Is SPRING here?

The hope of Spring is upon us Wisconsinites.  The weather has been in the 50’s and it’s only March!  The snow is finally melting and though there is still some warming up to do, I can’t wait until the ground thaws a bit so that the first blooms of hyacinth pop through the ice, cold dirt and confirm that SPRING is finally here!

Have a wonderful weekend lovelies!

Ginger-Marscapone Icebox Cake

Someone PLEASE make this and post a comment on how it turned out!  This looks like it would taste soooo amazing!  I don’t have an occasion to make it for just yet….but when I do I’ll post all about it.

Ginger-Mascarpone Icebox Cake

adapted from Fine Cooking
12 ounces gingersnap cookies (any brand that makes a hard, crunchy kind of gingersnap)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 8oz package full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2/3 cup sugar; more for the pan
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (if you have vanilla paste, use it!)
2/3 cup crystallized ginger, minced finely (check the bulk section of your grocery store)
16 oz full-fat mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup heavy cream

Grease an 8 or 9oz springform pan lightly with butter. Dust the pan with a little sugar and knock out any excess. Set aside.

Run the gingersnap cookies through a food processor or blender on high until a you get fine, consistently shaped crumbs (no big clumps). Combine the gingersnap crumbs and butter, rubbing them together with your fingertips to combine thoroughly. Sprinkle half of the crumbs over the bottom of the pan and pat down evenly; set the rest aside.

With an electric mixer, whip together the cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and candied ginger until smooth, scraping down the sides. Add the mascarpone and whip until the mixture for 2 minutes. Add the cream and whip for 1 minute. Don’t overwhip or the mixture may separate.

Carefully spoon half of the mascarpone cream over the gingersnap crust, spreading it evenly to the edges of the pan. Sprinkle *half* of the remaining crumbs over the mascarpone cream in the pan (it doesn’t have to be a perfect layer of crumbs, but be sure to pay attention to the edge of the pan.) Top with remaining mascarpone cream and finish with the remaining crumbs.

Gently tap the pan on the counter to eliminate any air bubbles. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, warm a sharp knife under hot water and dry it off. Cut one slice, clean the knife and warm it again before cutting the next slice.

The Kitchen Cure

Apartment Therapy does this really cool thing every season where they invite the world to join their Kitchen Cure.  It’s a 4-week program designed to get our kitchens clean, healthy and organized.  It’s just what I need as I’m making over my kitchen this spring!

So, I’ve committed myself to the 4-weeks and my first assignment is to clean out the pantry.  I had tackled the pantry food cabinets this past weekend and I scrubbed, scraped, sanded and painted them as if my life depended on it.  I threw out about 5 bags of canned foods, spices and boxed goods…ewww!  I had cleaned out the pantry before this of course, but never this thouroughly!  The results look great, and I hope that the hubby and the cutie can help me keep it that way!

Anyway, I’m so committed to this and can’t wait until my kitchen has been cured!  Here are the before and after pics of week one’s assignment.  Btw, it’s not too late to join if anyone’s interested!  Go to the Kitchen Cure web site and sign up now!