Hello 2008!

Real bad dog breath.
That is how my 2008 started. My dog. Staring at me. Breathing her, I’ve licked parts of my body you don’t want to know about breath, at my face.
Apparently my dog did not get the memo that I had a whole bottle of Pinot Gris last night and she was to let me sleep in. Or most likely if I know her, she got the memo and simply chose to ignore it. Bitch(literally).
I needed to get up anyway. See the NHL had this great idea to force(I mean give an opportunity) to two teams to play old time pond hockey(outside)…in Buffalo, New York. It started at 10am my time. So up I got to let dragon breath out to the bathroom and to watch the overpaid athletes suffer in the miserable Buffalo weather. They had been hyping this thing for weeks. The players looked miserable the whole time and whenever they interviewed the players and asked them how they liked it they said stuff like “it’s unbelievable.” The network tried to spin that in a positive way but you knew that unbelievable to the player meant it was unbelievable that he got stuck doing this game. Oh well they are just working hard for their millions of dollars.
I must say that the start of the New Year is not one of my favorites. My blog readership usually goes down. Everyone on their new commitment to a lifestyle change(since no one says diet anymore). And well, I’m not on a lifestyle change. So there will still be butter, sugar, heavy whipping cream and many other things that your new lifestyle change does not allow. It’s when all of my friends seem to go on lifestyle changes too. We don’t lunch anymore and if we do they are having water and three pieces of lettuce where they tell me things like Lean Cuisine Mac and Cheese is ALMOST as good as the real stuff. And there right, it is ALMOST as good. If you put a lot of salt on it and have a cold. There were times in my thinner days when I went along with this philosophy too. But I switched to the life is to short to be eating things that ALMOST taste like food I want to be eating. I don’t worry too much as all of those readers come back around March when they get tired of ALMOST food too.
So here is a lovely anti-lifestyle change recipe. I was intrigued by it because it looks like flan but is really cheesecake. It in no way tastes like flan. It is however, darn close to the creamiest cheesecake I ever put in my mouth…and there has been a lot of cheesecake in my mouth. Even those these are small, I am pretty sure you can only eat 1/18th of one for 2 Weight Watchers points. :P  I did have a tad bit of trouble getting them to unmold and had to put them in some warm water to release. The recipe said nothing about it but that seemed to do the trick.
Lastly, I would like to thank all of you who left such kind comments or emailed me personally. It was truly uplifting. I was sad to learn that other blogger friends had too been receiving some less than kind comments on their blogs. I can assure those of you that thought I might be quiting blogging, not even close. God willing I plan on doing it for as long as I can come up with stuff to fill the pages with.
Hope everyone has a happy, healthy and stress free 2008!


Mini Blackberry Caramel Cheesecakes

1 cup sugar
½ cup water

6 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup boiling water
1 ½ pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup plus 2 TBSP sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, at room temperature
5 ounces ripe blackberries, rinsed and patted dry

Preheat oven to 325F.
To make the caramel, combine sugar and water in a 1-quart saucepan. Stir(do no whisk) gently over medium heat until most of the sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring and bring mixture to a simmer. Cover and simmer 2-3 minutes to dissolve the sugar. Uncover and increase the heat to medium. Simmer without stirring until the syrup begins to color. Swirl the pan to evenly distribute the color. Cook until the caramel is a slightly reddish amber color. Immediately pour equal amount or caramel into 5 ounce ramekin(or 6 ounce). Tilt each cup to spread caramel over the bottom and partway up the sides. Set cups aside to cool.
To make cheesecakes, place the chocolate in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate ans stir until smooth.
In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese just until smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl and beaters. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat just until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add 1 egg and beat until incorporated. Scrape the bowl and beaters. Beat in second egg. Stir in the melted chocolate. Divide the berried among the caramel cups, pouring the batter among the cups, pouring it on top of the berries.
Place cups in a baking pan that is deep enough to hold water. Carefully pour some boiling water into the baking pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake until the edges of the cheesecakes are puffed but the centers still jiggle when the cups are tapped., 15-20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Use tongs to transfer each cup from the hot water to a rack to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate over night or even longer. To unmold, run a knife around the cheesecakes edges and invert onto individual serving plates.

Makes 8 servings.

Adapted from Chocolate Holidays by Alice Medrich


  1. I, for one, am SO glad you won’t be turning to feathery, “blah” food for the next few weeks like much of the rest of the culinary world. Applesauce-based cake recipes and skim milk with splenda for frosting? No thank you!

    Thanks for keepin’ it real. :-)

  2. looks so tasty! i love cheesecake!

  3. I’m with you Peabody, I am not eating anything that almost tastes like food. Hey, If I want an extra piece of cake, I know I have to add more miles to my workout. So, bring on the butter, heavy cream, and anything else you got. :)

  4. Oh my. That looks delectable. I AM modifying my eating right now, but it isn’t going to stop my reading (read: drooling over) your blog. Happy New Year!

