You heard about how we celebrated Mother’s Day (with pasta making!), so let’s move on to Father’s Day! Our Father’s Day celebrations were very low-key this year as both of our families are in the middle of a lot of other stuff right now… my parents are in the process of moving, my sister is starting a new job/moving, etc., and G’s parents just moved and are getting settled. But we wanted to do a little something for both dads around this time.
For my dad, we headed back for a (super) quick trip to Iowa to see my parents! I love to bake, so I asked my dad what he wanted for a special sweet treat and he said “cheesecake”! (I should have known….! 🙂 )
Although I do love to bake, I’ve actually never made a cheesecake before so I went to a variety of sources to get inspiration for a recipe. I kept my fingers crossed that my attempt at marrying several recipe concepts would lead to a delicious cheesecake (and not a mess!)
Overall, I think it turned out pretty well! We served it with both caramel sauce and berry sauce for the top (the caramel sauce was from Trader Joe’s, and the berry sauce was homemade using frozen berries and some sugar and water). I don’t think it’s quite up to the standards of my mother-in-law’s cheesecake – still the best I’ve ever had and I need to remember to ask her for the recipe! – but for a first cheesecake, I’m proud of it! I’ve included the recipe below (I meant to take pictures during the process but of course, forgot – I’ll work on that!).
Then on Monday, we saw G’s parents as they were up near us for some doctors appointments. For G’s dad, his favorite dessert (or at least one of his favorites) is carrot cake so I made carrot cake cupcakes – some to enjoy while they were in town and then some for them to take home and enjoy later. I’m still tweaking the carrot cake recipe a bit but I’ll share it when I have it perfected.
So – although a bit belated – Happy Father’s Day to all of the amazing fathers out there and especially to ours!
- 2 cups finely ground graham crackers
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 stick butter (melted)
Lightly grease an 8 inch springform pan with cooking spray or butter/flour and line bottom with parchment paper.
Combine ingredients in medium mixing bowl until everything is evenly moistened by the butter.
Press mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan (about 1 inch or 2/3 of the way up the sides).
Place crust in refrigerator or freezer until filling is finished (note: don’t leave in freezer for more than 5-6 minutes).
Prior to adding filling, wrap bottom and sides of pan in aluminum foil by placing the pan gently on a large square of heavy duty aluminum foil and gently fold up the sides. Repeat with another square of aluminum foil – making sure to not allow any holes in the foil that will allow water to pass through.
- 24 oz. (3 pkgs) cream cheese (do not use light or low fat)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions (Filling and Cheesecake):
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In mixer, beat the cream cheese on low until it is smooth (1-2 minutes). Add eggs individually and beat on slow speed until combined. Add sugar slowly until it is well combined and then beat until smooth/creamy (1-2 minutes).
Add sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla – beat until well combined but do not overmix.
Pour filling into crust and smooth top.
Place cheesecake pan into large roasting dish (or similar) and fill with boiling water until it is about half way up the cheesecake pan (foil will prevent water from getting into the cheesecake).
Bake for approximately 75 minutes until it wiggles a bit in the middle and has a nice sheen across the top but is set up around the edges.
Let cool in pan for 25-35 minutes and then refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours.
Loosen with a thin spatula, unmold and transfer to a cake plate.
Top with preferred toppings (we offered caramel sauce and a berry sauce).