Storm Memories & Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

       So summer has finally officially arrived and with it the first thunder boomer storm. I remember as a kid I used to love going out and climbing trees, especially knowing there was a storm rolling in. I would climb as high as I could and sit in the last Y split and allow the wind to blow me like I was in a rocking chair made specifically for me. I would watch cloud lines rolls in and across the farmlands of central Ohio and just dream of being able to sore high above the clouds and feel the power of the updrafts take me to new places. Then just as it would start to spit I would climb down and out of the tree and scurry on home so not to get soaked. In July I would go to summer camp for the month in western Pennsylvania, and again the storms would rolls in. The camp I went to sat on the higher side of a hill in the Laurel Mountains outside of Ligonier, Pa near Johnstown. I remember going to one of two spots, either sit on the dinning hall pouch or go down a little further and sit at the tree line and watch as the clouds would roll in and through the valley. I would listen for the thunder to echo back and forth through the holloers and watch lighting dance from cloud to cloud and hill top to hill top. Then the rain would come and they would gather us all up for some kind of indoor activity till it blew through. 
      Then came Cape Cod, it is one thing to sit in trees, or on the side of a hill, but to sit on the beach and watch storms blow across the ocean waters is another thing. I could be watching storms out over the water a ways off while having blue skies over my head. The lighting shows would reflect off the water and the thunder rolls seemed at times to be magnified as it gathered speed rolling over the waters. I remember going out and sitting on the jetty for hours watching, until finally the storm would move in close enough that the rains would start to come ashore and I would need to scurry home so Mom did not get freaked out to where I was. I have always been fascinated by storms and even today I sit and I listen and I watch as storms roll in and over over the Cape. I watch to see the lighting flash then count the seconds till I hear the thunder clap to calculate how far away the storm it. And yes I sit in amazement of it's strength and power and wonder of the Creator who makes it all happen. So when was the last time you went out and just sat listening to a thunder storm, went down to the beach knowing a storm was on the way in and watched as the changes in the cloud formations happen, stood still to feel the change in the winds and the waves, to watch for the lighting and count the seconds till you heard the thunder roar? When was the last time you,,,, isn't it about time you did it again, or maybe for the first time? And sit in awe of it all, and wonder and ponder of it all. This summer take time out to just be a kid again and enjoy the simple things and remember there are things much greater than myself and I really can enjoy even a storm while right here on old Cape Cod.      
      This week's small business report comes from visiting the Castleberry Craft Festival in Hyannis this past weekend. There are a couple of vender's that I would like to mention, first because I like there stuff, usually a good reason to talk about someone. Second is because the first group are folks that live and do their business right here on the Cape, aka this side of the ditch. The second group are a couple of extras that again I really liked and although they are on the other side of the ditch they are still from Massachusetts so they are helping to support the Mass economy system. There were many I did not either find out where they were from or crafters that were from other parts of New England or beyond that their works were very good and enjoyable. But I live here on the Cape and I enjoy pointing out those who do business here. 
      First up: Illustrated Lighthouses of Cape Cod & the Vineyard, he is from Yarmouth, Garison Weiland, find out about him and where he is going to be at through his Facebook page. Very simple but stunning artwork of local Lighthouses. What I like here is that these are not altered photographs but real art work that is between the styles of pop and  poster art, but this stuff pops off the pages. What a great addition to have one of these pics in that special den or office to remind you of your time on Cape Cod
      Next is a really cool place specializing in handcrafted gifts and home decor called Cranberry Collective. Owner Bray Day has a physical shop in Mashpee in the South Cape Village off RT 28 east of Mashpee Commons. But on summer weekends if there is a craft show around he will be out bringing the shop to you so you don't have to go fine him. The wife is already making plans to get some of the things to put in the spare bedroom for when we have family and guest come in. If you need that little extra something to make that cottage or summer home just right, I am sure Bryan will have it. Or if you want to add just an extra touch to that year round house, either track him down on their web site and see what show he is going to be at next or hop over to the shop and see all that they have to offer. And last but not least is Wind Echoes, Handcrafted Wind Chime Creations by Artist Daryl Johnson from Centerville. If you are a fan of wind chimes and yard art this is the stuff for you. Creative, whimsical, nice sounding wind chimes that are made to either hang or come in a free standing unit. No facebook page but check out his website at www.windechoes.com. This is not some passing time hobby, this is the real deal, perfecting his craft type of artist so that you get the best quality work he has to offer.  
      The next three places are from just off the Cape, MyCape/MyTown Designs from W Wareham, She makes wonderful bead jewelry that can be used with other bead collections, she has earrings, necklaces and more. Check her our on Facebook for her next appearance.From Harbor Candle Company out of Dartmouth, they make wonderful Soy Candles, as well has have kits to make your own. Check them out on Facebook or their web page. Next is Gemtree Artistry by Aaron Roy from Fall River. This young guy is a real craftsman with jewelry, again check him out on Facebook Gemtree by Aaron or his web pagewww.gemtree.us, this stuff you just have to see to appreciate and not over the top expensive which makes it all that much better. 
      Last from outside the area, Homemade Buster's Bark, this stuff (chocolate toffee bark) is to die for. Once, you taste this stuff you will be hooked/addicted whatever you want to call it, just down right wicked tasty stuff. And Once Upon a Tile from Tyngsborough,Ma, if you are looking for from hand crafted tile work to add to any room in your house or kitchen check these folks out, Susan Beaudoin and Michael Hanna. They do not have a Facebook page at this time (there is another Massachusetts tile person on facebook that is not these guys.) You will need to keep your eyes open for these folks, nice work.  
      Well it's that time and I need to wrap another visit together up. If you are a visitor I hope you are having a wonderful time here on the Cape and if you are a year rounder, I pray the start to summer is being kind to you. I'll go make a check on the old gal, make sure the tanks are full of oil, then climb her stairs to the lamp room and clean the lens and trim the wick. She needs to be at her best all year round but I feel a special push this time of year when we have so many visitors coming and going of the Cape. Well until we meet again, I hope you don't need her services but may she be at her best if you and until we meet again,,,  
      What better to have on a warm supper day then something citricy and fruity with a little decadence thrown in for good taste? Well I think I have found something to take care of that desire with a gratification to the sweet tooth. These bars of tasty goodness are out of this world with the right blend of complementary mix that only the taste palate and stomach can appreciate. So take this recipe and love it from the first touch of the tip of your tongue to the last stomach gurgle of digestion, if you like cheesecake I truly believe you will love this recipe. So before my drool completely swamps my keyboard let's get on with this recipe.

