Sunday, January 20, 2013

Million Dollar Pound Cake

Well, 3 posts in a week and all three back to back, yes I know. We are going a little nuts making up for the things we have made and not posted.

Between holidays, which are thankfully over, and now with just being busy with work and more it's been a little challenging to get to posting. We will try to do better. I also can't say I have been baking much let alone has Mike or I been cooking a lot of anything that has been blog worthy. Mostly average food that isn't worth talking about (spaghetti, breakfast for dinner, etc). Just haven't had a lot of new recipes or recipes we have created.

So, now that we are back into the normal swing of things I have gotten my baking bug back. So, the other night I was bored....really bored. I am still on the quest for Mighty Melt bread but have yet to replicated it. So I've been making bread in my bread machine rather than buying a loaf since my local Wonder Bread outlet went out of business with Hostess.

But this is not about bread, not at all. This is about cake. Delicious, moist, and densely delicious cake. There is a reason this recipe is called "Million Dollar Pound Cake." One reason is probably because it require 6 eggs and a full pound of butter. If you notice a lot of pound cake recipes don't actually require a pound of butter anymore.

Much like the loaf pound cake I made after the million dollar pound cake. That one only requires 1 stick of butter (1/4 pound). So maybe it's just the size of the loaf or cake you are making, I suppose. I did make that too, that is what these delicious dense muffins are. That is the basic Pound Cake Loaf which I chose to turn into muffins for ease of eating. Most cakes make great muffins.

This particular recipe required unsweetened applesauce but I only had apple butter. So this cupcake had a stronger flavor of spices (cinnamon and cloves).

Pound Cake Loaf (cupcakes)
Pound Cake Loaf cut in half (cupcake)
In any event, this cake is by far the kind you want to bake when going to a nice dinner party or when the in-laws are coming over.

This is not created in a loaf style either. This is baked in a tube pan (or bundt if you feel like being fancy, like I did below). I have this awesome tube pan that is also spring form. It's a spring form but can be turned into a tube pan that looks like a bundt. It was amazing. I also have a standard angel food pan which I used last time I made this cake.

Million Dollar Pound Cake
I halved the recipe earlier this week because I didn't want to use a pound of butter (all the butter I had) nor did I feel like wiping out half of my eggs on hand. I also have neglected to replace my almond extract so I ended up using rum extract in it's place which has also now run out. I don't care for buying extracts due to the price, but that's what happens when you love baking.

So here you go.

Million-Dollar Pound Cake
Prep: 20 min      Bake: 1 hour 40 min

2 cups (4 sticks - 1 lb) butter, soft
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add flour to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the flour, just until blended. Stir in extracts. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in tube pan.

Bake at 325 degrees (F) for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with chocolate syrup for an added touch.

Makes 16 servings.

I will warn you, this has 497 calories per slice ;) Just make sure you're ok with that.

Pound Cake Loaf (a lighter option)
Prep: 15 min     Bake: 45 min + cooling

1/2 cup butter, soft
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or apple butter if you want more of a spiced cake)
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel (or a squirt or two of lemon juice as I did)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

In a small mixing bowl, cream butter, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the applesauce, vanilla, and lemon peel. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; add to creamed mixture just until blended.

Transfer to an 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pan (or put into cupcake liners in cupcake tin) coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12 servings

Now these only have around 185 calories.

Now go out and bake something extravagant.

Venison Steak with Sherry-Mushroom Sauce (plus dessert)

Alright, deer season may be over but there is still an abundance of deer meat to be eaten. It's good to know people. Trading goose/duck for deer. I call that a good trade.

So in recent weeks there has been venison taco soup, venison lasagna, and now venison steaks. Mmmm. I must say knowing hunters is probably one of the best things in the world. Can't wait to go out and try it myself.

So Mike decided we were going to have venison steaks he had in the freezer for dinner. I was definitely OK with that. I was given the task of finding a suitable recipe for it. So I surfed the web for something that would work with our palates. Well I soon stumbled upon this beauty of a recipe, which when I told Mike what it was he gave a resounding "DONE." So to the store we went to gather the remaining ingredients we needed that aren't kept on hand due to spoilage over a specific length of time.

This is "Venison with Sherry-Mushroom Sauce." How lovely and fancy does that sound? Right?

