Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Class

Class will be at 7pm PST June 20th. Make sure you are done using your oven for the rest of the night when this class starts, because your oven will be occupied for a while!

$50 – For a live spot, send $50 to @classicTimMakes on Venmo. Include your best email in the comment section so I know where to send you Zoom video login info.

$30 – For a recorded version, send $30 to @classicTimMakes on Venmo. Include your best email in the comment section so I know where to send you the recording.

Equipment:

  • 9in springform pan
  • Set of bowls (for mixing)
  • Medium stainless steel or glass mixing bowl (this will be used for a double-boiler)
  • Sauce pot (anything you can boil water in that your bowl will fit on top of)
  • Food processor, rolling pin, or anything flat and heavy
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer
  • Spatula
  • Bamboo skewer, chopstick, or a small utensil
  • Kitchen scale or measuring cups/spoons

Ingredients:

  • 1 package graham crackers (~1 1/2C.)
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, unsalted, melted (1/2 stick)
  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate (65% cocoa or higher!)
  • 3/4 C. sugar
  • 1 C. sour cream (8oz.)
  • 1 1/4 lbs. cream cheese (that’s 2 and a half 8 oz packages)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract

Making Mid-Century-Modern splayed leg cleats

There’s only one tricky bit to making legs like this for your project, and I’ll tell you exactly how to accomplish it below



Okay making a mid-century modern cleat bracket that’s angled (A.K.A splayed) only has one tricky bit and then everything else is easy.

For your measurements, you want your length to be about 8 inches less than the width of whatever object you’re putting it on. So if you’re putting it on a table, you want the cleat to be 8 inches less than the width of your table (it should be perpendicular to the length of the table). The width of your cleat should be about 2 ½” to 2 ¾” inches. The depth is going to be somewhere between 1 ¼” to 1 ⅜”. That gives you enough space to put in your inset screws and screw in your legs. You’ll also want to pre-drill the holes for attaching your cleat to your table before making the following cuts.

Now the tricky bit is that you have to cut two angled cuts simultaneously. Doing them separately is far too difficult. The cuts are 11 degrees and 15 degrees. This is best done on a miter saw, because you can cut two angles at the same time. The way you do it is you set the regular miter gauge (the one you have on the front that lets you go right and left) to 11 degrees, and then tilt your piece to 15 degrees.

The 15 degree cut is the trickier of the two angles. To pull it off, you’ll want to make a 15 degree cut on a scrap piece of wood, which will become your stop block. Use your mitre saw to do the 15 degree cut, then set it back to 11 degrees.

That to 11 degrees and then cut actually set that to 15 degrees first get a scrap piece of wood cut that piece of wood at 15 degrees, so you’re making yourself a 15 degree stop block. Then set it back to 11 degrees

Set up your cleat up against the 15 degree stop block so it’s actually leaning against it and hold it there with a push block or gripper (I used one of these). Do not hold it with your hands or you’ll potentially chop your fingers off! So use something to hold it in place that will keep you safe and then line up the 11 degree cut so that it starts about 3/8 of an inch off the side of your board that’s going to be attached to your table. See photo for better explanation.

So you’re cutting along the length of your cleat at this point. 11 degrees on the miter saw with a 15 degree lean up against your stop block. That will give you the two angles that you need, the 11 and the 15, to be able to make the correct cut on your cleat. Note: you will be cutting slightly into your stop block, so you’ll need to make a new 15 degree cut when you cut the opposite ends of your cleat. Repeat that cut for each of your cleats, then reverse the set up for the other end of your cleats. Meaning, make a new 15 degree stop block and swing your mitre gage to 11 degrees on the opposite side. Then do the same thing you just did, but in reverse.

That’s how you get the angles you need!

