Are you ready for Summer & Salted Carmel Cheesecake Bits

      So are you ready for some summer? Temperatures that are above your age and not below the IQ level (and that is stretching for me). Are you ready for green grass and sandy beaches.? Are you ready for days that have more sunlight than darkness, and the sun actually brings warmth and is not deceiving. I am so looking forward to seeing my deck again, and being able to get to my grill and do some good old grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. Yes I normally would grill through the winter season however it's not that easy when you have 30 to 40 inches of snow to wade through to get to the grill. I will have to say I am very appreciative of my home repair guy for after last winter my deck we discovered was not supported correctly and actually had a partial collapse. If that had not been fixed correctly I would have lost the entire end of my deck under all the weight of the snow this year. But all is good and is now waiting to be cleared off and the deck furniture put back out so that we can lay out and take in the rays both at lunch time and after work.I will say I am starting to think however what I might be able to do with the front lawn so that I don't have to mow any more, but I do really enjoy seeing the green and having all the squirrels and rabbits around. Right now all I can do is tell when the woodland creatures have been around by the tracks they leave in the snow. How does the song go, I'm dreaming of a green Memorial Day just like the ones I used to know, where the tree tops,,, oh you can make up your own song but the point is I am so dreaming of the summer coming. Where walking the dog does not require getting into an outfit that I only remember toddlers wearing to keep warm from the wind chills.

      Well we could sit here all day and all night pondering what we are looking forward to after the snow has melted away. Now is the time thought to be planning of your visit to the Cape and starting to put dates on the calendars and maybe making lists of places you want to go to and restaurants you want to eat at. You realize that Next week is March and it is countdown to T - 3 months to June. So get everyone around the table and start that planning and lets see how long you really need to plan your vacation for this year in order to get in all the fun and sun you have on your list. I hope you are looking forward to your visit, as we are looking forward to you being here. Have a great and wonderful and let's all think of warm fuzzy sunny sandy thoughts all the way to spring and beyond.

      This week's business report is all the shops in Orleans. Something I did not know is that to do business in Orleans they ask that you be open year round. So if you are looking for a variety of shops that don't closed for the off season, well a trip to Orleans is in store for you. Just be sure to check for times of operation as not all are open late every night, and some do take and extra day or two off in the week. I am not going to list all the stores, however you can check that list out at the Orleans Chamber of Commerce website orleanscapecod.org. But there are a few I just have to mention. First is Oceana gallery and gifts. This wonderful little gem of a shop I think that you will be surprised at what you find, everything from tableware to wall art by local artists to gifts for those special guests that are coming to stay and you want to send them home with a little gift to remember you and the Cape buy. They are located at the back of the parking lot behind The Hole-In-One restaurant (see my blog a couple weeks ago.) This is town parking and a great place to use as a hub to walk the streets and visit all the shops. Another place is the Cape Coddle, Gifts that comfort for baby, beach & home. Dana Paradis (owner) runs a beautiful tight shop were hand made is the name of the game. She can be found many times sitting in front of her sewing machine making things for the shop or for special requests. For a real crafty place check the Cape Coddle shop out. When your done with this shop go next door and check out the Candle shop where hand dipped and hand made candles are the name of the game. Across the street is the Main Street Wine & Gourmet shop. Get your fresh EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) right here. Buy the bottle then bring it back and refill it. They have a wonderful assortment of Wines from around the globe and a nice collection of spirits and beers as well. Also don't miss their specialty food section as well. This place is a fun place, especially after you finish up in the organic and natural shop a couple doors down Main St. And don't forget the likes of Westies Shoes and Snow's Home and Garden Center, and when you get done take a stroll down to Hot Chocolate Sparrows for your Hot Chocolate, Coffee and Tea needs, along with a cup of soup or a bakery item and don't forget the Chocolates. There is even a Christmas Tree shop at the north end of town and Guapos Tortilla Shack restaurant to the south, Land Ho, and several others. You can eat, shop, and for those out of towners there are plenty of places to stay if you want to be near shopping, eating and the Nauset Beach. The key is check the Chamber of Commerce web sight and check the shops websites for hours through the off season, and go and have fun.

      Well its about time on ye old clock that says time to make the rounds at the Lighthouse. Yup gotta clean off the lens, trim the wick and fill the oil tanks. Hum you getting good at remembering, someday you will need to come give a hand at it with me. So have a great and wonderful especially if you can do it right here on ole Cape Cod and hope to see you soon. Stay warm, dream big, and have fun. Until we meet again,,

      This recipe comes from one of my searches in the cheesecake world. I love cheesecakes and don't do a bad job as I am told by others in making them. Although I bow to the king of cheesecake makers in a past co-worker from about 20 years ago by the name of Russell. Seriously I have never had another cheesecake as good as his. But unfortunately as most work relations go, he moved on and out of touch and alas no more cheesecake from him. Now there are several different kinds of cheesecakes, there is New York style, there is Philadelphia style, there is Chicago style, and a few others out there and these all have a different consistency and texture about them and even a slightly different taste. My father on on hand love the Philadelphia style which is a more lighter and uses on cream cheese over the New York style that is a little heavier and dense, and uses both cream cheese and ricotta although the later is probably the more known variation out in today's markets. Anyway, I have also been looking at individual cheesecakes and bits verses full size cakes as everyone likes to have there own or likes to have someone small for on the run. So coming across this recipe was a real fun surprise as this meets all the qualifications of something fun just screaming to jump in the mouth and explode with delicious goodness. If you need to find another source for this recipe, check the web, check Pinterest, check several good cheesecake cookbooks you will find several close to this one if you need a reference, either in full cake size or individual sizes. Now on with the show before I start eating my own words, hope you enjoy this one:

 

      Recipe of the week: Salted Carmel Cheesecake Bits

 

            Crust
      1      cup      graham cracker crumbs
      2      Tbls     sugar
      2      Tbls     butter, melted

            Filling
    19      oz        cream cheese
      3                   eggs
  1/4      cups     sugar
      1      tsp        vanilla

            Carmel
  1/2      cup      granulated sugar
      2      Tbls     water
      1      Tbls     butter
  1/2      cup      evaporated milk

      Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Mix graham crumbs, 2 Tbsp sugar and butter and press into the bottom of 18 paper-lined muffin cups.
In a mixing bowl, add cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and eggs. Beat until light and fluffy. Spoon mixture into the muffin tins with graham cracker crust. Bake for about 40 minutes.
      While cakes are baking, start on the caramel. Combine granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until sugar dissolves, stirring gently for 3 minutes. Stop stirring and continue cooking 10 minutes or until the color of light brown sugar. Remove from heat; carefully stir in butter and milk. Place pan over medium-high heat until caramelized sugar melts. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; cool caramel to room temperature. Cover and chill 1 hour or until slightly thickened.
      Take cheesecakes out of the oven when they are done. Allow to cool, the middle will slightly fall, the indent is great for the caramel. Spoon about 1 tablespoon caramel over each cheesecake. 

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