Wednesday, December 31, 2003

New Year's Eve New York Cheesecake

Everyone has their favorite cheesecake recipe, and this is mine, passed down to me from that great blonde in Florida, my mom.

I've loved this recipe ever since she started making it for me and sending it to me as a care package in high school. The secret is the ricotta cheese. I've added a few refinements of my own and it is delightful.

It's cooking as I type and I'll take it to a New Year's party tonight.

Heat oven to 325 degrees

Two packages graham crackers
1 stick melted butter
1/2 cup sugar

1 lb of cream cheese
1 lb of ricotta
1.5 cups sugar
5 eggs room temp
1/2 stick butter melted and cooled
3 tblspoons flour
3 tblespoons cornstarch
2.5 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups sour cream folded
lemon zest if desired.

grind the crackers to crumbs
add the sugar and melted butter and combine
pour into an ungreased 10" springform pan and tamp down on bottom and 1/2 way up sides forming a large cavity for the cheesecake batter.
cook in the oven while making the batter (appoximately 10-15 minutes)

Blend the ricotta and the cream cheese and the sugar together until light. Add eggs one at a time blending well each time. Add butter, flour and cornstarch and then vanilla and combine well. Fold in sour cream and if desired , 2 tablespoons lemon zest. Pour into crust (will exceed crust on sides of pan) and bake in a slow 325 degree oven for 1 hour. Turn off oven and let cake sit for 2 hours to dry out. Cool completely on rack in pan and then chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

For tonight's dinner, I added some leftover key lime juice that I had and added zest to the crust.


Sunday, December 28, 2003

Summer House Cafe, Belfast

Every Sunday we wake Vicky out of a sound sleep at about 7:45 am by telephoning her and wispering "get out of bed, all the good stuff is gonna be gone!" We then proceed to pick her up for Church......our church is different from you Sunday go to worship folks...we pray to the object gods by going to our Church, the fleamarket in a nearby town.....
So after a morning of junquing, we are usually hungry, but on this morning, we also took the dogs for a spin around Sears' Island so we were pretty famished by then. We decided to drop the dogs off and go to the Summer House Cafe across from Agway on Rte 1 in Belfast. We had seen a lot of cars there in the past few weeks since it has opened, and wanted to check it out. When we walked in, this nice young woman told us someone would be with us in a minute.........then someone else told us the same thing......then it happened again....we started keeping count by then and when it happened two more times, we pointed the problem out. That's the fifth time we've been told that and there are empty tables to be seen everywhere.
My rule is...if you are going to make people wait, don't leave the menus within easy reach...6.95 for eggs, bacon and toast? In Belfast??? I don't think so, especially not if we had to wait 15 minutes with empty tables around. We left and went to Dudley's for the $4.95 special of two eggs, chedder and sausage potatos, and a grilled biscuit...what more do you need????
So far I can only rate this place on my first impressions and it gets a D for its attitude