Of course sherry makes me think of a house wife cooking with it while also drinking it. Why? No clue, probably my watching old TV shows has something to do with it, preconceptions of the 1950's I suppose. Oh well. No we did not drink the cooking sherry while cooking.

First we decided that we were going to add bacon to this recipe, one, because there was bacon to be used, and two because bacon just make everything better. And what tastes better than onions cooked in bacon fat? Butter, as the recipe suggests, doesn't taste nearly as good. So we cooked the bacon until crispy. Chopped it and set aside. We then cooked the onions in the bacon fat until just soft followed by adding in the mushrooms and bacon. Then cooked until mushrooms were soft.

Once that was done we had to flour the steaks with the seasoned flour and then sear on each side for about 7 minutes, more or less depending on the stove top.

Once the steaks were seared, butter and flour were added to the pan, to create a light roux to have the sherry and water added. Then everybody got inn the pool to be simmered until thick and delicious. I must say that the apartment started smelling pretty great at this point.

Sides were chosen to be sliced carrots that Mike added honey and a tad bit of cayenne pepper. We also served this with egg noodles, which were forgotten about until the steaks were done, hence the lack of them in the picture below.

This is a keeper recipe for sure. Of course I'm sure we will try substituting duck for venison at some point as we are still searching for a recipe that makes the duck taste better than previous recipes.

Venison Steak with Sherry-Mushroom Sauce
Prep: 20 min          Cook: 37 min

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

4 Tbsp butter, divided
1 cup chopped Vidalia onion
2 cups sliced mushrooms or baby bellas
6 (3 oz) venison tenderloin steaks

1 Tbsp all purpose flour
3/4 cup sherry
1/4 cup water

Combine 1/2 cup flour, sage, salt, and pepper in a resealable bag, set aside. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large pan over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook until almost soft. Add mushrooms, and continue cooking until soft. Remove from pan and set aside.

Turn heat to medium-high and melt 2 tablespoons of butter in pan. Toss the venison steaks in the seasoned flour and shake off the excess. Sear venison in butter for 6 to 7 minutes per side and remove.

Reduce heat to medium-low, and melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of flour, followed by the sherry and water. Return the vegetables and meat to the pan. Increase the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve with your choice of side, such as egg noodles/rice and veggies.

To say the least this was a hit for all. Sent some off with the roomie to work and she cleaned her plate. Sounds perfect. Will definitely be making this again, much like the goose with sweet chili sauce.

So even if you have a different type of meat, don't be afraid to find new recipes to cook it. Whether it be venison, duck, or goose. Even squirrel or rabbit. Experiment, try new things, go out and cook.

Mid Month - Deer Experiments & Lemon Bars

Well it's already mid-January, can you believe it?

I can't.

Soooo, Mike has acquired ground venison from his neighbor and has played with it a bit to come up with different ways of eating it. His first was hamburger helper with venison. In my opinion that was a waste of venison but I dislike hamburger helper with a roaring passion. I would eat dirt first. Yes, I loathe hamburger helper. It was overdone and now I can't even stomach the smell.

Then he made venison lasagna, he wasn't terribly thrilled with it and said it wasn't blog worthy but to be honest - it's an experiment and yes it will need tweaking but it isn't a total bust like our Boeuf Bourguignon that we made that was absolutely disgusting and trash worthy only. I wouldn't have even fed that to the dog or raccoon's.

He made this in a traditional lasagna way. Layered with noodles, ricotta, tomato sauce and tomatoes, venison with onion and Italian seasoning, and then cheese on top. I thought it was pretty awesome myself, he wants to tweak how he made it and cover it with foil rather than leave uncovered for the whole process. It tasted good and hit the spot - considering I never eat lasagna because of how calorie dense it is, this wasn't bad for that either since venison tends to be on the lean side. It's good to have connections in the hunting world.

Tonight I'm making lemon bars for a co-worker's birthday that we are celebrating tomorrow. I have been searching for a recipe and finally decided on this. I seriously thought about just buying some because I"m feeling lazy and payday is tomorrow, BUT, in the tradition that is me when it comes to baking I tend to lean toward scratch baking rather than the "cheating" way out.

