Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Love and Cheesecake

There's something about being snowed in that just makes me want to cook or bake something. It's probably due to some boredom and the usual procrastination from doing school work, but I decided to go for it last night. 

With my limited fridge and pantry, I went to this really cool website where you type in what ingredients you have and it pulls up recipes that you can make using those ingredients. 

That website is

So I entered in a few ingredients that I knew I could use to bake something and I found a cookie recipe, which is truly what I was looking for. I looked at the recipe and it called for 1 cup of butter, which equates to 2 sticks of butter. No way. 

I looked at another cookie recipe. Same thing. So I took butter away from my ingredients list at which point the snow angels opened up the gates to my amazing new plan: MINI CHEESECAKES!

Cheesecake is my favorite dessert. Last year, Steve drove an extra 40 minutes to go get a cheesecake we heard was to die for and surprised me with it on Valentine's Day. Isn't he great? 

Unfortunately, the cheesecake wasn't all it was cracked up to be but you know what is better? Things that are homemade. Which brings me back to the recipe I found.

Before you do anything, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. I made these using a 24 mini muffin-tin. I had the linings for cupcakes too and that was really key here to allow the crumb to stick to the cheesecake and not my pan.

The recipe called for 8 oz of cream cheese (which is the whole container shown above), 1 egg, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. I used the graham crackers I had for the crust and you can see them broken up in the bowl in the front. I just used a cup I had to smash them into small crumbs. (If you want to make a more substantial crust, you can add a little melted butter to make the cracker crumbs stick...but let's not go crazy) 

I also added some cinnamon. There was a time when Steve and Matt (the guy with the pizza from my last post) would brew their own beer and when they attempted to make a beer with cinnamon flavoring, they bought about 10 different containers of cinnamon (instead of buying cinnamon sticks like they should have). Therefore I have TONS of it so I add it whenever I can. If any needs any cinnamon, let me know. I seriously have so much.

Back to my cheesecakes...

So I started to combine the cream cheese when I realized that it seemed like a lot and that defeats the whole purpose of eliminating the butter. Suddenly, I had a brilliant idea! 
I used half of the container of cream cheese and then added one 7oz container of plain Greek yogurt I had! (It's not that brilliant, but I was pretty damn proud of myself for thinking of it) 

I used Fage's 2% plain Greek yogurt. Then I added 1/4 cup sugar, a dash of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Start mixing this with a spoon so all the ingredients combine.  Once it's combined, add the egg. If you have an electric mixer, use that. If you are like me, continue to blend it with the spoon and then use a whisk to really mix it well. 

Now you are ready to put a little of the crumbs on the bottom of the lining.

Once that is done, add the cheesecake mixture.

These will bake for about 25-30 minutes. I was worried about their consistency since I didn't use all of the cream cheese. But they turned out AWESOME. Let them cool, maybe put them in the fridge to allow them to really blend. Amazing. 

As always, hope you enjoy and stay warm!

Lots of LOVE,


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