Your finished product should look something like this

World’s Easiest Pie Crust

Ingredients:

  • Graham crackers (1 sealed package)
  • 4 Tbsp. of unsalted butter (use organic and grass-fed if you can. It’ll taste even better)
  • A pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Crush up your graham crackers until they are fairly uniform  and “crumb-like.” You can accomplish this a number of different ways:
    1. Use a food processor and pulse the crackers a few times, until fairly uniform
    2. Keep the graham crackers in their plastic packaging wrapped in a kitchen towel or placed in a large ziplock bag, and then whack away with a rolling pin or a hammer. You could even punch it into submission if you like. Whatever feels most fun.
    3. A vitamix works, but you  may have to shake it a few times to get all the bits at the bottom
  3. Transfer the crushed graham crackers to a medium sized mixing bowl.
  4. Add the salt to the graham crackers and stir it around a bit with your fingers or a fork.
  5. Melt the butter in your microwave and pour over the graham crackers, then mix with a fork until all of the butter is evenly absorbed. It won’t look like enough butter at first, but 4Tbsp. To 1 Package Graham Crackers is the perfect ratio.
  6. Pour your mixed up Graham Crackers, salt, and butter into a pie tin and press flat and up the sides with your fingers until you have a relatively even crust.
    1. If you want it to be super flat or you are having trouble with the corners, use the bottom of a glass, your measuring cup, or a second pie tin of the same shape to press down on the mixture and even everything out.
  7. Place in your preheated 325F oven for 10-minutes to “blind bake”
    1. You should see the color darken slightly after about 10-minutes. Avoid letting it stay in the oven long enough for the edges of the crust to start turning black. No bueno (it’s ok, you can always just trim those parts off and no one will know!).
    2. If you are particularly finicky, you could place parchment paper on top of the graham crackers and then fill the tin with “baking beads” or dried beans, but that isn’t very necessary unless you are baking a dough-based pastry (which will have air pockets you are trying to keep from expanding with the weight of the beads/beans)
  8. That’s it! You’ve made your own pie crust

If you’re looking to spice things up, try Speculoos cookies or ginger snaps instead of the Graham Crackers. The Speculoos box from TJs comes with 2 “packages”. You only need one for this recipe (you’re aiming for between 4.5-5oz of cookie/cracker. Just divide the total weight on the outside of the box by the number of packages on the inside and you’ll have a good idea of how close you are to what you need)

Easy holiday decorations you can use year round

Here’s a quick holiday decorating tip. Stretch several strings between the light fixtures in your ceiling so you can hang various decorations from them. Just switch out the decorations based on the season. If it’s Halloween, hang some spooky bats and spiders. Then, when Christmas rolls around, hang Christmas ornaments and some mistletoe.

It only takes a few minutes to set up, but can be reused all year round for years to come.

Here’s how to do it

If you have recessed or pocket-lights in your home you can wrap string around the fixture that sits flush to the ceiling and stretch that string across multiple lights to create a web or latticework of strings you can then hang decorations from.

If you do not have recessed lighting, just use some eye hooks arranged to make a grid pattern.

To add an element of depth, cut strings of varying length and hang them from the strings between each of the lights. Then, to make it easy to change out for each season, add some Christmas ornament hooks at the end of each of the hanging strings.

Get creative with your decorations. Even just searching Amazon for “wood shapes” will get you lots of options to choose from. Some of the shapes will already have holes for you to hang the hooks on, but if they don’t, just drill a small hole for the hook to go through. Play around with where you drill the hole to change how the ornament hangs. For instance, drilling holes in the wings of wooden bats—rather than a hole right in the center—will make it look like they’re flying around.

I’d love to see how you got creative with these ideas! Share what you’ve made in the comments below.

Carrot Cake Muffins

This is an incredibly easy gluten-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free recipe—which is also Plant Paradox compliant—for making delicious carrot cake muffins which are satisfying enough to get you all the way to lunch without all those snack cravings!

Recipe

Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk together all the dry ingredients. Whisk together all the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until homogenous . Fold in the grated carrot and nuts (optional). Separate into 12 equal potions in a lined muffin tin and bake at 350F for 25-minutes, or until a toothpick/skewer comes out clean.

