Delicious, Tasty, and just Right: The Mini-Cheesecake

Jake from the Sunday Post asked us for delicious this week. I’ve been on a delicious binge most of my life, so ask me for a delicious post, and that is what you will get. I may not like to cook (or be good at it), but I wielded a baker’s mitt from an early age.

Baking, for me, is associated with many happy memories. Mostly, with my step-dad. It was something we enjoyed together. I would create fabulous desserts of the third-kind; brownies with fudge sauce, chocolate pudding pies, and lop-sided cakes. And he would be the first one to taste them. Brave, brave soul.

That is true fatherly love.

We shared many a good spoon together, and usually, a great relief that the kitchen didn’t burn down.

This past Christmas, I got to spend a lot of time with my mother-in-law helping her bake all her Christmas favorites. Truth is, I observed more than I actually baked, but I have baked this recipe myself. Most recently as a belated birthday surprise for my daughter’s boyfriend Brandon, who LOVES cheesecake (as do I Brandon…as do I).

The crust is Vanilla wafer cookies set in the bottom of the cupcake holder.

Then, you mix the sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and eggs in a blender. For me, the hardest part is getting the SUPER HEAVY blender down from the upper cabinet. The easiest part is flicking a switch, and not using more elbow grease.

Next, you fill the cups with the delicious mixture (3/4th’s of the way).

Put them in the oven for a little warmth of the 350-degree variety.

After fifteen minutes, or so, they will come out looking like this. And really? THIS is just FINE for those that don’t like a fruit topping. Peel and enjoy, or add something else to the top. Let you imagination run wild.

Traditionally, we use cherry-filling.

I like the cherry. It gives the cheesecake a pop of color and a tasty punch of syrupy goodness.

And that is pretty much it.


My friends…I introduce you to……


And no, this is not a secret family recipe, but if that makes it taste better (which would be hard to do), then maybe it could be (heh).

The recipe.

So, what do you think? Do you love cheesecake? Are you willing to try this recipe?

Sunday Post: My favorite Spot

The Sunday post from Jake’s Printer could not have come at a better time. The theme this week is to post your favorite spot.

Although, I have many, many favorite spots. I have one in particular that means a lot to me. It is a restaurant called Sushi Zone located in Arlington, Texas. In my three years of blogging, I have written about it twice. Once for our Friday nights with Sushi and, again years later with photos.

I wrote it about twice……because I LOVE THIS PLACE.

It is my favorite spot, not just because I discovered I loved Sushi here, but because, my husband has gone here for years, and years.

Then? I became a part of that world – like I became part of his world.

Then? It became my world too. And I brought my daughter Sydney into the fold. A well-blended Sushi family. Dining at our home away from home.

This is the place we go for meet-anniversaries, wedding anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays.

This is our special place.

And yes, you can get Sushi at a lot of restaurants in the city, but you can’t get the atmosphere of this place. You can’t make memories that last. You don’t know the chef’s name, where HE eats, and the sports teams he follows. You don’t know the waitress, how old she is, that she is a widow, and she works part-time at the IHOP down the road from us. This is a place where they don’t ask where you want to sit. They just know.

At the Sushi bar, you are greeted with the most delicious cucumber salad. It is pickled in something divine, because that is exactly how it tastes.

The first thing we order is Salmon. Always. It is my favorite fish, and that first melt-in-your-mouth piece explodes the taste buds. Boom!

We always drink sake – Japanese rice wine. We ordered a special bottle this time, an incredibly pure Sake, served chilled.

Jason then shows Sydney how to use the chopsticks….again. He is ever so patient, but she has yet to get it. Not after years of being handed them. She tries to pick up one piece, it falls, and then she just digs in with her fingers. Every time.

She would say, she knows HOW. She just CAN’T. Sorta like bike-riding..ahem.

A California Roll usually comes after our fish pieces. I love this roll….it’s called California! Yes! My favorite State. AND it is LOVELY for photos. So pretty! And colorful!

