Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow, Angioplasty, Servers,

The forecasters have been predicting a monster storm this week. We did have snow over night, but so far, not very much at all. We will see what happens today. There are areas closer to the lakes which have had quite a lot of the white stuff which is causing havoc. Blizzards were forecast, etc. but here we have a very gentle, hard to see, snow falling.

On Monday, I phoned my vascular surgeon’s office – I was told I would have surgery in January, obviously this is not going to happen. I am now told it will probably be some time in March because the hospital  has cut down the amount of angioplasties which are now permitted from 8 to 4. I am guessing that doesn’t apply to heart problems. I am not a happy camper though, all very well for the hospital to cut the numbers, but my life is being seriously hampered by not being able to have treatment. Yes, I know its not life threatening, but it is certainly life altering. An ability to walk a short distance without pain is, surely, one of life’s rights and expectations. By distance, I do not mean a trot round the block, I mean a short walk to the elevator in my building or even, sometimes, on a bad day, the walk from my bedroom to the living room. Yes, I know I bowl, but generally that is only a very few steps, however, if there are only a couple of people on my team for some reason, I have to slow it right down.

Just shows you, we had a letter from Bell Canada yesterday offering all kinds of reasonable prices for internet and phone services, I called them to see what they could, in fact, offer us and it would have been quite a good saving, however, not everything would have been available on our TV. I then called Rogers, who are our current suppliers of all these services and the took 30% off everything – whooppee, it pays to negotiate doesn’t it? I guess I should do this on a regular basis instead of just going along in the same old way. This way, nothing is changed, we don’t have to have a dish, and I don’t have to let everyone know to use a different email. However, I have a gmail account, I just might get everyone to use that anyway, then there is never any bother.

Matt loves cheesecake with absolutely nothing on it, none of the sweet syrupy gunk nor any kind of fruit or flavours like chocolate or something. I have printed the whole of this recipe including a link where there is a video. I am, for some reason, totally unable to make cheesecake but this one looks as though even I would be successful.

New York Style Cheesecake

The Joy of Baking

Tips: New York Cheesecake Recipe

We cannot talk about cheesecakes without mentioning the pitfalls, mainly the questions of how do we prevent cracking and when are cheesecakes done? First, let's talk about cracks on the surface of a baked cheesecake, as this is a common problem and is caused either by over beating the batter and/or by too much moisture being lost as the cheesecake bakes (over baking). In order to prevent cracks make sure you beat the ingredients at low speed as, unlike a butter cake, you do not want to incorporate a lot of air into the batter, you only want to beat the ingredients until they are nice and smooth. As far as the over baking of cheesecakes goes, this is a common problem as it is difficult to know when a cheesecake is done. The thing to remember is that you want the cheesecake to be firm but, if you shake the pan gently, it should still wobble a little, and the center will still look a little wet. For even though the center may not look fully baked, once it cools it will firm up and be the correct consistency. Cheesecakes are cakes that should not to be eaten straight away as they need to cool and then be refrigerated for several hours, preferably overnight, so the flavors have time to blend and the texture becomes nice and firm. The great thing about cheesecake is that it stores very well and can also be frozen. To freeze, place the cooled cheesecake on a baking pan and freeze, uncovered, until firm. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, wrap it in heavy duty aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag.  Seal and return to freezer. It can be frozen for several months. Thaw the uncovered cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.
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2 cups (200 grams) graham cracker crumbs or finely crushed Digestive biscuits

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 cup (114 grams) unsalted butter, melted


32 ounces (1 kg) cream cheese, room temperature (use full fat, not reduced or fat free cream cheese)

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

3 tablespoons (30 grams) all purpose flour

5 large eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy whipping cream (double cream)

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1 cup (240 ml) sour cream

2 tablespoons (30 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) springform pan.  Place the springform pan on a larger baking pan to catch any leakage while the cheesecake is baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with rack in center of oven.

For Crust: In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and about 1 inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the springform pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.

For Filling: In bowl of your electric mixer place the cream cheese, sugar, and flour. Beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the whipping cream, lemon zest, vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling. Place the cheesecake pan in the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) and continue to bake for about another 60-80 minutes or until firm and only the center of the cheesecake looks a little wet and wobbly. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Spread the topping over the warm cheesecake and return to oven for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully run a knife or spatula around the inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake (helps prevent the surface from cracking as it cools).

Let cool before covering with plastic wrap. Refrigerate several hours, preferably overnight. Serve with fresh fruit or fruit sauces.

Makes one - 9 inch (23 cm) cheesecake.

To freeze: Place the cooled cheesecake on a baking pan and freeze, uncovered, until firm. Then wrap in aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag. Seal and return to freezer. Can be frozen for several months. Thaw uncovered cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.

Have a great day


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