Nutrition Tips, Recipes

My Ultimate Favorite Gluten Free Cheesecake

My brother in law introduced me to this recipe on Christmas and let me just tell you this is; this cheesecake recipe is game changing. It is absolutely delicious like honestly I can’t stop thinking about it. My mouth is watering and I’m not even kidding. I love the lemon taste to it and it’s so fluffy and it makes my tummy happy. I’ve been craving this cheesecake for months now and boy what I would do to eat it now. I might give in soon and bake it but before that I figured how dare I keep this recipe to myself? I mean it’s not mine and it’s in Dutch but my English speakers from other countries should also get in on this.

So just to be 100% frank with you this recipe is from Albert Hein which is a supermarket here in the Netherlands. They have the recipe online and it’s in Dutch. Here is the link — https://www.ah.nl/allerhande/recept/R-R480244/glutenvrije-cheesecake

Anyway I’m just going to translate it and then when I finally gave in and make this recipe I will insert my picture of the cheesecake. Here goes. Awwh my mouth can’t stop drooling.

Gluten Free Cheesecake

Summary

  • Baked
  • Serves 8 people
  • 460kcal (nutritional value per serving)
  • 20 min preparation
  • 55 min in the oven

Ingredients

  • 75g unsalted cream butter
  • 150g gluten free cookies
  • 3 medium sized eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • 600g natural cream cheese
  • 150g white caster sugar
  • 16g vanilla sugar
  • 25g powdered sugar

Kitchen supplies

Spring form (Ø 22 cm)

Step for Step

  1. Preheat your oven at 175 ºC. Prepare your pan, you can use baking paper or butter.
  2. Melt the butter. Crush your cookies into fine bits. (I personally like a bit of a crunch in my crust so I will crush it till 80% fine and 20% with small bits.) Add the butter and mix it with the crushed cookies. Place the crushed buttered cookies into your pan and press it into the bottom and sides with a spoon. Split your eggs. Grate of the skin of your lemon and press the juice out.
  3. Mix in the cream cheese with your lemon juice, 3 teaspoons of lemon juice, mix in the castor and vanilla sugar. Add the egg yolks in. In a separate bowl mix your egg whites till the stiff point. Add the egg whites to your cream cheese mix, give it a gentle stir before transferring the mix to the pan. (You fold it into. You want it to keep the air in the batter. If you over mix it the cheesecake will be flat.)
  4. Bake the cheesecake in the oven for 50-55min. Bake it till it’s a beautiful golden brown. Leave the cheesecake to properly cool.
  5. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the cheesecake just before serving it. (This is optional. I decided against it because I felt like the cheesecake has enough sugar in it.)

This is honestly such a delicious cheesecake. I can’t get enough of it. I definitely want to try to make it healthier in the future or find a way to make it with less sugar. I will keep you guys up to date with it! I’m going to start baking soon (we’re getting a proper oven) so I’m definitely going to share the really great recipes I’ve found or how I tweaked it to make it gluten free and possible sugar free. I don’t know yet. Anyway here is pictures of the mouth watering goodness. For some reason all of my photos with this cheesecake came out well bleh…If it wasn’t the lighting it was the layout. It just didn’t want to work with me.

Also why did I say definitely so much? I should Google for another word for it…Holy shit there is a lot. Like damn.

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Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Nutrition Tips, Recipes

Healthy Cottage Pie Recipe

I grew up with cottage pie and it is truly one of my favorite dishes to make. It’s home. There is ‘unhealthy’ ways to make it and there is way to improve the dish and make it healthier. This is my favorite recipe that can be deemed the healthier version. Oh before we jump in, here is a little history or background lesson.

This next part comes straight from Wikipedia. Do with this information what you will. Shepherd’s pie (made with minced lamb or mutton) or cottage pie (made with minced beef) is a meat pie with a topping of mashed potato. The dish can vary widely within its basic definition, whether as a home recipe or on a restaurant menu. The defining ingredients are minced meat (beef for cottage pie, lamb or mutton for shepherd’s pie) cooked in a gravy with onions and sometimes vegetables, such as peas, celery or carrots, and topped with mashed potato. Whilst not traditional, a common addition to either pie is to top the mashed potato with grated cheese.

Wikipedia goes into so much more detail about the dish but basically it comes from The United Kingdom originally and it’s a meat and potato dish. Now that you know what it is let me tell you how I make it.

