Thursday, September 25, 2008

LOVIN' FROM THE OVEN

Nine times out of ten, given the choice of Savory or Sweet, I tend to choose the savory Now that doesn't mean I don't love me some chocolate or a great dessert from time to time, it's just the way I'm wired, I guess. So, when I came across this cheesecake recipe, I was immediately intrigued by the list of ingredients. Ham? Basil? Swiss Cheese? Wow!! Now that's what I like in a CAKE.

I'd been eyeballing this particular recipe for a couple of weeks when Geraldo finally gave me the excuse I was looking for to make it. His department at work was having a little potluck-type get together and he needed to bring something to table, so to speak. He works with lot of great gals who appreciate some good snacks, so I immediately knew what he'd be contributing to the party. I would make this Ham Cheesecake and get it over with, let the ladies critique it for me, and then decide if it was a keeper or not. The ingredients are not cheap, so I needed to know if it was worth the time and the dollars to consider this for any upcoming get-togethers. It would be served as an appetizer with some fancy pants crackers on the side and what a great way to use up some of my "end of the summer" basil and chives!

So, I went grocery shopping yesterday afternoon and got all my ingredients together. Yes, the recipe calls for 4 bars of cream cheese and 2 cups of swiss. Oyster crackers, I don't usually have on hand, unless it's one of those little individual packs that came with my fast food chili, so I had to buy a big bag of those. I had the Parmesan (my treasure cheese came in handy here) and while thinking that this would be a great dish to use up leftover Holiday Ham, but having none handy, I bought a chunk of ham to put in the dish. I followed the recipe to the "T", 'cause I don't like to screw around with anything that requires measuring and baking. Not the first time anyway. I wait and give it my spin (if necessary) the next time. So I had everything I needed, got my cutting board out, knives, processors, graters, cream cheese was softening an d the eggs were at room temperature. Everything went smoothly...........until I picked up my 2 cups of finely chopped ham to cover in plastic wrap when something in my hip went "zing" and while trying to balance the measuring cup of my $$ham$$ between my belly and the kitchen counter, the bowl fell to the floor and my finely chopped ham was in a neat little pile in front of the stove. I said something I shouldn't have (or should have) grabbed the little broom and dustpan, cleaned it up, wiped the floor, washed the dustpan, poured a big glass of wine and went out and sat on the deck. Best thing to do in a situation like that? Walk away from it...regroup, keep telling yourself that it's really no big deal and approach it at a later time with a good attitude.

The Cheesecake did turn out really good. I've already gotten an email from Rose from Geraldo's office and the word she used was AWESOME! Whew! I needed that. I even forgot the swiss cheese and had to go back and add it after I'd done the crumb topping. My cooking "Zen" was definitely out of sinc that afternoon. Adding the cheese last didn't seem to make that big of a difference and who needs a crumb topping anyway? And who would know the difference? It was a tough day in the kitchen, but I won and I can make this dish again and again. I already have some different ingredients in mind for the next time.

The recipe is below. So, pour yourself a glass of wine to start with and take your time...it's worth the wait!
www.comfortcook@gmail.com

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http://tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Savory-Ham-Cheesecake

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