Tag Archives: Cheesecake

Fusion Cheesecake

Last week we took Babydoll to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner in honor of her first A/B Honor roll of the school year. I was unable to attend the Honors ceremony for this nine weeks because of work so I promised her dinner on Friday to celebrate.

It was a decent meal, I ordered the wrong thing because I was trying to prove to Stan that it was possible to have this item on their menu and it be good. It wasn’t…hence the reason why I say I ordered the wrong thing. However, our appetizers were awesome – Babydoll loves calamari and we also ordered the Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes (a real winner there). Babydoll decided on the buttered pasta but was disappointed to get bowtie pasta instead of angel hair, but we sent it back for the right one.

The purpose of this quick blog is to tell you about their cheesecakes. Many years ago (I think this was pre-Babydoll because she wasn’t with us or maybe we had a babysitter.), Stan and I came to Cheesecake Factory for dinner and when it came time for dessert, I looked over the vast selection of cheesecakes and couldn’t find anything that I wanted to order. See, I wanted some cheesecake and I wanted some chocolate cake. When our server came back to the table and asked if we had made our choice, I asked her if there was anything in the restaurant that would satisfy my craving. I wanted chocolate cake and cheesecake at the same time. They had nothing. Sad smile I left the restaurant that night without any dessert for the first time since I had begun going there (I first had it when I went to DC for college, a long time ago).

On the drive home that night, I sat in the car and devised how to get my chocolate cake and cheesecake at the same time. I discussed it with Stan and tried it out the next weekend. It worked! I served it to my girlfriends at my dinner party that December and it was a huge hit. My first cake was a vanilla bean cheesecake with a chocolate, almond cake crust. My “fusion cheesecakes” were born that holiday season out of a need that I couldn’t find at the Cheesecake Factory.

In subsequent years, I have made many versions of this fusion cheesecake – lemon, strawberry, chocolate, plain vanilla, red velvet and whatever anyone request. So imagine my surprise, last week when I look at the cheesecake menu and I see not one, but about a half dozen cheesecakes that now have some type of cake layer in them!!!!! We haven’t been to the Cheesecake Factory in a couple of years, because 1) the wait is always ridiculous and 2) I’ve learned to make such an awesome cheesecake I don’t feel the need to go there for dessert. The one thing that is on their menu that has me coming back again and again is their Crusted Chicken Romano – and you have to get it with a white sauce (Alfredo) and not the red. That is something I haven’t been able to duplicate yet (and to think that I didn’t order it this time because I was wanted to prove a point…God what a mistake).

Back to my angst….should I be upset that what used to be one of my signature desserts is now being served at the Cheesecake Factory? The process of how it’s put together differs, but should I feel like I’ve been ripped off? Mind you, they’ve probably never heard of me and my fusion cheesecakes, but I don’t have the luxury of saying that it was mine anymore. If I told you I came up with this years before them would you believe me? It made me a little sad….

But I ordered the 30th Anniversary cheesecake because it had the cheesecake and chocolate cake combination that I wanted all those years ago that they didn’t have. I took it home and looked at it for 20 minutes (the next day, I was too tired to eat it that night and it was really late. I did mention the wait at that place is ridiculous) then I finally ate it. It was really good.

Have you been to the Cheesecake Factory and had any of the cheesecakes with the cake inside?

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HEY…as an afterthought I remember when I came up with my fusion cheesecake idea, I was pregnant with Babydoll. That’s where the crazy craving came from. MY PREGNANCY!!!

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Girlfriends Dinner 2012

Happy Holidays everyone,

Have you been as busy as I have? Children’s choir Christmas concert, shopping, entertaining, and working. Does it seem like there is not enough time to get it all done?

I just wanted to take a few moments to talk about my annual Girlfriends Christmas dinner. This made the eleventh year that I have had this event. Sometimes I can’t believe it’s been going on this long. It was last weekend and let me tell ya, I love to see my girls; but I’m glad it’s over. I had spent a three weeks prepping for this one night. I had list on top of list, had purchased some table accessories, designed (if not sent out) invitations, and researched the perfect gifts for my girls. Let me give you a quick rundown of the week leading up to the event.

I decided back in August that I would be having the party on December 15th because I knew I would be hosting my families Christmas get together and I wanted to leave the weekend prior to Christmas open. Like I said the list with info for the party had begun the beginning of November. I mailed the invitations out the week before (yes, I still mail out invitations not send an e-vite.) and began making the edible gifts on Monday (my day off) and had the carpet cleaner come on Monday also. I went to work on Tuesday and came home to make some more chocolates. This year I decided to make molded chocolates along with Christmas cookies. I bought molds from JoAnn’s and made a caramel filled chocolate (looked like mini Reese cups until you took a bite) and then took some pretzel pieces and Rice Chex cereal and used a peanut butter flavored chocolate to make large round molds (I used to molds that are for covering cookies). I dipped pretzel rods with chocolate and covered peanut butter crackers in chocolate. I made sugar cookies and chocolate sable cookies. I did most of this work on Monday.

