Saturday, December 30, 2017

Recipe #62 - Good Winter Cheesecake

This one is a conglomerate of what I've found I really like in a good hearty cheesecake. It's got that classic rich, dense New York style taste and consistency, and goes good by itself or with divers toppings.

For the crust:
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
6 tbs of butter melted

For the filling:
3 bricks of cream cheese softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 pint of sour cream
3 eggs
Juice of one lemon - about a quarter cup

I like to start by setting out the eggs, cream cheese, and sour cream so they can get close to room temperature.

I line the bottom of a ten inch spring-form dish with wax paper and give the inside a good spray with canola oil.

Melt the butter in a small mixing bowl and stir in the crumbs, sugar, and vanilla.

Dump the crust into the pan and spread out nice with the bottom of a jar or something of that nature.

Place the crust in the fridge while you make the filling, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

I juice the lemon and then crack the eggs into the same container while I work the creamy items...

Our house is pretty cold so I nuke the cream cheese to help soften it up - about 90 seconds typically. You just don't want it to curdle.

Beat on low speed until creamy smooth, then add the sweetened condensed milk. Continue to mix until well blended.

Add the sour cream and beat until smooth.

Then add the eggs and lemon juice and beat until smooth and creamy.

Pour the batter into the crust and smooth out the top with your favorite spatula.


I don't bake the cake in a water bath, but I bake it directly over a casserole dish with water in it. Don't know if it makes a difference, but I haven't had one crack in the cake since I started doing it this way.

Bake at 300 for one hour.

Then, turn off the oven, and let the cake cool in the oven for another hour. Don't open the oven to look at it - it's fine.

Then, pull it out of the oven and let it cool for one more hour on top of the stove.

Then, let it finish setting up in the fridge overnight uncovered - to let the moisture evaporate and not condense and fall back into the cake.

Tomorrow, carefully remove the pan sides and bottom and put it in a cheesecake holder., Then cut several pieces for dessert... be sure to share.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Another couple of inches yestreday and overnight, i will be shoveling after I do up the morning dishes. Episode 8 later and then some local college basketball from Little Caesars Arena.

Praise God for His creation!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Chicken Soup Variation #3

I threw this together on a blustery December Sunday in Whitmore Lake. I had some cabbage and broccoli I needed to use up, so I grabbed some chicken from my favorite meat market on the way home from morning Mass and used our newly refurbished Whirlpool range to create this comfort food delight.


3 split chicken breasts
seasoning for stock: kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, parsley, sage, oregano, basil, tarragon, sage, bay leaves
1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic
2 ribs celery diced
6 chicken bouillon cubes - (thank you, Ree Drummond)

4 tbs flour
4 tbs butter

1/2 head cabbage shredded
3 crowns broccoli diced
4 carrots sliced
1 onion sliced
3 ribs celery sliced
I can of Cream of Mushroom Soup

I started with the chicken in my favorite stock pot covered with cold water, and added the bouillon cubes, seasoning, onion, celery, and garlic. The chicken was a bit frozen when I began boiling it, so I let it go about an hour total, at a rolling boil.

When the chicken was all cooked, I pulled it out, and poured the stock through a fine mesh strainer - discarding the solids. The meat I removed to a platter to let cool before taking out the skin and bones.

The stock I then put back on the stove at a medium simmer and added the can of soup, celery, carrots, onion, cabbage, and broccoli - in that order.

In my favorite Copper Chef pan, I melted the half stick of butter and whisked in the flour to make a nice roux, then added this to the simmering stock.

As soon as the meat was cool enough to handle, i removed it from the skin, bones, and cartilage, and chopped it roughly before adding it to the stock. With everything in the pot now, I let it simmer for about a half hour covered and stirring frequently (with that roux, the flour will cause it to stick to the bottom of the pot - be vigilant!)

The mushroom soup was the secret ingredient, adding enough saltiness and flavour to give this dish a ten stars rating.

Thank You, Father, for a wonderful meal; thank You for providing enough to share this afternoon. 
God be praised!