The Best Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe

Many people say cheesecake is one of the hardest things to make. With my recipe, they don’t have to be! I’ve gone through so many recipes and techniques that I’ve nailed down what makes them great. These cheesecakes are among my favorite things to cook (and eat), as they’re not only delicious but impossibly cute. Take them to your next potluck or office party to impress the pants off your friends!

 

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 TB unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, whites and yolks separated at room temperature
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of granulated sugar
  • Assembly and topping:
  • cupcake/muffin liners
  • melting chocolate
  • strawberries

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter. Place cupcake liners in a muffin tin and begin dropping rounded Tablespoons of the graham cracker mixture into each liner. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the liner lightly, creating a crust.

Pre-bake for 8 minutes, then remove from the oven and reduce temperature to 350°F. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla extract until fully combined and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. In a small bowl using a hand mixer, beat the two egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Add a dash of sugar and continue beating for another 30 seconds – 1 minute.

Gently fold the eggs whites into the cream cheese, mixing to a smooth yet thin consistency, then divide among the 12 muffin liners until the cups are almost full.

Bake for 20 minutes. Let it rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes until the filling returns to its normal shape. Don’t worry about cracks in the surface, as you’ll be covering them with chocolate. Chill for a minimum of 2 hours before topping.

Using a double boiler, gently melt your chocolate, stirring occasionally to combine. At this point, you can keep the cheesecakes in their liners or choose to remove them to get results like the picture above.

With a regular kitchen spoon, pour chocolate on top of the cheesecakes making sure to coat the entire surface. Wait until the chocolate on the cheesecakes harden before dipping the strawberries in the bowl of melted chocolate and resting on top of each cheesecake.

Ways To Actually Wake Yourself Up In The Morning

Stop drinking caffeine late in the day

To get the best sleep, stop eating or drinking things with caffeine at least eight hours before you want to go to bed. That means soda, coffee, energy drinks, tea, and even chocolate.

 

Start an evening routine

Anything from a nightly cup of (decaf) tea to an evening bath or shower can get your mind and body relaxed and signal that it’s time to start slowing down.

Stop using your bed to watch Netflix

OK, sure, this sounds hard. But when you use your bed for things OTHER than sleep (or sex), your brain stops associating the space with relaxation. So move your binge-watching to the couch and get better shut-eye.

 

Make your bed easier to make

Making your bed is a great way to start the day (and some say this small habit can change your life), but having too many sheet and blankets and pillows makes this simple task too complicated. Pare down your sleep sanctuary to have only the layers you need to be warm and make it easier on yourself in the a.m.

Prepare your breakfast before you go to sleep

Whether it’s an actual overnight recipe or just prepping ingredients for your morning meal, having breakfast almost or all the way ready will be a welcome treat for your tired self.

 

Keep a notepad by your bed

Before sleep, make a list of everything you need to remember the next day, ideas you have, and anything else you want to stop from nagging your brain as you power down.

 

Turn your alarm clock away from you

If you can’t sleep or you wake up in the middle of the night and see a glowing time taunting you, it can make you anxious and less likely to get to sleep.

 

Turn the lights on as soon as you’re up

This signals to your brain that it’s time to WAKE UP. If you get up before dark but want a more natural light, get one of these clocks that slowly brighten as it approaches alarm time.

 

Actually make your bed

It’s one way to feel accomplished first thing in the a.m. and it sets the tone for your entire day. Plus, it’s much harder to fall back into a fully made bed.

 

Do NOT snooze

Whatever you do, don’t go back to sleep once you’re awake. It can restart your sleep cycle and make you feel groggy for hours.

How to Keep Your Garden Beautiful On A Budget

Planting a flower garden does not have to cost you an arm and a leg nor does it have to take up your entire weekend. There are some simple things you can do that are quick, easy and free. And as I always say, if it’s for free, it’s for me!

 

Get rid of weeds naturally and inexpensively

Use undiluted vinegar to spray on weeds and even grass in sidewalk cracks or bricks. Keep the vinegar in a sprayer and shoot those weeds when you see them.

 

Make your own fertilizer

Epsom salt is a great alternative to fertilizer. It’s made up of magnesium and sulfate which plants love, especially houseplants, roses, tomatoes & peppers. And, not only is it frugal, but it’s also better for the environment. Combine 1 tablespoon Epsom Salt with 1 gallon of water in a watering can. Water your plants with this solution once a month.

 

And the last and to me the most important. Edge your garden beds!