I can’t help it. I have to PHOTOGRAPH this wonderful display. It’s like fine art.

Lastly, after I have stuffed every bit of fish and rice I can hold in my stomach. They deliver the yum-a-licious orange. Cut, flavored, and sprinkled with orange-suckling goodness.

And I feel healthier for eating it.

We LOVE this place.

That is why I took so many photos on Friday night. So that we can always remember all the times we spent here, all the memories it holds, and how special it will always be.

You see, Sushi Zone closed their doors on Saturday, September 29, 2012. They served their last roll, their last order of edamame, and their last sashimi. Koji can hang his Sushi-chef hat high. What a wonderful service he has provided all these years. The outpouring of patrons visiting for the last time, like us, was truly phenomenal.

We wish he, and his crew much love, and success in the future. And really hope to see them all again.

Sushi Zone…this post was for you. ♥

You will always be my favorite spot.

Eat Cake and Celebrate

Guess who is a DECADE old???

She is my first love….puppy love that is….and this is her story.

More than ten years ago, I wanted a male yellow lab. That is what I intended to bring home, and had my heart set on. But all the puppies at the farm that day? They were black. So, I looked for a boy. A cute little boy with a face only a doggy mom could love.

I picked him out of all the rambunctious pups and snagged my man.

Only, it was a girl.

I said, “Oh! You have such a CUTE face, but I want a little boy.”

I put her down, and continued my search among twelve CRAZY baby black labs running everywhere. Again, I spotted my pup. So, I picked him up, and took a look.


And guess what? It was the SAME girl. I recognized her because she had white stars on the bottom of her front paws. I gave her a big hug, and set her down, “I really like you, but I promised myself I would get a boy.”

On the search went, from one puppy face to another. I saw them chew ears, bounce, run, and tumble all over each other.

FINALLY, I spotted a REALLY cute pup. THIS was it! The ONE.

I picked it up, and sure enough, GIRL. Same girl. Same paws dabbed in white. Same pretty face.

This time, I didn’t set her down. I knew.

I picked that girl out of twelve puppies – three times in a row – she was meant for me.

And now, my baby puppy, is ten years old, and the longest live-in roommate I have ever had. We have many memories and journeys together.

She is my best fur-friend – loyal, comforting, and always thankful. Many times, hugging her big fur-neck made everything right in my upside-down world.

So we celebrate, because, I know………I don’t have many years left.

And I will miss her dearly.

My sweet girl, you deserve a party to remember (if you can).

Let’s get it started. Everyone knows a birthday just isn’t a birthday unless you sing, loud, and proud to the Birthday girl.

Then, you eat cake!

And of course, you invite the very best party guests. My youngest step-daughter, and newest adoptee Fred.

My oldest step-daughter with the baby of the fur family – Miss Brownie (who kinda turned grayie).

The oldest daughter with the middle dog – Anna.

We take celebrating serious in this house.

Put on your best party duds, and get wild. Right, Fred?

Right Salem?


Maybe, the party is a little too much for her (she is 70 in dog years!). Luckily, we got the cake-eating covered.

And don’t worry, Salem got a tasty, beefy raw-hide bone for her birthday.

I think she liked it.

Happy Birthday Pup!

If Heaven had a Father’s Day

If heaven had a Father’s Day….I’d visit for a while.

I’d have my arms held out so far, my hug would stretch a mile.

In my Father’s eyes I’d see, the beauty of the day.

I don’t think anyone, or thing, could keep me far away.

I’d sit and chat with him about, all the days gone by.

We’d laugh and smile and reminisce, high up in the sky.

I’d have so much to share with him, I’d never want to part.

But all too soon the day would end, heavy in my heart.

Every moment from then on, I’d think of him so dear.

Sitting in those puffy clouds, smiling ear to ear.

I miss you more than words can say….Oh heaven if it’s true?

Would you have a day for us? To last the whole year through.

Happy Father’s Day…from here to there.

I love and miss you!