Let’s Talk Cheesecake…

…Maple Mascarpone Cheesecake that is. This was my first attempt at a cheesecake, and I’ll have to say it was very tasty. This was a fabulous ending to our Christmas feast, and serves 16 people (unless some want seconds!). I was thrilled when the recipe said this dish could be made 5 days ahead of time. It was music to my ears during the busy holiday season. If I’m ever in need of an easy make ahead dessert, I’m turning to cheesecake!

This is me frantically taking a picture of the finished product while serving guests

Maple Mascarpone Cheesecake


  • butter
  • 1.5 cups walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 – 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 – 3 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon maple flavoring
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

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Black Bottoms

This recipe comes from my grandmother and is insanely popular with my family.  The name sounds silly, but it holds so many memories. The ratio between the cream cheese, chocolate cake, and chocolate chips is absolutely amazing. These cupcakes can also be made ahead of time and frozen.  My grandmother used to keep them in the freezer. When I would go to her house, I would always head to the freezer and eat at least 1 or 2. I actually think I might help myself to one right now since I am talking about them so much…Yum!  These cupcakes are a tradition in my family, and everyone out there needs to try these.  I even asked my grandma if I could share the recipe on my blog.  I didn’t want to give away the recipe without her consent! 🙂

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Stuffed Cucumbers with Smoked Salmon

When I was in college, I made something very similar to this version of a stuffed cucumber.  However, mine was the simple college version with all store bought ingredients.  Now, I have my own herbs I can use to brighten up the dish.  I remember cutting the cucumbers into slices, smearing on a teaspoon of herb cream cheese, and topping it with small slices of smoked salmon.  For my revised version, I made it appetizer friendly for a crowd.  I actually brought this dish to Ravinia to see Carrie Underwood.  A quick tip though…..put it in Tupperware with a lid.  I had mine on a plate with plastic wrap…not such a good idea.


  • 1 pkg mini cucumbers (mine came with 7)
  • 8 oz. whipped cream cheese
  • 8 oz. smoked salmon, cut into strips
  • 2 T fresh chives, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 T fresh tarragon (or dill), chopped
  • reserved inside of cucumber
  • salt for seasoning

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Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies

Brandon and I went to a co-worker’s annual party this past weekend, and I wanted to bring a dessert. When I asked Brandon what I should bring, this was the first dessert that popped in his head. Growing up, I vividly remember making these cookies with my mom. They are my favorite cookie ever, as well as Brandon’s. They are extremely easy to make and are delicious! I am pretty sure I’ve made them 100 times…

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