Adventure Time




[“Did you not learn your nation’s airport codes in high school?” – Kenneth Parcell, 30 Rock]


One of my absolute favorite things to do while I am on vacation is to eat. I love exploring the cuisine and diverse menus the local areas have to offer. Being that I have lived in Florida before, the variety of foods offered in the south have more than doubled since I had been there only a year ago.

My favorite restaurant I have been to thus far is located in Lake Mary (one of three locations):

Dexter’s Restaurant

Each location has a main menu, which includes a variety of unique sandwiches and salads, as well as pastas made from scratch. However, all the locations also have their own unique cafe menu, with exclusive dishes created by the current executives chefs. They seem to only change seasonally, about every 9-12 months, give or take a few.



There are a variety of delectable fresh fishes to chose from, and indeed everything on the menu reads so well you could almost eat the parchment it is printed on. But, better save some room for their fresh, homemade pasta because it is seriously some of the best I have ever had.


[parmesan shells with shrimp]


[from the dinner cafe menu – chimmi churri mahi with blue crab salsa and lime garlic spinach]

Layers upon layers of flavors! And such a beautiful display.

Liam Fitzpatrick’s Pub


I have been desiring to add stout to a french onion soup or a beef based broth, and wouldn’t you know it? This place did it! And it was right on the money! (As Guy Fieri would say)

And the rest of the trip was all smooth sailing…




If there is one thing I must share with the readers of this blog…


I took mine for granted, and I have been living in my own designated hell and disaster for the past year because of it. I have finally found the courage and strength to take the world head on and take life at face value. From all the bad that came from my experiences, I have learned some very important lessons and I will attempt to never make those silly mistakes again. My future is much brighter and sunnier, and I have concluded which path I would like to take – the present. Because looking too far into the future is the most traumatizing, and looking back into the past is the where the guilt and resentment stems from. I am so grateful I have the opportunity to finish school and go back to where I started – so I can proudly state I am not a quitter (for all the right reasons) and I no longer run away from my fears.


[UCF main campus]

[rosen rosen

[Rosen College of Hospitality Management – one of the largest in the nation! And brilliantly stunning]

So I have decided…

Goin’ back to Philly, I don’ think so!

l Ain’t Afraid of No Fetticcune Alfredo

“Fetticcune Alfredo is macaroni and cheese for adults” – Mitch Hedberg

One night, my mom and I were intensely hungry and looking through our menu drawer – a drawer dedicated to mostly duplicates of the same restaurant menus – in hopes of finding something local to eat. I had been craving Fetticcune Alfredo, but was always so hesitant to make my own sauce. Well, everything in my area seems to be the same (pizza, pizza and oh yeah, more pizza) and consistently mediocre, so on a whim, I decided to make my own Asiago and Parmesan Alfredo sauce with what we had stocked in our kitchen at the current moment. Being that I am “still in my eating phase of my own to do of ‘eat, eat, love'”, I have accepted the fact that the only way I was going to (and still am going to) gain weight is to carb load. Doesn’t sound too shabby now does it? Having to eat a ton of carbohydrates in order to get back to a more stable, and healthy, weight. Easier said than done, sadly. This recipe, simple and quick to prepare and make, will definitely be fun to adapt into a healthier version. In the meantime, please let me share the few cook-friendly steps it took to prepare a dish my mother and father both truly appreciated and loved!

Although I did not use any specific measurements while making it, I will offer what I feel would be practical for this recipe and one may adapt it to fit their tastes and preferences.

This sauce is as easy as, well, making Kraft macaroni and cheese. And it’s homemade. From my experience, the best and most pleasant things are usually homemade 🙂

Fetticcune Alfredo with Peas

Preparation time: 5-10 minutes

Cook time: 10-15 minutes

Total: 15-25+ minutes


1 pound (one box) of Fetticcune pasta

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) salted butter or margarine

1 to 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc)

1 cup half-and-half

1 cup (or more) heavy cream

Pinch of nutmeg (optional)

Dash of low sodium salt (completely optional)

Dash of organic ground black pepper

1/3 cup or more Asiago cheese, grated

1/3 cup or more Parmesan cheese, grated

LeSeur peas (canned) (fresh works as well, but all up to preference or what you have in the pantry)


1. Cook fetticcune (or your choice of pasta) according to boxed directions. This can be done at the same time while making the sauce to ensure that the pasta will be cooked and ready to toss in the completed sauce.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium to low heat. Add garlic.

