Recipes

Kiosco Kafe: Phyllo Cheesecake Bites

This post is a tad overdue, but I came up with these little phyllo cheesecake bites a couple weeks ago for Kiosco Kafe, after being inspired by the cheesecake-filled strawberries I saw on foodgawker. (Those are vegan…mine are not haha.) After having a lot of phyllo left after my last successful attempt with the phyllo cups for the fruit tarts, I decided to try them again with a different spin.

cheesecake bites

Phyllo Cheesecake Bites Recipe

Filling:
8 oz package of cream cheese
1/2 stick butter, softened
About 1/2 cup Confectioner’s Sugar (or to taste)
2 tsp Lemon zest (opt.)
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice (opt.)

Graham cracker “crust” crumble:
2-3 Graham cracker rectangles (meaning 4-6 squares), crushed
3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

For phyllo dough instructions, see Phyllo Fruit Tarts post

Instructions
1. With a fork or mixer (I personally find the fork easier), mix cream cheese and butter together.
2. Add lemon zest, and lemon juice, and sugar to taste.
3. In separate bowl, mix together crushed graham crackers, brown sugar, and melted butter. (I just used my hands)
4. Pipe cheesecake filling into phyllo cups, sprinkle with graham cracker crust crumble. Garnish with a slice of strawberry, or other fruit.

Super easy right? You can do it too and look like a pro 😉 Enjoy!

– CP

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Recipes

Kiosco Kafe: Phyllo Fruit Tarts

Made these cute little thangs for Kiosco Kafe a couple weeks ago. Finally got to try my luck with phyllo dough for the 1st time, and I was quite pleased. Take a lookie…

fruit tarts1

Pretty right? For the phyllo cups, I layered about 6 sheets of phyllo dough*** on top of one another, brushing each layer with some melted butter and sprinkling some sugar. After the final layer, I used my pizza cutter to cut them into little squares, and stuck them in my mini muffin tin, baking at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes. Piped in the pastry cream (I used a pastry cream/custard recipe from here), added some fresh berries, and voila! They were gobbled up in a heartbeat..

***Tip: I actually found that it was better to do 2 separate sets of 3-layered phyllo dough, and offset the 2 sets so that it looks like a 8-point star. This helps to create a better “cup” that will hold custard much better!.

The pastry cream recipe yields quite a bit, so I had a bunch left over to make a humungo fruit tart in a store-bought shortbread pie crust.

fruit tart

And even after this, I had enough to make a banana cream pie…which was not very aesthetically pleasing but was soooo delish. I just happened to see a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine that lined the pie crust with chocolate by melting it with some olive oil and brushing it on. So I did that, cut up some bananas and mixed them with the pastry cream/custard, piled it into the chocolate covered short-bread crust, and topped it all with some home-made whipped cream, to which I added just a hint of vanilla extract and almond extract (since I didn’t have sliced almonds to top it with). Yummy!

– CP

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Beef Wellington

Inspired by watching Hell’s Kitchen, Viv and I set out to make Gordon Ramsey’s signature dish (with his recipe). I am pleased to share with you of our success, and Chef Ramsey himself would have been quite proud. Look at it..it’s beautiful…

beef wellington

I wish I could have taken a good shot of the perfectly pink interior but alas…my horrendous kitchen lighting did not allow me to do so.

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Foodcult Business Trips: Portland Again?!

Some of you may remember Catherine’s roadtrip to Portland earlier this year, warranting a slew of epic blog posts. Since then, I think it has been decided that all of our travels have become informal Foodcult business trips. So, going back to school for spring semester, I took a road trip to Seattle to do my share of the “business”. Our road trip lasted for ten days, starting in San Diego, stopping a few cities on our way to Seattle, and then back down the Oregon Coast to California. You can say it was a trip of epic proportions… but that might be an understatement.

After spending a few days with friends in Northern California, we made our first stop in Portland, Oregon. (Warning: A few of the places that we happened by in Portland have already been mentioned in some of Catherine’s posts, but nonetheless, I promise it will feel like a completely different experience.)

