Dessert Adventure: Cheesecake!

I PROMISE this won’t always be a food blog… It’s just that everyone has to eat and I enjoy making tasty “projects”.  Besides, there’s something to be said about food as projects because they can be completed in a short(er) amount of time than art-related projects and once they’re finished, they’re finished!  (And then you can eat them and decide whether or not they were successful.  I can be my own food critique!)
This was the first time I’d made cheesecake and fortunately helped a friend who is an expert cheesecake-maker but that was quite a long time ago.  I was thrilled when they still had raspberries at the farmer’s market so I was able to make a raspberry cheesecake with FRESH raspberries!  🙂  I meant to make this recipe earlier in the year while I knew it was still raspberry season, but things got busy and well, it just sort of slipped from my mind.
Although it turned out a little bit soft in the middle, it was still very tasty and for my first cheesecake I’d say it turned out quite well.  I added toppings like whipped cream and chocolate chips to make it even more flavorful and yummy.  (Chocolate was considered for the cheesecake however I had a friend who is allergic to chocolate coming over, and it was an easy addition at the end anyway.)
Next step:  Try different flavors.  The recipe was fairly simple and in researching recipes, I discovered other flavors to try including a PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE recipe!  With fall right around the corner, I can’t wait to try that next!  I’ll let you know when I do!  🙂
(I also tried a new look for some of my pictures.  Let me know what you think!)
~nestorakarts

A Recipe Adventure: Farmer’s Market Recipes

Our town is surrounded by farmer’s fields everywhere you go.  One of my high school teachers joked that every way you go you’re within 5 miles of a cornfield (though probably not entirely true, probably not much of an exaggeration either.)  Last year the city started a small farmer’s market on Saturday mornings in the parking lot of the courthouse.  Farmers could bring and sell their produce or baked goods or whatever they chose to offer.  I think it’s become more popular as time as gone on (as most things do) and while I still lived at home my mom and I enjoyed going downtown on Saturday mornings to buy things and once in a while as a treat get coffee from our favorite coffee place or go to breakfast at a small breakfast and lunch restaurant downtown.  Usually we buy some veggies at the market  like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, some fruits and usually–(the jackpot in our personal opinion)–fresh-picked raspberries.

My mom and I absolutely love berries (especially raspberries) and after discovering a particular person’s raspberries we go back every week for another batch.  We froze some of them to savor during the winter or as a topping for ice cream and the rest hardly lasted a few days on our counter-top.  Soon everyone started discovering these amazing raspberries and we found out that even with a trunk full of raspberries to sell, the “raspberry lady” as we loving call her would sell out within two hours of the market (sometimes not much longer than an hour!)  So, we get up at 8am to go to the farmer’s market to make sure we can get some.  Even though I don’t live at home anymore I’ve often met my mom there and we each get a supply now and I snack on them during the day between meals or more recently have used them in recipes.  Like a raspberry and peach frozen pie!  🙂

(The photo was taken on my phone camera so the colors are a little strange.  And the whipped topping is melting because I unfortunately didn’t have the ability to make it all nice and pretty in confectioner’s cones, but it was still really good!)

It was my goal to try to make a farmer’s market meal although I had a hard time finding recipes which would allow me to strictly use things only bought at our farmer’s market but I’ve made some wonderfully colorful salads and other meals which are mainly farmer’s market purchases.  I love tomatoes, and I discovered sugar sweet cherry tomatoes at the farmer’s market as well as heirloom tomatoes, which are so many different colors and add an interesting twist (in color and flavor) on any food!  One was the colorful frittata with tomatoes, green peppers, onions, and eggs.  Another recipe was my most recent summer pasta with zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes (regular and sugar sweet to get more colors!)

It’s probably not the most appetizing looking dish (I’m still working on my food photography) but again it was still good!  I really love pasta and I think it was the perfect summer pasta recipe!

I haven’t been much of a cook in the past but I’m working on it and learning new recipes.  It’s like practicing an instrument– practice makes perfect and it takes time.  But I’ll share my attempts with you and we can both learn in the process!  (PS- If anyone would like the recipe for either the pie or the pasta let me know and I will post them or send them to you!)