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VOL. 39 | NO. 18 | Friday, May 1, 2015

‘TV dinners’ seem to look better than real thing

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It just doesn’t pay for me to watch the Food Network. I get so inspired by the food the chefs prepare that I immediately go running to the store and buy all the ingredients.

Not for just one particular recipe – but for many. Oops, there goes the grocery budget. Down the tube (pun intended).

Just the other day, I was watching “Giada at Home,” and the food she prepared looked awesome. I couldn’t wait to get to the store, purchase the items I don’t keep on hand and start cooking.

First, I made Thankful Shepherd’s Pie, most of the items for which I had on hand. Then I made chocolate and hazelnut gelato pops, and then I made her recipe for chocolate orange mini-cheesecakes.

There were not many leftovers with any of the recipes, and what was leftover was quickly consumed the next day.

The recipe for today is for the cheesecakes. They were so delicious.

As far as the gelato pops, they were very tasty, but not so easy to make. They seemed to be a breeze for Giada De Laurentiis on TV, but not so much for me.

In fact, I used only four ice cream sticks because I gave up. The rest were just little balls of Gelato covered with chocolate and nuts.

Also, I used macadamia nuts instead of hazelnuts. The macadamias were awesome, and I really didn’t care that they didn’t look as lovely as Giadas’ fancy-looking ones with ice cream sticks. Hers looked perfect. Mine tasted perfect.

Chocolate orange mini-cheesecakes

If you decide to try that recipe, I have one tip for you: Make sure your freezer is super cold. Gelato is very soft, and melts quickly. It can get messy when you’re trying to cover it with the warm chocolate.

If you look up her recipe for chocolate orange mini-cheesecakes, you’ll see from my picture of them (above) and her picture that, once again, hers were perfect and mine were, well, cute.

But they tasted great and didn’t hang around long.

Here is the recipe. Have a great week.

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Kay Bona is an award-winning columnist and photographer. Contact her at kay@dailydata.com.

Chocolate Orange Mini-Cheesecakes

1/3 cup finely crushed chocolate wafers

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup ricotta cheese

2 ounces cream cheese

1/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons

1 orange, zested

1 egg

Butter, for greasing

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the crushed chocolate wafers and the melted butter. Place a tightly packed teaspoon of the wafer mixture into each mini-muffin cup and press down firmly.

In a food processor combine the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, one quarter of a cup of the sugar, half of the orange zest, and the egg. Blend until smooth. Lightly grease the sides of the mini muffin tin with butter. Fill the cups with about one and a half tablespoons of the cheesecake mixture. Place the mini muffin tin in a baking dish and pour enough hot water in the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the mini muffin tin. Bake for 25 minutes. Transfer the mini muffin tin to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Use a small knife to gently pop the cheesecakes out of the cups.

Just before serving, combine the remaining orange zest with the remaining two tablespoons of sugar. Top each individual cheesecake with about one quarter of a teaspoon.

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