Valentine’s Luncheon

February 13, 2017

Today in Food Styling, the class helped Chef Mary Helen prepare food and table decorations for a Passport to Wellness healthy food luncheon.

I made mini cheesecakes, again. I made these mini cheesecakes last week for a Project CHEW dinner event. Project CHEW stands for Cook Healthy. Eat Well. For the event I made 150 mini cheesecakes, and today I made 30 more! I have pretty much memorized the recipe. It is as follows:

Mini Cheesecakes


  • 1 1/4 cups Graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tbsps. Salted butter, melted


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 [8 oz] Greek yogurt cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Fat free plain yogurt
  • 3 tbsp Evaporated skim milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs and butter until evenly moistened. Divide mixture among 12 paper lined muffin cups, adding about 1 1/2 tbsp to each cup. Use PAPER liners, no foil liners, and press mixture into an even layer in the bottom of cups.
  3. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  5. Add cream cheese to a mixing bowl and pour sugar on top. Blend mixture with a paddle attachment on low speed until just smooth.
  6. Stir in eggs one at a time, mixing until just combined. Blend in sour cream and skim milk until just combined. Stir in vanilla extract.
  7. Tap mixing bowl on counter to release air bubbles, about 30 times. Divide mixture into muffin liners. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes until center only jiggle slightly. Allow to cool at room temperature for 1 hour then refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.
    Drizzle with chocolate sauce and top with a raspberry if desired.


.After completing the mini cheesecakes I went and helped decorate the tables with strawberry roses that a few other girls in class had been working on earlier. At first we were going to make two big bouquet of the strawberry roses in a vase filled with rice. Allie, Mary, and I all thought that the juxtaposition of the rice and strawberries were weird, and that the skewers we were using were not that attractive. Then we up rice in a shot glass with the strawberry roses on top. We also thought that that looked weird. I suggested using sugar in the shot glasses. We pierced each rose through the bottom with a skewer, and stuck it into the shot glass filled with sugar. We used them on the table as an edible decoration.

I think they turned out real cute. img_5236

I stayed to help work the luncheon. For the luncheon we served a wedge salad with Greek yogurt ranch dressing topped with croutons and crumbled turkey bacon. For the entree
was a cauliflower boursin cheese mash with a fillet minion and oven roasted a asparagus. One girl in class made these beautiful tomato roses to garnish the plate. For dessert was my mini cheesecakes.

For the luncheon, Chef Mary Helen demos how to make all the components of the dishes. She let me demo my cheesecakes, because I got so good at making them plus it is good practice for one of my other classes, Demonstration Techniques. I got up there and demonstrated how to make the crust, and told them how to make the filling, scooped them in to the cupcake liners in the tins and popped them in the oven. At the end to told them the calories per serving for the cheesecakes, they only have 104 calories, which is great considering they are a decadent (but healthier) dessert.

Next week we won’t be having class but the week after that we are meeting at our local Walmart where Chef Mary Helen will reveal to us our midterm project!

~Holly O


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