Friday, July 6, 2012

In love with my mixer...and my nieces and nephews

I don't know how I lived before my Kitchenaid Mixer.  I can make anything with that thing, it definitely makes me grateful for the age that I live in, how did grandma & great-grandma ever manage without these things?  There are very few things that I deem absolute neccesities for cooking, and thing is one, it makes everything so much easier.

Last night my brother and sister-in-law and their picture perfect kids came over for dinner and a very competitive game of scrabble.  It was their youngest son's fifth birthday and I was thrilled to be a part of it.   Mr. Love From Scratch and I don't have any children yet, bust one of my absolute favorite roles in life is that of being an Aunt.   None of my brothers live close by, I wish they did, especially so I could see their darling children more.  So last night was a huge treat for me, family time is the best time.  

For the birthday dinner I made cerviche which is an absolute favorite of mine, and my nephew wanted a blueberry cheesecake.  Sounds like a perfect summer meal right?  I had figured I would probably be making a cheesecake that night anyways, just because my brother's favorite dessert has always been cheesecake, and my mother makes an excellent cheesecake.  I won't divulge her secret cheesecake recipe (she wouldn't appreciate that), so I will share the recipe that I always use when I make my cheesecakes, it is such an east recipe to make too. definitely try this one, it is always a crowd pleaser, or in the case of last night it made four beautiful children very happy campers.

Love From Scratch Cheesecake


2 cups ground gingersnaps
1 stick unsalted butter melted


2 (8 ounce) blocks cream cheese (softened)
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 lemon zested & juiced
1 dash vanilla
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform with non-stick spray

Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.
For the Filling:

In the mixer beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add ricotta, sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The filling should be well-mixed but not overbeaten. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the spingform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake for 45 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours.

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