Once Upon A Time & German Chocolate Cheesecake

     Once upon a time there was a little boy with a family who got the chance to come to a new place called Cape Cod. They had never been there before, but where told that it was a fun place to play in the sand and swim in the ocean. But that first year was not so fun, it rained and it rained and the little boys Mommy was not happy at all. His Daddy liked the little cottage they stayed in but seeing the boys Mommy so say cause all the rain told her they did not have to come back, which made the little boy sad cause although ti rained a lot he loved the sand and the ocean. Everyone was so sad for the little boys Mommy and promised up and down that it really was not like this and asked they give it one more year. So when the next year came the little boys Mommy and Daddy said they would give it one more try, but if it ended up like the first year they would never go back. That year there was hardly any rain and the little boys family continued to come back for years to come. Along the way the little boy grew up and somewhere in his early teens, he really came to him that someday he was going to move to Cape Cod and make it his home. It took him another 38 or so years but it finally happened. What the little boy never envisioned was that when he moved there, he would end up have 3 major back surgeries and living in a house that needs to be on endless need of updates. But still with all that, the dream of owning a home on Cape Cod and living here year round is a dream come true. There are a lot of holes in this story that most could care less about and some would say need never shared. Not so sure about that as to get to this point someone needs some encouragement even through someone else's difficulties. Life does not always turn out the way you want it or think it might, or hope it should, but every now and then you get some of what was dreamed about, and you work through the rest to enjoy what has been given or sent your way. Life is not about what you don't have or aren't given or get, it's about doing what you can with what you have been given and what is dealt you. Kind of like the glass is 1/2 full or 1/2 empty theory. Sometimes even when you get part of what you want and not all of what you want, what do you do with it? Cape Cod is a wonderful beautiful place to live, but after back surgeries it has it's challenges that prevent some of what I came here for. But what can we do to make the most of our time here and what can we do to enjoy all the wonders Cape Cod has to offer. It might have rained the first year my folks came to the Cape, So what are my first years here, are they the first 5, first 7, first 10, then what will the second 7 or 10 bring and what will I make of them. My adult kids want to actually come see Dad, (I don't take that lightly), and I get to wake up with the smell of salt air all about. Cape Cod, everything I thought it would be, in some ways yes, in some no, but when it comes down to it, it is what I make it and for me, living on Cape Cod is and has been a dream come true. The moral to this true story, dream, dream big, and don't let them go. If you get the opportunity to live out your dreams make the most of them, if not always hold onto them and have that happy place to escape to in your memories and mind. And in the meantime, take the time to come visit this grand place we call old Cape Cod.   

      Two restaurants to report on this week, and totally different from each other. The first over in Harwich is Alecsies House of Pizza located at 181 RT137 or on the web at www.alecsieshouseofpizza.com. If you are familiar with Dennisport House of Pizza than you know this place as they are own by the same family. They have some of the best pizza and grinders on the Cape. But don't limit yourself on the menu, try the greek salad or the antipasto salad. And don't stop there, they have some wicked good pasta dishes. They only have a few tables and chairs, this is mostly a take out, take home pizza plus shop but trust me you will be satisfied with every bite.
       Next up is Scargo Cafe located at 799 Main St (RT 6A) Dennis, across from the post office or on the web at www.scargocafe.com. We went last Saturday for a late lunch/early dinner. The girls got the Pan Sired Scollops, my daughter went bonkers over them, while I got the Shrimp & Scollop Stir Fry, and wow was meal. We ended with the grape nut pudding one of there house specialties and out of this world. This is truly a place you can say it has good eats, and the setting is very cozy. So before the crowds come back, get out and enjoy a wonderful meal at The Scargo Cafe. 
      Welcome from the land of the south, yes this is the keeper himself, I heard from our young buck writer and he said some of you were getting rather sketchy if I was coming back or not. Well let me tell you with my own pen, I am just about ready to start heading back up north. First I miss our house, I miss my lighthouse, and most of all I miss all you folk and especially the kids. I feel rather lost without seeing the children through the winter and being able to talk about our lighthouse and all that it has done over the years to help ships and fisherman and seaman of all kinds. But I have learned much, I have done my best to spread good New England cheer, and have been able to share some stories with the few keepers like myself that are left. Most of the working lighthouses today are automated and are only kept by a few volunteers or the local historical groups. We are so fortunate that we have been able to stay in the keepers quarters and keep the stations active and going. I think this is good for Cape Cod as well as good for the shipping industry. So with all that, I am looking forward to getting home and getting the place opened up and ready for spring and the return of visitors and especially the children. So please, if you can, while your making your vacation plans, put us on the list and be sure to come see us. And until then, I hope you have a great and wonderful especially if you can do right there on Old Cape Cod. And be nice to the kid, he's only doing his job on reporting my whereabouts. 
      Cheesecake, glorious cheesecake, yummy to the tummy cheesecake, what can I say, I am not a standard cake lover, I will tolerate it when I have to, but a cheesecake is, well, not really a cake but a delight. As I noted last month too many people listen to the old wives-tales that cheesecake is so hard to make. Well, let me tell you, you can find recipes that will make you want to pull your hair out and others so easy that anyone who can read can make it. Most however are not that difficult and unless you try you will never know and you will always be paying someone else those exuberant charges for that wonderful delicious treat we all love, cheesecake. So here is another recipe I have found that has stood that test of time that I hope you give it a try and better yet enjoy. So before I loose it all and start eating my keyboard let's get this show going,, 
 
      This week's recipe: German Chocolate Cheesecake
 
      1      pkg      German chocolate cake mix
   1/2      cup      shredded coconut
   1/3      cup      butter melted
      1                  egg
      2      pkgs    8 oz cream cheese, softened
      2                  eggs
   3/4      cup      sugar
      2      tsp       vanilla (real please)
      2      cups    sour cream
   1/4      cup      sugar
      1      Tbsp    vanilla (again real please)
 
      Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, blend cake mix, coconut, butter and1 egg on low speed until mixture is crumbly. Press very lightly into ungreased 13x9x2 inch pan. Beat cream cheese, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup of sugar and 2 tsps vanilla until fluffy. Spread over cake mixture. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. 
      Mix sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp vanilla until smooth. Spread overcooled cakw. Refrigerte at least 8 hours. let sit at room temperature about 1/2 hour before serving. 
      
      One last word, I write a daily morning pick me up letter that I wish you would check out. Most mornings it is just things to put a smile on your face, some weird holidays and observances and some encouraging reminders. It's nice to know every now and then that someone else is going through the same struggles to get going in the mornings, and sometimes just plain stupid stuff is enough to put a smile on your face and get you going. So please check me out at CCRockhopper.com it's titled Morning Thunks and Thoughts. by CCRockhopper. 

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