Coconut Lime Cheese Cake with Cashew and Graham Cracker Crust! Summer Indulgence!

I came across this great recipe on Lick My Spoon.

This is a great recipe because it was easy to follow and the cake came out perfectly on the first try.

I don’t know why but I am always surprised when that happens!

Also, I have been on this kick lately with coconut, limes and mango.

This recipe calls for Key Limes but I used just regular limes and it worked out fine.

I’m sure that the unique and delicate taste of Key Limes adds a whole new dimension of flavor but any ripe fragrant fruit is just so beautiful to me.

After a long winter, Lime is the flavor I’m craving!

I did make a few adjustments.

Instead of 1/4 cup Malibu I used 1/4 cup Coco Lopez.

This cake has a very Lime forward flavor, which is lovely, however, I wanted to taste the coconut, as well.

Key Lime Coconut Cheesecake
Makes: One (10 inch) cheesecake, serves 8-10
Recipe Courtesy of Lick My Spoon

Ingredients:

Crust
1 package graham crackers (approx. 1 cup)
1 cup cashews
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Filling
1 (12 oz.) container sour cream
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
½ cup lime juice (if you can’t find key limes, substitute with regular limes)
¼ cup Malibu (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Topping
½ cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted
Slices of lime for garnish

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Butter or spray the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cover the outside of the pan in foil. Finely grind the graham crackers and cashews in a food processor. Add the melted butter and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, and process until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

3. Mix together the sour cream, cream cheese, and sugar. Blend in the lime zest, lime juice, Malibu, and vanilla. Add eggs in one at a time.

4. Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the pan in a large roasting pan. Create a hot water bath by pouring enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking pan. Bake until the cheesecake is golden and the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour.

5. Sprinkle the toasted coconut on top. I just toast the coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat. Keep stirring it so it doesn’t burn; it will toast up quickly. Garnish with lime slices.

6. Transfer the cake to a rack; cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold and firm, at least 8 hours (best overnight).

I used my artistic discretion to garnish the cake.

These gorgeous limes were my inspiration.

We’ve been eating limes with everything lately!

We’ve been making lime juice cocktails and garnishing every meal with limes!

The crust calls for lemon zest.

Fantastic!

The crust is delicious.

The lemon adds just the right amount of flavour.

Sugar, cream cheese and vanilla…..

Sounds like a good start to me.

The scent of this crust in the food processor was driving us insane.

We wanted to spoon it into our mouths.

I am happy that it made it’s way into the springform pan.

Eggs, sour cream, coco lopez and the lime zest go into the batter.

It has a mouth-watering aroma.

The cake baked perfectly.

Maybe one of my best.

The water bath is a must to avoid cracks.

Lots of toasted coconut!

Sweet and crunchy toasted coconut is divine with rich and creamy lime lovliness!

And a few more photos of my handy work.

I was so happy with the way this cake turned out.

I will be making many more of these.

I have the feeling that this will be the Summertime go-to cheese cake for picnics, parties or whatever comes our way!

Celebrating Winter Sunshine with Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Green Curry Coconut, Red Pepper and Asparagus!

074green curry soba noodles

This is not so much a recipe as one woman’s quest for a fresh and spicy meal on an unusually warm and sunny winter day!

079green curry soba noodles

A trip to the neighborhood grocer yeilded fresh ginger, avocados, limes a jar of green curry paste, soba noodles….
You get the idea.

033green curry noodles

This dish is quick and easy to prepare.

I can’t get everything cleaned, cut, chopped and sauteed before the noodles are finished cooking.

You will want to time it so that you don’t overcook them.

I sliced some ginger with the red pepper and asparagus and added a little coconut oil to lightly sautee the veggies.

051green curry noodles

You can put this together pretty fast.

Squeeze fresh lime juice over everything before serving, it really brightens the flavors!

Toss chopped cilantro into the draining noodles to gather just enough heat to bring out the herb’s pungent aroma!

