pie, so we did. (well, she did…I just opened a few cans).Image

I also made an apple crumble yesterday. Same ol’ same ol’. Peeled and chopped apples. Toss with flour, sugar, spices, and per Alton Brown’s suggestion…Apple Jack. Bake with crumble topping (oats, sugar, butter, cinnamon, etc) for about 45 minutes.Imageout 45 minutes.Image

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ImageNaturally, I have no photos of the topping or the finished product. 

It was good…not my best. The apples didn’t really get very syrupy and the top didn’t really crunch the way it is supposed to. But the flavors were there. Nommers.

In the time I’ve been gone, I sold my first house and CDR and I bought a car. We went to IKEA and really started getting the place ready for the holidays. Financially, we’re starting to look good again and things are moving along, better than ever.

Right on. 

 

 

Patty Melts. ‘Nuff Said.

So last night I decided that I needed to make a cheesecake. I needed to re-work the recipe and adjust the cooking time and the results were ok…not the greatest cheesecake I ever made, but pretty good. Once I perfect it, I’ll re-post the recipe on the cheesecake page, but the world isn’t ready yet.

For dinner, our plan was to make patty melts, and when we got home we saw that our bread had grown some mold…and a very grouchy CDR had to stifle tears. A bit of quick thinking, I figured out that we could use the Everything bagels we had on hand and CDR quickly recovered. Besides…just picture a patty melt on an everything bagel. It just begs to be served on an American Flag and eaten on the 4th of July or in the spirit of patriotism.

I set to work by first forming the patties. I mixed a little salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar into the meat for added flavor and then formed them into thin patties (for quicker cooking and bagel fitting).Image 8

Next I thinly chopped some red onion and poblano peppers (from the garden) and lightly carmelized them. And sliced some tomatoes.Image 7Image 10

I got my cast iron skillet hot and ready by melting about 3 tablespoons of butter.

When it was all nice and sizzle-y I dropped the patties in and meanwhile lightly toasted the bagels.Image 11

The patties cooked for about 3 minutes a side and then I removed them to build the bagel burger melt. We have muenster cheese, patty, tomato, carmelized peppers and onions, more cheese and ketchup and mayo. While this happened, CDR kindly (in what I’m sure was an effort to make up for his grouchiness earlier) removed the grease from the pan and put it back on the heat.

Carefully, I put each bagel burger patty melt into the skillet to get melty. This will not melt down the same way a normal patty melt would, but it’ll still get pretty damn good. Also…if you’re feeling bold and daring…flip it.

Try not to drool.

Try not to drool.

And then eat it. With a beer. Because this is America.

I ARE AMERICA AND SO CAN YOU!

I ARE AMERICA AND SO CAN YOU!

So my birthday has come and gone, and while it makes me sad because it marks the ending of summer, it also makes me a little giddy. Because my other favorite part of the year is only four months and four days away!

Christmas Bells will soon be ringing and I. Can’t. Fucking. Wait.

CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Mahi-Mahi Wraps and My Birthday

Ok. Wow. As I typed “my birthday” just now (up there ^) I realized that I didn’t have cake on my birthday…or the celebration before. I didn’t blow out any candles. Shoot. CDR, get on that! I’m mildly debilitated with sadness over this fact.

I’ll get back to my birthday wish in a second. First, I’ll tell you about the extraordinary food I’ve made/eaten these last few days. We have to rewind to Saturday.

On Saturday evening, after yet another car melt-down, CDR and I found ourselves in Trader Joe’s trying to figure out what we wanted for dinner. He was thinking maybe fish tacos and I was thinking maybe Indian food. So we compromised. Mahi-Mahi wraps with a curried mayo and ginger chutney.

Oh. My. God.

First, we sliced the fillets of fish into long strip chunks (yes, the technical term) and coated them with some turmeric, coriander, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.Image 1

We cooked them on a flat top grill with some red onions.Image 2

And sliced up some tomatoes.Image

Then we built our beautiful wraps. On the bottom, we spread curried mayo (mayo with curry powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and lime juice) and some jarred ginger chutney (found at Trader Joe’s). Top with fish, carmelized onions, and fresh tomatoes and ALWAYS when it comes to fish, add a little lime or lemon juice on top.Image 3

It’s so pretty, right? And sooo tasty!

The next morning, we had some left over fish and being the resident Jew of Reason, I suggested that rather than the smoked trout we had from Trader Joe’s, we put the left over mahi-mahi on a bagel with some cream cheese and the works.Image 4

Mmm, good. An onion or everything bagel is key here. It goes bagel, cream cheese, fish, tomato, red onion, capers, LIME OR LEMON JUICE, and topped with some dressed arugula.

Later that night my parents took us out to one of my favorite places, Quartino. It’s a delicious wine bar with small, delicious plates. CDR and I stayed up until midnight, because I will ALWAYS be that person that LOVES her birthday. I love my birthday.

On Monday, Birthday Morning, CDR surprised me with a yummy breakfast.Image 5

French toast with raspberry cream (he mashed raspberries with cream cheese).

It was an awesome start to the morning, and then I went off to the office meeting where about five colleagues came up to me asking where CDR and I had those delicious looking mahi-mahi wraps.  Delighted, I told them we made them.

CDR, it might be time to make ourselves a little demo tape for the Foodnetwork. Right? I mean, we’re totally an awesome duo.

That’s all for now, guys. Hope you have a good one!

P.S. CDR just informed me that he’ll make cake and candles happen tonight. Yep. We’re awesome.