The babydoll had her choir concert on Thursday (it never fails this concert is on the same week of my dinner party every year…what’s up with that? Smile with tongue out) so we had a longer rehearsal at the venue on Wednesday. Thursday was a bust as far as party preparations went because the concert was on that day and we had to get her at the venue by 6pm and once we got home from school pick-up it is after 4. We needed to eat get dressed and run out the door. And we still were trying to make sure that she was ready for her test the next day. (She had a reading test – I have to write an entire post about reading and the babydoll – and a spelling test.).

babydoll

It’s not the best picture, but I really didn’t want to have someone else kids in the photo AND all of the photos I have of her pre-performance have her looking like she really wasn’t excited about performing and she really did.

Friday I had two clients and I wanted to get some prep work done for the next day. Stan and babydoll decided to leave for the weekend trip Friday evening instead of getting up Saturday morning which was fine by me because it would mean I would be free to really concentrate on the dinner party. I had made the dessert and the rice for my rice balls before I called it a night at 11:30pm.

Saturday, I awoke bright and early but had to wait a couple of hours for some of the stores to open. I still needed to go to Bed Bath & Beyond for a Crème Brule torch, I needed to go to Bath & Bodyworks for the smell good gift, I needed to go to JoAnn’s to look for fabric to use as a table covering and I needed something to put the sweet treats in, I wanted to get some more flowers for the vase that went in the middle of the table and finally there were a few things I still needed to get from the grocery store as well as some groceries for the following week. You may ask why did I wait until the day of to go get additional groceries. Because Meijer (my store of choice along with Kroger) was giving 5% off groceries to mPerks members and there were some other items that they were having a 2-day sale and Downy fabric softener (it was on sale for $3.99 and I had a $1 off coupon) was one of the items in this sale. Ya’ll know how I am about a bargain. My timing was still good, so I had time to shop that morning. I had gotten fabric, flowers, sweets packaging, smell goods, dog food, and torch all before 10:30 (I left the house at 9).

It wouldn’t be my life without a hiccup and this was mine…I had my china in our storage unit. I had asked my wonderful husband to pull them out for me earlier in the week, but he stated that he had pulled them to the front of the storage unit so that all I had to do was open the door to the unit and put them in the car. I looked in the door for my key to the storage unit and it wasn’t there. I called him (he was in Chi-town) and asked where’s my key and he said maybe it’s on the pass through in the kitchen. I drive back home and there’s no key. Surprised smile My mother became the calming voice in my ear because we Johnson/Lynch’s are very passionate people and a very negative passionate response was about to erupt. She said we could use my grandmother’s china and her chargers. I lost about 1 hour of my well laid out time table, but my mother was there to help me out and we got it done. The second hiccup occurred when the in house speakers would not connect to my iPod, but my sister-friend found the music channel on the television and we moved forward.  With the awesome help of my mother, I was able to get dinner prepared as much as I wanted, gift bags made, and a table set.  Mind you the table was set fifteen minutes before the guest arrived, but it was set.  I think it turned out pretty good considering I was using borrowed china and every piece of flatware I owned (my good set was also in storage, I’m so getting my stuff out of there.)

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I pulled a chair out of my office for the middle seat and didn’t really need to (my guest didn’t make it. Sad smile

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I decided to have an Italian themed dinner with the exception of the dessert. I’ve realized that my girls will always get a specialty cheesecake every year – that will be my signature item each year. This year I made a Crème Brule cheesecake complete with an almond crust. Here was the rest of the menu…

Appetizers: Baked Fontina Cheese w/Italian bread for dipping along with Rice Balls we had Prosecco with this course

Soup: A version of Olive Gardens Tuscano Suppa

Salad: Panzanella

Main Course: Vegetable Lasagna, Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken with Creamy Herbed Polenta I served a Moscato with this because I knew they weren’t a Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio group.

Dessert: Crème Brule Cheesecake

Cheesecake

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This photo was taken the next day because we were having such a good time, I forgot to take photos of dinner.

Five of the eight ladies showed up…one had to miss out due to a family health emergency, another had another family holiday commitment and the other I’m not sure about yet. We ate, we drank, and we were very merry. We promised that we wouldn’t wait until next Christmas to do this again. Maybe I’ll have something this summer…I mean we have a great looking patio that I want to get some use out of.

What about you, are you doing any holiday entertaining?

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