Monday, August 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Hubby!

Today is Hubby's (official) birthday though we were pretty pooped from partying all day Saturday and Sunday.  Oh, ok, maybe we had one too many birthday toasts yesterday. We spent a relaxing day puttering around the house and doing not much of anything but being together. I had to ask Hubby if he felt old and he said no. Still can't believe he's on the backstretch to forty-seems like we just met. The years just fly by when you are having fun!

For his birthday dinner I made Julia Child's Coq a Vin (with extra beef broth and butter as a thickener instead of flour) with peas and loaded mashed potatoes for supper. Hubby had to flambe the cognac in the stew though, I'm a chicken when it comes to fire in the kitchen. As usual the coq a vin turned out awesome (I've yet to have her recipe fail me, it is ALWAYS perfect) and the sides made a good (if not totally paleo) accompaniment.

For dessert Hubby asked for cheesecake so I whipped up a no-bake cheesecake with blueberry topping. It is paleo-ish (has dairy) and was delicious-the perfect treat for special occasions. Hubby was very happy and Munchkin devoured her slice. Sometimes my culinary skills really come through.

Happy birthday honey!!

No-Bake Cheesecake with Blueberry Topping

 Pie crust
1 cup almond meal
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon cinnamon

3 cups blueberries (I used frozen)
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar (if your berries are very sweet this can be omitted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups water (enough to just barely cover the berries)

2 packages (16 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup of hot water
1 package (1 tablespoon) unflavored gelatin
 2 tablespoons honey (more or less to suit your tastes)

To Make the Crust
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine melted butter, cinnamon, and almond meal and mix well. Make sure there are no lumps. If the mixture seems too wet add more almond meal. Press the mixture into a 9" pie pan. Make sure that it is even across the pan, I have found it is easiest to press about 2-3 tablespoons of mixture at a time, starting from the middle and working out and up the sides of the pan.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool.

To Make the Topping
Mix berries, vanilla, sugar,and water into a sturdy pot. Bring the mix to a boil and lower to a simmer. Simmer the berries until they thicken into almost a syrup (depending on the fruit you may reach a true syrup consistency due to the pectin in the fruit). Taste. If the mixture seems too thin allow to simmer longer, if its too tart add more sugar. Once it is thick and tasty set aside to cool completely.

To make the Filling
Whip softened cream cheese until creamy.
Add honey (if you want a sweeter filling) and vanilla. Continue to whip.
Add flavorless gelatin and allow gelatin to mix in.
Add hot water and whip for one minute. Mixture will be thin and look like heavy cream.
Pour into prepared pie crust and place in fridge to cool. Allow at least 2 hours for filling to set.
Once filling has set (is firm to the touch) pour cooled topping in the middle of pie and gently smooth out to the sides with the flat of a knife.


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