  5. Hip, hip, horray, for butter, whip cream and all things wonderful for 2008!
    Keep up the real world work Peabody, we all love you

  6. I’ve been getting the most gorgeous blackberries in the market for the past couple of weeks. I know they’re not local to New England in the middle of winter, but they are irresistible.

  7. I grow so tired of meeting people who are always on a diet and never change size! They can preach to you every angle of ‘eating well’ or a ‘healthy lifestyle’ as you have pointed out, but they are still as big as a house. I say NEVER! Eat people! It’s what we are here for :)

  8. i remember skating on chautauqua lake in the winters…it was SO. MUCH. FUN!!! those boys really are overpaid if they can’t get into the groove. fuddy duddies.

  9. Really wonderful photos. And yes, I am dieting, but that doesn’t stop me from looking.

    As for the comments, believe me, we have all had our share of nasty ones. That’s one reason I decided to switch to comment moderation and I’ve never regretted it. You have every right to remove any comment you wish, it’s your blog!

  10. Diet?! Pshaw! I personally have been a fan of the insane workout rather than denial of the food I love ;) That’s some lovely cheesecake (I was actually hoping for flan – have had a craving lately). I don’t wait until the first of the year to make resolutions because I’m too impatient. Sorry, but you shall remain on my reading list unless you post some recipe that I don’t like and won’t refund my money (har har har). Happy New Year, lady. You’re one of my favorites because you’re tough, funny, talented, smart, and you’re so much nicer than I am :) It’s the quality, not the quantity of life. Amazing how many folks lose sight of that one, eh? Big hugs and a cuddle for Dragon Breath!

  11. Wow that’s a very impressing and beautiful looking dessert! And I love cheesecake.

  12. Oh, these look so festive and beautiful with that lovely caramel and perfect blackberries! I’d eat one for breakfast — they have egg and fruit, that’s good for you! ;-)

  13. These look decadent and I am sure they were darn tasty.

  14. Hi!

    I saw about 2 minutes of that hockey game. But I did go to the Leafs game last night and they won so that’s good!

    I’m with you on the whole “lifestyle change”. Please. Eat some butter and be fine.

    The cheesecake is gorgeous and I’m particularly intrigued by the fact that it has caramel!

    A lovely way to start the New Year!

  15. Bonne Annee! I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog and can’t wait for all the delicious recipes during the “diet/low readership down time” Hope all the pesky negative bloggers find something more productive with their time and leave you alone so that we can all enjoy your writing in peace and rose colored bliss. Cheers!

  16. So glad to hear that we will be the recipients of many more delcious recipes from Peabody’s kitchen in 2008. Is that spun sugar on the top of those delicious cheesecakes?? Beautiful pics….but I just had breakfast so no need to lick the screen.

  17. I personally think Lean Cuisine tastes icky and I refuse to eat it ever again.
    That cheesecake looks fabulous!

  18. Haha, aww, sounds like your dog wanted to ring in the official start to the new year, much too early (especially after a fun New Year’s Eve celebration)!! :0D

    Oooh, blackberries & caramel?? What a luscious combination!! Love your “anti-lifestyle change” dessert; and yes, that cheesecake certainly DOES look like a flan!!

  19. Oh my goodness, those look incredible! Blackberries, caramel and cheesecake, what could be better?!

    Happy New Year!

  20. I’ll still be here reading every day!! Forget New Year’s Resolutions if they force me to stop eating what I want to eat…

    This looks amazing. I was just thinking last night about how long it’s been since I’ve made a cheesecake, and now I really want one!

  21. Beautiful! No lifestyle changes here either. So, you can count on me to keep reading! Happy new year!

  22. ha! i agree with you on no lifestyle change–bring on the whipped cream! :) the cheesecake looks amazing!

  23. I saw some of that horrible hockey game with my husband who’s a hockey fan. It was pretty funny–and endless! Well, happy new year and down with nasty commenters in 2008!

  24. Oh yeah!
    Let’s have a happy new year with real cheese, real sugar, and real chocolate!

  25. You only live once – bring on the butter and heavy cream!! Happy New Year!

  26. You won’t lose this reader! While I am on a lifestyle change, I will always have my love for the baked goods. I am trying to eat smarter and workout just a little longer so that I can enjoy my cake guilt free. :) Happy new year to you Peabody.

  27. Wow,
    That is really beautiful! I love your photography. Happy New Year!

  28. Now THAT is beautiful!

  29. HAR! I watched that game too and thought they looked miserable. Course most of that game was the crews fixing the rink. Sheesh.

