What’s Up, Doc? How about a Carrot Cheesecake??

IMG_0686Here he is!! Did you miss him? Lovey Levin sure missed you!! He’s back and ready to cook! We are gearing up for a Carrot Cheesecake to take to our cabin to devour for breakfast. YUMM!

Lovey’s Dad, My Guy Bri, found this particular Recipe on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe! I, of course, tweaked it. It’s what I do – Sorry Mel. I don’t eat cinnamon and Levin can’t eat Gluten. It was modified to suit both of our allergies and tastes.

Happy Eating! xoxo

First we gathered our  – (modifications will be in red)

Ingredients

Cheesecake:
    • 2 (8-ounces each) packages cream cheese (or neufchatel cheese – lower fat, just as easy to cook with), room temperature
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon GLUTEN FREE flour
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
Carrot Cake:
    • 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
    • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 1/4 cups GLUTEN FREE flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon OMITTED
    • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    • Pinch cloves
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 pound finely grated carrots (1 cup or so)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream

Directions For the Cheesecake

  1. IMG_0687In a medium bowl using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and flour until smooth. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix just until blended. Set aside.

 

Directions for the Carrot CakeIMG_0684

  1. Shred your carrots using a cheese shredder attachment on your food processor for easy, no fuss shredding! This took me about 2 minutes to shred everything. It seriously took me more time to scrub my carrots, as they were fresh from the ground!
  2. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until the mixture is light creamy and light. Stir in the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves and salt until just combined. Mix in the carrots.

Putting Together a Masterpiece IMG_0703

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9- or 10-inch spring-form pan or pie dish (we used a pie dish) with cooking spray, making sure it’s GLUTEN FREE! Spread half of the carrot cake batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spoon half of the cheesecake IMG_0706batter on top of the carrot cake layer in large dollops. Don’t spread or twirl it together. Leave spaces in between your PLOPS! Only use HALF of your cheesecake!! Now, Plop, by the spoonful, the rest of your carrot cake in between your cheesecake plops. It can be lumpy, they will smooth when baked. Spread the last half of the cheesecake batter on top of all the layers and spread with a spatula into an even layer. Tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to get rid of any air bubbles. Levin cautioned me against banging the pie dish too hard on the counter!
  2. Bake the cheesecake for 60-70 minutes (check earlier if using a 10-inch pan; it won’t bake as long as a 9-inch pan), tenting the top of the cheesecake with foil the last 20IMG_0709 -30 minutes of baking if it is browning too quickly. The cheesecake will puff a great deal in the oven thanks to the leavening in the carrot cake and it might even crack. That’s OK. It will settle after it cools and will be covered with frosting so the cracks won’t matter. Take care not to over bake the cheesecake or the carrot cake bottom and sides will be dry. It’s a fine balance between taking it out before it’s over baked but not so early that the cake batter is still raw. Keep in mind that each oven can vary in temperature so watch closely as it gets to the 60 minute mark. The top center part of the cheesecake (just about a 2- or 3-inch diameter circle) should still be slightly soft and jiggly when you take it out.
  3. Let the cheesecake cool completely on a wire rack in the pan.

Directions for Making the Really Awesome Cream Cheese Frosting!

  1. If you’re like me, I grind my own 10x (confectioners sugar) as needed. To do this, I measured how much sugar I needed, then added a T of cornstarch, I mixed it with a fork then poured a half cup at a time into my NutriBullet and using the grinding blade, made my own 10x sugar. My mother used to do this with a hand grinder. You could do it with a Mortar and Pestle, regular blender, food processor, etc.
  2. While your cake is cooling, make the frosting by whipping together the cream cheese and butter until creamy and smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar a little at a time until the frosting is well-combined with no lumps. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix well.
  3. When the cheesecake has cooled, spread the frosting evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Cover with tin foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled before serving. The cheesecake can be made up to two days in advance.Bite-1-jpg1

We’re BAAA-AACK! Our Summer Adventure ReCap!

I don’t know about your summer, but our summer was ANYTHING but boring!! Rosie had her expander and braces put on, I had wisdom teeth pulled, Andrew started his last year of Midgets football,  we bought a CABIN BY A LAKE, I met my FAVORITE AUTHOR (AHHHH!!) and Levin has grown tremendously! We have stayed so busy!

Rosie - 1st day and Kindergarten and last day of 4th Grade

Rosie – 1st day and Kindergarten and last day of 4th Grade

Rosie finished her Elementary school career! She had awesome

Junior High, Here she comes!

Junior High, Here she comes!

grades and we are so incredibly proud of her!! She was so excited to finish this chapter and start a new one. It kind of makes me sad to see her growing up so quickly. I don’t remember Andrew making such a big deal out of this transition. Her excitement rubs off on me and I get caught up in her moments!

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I had some wisdom teeth pulled this summer. Let me tell you, I have never experienced such

Did I swallow a winter's supply of food?

Did I swallow a winter’s supply of food?

pain in my life (short of giving birth). I also strongly resembled Mr. Incredible from the Disney/ Pixar movie. It was quite hilarious, from that perspective. It took me nearly three weeks to eat normally. The silver lining was that it got me over my weight loss plateau. There’s always a silver lining 😉

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Check out the young man in the second row, on the left! That’s Lovey Levin’s big brother Andrew! This is his last year of Midgets football. He’s number 25!

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I met Diana Gabaldon!! HOLY SHIT! You DO know who she is, right?? Only the BEST 10177410_679483318777547_3453728015188132093_nAUTHOR EVER!!! She wrote the Outlander Series, amongst various other books and technical articles and a few comics.  I was just beside myself with excitement!! I have so many pictures of our “Gathering” (OUR being an Outlander PA group that I helped create) but I didn’t want to put them all up here and turn Levin’s food blog into an Outlander Blog, which I could very easily do!! As if this summer couldn’t get better for my Outlandish addiction, my favorite book is now a TV Series on Starz! You can watch the first episode here!

I’m saving the best for last! You know how Mark Walhberg Bought a Zoo, in the movies? IMG_9573Well, we bought a HUGE chunk of land! And we IMG_0325 - Copylove it!! It has a rustic two room cabin. One room has three bunks and a woodstove. The second room has a kitchen setup, a large table and an open area. Next to the cabin is a 2-3 acre lake. There’s a shed/ garage to house guy things! Next to the shed we found a really old IMG_0324 - Copytruck that was quite literally stuck in the mud. We guess that it’s a 1937 Chevy pick up truck. It looks like it has a wooden snow plow attached to it’s front. It looks awesome!!

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IMG_0211 - CopyWe love exploring the property and finding new things! IMG_0197 - CopyThere’s so much to learn about! This place is truly “Out There”. No electricity, no running water, Off the grid! We DO have propane, which makes cooking easy. But we still have to poo in a hole. We are working on an upgrade for that, this fall.

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Be sure to check in next week for some awesome recipes featuring yummy vegetables and an awesome new recipe modified from the Moosewood Cookbook!

Lovey Levin also helped me make a Carrot Cheesecake just the other day, from scratch, completely gluten free of course!

We have lots to say, so you will have lots to read! xoxo