A Bit of Cheese

So, if you haven't heard, it's Valentine's Day.

Yeah, yeah- I know.  That one day a year people either love or hate.  Yet another commercial day to "celebrate" with loads of candy, card-sending, and unnecessary money spent on (sometimes extravagant) gifts. 

It can be pretty cheesy, to say the least.  Speaking of cheese....well, hold that thought.

If you are like me and have been married a while, February 14th is just another day (that may or may not involve a meal out or possibly a homemade card of some sort...).  My husband and I, while madly in love with each other, don't need a special "day" to celebrate ourselves.  But I suppose it's nice for some people.  You know, to get diamonds and all that.

I would much rather have a few new ramekins or a garlic press (hint, hint, HINT).

All joking aside, I have three wonderful boys at home and (really, truly) that's all I need.  Cue the "awww."  Anyway.  Yes, to us, it's just another day.  BUT, we do like to make it special in some small way.  And, of course, food is a great way to make a day special.

Especially the sugary kind. 

Enter Valentine's Day.

We are having a nice meal tonight:  Grilled steak, mashed sweet potatoes with bacon and touch of maple syrup, a spinach salad with citrus dressing topped with feta/dried cranberries/red onion/toasted pecans, and homemade rolls-- but the star will, of course, be the final course.

The icing on the cake is always saved for last, my friends, and this one is no exception.  Tonight, I'm celebrating my husband with his favorite dessert (shh, don't tell him- good thing he doesn't read this often!) and while it's a favorite of many, it isn't my tip top choice.

But, again, it's HIS and thus my gift to him.

Plain jane, old-fashioned, rich & decadent:  Cheesecake.


A bit of cheese on this day is entirely appropriate, I think.  He'll be thrilled.  I rarely make it so I'm anxious to see his reaction. 

Because I'm not a huge fan (I know, I'm weird, shock and awe), I'm adding a triple berry topping to make it a little bit more enticing.  I like a little something extra.  I may even drizzle chocolate sauce over top, get all crazy like that. 

But Mr. K?  He likes his slice with absolutely no adornments.  Just plain ol' cheese.

If you knew him, you would understand.  He's a quiet man, doesn't take to the flashy or accessorized.
I'm kind of glad, that would be weird. 


Let me show you how this thing'll shape up.  Shall we?

Plain Ol' Cheesecake w/Triple Berry Topping

- 2 Cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 Cup butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 4 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/3 Cups sugar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 eggs
- 1 Cup plain Greek yogurt (do NOT substitute any other kind of yogurt but the Greek variety, if you need to subsitute something else, use sour cream).

For berry topping:
- 2 Cups fresh or frozen berries, I like a mix of raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries (if frozen, allow time to thaw)
- 1/2 Cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp water

1) In small bowl toss together graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 2 Tbsp sugar.  Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up sides of a 9" springform pan.  Chill in freezer while preparing filling.

2) In large mixing bowl beat cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy.  Add 1 1/3 Cups sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and lemon juice.  Beat until combined.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition.  Stir in Greek yogurt.

3) Pour into chilled crust.  Bake at 325 degrees about 1 hour, 15 min or until center is almost set.  Turn oven off and open door.  Let the cake cool in oven (with door open) another 10 minutes.  Take out of oven and cool on wire rack for an additional 45 minutes more.  Chill in fridge at least 3 hours. 

4) For topping, add berries, sugar, and water to a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook about 4-5 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly.  Pour berry blend over cheesecake before placing cake in the fridge OR place berry topping in a separate bowl and chill until ready to eat, then allow people to top with berries, as desired.

Like I said, the final product is nothing short of love at first bite.

What're your thoughts on Valentine's Day?
Do you partake in the cheesy?

In this family we prefer our cheese eaten,

Happy Valentine's Day!