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Lemon Cheesecake with Cranberry Raspberry Compote

Lemon Cheesecake with a Cranberry Raspberry Compote  |  Lemon & Mocha

The lemon cheesecake that serves as the base of this recipe is the first cheesecake I ever baked from scratch. Matt had gotten me my stand mixer for my birthday (lucky girl!) and I wanted to christen my new kitchen toy with an epic recipe. After days of sifting through cookbooks and blog posts to pick the perfect recipe we decided on a lemon cheesecake with lemon curd.

Lemon Cheesecake with a Cranberry Raspberry Compote  |  Lemon & Mocha

My, oh my, was it outrageous. I have since made the lemon curd many times over for all sorts of recipes and occasions, but had yet to revisit the fluffy and tart lemon cheesecake. Four years later I decided it was finally time to make it again. I told you it takes me a long time to remake recipes! I thought the lemon would pair perfectly with cranberry for the holiday season because of the flavors and beautiful color.

Lemon Cheesecake with a Cranberry Raspberry Compote  |  Lemon & Mocha

This cranberry raspberry compote is simply made with cranberries, raspberries, orange juice and sugar. It is sweet, tart, fruity and a great cheesecake topping.

Lemon Cheesecake with a Cranberry Raspberry Compote  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you have never made a cheesecake before I urge you to give it a shot. You will feel so impressed with yourself when you’re done and your tastebuds will thank you. Although it may seem intimidating, homemade cheesecake is rather simple.

Lemon Cheesecake with a Cranberry Raspberry Compote  |  Lemon & Mocha

The key to an extra light and fluffy texture is to keep beating the cream cheese past when you normally think you should stop. If the cream cheese is extra airy before you pour it into the crust you will have an unbelievable texture once it is baked.

Lemon Cheesecake with a Cranberry Raspberry Compote  |  Lemon & Mocha

Lemon Cheesecake with Cranberry Raspberry Compote
 
Yield: 12 servings
Ingredients
for the crust
  • 16 graham cracker squares
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
for the filling
  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
for the compote
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 6 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
Directions
for the crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9" springform pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor to create crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until the graham cracker crumbs are coated. Evenly press into the bottom and ½" up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
for the filling
  1. Beat the cream cheese until very fluffy. It should almost have a satiny quality to it. Add the sugar then beat until smooth. Add 1 egg then beat for 30 seconds. Repeat with the remaining 2 eggs. Stir in the lemon juice and zest.
  2. Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is set, except for the center which should look almost just set and glossy. Let cool to room temperature on a cooling rack then cover the pan and chill in the fridge overnight.
for the compote
  1. Combine the orange juice and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. After 5 minutes, add the cranberries and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  2. Once the mixture comes to a boil and most of the cranberries have started to burst, add the raspberries then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Let cool in the fridge. Pour over the top of the cheesecake.

Cheesecake slightly adapted from Sketches and Scribbles.
Compote from Allrecipes.

Warm Lemon & Mustard Potato Salad

Warm Lemon & Mustard Potato Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

To me, the ultimate telling of a great salad is that it doesn’t seem like you are eating a salad. It doesn’t taste diet-y or as though all you’re doing is consuming a large bowl of raw vegetables like a rabbit raiding the produce aisle.

Warm Lemon & Mustard Potato Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

It simply tastes like a really delicious dish. The flavors are well-balanced and the textures vary. Extra bonus points if there are both hot and cold components.

Warm Lemon & Mustard Potato Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

This warm lemon and mustard potato salad hits all the marks on my great salad scale. The key to this meal-worthy salad is that the potatoes aren’t just average roasted potatoes. Before being placed in the oven to get nice and crispy, the potatoes are tossed with a lemon and mustard vinaigrette.

Warm Lemon & Mustard Potato Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Tart, tangy and creamy, these potatoes are even better when combined with the freshness of the salad greens and the nuttiness of the walnuts. This dish is great for a vegetarian main dish or an elevated first course that will have your guests requesting the recipe.

Warm Lemon & Mustard Potato Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Warm Lemon & Mustard Potato Salad
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the dressing
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
for the salad
  • 1½ pounds baby red-skinned potatoes, halves
  • 1 orange or red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • ¼ cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
for the dressing
  1. Whisk together the mustard, parsley, zest, juice and olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place 3 tablespoons of the dressing in a small bowl and set aside.
for the salad
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Add the potatoes to the large bowl with the dressing and toss until coated. Place the potatoes on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cooked through and crispy.
  3. When ready to serve, toss the bell pepper and greens with the reserved dressing. Place on the serving dish then top with the roasted potatoes and toasted walnut pieces.

Recipe from Giada’s Feel Good Food.

Thanksgiving Day Inspiration

I love doing these holiday round up posts because they give me a chance to look back through everything I have posted on Lemon & Mocha. About 97% of the time I am so busy trying new recipes from my endless stream of cooking magazines, cookbooks and Pinterest that years go by between making the same dish twice. Looking through this list here today though made me want to start December by re-making each and every single one of these. I may or may not have been drooling in anticipation as omg-this-is-so-freakin-delicious food memories came flooding back. So here is some inspiration for you for Thanksgiving or really anytime you’re looking for something out of this world to eat. Enjoy!

Caramelized Onion & Apple Dip  |  Lemon & Mocha

Caramelized Onion & Apple Dip. Start the big day off right with an indulgent dip to tide your guests over until the turkey is ready.

