Best Ever Homemade Lemon Cheesecake

For some reason the humble cheesecake is something that every aspiring home chef seems to have troubles with at one point or another. Common problems include large cracks, burned top, lumpy filling, collapsed centers and the amazing shrinking cheesecake (cake shrinks around the outside).

All of these problems tend to go away when the cheesecake is prepared and cooked properly. Here then is how to prepare and cook what is sure to be a family favorite, Homemade Lemon Cheesecake.

Before we get cooking, a little science if you please. Most of the problems mentioned above all stem from an improper cooking process. That usually is because people treat the recipe as if it was for a cake. But the truth is, cheesecake is a lot more similar to a custard pie than it is to a regular cake recipe. So, that means we need to work and cook the ingredients differently.

First is the pan. Some people recommend using a spring form pan but I don’t like them. The reason will become apparent when we get into the cooking process. For now locate a 9 inch round cake pan with nice high sides (at least 2 inches). We first need to treat the pan so we can get the cooked cheesecake out later. For that, melt some butter and using a brush, coat the entire inside of the pan. Next, using parchment paper, cut out a circle for the bottom of the pan and a long rectangle for the side. Once the parchment has been added to the pan, we can focus on the crust.

Some people like a cookie crumble crust but I prefer good old graham crackers. I take about 2 dozen and place them in a plastic ziptop bag. Using my fingers only, I crush them for about 30 seconds to a minute. Some big chunks are ok. Next, melt 1/4 cup of unsalted butter and add the cracker crumbs to it along with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Mix with a spatula briefly and add to the bottom of the pan. Next grab a heavy glass with a flat bottom or other tamping tool (the kind used to flatten meat works great). You want to tamp down all the crumbs in the pan so they stick to each other and help the crust form. Bake the crust blind for 10 mins at 300 degrees.

Next comes the filling. Before you started working on the pan preparation, you should have taken your cream cheese out of the fridge and set it on the counter to soften (at least 30 mins or so). We are also going to need 1.25 cups of sour cream, 1 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of cream (whipping or heavy), 1 tablespoon of vanilla, 5 large eggs, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, the zest of one lemon, and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch (optional).

Now, the mixing of the batter is important. We want everything mixed well but we do not want to add any air into the batter. Air is usually the problem when a cheesecake falls or has a sunken center. So, the best tool in my opinion is the Kitchenaid stand mixer (or your favorite brand).

To start, place the sour cream in the mixing bowl and using the paddle attachment beat on medium low for a minute. Next add the cream cheese, the sugar and the optional cornstarch. The cornstarch acts to help slow down the binding of the eggs in the custard which prevents cracking. Think of it as a little extra insurance. If you follow this recipe you should not need it but if this is your first time trying this recipe, consider adding it.

So, now we beat this mixture on low speed for 1 minute. Then turn up the speed to medium for a few more minutes. Stop the machine and scrape the bowl. Next, in a container mix the 1/3 cup of cream, vanilla, 2 large eggs, 3 egg yolks, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix this up well with a fork.

Turn the mixer on medium low speed and slowly drizzle in half of the cream and egg mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl again. Start it again but this time on medium high speed and add the remaining egg mixture. Continue mixing for about one more minute. The batter should be uniform (no lumps) and not airy.

Now, the baking. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Remember when we cooked the crust blind. Well, we want to add the batter to the pan but first make sure the crust is completely cool (let it cool out of the oven for at least 15 minutes). Add the batter to the pan. Give the pan a few little twists left and right to help any air bubbles come to the top.

At the same time, boil at least 2 quarts of water (the amount will depend on your pan size). You need to create what’s called a “bain marie” (Marie’s bath). If you have another cake pan that is a few inches bigger in diameter use that. If not, a disposable aluminum baking dish works well too (the kind for lasagna or roasting). Add a clean towel to the bottom of the large pan and insert into the oven. Add the cheesecake pan into the larger pan and gently push it to the side. Now, carefully add the boiling water into the larger pan. Pour enough to come up 2 thirds the way up the cheesecake pan.

Now, gently center the cheesecake pan in the larger pan and close the oven. Bake at 250 for an hour. Here’s the hard part. After an hour the cake will not looked cooked. But the problem is we don’t want to overcook the cheesecake. So, open the oven door for about 30 seconds to let some heat escape. Next, close the door and leave the cake alone for another hour. After that, carefully take the cake pan out of the water pan and place it in a fridge for 6 hours.

Crock Pot Chili – Easy Recipes For The Best Chili

If you haven’t used your crockpot recently, its time to pull it out of the cupboard. Crock pots are perfect for those busy weeknights. Here are 3 different chili recipes for a chilly evening.

Mom’s Favorite Chili

1 pound ground beef ; browned, drained

1 can pork and beans

1 can chili beans

1 regular can tomato sauce

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

Red pepper ; to taste

Salt ; to taste

Mix all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.

