Saturday, November 26, 2011

Nabisco Best Recipe Cheesecake

My cheesecake with the raspberry sauce is probably the most requested dessert of me. I tell everyone, they can just make it. It is not any secret recipe. The recipe is on the back of the Nabisco Honey Maid Graham Cracker Crumb box. Really!! That is the recipe I use, nothing special. The trick to set out the 3 packages of Philadelphia cream cheese ( must be Philadelphia brand of cream cheese), eggs and sour cream out on the counter to come to room temperature. It makes blending easier and the mixture will not have pockets of cold ingredients. If there is anything I could caution, do not overbeat. A springform pan is essential. Most times, I follow the recipe on the Nabisco Honey Maid Graham Cracker Crumbs box to the letter. This Thanksgiving, I baked it in a water bath. If I would observe, the cheesecake was creamier. However, you can easily dispense with the cumbersome water bath process and produce a really good cheesecake. I normally do :)

The Sour Cream Raspberry sauce is my own concoction. I am not a fan of pie fillings, preferring fresh fruit. I decided all this simple but delicious cheesecake needed was a luscious sauce. Using the remaining sour cream and frozen raspberry from the freezer, my famous sour cream raspberry sauce was born. It is also very good on vanilla ice cream. It has been known as liquid crack!!

For the Love of Turkey

This Thanksgivings I had a reunion with my nemesis, the Turkey. Oh Turkey, how I! This bird is my nemesis not because I ever failed in cooking it, so maybe nemesis is not the correct word but the antagonistic feeling I have towards it, makes me declare it a nemesis.

My son requested the roasted turkey for Thanksgiving declaring it "the best lean protein around". In a weak attempt to get out of roasting a turkey, I said as long as we find a small turkey, I would do so. Normally, all we see are huge birds. However, we were at Barons in Temecula- they had not one but 2 small turkey of about 10 lbs each!! Admittedly, a small part of me, deep down, was happy to find the small bird. One's perspective changes when a child leaves for college.You try to make occasions like Thanksgiving they way they want. Dear daughter is home for Thanksgiving. It is the little things... When I look at my son, I see that he will be leaving us for college soon, albiet 2 years time. The departure seems more imminent and real because of `losing' my daughter to college. We were joined in our celebration by A, a dear friend/honoree son of the family, 1st year college returnee, pre-gaming Thanksgiving with us! Nice!

Front Succulent Garden

On any one day, I do not visit my whole garden... in fact in any one week, I do not visit my whole garden. With a busy work schedule, most days, I enter and exit the house through the garage. This means the  part of the garden I view the most, is my back yard which is visible through the sliding glass door of the family room and through the windows of the kitchen. I go out through those glass doors to feed and play with my dog, Frasier. I putter around the backyard the most, gathering blueberries and strawberries for my cereal. Depending what is fruiting or ready for harvest, that is the section of the garden I would visit. Otherwise, I almost never go to my front yard, unless the door bell rings! This more often then not, means the UPS man is here with a package. Or the tutor is here for my son.

The good thing is I kept the the front yard mainly as a succulent yard, which needs minimal work. It looks good- or at least, not terrible, even with the neglect I have subjected it to. Today, the UPS man brought me into the front yard. Looks like it is time I give this part of my garden some tender loving care.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mango, Mango

This year the strange spring we had that had turned cold again after the mango flowers set, meant that most of the fruit never set. I thought there was only one mango on the tree this year that I saw. I had been meaning to pluck it for a week or so now but never got around to it. Today, after discovering the fallen banana tree, it was time. When I bent down to cut off the fruit, I notice another mango, actually 2 other mangoes were on the ground. I will be making cuttings of this Manila Mango for my new garden

The Roar of Stormy November

It has been cold, stormy and rainy this November so far. Today, I was playing my new IPhone 4s camera and decided to take a picture of the banana bunch that was developing. I stopped in my track...and was stunned! A banana plant had snap and was lying across the path.

The Pandan Experiment

I have not been in synch with Mother Nature of late......She blessed me with 3 Torch Ginger ( Bunga Kantan) seedlings and I forgot to bring in the  seedlings one night when the temperature drop. I spent weeks trying to nurse the seedlings back to no avail, losing them one by one.....I took it hard. For years I had been looking for this beautiful, fragrant and delicious flower plant to complete my Malaysian herb garden. This year I found a source for the seeds and rhizome and a wonderful blog friend, Autumn Belle of My Nice Garden who cheered me on as each seedling came up and commensurate with me through the pain of losing my little ones :(

Lesson learnt.

November has been cold, stormy and rainy. I was not taking any more chances. 2 days ago I brought in my precious screwpine pandanus plant, another tropical plant that is sensitive to the cold. The nursery that I bought it from, had to, at one point of time, go back to its customer to buy back some pandanus seedlings, when it lost it mother plant to frost! I have tried over the years to grow this fragrant but never succeeded until this plant. My current pandan plant is 3 years old. Barely growing the first 2 years. I grow it in a pot inside the house during winter and spring. As the weather warms up during summer, I  take it outside, hook it up to the irrigation system and let it enjoy the sunshine and heat. This summer it took off, grown in size and had many baby plants.  I separated some of the baby plants from the mother, potting them up for my new garden in Temecula. 
Mother Pandanus Plant by a bright window indoors