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What’s for Dinner: Toffee Cheesecake with Caramel

My brothers and I hosted a Superbowl party, yesterday, for some of our cousins.

For dessert? I made another variation of a cheesecake: this time, I made a Toffee Cheesecake. If there is any doubt I love cheesecakes, check the different variations I have made and posted the recipes of on here

What I used:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons of [unsalted] butter, melted
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 8 ounce bag of Toffee bits
  • 1 tablespoon of All-Purpose flour
  • Caramel

How I made it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine the butter and graham crackers. Press the mixture into the bottom [and across the lower sides if you would like] of your springform pan to form the crust.
  3. Next, in a large bowl, beat your cream cheese until it is smooth. Add in the condensed milk and beat the mixture well [until it is evenly incorporated].
  4. Next, add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Do not over beat the mixture, just enough until your mixture is smooth.
  5. Coat your toffee bits with the tablespoon of flour. Why you ask? Read my tip down below why I do this.
  6. Fold in about one cup of the toffee bits into the cheesecake batter.
  7. Pour your cheesecake batter over your graham cracker based crust.
  8. Sprinkle the top with the remaining toffee bits.
  9. Bake for 60-70 minutes.
  10. Let the cheesecake cool, and then either put the Caramel on top like I did… or drizzle on each individual piece as serving.

Tip: In order to make sure the toffee doesn’t sink to the bottom, coat your toffee with a little bit of All-Purpose flourTrust me, newbie me had chocolate chips sink to the bottom once… but I turned it into a positive thing by having an extra layer of chocolate… who doesn’t like chocolate!

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes. Grab and share my button:

Hajj Friends

Saturday night, several of the local NJ families from our hajj group finally got together. I say finally because we have been trying to make it happen since we got back from hajj six months ago but life kept getting in the way. Alhumdulillah for a huge and close-knit family, but sometimes that makes it nearly impossible to meet with other social circles. Not to mention, my life has been nothing but chaos this first quarter of the year.

Over the course of the past six months, I can’t tell you how many people have told me how nice it is how we have stayed in contact with people in our hajj group– that they don’t even remember most of who were in theirs, etc.

I have stayed in contact with several people over the phone, texting and of course Facebook… but to see them after so long? Joyous. Alhumdulillah, we picked up right where we left off. Reflecting, reminiscing… and recounting the many funny stories of course.

The friendship/bond I have with a select few of them is indescribable. It’s like we have known each other our whole lives, except for the fact that they were mere strangers six months ago who have become like family since then. No formality, no fuss: just plainly and simply a fun time with down to earth people.

I don’t know if our paths would have ever crossed, even though so many of us are from New Jersey, had we not been in the same hajj group. What I do know is this: they were [and are] a huge part of the “hajj experience” for me. I am thankful for their friendship and I am thankful we shared the experience(s) of hajj together. I hope no matter what the distance between us may be, that our friendship surpasses that.

We met and became friends in one of the greatest ways possible. Not to mention in the greatest place possible. The stories, memories and experiences we share are like no other.

And for that, they will always hold a special place in my heart. May our friendship grow even stronger over the years.

InshAllah, I can’t wait  to have the group gather again soon [and hopefully it won’t take another six months this time around]… you know, before I leave for the other end of the world… 🙂

Full Circle

I met my friend Vanessa Ma over four years ago at orientation where we were roommates and began our experience at Rutgers University together; earlier tonight, we attended our last class together at Rutgers University as undergraduates.

It’s crazy how fast the four years have gone by, but it’s pretty neat that it came to a fill circle with Vanessa.

 P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Winter Break ’09

Why is it that it seems like we wait for vacation for so long and then when it finally comes, it just flies by… no matter how long (or short) it really was. It feels like winter break just started, but it is going by so fast and already coming to an end and classes start again on January 19th (and I start working on the 17th after requesting the winter break off to study) – and it’ll be my last semester as an undergraduate. SO hard to fathom!

This break was pretty low key – we didn’t travel anywhere too far… but did a lot of little things here and there (and had A LOT of dinner parties!).

Oh and i think i made up for the fact that i watched like no movies throughout last year (read this post from last month), by watching both Avatar (with a lot of my cousins and Faraz) and Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel (with my parents and Faraz) in my winter break.