Navajo Beef And Chile Stew

3 pound lean beef stew meat ; cut 3/4 ” cubes

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 can ready-cut tomatoes with juice – (14 1/2 oz)

1 can diced green chiles – (7 oz) drained

1 can whole-kernel corn – (8 1/2 oz) undrained

1 teaspoons dried oregano leaves, crushed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground red pepper

2 tablespoon yellow cornmeal

Combine all ingredients, except cornmeal, in a slow cooker, mixing well. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours or until meat is tender.

20 Minutes before serving:

Turn control to HIGH. Stir in cornmeal. Cover and cook on HIGH 20 to 25 minutes.

No-Bean Chili

2 pounds ground beef

(or cubed lean stew beef)

1 can tomato sauce – (8 oz)

1 can tomato paste – (6 oz)

1 can stewed tomatoes – (16 oz) ; (optional)

2 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce ; or more

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. (Add a can of your favorite beans if you wish, but then it wouldn’t be No-Bean Chilli.)

This recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.

What is Green Tea good for?

The benefits of green tea in our body are so extraordinary that it is believed that the key to a longer and healthy life may be brewing in your cup! Having a good health is a focus for most individuals. Medical experts tell us to take better care of ourselves if we want to live a longer life. There’s an inconsistent information about what is and isn’t good for us. And it’s a beverage that does a body need.

Caffeine is found in coffee and also in this type of tea and is useful as a cardiac stimulant and also as a mild diuretic which increases urine production. We should wise to limit the number of cups we drink each day so that it doesn’t make you nervous or nervy. So don’t drink too much caffeine because it can affect your sleeping pattern and limit your consumption of green tea each day.

Many people are trying to lose weight. Each and everyday they heard the new and supposedly effective weight loss plan. And one of the benefits of green tea is weight loss. Several people drink the tea either hot or cold and also take it in the form of a pill. You need to be careful if you do this routine on how much you drink as you don’t want to overdose.

I heard that weight loss is one of the first benefits of green tea. I’ve heard that green tea can help you lose weight by raising your metabolism. And another one benefits of green tea is that it can help wash out fat and toxins from your system. I can not say if is true, but I know that when I drink a cup of hot green tea every night. I feel that it doing well for the most part of it and it is a good reason to keep drinking it.

Another one benefits of green tea here is that if you drink enough of it can help you control your appetite. I have read weight loss aids on the shelves at my local store that claim that this is one of the great benefits of green tea, and that they put this green tea into their product. I found out that there is a gum made of green tea, and that was supposed to help control your appetite in between meals. I don’t know if the green tea helps, but I know that chewing gum in between meals can indeed stop you from eating. This is more of a psychological thing than anything else though.

An antioxidant effect is the most well known benefit of green tea. From all benefits of green tea this one is perhaps the most important. As what you have seen, antioxidants are molecules which can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction before vital molecules are damaged.

Antioxidants are intimately involved in the prevention of cellular damage, the common pathway for cancer, aging, and a variety of diseases. Antioxidants are proven to help prevent against some forms of cancer if you increase the amount of this. Lastly, one of the benefits of green tea is to add a cup or two to your daily beverage menu.

The soothing effects is another benefits of green tea which come down largely to the fact that it is a warm, comforting liquid, even so they are distinct. A recent study suggests that tea drinkers, whether they drink black tea, green tea, or a white tea, have lower stress levels. Naturally, you can get the same effect by drinking black tea, while the green tea has a lower dose of caffeine and more healthy antioxidants compared to black tea does and it is better for your health.

There are many types of herbal tea that comes from different varieties. As what I have found out, ginseng and honey variety is refreshing along with the peppermint green tea. Knowing all the benefits of green tea it’s easy to see why it should be replacing regular tea as attach in your diet. Drinking of a nice warm tasty green tea each day can improve your health well so why don’t you try doing this to have a good health.

Several people trying to take green tea concentrated to increase its effects. But the only problem with this is that the benefits of green tea have generally been studied with brewed tea. Although there is a good chance that capsules filled with tea would work every bit as well, it is not known for sure and for me a much better idea is not to risk. Enjoy a healthy cup of green tea every morning and every evening, and I assured you will enjoy its benefits. This is not only good for you, but you will appreciate the delicious taste as well. And there is nothing else compared like this.

The great thing about green tea is that it certainly will not harm you if you drink it. It doesn’t really matter if you believed in the benefits of green tea that are good for you or not. If the only benefits of green tea makes you relaxed and calm each evening, and perhaps it is indeed worth the trouble you might go to. If you are wondering what it can do for you, even though you do some experiment a little to find out what will happen. Just add green tea to your life, and see if you find that you are feeling better, or possibly losing weight a little more easily.

Peanut Butter Fudge Recipes – Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

Here’s a great tasting fudge that’s perfect for potlucks.

1/2 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar


Grease an 8×8-inch pan.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.