      This weeks recipe: Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

      The Crust
  •        2      Tbsp      sugar
  •      1/8     tsp        ground cinnamon
  •       9       each     graham crackers, crushed (about 3/4 cup crumbs)
  •       4       Tbsp     unsalted butter, melted

      The Filling
  •      16     oz        cream cheese, room temperature
  •      1/2    cup      sugar
  •       2      large    eggs
  •       2      each     lemons, zested and juiced
  •  1 1/2     cups     fresh blueberries

      Preheat oven to 325F. Grease bottom and sides of a 9×9 inch baking pan. (Some recipes use parchment paper at this point to line the bottom of the pan, if you do them grease the parchment paper. Butter preferred for greasing.) 
      In large bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Combine the mixture, then place is greased pan. Using hands, press the crust into an even layer on the bottom of pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until set. Remove pan to a cooling rack. Do not turn your oven off.
      While the crust is cooling, prepare the filling. In the bowl, beat the cream cheese at low speed to break up and soften it slightly, about 1 minute. Scrape beaters, bottom and sides of the bowl. Add sugar and beat on low speed until combined again about 1 minute. Scrape bowl again; add lemon juice and lemon zest and beat on low speed until combined, another 1 minute. Scrape down bowl again; add eggs and beat on low speed until completely combined 1 more minute.
      Pour onto the baked graham cracker base and sprinkle with blueberries. Gently press blueberries into batter until they are half exposed. Bake in oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the center only slightly jiggles. Remove from oven and cool completely before refrigerating for at least 3 hours. Once cooled slice into desired size and store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature.

      This recipe was picked from a Pinterest, and had 3 different links, I also found this same recipe listed on more that 3 different sights, no one taking full credit. So as I state, this is not my recipe, I did get it from another source, there are multiple sources you can get this from, but to whom ever came up with it we thank you, it is yummy.

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