I’m still waiting for Canon to develop technology to capture smells for the full effect, and then maybe we can partner with Willy Wonka so you can reach into the screen and just grab the food.

Until then, feast with your eyes my friends.

After hearing the amazing reviews for Tasty n’ Sons, it became an obligatory destination on our trip. We were seated along the front window— a slim fit, but any seat in the house was a coveted one. The food was excellent, as expected and made for a great start to our day.

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Erin’s Sweet Biscuits.

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Burmese red pork stew

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Potatoes Barava

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

During our visit to Stumptown, I experienced something of a coffee revelation, converting me instantly into drinking my coffee black. Previously, I made no differentiation between different types of coffees, coming more from the tea scene myself (you know, I’ve got something of a ancestral background in tea being Asian), but Stumptown changed things. The Hair Bender roast was amazing — a medium roast that had a chocolatey and rich flavor. I felt that a veil had been lifted from my eyes, tasting for the first time the complexity of flavor and depth in coffee. Thank you Jesus. One of my greatest regrets was choosing not to buy Stumptown coffee beans.

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Screen Door: Soul Food

Nestled in a quaint neighborhood, Screen Door already held a small line by the time we arrived for its opening at around 5pm. We found ourselves both excited and ravenously hungry for the comfort that soul food promised to our empty bellies. How was the food? See for yourselves…

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My Rye Ale.

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Low Country Shrimp and Grits

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Fried Chicken

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Screen Door Plate: Mac n’ Cheese, Roasted Beet Salad, Jambalaya, and Corn Bread. Yum.

My Screen Door advice to you? Order the Screen Door plate. It is a great way to get a taste of several dishes on the menu at once. Personally, I felt like having an entire order of a certain dishes might have been overwhelming, and having instead balanced portions of a variety of different tastes really helped to balance things out.

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Thus ended our brief stop in Portland, whom I found to be a kind and faithful friend — one who spared us from the agony of taxes and left us with warmed hearts and happy bellies. Thanks Portland, you were great.

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Snooze, an AM Eatery

Recently, I had the opportunity to try a new local brunch place called Snooz. It’s decor feels like a modern interpretation of a retro diner right here in sunny San Diego.

snooze

After hearing one of my friends rave how great their pot pie was, I decided to order it. It was definitely not what I expected to get out of a pot pie… in the best possible way.

snooze2

The crust was incredibly light and flaky, unlike the typical heavier doughs you find in other types of pot pie. Meanwhile, the flavor in the dish itself was rich, with subtle spices that added complexity to my dish in a way that I usually don’t find with brunch foods. My tastebuds wanted to cry tears of joy.

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I also ordered a (very large) chocolate and peanut butter pancake. Unfortunatley, it turned out to be very sweet and frankly… a little overwhelming. BUT my love for both chocolate and peanut butter carried me through bite after bite. Admittedly though, I couldn’t finish the entire thing, especially after the pot pie.

All in all, I really enjoyed my experience here. I would highly recommend it to anyone in the San Diego area who is looking for a good place for brunch (did I mention that it is incredibly dog-friendly?)

Snooz, I’ll be seeing you again soon! Yum!

http://www.snoozeeatery.com

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Mango sticky rice

mango sticky rice

Home-made with coconut milk and love.

I just googled a couple recipes to get the jist. Didn’t end up soaking my sweet rice for very long at all, perhaps less than an hour, and it turned out just fine. After fully cooking the rice with water in a rice cooker, I boiled 1/2 of a can of coconut milk with a tbsp of sugar and a pinch of salt, and mixed it into the rice. For the coconut sauce on top, I boiled the rest of the coconut milk with a couple tbsp of sugar (to taste), another pinch of salt, and about a tbsp of cornstarch (premixed with about 2 tbsp of water). Let it thicken, drizzle over your mangoes and rice, and top with some sesame seeds! Tasted just like the kind you would get at a Thai restaurant 🙂

– CP

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