Stir in the brown sugar and the milk. Bring to a boil, boiling for 2 minutes, stir frequently. Remove from heat.

Stir in the peanut butter and the vanilla. Put the confectioners’ sugar into a large mixing bowl. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the sugar, beat until smooth. Pour into prepared baking pan.

Chill in the refrigerator until firm. Cut into squares.

=> Mom’s Creamy Peanut Butter Fudge

A super creamy homemade fudge that’ll melt in your mouth.

4 cups white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow cr?me
1 (16 oz.) jar peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, brown sugar, butter and the evaporated milk. Cook over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 7 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in the marshmallow cr?me, mix well until cr?me is completely melted. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla, mix until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Let cool. Cut into squares.

=> Grandma’s Crunchy Peanut Butter Fudge

This fudge is easy to make and has the added bonus of crunchy peanuts.

4 cups white sugar
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 cup butter
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow cr?me


Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish. Butter a 3-quart saucepan.

Place the buttered saucepan over medium heat and combine the sugar, evaporated milk and butter. Cook and stir constantly until fudge reaches temperatures between 234 and 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.

If you don’t have a candy thermometer, drop a small amount of syrup into cold water. You can use this test for doneness: Drop a small amount of the sugar mixture into cold water – it should form a soft ball. Take the ball out and flatten it on a hard surface. This is the soft ball stage.

Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and the marshmallow cr?me. Beat well until mixture is smooth. Pour into prepared dish. Let cool. Cut into squares.

=> Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Whip up this fudge recipe in no time and watch it disappear just as fast.

3 cups white sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon butter


Butter one 9×9-inch pan.

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, evaporated milk and the cocoa, stir over high heat until mixture reaches a roiling boil. Lower heat to medium and continue cooking until mixture gets to the soft ball stage (drop a small amount into water, take it out, then it should flatten easily on a hard surface).

Remove from heat. Stir in the peanut butter and margarine. Beat by hand until mixture is creamy. Pour into prepared pan. Let cool. Cut into squares.

5 Easy tips on how to make perfect pot for Green Tea

Green tea drinking is becoming more and more popular in the US and Europe. It is a wonderful alternative to coffee and sugary soft drinks. If you would like to enhance your total tea experience, take a look at these 5 easy tips on how to make the perfect pot of tea.

1. Use Pot instead of tea bags.

Loose leaf tea allows for the full flavor and nutrients from the leaves to be released into the hot water. Loose leaf tea is usually a higher quality than the fannings (the shavings) used in bagged tea. Due to the restrictive nature of a bag, steeping the leaves lose produces a better tasting, healthier beverage because the leaves are able to fully expand and release. It is also pleasing to the eye as well as the palette.

2. Wash (rinse) the leaves.

It is always a good idea before steeping the leaves to wash or rinse them first. It’s a good idea for the following reasons: rinsing the leaves before steeping gets rid of any residue from the handling and processing of the tea leaves. Furthermore, it causes the leaves to ‘awaken’ and fully release the flavor and nutrients when fully steeped. You can use a metal strainer and pour just enough hot (but not boiling!) water to cover the leaves. Let sit for 10 to 20 seconds then discard the water. The leaves are now ready to be steeped.

3. Do not use boiling water.

It is very important not to use water that is too hot or boiling. If you pour boiling water on green tea leaves it will ruin the taste of the tea as well as destroy the beneficial nutrients such as polyphenols and catechins that make drinking tea such a health providing experience. Instead, watch the water until you see the first little bubbles before the water begins to boil then turn off the heat and rinse the leaves. Then the leaves may be steeped.

4. Warm the teapot by pouring hot water on it.

This is an ancient Chinese secret! You can actually pour hot water on the teapot itself to warm the pot before adding the tea. Tea should be enjoyed warm. Pouring warm tea into a cold teapot will certainly alter the temperature, taste, and experience of drinking the tea. Heating the teapot with warm or even hot water will keep the tea warmer for a longer period of time. You can simply run hot tap water on the teapot, or before you rinse the leaves pour some of the hot water onto the teapot. You’ll be glad you did.

5. Steep less than 2 minutes on the first steeping.

Did you know you can steep a teaspoon of tea leaves 3 or 4 times? A common misconception is to steep the leaves for 2-3 minutes. These directions are usually found on most boxed teas. However, to maximize the tea’s taste, flavor, and nutrition only steep green tea leaves for about 45 seconds on the first steeping. A minute to a minute and a half on the second and almost two minutes on the third. This way the majority of flavor and nutrients are not completely released on the first steeping. Steeping green tea leaves for too long produces a bitter and unpleasant tasting tea, and steeping the leaves just right produces one of the most refreshing, best-tasting beverages in the world.


Drinking delicious green tea can be a significant part of a healthy lifestyle. It is based on thousands of years of tradition and is slowly but surely gaining popularity in the West.