3. Once garlic has browned a bit (be careful not to burn it), add the white wine. Allow it to cook for less than one minute.

4. Add half-and-half and heavy cream. Let it come to a boil. (Can cover sauce pan to speed up the process).

5. Add nutmeg, salt (if desired) and black pepper.

6. Add grated Asiago and Parmesan cheeses. Mix or whisk until sauce is smooth. If necessary, add a bit more cream to thicken sauce.


7. Add peas and allow them to get warm in the sauce.


8. Toss fetticcune pasta in sauce.



9. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper to finish, if desired.



The end resulting sauce could have been a little thicker, so my suggestion would be to add a bit more heavy cream and to not let the tossed pasta to sit on the stove for too long or else the sauce will begin to evaporate.

Adaptations: Next time I will try it with whole wheat Fetticcune.


Nostalgic Cardiologist

In times of troubling woes, maniac episodes and overall withdrawals (that were way overdue), I have attempted to find comfort in philosophies, ideologies and constructs that I cannot simply make sense of. No matter how hard I try, the urge to let loose of my inhibitions and give into what I am currently “lacking”, or better put as, “fiending” for, has left me stranded. The island is dark, cold and lonely. However, I have been in the process of rediscovering my roots during which I have been contemplating continuous suffering. My desire to land on the “Death Star” is a continuous notion that violently bubbles and rises to the surface in the form of aggravations, aggression and overall anxieties that I am consciously well aware are there. The only way for me, at this point in time, is to witness nostalgia and allow myself to be vulnerable until the pain no longer exists.

By this, I mean, listen to any music that I can find comfort in. Whether that may be listening to a depressing tune I remember ever so well, to lyrics and remedies that I can relate to in one aspect or another. Tempting to find reason beyond the tones of violence, tempo and musical lullabies sting, but soothes in the idea that I can feel empathy for the one expressing themselves through the sorrows, melancholy or beautiful melodies and notes. It has deserted me, but also brought me to the surfaces, of my own poetic potential and rheumatics, acting as a blanket to my desires, notions and seemingly endless cycles of pain – which feel oh so pleasurable at the same time.

As I stand by as my own witness…I hold my head high, knowing I will get through this…

I personally believe, changing yourself may seem like the “right thing to do”, but you are always the person you once were – just with more experience and maturity to lead you into the light and help you see the guidance that was always there. Not to say we, as human beings, do not change…we do…but that depends on many factors that I believe cannot be fulfilled without some form of expression, whether that be art, music, comedy, social relationships, or spirituality. Some may find a safety in numbers, while others find it in religion, morals or ideals they may not fully grasp. Acceptance in all realms, regardless of the concepts, suggestions or others innovations…giving credit and gratitude where it is due (even if others may not understand)…it does not matter…as long as you can find something to hold onto in attempts to pull yourself out of the vicious cycle of misery. It may be a bit selfish, you may feel it as being selfless – to be you. Because people will keep masking themselves with facades of who they “want to be”…not who they truly are. That is the root of many anxieties – expectations, grudges and calling yourself to complete duties and partaking in commonalities that simply…are just NOT your own.

Let’s go nostalgic for a bit…it is totally worth it…

Heartbreaker, Mariah Carey (Mariah’s outfit is so back in style – crocheted crop tops, high waisted jeans, platform shoes)

Mr. Brightside, The Killers

I Won’t Say I’m In Love, Hercules (my FAVORITE Disney movie, hands down – and one of the first songs I taught myself how to sing)

White Knuckles, OK GO (awesome music video I first saw on Dogs 101, and the song is extremely catchy and quite brilliant)

King of Anything, Sara Bareilles (another song I taught myself how to sing – unfortunately relatable…an incredible music video as well)

Telephone Hour, Bye Bye Birdie (first play I ever saw with my mother…and it is hilarious too!)

