Thursday, July 5, 2007

I might as well face it,

I'm addicted to blog! I confess, I am having so much fun with my new little project that I wake up wondering what I'm going to write about. There are so many options and heavens knows that I never run out of things to say! I just deleted a post that was much too long all about whether or not to cut my hair. I decided not to bore you with such a self-centered topic (but if you have an opinion on short vs. long hair, please send me a comment. I'm seriously considering mine off again at my next appointment on Monday. And by the way, I made it so that anyone can comment without registering. We'll try that out and see how it works.)
This photo (by Maggie Rassmussen) was taken on our family reunion trip to Newport Beach in May, which was positively fabulous. We stayed in an amazing beach house half a block from the beach that actually had enough rooms for all 22 of us to be comfortable and not make each other too crazy. I love that Maggie caught Ian's run, because I just love watching him move--and his run is hysterical. He s himself back like he's a superhero about to take off at light speed and then dashes away and we are left grinning. Too cute. It's hard to imagine right now that he'll ever have a gawky stage when he just is so adorable.
Today I made a lemon raspberry cheesecake for my friend, Laura, who wants to do cheesecake for her wedding cake instead of the standard. After shopping around and discovering the amounts that a professionally decorated wedding cheesecake can fetch, I offered to make the cheesecake portion and recommended someone who can do the fondant and piping portion. However, that was weeks ago and I still hadn't gotten around to making a test run cheesecake (we'd like to try it out with the fondant and then put it outside an a summer's evening and see what happens.) This morning I determined to do it. Jared questioned my sanity when he came home at 1:00pm and found me in the kitchen with the oven on--since it was 105 today in our town, you do have to wonder what I was thinking.
Anyhow, this recipe is one that I created a few years ago when I was trying to win the Philidelphia Cream Cheese Taste The Riches recipe contest. I spent that fall busily coming up with cheesecakes that I thought would wow the judges and planned my trip to NYC to have lunch with the editor of Gourmet magazine, not to mention how I would spend the $100k cash prize--and then they never contacted me to tell me that I had won!
So, I'm giving it to you. One day it may go in the cookbook that I want to publish, but for now it will go to my loyal readers!:) Try it out--it's fab. Sorry for the lack of picture--it's still chilling in the pan.

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake
  • 5 8oz packages cream cheese at room temperature (the light will work if you're cutting calories and not making this for a wedding! DO NOT use the fat free. If you can't afford the calories from the light cream cheese, just have some carrots and move on!)
  • 1 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 c. sour cream or light sour cream but not fat free
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice (yes, fresh does make a difference)
  • zest of two lemons
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries (or 1 1/2 c. frozen, not thawed)
  • 1 c. prepared lemon curd (Trader Joe's sells it if you don't want to make it, but it's better homemade and you'll have a little leftover to eat with a spoon!)
Preheat the oven to 350.
For the Crust: I prefer to make a shortbread crust for this, but a graham er one will work. You can make a batch of shortbread for the crust or you can buy some good shortbread cookies at Trader Joes, stick them in your food processor, and then bind them with a little melted butter and press into the bottom of your 9 or 10 inch springform pan. With either crust, I recommend baking it for about 20 minutes for it to set--if you make a shortbread recipe, cook it until the shortbread is almost done (about 45 minutes for most recipes.)

Once the crust is ready, let it cool and get started on the filling. Mix the cream cheese for about 2 minutes in your stand mixer until it's nice and creamy. Add the sugar and mix again until smooth. (If you didn't wait for the cream cheese to come to room temp you are now dealing with lumps, so just wait the extra hour for it to soften up.) Add the sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix until combined, then add the eggs and mix until combined, about 1 minute on medium speed.
Pour the cheese mixture into your springform pan with the crust that's been cooling. Scatter the raspberries across the top of the pan and gently submerge them into the batter.
Put foil around the bottom of the pan and up the sides, then place the springform on a jelly roll pan (that's a cookie sheet with sides, folks). Place it in the oven and put about 4 cups of hot water in the jellyroll pan to give this baby a water bath.
Bake for about 90 minutes, but check it regularly after an hour. When it's done, it will be a bit jiggly but a knife will come out clean (or your digital instant read thermometer will say 160 F.) Turn off the oven and let it sit for an hour in there. Remove from oven but leave it in the pan. Bring to room temperature, then cover and chill overnight.
When completely chilled, remove sides of pan. Spread lemon curd over the top of the cheesecake and chill for at least one more hour. Serve with a drizzle of raspberry sauce on the plate. You should get about 16 servings from this recipe.
(Since this one is going to have fondant over it, I put the layer of lemon curd in the middle, after putting in half of the cheese mixture, and then covered it with the remaining cheese and went from there.)
Hopefully this turns out to work great and some of you will get to sample it at Laura's wedding on August 18th. I'll post a picture later.
Now I'm off to kiss my sleeping children goodnight.


Anonymous said...

Well, I LOVE your blog! This is the second morning in a row that I've been trying to work on my sharing time for Primary, but have got caught up reading your blogs.

I just think your great and very inspiring! So ... thanks! :)

As for your hair ... so, it's long eh? I haven't seen it long (side note: I've been growing mine long too ... must be the "cancer" in us!) However, I have seen your hair short and have thought that you've looked fantastic &loved it every time. My vote would be, pick a short and sassy look and it will look fabulous I'm sure! :) Though don't forget the "con's" of a short hair cut, you can't toss it up in a pony quickly, and you do have to style it. On the other hand, when you do style it, it is quick! So, good luck with whatever you choose, I'm sure you'll look amazing.

Your kids are so sweet! You have a wonderful family, it's fun to watch them grow. :)

Lots of love,
Carmie :)

Anonymous said...

I have to say that everyday I look forward to seeing what you wrote today. You inspire me so Please keep up the good work.

I think if your ready for a change go for it, of course I just cut 9 inches off mine so I;m a little biased. At first I wasnt sure about it but now I'm really enjoying it. I think you look great either way so do what makes you feel best.Can't wait to see it ...

Lots of Love,

Michal said...

i miss you! i haven't seen you in forever. i'm sure i would be shocked at how big your kids are!
thanks for the input on the hair cut. i think i may go for it tomorrow.

Michal said...

thanks for the encouragement. i am having so much fun with this, but it helps to know that someone is reading and enjoying it.
thanks for being my friend and fan!