As the Holiday parties become faded memories, the shiny decorations are taken down and boxed, the extended family has all gone back to their respective homes, and everyone is back to work, we are being bombarded with some sort of cultural demand for RESOLUTIONS!!! Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem advertisements, along with Bowflex and Gym specials, prod us to eat less but move more, and yet all these ads really do is make me miss the sparkle and joviality and festivities even more!
I mean I love the whole health-kick-off in the new year — I have my snow shoes and cross-country skies ready on the porch — but let’s not forget the bright-lights and party-cheer of December so soon, right? I mean, how will we get through this long dark month of January without some help? My suggestion is cheese cake. Yes, cheese cake, as in that rich, creamy, all-so-wonderful and celebratory dessert. This is a blog about fashion, family and food, and I mean fun food, too!
Okay, I am not suggesting you eat the entire calorie-laden cake, because we all need to honor our obsession to stay active, sexy and fit, so how about one delectable, purely fabulous piece! How can you eat only one piece you ask? Plan a party! Exactly what we are all craving, actually desperate for, this long, holiday-free time of year. You can combine some outdoor extravaganza with your party plan: perhaps you live by the perfect sliding hill, or by mid-winter your pond is an ice haven, or, like lucky us, you live under the violet sunset blasting on the mountain range. Don’t live in the frozen north? Plan a bocci tournament or bike ride. No matter, just share an afternoon with your friends and have a January blast, if for no other reason than to eat one slice of this most perfect cheese cake.
Where did I get this recipe for the scrumptious cheese cake? In the Bronx, there is a four block square of Italian culinary delights, centered around Arthur Avenue. A million years ago, in one of the cheese shops there, this recipe was on the counter for any and all to take along with your fresh ricotta. As a teen I made my first cheese cake following these instructions and it has remained a constant love ever since. So head over to your neighborhood cheese shop, gather the following and concoct!
1 lb. ricotta 1 1/2 cup sugar
1 lb. cream cheese 3 tbsp. flour
1 pint sour cream 3 tbsp. corn starch
3 eggs separated 1/4 lb. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla 2 tbsp. lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a spring pan with graham cracker crust. Mix ricotta with cream creese, sour cream and sugar. Mix well. Add egg yoke, corn starch, vanilla, lemon juice, and melted butter. Add stiff egg whites and fold in lightly. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees. Without opening the oven door, shut off, and leave for another hour.
Send out an Evite, create a Facebook event, or ring up at least 15 friends, neighbors, or co-workers to spend a bit of time outside in glorious January and then head inside to cut your cake into 16 slices. Stop long enough to enjoy every bite! Oh, and play some ‘90’s music so you can dance a bit too… What better way to keep the party going until February, right?