Thursday, June 19, 2014

FOOD | A No-Bake Greek Yogurt Birthday Cheesecake

Be thankful. 

With the woman who brought me to this world, I celebrated my 19th revolution around the Sun. Woo! I feel like as I grow older I become less creative in terms of things to do on my birthday as well as birthday gifts. When my Mom asked me what I wanted this year, I really couldn't think of anything off the top of my head. I think people these days are often too caught up in materialistic things, of course that includes myself. This year, I just want to be thankful that I had an amazing year at university and now have finally came home and can be with my Mom. Honestly, what more can we ask for other than just being alive and healthy and happy? 

While I was getting ready to go out, as I brushed through my hair, I remembered how my Mom used to do my hair in all kinds of creative styles back when I was in elementary school in Shanghai. You know them Chinese mamas have got the best hand in creating art pieces with the little amount of hair on your 7 years-old head. And the hair ties they use, the ones with the little plastic charms on both ends? These things hurt like a real mofo when your Mom accidentally snap them onto your head. Someone please tell me you know what I'm talking about...

Time sure flies by. I can still remember holding onto my Mom's fingers asking her to buy me chocolate - okay, confession, that may or may not still happen today. Shameless. But nonetheless, I have grown up and in the past 19 years she has been my rock and has bathed me in love, care, and support. 我的生日同时也是妈妈的受难日. This is a Chinese saying that loosely translates to "my birthday is also Mom's suffering day". Ten months of discomfort and hurting, our mothers give us life. Every year on my birthday, I can't help to imagine the amount of pain my Mom had to go through when she gave birth to me. I mean, I moan over a half inch paper cut for God's sake... And on top of that, all these years of worrying about me, taking care of me, raising me had brought my Mom (and of course everyone's parents) wrinkles and white hair. As much as I would like to, I have yet to gain the skills to have a proper and well-paid job to repay my Mom for all her hard work. So I take small steps. 

I made this cake not only to celebrate my birthday, more importantly to give thanks to my mother.

Anyway, let's get to the meat of this post!


*this recipe makes about 12 mini cheesecakes

You will need these ingredients:
  • 1 C graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 C regular granulated sugar (or you can substitute for healthier alternatives like stevia,  4-6 packets would be ample)
  • 1/4 C melted salted butter 
  • 1 package of Philadelphia cream cheese (250g), room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 C plain Greek yogurt (I used Liberté, but OIKO or Chobani would work just as well)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/3 C liquid honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Some fresh or frozen blueberries
Of course, feel free to adjust the recipe to your like!

  1. Mix together the crust ingredients until well combined. Using a spoon, firmly press the crust mixture into a muffin tin (or if you have cupcake linings, you can use those and then place them on a tray). 
  2. Place them in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Using a stand mixer, mix the cream cheese until it has a creamy texture.
  4. Add in all the other filling ingredients except for the blueberries. Mix well.
  5. With a spoon, fill the muffin tin half full with the filling. Place a few blueberries on top, and add another layer of the cheesecake filling.
  6. Once you are finished with that, cover the trays with some plastic wrap and leave in the freezer for about 8 hours.
  7. Take them out about 10 minutes before you serve them. Add toppings as desired.

And voila! 
Good luck and Enjoy! :)

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