Monday, July 29, 2019

Goat Cheese Cheesecake

This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

I love goat cheese with everything. Until this point, I’ve only used it in salads and as an appetizer with crackers, but I’ve been dreaming about pairing it with something sweet. 

I imagined a light, creamy dessert with fruit, and thus this no-bake goat cheese cheesecake was born.

I understand that the goat cheese can be a huge turnoff for people, and it’s not likely that I will convince you otherwise in this post. But at least let me tell you why goat cheese works in cheesecake.

First, the composition of goat cheese differs slightly from cheese from cows. Goat cheese has a lower concentration of milk protein which gives it a smoother, creamier texture, and it has a higher composition of fatty acids which makes it slightly tangy. 

The subtle tang and acidity from the goat cheese takes this cheesecake from sugary sweet to mildly sweet with some savory notes. It’s the perfect base for fruit topping, if you go that route.

Second, why not goat cheese? We’ve already had regular cheesecake. We know it’s delicious. People experiment with toppings and mix-ins all the time. So why not experiment with the type of cheese?

As you’ll see, this is a no-bake recipe. I went this route because I wanted the creaminess and lightness of the goat cheese to shine through. 

I made it in a tart pan because I thought it would look pretty, but you can use an 8-inch spring-form pan instead. Also, I spread the mixture into the pan using a piping bag. Once again, my only reason for going that route is I thought it would look pretty.

I will include the recipe for raspberry sauce, but I want to emphasize that you can top it however you please! Even a drizzle of honey would be tasty.

Goat cheese cheesecake
For the crust
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) Challenge butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
For the filling
  • 8 ounces Challenge cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 ounces goat cheese in a log (not crumbles)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the raspberry sauce
  • 12 ounces raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon water
For the crust
  1. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, and brown sugar in bowl until you have a sand-like consistency.
  2. Prepare your tart pan with nonstick spray and distribute the graham cracker crumbs into the pan, pressing it down firmly and evenly on the bottom and up the sides.
  3. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
For the filling
  1. In a large bowl beat cream cheese until smooth. 
  2. Add Greek yogurt and goat cheese and beat until smooth again.
  3. Add powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla, and mix until everything is incorporated.
  4. Remove crust from refrigerator, and spread mixture into pan, either using a spatula or a piping bag.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the raspberry sauce
  1. Combine raspberries, sugar, lemon juice, and water in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir mixture until it comes to a boil, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and press sauce through a fine-mesh strainer to remove seeds. 
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve with cheesecake.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Celebrate seasonal Indiana produce with Blueberry Sweet Corn Cobbler

This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

There are two things that will always make me think of summer in Indiana: blueberries and sweet corn.

My love for blueberries started when I was very young. I went blueberry picking with my mom every summer, and we brought home buckets (literal buckets) of blueberries. We added them to everything, both sweet and savory dishes.

Sadly, that blueberry patch no longer exists. But fortunately, blueberry pints are usually discounted at the grocery store this time of year, so I am still able to indulge in my favorite summer treat.

I came across a recipe for blueberry and corn crisp recently from Bon Appetit, and the concept of combining sweet corn with blueberries in a dessert really piqued my interest. I was more interested, though, in making a cobbler instead of a crisp.

Fruit crisps are definitely delicious, however, sometimes I prefer the heartiness of a biscuit topping, especially when I’m “splurging” on dessert (which I’ve been doing a lot of post-wedding, oops).

The emphasis of the role sweet corn plays in this recipe is what makes it truly unique. The biscuits are comparable to cornbread; however, instead of just using cornmeal to achieve the corn taste, I’m using actual fresh sweet corn. I mean, utilizing seasonal Indiana produce is the reason I’m making this in the first place, right?

As you’ll see in this recipe, there’s no heavy cream or milk. Instead, I used juices from the sweet corn. I collected these juices by grating the corn. It’s a messy process , but the milky, starchy pulp from the kernels is certainly worth it.

Depending on the size and juiciness of your corn, you’ll need 2 to 3 ears to collect the ¾ cup necessary for this recipe.