Ingredients

  • Mince (Depends on your family/portion size. For two people I use 500g. When I feel like spoiling my husband even more I will add some bacon to the mix.)
  • Tomatoes (Medium sized tomatoes. Six to nine. Depends on how I feel.)
  • Peppers (If I feel like there isn’t enough vegetables in the meal I will add one pepper. For me it doesn’t really matter what colour it is. I do tend to go for the orange, yellow and red mix.)
  • Carrots (I always buy the medium sized carrots so I use 5 of them but if you buy the normal large carrots it’s about two.)
  • Onion (I use one but only because I’m not that big on onion. This can go according to your taste.)
  • Garlic (I use one glove but again this can go according to your taste. Garlic can easily overwhelm a dish so keep that in mind.)
  • Bolognese Sauce (I don’t think the brand really matters. I just buy the gluten free one our supermarket has to offer. The bottle is 400g.)
  • Soya Cream (I always get the 250g cuisine soya cream the supermarket stocks but normal whipped cream should be ay okay. I just tend to stay away from heavy lactose products as my body sometimes struggle to digest it. Coconut cream will also get the job done.)
  • Seasoning (I use Rosemary herbs, salt and pepper. If I feel like a little sting I will add some cayenne pepper.)
  • For sweetness I add 1 generous tablespoon of apricot jam. (I use a 30% less sugar brand. I also heat up some water and dissolve the jam in it before I pour it into my sauce. Otherwise it can get clumpy and won’t spread through the entire meal.)
  • Extras: If I feel I need more vegetables I will add some spinach but I tend to stay away from that one. In my mind spinach doesn’t go with this meal. The green ruins the nice and pretty red sauce. Taste wise I don’t think it’s noticeable. I also sometimes add 3ml of vanilla essence for flavour and a squeeze of lemon juice.)
  • Potatoes (Good old normal potatoes. I always get medium sized potatoes. I go fifty-fifty with the normal and sweet potatoes but you can do this according to your preference. Sometimes I skip the sweet potatoes all together. Portion wise I guess is just make enough. It’s better to have too much then too little but if I have to give it a number it’s about 4-5 normal potatoes (only if there is a few small ones in between the mix. Really I go according what looks enough) and 3 sweet potatoes.
  • Sweet Potatoes (I always have the option between the orange skinned and the purple skinned sweet potatoes from my local supermarket. The orange skinned potatoes is orange when cut open and the purple skinned potatoes is a yellow normal potato colour. I don’t know if that even makes sense but all in all I haven’t noticed a difference in flavour although saying that if I have the choice I go for the purple skinned.)
  • Butter and (Soya) Milk (You’re going to need butter and milk to mash the potatoes. I use soya milk because well I’m sensitive to lactose products but I don’t think it makes much of a difference. I use 25g-50g of butter (depends on how I feel like that night) and the rest just milk. It’s better to add little by little as too much makes your mashed potatoes runny.)
  • Oven pan

Step by step

  • I always start off with preparing all of my vegetables for my sauce. I cut up the onion, tomatoes, garlic, peppers, carrot and then add it to my favourite large sauce pan. I then switch over to skinning to potatoes and cutting them up in small pieces (I want them to boil through quickly).
  • I place the potatoes on a medium heat and with some olive oil I just let it sit and boil.
  • I then switch over to my sauce. I add the mince and the entire sauce mixture like I explained earlier. The Bolognese sauce, soya cream and seasoning. I give it a quick mix (Over mixing it with raw mince breaks it up to a point of you feel like you’re eating baby food. I still want chunks of meat.) I then put a lid on it and let it boil for 20-30 minutes on a low heat. I will give it a stir about halfway through but otherwise I leave it alone.
  • The potatoes should be done in 20-25 minutes. I then mash it and please don’t forget to add your seasoning. I always just use salt and pepper. Nothing fancy. All the flavour you want is in the sauce. I saw somewhere someone using the water that they boiled the potatoes with for the mashing. I haven’t tried it yet but be my guess.
  • I now take my oven pan and I will up half of it with my mince sauce (If there is left great you have leftover for spaghetti tomorrow night. You can also freeze it for another night.) I carefully put the mashed potatoes above this. One big serving spoon in three different parts of the oven pan. The side and the middle. Ones I feel like the mince mixture and the potatoes mixture is even I will even the potatoes out with a fork.
  • For one last extra flavour I add a layer of grated cheese. You can also add a layer of crushed chips (original flavour) on top of the mashed potatoes and then add the grated cheese. It gives it a nice extra layer of crunch. It’s not the healthiest but it is oh so good.
  • Then you just pop it in the oven for 30 minutes (or till cheese is nice and crispy) at 180˚C or 356˚F for my Americans. (Sorry for all the grams. Google it?)

Annnddd that’s it folks! Here is a photo of my batch. If you make it and like it please let me know. I would love to see your response to it. If you don’t like it well hey we all like different things. Oh and sorry for the dark quality in the picture. It’s winter here and it’s pretty dark around dinner time. It also doesn’t help that half of our light bulbs aren’t working…

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Here is my husband’s review. I promise he is not lying for me at all (he is).