I also got a chance to catch up with Yasmin on Monday of last week. I’ve known Yasmin since the seventh grade (when I first moved to New Jersey) and she’s been a great friend since. We went to different schools for the first time last year when she decided to transfer to a different college. Even though I don’t get a chance to see her too often nowadays, everytime I do – it’s like I see her all the time. Some things, fortunately, don’t change.

And of course, I studied, studied, studied for the LSATs. I can’t even stress how much I’m looking forward to February 6th to get them over with (and hopefully with a decent score, of course). It sucks that I spent a lot of summer break and now my winter break studying for them. Hopefully, it pays off this time. Once I get my scores three weeks after taking the exam, I have some serious decision making to do.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

MB Muslima Magazine

I haven’t really had time to post recently (LSATs are less than two months away and i need all the studying time i can get), but i definitely wanted to post about this.

As i mentioned in an earlier post, my friend Yasmin recently started working on creating an online magazine for Muslim women (others are, of course, more than welcome to read and give their two cents). today the first issue of Modest Beautiful Muslima Magazine is set to be released… and mashallah, it has turned out extremely well.

Click here to go to the home of Modest Beautiful Muslima (or MBM for short) Magazine to browse.

I’m so proud of you Yasmin – I knew you would do an incredible job.

Week in Review

It’s been a little over a week of summer vacation and i am LOVING the down time. It’s nice not having too constantly stress over deadlines… and these past few days have been a lot of fun especially.

This past thursday was shazia’s and zehra’s graduation. because they graduated from different colleges within Rutgers and the timing overlapped, i went to shazia’s graduation. it was a pretty long ceremony (and about 2,675 graduates), and it was pretty hot, but still a lot of fun. Later that night, we went to zehra’s for a BBQ dinner to celebrate (and the food was delicious – i LOVE bihari kakab and bbq chicken!)

then on friday, the girls went out to dinner at red lobster to celebrate shazia’s graduation. afterwards, we went to finally see the movie Angels and Demons… and my goodness was it gruesome! It was good overall, just not my type of movie.

sunday, we had another one of our monthly game nights (at imran’s) and then a couple of my cousins and i ended up sleeping over there. monday (yesterday) morning was another crazy morning as we got everything ready for zehra’s surprise graduation picnic party. the weather was HOT but it was a lot of fun and i’m SO glad the surprise wasn’t ruined!

i have had next to no sleep these past six days and so it has been very tiring BUT so much fun! i definitely want to enjoy this summer as much as a possibly can. All the planning and craziness for the parties paid off, alhumduillah and everything was a lot of fun.

Congratulations once again to Shazia and Zehra (and all the other graduates)! I’m so proud of you and your accomplishments!

this past friday i also FINALLY registered for the LSATs for the upcoming september, which means i REALLY have to start studying now! I can’t believe I’m graduating next year!

On a completely different note, i woke up this morning to realize that Obama has chosen federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be nominated to be a Supreme Court Justice. She’s a women obviously and i knew he was going to pick a women (he better had). And many speculated it would be a hispanic… and with Sotomayor, Obama chose the first hispanic and she’s still a woman. The last few days have been so busy, that i haven’t even read the news lately – so i didn’t even realize Obama was about to announce his nomination. Oh well.

Catching Up

My first week of classes is finally over! Only about a million more to go (or so it seems…)

I don’t know why, but it seems as if EVERY semester my classes schedule gets messed up. This is now my sixth semester, and I’ve yet to have a semester where going into the first week of classes – my schedule is completely set and that I’m satisfied – and this semester was no different. My schedule was all over the place, but thankfully – I think I finally got it fixed yesterday … and as an added bonus, even though I’m taking six classes, I have Fridays off!

Just the thought of taking six classes again is stressing me out, but a few of these classes shouldn’t be too bad (I hope!) My classes are from a variety of subjects this semester (2 Psychology Courses, 2 Sociology Courses, and 2 Political Science Courses) so it’s going to be a nice change of pace.

This weekend should be great: tonight, a bunch of my girl cousins and I are going out to celebrate my cousins’ engagement.. so that should be fun. Then on Sunday morning – I’m finally going to see my friend Yasmin after such a long time! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing her – I’ve known her since middle school and it’ll be great to catch up with her! Even though I don’t get to see her as often as I used to (or as often as I’d like), we definitely have a great time when we do see each other.