She’s So High, Tal Bachman 

I do not care to overwhelm…there are many more I wish to post…time will allow me to show more…(however, YouTube, unfortunately, stressfully burdens its viewers with too many ads, and an incredibly slow loading process)

Poetry and singing soothes the soul – the remedy that wastes it all is allowing your voice to stay untold…

“But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage
Can seldom see through his bars of rage
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
Of things unknown but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill for
The caged bird sings of freedom.”

– Maya Angelou 

You shall above all things be glad and young…

E. E. Cummings

you shall above all things be glad and young
For if you’re young, whatever life you wear

It will become you; and if you are glad
whatever’s living will yourself become.
Girlboys may nothing more than boygirls need:
i can entirely her only love

whose any mystery makes every man’s
flesh put space on; and his mind take off time

that you should ever think, may god forbid
and (in his mercy) your true lover spare:
for that way knowledge lies, the foetal grave
called progress, and negation’s dead undoom.

I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance

Day of Silence – April 19, 2013


Bullying assumes various shapes, forms and mediums of control. It burns its fuel in many areas of our life, including school, work, other social situations, and inside our own state of mind. It is up to the victim, not the predator, to decide the direction of their destinies. Spiraling downward and grasping for anything that is willing to foolishly come with you into an empty, upset abyss, while others are forced to choke upon defensive territories and pardons, is an unfortunate fate. We have all been terrorized in some aspect of our lives – mentally, emotionally, physically, and psychologically – but the lessons learned stand the test of eternity, as does humanity and virtues. Personal morals and ideals seem to alter slightly, but the true depths of our character still remain intact. The expectations we hold onto, concerning ourselves and one another, have the ability to create a darker magnetic field of negativity and dramatics that cannot necessarily, or reasonably, be deemed as our own.

Call it “Hell”, speak of it as the Underworld – it is your own choosing, because it is your life. I cannot reiterate enough how mind tolling, how cruel and unfair it feels to have others pride themselves against you for reasons beyond any sense of control. How those terrors constantly replay in your mind as forms of shame and guilt, to which then has the ability to breed self content in the misconfiguration of “I’m fine” or “It’s okay”…when you are really not. And it really is not okay. The lack of communication, the turtle hiding in its shell, places a facade that is not true to your persona, nor true to the entities and ideals you wish to conquer and hopefully, hold onto as your own.

Bullying is a massacre that eats away at the soul…it eats away at your mind, your focus, your motivation and most of all – your heart. Every situation is obviously incomparable and to be fought against for what you believe in, or destroyed in cases of what you stand for, is a deprivation of truth and justice. It is a crying shame, a prayer for a blessing, a rock to hide under…a delusion and dissatisfaction which stems from beyond the conscious mind. Yet, to allow our subconscious and mind to rule over us, to allow it to make decisions for us…amongst the cruelties deemed upon us by others…that is a negative karmic response and seemingly the only way life may justify the means with the ends.

It will never cease – normal is never an option. One should take reign and pride in the abnormalities and do not justify the ends with the means – instead – justify life as a brilliant miracle, one that can be altered to make yourself into the most brightest, best and most beautiful person you can be…the one you want to be…the one you envision yourself as. It is not “change”, it is a choice – to bring yourself from dark to light – from evil and internal misery and pity to a lighthearted, upbeat, and positive position. And to let it flow through you.

Hear no evil – See no evil – Speak no evil

It takes “time”, but patience is a virtue. Tranquility and happiness stem from patience. With ourselves, as well as with others. We are all infinite creatures playing a finite game, that which we named life.

