Unseasonable Season & Cranberry Mini Cheesecakes

      If this weather gets any warmer I am going to start taking off work early or take my lunch hour and go down to the beach and take the time to do a little bathing suit sunning. Now some of you think I am joking, ok so I am partially, the part about taking off work early, I really can't do that, no, no, no  really, ok the bathing suit part this time of year. This time of year not sure I need that. Ok, ok, ok not that either, yikes you are a hard crowd to please. But can you stop and reflect back just a few months ago? Can you let the mind go and remember laying on the beach letting the bright sun gaze down on you as you bask in its glory. Can you already see yourself on your favor beach, laying on that favorite blanket or towel taking a much needed late morning or all afternoon siesta? I can and I dream of it often and I now live here. I used to do it more not living here and counting down the days that I knew I would get to go back. Now I just count down the days till the sun is not setting before 6pm or that when I get up it is still not dark out. But at least the weekends are great and I can get out in shorts and short sleeves, I can still chop wood without fighting snow. So even though you might not be able to take a dip in the Bay or the Sound, you can get out and enjoy. You can bask in the sunlight, you can take in what you normally could not do in most other years and that is enjoy some unseasonably warm weather. Then bank it all in your memories so that when the changes do start to happen, you have wicked warm wonders to hold onto till the break of spring comes and the joy of summer is here to stay. 

      Have warm fuzzies all through the next couple of weeks of holiday observances, whichever ones you choose to celebrate and may the heat of the sun be in your heart all winter long. And many you find hope and joy in the memories of past summers on the Cape and give hope and encouragement to the coming summer. Now stay warm and have a most wonderful Happy, Happy especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod. 
      This weeks business report is just going to say, remember we have lots of places that stay open year round. Some primarily on the weekends for the next couple of months others stick it out with full schedules. As we go into the New Year, check places web-sites or call ahead if you have someplace specific you are going to and have not been for a while. But take a weekend and go take a walk down main street. Which one you ask, any of them, Chatham, Hyannis, Falmouth, Orleans. Check out Mashpee Commons or Patriot Square in South Dennis. If you have a day off or are retired, take a drive along 6A as you can actually make left turns without getting run over, and come back 28 or the other way around. You may be surprised to find a few more places open than what you remember, or just enjoy the scenic drive that this time of year can give. Next year we will continue on with business reports as I get them. We are just like most of you, just working stiffs that are tying to make ends meet, pay the bills and stay warm through the winter. When we don't have much we do the honorable thing, we stay home instead of being temped to spend money, but sometimes we just have to get out and see other human beings up close and not just from our office window and when we do we will be sure to let you know what we find. Now whenever possible go support you local shop keeper.
      Well it's about that time that we bring this show to a close, you know the drill, it's time to make the check on the tanks to be sure they are filled with oil. Seems with all this warm weather we are having a bit more fog than we are used to this time of year, so we need to be sure she has enough fuel to make it the distance and some. Then up the stairs to the lamp room to and clean the lens and trim the wick. Finally down and to check the shutters, with all the rain we don't need it coming into the tower and house. And finally out and around the grounds to be sure all is in place and ready to go at the drop of a hat or call as it may be. Have a great and wonderful and a very Happy Christmas and Holiday especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod. 
      Well what a way to go out of the year with a good personal bit, or two, mini cheesecake recipe. And what better to do it with than a good old Cape Cod staple the Cranberry. We use them in juice, in relishes and sauces, we put them in breads and in stuffings or dressings and even add them to our vegetables. So why not take the leap and take it to the desserts table and let's really whip up something sumptuous and go out on a bang. So before I loose all control and start drooling on the keyboard let's get this recipe under way, Hope you enjoy and have fun with this. (As a note this is not my recipe, I have found several close on the web, in a couple cookbooks I have and on Pinterest. So I take no credit but since this comes from serval sources do not want to slight anyone but to make known please check it out yourself on the web, in cookbooks, on Pinterest, or any other place you can find. 
      This week's recipe: Cranberry Mini Cheesecakes

      12       each     vanilla wafer cookies
      16       oz         cream cheese
      1/2      cup       sugar
        2                    eggs
        1       tsp        vanilla
      1/2      tsp        lemon zest
        1       cup       sweetened, dried cranberries
      12       fresh     cranberries for garnish

      Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a muffin tin with 12 foil liners. Place one vanilla wafer in each liner. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla and lemon zest. Use a hand mixer to blend well. Stir in dried cranberries. Fill each liner ¾ full with cheesecake batter. Top each cake with a fresh cranberry, if desired. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

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