In the beginning, there was cream cheese!!

Here we are, April 27th 2008. Reveal numero uno!!!!!

For those of you who haven’t read my post, “Hi, It’s Tina…” I joined the Daring Baker’s less about the baking and more about the blogging. In baking I find no intimidation, so when I saw the Challenge was based on cheesecake, I assumed this would be a “piece of cake” (sorry that pun was too “cheesy” even for me!!!!!!). Well…NOT SO MUCH!!!!

The technique wasn’t the hassle, aside from the baking time, which didn’t phase me. So, off to the kitchen I went, let’s get this moving, it’s early enough in the month, the remaining time better spent on the actual writing of the reveal. Mix it, pour it, bake it and let it cool, phase one done!!!! On to phase two, form it, dip it, decorate it and wrap it, should be a breeze. Once again…NOT SO MUCH!!!

Something kept gnawing at the corners of my mind and no color combo or design element satisfied me enough to go further. So here is the challenge, I discovered!!!! A couple days later, with no divine inspirations as of yet and an entire cheesecake about to turn into a 3rd grade science experiment, it was time to give in. I opened a can of cherry pie filling (not a fresh cherry in sight), crushed a few graham crackers and created a quicky cherry cheesecake for dessert. Hmmm, cheesecake, cherries and graham crackers, sounds like a classic to me!!! Now, I have made quite a few of these buggers in my day, white chocolate raspberry swirl, amaretto with an almond/caramel crust, even savory sage and sausage cheesecakes But the pinnacle of cheesecake is the tried and true, New York Style with a cherry topper and graham cracker crust. TaDa!!! Inspiration.

I haven’t yet mentioned that through this debate process, my partner, Ray has been getting progressively more and more ill. I take him to the ER, where he is diagnosed with a pleural effusion and released. I manage a wine shoppe, Ray and I own a Candy Shoppe/Fudgery, we have 2 huge dogs, a cat and a house we are currently playing DIY with. So somewhere between, my regular 50 hours/week, the dogs, cat, house, doctors, and now filling in for Ray at the Candy Shoppe I found the time for this months challenge, and boy am I glad I did.

As I already said, the classic was my inspiration. My cheesecake pops began with a fresh batch of cheesecake (the bake time still remained over an hour!), let ’em rest overnight in the fridge, then up 2 hours early the next morn. My cherry topper became a cherry filler, in the form of cherry cordials from our Shoppe. A few harried twists and turns now arose, I had to first pierce the cordials with the stick and then form the cheesecake around that, I could have used an extra pair of hands but Ray was continuing a downward spiral into illness. So I made due and threw on another pot of coffee!!! I gave them a quick chill in the freezer and then dipped into vanilla candy melts and a quick dust of graham cracker crumbs. Finally a drizzle of Lindt 70% cacao and Viola!!!

Now, you know we took them to the Shoppe and they were a rockin’ stompin’ hit!! Still 2 weeks to write up a reveal, “hey, I can do this”, I thought to myself. Alas, NOT SO MUCH!!!!!

The first week of my time pledged to writing, was overwhelmed with sleepless nights and louder and louder arguements about heading back to the hospital. “No”, Ray would say, “I have a doctor’s appointment in a week it’s not that bad”. Last saturday was a very very bad night, Ray fought to take air, I fought to take him to ER, neither of us were winning!! Sunday morn brought me to ultimatum time, I fought, he thought he won, I walked away, then I came back to pounce. “You are going to the hospital!” was all I said. He resigned, we drove, the ER staff quickly admitted him and I had to go off to open the Shoppe. It was indicated to us, that they would drain his lung monday, so I reworked the sched and opened a bit of my day for the event. Time wasn’t on my side, I had to head in to work and miss the procedure. Well as is often the case, things didn’t work out and delays were in order, so now tuesday was the day. Unfortunately my schedule rework did not afford me any time tuesday, so my poor sick boy had to brave it on his own!! Long story short, the lung was “tapped”, almost akin to me piercing the cordials for the pops, he is home and doing well and here I sit, saturday morn 4:10am writing what I thought I would have 2 weeks to write!!!

And now the Curtain rises…

First Challenge Finished

Now as the Curtains drops on…

In the beginning there was cream cheese

I have but one thing to say…

In the end there was RELIEF!!!!