THE BIRTHDAY CAKE FROM HEAVEN
My birthday was earlier this week (yeay, happy birthday to me!). It was a pretty relaxed and uneventful birthday this year... I just wanted to indulge in my favorite delicious, fatty foods and spend quality time with my family and friends. I requested a Red Velvet Cheesecake for my birthday cake... cause I love cheesecake and I love red velvet! My mom is well-known for her amazing red velvet cupcakes and cake, but this would be her first attempt at a red velvet cheesecake. She wasn't quite sure where to begin so I found her a recipe online, and then she went ahead and made it......... and she rocked that cheesecake recipe like she had made it a million times. My birthday cheesecake was TO-DIE-FOR! Seriously, the Red Velvet Cheesecake was so delicious it would be criminal for me to not share the recipe. Good job Mom!
Red Velvet Cheesecake
Photo: Red Velvet Cheesecake Recipe
Photograph by Levi Brown
Total Time: 2 hr
Prep: 20 min Cook: 1 hr 40 min
Yield: 10 servings Level: Easy
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies (about 28 cookies)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
For the filling:
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon red food coloring
Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the cookie crumbs, melted butter, sugar and salt in a bowl. Press into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake until set, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
Make the filling: Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the flour, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Transfer 2 cups batter to a bowl; stir in the cocoa powder and food coloring. Pour the red batter into the crust, then pour the white batter on top. Using a spoon, pull some of the red batter up from the bottom of the cake and swirl. Bake until the edges are set but the center is still wobbly, about 1 hour, 20 minutes.
Turn off the oven but keep the cake inside to cool, 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan (don't remove the springform side), then transfer to a rack to cool. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before slicing.
And............. you're welcome.
I know what cake I'm asking for again next year! ;)
THEN CAME VACATION PLANS......
Earlier this week our family booked our annual vacation, WOHOO! This year's vacation destination is a beach resort in Cancun, Mexico. Thinking about lying on the beach in a bikini in a few months was all the motivation we needed to get into full-on fitness and diet mode... #bikinimode
|beach body motivation|
We've gotten back into our normal healthy eating and daily gym routine this week, but I decided that wasn't good enough...
COMMENCE THE "JANUARY SQUAT CHALLENGE"!
A co-worker (fellow food and fitness lover) and I decided to start a daily fitness challenge, something we could do at work throughout the day on top of our normal fitness routines. For the month of January we decided on SQUATS... a fantastic butt and thigh, sculpting and toning exercise! Our goal: 2,500 squats in 23 days (108 squats a day). Every hour we get up from our desks, do some squats, then go back to work. It's fun, easy, and actually a nice break from sitting all day! We've managed to persuade Amy, some other co-workers, and friends to join in on the "squat challenge" with us.
Follow the January Squat Challenge and other challenges at our Facebook page...
Or join us in the challenge... YOU CAN DO IT!
Make sure to check your squat form. If you're not doing your squats correctly you could do more harm than good.
Can't wait to see what food and fitness adventures next week holds............