Mini Lemon Cheesecakes

Mini Lemon Cheesecakes

Bryan and I love cheesecakes. But for the two of us, making a 9-inch full size cheesecake means endless eating. It is not only too much for us. It is also very unhealthy. Therefore, I love this mini version. These mini lemon cheesecakes are perfect little bites. The ratio between the cheese filling and the crust is just right. I also love the hint of tartness and the fragrant from the lemon. It tasted lighter than regular cheesecake.

I originally wanted to make these cheesecakes with Meyer lemons. However I couldn’t find any in store, I used regular lemons this time. I have tried both lemons. Meyer lemon ones were more fragrant and less tart. But they were both fantastic. Use whatever you can find.

These cheesecakes are good for parties. They are pretty looking and easy to eat. And they travel really well.

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Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread

Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread

Chinese New Year is going to be on Jan 31st this year. It is 3 weeks away. It is time to get things ready. But you may ask what shortbread cookies and Chinese New Year have anything to do with each other.

During Chinese New Year, people go around to visit relatives and friends. It is the perfect opportunity to spend time together. When you go to visit someone, you can’t go empty handed. You always need to bring a gift with you. Most common gifts are fruits, chocolates, and cookies. The popular gifts in Hong Kong are Ferreo Rocher and Kjeldsens Butter Cookies (I am not sure whether this is still true nowadays, but at least it was when I was living in HK.) And of course, homemade cookies would be even better.

This year, Bryan and I will be in Hong Kong for Chinese New Year. It has been 10 years since I celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. I am looking forward to seeing all my families and friends and showing Bryan everything about Chinese New Year.

I will be bringing these espresso-chocolate shortbread to my relatives. These cookies are buttery and crumbly. The espresso flavors definitely come through, but not overpowering. The espresso and chocolate make great balance and they make the traditional cookies more unique. Did I mention that these cookies are addicting? You really can’t just eat one! Enjoy! Wish you luck in the year of Horse!

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Apple Crumbles

Apple Crumble

A couple of years ago, we went to an apple farm to pick apples. It was tons of fun and we picked many apples. With that amount of apples, it was hard to eat them all raw. So I found this crumbles recipe from Ina Garten and turned it into apple crumbles.

Today, I am finally posting this recipe. The apples were tender with a little bite. It was warm and tart with the crispy topping. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it was like apple a la mode. It is a very easy dessert with little work to do. If you still need a dessert for the holiday party, this would be a winner. Light and comforting. Great flavors to end a feast!

Happy Thanksgiving! Have a blast with your families and friends! Eat more!

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Tiramisu

Tiramisu

I made this Tiramisu to celebrate two things. First, this blog has reached its 3rd year! Happy Anniversary! Woo hoo! I can’t believe I have been writing for 3 years. It has been an incredible journey. I have met a group of bloggers through blogging and learned tons of things from them. Also, I have explored a lot of new recipes and food that I have never tried before, like brussels sprouts, veal, fennel, and beet. It has been a really fun experience. I can’t wait for many more years to come. I will keep working hard and share more great recipes with you all.

Second, it was my birthday on Sunday. I didn’t want to buy a cake this year, so I made myself one of my favorite dessert, Tiramisu. About 15 years ago in Hong Kong, my family and I went to a Spanish restaurant with some friends. At the end of the meal, we had Tiramisu. To this day, I still remember how amazing that Tiramisu was. It was moist, creamy, sweet with a hint of coffee and rum. It was more like a mousse/pudding than cake. That was unforgettable. Every since then, I always search for Tiramisu like that. Until recent years, I tasted the Tiramisu in CPK (California Pizza Kitchen). It was creamy and moist which reminds me so much of the one I like. This Tiramisu recipe is kind of like that. The mascarpone cream is smooth and creamy like a zabaglione. With the marsala wine and rum, the Tiramisu was perfect. If I would never gain weight, I really would eat this everyday.

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Yogurt Popsicles

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Summer is almost over, but it is nowhere near the ending for frozen treats. I eat them all year round. 😛 During winter time, I would turn on the heater to eat ice cream or popsicle. Haha… Pretty ridiculous, right? But those treats are so hard to resist!

Last year, Bryan bought me a popsicle mold. We tried making some pineapple and coconut popsicles, but they were too icy. We didn’t like them. Ever since then, the popsicle mold had been sitting in a lonely corner and collecting dust.

Last week, I finally decided to make some popsicles. I made these yogurt popsicles, and they turned out perfect. They were not overly sweet with a hint of tangy flavor from the yogurt. They tasted like sweet lassi in Indian restaurant or plain frozen yogurt (like Pinkberry). They were pretty creamy and unbelievably easy to make. These are the treats that everyone will love!

