My guiltiest of guilty pleasures is cheesecake. I find it completely irresistible. It is the one dessert I absolutely cannot say no to. There are lots of cheesecake recipes floating around on Bakerlady, but I’ve never posted the classic New York Cheesecake recipe I absolutely adore. It’s from America’s Test Kitchen, who I always turn to for great tested recipes that turn out perfectly the first time, and every time. The secret to a great New York style cheesecake that’s dense with a suede texture is lots and lots of cream cheese and a low and slow baking method.
I discovered the most disturbing thing last weekend. There are people who (brace yourself…this is earth shattering news) don’t like cake. Seriously? I thought my crazy husband was the only genetically deficient (and I mean that in the nicest way possible) one. But apparently, there are more of you out there. One of them is my sister Elizabeth. Yes, the Lizzy of cowboy salsa and pirate’s punch doesn’t like cake. It is just so depressing. She does like pie though. Pumpkin pie specifically. So for her birthday last weekend I made plans to cook up some pumpkin-y fall deliciousness.
I have three indelible memories of my Nanny (my mom’s mom) and cooking. The first two revolve around holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve I have always spent with my Mom’s side of the family in my Nanny’s home. Thanksgiving found my Nanny with a faded apron in the kitchen with the turkey and all the trimmings. Christmas Eve it was the same apron, but this time a ham occupied the oven and all the cousins ran thru the house with glee at the mounds of gifts awaiting us downstairs. My third memory is possibly my favorite. It involves weekend adventures at the cabin with just Nanny and my best childhood (and adulthood) friends. Also bananas, Nilla wafers and pudding. Isn’t my Nanny the most adorable 85-year-old you’ve ever seen?
I took my daughter back-to-school shopping last week. We had a grand old-time preparing for the big first day of school. It was all fun and games until I realized that new school clothes meant she was actually heading off to school. Gulp. She started Kindergarten yesterday. My baby. She even (gasp!) rode the bus! She was so stinkin’ excited for her first day. And, she looked adorable in her brand spankin’ new duds. Yes…Mommy got new clothes too.
It’s zucchini season! Many of you, with greener thumbs than I, are reaping bountiful harvests of beautiful green squash. I’m so jealous! I kill just about every plant I touch, so a garden of homegrown deliciousness has never worked out for me. Also, it seems like a lot of work. Kudos to you vegetable garden type folks!
I love a good breakfast bake. It’s so adaptable. You can put just about everything in them. This is my base recipe for a perfectly filling and delicious morning meal. I’ve made it so many times I can practically do it in my sleep. Which is good, since I’m always throwing it together first thing in the morning. Yawn.
It was National Waffle Day last week and so (of course) I had to make waffles. This recipe has been tweaked a ton from the original to produce light fluffy waffles that are a little crisp on the outside and perfectly warm and soft on the inside. It’s my favorite waffle recipe and is requested often by my munchkins.
Monkey bread is the devil. I cannot resist it. I especially enjoy a new spin on it, like adding some kind of new flavor to the delicious combo of cinnamon sugar and buttery goodness. I can more readily call it breakfast if it includes fruit which makes this blueberry filled bread perfect for supporting my delusion. So, breakfast it is. That’s when I served it to my family anyway. But, I also ate it for lunch and dessert so it’s really all-encompassing food. The oatmeal practically makes it a health food…so I figured it was ok to have it for more than one meal.