So last week I wasn't able to participate in SMS because I do not own an ice cream maker. A travesty, I know... there are just so many attachments to my KitchenAid mixer that I want to acquire yet I just can't seem to justify the money nor the added clutter. But anyways, looking at everyone's pictures of ice cream really got to me so I went out and bought a pint of Haagen Dazs Vanilla Honey Bee (which, I might add, is definitely my new favorite!) to satisfy my ice cream cravings.

Head on over to Karen's site for the recipe and some pretty pictures.

Last weekend was also July 4th weekend, and K and I didn't do anything out of the ordinary. It was quite a quiet weekend; I mean, I also had to work on Friday (from home) so I really didn't have an extended weekend or anything. It was also a mini break before my second session of summer classes started so I actually got to breathe a little bit. On Sunday, we decided to head out and do a little shopping for our upcoming trip to St. Croix. We've been having the weirdest weather in New York this summer; it's almost like we haven't had a summer yet and we're just going straight into fall?! And to illustrate this point, I was not able to find swimsuits except for the occasional small rack of mismatched sale items. What the heck?! I was sorely disappointed.

Which leads me to our visit to Ippudo. Since we were in the SoHo area anyways, we decided to take our chances... and guess what! Apparently when it's a long weekend, nobody goes to Ippudo so we had no wait whatsoever. In fact, there were quite a number of empty seats.

We ordered the Harata Buns... which is seriously indescribable. You just have to eat it and you will know what I mean. SO GOOD. I am salivating as I recall the memories of it, haha. They are little steams buns (in Taiwanese, we call them "gua bao") filled with fatty pork bellies and a little bit of lettuce, drenched in a spicy & sweet sauce. It's very similar to Peking duck, but even better because it's not as oily as Peking duck. They are quite expensive though - 2 for $8... but I think it is definitely worth a try (or two or three...) We will definitely have these in the future, despite the high price tag.

So K ordered the Classic Ramen, while I ordered the Tori Ramen. The only thing that seemed to be different from the menu description was our broth, which is really what makes or breaks a bowl of ramen. His was just the regular tonkatsu, while mine was chicken soup with tonkatsu. (Classic on the left, Tori on the right)

Now as you can see, the ingredients are fairly similar; we both had Berkshire pork BUT they both had different flavors. His was more of a broth cooked, natural flavor, while mine was sort of a roasted pork kind of flavor (I liked his version better, but my soup more).

This Ippudo trip was definitely enjoyable and opened our eyes to how good Ramen can be outside of Japan. We used to travel all the way to Mitsuwa in Jersey to get good Ramen at Santouku, but now we can just goto Ippudo... if only we had the patience to wait on the horrendous lines...

65 4th Avenue
New York, NY


Now, this week's SMS recipe is the Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake with Cornmeal Crumble Crust chosen by Eliana. Personally, I am not a big fan of lemon nor blueberry, and I debated whether or not I should skip this week (yet again, ugh). But I decided to change it up a bit and personalize it to something that I would actually enjoy. Coincidentally, I was also meeting up with some friends for potluck this weekend and had been asked to make my green tea cupcakes. So then I thought... green tea cheesecake! Kill two birds with one stone!!

I made a few changes to the recipe:
• I made the crust exactly as described, but with vanilla wafers instead of cornmeal; I thought of using graham crackers, but I wasn't sure how that would taste with green tea, so stuck to vanilla wafers.
• I halved the recipe for the filling since I felt like there would be TOO much cream cheese.
• Instead of the lemon zest and lemon juice it called for, I used green tea powder dissolved in warm water.

As you can see, I had a little trouble getting the cake out of the springform pan. I'm not sure what it is, but when I tried to slide a knife between the cake and the pan, it would pull up the cream cheese filling? Why does it do that?! It made my cheesecake look really ugly, that's for sure. Even K was like, "Uhhh what did you do to it?"

So after nearly destroying it with a knife, I put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, I also had a LOT of trouble trying to get the cake OFF the bottom of the pan. What a nightmare. I actually had to cut out each individual piece in order to get them off, so I'm not sure how I would fare if I had to serve this as a whole.

HOWEVER, all this hard work really paid off, because the cake came out really good (taste-wise, of course). It was creamy, yet not too cream cheesey, which I think a lot of cheesecakes tend to do. It wasn't heavy due to the mascarpone used and the green tea flavor was subtle, not overwhelming and just really added to the taste.

Now, if only I could perfect the aesthetics.....

Comments (2)

On July 13, 2009 at 10:09 AM , karen said...

Looks good although you butchered it! LOL!

Did you chill the cake completely before trying to take it out of the pan?

On July 13, 2009 at 5:13 PM , The Bahens said...

Mine stuck to the bottom too. Even after I spent 5 minutes cutting out that parchment paper circle!