|Tell me that isn't food porn!|
The photo above was of the cheesecake I'd made to celebrate my eldest son passing his purple belt test in taekwondo. I remember that day like it was yesterday even though it was quite a while ago now. My son was so nervous about this particular test, I think partly because it was considered one of the higher ranks and so much more was expected of him to pass. He fretted and practiced for countless hours in the week leading up to that test. I think that was when I really started to realize how important martial arts were to him and how seriously he took it. It was also during that time when I began to see how he was changing. Growing up. He was just beginning the journey to manhood and leaving the little boy behind. I recall being so amazed at his commitment and tenacity. He would get home from school, get his homework done and immediately start practicing his forms. I'd have to actually tell him to stop for dinner or to take a break now and then. He's a passionate young man and when he decides to do something, he gives it his all. He inspires me to be better. I've learned a lot from him, watching him grow into this incredible human being he's become. I've learned to expect more from myself. That I can push harder and achieve what I first thought was unattainable. To believe in myself. And to be myself. Always to be myself... authentically.
|Just starting taekwondo, white belt.|
|Almost 2 years later... being himself.|
|All of his many colors.|
Easy Dulce de Leche
1- 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
Pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1: Preheat the oven to 425° F
2: Pour sweetened condensed milk into a small glass baking dish. Stir in a pinch of sea salt.
3: Place the baking dish into a larger pan and add hot water until it reaches halfway up the side.
4: Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, making sure to check occasionally to see if the water needs refilling.
5: Once the Dulce de Leche is browned, remove from the oven and let cool completely.
6: After it is cool, whisk vigorously until smooth, adding in the vanilla extract at the end of the whisking.
7: Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Before using, warm slowly in hot water or in the microwave.
Makes about 3/4 cup
New York Style Cheesecake
20 graham crackers, crushed
3 Tablespoons salted butter, melted
4- 8 oz bricks of cream cheese (don’t used the “whipped” version)
1 1/2 Cups white sugar
3/4 Cup milk
1 Cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1: Preheat oven to 350° F and grease a 9 inch spring form pan.
2: In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of spring form pan to form a crust.
3: In a large bowl with a stand or electric hand mixer, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then the eggs. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.
4: Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours, to prevent cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.
5: Slice and top with Dulce de Leche, if desired, just before serving.
Makes 10-12 servings