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Chocolate mascarpone stuffed strawberries

Thank you all for all the well wishes after yesterday’s post about my neck issues. I am really feeling a lot better now, almost back to normal.

I thought I’d lighten things up today with a recipe I made over Memorial Day weekend that totally wowed the crowd.

Prepare yourself for…….chocolate mascarpone stuffed strawberries!

Stuffed strawberry closeup

Cuz if chocolate, cheese, and sweet strawberries can’t make a girl feel better when she’s hurting, what can really? :)

Jeff and I went to a barbecue on Memorial Day with a ton of people. I was really hurting that night, but it felt so good to see these get gobbled up in mere minutes. It always makes me so happy when people like my food.

I found some enormous strawberries at Publix and knew they’d be great for making a light dessert. In fact, I’ve made this exact dessert before with green tea flavored mascarpone and it was a big hit, so I kinda had an idea that this might go over well. ūüėČ

To make, I just cored the strawberries with a paring knife then got to work on my filling.

Cored strawberriesChocolate mascarpone

I used 16 oz. of room-temperature mascarpone cheese, and whipped it up with about 1/4 cup cocoa powder, two generous squirts of agave nectar, and maybe a half a cup or more of unsweetened almond milk to thin it out some.

A scooped the sweet cheese filling into a ziplock bag and cut the tip to use like a piping bag. I actually have a set of piping bags with fancy tips, but I was in a hurry and didn’t have time to get it out.

They turned out beautifully though…

Plate of stuffed strawberries

This recipe made about 20 giant stuffed strawberries. ¬†It would make nearly twice that for regular sized strawberries, so if you’re not making these for an army you might choose to cut the recipe in half.

Chocolate mascarpone stuffed strawberries

The not-too-sweet chocolatey mascarpone filling in these luscious strawberries really lets the fruit take center stage in this easy summer dessert.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 20+ large strawberries

Ingredients

  • 20 extra large strawberries
  • 16 oz. unsweetened mascarpone cheese
  • 4 tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • up to a 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

Cooking Directions

  1. Wash and allow strawberries to dry before cutting off the tops and coring them with a small knife.
  2. Whip together all other ingredients and transfer to a piping bag.
  3. Pipe cheese mixture into strawberries and refrigerate until time to enjoy.

The filling was not too sweet, allowing the flavor of the ripe strawberries to really shine. This is one recipe I’ll make again and again, as it’s super simple but always impresses.

Mascarpone-stuffed strawberries

Next time, stuffed strawberries with chocolate chips!

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I like vegan cheese?!?!

In an effort to cut out a bit more dairy from my diet, I decided to try out a product that I’ve heard about all over the blog world: ¬†Daiya, which is a vegan cheese substitute.

I gotta tell ya, the words “cheese substitute” make my spine tingle. ¬†Nevertheless, I gave the mozzarella style a go in one of my favorite preparations, the grilled cheese sammich.

The grilled cheese has become my go-to dinner for nights that I either don’t have anything planned to make, or just can’t make myself cook anything. ¬†It’s a versatile dinner as you can add any number of vegetables and/or condiments and make a unique and tasty sandwich tailored to your cravings for that evening. ¬†Paired with a salad or soup, and it’s no less impressive than something you spent an hour cooking.

I tried my first vegan grilled “cheese” with just a smear of apple butter, one of my favorite simple combinations.

I was a little put off by the smell of the “cheese” in it’s packaging. ¬†It was kind of salty and acidic; reminded me of parmesan but not in a good way, kind of like a half-melted and wet hunk of parmesan.

It was a little unpleasant to the touch; a bit wet, slightly oily.  The strands separated from each other better than real cheese though, which made it easy to sprinkle on the sandwich evenly.

I prepared the sandwich in my usual manner; non-stick olive oil spray in the pan, press the sandwiches while cooking with a heavier pan weighting them down, flip once and done.

The Daiya passed the first test in that it melted well and held the bread together as well as regular cheese.

The real test is taste though, right?

I gotta say, I was astounded at how good this is. ¬†If I was served that sandwich and no one told me the cheese was vegan, I wouldn’t have thought anything was different about it. It is a little creamier than regular cheese, but not Velveeta creamy, so it doesn’t come off as one of those oily processed cheese products. And the ingredient list doesn’t have a single thing on it that I’ve never heard of or should be wary of.

I am thrilled that I can use this product to replace some of the dairy in my diet without sacrificing any of the pleasure in my beloved grilled cheese. I never intend to eliminate dairy entirely, but I want to treat it as more of a junk food and really save it as something to eat only at restaurants or on special occasions.

What is your relationship with dairy these days?