Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, My Love!

Yesterday we celebrated the 34th birthday of the love of my life, my constant and steady love, my dearest husband, Jason! I am so thankful the Lord chose to make him and that He chose to bring him into my life! Jason is the steady and constant one in this crazy family. (You may not know it but I am the emotional up and down energetic one! When we were engaged, my mom said he was the piece of wood that I would bounce up and down on!) Some of the things that I love so much about him:

  • the way he can be content with so little

  • the way he can walk up to a complete stranger, engage them in a conversation and make them feel like they are important

  • the way he makes me feel beautiful no matter how ugly I feel

  • his gorgeous smile

  • the way he makes us laugh

  • the way he loves our kids and plays with them

  • the way he loves me

I could go on and on but . . . well, you get the point! I asked him if he wanted to go out or have me make one of his favorite meals - he opted to stay in so I made curried chicken, something he loves! And, for dessert, I made this beauty - White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake. Jay loves fruit and white chocolate and cheesecake so this was the perfect combination. (Recipe at end of post).

Finally, though it was Jay's birthday, he bought me a gift. Okay, so I might have indicated in a very subtle way that I would really like this but the fact is that he bought it! It will look splendid in the new house but we are enjoying it just the same here. The kids have spent hours on it and when they allow it, I enjoy it too! And, no, this picture is not of my house (though I really do like that zebra rug!).


5/8 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup ground almonds

3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened

1 (14 oz, 300mL) sweetened condensed milk

3 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

6 squares white chocolate, melted

1 cup strawberry puree

  1. Preheat oven to 300F. Combine crumbs, ground almonds and melted butter and press into the bottom of a 9" springform pan. Set aside.
  2. With mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, add vanilla; mix well. Add melted white chocolate and mix again. Divide the batter equally in two separate bowls. Stir the strawberry puree in one of them. Pour a little amount of the white chocolate batter over prepared crust, followed by the strawberry batter. Keep repeating this step till both batters are finished. With table knife or metal spatula, gently swirl strawberry batter through white chocolate batter to marble.
  3. Wrap the pan with foil paper and bake in a water bath for 1 hour 20 minutes or until set. Turn off oven. Cool in oven with door ajar. Chill at least 3 hours or overnight. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

Chantelle's notes:

* The original recipe had some of the measurements as cups and some as grams. I made the appropriate conversions where necessary.

* I made my own strawberry puree by taking fresh strawberries and pureeing them in a blender, adding a little water for ease of mixing, then straining out the seeds. I also added a couple of drops of strawberry extract to up the strawberry flavor. Next time I would add a couple drops of red food coloring to up the pink color.

* The original recipe called for 100 grams of white chocolate. I upped that to 6 squares (1 box) as indicated in the recipe.

* I never wrap my pans in foil or bake them in a water bath. My cheesecakes still turn out wonderfully. It is your choice.

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