Thanks to everyone for their sweet thoughts yesterday. I know we all go through weeks like I’m having…with 14 hour work days, little sleep, and way too much coffee. But I’m definitely starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And with weeks like this, it’s always a good idea to treat yourself and those around you (who have to put up with your crankiness).
So let me suggest making these lemon ricotta cheesecake bars. I made them for a Labor Day BBQ last week and was so pleased that everyone enjoyed these wonderful little sweet squares. They’re simple, bright, fluffy, and have wonderful ricotta flavor. Trust me. Your friends will love you for this. And you’ll be so happy to just sit back, relax and enjoy good food with good company.
Ricotta Cheesecake Bars with Lemon Shortbread
For the crust
1/3 cup sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon zest
For the cheesecake
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 (8-oz) package plain cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz ricotta cheese (I highly recommend fresh from the Farmer’s Market)
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
Lemon zest for garnish
Preheat oven to 350° and grease an 8×8″ baking pan.
To make the crust, cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually beat in flour, salt and lemon zest until mix is crumbly. Press into the pan and bake for 15 minutes.
While the crust bakes, make the filling. Combine sugar, heavy cream, cream cheese and ricotta in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Add in eggs one at a time and stir in vanilla until well combined.
Pour filling over hot crust (right when it comes out of the oven) and bake for another 25 minutes or until the filling is set.
Cool completely. Keep refrigerated and wait until serving to slice into bars.
Make these before summer is too far behind us! Ohh also, I think they would be fantastic with orange zest too. Yum. Ok, back to work!
I’m excited for a weekend filled with barbecues and brunch! Possibly the two best summer food activities, right? Stay cool (it’s going to be 104° today!) and pump up some fun tunes. A few of my favorites to dance around to right now are:
Happy Memorial Day weekend! Hope yours is filled with fun, family, friends, sunshine stripes and barbecue! The snapshot above is really what a perfect holiday weekend would look like for me. I just need to find a pool and then I’m ready!
Until today (when the temp dropped a whole lot) it was starting to feel like summer. Beautiful weather, running down by the mall (dodging tourists) and long fun days with the bf. (Of course, my idea of summer will be completely different this year since I’m out of school.)
So with the windows open and the sounds of Dupont flooding in, some of Sam Adam’s Summer Ale, and the Caps game on in the background, I made BBQ chicken pizza for dinner last night. And it tasted like summer.
Drumsticks smothered in BBQ sauce are one of my most memorable summer flavors. I even love that it’s sticky and gets all over your hands when you eat one. Add some corn on the cob and iced tea, and the whole family eating outside….just perfect.
I wanted to channel those flavors and make a fun weekend dinner that goes well with the lovely weather and sports watching night ahead. (We even watched the 6.5 hour Mets game!) I’ve made this pizza before, but I did it better this time around, and it was really good. I definitely think it’s important to use the three types of cheeses…and a lot of them. And I love the sweetness of the caramelized onions.
Are you anticipating summer with certain foods?
BBQ Chicken Pizza
1 Trader Joe’s pizza dough – or make your own, but how can you resist stocking up on these?
About 1 lb chicken breast
1 yellow onion, cut into slices (gave this job to the bf, ha)
A lot of cheese! I used mozzarella, cheddar and pepper jack
Preheat oven to 425°
Roll out pizza dough on to a baking sheet. Mine turned out more square, than round
Cover chicken in BBQ sauce and grill over medium heat, until cooked through.
Sautée the onion slices until caramelized.
Drizzle a little BBQ sauce on the pizza dough and spread out evenly for a thin layer.
Cut the chicken into bite sized-chunks and arrange evenly on pizza dough.
Sprinkle the cheese on top, then add the caramelized onions.