Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Yes, A Cheesecake Recipe on My Blog!

I'm posting my cheesecake recipe as a bribe to fulfill a Twitter promise.
First, you have to know that I vary my recipe depending on the type of cheesecake I feel like making. 

*See variations notes below.    

So, without further ado...

Basic Cheesecake Recipe:

2  8-oz cream cheese (full strength, low fat doesn't bake as well)
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 16 oz. container sour cream

Create your crust.  (1 pkg. graham crackers, crumbled, and about 1/2 c. butter makes a great, simple crust)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a glass bowl, warm the cream cheese in the microwave for 40 seconds.

With a hand mixer, whip the cream cheese for one minute - til smooth.

Add eggs - one at a time (yes, it does make a difference), mixing until smooth.

Add sugar.  Mix for two minutes.

Add vanilla (*see variations notes) and sour cream.  Blend until mixed - don't over mix at this point.

Pour your cheesecake batter onto prepared crust.

In a large roasting pan, crisscross two large pieces of foil.  Place your springform pan on the foil, and 'nestle' it in the foil.  Surround the springform pan with very hot water (about 1/2" deep).

Bake for 50-55 minutes.

Remove from oven, and from water bath.  Place cheesecake in springform pan on stove to cool for 30 minutes.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to set.

Eat it up!


I play with this recipe a lot. For instance, if I want a Triple Chocolate Cheesecake, I use a brownie mix and bake part of it as my crust.  (You can swirl the remainder of the mix into the cheesecake batter, or make more brownies.) Melt baking chocolate and add it to the cheesecake batter in place of the vanilla, then toss in chocolate chips. 

Or Oreos.  Use your food processor to crumble 2/3 of a package of Oreo, mix with about 1/3 c. of melted butter for the crust.  Chop the remaining Oreos and add them to the batter before you bake it. 

Okay, I could go on for days about the variations - but I won't.   I have to go to work today.  ;)

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Writer's Voice Contest

I am a very lucky girl today.  I got a spot in The Writer’s Voice contest.  It's a multi-blog, multi-agent contest hosted by Cupid of Cupid’s Literary Connection, Brenda Drake of Brenda Drake Writes, Monica B.W. of Love YA, and Krista Van Dolzer ofMother. Write. (Repeat.).  Huge thanks to all four ladies!
I'm entry #194.  :)

Plugged In - Summary:

Misty was only looking for a doll when she stepped into her mother’s art room in the attic, so finding a hidden notebook was unexpected - and terrifying.  Paper has been against the law since before she was born. 

Angry that so much is out of her control, and that she is being forced to stay away from her best friend, Berek Mulholland, Misty breaks the rules and reads the notebook.  As she digs, she finds clues to her mother’s disappearance, and more.  Berek, who is training  to become a Tech, gives her frightening new insight into their world.

Computers are self-aware.  Techs govern everything.  And people disappear frequently.

Berek’s family is taken.  Misty is threatened.  And the notebook has given her the courage to do something unthinkable – leave the confines of the biosphere.  The young couple treks into the Outland, looking for help.   And a way to fight Tech Central.

Plugged In - First 250 Words:

A strong breeze swept past Misty Evan’s face, causing her long red ringlets to twist and snarl, but she didn’t move to untangle them.  Her mind was elsewhere, her hazel eyes staring through the dense chain link as if it weren’t there, watching the water lap at the rocky shore of the distant reservoir.  She ached to touch it, to test her theory of how cold the water would be, but knew she never would.  Imagining the sound of the water kissing the rocks and the damp air touching her face, she closed her eyes and tipped her head back to soak up the August sun.

“You’ll get more freckles, you know,” her best friend Berek Mulholland whispered in her ear, and she giggled.

“Do you ever wonder how cold the water is?” she asked, squinting against the sun as she looked up at him.

His dark hair blew across his face, hiding his cobalt eyes.

“Nope.  I’m too busy trying to figure out how to get around the latest Tricks that’ve been coded in the Big Game. I’ve gotta stay ahead of the guys.”

Berek turned away from the fence to look at the mountain that towered over the west side of their city. She knew he wasn’t being completely truthful when she saw his cheek twitch.  He’d never been good at lying to her.

He wouldn’t admit it, but it had to bother him as much as it bothered her, that they couldn’t go outside of the boundary of their city.