So I went to one of my trusty cookbooks, riddled with stains and spots from baking and cooking. Taste of Home - Reader's Digest 2008. So there are these deliciously simple lemon bars that are from a Melissa Mosness in Loveland Colorado. I am sooo happy she provided them. Probably one of the simplest recipes I've ever made that wasn't out of a box or pre-made.

First in this recipe, crust. Delicious shortbread style crust. Flaky and delicious. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; gradually beating in flour until blended. Then press into an 8-in square pan, or in my cake a 9 inch cake pan (for whatever reason I do not have a square pan - curious - this needs to be rectified. Then you par bake the crust for about 15 minutes in the oven.

Then while that is baking you make the filling. Which has sugar, eggs, lemon juice, flower and baking powder  How easy and simple is that. I personally have all those ingredients on hand all the time. So you beat these ingredients together until they are frothy and airy.

So then you fill the crust with filling and place back into the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the edges start to brown and the center is set.

 Then after it has cooled you dust it beautifully with powdered sugar and cut into slices, or wedges. This is supposed to make 9 servings. I cut it down to more reasonable sizes for a larger group - more snack sized than dessert sized. So this served 16 instead.

How lovely is that? And to keep your plate clean, wrap in plastic wrap so you don't have to wash it later.

Lemon Bars
Prep: 25 min     Bake: 10 min + cooling

1/2 cup butter (1 stick) soft
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour (AP)

3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs (yes whole)
3 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh or in the plastic lemon)
2 Tbsp AP flour
1/4 tsp baking powder

Confectioner's Sugar for dusting

In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until blended and light and fluffy; gradually beat in flour until blended.

Press into an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish (or just use what you have on hand). Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Meanwhile, for filling, in a small mixing bowl, beat the sugar, eggs, lemon juice, flour and baking powder until frothy. Pour over crust.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Cut into squares.

Makes 9 servings.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Canada Goose with Sweet Chili Sauce

Oh yes, the mighty hunter has gone out and provided the house with goose a plenty. Mmmm, free meat for one, and two it's pretty tasty when cooked in a delicious recipe such as this.

Yesterday Mike went out with his buddy Cameron and another guy from Cameron's job and went to a farmer's field and pond to set up and await the goose hunting. He left the house at 6 am and was done hunting by 11. He returned around 4 pm to clean geese and package them in baggies. I now have about 4 breast halves in my freezer awaiting a delicious recipe.

That is the decoy spread from the layout blind. I guess some of the geese were very upset and one was attacking Cameron's decoy. Had to chase it off, that's bizarre, crazy birds.

They took Goose out, yes the dogs name is Goose. He evidently didn't do anything since ice freaks him out I guess. So he just chilled out in the layout blinds while the guys took on the Canada's.


Mike & 'Goose'
Here we have the mighty hunters with a two man limit (6 birds) they had a total of 9 due to having three men in the hunt so all in all a good day for the men. Not such a great day for 9 of the geese out there. Oh well, they tasted delicious :)

We made Canada Goose in a Sweet Chili Glaze. Put a 1/4 cup ish of EVOO into the pan and sauteed the onion and garlic until translucent. Then added the goose meat, about 2 breast halves cut into 1/8 inch strips. Then we added about 1/2 a cup of sweet chili sauce to it after cooking until just to rare (that way we didn't overcook), - ok, MIKE cooked the goose, but followed the recipe I found. :)

Oh my my my, this smelled SOOOOOOO good and looked pretty amazing too. So simple.

Also, about 1 hour prior to starting the goose I decided I wanted carrot souffle. I first discovered this mouth-gasm at Piccadilly's Cafeteria when I was a teenager and it was oh so delicious but I could never find a recipe that even came close. I found this one and for the next time I need to make sure I have a food processor to really mash up the carrots to a finer consistency, either way it was delicious.

2 lbs of carrots and a potato masher later we had that delicious souffle of sweet carrot goodness. (Not my any means super healthy but it tastes good and all things in moderation right?)

So when all was cooked and done we had this lovely dinner, sweet chili glazed Canadian goose with a side of carrot souffle and brown rice. Perfection in a meal. Mike and I agree, we cook well together as well as coming up with great ideas to cook.

