Friday, October 24, 2008

Food Friday

So it's Friday. And with all of the election garbage going on (Yes, I said garbage.  And I mean it.), it seemed appropriate to post a delicious, decadent and comforting CHOCOLATE recipe. Yee haw!

A couple of weeks ago, we had my Grandma over for dinner. It was her 89th birthday. She's amazing! In planning the dinner, I pulled out a recipe from a local magazine to make for dessert. It is low-sugar and reduced-fat, so it seemed like a good choice. She can't have much sugar, I don't need the fat. HA!

Here is the cast of ingredients. The original recipe called for a chocolate graham cracker crust, but I couldn't find those anywhere (read: Target or Wal-mart), so I went with an Oreo crust. I'm sure it was an improvement!

I'm not sure why the cream cheese isn't in the picture.  Must have been in the fridge.  Sorry.

First, we'll make the crust. WAY easier with a food processor like this:

Now, you could certainly do this with a Ziploc baggie and rolling pin. But this is SO easy!

Then we mix in some melted butter (the Oreos really NEED that, of course) and pat it into a greased springform pan. 

The filling comes next. You start by creaming the cream cheese and slowly adding in the sugar substitute. Today we're using Splenda, but you could use the real thing, too.

The eggs go in, one at a time and then the sour cream and vanilla. It's already looking yummy, don't you think?

So next, we have to make this a CHOCOLATE cheesecake (did I hear an "Amen"?). We'll start by melting our semi-sweet chips in the microwave.  You want to be careful to not melt it very long at a time.  The first one I made (don't ask!), the chocolate was a bit bitter - I think I over cooked it.  So this time I was more patient.  After 25 seconds, they look like this:

I thought about taking a picture of them IN the actual microwave, but I would be humiliated beyond belief. I mean it's GROSS, People. I'm embarrassed by that. So instead, while we're waiting for those to melt, would you like to see my spice cabinet, instead? Rather respectable, don't you think?

Note:  I'm just so THRILLED that the former owners of this house didn't just confine the green to the Formica counter tops.  They painted the insides of the cabinets, too!  Thank you, Former Owners!  I'll think of you when I someday get motivated to paint them WHITE and have to take every thing out and practice strange arm tangling positions to paint them.  In about 10 years.  Or when all my children are grown.  Or never.

But back to our chocolate.  Just keep melting for 15-20 seconds, stirring between times.  Here's our chocolate, all melted and creamy and good. My mouth is watering just looking at it!

We're going to add this to our cream cheese mixture. Then we'll have a chocolate cream cheese mixture. Mmmmmmmm.

This goes into our springform pan on top of our Oreo crumb crust. Spread it around a bit and it will look like this:

And although I should have mentioned it earlier, if you're anything like me, you better have some of this on hand to keep you occupied so that you don't eat all of the chocolate chips, Oreos or batter in the process.

I feel better, already!

Now the beautiful deliciousness has to bake. Unfortunately for quite some time. About an hour.

At least my oven is clean! Whew.  You can see I wrapped some foil around the bottom of the pan.  The first one I made dripped a bit on the oven.  Hence the clean oven.  Don't tell me you thought it was ALWAYS clean?  HA!

Now it has to cool for quite some time.  Over night is good.  I made it in the morning to serve that night and it was fine.  It just needs a bit of something, though.

So let's melt some more of those semi-sweet chips in the microwave.  And I'm sure you know this little trick, but if you want an easy way to decorate, just use a Ziploc bag (you can do this with buttercream frosting, too).  Put your topping in the bag, get as much of the air out as you can, seal, and cut the very bottom corner off, making a 1/4 inch opening.

Then you just use it like a pastry bag to decorate.  You can just throw it away when you're done!

Doesn't it look pretty?

But wait a minute!  You can't have JUST Chocolate Cheesecake!  You have to have dinner first.  How about some hot lasagna and crusty whole wheat bread?

I think we need a closer look, don't you?

MMMMMmmmmmm.  Now we just throw together a salad and we're good to go.  I didn't take a picture of the salad.  Oh well.

Looks like we're ready for Grandma.  The table is all set. . . 

But wait. . . that's not enough seats!

Oh.  There they are!  Keeps things from getting so crowded in the dining room.

After dinner, look what's for dessert!


Light Chocolate Cheesecake


1 C Oreo cookie crumbs (I used reduced fat)

2-3 T melted butter

Fold crumbs and butter together until mixed thoroughly.  Grease interior of nine-inch springform pan.  Pat bottom of pan with crumb mixture.  Set aside.


3 - 8 oz packages low-fat cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 C Spenda

3 eggs

1 C light sour cream

1 t vanilla extract

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

Beat cream cheese in mixer and gradually add Splenda.  Add eggs, one at a time and continue mixing.  Add sour cream and vanilla and mix.  In microwave, melt chocolate, stirring frequently.  Fold melted chocolate into cream cheese batter, scraping down sides of bowl.  Pour batter into pan and bake 55-60 minutes at 350.  Cool completely, then remove from pan to a serving dish.  Refrigerate overnight or several hours.


Melted chocolate drizzled over top

Fresh raspberries.

Happy Friday!!


Sheryl said...

The whole dinner looks yummmy. I love lasagne and who doesn't love chocolate.

Zimms Zoo said...

Look at you being all Pioneer woman like!

I thought the first one was good too! I have a chocolate truffle cheescake that is so incredibly wonderful.

One question: was it the chocolate graham crackers you couldn't find or the pre-made crust? I am surprised that wal-mart didn't have the chocolate graham crackers.

hilary_dehaan said...

*gasp* How dare you! *hehe* Just kidding...I'm gonna try this sometime!

Mrs. Troop said...

Well, ZZ, it was the chocolate graham crackers I couldn't find. I was surprised, too. But I didn't check Homeland or Williams - they might have had them. The Oreos were good, though!

Anonymous said...

Oh My! Not only creative for dinner but what a creative way to write about it on your blog! You are quite a lady! Wish you lived closer so that I could hear you and see you in person! Thanks for sharing your joys and fun times with me- such an encouragement to me!

Cindy said...

Oh, YUM! I've made a similar recipe before, using graham crackers and cocoa (and butter and sugar, probably vanilla). It was so good. I have to say probably one of my all-time favorite deserts! Yours was much prettier though. :)

Hey, if it's a few years before you get to those cabinets, by that time you can just have your boys do all the work! Nice spice cabinet, btw. I'm impressed! :)

Lori said...

Wow! I am so impressed! And pictures and all! Very impressive. Thanks so much for sharing!!!!

And I love the green spice cabinet!

Corrie said...

Oh yum! I don't know how you do it! :-) M said she was gonna see you guys tonight...wish I could be there.

Jo said...

This post blows my mind. Just the posting of it would have taken me half the day and then the other half spend buried in this amazing cake. Go you!!!! Yum and thanks for sharing.

hilary_dehaan said...

Thank you, thank you!! Hugs and blessings upon your family as well :-)