. . . I've been told that I write novels for email messages. Perhaps this is the way to go. I'll try to make each entry, or Gemstone, a "precious" one. On mediocre days, all I might be able to produce is a "semi-precious" entry. In any case, an entry might be a "neat" Gemstone--something that is uniquely mine.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Teri's Lemon Cheesecake

A friend from work gave me this recipe for lemon cheesecake after she made it for a work party. It's been a few months since then but I finally made it myself for a party that we all went to last night and it turned out delicious. It wasn't as pretty as Teri's since the middle sank on my cheesecake whereas hers was flat on top. In any case, it isn't the looks that count. I hope Teri doesn't mind me sharing her recipe here but I've had a few requests for it and thought I'd let others enjoy this lemony cheesecake goodness. Of course, being me, I've changed it a little bit, using Vanilla Wafers instead of Barnum's Animal Crackers and not baking the cheesecake in a water bath because I don't have a roasting pan. I also didn't use a food processor to mix up the cookie crumb mixture since I don't have one of those either.

6 ounces Nabisco's Barnum's Animal Crackers or Social Tea Biscuits (I used Vanilla Wafers)
3 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp melted butter

Crush cookies into crumbs (you should have about 1 cup). Add sugar and mix together. Add the warm melted butter until the mixture is evenly moistened. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press the crumbs firmly and evenly into the pan bottom. Keep the sides as clean as possible. Bake in a 325° oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. Cool on wire rack to room temperature.

1 1/4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a small bowl, mix lemon zest with 1/4 cup sugar until the sugar is yellow and the zest is broken down. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the remaining 1 cup of sugar. Mix together with the cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Scrape down the bowl and add eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, and cream. Scrape the bowl again and mix one last time. Pour into cooled crust and bake at 325° for 1 hour. Turn off oven and let cheesecake sit inside for 30 minutes without opening the oven. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature.

Lemon Curd:
1 jar lemon curd (found in the jelly aisle)

When cheesecake is cool, spread the lemon curd onto the cheesecake while it is still in the springform pan. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. To serve, remove the side of the springform pan and cut the cake into wedges. Serves 12 to 16.

(Teri did have directions to make homemade lemon curd but said that the jar tastes just as good and isn't as much trouble.)

I would have included a photo but it is almost all gone.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Favorite Song Lyrics Today

Excerpts from a song called, "Forget and Not Slow Down" by Relient K.

How many times
Can I push it aside
Is it time I befriended all the ghosts of all the things that haunt me most
So they leave me alone
Move on with my life
Be certain the steps of left and right don't fight the direction of upright

I'd rather forget and not slow down
Than gather regret for the things I can't change now

It's time to decide
Which is out of my mind
Cause it'll be me unless I put some thoughts to rest and leave some faults behind

Cause I could spend my life just trying to sift through
What I could've done better but what good do what ifs do

Friday, September 10, 2010

Be Happy

A friend of mine posted this on her Facebook page. I thought I'd share it here. The illustrations and captions are from the book, "Be Happy--A Little Book to Help You Live a Happy Life" by Monica Sheehan. The music is "Cuore di Sabbia" (Sand Heart) by Pasquale Catalano.