Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ricotta Cheesecake

I had some leftover ricotta cheese, and I did not know what to do with it. I always wanted to try to make ricotta cheesecake. With some experimentation, I think I got a set recipe down.

Light Ricotta Cheesecake

1 Package of graham crackers
2 tbs Brown sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
3 tbs Melted butter

16 oz Ricotta cheese (Drained of most liquid)
16 oz Cream cheese (I think its 16 oz. Basically a block)
2/3 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Cake flour
2 Egg whites
2 Eggs
1 tsp Orange blossom
Zest of one orange and one lemon
1/4 Lemon juice

Directions for the crust
1. Melt butter
2. In food processor combine crackers, cinnamon, and sugar
3. Pulse everything until well blended
4. Slowly drizzle butter in
5. Line baking material bottom with crust

Directions for the filling (Preheat oven to 350)
1. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. (set aside in a bowl)
2. With a paddle mixer, beat the cream cheese and ricotta cheese together.
3. Put in the two eggs. (one at a time at low speed)
4. Add in sifted sugar and cake flour.
5. Mix very slowly or else everything will fly out.
6. Add in lemon juice, orange blossom, and zests.
7. Mix until well incorporated.
8. Fold egg whites into the batter
9. Prepare a water bath
10. Put batter in cake pan
11. Put cake into the oven for 45-60 minutes.
12. Let it cool and serve

Sunday, January 15, 2012

[$20/week] Week 1 Recap

As a resolution, I decided to do something crazy... $20/week. I usually spend $40 or even $50 per week on food and groceries. Here's a recap of what I made, and what I ate.

$1.99 Chocolate Chip Waffles
$2.55 Blueberry Muffins

$0.28 7 Carrots
$1.34 Ham Fried Rice

$11.62 Turkey Lasagna

$1.40 1/2 gallon Milk
Free Water

Total: $19.18 <- Within budget. Woot...
Note: Sometimes I eat the blueberry muffins for lunch.
Ham fried rice lasted me two lunches.
Lasagna surprisingly lasted me the whole week.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

[$20/week] Blueberry Muffins (week 1)

Right in the middle of the night, I get the munchies... I quickly scavenged for ingredients and made something simple, yet healthy. Here's a recipe for about 12 muffins. These things saved me for the rest of the week for snacking or breakfast.

Blueberry Muffins

1 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour ($.015)
2 teaspoons Baking Powder ($0.0382)
1/2 cup Sugar ($0.48)
1/3 cup Oil ($0.18)
1 Egg ($0.149)
1/2 cup Dried Blueberries ($1.50)
2/3 cup Milk ($0.15)
Total: $2.55

Directions (Preheat oven 375F)
1. Run all the dry ingredients together through a sifter.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients.
3. In a separate container, mix all the wet ingredients.
4. Combine dry and wet ingredients.
5. Line muffin tins.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until done.

Friday, January 13, 2012

[$20/week] Ham Fried Rice (week 1)

I brought back some goodies from home. What could it be?? Something from Virgina that is good??? So... I brought back my mom's famous Virginia Ham. Yes, ham in Virginia is quite famous and delicious.

At this time of the week (Tuesday, I think), I was getting quite sick of lasagna everyday. I decided to dig through my fridge and see what I could find.

Carrots ... check, onion ... check, ham ... check, garlic ... check. I think we got ourselves some fried rice ingredients.

Ham Fried Rice (serves 2)

Leftover Rice [1 cup] ($0.05)
1/4 Onion ($0.03)
Garlic ($0.045)
Egg ($0.149)
3 thick slices of Ham (~$1.00)
1 tbs Soy sauce (~$0.10)
Canola Oil (~$0.10)
Total : ~$1.50

1. Cut up all the ingredients like so below:

2. In a wok, toss in some oil and wait for it to heat up.
3. Sweat onions.
4. Add carrots and cook until the onions are slightly brown and carrots are almost soft.
5. Add ham and cook until the ham is heated up.
6. Turn down heat and make a well for the egg.
7. Scramble the egg in the wok.
8. Add rice and cook.
9. Add soy sauce and stir around until rice turns brownish.
10. Taste to see if flavorful enough. Add salt if not or oyster sauce.

[$20/week] Whole Wheat Turkey Lasagna (week 1)

It is a new year! Time to actually get some blogging done. I haven't touch this blog since summer : (. Graduate school has been quite tough, and I have been getting accustomed to it.

Being a redditor, I decided to take on the $20 a week food challenge on r/budget. As a student living in LA, my peers have told me about how difficult it will be to survive on just $20 a week for food and be decently healthy.

Shizzam! I spent $19.49 this week!
My strategy was to make lasagna, fried rice, eat waffles.

I shall begin my perilous journey of almost starvation:

Whole Wheat Turkey Lasagna (Serves 6)

Cheap ingredients!
Fresh Pasta
5 Eggs ($0.745)
2 lbs Tomatoes ($2.05)
1 Zucchini ($0.37)
Whole Wheat flour ($0.15)
1 lb Ground turkey ($3.79)
3/4 Onion ($.09, yea Smart n Final deals)
1/2 Garlic head ($.09, Smart n Final is the best!)
1/2 package of Mozzarella cheese ($1.745)
16 oz Ricotta cheese ($2.495)
Olive Oil (~$0.10)
Herbs, Seasoning (~$0.15)
Total cost: $11.874

1. Follow instructions to make fresh Pasta

Make the Turkey pasta sauce
1. Finely chop garlic and onion.
2. De-seed the tomatoes.
3. Heat up pan with olive oil.
4. Sweat onions and garlic.
5. Add tomatoes and cook until the peel starts to fall, and liquid starts leaking (~10 minutes).
6. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend well.
7. In a pan, cook the turkey until it is well done.
8. Add blended sauce.
9. Add seasoning (salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, marjoram)
10. Taste to see if it tastes good!

Ricotta cheese portion
1. Take ricotta and mix with one egg.
2. Add salt and pepper.
3. Taste to see if well seasoned.

Assembling the lasagna in a 12" x 12" lasagna pan (Preheat oven to 375F)
1. Add sauce layer.
2. Add pasta.
3. Add ricotta cheese layer.
4. Repeat until you get to the top.
5. Top with mozzarella cheese and sliced zucchinis.
6. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 25 minutes.
7. Unwrap and cook for 15 minutes or until cheese on top is golden brown.