    Cheesecake looks A MAY ZING! I am in such a need for cheesecake too. *swoon*


  30. Ahhh…..looks divine! I love how you challenge my “baby” cooking skills this way. :)

  31. Gorgeous flan/ cheesecake! I love the plating. You’re right – life is too short to eat faux food. I figured that out after I climbed off the low-fat train. Butter, whipping cream, chocolate – these are a few of my favorite things!

  32. Hello! This has nothing to do with the above recipe but I had to write and tell you—I just pulled your Snickerdoodle Muffin recipe out of the oven. WOW! They are the best thing I have laid across my tastebuds in a long time. A friend dropped over and of course she drooled seeing all those muffins and the smell in the house was incredible!!! I handed her one and couldn’t stop talking about how wonderful they were. So once again, thank you for a terrific recipe! It was so neat to throw the scoops in the cin-sug combo and roll them around and toss them in the muffin pans. They turned out perfectly!!! Oh yeah, I sent several home with her since I can’t eat them all myself;-)

  33. What a fun post. Hey, if there are 8 servings of this sugar spun cheesecake, count me in for 1. And a bottle of Pinot Gris.

    Happy New Year Peabody; a toast to good, real food!

  34. i’m w/you on the non-diet :) i am also a proponent of eating dessert first…b/c you never know what could happen! ;) this cheesecake looks divine!

  35. Thanks for a delicious 2007! I’m so glad you started 2008 with my favorite dessert–cheesecake!

  36. The cheese cake looks really moist and good. Amazing presentation!

  37. Hey! delurking to tell you how much I enjoy your site. Your food and photos are so inspiring and I could give a crap what some disgruntled former reader has to say. The beauty of having a blog is being able to delete stuff you find offensive!

    Anyway, I found you through Bake Space and love coming here to read and drool.

    No lifestyle changes here either. I’m determined to find a way to eat good food AND be healthy.

    Happy New Year and keep up the fantastic blogging!

  38. Hooray for real food! Gorgeous photos. I look forward to your posts all the time especially now that some other food bloggers might be posting salad “recipes” after the holidays. ;)

  39. hah! Good for you, not going on a “lifestyle change.” It’s absolutely admirable, and because of this delicious-loking recipe, I’ve decided that my “lifestyle change” will involve eating well.

    Happy New Year!

  40. I bet that would be a terrible pre-swim breakfast! At least in terms of long lasting energy while in the pool – but man would it taste good! And it is that kind of thing that is going to make me run out and invest in some ramekins.
    Thanks for the real food, btw. :-)

  41. Because
    life is to short to be eating things that ALMOST taste like food I want to be eating.
    life is too short to have less than the best!
    life is too short to drink bad wine!

    bring me cheesecake surrounded with jewels!

    Wish I could have one from breakfast!

  42. I never even thought about diet food in the new year. I probably want to exercise some more and reward myself with this luscious-looking cheesecake!

  43. Look, your blog is wonderful, I don’t know you but I am pretty sure you are a perfectly fine person yourself. I am sorry to read that people take their sweet time to berate others, it’s truly disheartening and must be upsetting for those such nasty comments are aimed to. Please keep up the good work, you make my life sweeter.

  44. That looks delicious! My hubby is not a big cheesecake fan (the only one he will eat is Cheesecake Factory’s Snickers Cheesecake) but I will have to make that sometime when I have the girls over.

    About your comment on the Marshmallow frosting recipe. You are more than likely right, I was worried about scrambling the eggs when I was cooking it with the sugar I probably didn’t get it hot enough, thanks for the comment.

  45. You had me fooled! I thought it was flan at first glance. Anyway the first thing I said was “ooooooooo!” It looks delicious! What a great way to start off 2008. Happy New Year Pea. :)

  46. Yay! I’m glad you’re not going on a diet. I’m not either. I agree; life is too short. I would rather be a little bit heavier, and be happy, then to be super skinny and cranky. I’m just going to try and watch portion sizes a little more.

    I thought this was panna cotta, at first. I’m glad it’s not, though, because I think panna cotta tastes like milk jello.

    I’m sorry about the negative comments you received. I’ve tracked down negative comments on other people’s blogs, about mine, and it really upset me. But hey, it’s your blog-and do what you want to do. Don’t let these people bring you down.

  47. I just discovered this blog! WOWOWOWOWOW! Keep up the good work!

  48. Hear hear to eating what you want and keeping dessert part of the menu! This looks like a delicious way to kick of the new year, and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for the coming 12 months. Happy new year! :)

  49. Happy New Year to you too! I just had cheesecake on the brain….yours look heavenly.2008 is definitely fit for more butter, sugar and flour!!

  50. Good for you for standing your ground! I, however will be caving to boring blah very soon :(


  1. […] (Recipe by:  Peabody who adopted it from Chocolate Holidays by Alice Medrich) […]

Speak Your Mind


Log In