Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pumpkin Party - An eBook for You!

There is more to pumpkin than just pumpkin pie.  I've compiled an eBook for your filled with my favorite pumpkin recipes.  Download it today to savor the flavors of autumn and the holidays - it's a Pumpkin Party that's guaranteed to be a hit for your family and friends!

You can check out many of these recipes on the blog by clicking here, but download the eBook for bonus recipes!

zentMRS - Love in the Kitchen
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Orange Ricotta Cheesecake Bars

Time for our Crazy Ingredient Challenge!   If you haven’t visited before, this challenge is to create a recipe with two truly unique ingredients that are not traditionally cooked together. I always love to stretch my culinary skills and to share with you the results of the challenge.  Each month and just keeps getting better and more creative. This is one group of talented chef’s who come up with these recipes!

Do you want to up your kitchen adventure and be a part of the Crazy Ingredient Challenge? Ready to challenge your culinary mind? Shake it up a bit and have a new adventure in your kitchen in 2014 and 2015. If you want to be a part of this group, you can request to join our Facebook page or contact Dawn over at Spatulas On Parade.

This month's ingredients were bread crumbs and citrus.  Those ingredients leave a lot of room for creativity...  A savory orange chicken?  Crispy lemon tilapia?  Turkey meatballs?

I decided to make something sweet.  The bread crumbs gave the crust a beautiful crunchy texture, and the fresh orange juice was a perfect balance for the creamy sweetness of the ricotta cheesecake.

This reminds me of my Grandma's lemon bars - but a little lighter and creamy with a more subtle citrus flavor.

Before you get to my recipe, check out the wonderful creations from my fellow participants!

Orange Ricotta Cheesecake Bars

by Susan @ Love from the Kitchen
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Ingredients (36 bars)
    For the Crust
    • 2 cups plain bread crumbs
    • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1 tablespoon orange zest
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 12 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 1 teaspoon orange blossom syrup
    For the Orange Ricotta Filling
    • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese, drained
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons orange zest
    • 1 cup fresh orange juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

    Make the Crust
    • Pulse flour, confectioner's sugar, cornstarch, orange zest, salt and orange blossom syrup in food processor. Add butter and process to blend; then pulse until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal.
    • Sprinkle mixture into lined pan and, press firmly with fingers into even layer over entire pan bottom and about 1/2-inch up sides.
    • Refrigerate for 30 minutes, and then bake until light golden brown, about 20 minutes.

    Make the Filling
    • Whisk ricotta, eggs, sugar, and flour in medium bowl, then stir in orange zest, juice, salt, and vanilla to blend well.
    • Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
    • Stir filling mixture before pouring into warm crust. Bake until filling feels firm when touched lightly, about 30 minutes.
    • Transfer pan to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 2 hours. Cut into bars, wiping knife clean between cuts. Dust with confectioner's sugar.
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    zentMRS - Love in the Kitchen
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    Monday, November 17, 2014

    Tuesday's Table for November 18, 2014

    Welcome to Tuesday's Table!  Thank you so much for coming by and sharing all of your wonderful ideas.  I get such inspiration from everyone's links!

    This week's feature is Architect of Taste's Torta Morbida.  Such a beautiful cake, worthy of your holiday table!  {Architect of Taste is an Italian site, but very much worth clicking the "translate" button}  To see how to re-create these, step-by-step, in your kitchen, head over and see this wonderful site.

    Please grab a button  - and thanks so much for sharing!

    And now it's time to fill Tuesday's Table.  What kinds of delicious and creative things have been coming out of your kitchen lately?  I can't wait to see them!

    For this week's party, only a few guidelines:
    • Please share as many links as you like, but only if you haven't shared them here before
    • Add a link back to Tuesday's Table (or grab a button above!) so others can join in the fun
    • Follow me via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, RSS or Bloglovin (see my sidebar!)
    No other requirements, but visit the other links here, and I'd love for you to sign up for my email reminder here!

    And now, for this week's link party!

    zentMRS - Love in the Kitchen
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    Friday, November 14, 2014

    Pumpkin Blondies with Coconut Caramel Frosting

    I love pumpkin.  It's so versatile - from the traditional pie, to roasted in pumpkin chili or buttery fluffy mashed pumpkin (great alternative for mashed potatoes!), pumpkin can be used in almost anything!

    I've got to confess though, that I am not the biggest fan of pumpkin pie.  I love the flavors, but something about it just isn't my favorite.

    I do love blondies - they are both delcious and easy to make.  Perfect combo.  When I thought about adding pumpkin to my favorite blondies, I came up with these Pumpkin Blondies with Coconut Caramel Frosting.  They are like pumpkin pie's tropical cousin!

    Sweetly decadent, these blondies are rich with the flavors of pumpkin pie with just a hint of the tropics!

    Pumpkin Blondies with Coconut Caramel Frosting

    by Susan @ Love from the Kitchen
    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 35 - 40 minutes
    Ingredients (36 blondies)
      For the Blondies

      • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
      • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
      • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
      • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
      • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
      • 1 large egg
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
      • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
      • 2 cups white chocolate chips
      For the Frosting

      • 1/2 cup soft butter
      • 2 cups brown sugar
      • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
      • 1 cup shredded coconut
      Make the Blondies
      • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides. Grease with nonstick cooking spray.
      • Cream butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree.
      • Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in white chocolate chips.
      • Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan.

      Make the Frosting
      • Cream the butter and vanilla.
      • Add brown sugar gradually while continuing to beat.
      • Stir in coconut.
      • Add cream in small amounts to achieve desired consistency.

      Finish the Blondies
      • When the blondies have cooled completely, use the parchment paper to carefully remove the blondies from the pan.
      • Frost with the coconut caramel frosting.
      • Cut into 36 pieces.
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