Pecan Praline Cheesecake

Here we go y’all.

I’m back and I’m motivated.

The reason I started this blog was out of sure passion.

Passion for food, passion for writing, passion for story-telling, passion for life, passion for family…I guess you could say I’m a passionate person 😉

This past year has been kind of crazy/interesting/a roller coaster ride is how I would describe it.

Earlier in the year, I had my heart ripped out of my chest, stomped on, and broken by a guy whose name doesn’t even matter to me now.

Typical.

I started dating someone a few weeks ago.

This past Sunday wasn’t the best day if ya know what I mean.

I’m not going to go into details.

I really, really, really like this guy.

I mean, EXTREMELY.

See those all caps? Mhhhhm I don’t mess around 😉

And no, I don’t fall fast and hard for every guy I meet.

In fact, it was super hard for me to open up to anyone for the longest time.

This time though…this time was different.

I’ve never felt so comfortable with someone in my life…dating wise.

I know, i know, dating can be scary, nerve-wrecking, especially when you start to really like someone.

But not for me. I get super excited.

I truly have to say, I am sooooooooo proud of the woman that I have become.

I have a huge heart.

Especially when it comes to respecting another person’s life situation/feelings/what they have been or are going through.

I’ve learned that sometimes someone may be going through something in their life that they are struggling with.

So, I don’t judge. I’ve been through my hell.

Not to say it doesn’t hurt when things crumble, I mean…I’m human.

Butttttttttttt I can’t fault that person.

Unfortunately, I spent my time chasing the wrong guy last time and now I don’t have the energy left to chase the absolutely, without a doubt, right one. It’s also my turn for someone to come after me.

I deserve it. I’m worth it. I can also make a killer cheesecake 😉

Anyway, y’all know I’m a dessert person and one date night, we shared this amazing pecan praline cheesecake.

Y’all…pralines are my fave and let me tell you…there were chunks of sweet pecans inside of this cheesecake.

I died.

Project!

Y’all know I’m a crust type of gal.

Y’all…this crust. Well…this crust is 100!

I just can’t even begin to tell you.

And then there is this perfect creamy cheesecake filling.

 Now, I didn’t put pecans inside this cheesecake but….the topping.

Oh my TEXAS!

It’s over the top…basically everything you love about a chewy pecan praline.

I mean, I have absolutely no words.

I believe this is what dreams are made of.

I’m also pretty sure this is what heaven tastes like.

I think I really channeled all of my emotions into this damn cheesecake.

I don’t have any regrets about this cheesecake…none at all.

I think I’m in love.

I’m also 100% positive that if someone were to marry me based on my ability to make cheesecake…I’m a shoe in. 😉

Pecan Praline Cheesecake
Author: 
Recipe type: cheesecake
Cuisine: dessert, sweets
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A perfectly crispy honey graham cracker crust with a sweet, smooth cream cheese filling, topped with a pecan praline sauce that is out of this world!
Ingredients
  • For the crust:
  • 2 c. honey graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ c. melted coconut oil
  • For the filling:
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ c. coconut milk (or regular milk, coconut milk is all I had on hand)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 T. mexican vanilla extract
  • For the pecan praline topping:
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • ½ c. heavy whipping cream
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1¼ c. pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 2 t. mexican vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large pie pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the crust ingredients together until full moistened and combined.
  3. Press the crust mixture into the pie plate.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until set and golden brown around the edges.
  5. Remove the crust from the oven and let cool. Lower the temperature to 300 degrees F.
  6. For the filling, beat together the brown sugar and cream cheese until smooth.
  7. Add in the milk, eggs, and vanilla and mix well. Spread the filling evenly into the baked crust.
  8. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the middle is no long jiggly. Let the cheesecake cool completely.
  9. For the pecan praline topping, combine the butter, brown sugar, heavy whipping cream, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
  10. Bring the mixture to a slow boil and cook for 3 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and a smooth caramel sauce forms.
  11. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the toasted pecans and vanilla.
  12. Let cool for about 10 minutes and then pour the warm pecan praline mixture over the cooled cheesecake.
  13. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight if preferred before cutting slices with a sharp knife.
  14. Enjoy!

 MANGIA!!!

Easy and Nutritious Beef Bone Broth

Happy October y’all!

I’m sad to announce that summer is over and that means winter is right around the corner. It’s already getting super chilly with temperatures dropping to the 50s. Since there’s nothing better than getting warmed up by a hot cup of bone broth, I figured it’s the perfect time to show off my new beef bone broth recipe!

