Sunday, June 03, 2012

Helpful guide in baking homemade cheesecake the right way

Homemade cheesecake is one of the most favorite desserts all over the world because of its creamy texture and delicious taste. It consists of a sweet cookie crumb base and fresh cheese mixture on the upper layer. It is very rich in taste. It is served in small slices with extra toppings such as sweet glaze and whipped cream. Moreover, you can use other types of toppings of your choice such as nuts, fruits, grated chocolates, or caramel. Normally, you can find this dessert in restaurants and patisseries in almost every country all over the world. But the homemade ones are always more preferred than others that are available in the market.

There are some things that you need to consider when baking a homemade cheesecake. When baking, you have to be attentive to the instructions, the proper timing and the cooling method. It is very important that the finished product should be moistened.  And to achieve this desirable result, you have to ensure that it will not be over-baked. Over-baking the cake can make it very dry. It is common to find a soft spot at the center of the cake after the allowed time baking. However, you should not worry about this soft spot because it will be firm after you allow it to get cold.
You need to switch off the oven and leave the door open after baking time is over. You have to leave the cake to stand in the oven while its door is open until the cake has cooled completely. During this time, the soft spot at the center of the cake becomes firm. You can remove the cake from the oven and refrigerate it once it's cold.

The texture of the cake becomes very grainy when you over-bake it. Moreover, it will also crack and shrink as it cools down. The main indication that you used the appropriate method is when the cake's center will not crack. In order to make the perfect homemade cake, you have to make them a day before that you will need them. Baking them one day before you need them will make them just right that is creamy and firm. A firm cake is very easy to slice when serving.

The crumb base of the cheesecake is one of the parts that most people love. It is crunchy and creamy when the exact proportion in making it is followed correctly. The best proportion to use is 1:2 ratios. For every 1 cup of butter, you should mix 2 cups of crumbs. This is the best proportion that mixes the butter and the cookie crumbs that will create the best perfect texture.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

The delights of literature

I remember fondly the many times I sat with my father as a wee one as Dad taught me how to read.  Both of my parents loved to read.

Sometimes I think reading is in my DNA.  I can't remember being without a book.  So it's no surprise reading became something important in my own household as I raised my children.  One of my favorite quotes on literature comes from C.S. Lewis:

Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


There is something liberating about living life to the fullest.  Those of us who live this way often incur scars on our bodies, hearts, and minds.  One author, Chris Cleve, encourages us to see our scars in a positive light:

I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.
 ― Chris Cleave, Little Bee

Friday, March 30, 2012

You Are Influential and Skilled

You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.

You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy-going attitude brings people together.

You are full of energy. You are spirited and boisterous.

Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.  You're a strong person.

                                      Source:  BlogThings

Fast-tracking my career

I began my academic and professional career at the age of 18. I had no idea just how much technology would touch my life.

A few weeks before I started college, I accepted a position with a PBS station.  It was an entry-level position, which afforded me the opportunity of learning public television from the ground up.  As a full-time urban studies student, I worked 30 hours per week. 

Broadcasting had not been on my career radar, but it didn't take long for the bug to bite.  I spent four years in public TV, working primarily in instructional TV and production.  Instructional television fed my need to be involved in education.  The production department afforded me the opportunity to use my research and writing skills.

After completing four years of public TV, I moved on to public radio, where I worked another four years.  Initially, I was hired for an office position, but within a year, I was also working Saturday nights as a news reporter.  About eight months later, my job changed completely.  I was promoted to announcer/producer, working in virtually every area of radio production. 

For me, radio was Disneyland.  It was fun.  Still, if you're serious about broadcasting (and I was), you have to be prepared to work long hours and odd hours.  In my case, I hit the floor running, announcing music, producing news, and producing public affairs.

By this time, I was married with two small children.  My children were born into my profession.  Sometimes I wonder how I did it all.  I suppose youth has some advantages.  Someone else might conclude that it's amazing what you'll do when you're young and stupid!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lots of things

I appreciate the guest post, Jewel Rodgers

There are a lot of things to get done every single day around here running smoothly is crucial. I spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not my technology is up to date but what I really need to focus on is finding a faster Internet solution for the office.