“Thinking back of this dinner on a Sunday morning makes me hungry, it’s one of my favourite meals! If you have not tried this you are definitely missing out. I especially like the variation with the chips on top, so the unhealthy one basically.”

Before I go the unhealthy version is basically no vegetables and using a lot of butter with your normal potatoes.

I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!

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Recipes, Story Time

Life After One Month Of Marriage | Lemon Meringue Recipe

They say once you get married everything changes. I don’t know who this ‘they’ is but I don’t see their point. The only thing that changed is now Onno wears a ring.

Excuse me while I get sappy for a few sentences. Onno is truly the best thing that ever happened to me. I met him when I was 19 years old. I just started to discover myself as an adult and he pushed me (gently of course) in the right direction by encouraging me to always follow my dreams and never apologize for being quirky. I learned from him and I taught him a few things as well. We grew together. I’m in no way the same person I was when I met him but that’s not a bad thing. Onno once said that he had a feeling before we met. He just knew that this was it. I’m truly so grateful to have found my soul mate so early in life. Each moment we spend together just makes my life oh so much brighter and I look forward for all the memories we will make together.

You’re only married for one month once so I went all out with the celebration. My morning started with running to the shop to get ingredients for my special lemon pie and balloons. I made lemon meringue (lemon pie with meringue on top) many times before and boy did I get cocky. I didn’t feel like it was necessary to follow the recipe. Happily luck played in my hands and I managed to save the pie and follow the recipe before things went south. As the pie cooled down and cleaned the kitchen before it was time for the balloons. It was a full time job and absolutely draining to blow up the balloons and hang them with Speculoos around. He found the entire process very now what’s the word…it angered him. How dare I spend so much time on this air pumping machine and not cuddle with him? I took me a hour and a half to set everything up. My thumb is still numb from the balloon pump. Afterwards it was time to start with dinner. I wanted the food to be ready five minutes after Onno gets home as I know my husband comes home starving. I also made one of his favorites, lasagna. As the food did it’s magic in the oven I rushed to get ready.

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PS that painting in the background was a gift from one of my host kids (sorry for the white lie. Onno painted it a year or so ago and he doesn’t want people to know so shhh don’t tell him! The host kids did actually paint something for me. It’s in the office.)

I never did my makeup and hair that quick. Just before Onno arrived I put on a very romantic fireplace video which brought everything together. The timing was perfect. Onno arrived and boy was he surprised. I think he expected a nice cooked meal but the house fully decorated? Why would I go so far for our one month mini-anniversary? Well because I love my precious Dutch boy so much and his been so great to me. We immediately devoured our food and damn did it taste like heaven. My taste buds had a field day. It was so good. I’m not even tooting my own horn it was that good. Ask Onno. His my husband…he won’t lie. After dinner we enjoyed the fireplace and talked. It was amazing. I went on and on about babies and kids (Onno is no longer scared) and our plans for the next few months. Dessert was heaven and the perfect touch to the evening. It was truly a great evening. Private, romantic and delicious.

It’s been a wonderful first month and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my husband. I figured I can’t have this post without my precious husband making a guest paragraph. Hence why this is going up so late on a Friday. Onno is a very busy working man and he needs to proofread my entire blog before it can go up. Enough of me. Onno’s turn!

“I came home so surprised! This was all so unexpected but then again knowing Cassandra you could expect the unexpected. I loved the surprise and the amazing decorations in the house. Oww and the food… now that was literally the best I’ve had since I can remember. The lasagna was heaven, that lemon cake (which I now know was a close call) was a dream. I had the most amazing evening. Let me also use this time on Cassandra’s blog to echo her sentiments, I have to excuse myself for the sappiness as well. Every time I see my wife, coming home from work or just lying next to me in bed, it creates a little spring in my heartbeat. Cassandra has enriched my life with a sense of purpose and a future to work towards together. I love you so much my sweetheart”.

PS I only read Onno’s paragraph just before posting this and I’m blushing!

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Here is the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDfjXj5EGqI

Lemon Meringue Recipe

lemon meringue

Crust

1 packet of marie biscuits. The brand isn’t that important as long as it is thin vanilla cookies.

100ml of melted butter (unsalted)

Crush the biscuits, you can make it completely fine or you can have so bigger bits in for that extra bit of crunch. Mix the biscuits with the melted butter and spread it out even on your pan. Pop it in your oven at 108˚C for 5 -7minutes. Keep a close eye on it. You don’t want your crust to burn!