First off, this bone broth recipe is the real deal. It’s not the same as the ones you buy at the grocery store. This beef bone broth recipe is full of vegetables and animal bones that have been cooked for a looong time. For the readers who don’t know about bone broth, here’s a quick bone broth 101!

Animal bones are jam packed with a protein called collagen. But since we can’t digest bones, we need to simmer the bones in water for 12-24 hours to break down the collagen into a more digestible form called gelatin. It’s this gelatin that has many amino acids and antioxidants that are great for improving your joints, gut, and for detoxing your liver.

Now the only crappy thing about this recipe is the long cooking times. It’s super easy to make, but it takes a lot of time and patience. Also, depending where you live, it’s tough to get high quality bones. You’ll want to make sure the beef bones you use are grass-fed to ensure it comes from a healthy animal.

So if you’re like me and want to consume bone broth regularly, but have a hard time setting aside the time, Kettle & Fire is a great alternative! The ingredients they use are very high quality, but most importantly, they’re shelf-stable so you can stock up your pantry with bone broth for when you’re too lazy to make your own. Check them out on their website and if you use the promo code “MANGIA15”, you’ll get 15% off your first order!

Anyways, let’s get started with the recipe! First you’ll want to preheat your oven to 400F. While you wait for the oven to heat up, place your mixed bones on a baking tray and drizzle with oil.

apply-olive-oil

Once the oven is nice and toasty, place the baking tray with the bones in for 30 minutes on each side, for a total of 1 hour.

roast-bones

While the bones are getting nice and roasted, start chopping up your carrots, celery and onions.

cutting-carrot

When the bones are finally ready and your veggies are chopped, combine it all into a large stockpot. You’ll then add enough water so it covers all the ingredients by a couple inches.

immerse-in-water

Cover the stockpot with a lid and put it on HIGH setting until it comes to a rapid simmer. Then you’ll want to lower it to LOW setting and let it simmer for 12-24 hours. Go to bed or take a nap, you deserve it!

After 12-24 hours, your house should start smelling like bone broth. Don’t worry, it’s an amazing smell! Turn off your stockpot and start draining out all the bones & vegetables into a strainer.

strain

I personally like to store it in mason jars so I can refrigerate it. Whenever I want some bone broth, all I have to do is reheat it and I’m good to go.

final-product

Check out this adorable step-by-step video and get cooking!


Easy and Nutritious Beef Bone Broth

Ingredients:

3 to 4 pounds of mixed beef bones (short ribs, oxtails, knuckles, and neck bones)

2 carrots

3 celery stalks

2 yellow onions

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 bay leaf

olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place mixed bones in a single layer on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.
  1. Place the tray in the oven, roasting for 30 minutes on each side
  1. Roughly chop up the celery, carrots and onions.
  1. Combine all the ingredients into a stockpot and cover with water so that the ingredients are under 2 inches of water.
  1. Turn your stockpot to a high setting until it comes to a rapid simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the broth and let it simmer on low for 12 to 24 hours.
  1. Strain the bones and veggies. Store the broth in mason jars and let it cool to room temperature. Once cooled, place it in the fridge to chill. Scrape off any solidified fat that rises to the top before using.
  1. Reheat your bone broth for a steaming cup you can sip on its own, or use it as a powerful ingredient in your favorite recipes.

Serves about 4-6 people

MANGIA!!!

Tuesday Ten

I’m keeping my promise and we are going to keep up with this Tuesday Ten business.

Uno: If you live in Houston, come hang out with me at Tacolandia.

I mean, beer + tacos + me…winning combo. 😉

Dos: I had breakfast with my cousin a few Sunday’s ago. I have a million + one first cousins on my Italian side, but this dude is basically my brother. I’m pretty protective over him b/c he technically is two years younger than me. Long story short: his psycho ex-gf if trying to screw him out of a joint company social media acct. that they share. Plus, she is like 40-something. Not cool. Real mature of her. Are you in 1st grade? I wouldn’t give her that much credit.