So for those that would like to try, you can buy goose at your local supermarket, you may have to ask the meat counter, or if you're a hunter - you know where to get goose. Otherwise, substitute beef or chicken as you please. Experiment - have fun.

Canada Goose in Sweet Chili Sauce

**Note, we doubled the recipe**

Prep: 15 min Cook: 10 min

1/4 cup olive oil, evoo
1 small sweet onion, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 (8 oz) skinless, boneless, goose breast half, cut into 1/8-inch slices
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup sweet Thai chili sauce (kikkoman makes a really good one)

1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion and garlic in hot oil until fragrant. About 2 minutes.
2. Season goose with salt and pepper; add to hot oil. Cook goose breast slices in hot oil for 2 minutes, flip, and continue cooking until evenly browned, about 2 minutes more.
3. Pour chili sauce over the goose; reduce heat to medium-low and cook at a simmer until chili sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.

Serves 4

199 calories, 16g fat, 18mg cholesterol, and 6g protein per serving

Carrot Souffle (like Piccadilly's Cafeteria)

Prep: 15 min Cook: 1 hour 15 min

1 3/4 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped (we used 2lbs worked just fine)
1 cup white sugar (if you look at the recipe on the site, people say they were cutting the sugar in half, why? I don't know, I would think it would take away from the original intent of this recipe, it's fine this way - sub your favorite sugar sub if you like though)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter, soft
2 tsp confectioners' sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
2. In a large pot of boiling water, cook carrots until very tender, must be able to mash. Drain, and transfer to large mixing bowl.
3. While carrots are warm, use an electric mixer to beat with sugar, baking powder, and vanilla extract until smooth. Mix in flour, eggs, and butter. Transfer to a 2 quart baking dish.
4. Bake 1 hour in preheated oven, or until top is golden brown. Sprinkle lightly with confectioners' sugar before serving (we baked for 1 hour 15 min and it worked fine, I have a gas oven).

271 calories, 13g fat, 79 mg cholesterol, 3g fiber, 307mg sodium, 3.4g protein

All in all, not a totally unhealthy dinner, brown rice balanced it out perfectly. Could also serve with mashed potatoes or baked potatoes. Soo good, can't wait for leftovers.

Go out and cook!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Christmas, New Year, Cheesecake, and Hunting

Where well the heck did we go right? I know. We are not the type of bloggers that have an abundance of things to share over the holidays as we were hither and yon and back again due to family events etc.

So, what have we been up to, well I will start off with food, as in Cheesecake - REAL New York style cheesecake. No graham crackers involved. I hear those gasps out there, yes, I make cheesecake WITHOUT graham crackers, you are allowed to do that you know. Especially if you are going for more authenticity than simplicity.

You can look up traditional New York style cheesecake and it has a shortbread type crust with a standard cheesecake filling with or without the sour cream topping. Mine does not have the topping but still tastes pretty awesome. I like to pair it with cherries on top or strawberries, though this is a cheesecake that can be eaten plain as well. It has a hint of lemon to offset the fact that this recipe has 4 packages of cream cheese in it.

So, to the cheesecake:

Yes a REAL New York style cheesecake :) That's how I put it in the home cookbook with mom and Gramma's recipe. 

4 eggs for the filling, yes 4. There is also almost one entire lemon with rind and juice in the crust and in the filling, this is what cuts the richness of the cake.

Making the filling you have to have 3 packages of cream cheese with sugar, eggs, vanilla, a touch of flour, and some lemon juice and rind.

Of course it's not a cheesecake unless you have a spring form pan. This beauty I obtained through Mike's grandmother. I have this and my 3 small muffin tins from her. 

So to start this cheesecake we had to start with the crust, this is a shortbread crust made with butter AND cream cheese to help make it blend a little better but still be more traditional. 1 pkg of cream cheese, 1 stick of butter, flour, sugar, vanilla, and lemon rind. You can also just make the crust and turn them into cutout cookies much like sugar cookies.You can also take a little bit of the crust and make decorations for the top of the cheesecake after you've put topping on it, makes it "fancy."

So we start by par baking the base of the crust, so this went into a 375 degree F oven for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, much like a perfectly toasted marshmallow.

So next we have a prepared filling, after the crust cooled, I placed the crust up on the sides of the pan to create the side of the cake.