You will not like everything or everyone you come in contact with, that is the nature of the game. However, the beauty of the “game of life” is that we are all allowed to be different, at least in some ways. We are entitled to our own opinions and innovations. A way in which we contribute to our vast, and human, society in a multitude of aspects – beyond the beauty that which the eyes can see.

Please, take time to realize…WE ALL DESERVE THIS. Life is a beautiful gift. Our earth and world is a beautiful planet. We are all connected by the roots of our feet, the soil between our toes, the concrete beneath our steps…through our bodies, throughout our souls, and beyond the intersecting brilliance of the mind and the human brain’s capacities.


Pure bliss

Protected wrists

You deserve this

Life forces upon Mars,

Dreaming of dancing with the stars,

Begging for health and heart.

Life – only to get better

Thus far,

It has been a nightmare.

One step.

Each Breath.

Take time

to realize

We deserve this.

Continue reading

A Prayer for Boston

The harsh reality of the world – the pain, the suffering, the epitomes of violence – can sting more than it has the ability to conquer. The maniac states and warped provisions ultimately can guide one into a negative direction, in fate of a better tomorrow. May the acts be truly deemed as unspeakable? For, no one can begin to make sense of the chaos without limitations, rules, guidelines or communication. Communication that goes beyond the surface of hinting subtle suggestions or prerogatives. In lieu of it all, as a nation dedicated to the safety and wellness of others, our nations (and our world) needs more action and less negative reaction. More self control, rather than control and domination over others and their favors or disfavors. Acceptance, purity and heart. However, of course, that is holding ourselves and others to a high standard, on a pedestal of sorts, that is impossible to reach, one we probably never will experience. However, trying and attempting – that may be the greatest cure of all – one which has the ability to at least help motivate us and others to strive for the great, to keep hope and faith alive, and fundamentally grasp inner peace and tranquility, as well as self (and outward) acceptance towards all diversity and life forces.

United we should stand as a world – not just as a nation.

To all those who were traumatized, in any form of the word, due to the Boston Marathon Explosions, my heart goes out to each and every one of you individually. Tears and prayers can, and never will, mask the destruction, but those who try – and those who lend their favors and hand in the realms of it all – you are the true saviors and heroes who deserve a never ending, “thank you”.

Terrorism is monstrous…

Our people are choking while

Freedom is ringing

In the ears of car alarms

And smoke bombs.

Truth of the matter,

Happiness may never provide

a silver platter.

Justification for a small vibration

In the depths of contemplations

Of taking others lives, that divides

A nation devoted to its troops.

We must unite, to defend ourselves

And the safety of others and the truths.

Continue reading

Good Caramels and Good Karma

Caramel Remedies

One thing I have always wanted to attempt, but never felt I would be successful at, was to make confectioneries and candies. However, I had always found and made an excuse not to cook, or even try. Mitigations are made, plans are rescheduled, and work needs to be finished. We are so “busy” being wrapped up with being busy, that we forget what is truly important or matters…ourselves. What makes our heart, and soul, sing. But, excuses are not reasons. Nor, are reasons relatively excuses.


Here is a shortened version of my caramel karma…

In April 2012, when I was struggling with the worsts of my diagnosed acute anxieties and variable symptoms of PTSD that were at highs taller than any mountain peaks, I was taking a children’s literature course as a part of an early childhood education program. As I was enrolled in many early morning classes and had difficulty focusing, I started self-medicating with any foul substance (without the pursuit of alcohol, however) that would soothe and calm me down, ultimately in the hopes of being able to sleep through the night. I would wake up consistently in hot sweats, suffer from hot flashes and dry heave until there was nothing left in my stomach. I would not be able to pull myself out of bed some days and procrastinated to the night’s end. (Even writing this hurts the wounds I told myself I would move forward from). During that period of time, the only person who truly stuck by my side, was (and still is) my mother, the angel that she is. School work was overwhelming and in that time, I would procrastinate to no end, deeming that life, school, and humanity was an unfair mockery deemed upon me at only 21 years of age. Yet, I was able to push forward and finish the spring semester. And as blurry as the memory seems now, I found a safe haven in reading children’s books. As silly gags can create miraculous inspirations, I, with my go-getting mother, collaborated on a children’s picture book (currently in the midst of working towards publication). That book is called Patrick’s Big Mistake (all rights reserved.)

