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An occasionally belligerent mother of five and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Kitchen Wanderings: The Cheesecake Affair

In our country the Philippines, March is often pegged as graduation month (our school year starts in June). A time of completion, of knowing that one's hard work has paid off. In our house, it's the sign that summer vacation's just around the corner!

Having an almost all male household , summer signifies a surge in food shopping quantities, not to mention, finding the energy to cook for them. A sure hit snack/dessert that we keep making are no bake cheesecakes. I've tried various recipes, but this is the one that works best for us. Got this off a cream cheese box label. Uninspired? Maybe. But much simpler and the people at home just looooove it:
margarine's ok if you don't have butter,
 however, butter DOES make the crust much tastier
big block of cream cheese makes around  4 8" pans of cheesecake
selecta milk just tastes like vanilla ice cream :)

No Bake Cheesecake:

1 1/4 cups

Graham Crackers crumbs
1 tspCinnamon (optional)
1/3 cupMelted Butter
1 tspLemon rind (having a microplane citrus zester is the bomb!)
2 tbsps.Sugar

1 pkg. (250 gms)Cream Cheese, softened **
1/4 cupSugar
1 tbsps.Unflavored Gelatin (Knox will and always be the best for this) dissolved in
3 tbsps.Fresh Milk
1 cupAll Purpose cream, chilled
1 cupBlueberries in syrup (or strawberry, raspberry and even crushed Oreos!)

**if you're from the Philippines, look out for those 1kg blocks of Magnolia cream cheese. They don't have the magnolia label on them and just look like ordinary brown cardboard boxes, but they cost 100 php cheaper compared to buying four packages of cream cheese (the equivalent of one of these).


you can use crushed Oreo cookies too instead of grahams!

To make crust, mix crumbs with cinnamon, sugar, margarine, and lemon rind. Press on a 9″ pie plate or removable bottom pan. Chill.
my 3rd son Kicco, helping me press the crumb and butter mixture in the  pans
when in a hurry, I stick the crust in the freezer for about 15-20 mins as I make the filling
For the filling, beat cream cheese and sugar until light and well blended. Meanwhile, dissolve unflavored gelatin in Milk over low heat and add to cream cheese wile still hot. Continue beating to blend well. In a separate bowl, whip cream until stiff and fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour over crumb-lined pan. 
pour the filling according to how thick you'd want your cheesecake to be
Top with blueberries  in syrup (or whichever topping you prefer). Chill for 1-2 hours. (using Knox unflavored gelatin makes it settle faster. Readily available in most groceries in the Philippines).

spread the love...this time, we've got blueberries

To make more (we're a one-pie-pan-per-meal household), just double (or quadruple) the ingredients EXCEPT the unflavored gelatin. Based on experience, that tiny pack of unflavored gelatin is enough for a recipe of four pies. You could also get creative by using crushed Oreo cookies instead of grahams and topping the pie with it for a delicious Oreo cheesecake.
serve and enjoy. Bon appetite!!
Have a happy cheesecake day!

From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours!

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