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Friday, September 9, 2005

Scene: Calvin and Hobbes are reading the newspaper.

Calvin: "I like following the news! News organizations know I won't sit still for any serious discussion of complex and boring issues. They give me what I want: Antics. Emotional confrontation. Sound bites. Scandal. Sob stories and popularity polls all packaged as a soap opera and horse race! It's very entertaining."

Hobbes: "Then commentators wonder why the public is cynical about politics."

Calvin: "You can tell this is an in-depth story because it's got an article next to a chart."

--Calvin & Hobbes by cartoonist Bill Watterson, 2005


For a summer salute to Utah or USA, try red, white and blue cheesecake

By Kristin Bishop

July 8, 2005 | Summertime brings the smell of barbecue, picnics at the park, family reunions and July Fourth and Utah Founders Day holidays, the largest birthday parties of the year.

Putting together the perfect menu leaves most people feeling panicked and gives little time to enjoy the holiday.

Numerous magazine articles and Web sites offer recipes or ideas for entertaining, from flag cakes to star puffs.

But what about the time it takes to carefully place every last star and stripe on your festive cake? The solution: red, white, and blue cheesecake.

Few people attempt making cheesecake because of its reputation for being difficult and time consuming. The fact is this recipe is quick, easy and a sure crowd-pleaser, creating hassle-free entertaining for a memorable holiday. This spectacular dessert will satisfy your patriotic sweet tooth, while remaining easy to prepare and fun to serve.

Using the classic combination of raspberry jam and fresh blueberries, this dessert is sure to decorate your table with the colors of the day.

Red, White and Blue Cheesecake

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons butter; melted

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cups sour cream
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1⁄2 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 pint fresh blueberries

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with waxed paper.

2. Put the graham cracker crumbs in a medium bowl. Add the butter and mix with a fork until evenly moistened. Press the mixture over the bottom and up 1 inch of the sides of the pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.

3. In a large bowl, using electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Beat in the sour cream until blended. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Pour half of the batter into the pan.

4. Put the jam and lemon juice in a small saucepan and warm over low heat, stirring often, until melted and smooth (about 4 minutes). Drizzle one fourth of the jam mixture in stripes over the batter in the pan. Spoon the remaining batter over the jam, then drizzle with 1/8 cup of jam. Reserve the last of the jam mixture to drizzle on cheesecake.

5. Swirl the batter gently with a thin knife to marbleize it slightly.

6. Bake the cheesecake until firm around the edges but still slightly wobbly in the center, 70 to 80 minutes. (Don't worry if your cheesecake cracks while baking or cooling.) Set the cake in the pan on a wire rack, run a knife along the inside edge to loosen the sides, and let it cool completely. Wrap the cake in plastic and chill it for at least four hours.

7. Take the cake out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Remove the pan sides and place the cake on a platter. Warm the remaining jam mixture until liquid, them drizzle it over the cheesecake. Serve with the fresh blueberries. Serves 12-16.

This simple recipe works great prepared the day before.


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