Thursday, December 25, 2014

Choc Cherry Cheesecake

Choc cherry cheesecake

Summer is upon us and there are an abundance of cherries everywhere you go. I bought some from the local cherryman on the way back from work last week. He was parked next to the servo and I knew I just had to stop. All I could think of when I saw the cherries was, "Should I make a choc cherry galette or a choc cherry cheesecake ?"




The cheesecake won, when I bought some Philly cream cheese blocks, which were on specials during my xmas grocery shopping.

This recipe is from http://www.taste.com.au
Ingredient
  • 250g biscuits crumbs (I am using my baked Gingerbread men cookies for crumbs for the Xmas theme)
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 500g cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
  • 300g sour cream
  • 300g cherries, pitted, halved
  • cherries and icing sugar, to serve
Method
1. Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced. Grease a 5.5cm-deep, 24cm (base) springform pan. Process biscuits until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add butter. Process to combine. Press mixture over base ofprepared pan. Cover. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating to combine. Beat in cocoa and sour cream until just combined. Fold in cherries. Spread over biscuit mixture.

3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until centre is just firm. Turn off oven. Cool in oven for 3 hours with door slightly ajar. Refrigerate overnight. Top with cherries. Dust with icing sugar and serve. If you are feeling creative, you can make chocolate curls and laced the top with it for cherries to sit on. I was too lazy, even to break open a pack of Chocolate Flakes. Just trying to keep in simple and fast.

Note: I put mine in a water bath to bake in the oven, to prevent cracking in the middle. Just a tip I picked up from the net. A water bath is when you cover the bottom of cake pan and then sit the cake pan on hot water while baking. See my last photo below. As it turned out , my cheesecake only had a small crack in the middle. Almost perfect!


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sponsored Post : Isagenix

I must admit that when Brad wrote to me, to do a review on his Isagenix products, I was not convinced that I would be up to the task. You see, the word "dieting" does not exist in my world. If I don't eat, I will get gastric pains and I become this very crazy Asian, angry cat lady!

For the longest time, I have struggled with my weight and I hate dieting of any kind and even more, I hate exercise. I simply do not like to sweat. I want an easy fix. Who doesn't? Unfortunately, that would cost money, lots of money and time off work. I was thinking perhaps, a tummy tuck, sleeve or lap banding. All are very high risks as it involves surgery. It's not going to work either, as needles and shiny sharp objects terrifies me!

In the past, I have frequented gyms, on and off and popped many pills, such as appetite suppressants and Xenical. I failed to lose weight. I guessed one needs discipline and dedication and most of all, the will and the want to lose weight, all of which I do not have.

Despite all my past failures, I am now committed to trying out this program for however long the sponsored products will last me. Brad has been ever so generous with donating to me, over few hundred dollars worth of Isagenix products to try and I must do this, for myself.

It will make me feel better, I will be healthier, lighter and it may even lower my high blood pressure if I lose the excess weight.

I just started this today and I will come back in a month and let you, my readers know my progress :) I am hoping to lose a few inches off my waistline. Of course, it does not help when I am starting this during the silly season. However, I believe that, with sensible eating and some focus, I can do this.

As you can see, on my first day, I'm already "enhancing" the protein mix with Matcha (green tea powder) to enhance the flavour :) I am not used to protein shakes, I am a non-dieter and the matcha flavour really helps me, I can pretend I am having a Starbucks frappe! The protein shake will keep me feeling full till arvo and dinner time.




For more details, head to http://www.isatonic.com.au
There are some good readings if you need help and advise on cleansing and I saw some healthy recipes as well. See you all back here in a month :)



Friday, December 12, 2014

Huon Hill Dining

It's that silly season again when we all gather at one spot to celebrate the end of the working year and this year, it was our turn to travel down south to the borders, to Huon Hill Dining at Wodonga for our Christmas work lunch.

Work Xmas Lunch

Work Xmas Lunch

Just like every other time before our function, I would google and read about the place and checked out their menu. Unfortunately, their dining menu has not been uploaded when we visit. So it took me a lot longer than usual to decide on what I want to eat.

Work Xmas Lunch

I was very glad to decide on the Huon Duck Salad, with the Asian dressing. It did not disappoint. The plate itself was huge. I was a bit concerned that I may not be able to finish it but I did, it was scrumptious! The dressing was light and tangy and very refreshing, With Summer upon us, I tend to avoid heavy meals and go light. The Duck salad had tender slices of duck breast, tossed with baby spinach, mint, beansprouts, coriander and vermicelli cold noodles.


See, isn't it huge? I was thinking to myself, "just pace yourself girl, you can do it. It's only salad, nothing to it :)" It was very nice with my glass of pink moscato. I also tried the Blumers Cider on tap. The cider was nice and cold. It was not sweet unlike most of the other sickly sweet ciders available on the market.

I love that the Dining room is very spacious and clean and symetrical. There is a lot of light coming thru the glass window and doors. It is pleasing to the eye. The natural light is great for snapping food photos in here. The glass doors opens out to the patio, similiar to a beer garden. On the other side of the Dining room, there is a Cafe, where you can sit down and have some hot brew and cakes.

My work colleagues had these meals below and they look fantastic. I can't vouch for their meals but my duck salad was second to none! I am ever so grateful that these guys let me snap photos of their food before eating.

Work Xmas Lunch

Work Xmas Lunch

Most of my colleagues had the steak and fries, with veges or salad and different sauces. I didn't feel like taking ten photos of steaks, so here is the one above.

Work Xmas Lunch

Work Xmas Lunch

Work Xmas Lunch

This was my dessert, it is called the Coffee Central, it's a coffee and chocolate tiramisu served with a scoop of choc icecream and biscotti fingers. I love the chocolate crackle with the coffee beans.

Work Xmas Lunch

So even though, I was thoroughly enjoying my tiramisu, I can't help but be envious of my colleague's Vintage Sundae. Food brings back memories of home to me and who could resist that classic old sundaes, you know, like the ones you grew up with! That corner milk bar, those fast food joints you used to hang out at after school?

Work Xmas Lunch

And that is all folks, it was a pretty awesome lunch. Hmmmm, even though I cannot move  now on the account that I am full.... I can't help but think about, where is our next venue? A foodie's work is never done! 

Huon Hill on Urbanspoon

An update:

On the 6th March 2015, we went back for another farewell lunch for another co-worker and found that the menu has been upated. I see that they have kept the Huon Duck Salad, that is my fav! I'd be happy with the Duck Salad everyday.

We loved the new menu as well. The service was impeccable. Wait staff was attentive without being intrusive and we didn't have to wait too long for our meals despite being a large group. The bread of day was the bomb. We loved it, I didn't take a photo, I forgot and gobbled it up too quick. It has seeded mustard, herbs, tomato paste, bacon and cheese and it was so good!!

I did wish that my co workers would be more adventurous and order different types of dish each so that I can keep snapping away but alas, it's not about me :) Heheh. I am grateful that they let me snapped their meal. And to be honest, Chicken Parmagiana is an old time favourite.

I didn't stay for desserts this time, as I was rushed for time, to drive back to Wagga. No doubt, it would have been incredible as that last visit.

Here are the more photos of food spotted and eaten that day. I must add that Anthony gave the thumbs up for the flathead fish and chips. Being ex Navy and fellow hobby fisherman, he said it was the most underrated fish an yet, the most delicious of all fishes! On that note, I must try it myself, next time! I have missed my fish and chips after New Zealand! It's just not the same here.

Huon Hill

Huon Hill

Huon Hill

Huon Hill

Huon Hill

Huon Hill

Huon Hill

That's all folks, till next time.... keep up the good work!
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