Once I had the sides put in I made sure to seal the seam around the bottom and side of the crust to ensure that the cheesecake didn't leach through, not that it would through the spring form but I like to have things done all the way for this.

Next, if you do not have one of these puppies in your oven, GO BUY ONE AND PUT IT THERE! I'm serious, this thing has corrected me on numerous occasions. Having a gas oven can sometimes cause things to be a bit inaccurate with the dial that comes with the oven. So to have an oven thermometer always in the oven it ensures I have the correct temperature. As you see here, it's at 300 degrees F, perfect for baking a cheesecake.

This pan here if filled with water, putting this pan under the cake will ensure that the cheesecake doesn't crack. You can leave this out if you were putting the sour cream topping on it or if you were just going to top before serving and didn't care but this makes the cheesecake look prettier when it's pulled from the oven.

As you can see, this is going to be a tasty cake. :)

Beautiful cake no? My plate is pretty cute too - polar bear plate with matching bowl (not pictured). Perfect for Christmas and winter time. Speaking of Christmas (you can find the recipe below for the cake). Here is my tree in front of my picture window - lights off of course.

I'm one of those people who has the random ornaments that all mean something to me, I don't do a matchy matchy or color schemed tree and my tree topper is an angel that my mom made with yarn and the plastic canvas. It's old but it means a lot that she gave it to me.

I didn't really bake cookies this Christmas season like I normally do, when doing foodie pen pal in November I received dark chocolate covered pretzel thins topped with crushed up peppermint. Can I just say, DELISH. Also, it gave me an idea, instead of taking cookies to the local fire dept I would take chocolate pretzels. I ended up making chocolate chip cookies (store bough dough) and made those real quick. It's a Christmas tradition in my family to take cookies and/or candies to the local fire dept and/or police dept to say thank you to the people that don't get to go home for Christmas. Of course, police tend to look at you funny when you hand them cookies, thinking they must be drugged or something. So it's generally our fire departments that get cookies because they don't care and want to show you around the station anyway. :)

So to make these pretzels is really super super simple. I went to Sam's Club and purchased a large bag of those pretzel thins. Then bought a large bag of chocolate chips, I got milk chocolate so to satisfy 90% of people. Then I went to Aldi and picked up about 2 packages of candy canes to pulverize with my meat tenderizing mallet. Hehe, I think my neighbor upstairs thinks I'm insane. Between the indoor bike and pounding on my counters, I guess I do make a bit of noise.

So you melt the chocolate down, a double boiler method works best because it keeps the chocolate warm while you dip. My mother had given me a giant bundle of Chinese restaurant chopsticks (she has an elderly Japanese lady at her church that hoards everything), so I used a couple chop sticks to dip each pretzel without leaving any marks on the backs or fronts after dipping. Then after they were dipped I took a pinch of the peppermints and sprinkled them atop the pretzels. I think they turned out quite well. They tasted divine too. I took a small amount to Mike's parents house for the Christmas in St. Louis and his Gramma ate it up and loved them. The fire dept was thankful too.

I didn't go the entire Christmas season without baking homemade cookies, on the left there I have fluffy snickerdoodles, that's another recipe for another time (you can look them up too, I can't remember who I got the recipe from though). Then on the right we have my mom's peanut butter cookies, which I have tweaked by using all butter instead of shortening. I like the chewiness that they have with butter better. I also received for Christmas these silicone cookie stamps that I am eager to try out for Valentine's day. It came with a heart, a snowflake and a jack-o-lantern. Can't wait to experiment.

We spent Christmas day at my folks place after spending 4 days with Mike's parents the week before. The time in St. Louis was fun because his dad will take us to the gun range to shoot in the pits as well as at the skeet range. Love it. It was a nice early Christmas with them, his sister and her hubby and his parents and Gramma. Cozy and I got more presents than expected quite honestly. Was fun.

Christmas day we were at my parents place at 9:30 am and opened presents and lounged around until dinner time. My aunt was supposed to be in Hawaii but due to snow storms all her flights were grounded :( I know she had been excited about that but at least got to spend the day with her, I think the last time we did Christmas with her was years ago. It went well and everyone had plenty to eat. Even after we left Mike was able to be a Good Samaritan and help out at a wreck, he keeps a med bag in his truck for such things. I'm quite proud of him.