055green curry noodles

Fresh avocado is creamy and perfect with the spicy green curry and coconut sauce.

073green curry soba noodles

I also made a batch of whole wheat linguine but the soba were slightly better.

Not in flavor but in texture.

076green curry soba noodles

Try this for a nice meatless meal that is flavorful and filling.

Toasted Oatmeal with Walnuts, Raisins and Coconut Milk!

092toasted oatmeal

It is hard to find a better breakfast than oatmeal.

For the money it is a big nutritious bang for the buck.

It is also tasty, filling and healthy!

I lightly toasted 2 cups of steel cut oats in 2 Tbspns of unsalted butter.

Then add 1 cup raisins and 1 cup walnuts.

Let everything toast until it smells like popcorn and has a deep golden brown color.

I then added 6 cups of water and 2 cups of light coconut milk.

Add a pinch of sea salt; nutmeg and cinnamon to taste!

Allow to cook on medium to low heat for about 1/2 hour or until all the liquid is absorbed.

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070toasted oatmeal

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I added some shredded coconut.

This breakfast will get you through your day with energy to spare!

I will even have a bowl for dinner or a snack.
It’s that delicious and satisfying!

089toasted oatmeal

Summer Fun! The Best Drink Ever! Whipped Cream Flavored Vodka Cocktails with Bruschetta!

whipped cream vodka cocktails PD

The possibilities are endless with this Whipped Cream Flavored Vodka from Pinnacle.

We mixed ours with fresh pineapple, coconut milk and pineapple/coconut juice.

The secret to the amazing taste was, of course, the vodka but we were careful not to add anything too sweet.

Fresh ingredients are a must. And the juice we used from Hortex is great because they are natural with no added sugars.

012bruschetta with fresh mozzerella

070whipped cream vodka cocktails PD

This recipe was fairly “freehand”.

I used one fresh pineapple which I cut the night before and placed in the freezer; huge tip! Freezing the pineapple make the drinks amazing!

In the blender place half of the cut and frozen pineapple

1/2 can of coconut milk

1 cup of juice

1 cup of Pinnacle Whipped Cream Flavored Vodka

Blend until creamy and frothy

Some enjoyed some whipped cream on top!

072whipped cream vodka cocktails

073whippped cream vodka cocktails PD

075whipped cream vodka cocktails PD

014whipped cream vodka cocktails PD

009bruschetta with fresh mozzerella PD

These brushetta are fantastic! My friend has this recipe down to a science and we are able to whip these up really fast:

1 baguette sliced about 1/4 peices

olive oil

3-4 fresh garlic cloves

3-4 tomatoes

fresh basil leaves

fresh mozzerella

Slice the bread and rub with garlic cloves on bothe sides

Use enough olive oil to lightly cover both sides

Toast lightly under the broiler

Chop tomatoes and basil and mix with some olive oil and salt to taste

Top toasted bread with tomato mixture and shredded fresh mozzerella and serve!

Tuna Tartare, Passion Fruit Martinis and a Magical Night at Le Colonial, Chicago!

033chicago

Le Colonial, Chicago is a treat for the senses.

The exotically luxurious atmosphere is the first hint that you are in for something special.

041drinks at Le Colonial

These Passion Fruit Martinis were incredibly fresh and delicious! Floral and fruity yet light and refreshing on a warm summer night.

049tuna tartare at Le Colonial

Tuna Tartare with wonton crisps was light and satisfying and tasted fantastic with our cocktails….round 2!

044Le Colonial

Romance was in the air so sharing an entree of vermicelli and seafood in coconut curry seemed like the right thing to do!

038drinks at Le Colonial

What put this dish over the top for me were the copious amounts of fresh basil and cilantro; a garnish, I know, but for me a side dish or side salad!

The aroma of fresh herbs and the delicacy of the spicy coconut broth made my tastebuds tingle!

053vermicelli with fresh cilantro and basil

The music, the martinis, the warm summer breeze…

069vermicelli with coconut seafood

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