Surprise! Cheesecake, at last

I have a reason for not posting at all over the weekend: I didn't cook or bake, despite planning to. I came home too late on Friday to cook dinner, but was still planning to bake my mom a cheesecake for her birthday. Then, she brought home half a cake from work. Then, my sister brought home a full cake plus two Napoleons (amazing desserts - something I will have to tackle sooner or later). Then, we found out that my dad also inadvertently had ordered a cake, and although it was a mistake and we were going to try to cancel the order - we had a lot of dessert. Needless to say, my cheesecake was unnecessary.

However! One of my Nutrition classes requires a cooking lab, and I don't normally take pictures of the food I make there and provide the recipes for them, but tonight I ironically was assigned to make cheesecake! The "theme" of the lab tonight was "grains and a vegetarian diet," so please don't ask me why my partner and I were assigned cheesecake. I didn't complain - it was almost as though the dessert gods were calling to me to make it, and who really turns down the chance to have a little dessert to shake things up?

I don't have the recipe at the moment, but it's being sent to me and I will be sure to post it. It was delicious! The crust really made it what it was - rather than a graham cracker crust, it called for gingersnap cookies crushed and mixed with melted butter...yum! It added this extra flair to an otherwise standard recipe. It baked for half an hour in a brownie pan, then I took it out, cut it up, and topped it with some fresh strawberries.

Unfortunately, no pictures. I brought one piece that fell apart when trying to remove it from the pan back to the room with me in the hopes of taking a quick, hopefully not fully pathetic picture of at least what the crust looked like. The pictures that I was able to get were beyond awful, so I won't torture you with those. It looked good, though!

So now I really will disappear for a while - at least another week and a half. I'd like to make a Passover-friendly dessert, but that probably won't come until Easter weekend.

In the meantime, Happy Cooking! (And Happy Spring!)

Update: Finally, after a month, I have the recipe! My friend in the lab copied it down and took it home with her, swearing she would send me a copy of it, too. So, I am maturely passing the blame to someone else for my tardiness. Here it is!

Cheesecake Bars, courtesy of my lab instructor's endless supply of recipes
The Crust
2 C ginger snaps
1/2 C butter, melted
The Filling
1 1/2 C cottage cheese
1/2 C soft cream cheese
2 eggs
1/4 C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp grated orange peel
1 Tbsp lemon juice
strawberries, for garnishing

Melt the butter and place in a bowl with 1/4 C brown sugar and the flour. Mix, then press into the pan.

Puree the cottage cheese in a blender for approximately 7 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, then process more.

Spread the cheese mixture over the partially baked or unbaked crust, and bake 30-40 minutes.

Cool, then top with strawberries (or really, any fruit or topping) as desired.

And there you have it! But really, I'm telling you, it's all in the crust.

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