Monday, March 4, 2013

Birthday Cajun Food (and a Cheesecake)

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My husband's birthday was last week and I cooked him his favorite meal: jambalaya.  It has become somewhat of a tradition and it's a dish I only make once or twice a year so it's a pretty special occasion when it graces our dinner table.

Check out my recipe here

I always make a special birthday dessert and this year's was a vanilla mousse cheesecake.  For those of us watching our waistlines, it's really frightening how easy it is to make a cheesecake!  This one turned out beautifully.
Check out the recipe below:

Vanilla Mousse Cheesecake

- 40 crushed vanilla wafer cookies
- 3 tbsp. melted butter
- 4 8 oz packages of cream cheese
- 1 cup sugar (divided)
- 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 8 oz whipped topping (thawed)


1. Preheat the oven to 325 and mix wafer crumbs and melted butter until it is the consistency of wet sand.  Press gently into the bottom of a springform pan.

2. Beat 3 packages of softened cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 tbsp. vanilla with a mixer until well blended.  Scrape down the sides and add the eggs into the mix one at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition until combined.

3. Pour mixture over the crust and bake 50-55 min. until the center is just set.  If you want to avoid cracks in the top or drying out the cheesecake, you can bake it in a water bath.  I wasn't concerned and knew I'd be covering the top anyhow, so I went without this time.

4. When the cheesecake is done, let it cool completely in the pan (2-4 hours).  Make the mousse topping by beating the remaining 8 oz of cream cheese with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tbsp. vanilla until well blended.  Fold in the whipped topping and spread over the cooled cheesecake.

5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.  You can easily dress up this cheesecake with fruit toppings, chocolate curls or candied nuts and caramel.

Our 8-month-old daughter was a big fan!

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