Friday, January 4, 2013
I am not one to make New Year's resolutions.
New Year's resolutions have always felt somewhat silly to me. To make a list of resolutions, resolving - firmly determined - to accomplish a whole list of challenging items, only to notice a month or two later that maybe you bit off more than you could chew. It is not unspoken of to accomplish every single resolution but more often than not, it won't happen. At least not many years in a row. Unless you are a Superman of sorts.
Right there is also the reason I am not one to make a list of resolutions. As someone who is rather afraid of failure, it seems too much for me to make a list and set myself up for failure. Not that I don't face failure in my everyday life, because I do. More than I would like. Yet with a list of resolutions - a list for which I am accountable only to myself - the pressure to exceed myself is too much. So there are no New Year's resolutions, not for me.
Though there are no resolutions, there is a hope. A dream, a goal. You see, I love making lists, of anything and everything. One afternoon with a cup of coffee in my hand, I set to make a list of what I would hope for the coming year. A couple things made it on the list. Things that aren't for this year but for life. Things that resonate with my heart; with who I am and who I wish to be. Things that are somewhat vague, to make sure there is no pressure but only honest desire.
I want to grow closer to the Lord. I want to learn more about Him and be all the more amazed every day; to walk with Him in all things; to trust Him in and with all.
I want to express myself more and better. Specifically with my actions - to do everything with love - but also through writing and photography.
Both of these are rather, well, undecided matter as in there is no specific place to arrive at. There is no time limit, no hurry to accomplish these on time. There is just this desire for these two to happen, a desire to make these two happen.
Because there are no New Year's resolutions, there is cheesecake.
Cheesecake has long been one of my favorite desserts. Even more so after eating at Cheesecake Factory a couple times when we lived in the States. Yet, this is my first 'real', baked cheesecake. Honestly, I have been somewhat terrified of baking something that contains a few pounds of cream cheese. Yet it was inevitable that at some point, a cheesecake would be made.
Plain cheesecake with strawberry sauce is somewhat of a classic, and a good one at that. This cheesecake does not, however, contain those two pounds of cream cheese as some has been replaced with ricotta cheese. It still does contain almost a pound and a half of cream cheese because some things should not be altered.
adapted from Glorian Ruoka&Viini
175g graham crackers or digestive cookies
75g butter, melted
600g cream cheese
250g ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
4 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 175C. Line the inside bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Wrap aluminium foil around the bottom and sides of the outside of the pan. Crush the cookies and mix with the melted butter. Press on the bottom of the springform pan. Refrigerate the crust while making the filling.
With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese can ricotta until smooth. Add the sugar, flour, vanilla, and salt; beat until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Pour into the springform pan and smooth the top if needed.
Place the springform pan into a baking pan with high sides and place the baking pan into the oven on the lower rack. Pour hot water into the baking pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cheesecake is set but still a little jiggly in the center, about 1 hour. Chill the cheesecake in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
For a quick strawberry sauce, thaw some frozen strawberries with a little sugar in a pot. Purée with an immersion blender or in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add a splash of vanilla extract to bring out the flavor of the strawberries.