I’m actually amazed at how many people don’t do this simple task. Which, in my opinion, finishes off the whole garden. At the beginning of the spring, when you have cleared out all the dead plants and leaves and turned your soil and/or mulch, edge the garden beds. Simply take a lawn edger and go along the entire length of the garden where it meets the grass. It makes for such a beautiful defined garden. I do it about 3 more times during the summer and fall. Plus you can edge it with the garden trimmer as well each time you mow & trim your lawn. Turn the garden trimmer on it’s side and move it along the edge of the garden bed. You can also do the same thing where the grass meets up with sidewalks or driveways for a professional look.

 

Separate existing plants

Go through your garden and look for plants that can be separated. Separating them and using them in different locations in the garden has a double benefit. The first is that it keeps your existing plants from getting too big and second, it enables you to expand your garden for free.

 

Don’t plant too close

Sometimes when the plants are small, we tend to plant too close together especially in the spring when everything has yet to get to full size. I am known for doing this way too often. Resist the temptation. Keep your plants far apart other wise you will have a crowded mess when they get bigger and wind up moving them all around. Hmm, that sounds familiar. Honey, can you move this plant over here and this plant over there.

Chocolate Coconut Tart That’ll Make You Addicted To It

This tart is a classic chocolate ganache tart. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo and vegan. But don’t be turned off, as everything about it is delicious. Starting with a coconut almond crust that’s crunchy and good. Over the years, I’ve experimented with coconut flour in the crust and it adds a great texture to it and of course a bit more coconut flavor. So that’s the version that is below. If you don’t want or have coconut flour, feel free to substitute with almond meal/flour.

The filling is pure chocolate ganache and a good quality chocolate is necessary to make the filling great. I love using Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet Chocolate Bars for this. Sometimes I do mix it with Semi-sweet chocolate too. Either way, it is a rich chocolate filling made creamy with coconut milk.

 

INGREDIENTS

For the crust:

  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1¼ cups almond meal/flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour (if you do not have coconut flour substitute with ¼ cup almond meal)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup

For filling:

  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I like using 8 ounces bittersweet and 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For topping:
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
  • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup pistachios (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • Coarse sea salt (optional)

DIRECTIONS

To make Tart Crust:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the coconut flakes, almond meal and salt. Pulse to combine. In a small container, melt the coconut oil and maple syrup together. Pour into the food processor and pulse until well mixed.

Press the crust into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan. Use the flat bottom of a cup to press hard.
Bake crust in heated oven for 10-12 minutes until golden and firm. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

To make Filling:

In a medium mixing bowl, place the chopped chocolate and set aside. In a small saucepan, bring the coconut milk to boil gently. Pour the milk over the chopped chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes before stirring until smooth and creamy. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour the chocolate ganache into the cooled tart shell. Chill until set, at least two hours. Top with toasted coconut flakes, almonds, pistachios, coarse salt and fresh raspberries.

CRAB IMPERIAL APPETIZER THAT’S TO DIE FOR

Crab Imperial Appetizer is an elegant appetizer, and tastes like it came from a lovely fancy restaurant. They’re perfect for a special occasion like New Year’s Eve, for any holiday entertaining, or for a football party!

For the crab meat, I used canned refrigerated lump crab meat from the grocery store. Of course, fresh would be delicious, and the next time I have some fresh crab meat, I intend on making this Crab Imperial Appetizer again.

I wasn’t able to find Brioche at my grocery store, so I used Sheepherder Bread, as it’s a nice soft white bread. Any good quality white bread will work. Just cut the crusts off and you’re good to go.

 

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup brioche bread, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  • 8 oz. crab meat
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay or Cape Cod seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons red bell pepper, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chives, sliced
  • 12 pre-baked puff pastry shells

Instructions

Follow the instructions on your puff pastry cups and prebake, about 18-20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 300° F. (If you just prebaked your puff pastry shells, you’ll be bringing your oven temperature down to 300° F, as they will be prebaking at a higher temperature.)

In a small bowl, combine the bread cubes and Heavy Cream. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes at room temperature. Add hot sauce and mix thoroughly.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients including the brioche bread mixture. Make sure to check the crab meat for bits of shell or cartilage.

Mound the crab mixture into the prebaked puff pastry cups on a baking sheet. Cook for 5-10 minutes to warm the filling. Garnish with additional chopped chives or parsley if desired. Serve immediately.

TOP OILS THAT ARE SUPER HEALTHY FOR YOU

Forget everything you were taught about oils. There, I said it. Why? When we were taught to avoid saturated fats and increase consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega 6 fatty acids), we experienced widespread declining health, as omega 6 fats are inflammatory.

