Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tomorrow, Japan, St. Patrick’s, Health.

One of the blogs I read is written by an English woman, August Mayfield, and yesterday she was commenting on disasters and the fact that you never know what will happen tomorrow – or even in the next hour. As with Japan, life is normal one minute the next you have lost home, mother, father, children, friends – we cannot imagine the effects of such a disaster on the people living through it. Over the years there have been stories about people saving things to wear or use at some nebulous point in the future, but we don’t know and are never sure what will be in that future. So use that good china you have been saving, wear those special garments or eat those special foods. To quote August “Tomorrow’s Never Promised”.

JapanSome of the pictures coming from Japan lately are absolutely incredible, there is some footage of a whole village being swept away. One wonders who stood and took those pictures of such a disaster. I saw a report yesterday morning saying the sea had returned 1,000 bodies which it had carried away when it receded, makes me wonder how many more will never be returned.

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up on Thursday and as usual there are all kinds of recipes. I used to have an Irish friend who went nuts about all this, she said the Irish do not eat anything different for St. Patrick’s than on any other day and got so teed off with all these recipes for Corned Beef and Cabbage Shamrock2especially for that one day. It is a fact, that it appears to be the ex patriot Irish who eat these things presumably as a nod to their erstwhile homeland which, today, many of them have never been near having been born in the countries in which they now live.

I went for my first and only mammogram two years ago and I understood, at my age, I wouldn’t have to Mammogramgo for another one, WRONG, I have had a letter requesting me to go again, I am not yet out of the mammogram woods it appears. Actually, having heard all the horror stories of breast screening, I didn’t find it bad at all. Nothing like I had imagined. Therefore, I urge every woman to go regularly even though I didn’t. Silly risk on my part, and so unnecessary as it turned out. I assure you, you do not have to practice by slamming your breast in a fridge door, or lying down on a garage floor and getting someone to run over you, it ain’t like that at all, I promise you.

Pig in Boots

Why the picture? It keeps popping up on Facebook and it amuses me.

Irish Cream Cheesecake

Food Network - Courtesy of Anna Olson

Rich and creamy cheesecake that's so good you might have to make two!Irish_Cream_Cheesecake

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 80 minutes
Yield: 10

  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup regular oats (not quick cook)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup Irish Cream liqueur
  • 2 large eggs
Brickle Almond Garnish
  • 1 tablespoon egg white
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
          To Assemble
          1. For crust, preheat oven to 350 °F and grease a 9-inch springform pan. Pulse graham crumbs, oats and brown sugar in a food processor until oats have been roughly cut. Add melted butter and vanilla extract and pulse until an even texture. Press into bottom of prepared pan and bake for 7 minutes. Allow to cool while preparing filling.
          2. For filling, reduce oven temperature to 325 °F. Heat cream to just below a simmer. Pour hot cream over chopped chocolate and whisk gently until smooth and set aside. In a bowl using electric beaters or with a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese until fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl often. While beating, slowly pour in sugar, again scraping the bowl often. Beat in cornstarch. By this time the filling should be looking a little more fluid. Slowly pour in Irish Cream and beat in eggs, one at a time. Pour chocolate mixture into cheesecake filling and blend well. Scrape filling into pan and bake for 30 minutes. Without opening the oven door, turn off the oven and leave cheesecake in another 30 minutes. Remove, let cool to room temperature, then chill overnight.
          3. For brickle Almond Garnish, preheat oven to 350 °F. Whisk egg white until frothy. Add remaining ingredients and toss until almonds are evenly coated. Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until sugar has browned. Allow to cool. Break apart almonds and chop in a food processor. Remove springform ring and bottom and place cheesecake on a serving plate. Press the ground brickle onto the sides of the cake and chill until ready to serve.

          Have a great day


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