My First Cheesecake — Room For Improvement!

The weekend is here and if you’re heading out to the Mississippi Valley Fair, keep up on the latest forecast and radar because we could have strong to severe thunderstorms with wind and heavy rain this afternoon and evening.  That’s not a forecast that concert or fair-goers want to hear, but it’s music to the ears of farmers and my yard and gardens.  Sunday will be much nicer with highs only in the low-80s, compared to the low-to-mid-90s we’ve been experiencing.

If you like watching me do weather, you’re in luck.  Not only do I do my typical weekend shows, but I’ll there Monday through Wednesday at 5 & 6 p.m. filling in for Terry.

I enjoyed my two days off Thursday and Friday.  I did some running around the first day and I finally did something that I’ve been talking about for some time.  Two Christmases ago, I asked Santa for cheesecake spring-form pans and got four!  But, I never made a cheesecake — until Thursday.

I had several recipes, so let Ray choose the flavor.  While I would have chosen orange-cranberry (which I’ll make next and it is more appropriate for fall), he chose lemon.  After the mint-apple jelly debacle last month when I didn’t follow the recipe by substituting liquid pectin for dry pectin and it didn’t exactly gel, I made this, my first cheesecake, by the recipe.

While it turned out beautifully, decorated with whipped topping that melts very fast, I have room to improve!  The recipe called for three boxes of lemon pudding mix and the final product did have more of a chewy, jello consistency, rather than a creamy cheesecake feel to it.  However, it tasted great.

I know that I will only make cheesecake when we have guests over for dinner.  Without the whipped cream, the cheesecake alone clocked in at 4,800 calories.  Yes, your read that correctly!  Almost 5,000 calories for a 10-inch cheesecake.  So, even if you cut it into sixteen pieces, that’s still 300 calories per serving.  Oh well, I didn’t mind and I don’t think our dinner guests did either.

We invited our friends Vickie and Eric, and Tom, Katy, and Lena over for festive Friday evening of appetizers, drinks, dinner, and dessert.  We started the evening off with Ray’s excellent Dirty Vodka Martini Dip, and I failed to get a picture of it!  I was too busy eating, sipping my wine, and talking!

I made the salad from a recipe from “The Pasta House” restaurant.  This is how festive it looked before I added the olive oil and the Parmesan cheese.

And, this is the final product.

Ray grilled excellent pork sirloin steaks and made seasoned red potatoes and green beans and his cheesy bread, and I made a fresh corn and tomato salad with fresh basil and hot pepper jack cheese.

I would venture to say that we all had a great time Friday night with dinner and socializing.

(First picture:  Eric & Vickie; Second:  Katy & Tom; Third:  Ray, Anthony, & Gretel; Fourth:  Gretel & Lena)

And, since Lena’s birthday is coming up and we’ll be out-of-town, we surprised her with a big chocolate chip cookie, a present, and I even made them “kiddie martinis”.  See, there are more uses for flavored coffee creamer and milk!

Vickie & Eric, thank you for the Wapsi Strawbery Vodka  from Le Claire, Iowa, and Katy, Tom, & Lena, the plant is gorgeous!

Now I must go walk off the spongy cheesecake.  Have a great weekend.

Anthony

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