Thursday, February 24, 2011

Caramel Apple Cheescake Pie

This is a recipe I have done once and it was so delicious. Only downsize, its time consuming! seriously. I felt it took me a long time to do it! but everyone loved it so it's ok LOL!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie

Adapted from
Annies Eats


For the crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
½-¾ cup caramel
1 cup chopped pecans

For the apple filling:
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
5-6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

For the cheesecake:
8 oz. cream cheese
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the topping:
¾ cup heavy cream
3-4 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
¼-½ cup caramel
Chopped pecans


To make the crust, preheat the oven to 375° F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan with parchment paper. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Toss with a fork until all the crumbs are moistened and the ingredients are evenly mixed. Transfer the mixture to the prepared springform pan and press the crumbs in an even layer over the pan bottom and about half to two-thirds of the way up the sides of the pan. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until golden in color. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Pour a layer of caramel into the bottom of the crust and sprinkle evenly with the chopped pecans. Refrigerate the crust while you prepare the filling.

To make the apple filling, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Mix in the brown sugar, salt and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute, until bubbling. Mix in the apple slices and toss well to coat. Cook over medium to medium-high heat until tender and most of the liquid has been reduced, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and pour into the prepared pie shell. Set aside.

Reduce the heat of the oven to 350° F. To make the cheesecake layer, combine the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Mix in the vanilla, egg and lemon juice until fully incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Spread the cheesecake filling into an even layer over the top of the cooked apples in the crust. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

To serve, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (being careful not to overbeat.) Spread gently over the top of the chilled cheesecake layer. Top with dollops of caramel sauce and swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with a handful of chopped pecans if desired. Slice with a long, thin knife to serve.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Corn starch cookies with condensed milk

This recipe sounded so easy I just needed to check it myself by doing it! It tastes so good, almost similar to a Lebanese sweet called 'Ghoraybeh'. You can make it simple or add something in the middle of it. Check it yourself and see how easy it is!

Corn starch cookies with condensed milk

125gr of butter at room temperature
200gr of condensed milk
1 egg yolk
350gr of sifted corn starch


- Beat/mix the yolk, butter, and condensed milk for around 7 minutes.

- Add as batches the corn starch and keep on mixing. It will take around 5 minutes to become like-dough.

- Using your hands, press on the dough few times and form a big ball.
- Start making small balls from it of the size - do not make them big, mine were smaller than a ping pong ball.
- Place the balls on the pan (no need to butter it) and with your thumb, press in the middle downward. Not much, but reaching the half way through.

- Bake at 160°C for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and add jam if desired.
- In my case, I melted 'goiabada' which is a Brazilian jam-like sweet derived from the red guava. It comes in blocks looking like this. Used a few pieces and added a couple of tablespoons of water and put them to met on high heat. Then placed half teaspoon in the middle of each cookie.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Sauteed Apples

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Sauteed Apples
Adapted from smitten kitchen

For the sauteed apples

4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

fresh lemon juice to taste

For the pancakes
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/3 cups ricotta
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Melted butter for brushing the griddle
Maple syrup/honey, as an accompaniment
Prepare the sauteed apples:
In a large heavy skillet saute the apples in the butter over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until they are softened, sprinkle them with the sugar and the cinnamon, and cook them over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until they are tender. Stir in the lemon juice and keep the mixture warm.
Make the pancakes:
In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks, the ricotta, the sugar, and the zest, add the flour, and stir the mixture until it is just combined. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold stiff peaks, whisk about one fourth of them into the ricotta mixture, and fold in the remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Heat a griddle over medium-low. Working in batches, pour the batter onto the griddle by 1/4-cup measures and cook the pancakes for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until they are golden, brushing the griddle with some of the melted butter as necessary.
Serve the pancakes with the sauteed apples and the maple syrup or honey.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Potato Fritters

Potato Fritters


5 Potatoes
1 palm of chopped fresh mint
1 palm of chopped fresh parsley
around 2tbsp of dry mint
6 eggs
Salt and pepper


- Peel and shred potatoes. Soak them in water with salt. Let them sit for 12 minutes.
- Add in a bowl, place the chopped mint, parsley, and dry mint.
- Whisk in a small plate the eggs, set them aside.
- Now you will feel that the shredded potatoes are softer, from the salt, so remove water from them and wash them a couple of times again. Once they are washed, press on them with your hand doing batches until all water you can remove from them are gone. Place each batch on the green mix.
- Heat oil for deep frying.
- Once all shredded potatoes are in the bowl, drop the eggs on them, and put salt and pepper. Add flour as much as you need until the consistency if good to make fritters from it. I usually add for this recipe around 5 heaping tbsp. Mix them with your hands and if you need more flour, drop in few.
- With the help of 2 tbsp, take a small portion and start giving it shape with the spoons, making it look a small ball. Drop it in the oil and fry in each side. Allow it to brown a little from each side.

Its delicious as a side dish and even delicious with lentil soup. Yum

Monday, February 14, 2011

Date Cake

This is a very unique and delicious cake. Its not very sweet, its just perfect. I didn't have prunes, so I used dates instead, and it was delicious..! I also didn't have buttermilk, so I just measured 1 cup of milk, and dropped a tablespoon of lemon juice (OR you can use 1 tablespoon of vinegar) - mixed them and left to rest 2 minutes and voilà! The recipe was used from The Pioneer Woman and trust me, you should try it..!

