The chirping birds nesting outside of our window wake us up in the morning. Big cups of piping hot tea start the day. Once the caffeine requirement is fulfilled, we set out for our morning walk.
There's been plenty to think about on our morning treks. There's so much going on in the world, it can feel overwhelming.
Would you believe I actually waited to put up this post until things settled down? (code for 'until the life altering, earth shattering events stopped'...or at least tapered off) Then Texas, Oklahoma, Turkey... I could go on. Suffice it to say we're living in perilous times.
The good thing about being in nature is that it allows you to clear your head and be in the moment, at least for a little while.
The spring flowers have been incredibly abundant and beautiful this year. It's definitely worth the time and effort to see them in morning light.
I can't help but think, "There's so many things for which to be thankful. There's so much good still left to do. It's time to get started."
We head back to the house, slice a piece of cheesecake and talk about where to begin.
"Goodness is the only investment that never fails."
Henry David Thoreau
Strawberry Lemon and Lime Cheesecake (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
1 bag lemon wafers or graham crackers (I prefer Midel)
4 tbs (55 g) unsalted butter, melted
2 lbs (908 g) cream cheese
1 1/4 c (312 g) sugar
4 large eggs
zest of one lemon and lime
1 tsp (5 g) lemon juice
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp (5 g) vanilla extract
2 drops lemon or lime oil (optional)
¼ c (60 g) heavy cream
¼ c (58 g) sour cream
strawberries, washed and dried for decoration
Dried sweetened coconut for sprinkling
*all ingredients should be room temperature
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 335 F (168 C).
On the lower rack, place a 9x11 pan of water to create steam while cake cooks.
In food processor, grind up ¾ of the bag of cookies. Drizzle in butter and pulse until cookie crumbs begin to stick together. Remove and press into base of 9" spring form pan to form a crust. ( you can also add a bit of coconut if you'd like).
Beat cheese until smooth on medium-low about 4 minutes scraping bowl during process. Gradually add sugar until it dissolves about 3 minutes minutes.
Add eggs one at a time until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides after each addition. Add vanilla and lemon/ lime juice. Optional: Add lemon oil to taste.
Stir in cream and sour cream.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until sides are firm and center jiggles slightly. Use wooden spoon and use it to hold door ajar for about 50-60minutes. Remove cake to cooling rack. Cool to room temperature and unmold. Chill in refrigerator.
Top with shredded coconut and serve.
Note: To keep the cake from cracking while it bakes, make sure ingredients are at room temperature, do not over-beat and either add a pan of water to the bottom of the oven or cook the cheesecake in a water bath.