Summer has ended and fall is officially here. Fall is football season. Which means it’s also the season for chips and dips.
Why not use those luscious tomatoes still plentiful in your garden or at the farmer’s market to make some end-of-summer salsa? If you make several batches they just might see you through the coming season of tailgating parties and football games.
Here’s a simple recipe from BRILLIANT FOOD TIPS AND COOKING TRICKS by David Joachim
FRESH TOMATO SALSA
In a bowl, combine 4 large seeded and chopped summer tomatoes; 2/3 finely chopped sweet onion (or 4 finely chopped scallions); 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro; 1 to 2 seeded and finely chopped fresh jalapeno chile peppers (leave the seeds in for more heat); 2 teaspoons lime juice; and 1 teaspoon salt.
Toss, let sit 1 hour at room temperature, and serve. Great spooned over soft tacos or for scooping up with corn chips. Makes about 3 1/4 cups. Serve in some fiesta-style bowls.
Can you imagine what the world was like before cheesecake was created?
Turns out, you'd have to search back pretty far to find a time when the Earth was cheesecake free. In fact, way back in 776 BC, long before the first Cheesecake Factory restaurant opened, the Greeks are said to have served cheesecake to the athletes at the first Olympic games. The Romans soon caught on and spread the divine taste of cheesecake throughout Europe. From there it was only a matter of time before European immigrants brought their cherished cheesecake recipes to America.
It seems that every region of the globe has embraced cheesecake in one form or another, adapting the recipe to local tastes and adding local flavors. In America, cheesecakes are typically made with a cream cheese base, but even here we vary the recipe by region. New York cheesecake is famous for its ultra-smooth texture and decadently rich flavor achieved by adding extra egg yolks and a hint of lemon and you'll find other regional variations from Chicago-style to Pennsylvania Dutch. Many American bakers add sour cream for a creamy cheesecake that can be frozen without compromising taste or texture.
Italian cheesecakes generally use ricotta cheese, which makes them drier than their American cousins. The French prefer Neufchatel cheese and often add gelatin for a light and airy consistency. The Greeks might use ricotta, mizithra, farmers, feta, Swiss, or a combination of cheeses, while the Germans typically rely on cottage cheese or quark. The Japanese incorporate cornstarch and whipped egg whites into their cheesecakes for a more custard-like effect, and I've even heard you can find cheesecake in vending machines in Japan. Now why didn't I think of that?
You'd be hard pressed to find a culture that doesn't or didn't enjoy a good cheesecake. Culinary historians cite cheesecake recipes dating back to the first century AD, with additional recipes floating around from the centuries that followed. You'll find every imaginable flavor and topping in today's cheesecake recipes, but the basic premise, baking creamy cheese with wheat and sweetener, has stood the test of time.
And let's not forget savory cheesecakes featuring blue cheese, garlic, seafood, chiles, and other tasty cheese-friendly flavors, or vegan versions of cheesecake-like desserts made with tofu. With so many varieties, you'd need a lot more than a Cheesecake of the Month club to sample them all!
Clearly, cheesecake has lived long and continues to prosper. Whether it's a birthday cake, anniversary treat, or just a Make-everyday special indulgence, cheesecake is an ancient delight that will never go out of style!
You'll want to try our own cheesecake recipe.
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Cheesecake has become one of the most popular desserts in the United States. Nothing is quite as rich and delicious, and as impressive to serve, as a firm creamy cheesecake with a glorious topping of fruit, sour cream, or chocolate.
But don’t be intimidated by this fancy dessert. You don’t have to BUY the perfect cheesecake from a pastry shop or bakery. Bake the perfect cheesecake yourself at home. You just need a good, easy-to-follow recipe, and a few tips for success before you get started.
First, learn some cheesecake tips and read these additional hints for baking the perfect cheesecake.
Next, pick out the perfect recipe (see ours, below).
Now, gather your ingredients and get started. You should be well on your way to baking the perfect cheesecake!
Make a graham cracker crust according to the recipe on the graham cracker crumb box. Press the crust into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and go up at least 1/2 inch on the sides.
Combine the following in a large mixing bowl:
2 (8 oz.) cream cheese (softened) (Philadelphia Cream Cheese is what we used)
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat until smooth. Pour into the crust and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
Cool and refrigerate.
When cake has completely cooled, and just before serving, remove from springform pan and place on a footed cake plate or other large plate. Spoon a can of prepared cherry (or strawberry) pie filling evenly over the top of the cake. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Suzanne and Wendy
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