Is there such a thing as too much cheesecake?
Today we introduce a new one-day feature to emandam. LIVE BLOGGING!
It’s great to be posting under the joint ‘Emily and Amanda’ account again. Amanda’s in town and it’s been such a relief to indulge in some girl talk and Oaxaca chips. (Those chips will be our downfall.)
Today – the last day of Amanda’s trip – was necessarily set aside for cooking. It’s possible that Amanda and I prepared a less balanced meal than we normally would. It’s been forever since we had a Smitten Kitchen day. We’re both just too damn busy. Trying to cull our lists of wants and needs a couple nights ago was in parts comical and disastrous. I was cautious to even open my list of bookmarked recipes. I’m at the same time proud of my organizational skills and ashamed that I have a need for 3 layers of recipe folders. Yes, 3 layers. It would be preposterous to put the quick breads links with the yeasty breads’ after all. We all agree on that, right?
But before we can talk about bread (oh and there will be much talk of it), we need to snack. We normally don’t have a true lunch on these days, instead opting for an incredibly healthy fill-in like a lemon cheesecake cheese ball with crackers and apples (see! healthy!). This is the only finished part of the menu as of yet. With the lemon-y overtones it manages to taste light, in spite of the cohort of creamy friends lemon mingles with in this spreadable goodness. It’s a perfect party treat, whether or not your party involves a dozen hours of cooking.
Some of the other prep has already happened or is currently happening. I just divided the dough for some light brioche burger buns. Since most of the leftovers will be staying in Connecticut with me, I felt less guilty asking Amanda to indulge my quest to make my own frozen burgers to keep on hand. If our trial run of black bean patties goes well, expect my fridge to be permanently stocked with these hereafter.
Amanda sliced some bananas for our five-minute chunky monkey ice cream. The lime curd I made for lime curd cheesecake bars is hanging out in the fridge, just chilling. I bought all the ingredients to make these a week ago, hoping for them to serve as a nice accompaniment to (or distraction from?) a scientific presentation, but in the end decided to actually finish preparing the presentation instead.
Amanda also sliced some strawberries and threw together the insides for strawberry cheesecake truffles that she’s currently working into balls. Are you starting to see what I mean about a lack of balance? It’s hard to let reason get in the way when you’ve been talking about making truffles together for 2 months. We can’t just not make them because there are two other cheesecake items on the menu. It’d be like lying to ourselves for weeks and weeks, and Amanda and I both value our honesty and integrity more than that.
To finish off our menu of ‘let’s take summer and turn it into a dessert’ we’ll throw together some cherry-vanilla scones. We’ll leave some cherries unadulterated atop slices of bread with accompanying cheese and jicama for a fresh cherry crostini. And the corn we picked up at the farmers’ market will end up in corn, buttermilk and chive popovers.
As a last foray, we’ll jump back to spring for a pea pesto linguini, which could go perfect by itself or with some easy little bread. That is, if we were a normal couple of friends making a normal dinner. I hope we never are though.
Okay, back to cooking! Tune back in later for our reports on how everything tastes, but in the meantime enjoy the cheese ball recipe and links to everything else.
Lemon Cheesecake Cheese Ball
Recipe from Annie’s Eats
10 oz. cream cheese
2½ tbsp. sugar
Zest of 1 large lemon
4 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 graham crackers
Stir together cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl until well mixed. Add lemon zest and juice and stir until smooth. Shape into a flattened ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm. The original recipe suggests refrigerating for at least 3 hours, but we were impatient and only waited about half that, including some time in the freezer.
Crush the graham crackers coarsely and transfer to a bowl. Roll the ball in the crumbs until evenly coated. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until the temptation gets the best of you.
Fresh cherry and goat cheese crostini