Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A great Thanksgiving along with hints on making the perfect cheesecake

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year with family and good friends!  I cooked for three days and had the table set the day before.
My Dad (Bob), Fred and Suzy.
Judy, my Mom (Lorraine) and Denny.
And the best, my husband, Len.   Len had a roaring fire going in the living room where we had appetizers and drinks.  Even though it was a gorgeous day in Denver, the fire added that special touch.
For one of the appetizers, I made a cheese ball of mascarpone cheese, white cheddar, cream cheese, fried sage leaves and roasted almonds.  Just before serving, I rolled the ball in pomegranate seeds.  Makes for a festive appetizer for the holidays!  Going forth, I would make it in a log shape, easier to cut into.  I tried another new recipe, a tuna pate, that was okay but not worth making again.
Two weeks ago I made 98 butternut ravioli and froze them.  For Thanksgiving, I served one ravioli with a brown butter, sage, roasted pistachio and two crushed Amaratinni cookies.  I used espresso cups as the serving vessel along with spoons from my grandmother Mullen's spoon collection. Needless to say, it was a big hit.
The trick to a really tasty turkey is to cut jalapenos in half, de-seed them and slip them, cut side down under the skin around the breast area.  Such a great flavor!
I was determined to make the perfect cheesecake without and cracks or a collapsed center.  
There are many factors to take into consideration to accomplish this.  Grease the sides and bottom of the spring form pan with butter. Let all the ingredients come to room temperature.  Do not over cook the cheesecake.  Fill a baking pan half way up with water.  Put this pan on the rack below rack where you will put the cheesecake.  Bake the cheesecake in the middle of the oven.  I cooked it for exactly 50 minutes.  I proceeded to turn off the oven, open the door and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for about 20 minutes.  Once I had it out of the oven, I ran a knife around the sides to insure that is was not stuck to the sides.
As you can see, it turned out perfectly.  Light, creamy and delicious.  For the recipe, see my post dated December 13,  2013.  
After dessert and a little Spanish Cava, we returned to the living room and played Gestures.  Talk about a lot of laughs.  It was a full afternoon and evening, people arrived at 4:00 and left around 10:00.   I'm so thankful for my husband, my parents and such good friends.

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