First Clamming of Season & Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes

      So another season of shell fishing begins. Until you have taken the time to get out on the beach or flats, digging and searching for soft shell clams is very unappreciated. For those unaware, soft shell equal steams, and steamers equals good eats. But the key is getting them. After you go for your first dig you quickly find out why they charge so much for wild harvested steamers and quickly figure out that the cost of the license pays for itself after the first or second dig. I think we all have our "places" that we enjoy digging and moving to a new is sometimes apprehensive. So going out for my first time this year I stuck with the old spot. I ended up being out on the flats of Dennis for a total of about 3 hrs in all. The problem was that after about the first 2 hrs I had only 8 clams worthy of taking home and I was starting to worry if I was going to have enough for dinner. Then something happened and I started moving back towards the parking lot about to through in the towel when I made a dig and pulled up not one but two clams out of one hole. Then I dug again and the same thing another 2, both keepers. Over the last hour I was able to pull another 22 clams for a total of 30, which when rinsed off and cleaned up made a decent meal served with some wild & long grain rice and some beets. The clams I did simple this time, just steamed over water and served with melted butter with a bit of lemon juice and Old Bay Seasoning mixed in. The wife had made a pecan pie while was gone for dessert, that we are still enjoying the remnants. I will say after dinner I did hit hard on the Advil as spending 3 hrs up and down on your knees, bent over with your hand digging holes up to 18 inches deep can get a little tiring, but when you open the clams and bite into those sweet succulent juicy clams the sore muscles and achy joins fade fast. Can't wait to go again and maybe try a new area and see what I can get. Also need to get out and get some mussels as I have not gone picking for a while. And Quahogs will then start in December and fresh clam chowder. Yum this is about the only thing I like about the weather getting cooler but I love good shell fish and good eats.            

      So, on the business report side of things, have to admit this past weekend was a real snoozer in that we had to do the real normal boring stuff, grocery store, big box home supply store, Hallmark shop and not a whole lot else. So as far as anyplace new, nope not this weekend or anyplace even old that I should be resupporting. Some of the restaurants are starting to close up and that is always sad, and some of the gift shops are boarding up and the owners looking to head south. At the end of this week is trick er treat or in many neighborhoods trunker treat. And in two weekends November 7th will be our churches Holiday Fall Festival at Brewster Baptist Church. There will be baked goods, and crafts for sale. There will be a bazaar  with all kinds of gently uses items, all stuff you did not know you needed but do, and then there is the book sale and the silent auction and more. This year the 2015 Holiday Fair recipients of the money raised will go right back into the Cape Cod community. They are Homeless Prevention Council, Gosnold-Health, and Nauset Youth Alliance. For more information go to BrewsterBaptistChurch.org. Hope to see you there. 
      Well it's that time again, need to get to my rounds, it's been real nice having you here again and hope you come back real soon. Need to get go going and check the oil in the tanks, then up the stairs to the lamp room and clean the lens and trim the wick. Then down and check the shutters so the coming rain does not get in. Then down and around the property to check on the storage spaces, the oars, and the dory. Just to be sure all is easily accessible in case of a need. Well, you have the lowdown like normal, and I need to get moving. Again have a great and wonderful especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod, and look forward to seeing you again real soon. 
      Well this week is DESSERT week, and although I am not a big cake person, cheesecake does not count as a cake, no way no how. Cheesecake is one of those things that you don't skimp on the ingredients and you don't cheat yourself, but in the same manor everything in moderation. You don't eat this every day just like you don't eat lobster every day, and if you do, your cholesterol deserves to be sky high. Yes I know there is one in every crowd but then you loose the appreciation for that item. Anyway, Cheesecake comes in a couple different styles the best known is New York style, Chicago style, then there is Philadelphia style and finally what most of us are familiar that uses the infamous Kraft Cream Cheese, or any other brand cream cheese that you like. If you want to know more, google it. My recipe will be the latter of all these styles and adds the twist of being minis which means you can enjoy the WHOLE thing by yourself. Cheesecakes are not as hard to make as everyone wants to make out and are a fun treat. Please be sensible in what you eat, but also have fun every once in a while and enjoy making and eating the sweet things of life. Now before I start eating my arm and these words off,, lets get on with the recipe.
 
      This week's recipe: Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes
 
  •       Crust ingredients:
  • 10    each      original chocolate sandwich cookies
  • 2      Tbsp      unsalted butter
  •       Filling ingredients:
  • 12     oz         cream cheese, softened
  • 1      Tbsp      sour cream
  • 1/2   cup        sugar
  • 3      Tbsp      unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1       tsp        vanilla extract
  • 4       tsp        red food color
  • 1                    egg
  •       Whipped cream ingredients:
  • 1/2    cup      heavy cream
  • 2      Tbsp     powdered sugar
  • 1/2    tsp       vanilla extract
 
      It is best to preheat oven to 350 degrees, next you will want to lightly grease a mini cheesecake pan (you can use cupcake pan if you can not find inexpensive mini cheese cake pan. The sides are straighter than the cupcake pans but hey use what you can.)
If you have a food processor, blend cookies until only small pieces remain, otherwise use a rolling pin and a plastic bag to crush cookies. In a bowl add butter to combine. Add 1 small cookie scoop of crumbs to each cheesecake cavity. Press down to flatten out, you can use a small shot glass or something like to help make uniform Bake for 5 minutes.
      After you pull crusts from oven reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
      In a large bowl, beat softened cream cheese, sour cream and sugar together until smooth. Add cocoa powder, mixing on low until combined. Add vanilla and red food color, followed by the egg. Next fill each cheesecake cavity 3/4 full and then Bake for 15-18 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before transferring to the refrigerator to chill overnight.
      When ready to eat, carefully remove cheesecakes from pan. Make whipped cream by beating ingredients together in a small bowl until soft peaks form. Add a dollop to each mini cheesecake. You can put in a piping bag or a plastic bag with the corner snipped and pipe on the whipped cream of you choose. Serve immediately.

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