Archive for the 'berries' Category


Boy, did we have fun!

I decided to try my hand at making a little movie presentation of our Fourth of July gathering.  We had some of our very special friends over to help celebrate the holiday with us.  As always, there was more than enough food.

We played darts, cowboy golf, badminton and of course, pool!  I spent a lot of time in what Katie calls my “natural habitat,” the kitchen, cranking out the goodies.  I even made a new barbeque sauce using rhubarb!  Thank goodness I had my grasshopper, Emily, there to help me.

We had hummus, pita bread, guacamole, bagel chips, grilled corn on the cob, grilled veggie skewers bathed with that rhubarb sauce,  kale and carrot salad, wheatberry salad and quinoa salad.  There were no lack of sweets.  I made peanut butter cookies, oatmeal triple chip cookies and lemon coconut pixies.  Emily baked a raspberry buttermilk cake which was the perfect foil for my homemade strawberry frozen yogurt.  Robert brought a perfect watermelon, beautiful fresh raspberries, red and gold, and blueberries.

I only wish I had taken more pictures.  Especially of us all shooting firecrackers and bottle rockets off!

Enjoy the film presentation.  (Ignore the date on the title page – this really was filmed on the 4th of July)


A little cheesecake, please!

Mascarpone Cheesecake topped with fresh blueberries, raspberries and candied lemon zest

Mascarpone Cheesecake topped with fresh blueberries, raspberries and candied lemon zest


I realized that I get a lot of hits on this blog from people looking for cheesecake.  I have another posting with pictures of individual cheese cake but with no recipe.  Let me share my favorite basic cheesecake recipe with you.  Everyone loves it.


2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup mascarpone

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

pinch of salt



1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Butter or spray with non stick spray 2 – 7 inch cake pans with 2 inch sides or 1 – 10 inch pan with 2 inch sides.  If you are using a spring form pan (which I do not like to use) be sure to double wrap the bottom and side with heavy duty aluminum foil.

Combine crust ingredients in small bowl, mix well.  Press into bottom only of prepared pan.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and set on cooling rack.  Prepare cheesecake batter.

Cream together cream cheese and mascarpone in a food processor or using an electric mixture.  Beat in sugar until smooth.  Beat in eggs and salt.  Add any flavoring at this point.  Pour into pans on top of pre baked crust.  You are going to bake the cheesecake in a water bath.  Take a pan larger than your cheesecake pan ( a roasting pan works well) and place the cheesecake pan inside.  Add water to the large pan until it reaches half way up the cheesecake pan.  Place in a 220 degree oven and bake for 2 hours.  Cheesecake is done when you giggle the pan and it moves as a solid mass.  Cool on rack until it is cool enough to place in the refrigerator.  Cover with plastic wrap when it has cooled down enough to not sweat the plastic.  Refrigerate overnight.

Remove cheesecake from refrigerator.  Cover a dinner plate with plastic wrap, make sure it is pulled taut.  Turn on your gas or electric burner.  Warm the bottom of the pan to warm the cheesecake slightly so it will release from the pan.  It may take several turns at the burner until it reaches this point.  Make sure you don’t just sit the pan on the burner.  Hold it over the heat, close enough so it will warm the pan.  I set my pan on the electric burner and spin it slowly, always keep it in motion.  Do this if you are comfortable with this method.  Place plastic covered plate on top of cake pan and invert.  The cake should slide out of the pan.  If it does not, go back and heat again.  If you have a blow torch, you can skip the stove method and just heat the pan bottom after you have inverted it onto the plastic covered plate.  Place serving plate on top of crust and turn back to upright position.  If the plate sticks to the top of the cheesecake, remove the plate from the plastic and peel the plastic off the cake. 

I hope you will try this recipe.  If you have any questions, please feel free to use the comments box.  Bon Appetit!




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