at the Water's Edge


Living life and learning all I can along the way!

Making Things: Bagels, Cheese and Other Recipes

Unintended though it was, this past weekend was a weekend of making things -- mostly food. On Friday, after a delicious surf 'n turf meal (in which I almost burnt the house down when the grill caught fire, but miraculously managed to keep the steaks from getting charred or overcooked), I decided to try the bagel recipe from my bread book.  I used the provided recipe, only I added sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil, since that's one of my all time favorite bagel flavors -- and it's hard to find! I made up the dough on Friday and refrigerated it overnight. Saturday, I attempted the bagels. They turned out...just...slightly...misshapen.  I got two out of nine that were fairly good looking and decidedly photo worthy.



A couple of them actually looked like bagels!

...The others had a sort of rough texture on top...but they still taste good!

I'll be working at this recipe some more until I get the bagel dough formation down a little better! Next time it will be "everything" bagels with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, onion and salt. Yum!

I had my mom and step-dad over on Sunday for Mother's Day. We went out to lunch, but I decided to make a dessert we could eat at home. I had bought a whole giant container of fresh blueberries at Costco and had some lemons on hand...I thought this flavor combination would be great in a dessert, but wasn't sure what I wanted to make. Actually, I started with breakfast. I had been wanting to try lemon poppy seed pancakes for a while, and I found this awesome looking recipe for Blueberry Lemon Sauce, which I thought would make an awesome topping. I was not wrong. I kind of cheated on the pancakes, though. I just added some poppy seeds, lemon zest and lemon juice to a double batch of Krusteaz pancake mix! It turned out pretty tasty, though.

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes with Blueberry Lemon Sauce

Now, I had lots of leftover Blueberry Lemon Sauce, so it was onward with my dessert plans. I had this idea that a vanilla cheesecake type dessert would be scrumptious with the sauce on top. Only, I didn't have much time and I'm not very good at cheesecakes. After a quick search for an "easy" or "no bake" recipe, I stumbled across this one. The only problem is that it is a recipe from the UK where they call ingredients by different names and measure everything by weight. That's not really a problem, though, because I know how to make a graham cracker crust and I can Google "demerara" sugar and use my (ahem, Tom's) new kitchen scale to weigh ingredients. Except...I didn't do all of the conversions before I left for the grocery store...and I came home with about half of the cream cheese that I needed. So, without time to go back to the store, this was one of those recipes born of necessity -- which sometimes ends up working just fine! Cheesecake is normally too rich for me, so I wanted something lighter anyways. With less cream cheese on hand, I made a really thin layer of cheesecake filling atop a graham cracker crust and then added the Blueberry Lemon Sauce. The result was success! A delicious, light vanilla cheesecake that paired excellently with the sauce.

vanilla no-bake cheesecake with blueberry lemon sauce

No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake with Blueberry Lemon Sauce

Ingredients:
  • 1 packet of graham crackers
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 8oz frozen whipped cream, thawed
  • 1/4 cup powered sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 batch of Blueberry Lemon Sauce

Directions:
Break apart graham crackers and place into a food processor. Process until you have fine crumbs. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter and use your hands to press into the bottom of a parchment-lined spring form pan. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to set. In a medium sized bowl, mix cream cheese, whipped cream, powdered sugar and vanilla together on high for 2 minutes. Use a spatula to evenly spread cream cheese mixture over top of the graham cracker crust. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Before serving, top with Blueberry Lemon Sauce.

No Bake Easy Vanilla Cheesecake with Blueberry Lemon topping

There you have it! Very simple. Very tasty.

How NOT to stretch mozzarellla...apparently.
Last on the list for food-making this weekend was Cheese Making Attempt #2. I had previously used a cheese making kit to make Tangy Feta from cow's milk. This time I was going for the under-an-hour-to-make mozzarella. I found a couple of recipes online, and was following this one. It was really easy to make. I only had two problems: 1) The instructions on how to stretch the cheese were not clear (neither were other recipes I looked up), and I think I accidentally squeezed too much moisture out of the cheese in the process; and 2) I didn't know how to store the cheese -- and as it turns out, it's best eaten fresh. Shoot. We had just gotten back from a late lunch and I was not planning on making a real dinner that night. We'll find out tonight how it turned out! From the small tastes that I took, it tasted like mozzarella. One gallon of milk made maybe 16 ounces of cheese (I did not use said kitchen scale, just a guess). I made two mozzarella balls and gave one to my mom to take home. All in all, I was able to make the cheese in just slightly more time than it took my mom to apply online to adopt a dog -- for whatever that's worth!

It was a productive weekend, looking back! The non-food item I made this weekend goes back to my Apron Obsession. I finally made that harvesting apron -- but that deserves a post of its own. More to come!

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ABOUTME

Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Happy Gilmore. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!

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