The story goes as follows: A young pig, named Patrick, was assisting in his father’s popcorn factory on their farm and was asked to make a batch of delicious, buttery popcorn to sell locally. However, Patrick being an idealistic and charming child, his day dreams got to him, and he became unfocused. With this, he accidentally used the incorrect ingredients to make the butter, (sugar instead of salt) ultimately making caramel. In a rush, he poured it over the popcorn and was terrified that he ruined the batch of freshly popped popcorn his father slaved over to create. But…was it truly a mistake? For, Patrick created caramel popcorn…re birthing the popcorn with a new identity, flavor and delectable design…one that no one every thought of. And, ultimately, gave it a new beautiful life…

This book has been deemed successful, and the innovative brilliance of the moral culminated in – there is never a wrong way to do things. Everything is a learning experience and every lesson has a moral within itself. And, sometimes a mistake is not a mistake at all. Perhaps, we could all learn from Patrick and his “big mistake”…never be afraid to admit you were wrong, and never be afraid to tell the truth – for the truth can help take the weight of the world off your shoulders.

It has taken me a year to come to terms with my anxieties, to begin releasing my inner demons, to accept my faults and flaws, and to seek treatment and therapy in holistic remedies, as well as through various artistic mediums. I never realized how closely I could relate to Patrick’s story…the guilt and agony of making a mistake. Or, allowing a short lived lesson learned to burden your soul. Being human means finding beauty in the error of our misguidance and mishaps…something we should shape into positive attributes and take forward to unconditional happiness.

One year later…now, in April 2013, I have faced one of my fears – candy making. I have always wanted to create caramels, but without the proper training and holding onto an irrational fear of burning the sugar, I allowed my anxieties and misfortunes to get the best of me. Now, within two days, I have put together two different adapted caramel recipes, one of which is posted at the end of this account.

There is much truth in the idea that you must struggle through your doubts and deeds, only to remain strong and courageous in the end. My heart goes out to those suffering from irrationalities, paranoia, hallucinations and most of all, mourning devastation and terrors. You are never alone. But to face those fears head on allows you to see light and beauty at the end of the dark, almost endless, tunnel. I promise you…the tunnel does end. The well will hit rock bottom. However, if you are able to crawl out of the darkness a better person, shining brightly and flourishing with strength, life, unconditional love and beautiful innovations to justify your creativity, then you have already succeeded at something that many people cannot fathom – that life goes on. Mourning is only one stage of the process, grief is merely an illusion of the resentment and guilt we put upon others and ourselves. It may be a step backwards, but it surely enough pushes us on a golden path of enlightenment and wisdom.

Please, I encourage anyone and everyone to follow their dreams and passions, you don’t have to “quit your day job” to try something new or to even conquer your deepest embedded fears. For, even I still hold onto plenty. The end result is worth the wait and the violent bubbling. The patience and calmness will be worth the risk factor and the judgements…they are all delusions and manifestations of the mind (in humans and animals alike). We all make mistakes, Patrick and myself included, but we can take action to control our lives in the present moment, and in the future.

(This is dedicated to my mother…and to the relationships that I have struggled with my entire life. I am blessed and grateful for this life, for everyone I have met and for everyone reading this blog. I am thankful for the support in my journey to recovery, and this life…it is surreal. It is one of a kind. And it is ours to share.)

[Please, feel free to contact me if you need a helping hand, advice or someone to banter back and forth with. It is devastating to feel as if there is no one out there who understands. We are never alone. There is always someone who understands, not always for the worse, but always assisting for the better…to put an end to the bitter and the hatred.]

