Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What Says Holiday Cheer Like Tequila?

Last weekend was rather quiet. Ayla and I did our hike Saturday morning. My neighbor Dawn couldn't go, but we took her dog, Ayla's best bud Christie, along with us. The girls had a blast running in the mud, checking out the cow pies (don't accept kisses from Ayla), and hanging out with the other dogs.

Then on Sunday I decorated the condo for Christmas. We don't have much: a 2' fiber optic tree, stockings, a few ornaments here and there. I do have my lights on the patio though, a string of icicle lights, a string of gold on the top of the railing, and a string of white bulbs on the lower part of the railing. Its bright out there! I love Christmas lights though; Ayla and I take walks at night to look at the neighborhood houses and I'm hoping this weekend we'll drive around with cups of cocoa to enjoy the sights.

Tomorrow at work we're having a farewell party/potluck for a coworker who is leaving us for greener pastures. In her honor I made a Margarita Cheesecake (this, of course, is where the tequila comes in).

The picture isn't great and the top browned much more than I'd like, but I've made this recipe before and know it will turn out tasty. The recipe is from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food:

For the Crust:
4 ounces salted pretzels
1/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Filling:
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Triple Sec (I used Triple Sec)
1 tablespoon tequila
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
4 large eggs

1. Make crust: Preheat oven to 375 degrees with rack in center. Butter a 9 1/2 inch springform pan; set aside. In a food processor, pulse pretzels to fine crumbs. Add sugar and butter; process until combined.

2. Press evenly into bottom and slightly up sides (about 1 inch) of pan. Place on baking sheet. Bake until light golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Prepare filling: With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 1 minute (use a really big bowl or you'll get cream cheese everywhere, like I did). Mix in sour cream, sugar, Grand Marnier/Triple Sec, tequila, and lime zest; beat until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to combine after each addition.

4. Pour into cooled crust (filling will come up higher than crust). Line outside of pan with aluminum foil (to prevent water from seeping in). Place in a roasting pan. Pour hot water to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake until set and slightly firm to the touch, about 1 hour. Remove from water bath, and let cool on a wire rack; refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours. Run a hot knife around edge of pan to release.

I haven't taken mine out of my springform pan yet, I'll do that right before its served tomorrow so transporting it is easier. And I wanted to pipe a ring of some type of lime jelly close to the outside of the cake, and then a ring of whipped cream outside that. I think that would be a nice presentation, but I don't have a piping bag or tips, I don't think my whipped cream would hold overnight and I don't really want to whip it at work, and I don't want to use canned whipped cream. I suppose I just didn't plan this well enough this time around - next time though!

And since its Wednesday, it must be Business Time:

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