Chili con Corn Bread

I am in a food coma and took zero photos of the chili. It was vegetarian, delicious, and cooked in an autumn beer. PLUS: fire roasted poblanos from our garden. Yeah. It was SO good. Mad kudos to CDR for spearheading. I was the lovely assistant.

But the corn muffins, kids. The corn muffins were my doing and nothing short OF A MIGHTY SUCCESS! Like, Gordon Ramsey would probably have to swallow his pride and pat me on the back.

Sorry. Random.

I’m so tired I feel drunk. I’m yawning and doing that thing where I’m using my right arm to reach around to the outer corner of my left eye and pull on it. I don’t know how that became the unofficial tired gesture, but it has and it is, so I’m doing it. And typing. BECAUSE I’M MAGIC.

Wow. Ok. Get it together, Morrell.

Geoff came to dinner tonight, and Chris and I thought veggie chili would be de-fucking-licious. Before CDR came home, though, I busied myself making some yummy corn muffins, filled with poblanos, cheddar cheese, and scallions. Mmm, girl get it.

I just used the box Jiffy corn muffin mix and followed the directions. It’ll tell you to preheat to 400, mix the muffin mix with 1 egg and 1/3 cup of milk (I used buttermilk). I also chopped up one small poblano from the garden, some scallions, and added some grated sharp cheddar. And a pinch of salt.

Add chopped poblanos, scallions, and cheddar cheese.

Add chopped poblanos, scallions, and cheddar cheese.

Add the buttermilk and egg (and a pinch of salt)!

Add the buttermilk and egg (and a pinch of salt)!

 

Fill your muffin tins!

Fill your muffin tins!

 

They baked for 15 minutes until lightly golden brown on top and delectably awesome on the inside.

The last one...omnomnomnom!

The last one…omnomnomnom!

I’ll never make a plain corn muffin again. I swear it. May the Tex-Mex Gods smite me down, otherwise.

In the meantime, I truck along and try to stay calm. Just deep breaths because everything will be alright. Right?

I hear it just takes some time.

But, little girl…in the middle of the ride…

Everything…EVERYTHING will be alright.

Ok, sorry. Told you. So tired it’s like I’m drunk.

RENT RENT RENT RENT RENT!

P.S. My birthday is on Monday…just saying.

 

 

Psycho-Pants, Chicken, and Cookies

Well, kids–

I’m back from the Cape and That Old Cape Magic and what a rude homecoming it was. While I was there, I got a phone call too good to be true and it looked like my first real estate deal was going to come to together. After the past few months, it gave me a second wind and almost gave me courage to go back to work and get my business going again.

Naturally, by 3pm yesterday the deal had fallen apart and I was in a downward spiral. I know, I know. This is the part where I apologize for having feelings and I say, “I know you’re tired of hearing about it” but the reality is that there’s really only about seven of you…and one is in Russia (hello, Russian reader…you seem to like my post about Orzo. Let me know if you need help), so I’m going to talk about it anyway.

So, first, I spent three hours sobbing (and yes, my body IS still suffering from Cry-Eye Fatigue Syndrome) and then decided to make dinner for my mom and CDR.

White wine marinated chicken-add white wine to a bag of drumsticks with garlic, salt, pepper, and a little olive oil, and fresh sage and lavender (from our rooftop garden).

Brown it skin side down in a pan and then add half of the marinade. Bake in an oven at 350 for 25 minutes.

While it cooked I made a caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes grown in our garden. These were the sweetest tomatoes I have ever tasted. Delicious.

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Mmm, mmm, good!

Served up the chicken with the rest of the marinade that I boiled away (with a splash of honey) and the salad.

It was delicious and Lord knows I needed a win.

Then I drove my mom home and on the way I felt that wave of overwhelming anxiety and disappointment crash down on me like I was a little cartoon coyote and a piano fell out of the sky, at the hands of a universe road runner playing for shits-and-gigs. (I’ve always been more of a dog person than a bird person and have always sided with the coyote. That is one sneaky, snarky, bird)

I know, I know. “Stop complaining.” Ok, shut-up. Calm down and go home. I’m not complaining; I’m venting because shit is hard and has been hard and usually I’m pretty great about having a temper tantrum and saying, “but look  at the bright side” or “tomorrow is another day” or “get back on the horse.” And you know what, I will. I will say those things…but I’ll say them tomorrow.

Alright, I’m being defensive, I know. I just want permission to wallow for a bit.

Anyhoo, on my drive home every possible self-deprecating thought ran through my brain. “What the fuck were you thinking? Why the HELL did you do this?” And then the natural progression to blame. He did this. (*Spoiler–I know he didn’t)

“If it wasn’t for you, I never would have changed careers. If you hadn’t literally changed EVERYTHING about my world, maybe this would have been easier. If it wasn’t for YOU, I wouldn’t feel like I was drowning.”

But if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have taken these risks. I mean, maybe I would have. But really, maybe not. Yeah, I’m having a miserable day and miserable temper tantrum, but I suppose I’m glad I did this. I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’m proud of myself. So..thank you. You’re still a fuckhead, and I’m still mad at you, but thank you. I guess. You aren’t reading anyway.

Okay, I’m not even making sense anymore. Bottom line: I’m trying. It’s hard acting cool in front of parents, family, friends and CDR when really, I’m freaked out about money and I’m freaked out about moving forward and staying stuck and yada yada.

Phew. Ok. I can do this. Tomorrow. Back in the saddle, back on the floor taking calls.

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Just what the doctor ordered.

Shoot. I just want to be a writer. That was the most fun I had all day.

 

 

That and making oatmeal raisin cookies.

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