Date Cake

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman


  • 1 cup Dates
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 whole Eggs
  • 1 cup Canola Oil
  • 1-½ cup Flour, Sifted
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 cup Buttermilk (1 cup of milk mixed with either 1 tbsp of lemon juice OR 1 tbsp of vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • _____
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ½ cups Buttermilk (1 cup of milk mixed with either 1 tbsp of lemon juice OR 1 tbsp of vinegar)
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon White Corn Syrup
  • ¼ cups Butter
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Cover dates with water. Bring to a boil and cook until soft and mashable, about eight minutes. Remove from heat, drain water, and mash on a plate. Set aside.

Mix together oil, sugar, and eggs. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Combine wet and dry ingredients, add buttermilk and vanilla and stir gently until just combined. Throw in the mashed dates and stir gently to combine. DO NOT OVERMIX!

Pour batter into buttered baking dish and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

While cake has five minutes remaining, make the icing:
Combine all icing ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a slow boil. Boil without stirring for 5 to 7 minutes, or until icing starts to turn dark. Do NOT allow icing to reach soft ball stage; icing should be caramel in color, but not sticky like caramel. Icing should be easily pourable.

Remove cake from oven and pour on icing immediately.
Allow to rest on the counter. Serve warm.

Apple pie

We love apple pie.. specially next to a scoop of vanilla ice cream, just when the pie is hot. YUM!! This recipe was from the book 'Soufrat Anaheed al Shaheya'. The author is a Lebanese chef that not only has delicious Middle Eastern recipes, but also International ones.

I took a step-by-step picture collage of how it was made, so hope it makes it easier. ENJOY!

Apple pie

Adapted from Sufrat Anaheed Al Shahiyah (translated from Arabic)


2 cups of flour for all purposes
4 and half tablespoon of sugar
half teaspoon of cinnamon powder
3/4 cup of butter cut into small pieces
3 tablespoon of guee (Crisco) with taste of butter
4 and half tablespoon of cold water

Apple mixture

3-4 cups of golden apple peeled and cut into small tiny pieces
2 tablespoon butter
1 cup of raisin
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of normal sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 cup of water Vanilla
2 teaspoon of corn flour mixed with little water
1/2 cup of finely cut walnuts
1 egg to paint the top surface
Powder sugar


How to make the dough:
Mix the sugar with the flour and the cinnamon. Add butter pieces and the ghee, and water and mix to reach a somehow wet dough. If the dough is a bit hard, add 1 teaspoon every time until reaching the best. Arrange the dough in a circular shape, then save it in the fridge (fold transparent paper on it for protection) and keep it in the fridge for an hour.

Apple mix

Mix the apples with the butter, raisins, and both kind of sugar, cinnamon and the nutmeg, plus half cup of water and take it to heat until starts boiling. Add the corn flour mixed with little water and the vanilla. Mix a little until becomes a little harder. Turn off the heat and take it out to cool off. Take half of the dough and arrange it at the bottom of a 28cm tray for pies. Best way to arrange the dough is by putting transparent paper below and work on it on top of it then move the dough to the tray.
Put on the dough the apple mixture. Bring on the walnut and top the apple mixture with it. Then with the remaining dough arrange the last set to cover off the pie. Heat at 180 degrees until the dough becomes brown and ready. After the pie cools off, top it with powdered sugar. I served the pie with ice cream by its side, and it was amazing!!!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Yellow Cake Mix
4 eggs
¾ cup oil
1 cup sour cream

Mix by hand and pour in 13 x 9 greased baking pan.

1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
Mix and pour over cake batter. Swirl into batter with knife.

Bake @ 325 for 40 minutes. Let cake cool 10 – 15 minutes before icing.

2 cups powdered sugar
4 tbsp milk

Pour over warm cake.

Monday, February 7, 2011

New York Style Cheesecake

Did anyone say Cheesecake? Yum yum. Topped with blueberries, strawberries, even plain, its just to-die-for. When I think about making a cheesecake 'cracking' comes to my mind. I hate it if it cracks, and yes it has happened few times, but the times that doesn't crack, I LOVE IT! This recipe I saw it over and the pictures made me want to try it! It looks so delicious! So I did, and the outcome? My Goodness. Delicioso!


Adapted from

2.5 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

4 (8oz.) packages cream cheese
1.5 cups sugar
3 Tbsp flour
5 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar.
  • Stir in melted butter until moistened.
  • Pour the mixture into a cheesecake pan. Press the crumbs into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature.
  • To make the cheesecake filling, cream the sugar, cream cheese and flour with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy.
  • On medium low, add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition.
  • On low, add sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla just until combined.
  • Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes at 325.
  • Make sure to take it out of the oven before the center looks done. It will be kind of wobbly and it will move in one piece. The center will look more shiny than the edges. That’s ok because it will continue to cook a little while it’s in the pan.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool completely to room temperature.
  • Hope that it doesn’t crack.
  • Go ahead and separate the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a knife around the edges.
  • Let it cool and refrigerate minimum 4 hours. It also tastes great stored overnight.
  • Top with whatever you desire, in my case I used the cheesecake strawberry topping.

Buen provecho!

Banana Bread

Everyone in our house loves Banana bread. On the same day its done, by the evening is empty. I love it because I can do it to use up the ripe bananas we have. Also, this recipe is awesome because I don't need a mixer!

Banana Bread


  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar (sometimes I use brown sugar)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 175°C. Mash the ripe bananas. Melt the butter and pour them on the bananas, mix with a wooden spoon. Add sugar and mix again. Add egg, vanilla, mix. Add baking soda, salt and the flour, and mix again. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.
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