Dry ingredients

  • 1 1/4C. (175g) Almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly ground nutmeg

Wet ingredients

  • 2 Eggs
    • I recommend you use either “pasture raised” or “omega-3” eggs, as they are much healthier. “Pasture raised” is the superior of the 2 options.
  • 1/3C. Avocado oil, MCT oil, or Coconut oil
  • 2/3C. Coconut milk, unsweetened
  • 1/3C Swerve (A.K.A. Erythritol)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract

Reserved ingredients

  • 2 Large carrots, grated
    • Watch the video for tips on how to make the grating easier
  • 1/4C. Walnuts, optional
    • You can use any nuts you like here, except for peanuts and cashews

Homemade Almond Milk

Here is a step-by-step guide to easily make almond milk at home.

Step 1: Watch the step-by-step video

Step 2: Tools you’ll need

Step 3: Prepare your ingredients

  • 1 cup slivered raw almonds
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 dates, pitted
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • A good pinch (~1/4tsp.) of med. to high-moisture salt (I like Mayan Gold)

Optional (in any combination):

  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Cocoa powder
  • 2 large strawberries, stems removed

Step 4: Soak your almonds

In a 1-quart mason jar, combine 1 cup of slivered raw almonds with 3 cups of water and let soak for a minimum of 1-hour.  Now would be a great time to pit your 4 dates and measure out the rest of the ingredients.

Step 5: Blend it!

Mix all of your ingredients in a blender (almonds, water, dates, cinnamon, vanilla extract, salt) and blend on high for 1-minute, or until you no longer have chunks and you see a consistent texture.

Step 6: Drink up

That’s it.  Your almond milk is ready. To store, pour back in to the mason jar you used to soak the almonds and keep in the fridge.  At this point, you’ll have slightly more than will fit in the 1 qt. mason jar, so just pour that into a glass and enjoy your fresh creation. Stays fresh for 3-days when properly refrigerated, but you’ll likely drink it all well before then.

Honey Cheddar Beer Bread

This bread is easy to make, tastes amazing, and is a hit at any party. Making the batter takes less than 10-minutes, and within an hour you’ll be ready to eat.

Since the bread is sweetened with honey instead of sugar, the bread will actually stay fresher, longer.

Step 1: Watch the Step-by-step Video

Watch this step-by-step video, or follow the written instructions below.

Step 2: Tools You’ll Need

Here are the tools you’ll need to successfully make your Honey Cheddar Beer Bread

Step 3: Prepare Your Ingredients

Before you mix anything, you’ll want to measure all ingredients out first. If this is your first time measuring before mixing, you’ll be blown away by how much easier baking feels when everything is ready and within arm’s reach of the mixing bowl. Plus, nothing is worse than getting halfway through a recipe just to find out you are missing a key ingredient.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 bottle (12 oz.) of your favorite beer (Blue Moon works well)
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted (if you only have salted butter available, you can omit the salt listed above)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

This is also a great time to start pre-heating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 4: Grease the Bread Pan

Use a small pad of butter (preferably unsalted) to rub down the entire inside of the bread pan. Be generous with the amount of butter you use. More butter means more flavor and a lesser chance of your bread getting stuck in the pan.

Step 5: Start Mixing

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) until they are evenly distributed.

Place your honey in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. This will make the honey easy to pour and mix with the other ingredients.

While your honey is heating up, crack open your beer and start stirring it into the flour mixture. It will look a bit foamy at first, but this is totally normal. Keep mixing until all of the flour has been incorporated.

Grab your warm honey from the microwave and pour on top of the batter. Mix until incorporated.

Add the grated cheddar cheese to the batter. Mix until incorporated.

Transfer your batter to the greased bread pan and distribute evenly.

Microwave your butter for 35 seconds, and then pour on top of the batter. No need to mix.

Place your bread pan in the pre-heated 350-degree oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. After 40 minutes, with a skewer, check for doneness (stick a skewer into the thickest part of the loaf. If there is no batter clinging to the skewer when you pull it out, your bread is done). If there is batter clinging to the skewer, put the loaf in for an additional 5 minutes and test again. Once your skewer comes out clean remove the bread from the pan and let sit for 1-3 minutes before cutting. Serve immediately.

This is what it will look like right from the oven.

Tastes great with butter and your favorite jam.