On a side note, I LOVE Fage yogurt!!! It is so thick and creamy. No other brand can compare with them. My favorite is the Total 0% with honey. If you haven’t tried it, go and get it!

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Double Crunch Banana Split

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I am sure most of you have had a banana split when you are little. Who can forget that creamy ice cream, ripe banana, sweetened whipped cream and chocolate sauce? It was always a delight to get that special treat.

Let me show you my twist on the classic banana split. It is a double crunch banana split. The first crunch is the caramelized sugar on top of the banana. It is like a cream brulee without the custard, but with a banana. It is light and you still get that incredible sugar crust! The second crunch is the chocolate magic shell. The smooth chocolate sauce turns into a hard shell when pour over cold ice cream. Combining both of these things with some creamy vanilla ice cream, this sure is a wonderful dessert to end a meal.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Waffles with Salted Caramel Sauce

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Bryan and I like to have breakfast as dinner once a week. Every once a while, I make pancakes or waffles as a side dish. Of course you can make them as breakfast or dessert. No matter what, these waffles will not disappoint you. They are really tasty. You can taste the sweet banana and the melting chocolate. YES, anything with chocolate chips is better.

And the sauce… Nom… Usually, I am not a fan of caramel sauce. I have always found them to be overly sweet. But to a surprise, this salted caramel sauce is not really sweet. There is a bit of saltiness which balance out the sweetness of the waffles. Amazing combination! Hope you will like it!

Also, I want to say a early Happy 4th of July to you! Have a fun BBQ day! Stay safe. Bryan will have a long weekend, so hopefully we will be doing some fun things!

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Apple Pie Cupcakes

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Before I get into the cupcakes, I have an announcement to make. Last week, I took my oath in the Naturalization Oath Ceremony. I am a United States citizen finally! Woo hoo!!! (Doing the happy dance!)

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After being in the US for 11 years, I am finally a citizen. It really has been a long journey. I have to say that I never thought I would be a US citizen. When I first got to the US, I just thought to complete school and go back to Hong Kong. But then I met Bryan, we fall in love and we got married. And here I am. I am so honor and proud to be a US citizen. Now, I can really call the US home. 🙂

When I was in the process of getting my citizenship, I wanted to make some food and write a post in here to celebrate my love of this country. What food is a good representation of America? It definitely has to be apple pie. But I think apple pie is too classic. Therefore, I present you these apple pie cupcakes! They are light and sweet with some slighty-tart apple bites. Great for any occasions. Hope you will enjoy them!

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Meyer Lemon Souffle

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Mother’s Day is next Sunday. If you are thinking about a gift for mom, this Meyer lemon souffle will sure impress her. When it comes to desserts, my mom prefers tangy than sweet or chocolatey. Therefore, I always think about making some kind of lemon desserts for mom on Mother’s Day. This souffle has definitely become one of my favorite lemon desserts. It is warm, fluffy, tangy and fragrant. Even though my mom is in Hong Kong and we are miles away from each other, I will make her this when we see each other next time. Happy Mother’s Day, mom! 

Let’s talk about Meyer lemons. I have heard so much about Meyer lemons, but I never tried it until 2 weeks ago. I found a pack of Meyer lemons in Costco. After a week of exploring, I have tried at least 6 – 7 different recipes with Meyer lemons. When comparing Meyer lemon with lemon, I came to a conclusion that Meyer lemon is less acidic and it is more fragrant than a lemon. They are definitely great for desserts. The only problem is that they are seasonal and they are not easy to find all the time. I know that Meyer lemon season is coming to an end now. If you can find Meyer lemon, buy and try it. If you can’t, lemon will be fine as well.

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Individual Strawberry Pavlova

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Continue with the strawberry theme this week! I have some leftover roasted strawberry puree and strawberries from the Roasted Strawberry and Buttermilk Ice Cream, so I thought what I can do. And yes, pavlova is the winner. I first learned about pavlova from watching Barefoot Contessa on Food Network. Ina made a beautiful mixed berry pavlova. I have been wanting to try it, and finally I did. I made individual ones, so it is easier to serve and Bryan and I do not have to eat the 7-inch cake by ourselves.

As far as I know, Pavlova is from Australia. It is a really popular dish in Australia and New Zealand. No matter where it is from. It is truly an amazing dessert to present and serve at a dinner party. It is light and it has fresh ingredients. It also highlights the berries during the spring season. The meringue is light and crisp on the outside and slightly gooey on the inside. With the fresh strawberry, strawberry puree and whipped cream, every bite is the perfect bite. You may think 3½-inch is a lot, but that is not true. It is a great serving size for one person. If you haven’t tried pavlova before, I urge you to make them today. You will not be disappointed!

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