We use oils more often than we might realize, to cook, to add to recipes, and to pour on our food, so it’s pretty important that these staples are high quality and not harmful to our health! These oils are the ones you should go for:

OLIVE OIL

Benefits: High in monounsaturated fats, olive oil is anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants, which fight against free radical damage. Olive oil is also known to be a heart-healthy food, as it is high in antioxidants. Olive oil has digestive health benefits, as well as cognitive and bone health benefits. Caution, not all olive oils are created equal.

 

COCONUT OIL

Ah, coconut oil. The oil that has been all the craze lately, and for good reason. Here are just a few benefits of coconut oil.
Benefits: From a nutritional standpoint, coconut oil contains about 50% lauric acid. This means it is effective against a variety of pathogens including bacteria and viruses. It also contains medium-chain fatty acids, making it great for being stored by the body as energy, rather than fat.

 

AVOCADO OIL

Benefits: Avocado Oil, which is high in monounsaturated oleic acids (healthful fats), has been known to lower blood pressure, improve heart health, and increase absorption of nutrients (specifically antioxidants) in food. To make sure your avocado oil is the highest quality, opt for:

  1. Organic
  2. Extra-Virgin
  3. Cold-Pressed
  4. Unrefined

How to Use It: It also can be used externally for skin and hair. Avocado oil is a great option for cooking because it can withstand high temperatures without losing any of its nutrients. This avocado oil is one of my favorites because of its taste!

 

 

How To Get Better Skin & Hair Overnight

You could be doing so many things in those eight hours of sleep I hope you’re getting every night, so why not multitask? Make your products work overtime so you can wake up with better skin and hair just from sleeping. By incorporating a few expert-approved tips into your evening beauty routine, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed.

 

A Microfine Thermal Spring Water Mist Helps Pores Lock In Moisture

I recommend delivering water right back to the skin after cleansing it by spraying it with a microfine mist. This particular spring water spray formula is clinically proven to soften and soothe irritated skin. A mist of this all over, right after washing your face and before applying your moisturizer, will help boost hydration for happier looking skin.

 

Prepare Your Hair Before Bed, Then Just Add Volume

Waking up with flat hair is a pain, so prep your hair before you go to bed. I sleep with two loose buns, then apply Osis Dust It for added volume when I need it. This light control mattefying powder makes your hair look refreshed and voluminous, so you can spend less time showering and more time sleeping.

 

Avocado and Almond Help Heal Your Nails While You Sleep

Nail artist and expert Holly Falcone told Good Housekeeping that she likes to use a mix of almond and avocado oils to keep her cuticles and nails hydrated while she gets some rest. The OPI Avoplex cream has both of her favorite ingredients, so your nails feel less brittle in the morning and hands are more moisturized. It’s important to remember to care for your fingers at night, as the skin on the back of your hands is especially thin and susceptible to sun damage.

 

A Gentle Pumpkin Peel Gives You Radiant-Looking Skin By Morning

It’s good to do a light peel before bed, followed by a moisturizer and good night’s sleep. This one’s a great fit for your evening routine because it’s formulated with 12% glycolic acid, which gently sloughs away the dead skin cells that dull skin’s natural brightness in the morning. With vitamins E and C, in addition to moisturizing neem oil and rejuvenating rosemary, your face will look and feel refreshed come morning.

Dental care, with your smile the perfection it deserves!

Broadly smile to the world

Having perfect teeth and being able to smile to the world totally confident that the world will smile back has no price. Having great dental health goes even beyond the fact itself, it is important so we can have great health in other areas too, which have to do with the ability we have to ingest our food without any problem for example. There are some professionals that have dedicated their lives and tome to be able to provide you with the best of the results after some dental treatment or procedure.

 

It is not just a beautiful smile…

There is a tendency to think from some people that the way something looks is enough to know anything else from it. A beautiful smile not necessarily represents how healthy it is and how well the rest of the parts of the body that depend on our teeth are working. There are great professionals that have developed great tools and elements to maintain not just the looks of our teeth, but also their health. In the United States of America, Napa Dentist have worked hard to develop a reputation that is the result of the work in their patients. From simple cosmetic procedures, to much more elaborated surgeries like extractions and other treatments, the doctors in Napa Valley account with the expertise enough to cope with any situation the patients may bring them.

 

Our professionals can help!

Napa dentist have proved to have the top quality level that the clients are looking for. In Napa, the professionals in the area of teeth are very well trained like to make any one with a problem in their teeth the happiest of the people according to her results. Try out the best of the knowledge in the area of medicine/dentistry, after putting yourself in their plans, then, at the end, what will be evident is that it could have been worst, but were lucky enough.