Friday, February 15, 2008

V-Day Report Part II: The Food

Steve sent me flowers yesterday, which made a beautiful centerpiece for the kitchen table. I LOVE getting flowers. :) This arrangement had a bunch of pink lilies (lilies are my favorite), purple irises and some other purple flowers that I don't know the name of. I can't wait until everything's open!

Steve's really difficult to buy gifts for (mostly because he never wants - or thinks he needs - anything), so for holidays like this I spend extra time in the kitchen. I get to play more and he gets better food. (Hopefully)

I got gutsy and tried out new recipes for Steve's V-Day dinner. With a little tweaking, everything turned out great! It didn't take that long either because I used my Crock Pot. I swear those things work magic on meat. I made shredded beef burritos with a roast I had in the freezer. When it was done cooking, the taste was lacking a bit, so I added some salt, lime juice and fresh cilantro. That seemed to do the trick.

Chipotle Beef Burritos
adapted from

1 1/2 lb roast or steaks
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/3 c chopped onion
1 or 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/3 c chopped fresh cilantro
juice from 1 small lime
warm tortillas
fresh pico de gallo or salsa
sour cream
shredded cheese

Trim meat of fat and strange gummy parts and cut into about 6 pieces. Place meat in a 2.5-4 qt slow cooker. Add undrained tomatoes, onion, chipotle peppers, oregano, cumin, garlic, and salt. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours. Remove meat from slow cooker, shred with a couple of forks and return to pot. Cook for an additional hour or so until heated through and flavor has incorporated into the meat. Add cilantro and lime juice. Serve on tortillas with pico, guac, sour cream and cheese. (And anything else you feel like putting on there)

Nat's Notes:
1. I decided that chipotle peppers rock. You can use them in place of diced green chilies in about anything. They add smokey, spicy flavor to stuff. Mmm. They're super hot, though, so go easy on them.

For dessert I made a cheesecake. I don't know if I did this more for me or for Steve. I found this recipe during Christmas break in a book that my mom has and have been wanting to make it ever since. Are you ready for the name of it? It's Cinn-a-bun Cheesecake.

I'm definitely a cinnamon person. If I had to choose between a hot cinnamon roll and hot brownie, I'd choose the cinnamon roll every time. (Most of the time I don't need to choose. I eat both.)

There are no words in the English language to describe how good this cheesecake is. It's so good that I don't even have an excuse in my head when I eat it. "Oh, it's Valentine's Day" or "Oh, I worked out this morning" don't even enter my head. I don't care. It's that good. And that's why I've been trying to pawn off pieces to the neighbors -- so I don't give myself a stomach ache.

Here it is from the side.

Here's a shot of the back. Oh, baby.

Now without further adieu . . .

Cinn-a-bun Cheesecake
adapted from A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman

1 1/2 c finely crushed Mother's Iced Oatmeal cookies or any spice cookie
1/4 c butter, melted
2 T brown sugar

3 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 c sugar
1/2 c sour cream or whipping cream
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c flour
1 c coarsely chopped cookies (same kind as above)
1 c raisins (optional)
1/4 c butterscotch or caramel sundae topping
1 tsp cinnamon mixed with 1/4 c sugar

Preheat oven to 325. Place a pan of water on the bottom rack.

For crust, mix cookie crumbs, butter and brown sugar and press into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Spray the sides of the pan with non-stick cooking spray.

For filling, blend cream cheese, sugar and sour cream until smooth, scraping bottom and sides of bowl, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in eggs, vanilla and flour and blend well, 2-3 minutes.

Spoon 1/3 of filling into pan and top with half of each chopped cookies and raisins. Drizzle on some butterscotch topping. Dust on some cinnamon sugar mixture. Pour on another 1/3 of cream cheese mixture and other layers. Add last bit of cream cheese filling and finish top of cake with cookies and cinnamon sugar.

Bake 50-55 minutes or until cheesecake is set about 2 inches from the side and wiggles slightly in the center. Turn oven off, leave door open and let cheesecake cool until you can take it out of the oven without oven mitts. Leave cheesecake on the counter until it's room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.

Serve with whipped cream and butterscotch topping.

Nat's Notes:
1. I used light cream cheese and sour cream, although I think all hopes of improving the calorie count were already lost.
2. I didn't add raisins because I don't like 'em.


Millertime said...

That sounds so good. I am going to have to make that for desert sometime. Thanks Natalie for all your fun recipes.

Sara said...

You always have the yummiest foods on your blog! Those other purple flowers are called Matsumoto or Crown Asters. :)

jenn said...

This looks SO tasty!! Your flowers are beautiful...make sure and post more pictures when they open!