I know some of my employees have been complaining about how slow the Internet is at the office but to be honest with you there's only so much I can do about it without spending a small fortune getting it upgraded. I think the best solution is going to be finding something online and running it by my IT guy who comes in once a week to make sure everything is running smoothly.

I know my employees would really appreciate it if I would just pony up for better Internet but I feel like there is more to it than that. They don't understand that I have to write a check for every single thing that goes into this business!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Reflecting on Don Cornelius

It was about 6:30 a.m. local time as I sat in the kitchen with my husband.  I was scanning my email when I saw a news alert from the Los Angeles Times:  "Breaking: 'Soul Train' creator Don Cornelius found dead."  The story went on to say that Cornelius apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

"Noooooooooooooo!"  I screamed.

Hubby quickly happened what had happened, but I was too busy seeking more details to answer him.
My mind was flooded with memories of watching 'Soul Train' during my adolescent years.  There was nothing else like it on the air.  It was a program that my parents watched, too.

The news really bummed me out, especially since Cornelius apparently experienced a violent death.  No, I didn't know him, but when someone is in your home every week via TV, he kind of becomes a part of the family, anyway.   I was a shy girl and didn't dance, but I like Don's cool persona.

Upon hearing of Cornelius' death, music icon Quincy Jones spoke with The Associated Press:

I am shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden passing of my friend, colleague and business partner Don Cornelius. Don was a visionary pioneer and a giant in our business. Before MTV there was ‘Soul Train.’ That will be the great legacy of Don Cornelius. His contributions to television, music and our culture as a whole will never be matched.

The Jackson 5, Ike and Tina Turner, James Brown, Marvin Gaye -- anybody who was anybody in
R & B sought a place on the 'Soul Train' stage.  In later years, even rap group Public Enemy made an appearance.   I think Cornelius was ambivalent about rap initially, but other hip hop artists landed an appearance on the show.  Even my favorite Brit, Elton John, graced the stage.  I got a respite from sadness when I found a video where Cornelius introduces a young Al Green singing one of my favorite songs.

I've viewed a few dynamic videos today that demonstrate how 'Soul Train' ushered in a new era and made its mark on American pop culture.  Anyone who watched 'Soul Train' regularly will remember the host's famous sign off: "You can bet your last money, it's all gonna be a stone gas, honey! I'm Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!"

Mr. Cornelius was 75.   He will be missed.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An unusual parent-teacher encounter

It was a busy day for my daughter, "Elizabeth."  Today my grandson turned six.  My daughter, his mother, paid a visit to his school after work, taking cupcakes for the whole kindergarten class.  Of course, she was an instant hit with the kids.  Let me pause for a moment to let you know that Elizabeth is black, and she lives in the suburbs. 

When the party was over, and it was time for the students to go to gym.  My daughter started packing up to go home.  The teacher, Ms. Endicott, asked my daughter if she had met the gym teacher.  My daughter had not, so the teacher encouraged Elizabeth to walk with the class to the gymnasium.

Along the way, Ms. Endicott asked my daughter if she had any more children.  "No," Elizabeth said. 

The teacher, now wearing a big smile, said, "Oh, you must meet our gym teacher, Mr. Johnson.  He's very nice."

My daughter said, "I'm sure he is, but I'm sure he's very busy.  Maybe another time."

Ms. Endicott persisted.  "Oh, no!  It will only take a moment.  Besides, he's really, really nice."  By the time my daughter's thinking this is a bit awkward.

One little blond-haired girl overheard the conversation, and cheerfully jumped into the conversation.  "Yeah, Mr. Johnson is really nice.  He's black!"

By this time, everyone had reached the gym, and my daughter met Mr. Johnson.  She said that Ms. Endicott stood back and nodded her head as the gym teacher and my daughter exchanged pleasantries.

"Mom, it was so weird," Elizabeth told me later.  She had never had a teacher try to set her up with a guy before. 

My response:  "Ewwwwe!"