Father’s Day

So this year my family sort of skipped over Father’s day celebrations. We had a big wedding to attend so we decided to celebrate another night.

Gosh, where did this cake come from then!?

I have good news: I sold my first cake!

Yup, that’s right. I made this cake for another father in another family and they paid me to do it!

So I pretty much devoted my whole weekend to this cake.

I started bright and early Saturday morning after an early night on Friday.

First I made the crust — hardest part by far. This time I decided to cover the spring-form pan in tin foil to make it easier to remove the cheesecake later on.

Then I made the cheesecake and dropped some chopped oreos in the center.

I baked the cheesecake in a water bath for just over 1 hour at 350°F.

When I first took the cake out of the oven I realized it was a little browner on the edges than I would have liked, but I tried not to stress about it too much.

When I put the cake in the fridge to set and checked on it four hours later, I noticed the cheesecake had sunk in a very unattractive way — trying very hard to keep it together at this point.

I figured that my decorations would cover up any mishaps.

Then when I tried removing the cake from the tin foil – that darn tin foil – the foil was sticking to the bottom of the cake. At this point the cake and crust had cracked from all the handling — you must be so gentle!

I was very upset, so I put the cake aside and decided to start over.

How could I sell a cake that I wasn’t happy with?

I decided to decorate it anyway, just for the sake of it and ended up giving it to my boyfriend’s father – making sure to warn him of course about the random tin foil pieces that were still stuck to the bottom — so embarrassing!

He loved it though of course.

And I was happy that my second cake turned out much nicer. This time I baked it at 325°F for just under 1 hour.

I turned the oven off and let the cake cool off in the oven with the door ajar, hoping this would prevent cracking and sinkage.

It did! And no browning on the cake this time either 🙂

I also think my writing was much nicer the second time, what do you think?

By the way, when my cake buyer, who will remain anonymous, finds out I made two cakes for her when I wasn’t happy with the first one, she’ll probably freak out. But I was so much happier with the second so it was worth it!

Can you see the difference? Let me know.

By the way, this is another oreo cheesecake — same recipe as here.

Yours edibly,

Elana

Salads

Contrary to what some of you may believe, I do eat more than just cheesecake — I swear! The other day I decided to make salad.

My sister Shauna just came back from a trip to Europe with her bf. She loves quinoa almost more than anyone I know, so I decided to make a quinoa salad for her. But then I was sort of in the mood for brussel sprouts (a personal fave) and I thought making them would be a good way to lure the bf over (he loves brussel sprouts too!).

So anyways, I made a quinoa salad with roasted tomatoes and kale, and a not-so-simple green salad with brussel sprouts, asparagus, and spinach.

Here is the recipe I made for the quinoa salad.

Roasted Tomato & Kale Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 5 cloves garlic, pureed
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • salt & pepper
  • 8 kale leaves, chopped to bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups quinoa

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place halved tomatoes in large glass baking dish (like a pyrex).
  2. Add garlic, oil, vinegar, crushed  red pepper flakes, basil, salt, and pepper to tomatoes and mix well.
  3. Roast in oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, mix in kale with tomato mixture making sure kale is nicely covered by dressing, and roast an additional 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile rinse 2 cups of quinoa in sifter to remove bitter coating. Place quinoa in pot with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil then down to a simmer and remove from heat once water is absorbed.
  5. Pour tomato and kale mixture over quinoa while both are still warm. Mix well and serve!

The end result should look something like this…

Now for my not-so-simple green salad. The only reason why this isn’t so simple is because of the crazy veggies I have in it — brussel sprouts and asparagus are totally crazy. Otherwise, the method is so simple!

This is the recipe I made:

Green Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cups brussel sprouts, quartered
  • 1 bunch asparagus, with ends broken off
  • 3 cups spinach, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, pureed
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • a little salt and pepper

Method

  1. Heat a large braising pan or skillet with high edges to medium-high heat. Spray with a little Pam or add a tiny bit of oil.
  2. Once pan is hot add brussel sprouts and cover. Flip and turn brussel sprouts often, heat about 8 minutes before adding asparagus. Add asparagus to bottom of pan and heat about 5 minutes then add spinach. Cover pan and once spinach is wilted, brussel sprouts are slightly browned, and asparagus is tender, remove from heat.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare dressing by whisking together garlic, mustard, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Drizzle dressing over green vegetables and serve.

My sisters are definitely my toughest critics. I can usually tell immediately from their facial expressions if they like what I’ve made or not.

Sharona was very happy to see kale and all the other dark green vegetables at dinner — typical of someone who has spent most of their academic career studying Canada’s Food Guide.

Shauna was surprised that she enjoyed the quinoa because she usually doesn’t like tomatoes — score!

Michala wasn’t so happy about the brussel sprouts — whatever, you can’t please them all.

Ariella is in Dublin — one less critic to worry about.

Enjoy!

Yours edibly,

Elana