Blueberry Sweet Corn Cobbler
For the berries
  • 1.6 pounds (725 grams or 2 1/4 pints) blueberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (66 grams)
  • 1/4 cup flour (30 grams)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
For the topping
  • 3 ears sweet yellow corn, uncooked
  • 1 1/4 cups flour (150 grams)
  • 1/3 cup (50 grams) medium or coarse-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold Challenge unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees and grease the inside of a 8-by-8-inch square casserole dish with butter.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine blueberries with sugar, flour, and lemon juice.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish spread in an even layer and set aside.
  4. Using a box grater, grate the corn over a bowl to collect its milky juices and pulp; discard the corn cobs.
  5. Make sure your corn juice measures 3/4 cup. If not, grate another ear of corn.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest.
  7. Cut in the butter using pastry blender or hands until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  8. Add corn juices to the flour mixture and mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened and you have a cohesive dough.
  9. Use an ice cream scoop or create dough balls with your hands to place over blueberries.
  10. Sprinkle the dough evenly with sugar.
  11. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan to catch any potential overflow, and place in oven. Bake until the cobbler is golden and the blueberries are bubbling, about 30 minutes.
  12. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Pina Colada Chicken Salad

Chicken salad can obviously be made year-round, but it feels like a summer staple. There’s something kind of refreshing about it.

One of the great things about chicken salad is that it can be made into a million different variations. My absolute favorite chicken salad is at a restaurant on Mackinac Island called Mary’s Bistro. Their chicken salad is on the sweeter side with mango chutney and cherries. They serve it on a bed of lettuce with crostini.

That was the inspiration behind this recipe for pina colada chicken salad. The coconut I used isn’t sweet, and it gives the chicken salad a nutty flavor, especially when combined with macadamia nuts. I thought it would be a good contrast in flavors to the sweetness of the pineapple in the recipe.

For the dressing, I used a combination of mayo and Greek yogurt to cut down on calories and add a little more protein. I also added a little bit of coconut milk to really enhance the nuttiness of the coconut. If you don’t have coconut milk, don’t sweat it! You could use a little pineapple juice and make it a little sweeter instead.

I served the chicken salad over romaine lettuce with red peppers and crostini that I made from a pre-sliced French baguette. If you prefer to eat it as a sandwich, I recommend Hawaiian buns for an extra dose of tropical flavor.

Side note: The chicken salad’s flavor develops more after about a day in the refrigerator, as is the case with most salads like this.

Pina Colada Chicken Salad
For the chicken salad
  • 3 cups cooked (about 1 pound), shredded chicken (or the meat from 1 rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • 1/3 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nut,s chopped and toasted
For the dressing
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. Mix the chicken salad ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Mix the Greek yogurt, mayo, coconut milk, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour over chicken salad ingredients, and story until everything is coated in the dressing.
  3. Serve on a bed of lettuce with red bell pepper and crostini or on a Hawaiian bun.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Patriotic Bald Eagle Cheese Ball

This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

I launched Kylee’s Kitchen the year after I graduated college. I was working a stressful job with terrible hours (11 p.m. to 7 a.m.) for little pay. I wasn’t able to sleep much, and I was very depressed and lonely. The blog became my creative outlet. It helped me to feel inspired. It gave me a purpose.

Baking cupcakes and cookies has always brought me so much joy because I love decorating food. I felt that same joy while making this cheeseball. 

It truly was a lot of fun sculpting the eagle’s body and carefully placing the cheese shavings on its head.

I began to think about what other cheese balls I could create. Perhaps it will be a new series on Kylee’s Kitchen. Surely there’s a demand for cheese sculptures, right? 

As with most all of my recipes, it is indeed much easier than it looks. You can use just about any cheeseball recipe you want. This recipe works well because all the ingredients are all white, so it makes the eagle’s head look a little more believable (not sure if that’s the word I’m looking for, but you get the idea). Also, other than the little amount of blue cheese, I stayed away from soft cheeses and liquids like Worcestershire sauce (some recipes call for it) because I wanted his head to be as firm as possible.

No matter what your work and life situation is, I hope you feel as inspired and creative as I did when making this recipe.

Happy Fourth of July!

Bald Eagle Cheese Ball
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages Challenge cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded white sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup pecan halve
  • 1 olive
  • Slice of yellow pepper
  1. Cream together the cream cheese, white sharp cheddar cheese, blue cheese, and garlic powder.
  2. Use a spatula to dump the cheese mixture onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap it in the plastic wrap, form it into a ball, and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least hour.
  3. While the cheese ball is still in the plastic wrap, start to form it into a cone so it resembles an eagle’s bodice.
  4. About 1/3 way down from the top, make a neck be indenting the cheese. Remove the wrap.
  5. Layer two rows of pecans around the base of the eagle like roof shingles.
  6. Press shredded white cheese onto its head.
  7. Cut an olive in half and add to both sides of head for the yes.
  8. Stick a slice of yellow pepper into the front of its face to resemble a beak. Use a toothpick to secure it in place if you have problems.
  9. Serve with blue tortilla chips and beet crackers to finish off your patriotic cheese ball.

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