Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hit the Road Running...

The Weatherbug alarms indicate we are in line for a wintry storm on Thursday, beginning Wednesday in the night.  Today dawned with such sunshine, but almost by magic the clouds overtook the roads on my way to school.  First I marveled at the azure glow of clear skies, and by the time I drove the fifteen miles here, it was almost entirely overcast.  Bitter wind, just that particular chill to the bone that forewarns us to cozy down and gather in something warm and tangible to hold onto.  Currently we have snow with partial sunshine.  Oddly cool...  Forgive these little blurry photos, please..  I was driving and sliding around with mittens and my phone camera...  It has an auto focus, but I don't think I waited for it to come into play...  You get the idea, though.

I had to throw myself out of bed this morning...  I mentally yelled at yours truly that I had gone to school in colder, "worser" weather for 36 years...  It was funny how I scared that snuggly, lazy, cozy woman right out of the navy blue down comforter and raced her sorry tail right up the steps to get a cup of comfort and dress  for school...  Tonight my son will be visiting for a meal, some games, and some chores.  It seems like Monday, but it's Tuesday.  I'll take it.
Big Housecleaning session coming up next week----  I belong to BrocanteHome's Housekeeper's Circle, and it will be time for our seasonal scrub.  None too soon by the looks of my corners and cubbyholes in my room. I don't belong to sorority any more, but my former group is coming to Mom's for a meeting March 25th.  Nothing ever brought out the scrub like Doll Club, sorority, parties, and similar events... Although I have long dreamed of having a home always posh and squeaky clean, it isn't often the case...  Presentable usually...  ready for company, uh...  not so much.  Who hasn't had a child ask who is coming when he sees you cleaning?  It is a pow to the domesticated ego when that happens, but it is pretty natural except to the inveterate cleanies in the world, god love you, whoever you are.
With the possibility of a snow day on Thursday, at least for me, this week may be a short one...  I wish we could have a snow day and still get our wonderful Easter break.  I am at 56 school days and (who's counting)...  I'm actually excited for a real change that I instigated...  vs. the kinds of changes that befall us accidentally, such as illness, death, heavy blows to the soul...

Here's my recipe of the week...

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

From Redbook
Yields: 36 bars
Oven Temp: 350

Orange Crust
  • 1 3/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 3/4 cup(s) (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • Yolk from 1 large egg 

  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 2 package(s) (8 ounces each) light cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1/3 cup(s) light sour cream
  • tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1 can(s) (8-ounce) jellied cranberry sauce

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 13- by 9-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil 2 inches beyond pan at both ends. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Beat butter and remaining mixture of ingredients with the paddle attachment of a mixer on medium speed until soft and creamy, about 2 minutes. On low speed, beat in flour mixture, scraping sides of the bowl until dough comes together. Drop small clumps of dough evenly into prepared pan. With floured fingers, press dough into even layer.
  3. Bake 20 minutes or until surface is golden and set. Remove crust, keeping the oven on.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  5. Use the paddle attachment of a mixer on medium speed to beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy and smooth. On low speed, beat in eggs, then sour cream, flour, and vanilla until blended and smooth.
  6. Whisk cranberry sauce in a small bowl until smooth. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the cheesecake batter until blended. Pour the remaining white batter over the warm crust, then spoon small dollops of the cranberry batter over the white batter and drag a small spatula across the surface until it looks marbled.
  7. Bake 36 minutes or until surface looks dry and is set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm and cold.
  8. Lift ends of foil to transfer to a cutting board. Cut lengthwise into 6 equal strips, about 1 1/2 inches wide. Cut each strip into 6 bars.

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