Let’s get to the good CARAMELS. Below is the original recipe (link included) along with my personal adaptations in bold (first discovered it on I encourage anyone interested in taking a risk to take it in the sweetness and pure beauty that is sugar.

Continue reading

Innovation – the Soul’s Speech

“Art begins in imitation and ends in innovation.” Mason Cooley

I always attempt to find new and unique uses for everything. Not necessarily in the aspect of how I may be able to adapt an ingredient or recipe, but also in the realms of the art and hands on manipulation. Everything possesses more than one beneficial aspect.

press me

A bacon press can now be used to make grilled cheese.

I had been in search of a press that I could use to make grilled cheese. I found this cast iron press at Home Goods, on the bottom of a display, out of place and not in its proper “section”. However, if I did not glance down for a moment, I would have completely missed it. And that was an opportunity I am glad I did not miss. For, it brought spirit into my heart…and a multipurpose gadget into my kitchen.

Searching in locations that would seem to bring me the answer or the favor I was hoping for now seems a bit foolish. Yet, when one begins to look in the places that were never really searched before, it is possible to find a whole new basket of brilliant surprises.

Just because something is labeled as it may seem to appear, does not give credit to the idea that abilities and possibilities are truly infinite. That is creative innovation in my eyes. “Proper” uses no longer have a real purpose if they cannot be used for multiple imaginations.

I encourage finding something you already own, and asking yourself, “How can I use this ideal, subject or physical object in a new way?”

Make use of your time and the beauty surrounding you. Let them inspire you to no extent. Do not be afraid to fail, for failure is one step closer to knowing what you can and cannot handle or manage. Constraints exist for a reason, and we tend to push ourselves to extremes that leave us with unfulfilled expectations. And expectations are not to say the realm of all dangers, but living a life without humor about past equities is just a grudge and a burden upon yourself.

When one cannot find allure in the multifaceted, it becomes a force against seeing the bigger picture.

Beary Ricotta Mascarpone Cheesecake

“Did somebody say cake?!” – Mr. Ratburn, Arthur (Marc Brown’s genius mind never fails to cheer me up!)

And yes, I did say cake…CHEESECAKE!


I found this cheesecake recipe while looking through Good Housekeeping (April 2013). Being a huge fan of cheesecake (and being pretty cheesy, myself), I decided to impulsively rip out this recipe and adapt it to my own likings. I thought this would be a fun recipe to test, and adapt into a lighter cake. Cheesecake can be very rich, and I try not to overload food with processed sugars (even if it is delicious!). With that being said…

Let’s get to the cheese-to-the-cake already…

Now, this is the first time I have EVER made a cheesecake, let alone any type of “cake” from scratch.

The original recipe can also be found online at Good Housekeeping’s website:

The first thing I noticed with this recipe:


Some interesting facts about corn starch:

Until 1850, corn starch was used for industrial purposes and to starch laundry – no thank you!

This may not be reliable a very reliable source, but on Wikipedia, it is posted that…” Heated corn starch raises the blood glucose levels even faster than sugar,[3] and like pure sugar, white bread and potatoes, it easily leads to excessive weight gain.[4]”

Plus, some baby powders on the market contain corn starch. Would you powder your baby with that cheesecake?

Whoever in their right mind thought of using corn starch in a cheesecake is beyond me. And personally, I do not think it is a very “good” idea, nor a healthy one at that, negating its purpose of being in “Good” Housekeeping. (I also do not find adding corn starches or corn syrups to be very flattering in food). In addition, adding an ingredient which acts as a thickener, which then converts to SUGAR when processed throughout body, into an ALREADY very sugary treat is very undesirable in my recipe book.

My solution:  Stevia in the raw agave nectar (3 tablespoons)

(I was contemplating using maple syrup, raw honey or a light agave nectar)

[If one desires to put a gelatine type ingredient in the batter as a thickener, try sugar-free JELL-O vanilla pudding]

The result: The filling was not as thick as the original recipe would have turned out, but that was expected.