Recently we made burritos, seen above there. Hyvee makes their own tortillas from scratch so we picked up some whole wheat tortillas, used the last 1/4 lb of lean ground beef, black refried beans, green pepper, onion, and salsa con queso to create a delicious and surprisingly lower calorie dinner than expected. It really hit the spot that night. Inside the burrito it had about 1 oz of ground beef, 1 Tbsp black refried beans, a few strips of onion and pepper with about a tablespoon of cheese, we then topped with cheese and the remaining beef and sided it with the remaining beans (refried beans made with black beans instead of pinto) and the I topped with avocado and tomato. 

Amazing what you can just piece together sometimes when you are just wandering around the store.

Earlier this year, in October, we had a dear friend take some pictures (no not engagement photos, just photos for the hell of it). I had some of just me for some Christmas cards I sent out as well as some of Mike and I for closer relatives. These are two of my favorites. She is such a great friend and we had a great time at the park that day.

So on to January, I found this picture above online and decided to do it, so I have a jar on my counter for things that make me happy and good things that happen. Mike has already gone and made fun of my midnight kiss for New Year's Eve and hearing "I love you" from Mike. Corny, yes. Still makes me smile and is good.

New Year's Eve our original plans were changed due to a snow storm headed into the city. Well, it was a terrible storm but enough to make us leery about venturing too far into the city on a night where drunk drivers abound. Top that with slick roads and no thank you. So we went to one of our favorite local bars and spent the evening there, free shuttle to and from (though I ended up calling a friend to pick us up because the bar failed miserably on the FROM part) and free pizza bar for anyone with a pre-sale ticket (we got ours that morning). So we people watched and enjoyed that thoroughly since we saw a couple argue about their affair, a lady turn a young buck down with the line "You're not even a man." And Mike saw a man pass out at the bar. It was quite the entertaining night, we even made friends.

So after the holidays were over I had purchased a delightful thing from Cabela's with birthday and Christmas money. (My birthday is the week before Christmas - Mike took me to dinner and we shared a large peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream - delicious but absolutely HUGE). I bought my first really warm coat in a long time. Yes, it's duck blind Mossy Oat and a "hunting" coat but it's warm and I love it. 

So today Mike went hunting. Headed out around 6 and was done by 11am. He and his buddy got their limit (3 geese) each and they got to take the dog (his name is Goose) out too. It was a good day for the mighty hunters. As you can see Mike is happy with the days kill.

He even used his Christmas present from me, face paint. I got him this cool new kind that comes in a mini deodorant like container. Pretty cool and he said it worked great and he liked it. That makes me happy. So as you can see we have been busy busy busy but we are back now. We have a post for tomorrow to, we will show you what we did with the days kill.

Here is the promised recipe though, I'm sure you just skipped down and came straight to this. :)

REAL Cheesecake *New York Style* (Mom's recipe)

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, room temperate (DO NOT FAT FREE CREAM CHEESE)
1/2 cup butter/margarine (1 stick), room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour, all purpose
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp grated lemon rind

Combine soft cream cheese and butter. Mixing until well blended. Add flour, sugar, and rind. Mix well. Form into a ball. Chill dough thoroughly.

Cookies: On a lightly floured surface, roll 1/4 cup dough into 1/8 inch thickness. Cut with assorted 1-inch cookie cutters of your choice. Sprinkle with sugar and bake at 375 degrees F for 8 to 10 min or until lightly browned.

Crust: Spread TWO THIRDS of remaining dough onto the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until crust is very lightly brown. Cool. Press remaining dough around sides of pan.

Drop oven to 300 degrees F.

3 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh is best)
2 tsp lemon rind, grated
4 eggs

Combine soft cream cheese, sugar, flour, lemon juice, and rind. Mix at medium speed, using an electric mixer. Mix until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour filling into crust. Bake at 300 degrees F for 1 hour 15 minutes. Or until center is set.

Loose cake from rim of pan; cool completely before removing rim and cutting.

If you wish, spoon pie filling over the top of cake and top with small cookies made earlier.
**Cherry, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, apple, chocolate, etc - let your imagination run wild.

Go out and experiment, take chances, enjoy cooking.

Go out and cook, or bake ;)