10×40 : 40 Days to Go

So, here we are, readers. My 10×40 cooking goal list is still incomplete.  6 down. 4 to go.

I don’t want you to think I haven’t been cooking. I’ve been cooking a lot.  But these still linger, waiting to be made.

As my 40th birthday draws closer, I find myself making excuses to not finish the list. ‘We’re too busy with the kiddo.’, ‘We’ve got too much going on every weekend…can’t I have one to myself?’, ‘I can make one of my other dishes I know I’m good at this time…I’ll be brave next time.’

But enough is enough. It’s time to face these recipes. I’ve picked the following:

  • Tamales from Pinch and Swirl. These are made with Monterrey Jack and Green Chiles. I’m in love already.

Image courtesy of pinchandswirl.com

  • Soufflé from the one and only Julia Child. I’ll use my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Image courtesy of YouTube.com

Yeast Rolls from RealLifeDinner. The name of ‘Lunch Lady Cafeteria Rolls’ was enough to add this to my list.


Image courtesy of reallifedinner.com

A beautiful three-layer cake from Gonna Want Seconds. I love strawberry cake and she starts this recipe with a cake mix. She also includes a video on her post. That will be very helpful!


Image courtesy of gonnawantseconds.com

So…stayed tuned for updates!

Biscoff Cheesecake

A few weeks ago, the folks over at Biscoff were kind enough to send me a free package of their amazing cookies.  I, in turn, created a cheesecake from the cookies.

As you know, I have a list of ten things I want to learn to cook before I’m forty, and cheesecake was on of the things on the list.

So, when  Biscoff emailed me offering a package of cookies, the cheesecake immediately came to mind.  These cookies give the crust a little something more than graham crackers do…and it makes me want to experiment more with different crusts.

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes



  • 20 Biscoff cookies
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 5 Tbsp (70 g) unsalted butter (if using salted butter, omit the pinch of salt), melted


  • 2 pounds cream cheese (900 g), room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar (270 g)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream (160 ml)
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream (160 ml)

Special equipment needed

  • 9-inch, 2 3/4-inch high spring-form pan
  • Heavy-duty, 18-inch wide aluminum foil
  • A large, high-sided roasting pan
  1. Prepare the pan so that no water leaks into it while cooking. Place a large square of aluminum foil on a flat surface. Place the pan in the middle of the foil. Gently fold up the foil around the pan. Make sure to do this carefully so that no holes are created in the foil. If there are holes, water will get into the pan and ruin the crust. Press the foil around the edges of the pan. Place a second square of foil underneath the pan, and again, fold up the sides of the foil around the pan and press the foil against the pan. Gently crimp the foil around the top edge of the pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°, with rack in lower third of oven. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Put in a large bowl, and stir in the sugar and salt. Use your hands to stir in the melted butter.
  3. Put all but 1/4 cup of the graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of the spring-form pan. (Save the rest in case you have any holes that need to be filled in.) Gently press down on the crumbs until they are an even layer at the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool and reduce the oven temperature to 325°.
  4. Cut the cream cheese into chunks and place in the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes until smooth. Add the sugar, and mix for 4 minutes more. Add the salt and vanilla, mixing after each addition. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Add the sour cream and heavy cream, until incorporated.
  5. Place the cake pan in a large, high-sided pan. Prepare 2 quarts of boiling water. Pour the cream cheese filling into the cake pan, over the crust. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Place the large pan with the cake pan in it on the lower rack. Carefully pour the hot water into the large pan to create a water bath for the cheesecake. Fill it until the water reaches halfway up the side of the cake pan, about 1 1/4 inches. Cook at 325°F for 1 ½ hours.
  6. Turn off the heat of the oven. Crack open the oven door 1-inch, and let the cake cool in the oven for another hour.
  7. Cover the top of the cheesecake with foil, so that it doesn’t actually touch the cheesecake. Chill in the refrigerator for a  minimum of 4 hours, or overnight.


10×40: Always There, Never Forgotten

As another birthday looms on the horizon, I realize that my 10×40 List sits there, unloved and sticking its tongue at me.

I could blame my busy work life, home life, anything…but the truth is, I’ve been lazy about cooking lately.

So, it’s time to cross another item off the list.

What should I tackle next?

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