My second adaptation: 

8 ounces Mascarpone cheese + 8 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese

in place of: 16 oz of cream cheese (which equates to 2 bars)

(In addition to the 15 oz of ricotta cheese) [I used part-skim]

Third adaptation:

I zested a bit more lemon into the batter before pouring it into the springform pan. I wanted more of an oomph of lemon, to add a zesty kick to it.

Other substitutions I considered for this recipe:

1 less egg (After the cake cooled, I found that 4 eggs seemed a bit extravagant)

Silk soy milk (original flavor) or heavy cream instead of half-and-half (due to the fact I used one less bar of cream cheese than it called for, it would have made the filling thicker)

Another note: 1 hour 30 minutes baking time is mostly spot on…however, mine over-baked when I let it sit in oven (for about 30 minutes) after it was turned off. Every oven varies, and that is something that MUST be taken into consideration. Also, because I substituted some ingredients, it was obvious that the baking time would vary from the original recipe.

Not too shabby, I must proclaim!

In the end, I do not think I will try this recipe again. Although Good Housekeeping “promises” their recipes are tested three times, this was one for the recycling bin. I was ecstatic when, after 6+ hours of sitting in the fridge, the cheesecake actually thickened and stabilized. I did not top it with berries, but that, of course, is up to the baker and/or consumer. I was able to cut it the next day, and I think 8 to 10 hours chillen in the fridge would have been more ideal.

Other great topping ideas:

Honey (even to toss the berries with some would be a pleasant surprise)

Dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips or shaven (or even a chocolate glaze) – it would add a more bitter note to the brightness and aromatic lemony goodness

Graham cracker crumbs – because let’s get serious…the graham cracker crust is usually the best part of a cheesecake

Balsamic (Dark Cherry) – it’s just delicious

Here is the recipe with my adaptations in full (one can compare it to the recipe from the original source)

Ricotta-Mascarpone Cheesecake



  • 1 1/2 cup(s) graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoon(s) butter or margarine, melted (8 tablespoons = 1 stick)
  • 1 tablespoon(s) granulated sugar

Cheesecake Filling

  • 1 1/2 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 2 lemons (for zest and juice)
  • 8 ounce(s) reduced-fat Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounce(s) BelGioioso mascarpone cheese
  • 15 ounce(s) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoon(s) Stevia in the raw agave nectar
  • 2 cup(s) half-and-half
  • 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon(s) almond extract
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/2 cup(s) mixed berries, such as blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon(s) confectioners’ sugar (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wrap outside of 9-inch springform pan with heavy-duty foil to prevent batter from leaking out. Spray pan with baking spray. *this is a must because the cheesecake rose like a souffle!*
  2. In medium bowl, combine crumbs, butter, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Press firmly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until brown around edge. Cool on wire rack (or put into freezer to cool down faster). Reset oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  3. While crust cools, from lemons, grate 1 tablespoon peel and squeeze 1/4 cup juice; set aside.
  4. With mixer on high speed, beat the three cheeses until smooth. Add agave nectar, remaining 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, scraping bowl occasionally with rubber spatula; beat on low until well incorporated. On low speed, beat in half-and-half, vanilla, and almond extracts, and lemon peel and juice. Add eggs; beat until just blended. Pour batter onto cooled crust. Bake at least 1 hour (plus give or take 10-20 minutes). Turn oven off. Let stand in oven for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Place cheesecake on wire rack. Run thin knife between edge of cheesecake and pan. Cool in pan on rack 1 hour. Cover; refrigerate at least 6 hours or up to 2 days.
  6. To serve, top with berries; sprinkle confectioners’ sugar through sieve over berries. (optional)

Good Housekeeping Original Berry Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe:

I give claps to Good Housekeeping for this one…but I also found two other cheesecake recipes from advertisements throughout this issue. So that kind of says something, one may think 🙂

My final say on this cheesecake recipe, in rhyme:

It has been said, “Don’t overbeat the eggs or it’ll crack”.

I say, don’t use corn starch – that’s just whack!

Thanks for reading!