Recipe of a cheesecake

You do not have to go to the Big Apple to enjoy a cheesecake, follow the below recipe and relish this delicious cheesecake it at home with your friends.

cake

Ingredients:

For the Crust-

  1. 2 cups or 475 g of Graham cracker crumbs- almost 2 packets
  2. 2 tablespoons of sugar
  3. Salt, a pinch
  4. 5 tablespoons of butter

For the Filling-

  1. 2 pounds or 900 ml of cream cheese at room temperature
  2. 1 and 1/3 cup or 230 g of granulated sugar
  3. Salt, a pinch
  4. 2 teaspoons of vanilla from the beanstalk or vanilla extract
  5. 4 large eggs
  6. 2/3 cup or 160 ml of sour cream
  7. 2/3 cup or 160 ml of heavy whipping cream

For the Topping-

  1. 2 cups or 475 ml of sour cream
  2. 1/3 or 35 g cup of powdered sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Equipment required-

  1. 9 inch X 2.75 inch high springform pan
  2. Heavy duty, 18 inch wide aluminum foil
  3. A large, high sided roasting pan

Aside from these we will also need 2 quarts of boiling water

Method:

For crust-

Preheat oven to 350 F, set a rack in the lower level of the oven. Using a food processor or a blender, make crumbs of the graham crackers until they are finely ground. Put that in a large bowl and mix it with sugar and salt, later add in the butter and mix it with your hands to get an even mixture.

Now preparing the springform pan, you need a square piece of aluminum foil much bigger than the pan. Start folding it over the pan gently making sure you do not cause it to tear up. Repeat this process using another square piece of aluminum foil for a second layer of foil. This prevents the water from entering into the pan which will contain the cheesecake. If you want to be extra safe include another square piece of foil (as a 3rd layer) and it over the pan and fold in the tops so it doesn’t poke out.

Put in almost all of the mixed graham crumbs into the pan, leaving about a 1/4 cup, in case the crumb layer cracks we can use this extra crumb to cover it. Now very gently press down the crumbs using your fingers, until they form an even crumb layer at the bottom of the pan, the edges may be a level higher. Place this crumb filled pan in the oven at 350 F for about 10 mins. Remove from the oven and set it aside to cool down.

Now reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.

For Filling-

Use an electric mixer with the paddle attachment to prepare the filling, cut in the cream cheese into small blocks and run it at a medium pace. After 4 mins, add the salt and vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, beat for almost a minute after each addition. Heavy cream should be added now, whisk until the mixture looks uniform. Always scrape down the sides into the bowl, scrape away the thicker bits of cream cheese that has not been incorporated.

Pour the filling on top of the cooled crumb layer in the springform pan, smooth the top using a spatula. Now place this pan in a heavy base, high-raise roasting pan and pour in the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the pan, creating a water bath. Place this in the oven carefully, for 1 and 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool slowly. Sudden cooling of the cheesecake will cause the crumb layer to crack easily.

Remove it from the oven after an hour and then cover the pan with a foil and place it in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 4 hours.

For topping-

Mix the sour cream with powdered sugar and vanilla in a large bowl, until you get a smooth mixture. Keep it in the refrigerator until your cake is ready to be served.

Slowly, using a butter knife, slide through the edges of the cake and then remove the side pane. Spread a thin layer of sour cream mixture and use a raspberry sauce (not part of this recipe) to dribble over it and serve.

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The cons and pros of having a big family

In today’s hyper age of expenses and odd working hours, parents now-a-days are thinking about the large family issues. Even with kids whose ages are spaced evenly, the difference in the age really makes it complicated in case the needs and stages are varied. You can find a lot of negative and positive aspects, but you need always decide on these facts and take your decision on your own according to the situation.

CONS:

  1. When you are in a big family it is really tough to go with everybody’s needs. Because of the age difference, the things they want are also different and differs a lot. Your younger kid will be the one getting all the things where as your elder son might require to sacrifice a lot.
  2. You really need to be rich. Costs can increase exponentially by the year what with tuition fees, then dance classes, art classes and other activities. Also, transport for a large family involves a fuel guzzling SUV that is added cost to the fuel. It is a good moment to start using coupons.
  3. The youngest child, mostly grows out of babyhood faster than everyone else did at that age. It’s because the youngest always wants to achieve what the others have achieved at an earlier stage.
  4. For parents, it’s a big task to manipulate work timings and time to spend with all kids equally so they grow up well.
  5. In the early years, before kids become independent, doing the homework of your child will surely take a minimum of 5 hours every night. Writing, reading, maths, essays, projects and music require daily practicing.

PROS:

  1. When you have a big family, the elder ones always come forward as a helping hand for your younger kids. This really works and works great as well.
  2. Younger children tend to be more mature looking at the older ones. The older ones at their age were a lot less mature since there were no trail blazers except the parents.
  3. Children get to work as a team right from a young age. The older children tend to be more responsible and mature especially in taking responsibility of the younger kids thus sparing the parents some time to focus on the rest of the family.
  4. Another good point for parents is the help they get from everyone, even from the little ones who will want to be growing up so quickly and be eager to take on the older ones in various household tasks.
  5. There’s a lot of love and a lot of laughter in the house. For parents, there will also be as many first steps, as many first words, as many first days of school, as many graduations and as many walks down the aisle as the kids they have.
  6. The children always need someone who can sit with him on any ride in the parks. Most rides seat two or three and in case your family is of six, you’re always set.
  7. When the parents are old there will surely be a few caretakers for them to look after in their old age.
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Ladybug Trivia

Did you know that:

ladybug daffodil

4500 Ladybugs will cost you $16.95 from http://www.buglogical.com/

You can fit 80,000 ladybugs into a gallon jug.

There are 350 kinds of ladybugs in North America

A lady bugs top flying speed is about fifteen miles per hour

A ladybug weighs 21 mg

If a ladybug could lift twice it’s weight, it would take 35 million Ladybugs to lift a 150 pound human.

Being able to fly at 15mph it would take them 1600 hours to fly you to China or 66 days.

Well, who knew??????

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Happy Cinco de Mayo!! Make Some Yummy Mexican Chocolate Chili Cupcakes

Cinco de Mayo holds a special place in my family’s heart – It’s the day in 2005 we officially decided Paige was waiting for us in China and it was high time went to get her.  So Cinco de Mayo always makes me smile.

Another thing that makes me smile are Holiday goodies and here is one I posted previously 4/26/11.  Trust me, they are easy and delicious!

Mexican Chocolate Chili Cupcakes

mexchoccake2

Ingredients:

1 pkg. Duncan Hines® Triple Chocolate® Decadent Cake Mix

2 tsps. ground cinnamon, separated

1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tub Duncan Hines® Creamy Home-Style Classic Chocolate Frosting

Baking Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake mix as directed. You will have your cake batter in one bowl and filling in a second bowl.

2. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the cake batter and mix well.

3. Spoon cake batter into prepared cupcake liners and pan. Fill cupcake tins no more than half full. Spoon 1 teaspoon of filling on top of the batter in the tins. Cover filling with a tablespoon of batter. Your tins should now be 2/3 full.

4. Bake cupcakes as directed and cool completely.

5. Prepare frosting by adding 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to each can of frosting that you use. Mix completely and frost cupcakes.

Hands-On Time: 25 mins.

Total Time: 1 hour and 15 mins.

Servings: 14

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