No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake and a couple BIG announcements!

This is my homemade version of a 1960s dessert. The original recipe could have been found on Strawberry Jell-O package or CoolWhip containers. I thought it was brilliant, despite the fact that it was overly sweet, too stiff from the Jell-O and, if one were being picky, they may point out the slight chemical after taste. But, in its defense it was fast and very pretty. My 2011 version is made with nothing but fresh sweet strawberries, cream cheese, real whipped cream, and just the slightest bit of gelatin to keep it standing tall until you bite into it, then it melts in your mouth. No oven required, which makes it ideal for the sultry summer days. Here is the recipe I created for the Cooking Channel website.

Last week I was put on a list that took my breath away. Saveur Magazine listed zoebakes.com as one of the 50 food blogs to be reading. As if being mentioned by Saveur isn’t mind blowing enough, to be named with the other blogs on that list is unbelievable. I am beyond honored to be included with so much talent.

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Garlic Kale Tamale Tart – yes, the crust is bright red!

The July issue of Saveur magazine was filled cover to cover with the foods of Texas. Everything from Pecan Pie to Mesquite Grilled steaks. But one recipe caught my eye, not only because it sounds delicious, but because the technique is unlike anything I’ve seen before.  It is a Tamale Tart by the chef Stephan Pyles. His version has a soft masa tart shell, a roasted garlic custard and piled high with crab and hot peppers, it looks worthy of a trip to Dallas just to get a slice from his restaurant. Instead of baking the tart he cooks it in a bamboo steaming basket, just as you would for making tamales. It would seem that the crust might get soggy, but it was perfect. The custard was soft, silky and decadently rich.

Now that I am a backyard urban farmer I have an abundance of fresh kale. I thought it would go beautifully with the garlic custard and ancho spiced crust. So I gave up the crab and created a lovely quiche like dish that was perfect all on its own, but would be lovely served as a side.

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