Filling

1 can condensed milk

125ml lemon juice (You can buy this or you can freshly squeeze a few lemons. For a extra zest you can add some fine grated lemon skin to the filling. Do this at your own very lemony risk!)

2 eggs (You gonna have to divorce the egg yellow from the white. I’m sorry to be the bringer of bad news.)

50ml caster sugar (Super fine white sugar.)

Grab your mixer for this part! Throw your condensed milk into a bowl and add the lemon juice steadily while mixing the batch. Keep your mixer on a low speed. Mix till it’s a stiff pasta. In a separate bowl mix the two eggs yolk (yellow) and mix till it’s lightly and spungy. Mix the two batches with a spoon. Be gentle. You don’t want to disturb the mixture or mix out the air. Now add this mixture onto your crust (this after the short bake in the oven) and pop it back into the oven for 10 minutes (still 180˚C).

Meringue

It’s time to use those two eggs whites (depending on the size of the pan I will use one more egg white just so everyone has enough to go around) and caster sugar! Make sure they is no egg yolk in the batch or your egg white won’t work. Clean your mixer (oil and egg whites aren’t friends) before you start. First beat the egg whites on a low speed. Once the eggs are close to the soft peak stage you steadily add the sugar. You want hard peaks so make sure to time it all right as you don’t want stiff peaks. Spread the mixture evenly over the top of your pie and use a spoon to make little designs or peaks in the meringue. Pop it back into the oven till it’s nice and golden. Let it cool for 30 minutes before digging in. I prefer a few hours of chilling in the fridge before I dig in. Mostly because I feel it gives the crust a bit of crispiness. I hope you enjoy!

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22 August 2017 || Never in a million years did I think I’d find someone so utterly and completely perfect, someone who would make me happier than I ever dreamed I could be, someone that would touch my life so profoundly and just give me a whole new reason to breathe. But then I found you and realized that everything I anticipated you to be doesn’t even compare to who you are.

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Nutrition Tips, Recipes

How To Love Oatmeal | My Favorite Recipe

There are two types of people in this world.

  • People who hate everything there is about oatmeal.
  • People who love oatmeal more than anything in this world.

I fall in the fine line between the two. I don’t hate oatmeal but I don’t exactly melt in joy at the very idea of eating it. I’ve tried it many different ways, my main problem with it the texture. It’s just everything I hate in food. Now I’m also not deluded against the properties of oatmeal in my diet so hence I continued trying the porridge in different ways. Before I continue here is the health benefits of oatmeal. This way you can understand the driving force in my many attempts to love oatmeal.

Health Benefits of Oatmeal:

1* Oatmeal contains soluble fiber which stays in the stomach longer and helps you feel fuller, longer. This can prevent overeating later on in the day, which may help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid the health problems associated with overweight. Eating just a half cup of oatmeal a day is enough to reap the many health benefits of the fiber it contains. Fiber describes the portion of plant materials in the diet which humans cannot digest. It is an important component in maintaining gastrointestinal (GI) health by regulating transit time through the GI tract and adding bulk, increasing a feeling of fullness and preventing constipation. One cup of oatmeal contains about 150 calories, 4 grams of fiber (about half soluble and half insoluble), and 6 grams of protein. In addition to fiber, oatmeal is rich in thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iron.*

Oatmeal can truly do wonders in your diet especially when your active. Now if you hate oatmeal cooked in a microwave or oven than my way will definitely be something. I like overnight oats. I love smoothies. One day I made way to much smoothie for lunch and was a bit unsure to do with the leftovers. That is until the light bulb when off. Why don’t I just replace the liquid element of the overnight oats with my smoothie? Pure brilliance I tell you. I’m not even kidding, it’s gold. It’s super easy.

Here is my Recipe to Success:

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½ cup of oatmeal (125ml)

1 – 1 ½ cup of smoothie (250ml – 375ml)

You can add fresh fruit if desired. Make sure to stir the heaven in a bottle correctly before storing it away in the fridge for 4-6 hours. You can get away with 2 hours in the fridge but the longer the oatmeal sits in the liquid the nicer it’s going to be. The liquid needs to be double the amount of the oatmeal. The more liquid you add the easier it would be to drink. So 1 cup will make the overnight oats thick and you would have to eat it with a spoon. 1 ½ cup will make the oatmeal drinkable.

It’s delicious. I really recommend you to give it a try. It will change your world. Obviously you will only love this if you love smoothies and you tolerate overnight oats.

I hope you will learn to love Oatmeal as I did,

if not there is always Muesli!

Source(s):

1* https://www.healthyeating.org/Healthy-Eating/All-Star-Foods/Grains/Article-Viewer/Article/208/health-benefits-of-oatmeal