Tres: I had a mini heart attack as my fave guitarist of all time has released an album after what seems like a century hiatus and I’m going to see him in concert in November. Here’s some background history: Doyle Brahmall II. His dad was also a famous guitarist and he grew up with Stevie Ray Vaughn in Austin. When Vaughn passed, Brahmall II formed a band called Arc Angels with Vaughn’s Double Trouble duo Tommy Shannon + Chris Layton and another badass guitarist, Charlie Sexton. The group split b/c of drug issues/typical rockstar stuff in the late 90’s. Anyway, my dad raised me on this Tx blues/rock music and I’ve been following Doyle ever since. Should be a rocking good time. See what I did there?

Quattro: Football season (uhhhh pre-season) has begun and I’m already obsessed. It’s definitely the Texas girl in me. I grew up on the Houston Oilers + Dallas Cowboys. I don’t associate with the Texans except for JJ Watt b/c do I really have to explain that one? So, Dallas has a special place in my heart. This crazed, yelling, cursing woman comes out in me and I start yelling at the refs on the t.v. I will invite you over for chili and cornbread and we can watch a game when it’s not sweltering hot outside.

Cinco: Speaking of hot, it’s like a freaking sauna here in Houston. Plus, it’s been raining for what seems like a decade. I have barely seen the outside. It’s a nightmare.

Seis: I keep running into ppl I went to high school with. F.Y.I. this year I will have been out of high school ten years. It’s a strange feeling. It’s kind of like, “oh, hi…I remember when you used to talk shit about me and didn’t even know me, but look at me now” feeling mixed with a “it’s so good to see you” or “it’s so good to see that you are eating your words” feeling. 😉

Siete: I’ve been having headaches associated with drinking too much coffee. But I don’t necessarily want to pop a ton of migraine meds so I have been using lavender oils. Yes, my mom taught me this. Yes, she’s a genius. Yes, this is my hippie side of life. No drugs for me. Unless I’m about to have a child. Then, give me all the meds in the world.

Ocho: I need a freaking vacation, but staycation. Austin is my home away from home, so I am feeling a weekend trip coming up soon. Coupe and I need some down time. Pool + trail hikes + massage + room service is the best medicine.

Nueve: I miss my baby seester. She is a colorodoian (?) or boulderian now and our texts now consist of her asking me for the netflix password.

Diez: I have been drinking decaf americano’s lately so as to avoid too much caffeine intake and it’s a sad, sad, shame.

Houston Press Tacolandia Pre-Sale + Giveaway!

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Tuesday Ten

Yo.

Today we are starting a new series on the blog called the Tuesday Ten.

Basically, it’s about anything that is on my mind.

Who knows if this will be weekly, because LIFE.

But, let’s just focus on today.

Uno: I was headed to work last Wednesday morning when I realized that my car was missing from my apartment parking garage. Yes, it was stolen. Yes, the police found it.

After seeing it’s condition, I don’t want it back from the body shop.

People suck.

Dos: I have been taking Coupe on long walks during the evening and let’s go over his breed. He is an English Lab. This basically means he is a short, stocky version of an American lab. Do people even do their dog breed research? There are french bulldogs and english bulldogs. So, there are english and american labs. Get it? Big difference. Oh, and if someone asks me if he is a basset hound mix again, I might just exercise my WWE Diva skills.

IMG_2403

Tres: No matter how terrible you look, snap chat filters will make you look like you just came from a day at the salon.

Snap chat has your back.

IMG_3641

Quattro: I became a Beachbody coach a couple of weeks ago and Shakeology is my life. It’s sooooooo good. I’m also kicking my own ass doing 21 day fix workouts.

Supplemental income is always nice.

Cinco: My current dating situation is lackluster. Please Lord, just send me a tall, sweet, “has his crap together” man who wants a commitment (meaning eventually wants to get married). I’m not talking tomorrow, either.

Seis: I just made an 8 month plan for work/apt lease/where the hell am I going next.

I’m super proud of it.

Siete: I will be 29 in exactly 6 months. I’m not sure if I’m excited or dreading that this is the last year of my 20’s. I mean, I was just in high school last week, right?

Ocho: No matter how old my mother gets, I learn that she never actually ages. This woman can drink me under the table, dance all night long, and run 12 miles on a Saturday because that is so much fun.

Nueve: After 10 years, my mac laptop bit the dust. I got a macbook air. Life is changed. I have the aston martin of laptops and I don’t know how I ever owned something that felt like 10 bricks on my lap.

Diez: I have had a cavity in my mouth for about 6 years and am rescheduling my appt that I have for today for sometime in the near future. What’s a couple more weeks?

MANGIA!!!