Spiced Sweet Potato & Apple Soup  |  Lemon & Mocha

Spiced Sweet Potato & Apple Soup. The curry butter adds a unique twist to this fall soup.

Greek Yogurt Cornbread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Greek Yogurt Cornbread. The most moist and delicious cornbread you will ever eat.

Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms  |  Lemon & Mocha

Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms. Free up some room in your oven with this outrageously delicious dish.

Lemon, Garlic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower  |  Lemon & Mocha

Lemon, Garlic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower. Add some healthy and flavor-packed veggies to your Thanksgiving table.

Pineapple Bread Pudding  |  Lemon & Mocha

Pineapple Bread Pudding. It sounds unusual, but this is the most life-changing side dish. Warning: you may not want to share.

French Onion Green Beans  |  Lemon & Mocha

French Onion Green Beans. A light take on an old classic.

Stracciatella Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

Stracciatella Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato Pie. Delight your guests with an out-of-this-world showstopper dessert.

Turkey & Manchego Panini with Sun-dried Tomato Mayo  |  Lemon & Mocha

Turkey Manchego Panini with Sun-dried Tomato Mayo. Perfect sandwich for leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Fresh Rolls with Cranberry Dipping Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Fresh Rolls with Cranberry Dipping Sauce. A unique way and light way to use up your leftovers.

Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies

Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Thanksgiving is almost here! Only a few more days until we get to say thanks for all the good events and people that graced our lives over the past year. Of course, our thanks would not be complete without an all-day marathon gorge fest.

Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies  |  Lemon & Mocha

After the glorious turkey, mashed potatoes lathered with gravy, piping hot biscuits, tart cranberry sauce and 23 other dishes, the great finale of any traditional Thanksgiving meal are the pies. Along with the pies comes the great pie debate. Apple pie or cherry pie? Pumpkin pie or lemon meringue pie? Blueberry pie or the ever mysterious chess pie?

Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies  |  Lemon & Mocha

One of my favorites is the classic pecan pie, although it is usually missing a very important key ingredient. Chocolate! Once you experience pecan pie loaded up with chocolately chip goodness you will never want to settle for regular, plain old, chocolate-lacking pecan pie again.

Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies  |  Lemon & Mocha

How pecan pie minus chocolate chips is the standard completely boggles my mind. I found a mini pie pan at Christmas Tree Shop last year and have been itching to bake up some cuteness.

Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Mini pies are fantastic because they take less time in the oven, are adorable and you can have a whole pie all to yourself! Thanksgiving is all about sharing, but when it comes to dessert… just don’t get your fork too close to my pie…

Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies
 
Yield: 5 mini pies
Ingredients
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup dark corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1¼ cups pecan halves
  • ¾ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 sheet unbaked pie crust, pressed into mini pie pans
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pre-bake the pie shells, making sure to use pie weights, for 7 minutes.
  2. Combine the eggs, brown sugar, flour, vanilla extract and corn syrup in a medium mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and stir. Add the pecans and chocolate chips then stir. Distribute evenly into the prepared mini pie shells.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes with a sheet pan underneath to catch any dripping.
Notes
To make one pie instead of mini pies, press the pie crust into a 9" pan. Pour all the filling into the pie shell then bake for 50-60 minutes. Cover the crust with aluminum foil partway through baking so the crust doesn't get burnt.

Recipe slightly adapted from Patrick & Gina Neely.

Mini Baked Turkey Meatballs

Mini Baked Turkey Meatballs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Have you ever had a dish or ingredient that you just can’t ever seem to get right? That sums up my relationship with ground turkey, well at least until I tried these baked turkey meatballs. Meatballs made with ground turkey that are juicy, moist and mouthwatering delicious? Yes folks, I promise you it exists!

Mini Baked Turkey Meatballs  |  Lemon & Mocha

After dry turkey burgers and tasteless turkey meatloaf I was ready to give up on this healthy protein. I wanted something healthy to go along with my spaghetti squash with spinach and mushroom marinara so I decided I would give it one more shot and was met with great success! And deliciousness. They were also easy enough to whip up on a weeknight, which is always a huge bonus.

Mini Baked Turkey Meatballs  |  Lemon & Mocha

This recipe makes enough meatballs to have freezable leftovers so you can have meatballs all week long. Everyone tends to just think of meatballs with spaghetti, but there are endless possibilities with these tasty cuties. Add some melted provolone and have meatballs sliders. Serve them with brown rice & stir fried vegetables for a quick and healthy meal. Heat a few in tomato soup for some added protein. Eat a couple on top of a Greek salad. Or just enjoy them on a big pile of spaghetti with loads of Parmesan.

Mini Baked Turkey Meatballs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Mini Baked Turkey Meatballs
 
Yield: 40 mini meatballs
Ingredients
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • ½ cup grated fresh Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey (look for ground turkey that isn't all turkey breast meat)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing combine all the ingredients except the turkey. Add the ground turkey and mix until just combined.
  3. Form the meatballs with a diameter of 1½" and place evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
Notes
To freeze, place the cooled meatballs so they aren't touching on a baking sheet small enough to fit in your freezer lined with parchment paper. Once the meatballs feel frozen, store in a freezer bag. To reheat, place in sauce while warming up. To heat in the microwave, cook for 1.5-2 minutes for 3 meatballs; 3 minutes for 6 meatballs.

Recipe slightly adapted from Giada De Laurentiis.