As we celebrated our graduating Seniors at a gathering and gave our parting words, I told them that they were ready- that they have what they need to do the next thing in their Social Work careers. I also challenged them to be life-long learners…to never stop learning! Be humble, knowing that they always have much more to learn! I am struck by how much I learn every year. At school- new students, new courses, new articles, books and workshops all enrich my life and enliven me. And at home- new skills and recipes and stages of parenting keep life dynamic and keep me as a student always!
I appreciate that summer is a time to learn creative things. It's like summertime is another kind of classroom. I like to try new recipes, and read books, and try to develop skills. I am hoping my summer will be filled with these things. I have my book stack (an annual ritual) which I will attempt to chip away at these next couple of months. [And yes, I'm aware that it is way too tall a stack to accomplish in a summer.] I hope to also practice Calligraphy, and ukelele playing with my girls, studying more about the Enneagram (which I am hoping to incorporate into one of my classes in the fall) and hopefully have time to share lots of recipes on the blog. (And learn the Spanish language and learn how to sew alongside my daughters and...)
I have been cooking up some things these past weeks that I've been anxious to share with you.
The first is this delicious recipe from my student, Rebecca. My students teach me all of the time. I love learning from them! This time it was a recipe. She surprised our class, with homemade blueberry topped cheesecake bars. We were all ecstatic before we even tasted it! When we dug in, there were many "mmms and yums"! She shared the recipe with the class after we all requested it. I was excited to go home and make it.
I made the recipe the next week for my small group since I knew when I tried this recipe I would need some eaters, because if not, I would be tempted to eat the whole pan. I decided to double the recipe, since the original recipe is for an 8 X 8 pan and I was making it for a group of 15. So, I thought I would use my large glass baking dish rather than the square one. However, as I was making the crust I realized that I had too much crust for this size pan. It was going to be too thick. So I scooped some out into a shallow dish. Then I made the filling. It filled my mixer to the top and was too much for the pan as well. So, I plopped a few scoops of it on top of my mini crust before spreading the rest into the pan. Lesson learned. Use the correct size pan! The silver lining was that Dave and I got to have a mini cheesecake to share that night and didn't have to wait until small group to indulge!
This recipe is simple and delicious and no bake! The baking part of cheesecake-making has always been my challenge. You want to make sure it is fully baked so that it doesn't goo, but not get too done, and not crack! With this no-bake recipe, you don't have any of those worries.
It is so delicious! BEWARE, however, this is not a healthy recipe… you can tell that by looking at the list of ingredients. But it is so delicious and simple to make.
Borrowed from thirtyhandmadedays.com
12 graham cracker sheets, blended to make 2 c. of crumbs
1/4 c. sugar
2 (8oz) packages of cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
2 c. (1 pint) of HEAVY whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla.
CRUST: Using a food processor, blend graham cracker sheets until turned into crumbs (or do this in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin).
Add sugar and melted butter; blend until well mixed.
Press into an 8×8 pan lightly greased with cooking spray.
FILLING: Using a mixer with a whisk attachment, mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.
Add heavy whipping cream, vanilla and almond extracts.
Mix on medium-high for 2-3 minutes or until thickened.
Pour filling over the crust.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Cook over medium high heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
The blueberries will breakdown and the sauce will become thick.
Let cool and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve the cheesecake.
Pour on top of cheesecake.
Serve and enjoy!
Here's to a season of learning and cooking and enjoying the tastes of summer!