DIY Candied Ginger (and related cheesecake)

When we moved to Boston in August we  spent nights watching Netflix and singing remixed songs to our pets (i.e. the chart-topping hit  “Teddy Boy” sung to the tune of “Danny Boy”). Don’t get me wrong – these evenings had their own special appeal – but I started to go a little nuts. I wished so hard for a way to fast-forward the friend making process, but how do you make friends as a working adult?

No really. Do you have any advice? Besides the obvious don’t tell them about the remixed pet songs??

My mom’s answer for finding a girlfriend/boyfriend and finding friends is the same – go to church. To mom’s credit, the two searches do have a lot in common. Read and I chatted with a friendly dog-owner in the park this fall who just moved from Cali, and when it came time to leave both sides awkwardly hesitated. “Um, so…if you ever want to walk dogs together…I mean…do you maybe want to trade numbers?”

Kitty love

O Teddy boyyyy, the pipes the pipes are callllllinggg..

Slowly but surely we’ve been been able to swap out nights at home with social activities. Drinks after work with coworkers. Watching the Rose Bowl with the neighbors. This past Friday Read pointed out with pride that we had something scheduled for each weekend night. Don’t laugh at us…we were genuinely proud. Friday was a burlesque show in Back Bay (his classmate was the fully-clothed singing act at intermission), tonight is watching the Oscars with neighbors, and last night we  cooked dinner at my coworker’s apartment. The theme was Moroccan-(ish) and Misty and I combed food blogs last week to develop the menu:

Chicken Tagine with Chickpeas and Mint

Carrot Salad with Harissa

Mini Ginger Cheesecakes topped with Lemon Curd

Carrot Salad

I couldn't find Harissa so I substituted a little siracha

Chicken Tagine with Chickpeas

Between the Le Creuset pot and the stainless steel range, I had a bad case of kitchen envy

I fell in love with the cheesecake recipe before reading all of the directions and realizing that I was committing to an extra step: DIY candied ginger and ginger syrup. It took a while to cook the syrup down so we were late to dinner, but the final product made up for it. A little sweet, a little zing, and just the right marriage of ginger and lemon. We didn’t have a mini muffin tin so we used a 9″ springform pan and the cheesecake was thin like a tart. I ate a leftover slice for breakfast this morning and then scrubbed the stovetop free of hardened sugar syrup.

DIY candied ginger and syrup

Getting ready to peel and slice 1 lb. of ginger

DIY candied ginger and syrup

Cooking down the ginger and sugar syrup until it reaches 225 F

Ginger Lemon Cheesecake

Ginger Cheesecake with Lemon Curd

The best part was that there was enough leftover ginger and syrup for two pint jars. How pretty is that?

DIY candied ginger in syrup

DIY candied ginger in syrup




  1. Pingback: Knitting Friend Blind Date « Foxflat's Blog
  2. tami · March 8, 2011

    i will try not to be jealous that you are making dinners and friends with other people! emily and i were weeping about missing you last night–over my gourmet dinner of:
    -celery root and golden delicious apple soup
    -candied pecan, pear, and spinach salad
    -mushroom polenta “lasagna”
    -pork loin with cherry sauce
    actually, the weeping part happened in the hot tub–after dinner.

    • foxflat · March 8, 2011

      that dinner sounds AWESOME!!! our jealousies can have a duel. I think mine will win because there was definitely no Tami, Emily, or hot tub in my evening 😦

  3. Lan · March 2, 2011

    so very glad that you were able to make the candied ginger AND cheesecake.
    when i first moved to Baltmore 10 years ago, i didn’t know anyone. i would drive the hour to the DC area to hang with friends. i finally stopped & joined a site called i’ve met some wonderful people, with the same interests & hobbies as me. of course, i’ve met some great local food bloggers as well.
    these things take time but it will happen.

    good luck to you.

  4. Julie · February 28, 2011

    those recipes look amazing!! I totally know what you mean, it’s a lot harder to make friends without the automatic social structure of going to class as a student. Have you thought about doing a ravelry search to see if there are any knitting groups in your area that you could go to? The other possibility might be a class of some kind, like cooking or crafting, something that isn’t awkward to join on your own. Then at least you’re meeting people who like some of the same things you do. I’ve actually found some very good offline friends through ravelry- so you never know!

    • foxflat · February 28, 2011

      Ravelry groups are a good idea Julie! thank you. I’m encouraged by the fact that you’ve used it to find offline friends 🙂

  5. bonniehull · February 28, 2011

    …it took us ten years to make grown-up friends (actually, I’m not sure we HAVE any grown up friends…) I’ve always BOUGHT candied ginger…GOOD FOR YOU! (PS Le Creuset looks prettier than it cooks…) XO

  6. barefootrooster · February 27, 2011

    grown-up friend making IS hard. good for you guys! (i might sing to boh sometimes too. don’t tell.) that candied ginger looks amazing. hooray for building a community.

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