Wednesday, May 18

Baby Steps... (Key Lime Cheesecake)

Hennebaby is 13 weeks!  We had our first ultrasound last week - it was incredible to see this tiny little life bopping around inside of me.  I can't wait until I get a bump and can start to feel the little guy (or girl) in there!  This itty bitty little person that we made.  That we're responsible for creating and growing and nurturing for the rest of its life.

And that is itself responsible for all the craziness going on in my body.  So far this week has been a little better, but I'm still scared to eat normal food.  I've been carbing it up since I got sick - toast, granola bars, scones, if it's flour based I eat it.  I'm hoping that this week I can get up the courage to eat a salad.  I never thought I would miss vegetables quite like I do now.   Our 2nd anniversary was on Monday, and when we went out to dinner I took a risk and had zucchini fritti for an appetizer - I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. 

So, that all being the case, when I woke up last week with a craving for sunshine and the seashore, I knew exactly what I needed.  Much like the sailors who learned that they needed citrus fruits whenever they could get them, I set about preventing scurvy in my house.  When we went to Key West in December, I picked up some authentic key lime juice.  I had no clue what I was going to do with it, but I knew that someday I would need it.  Desperately need it.  Crave it with every fiber of my being.  

Sometimes you just know.

This Key Lime Cheesecake recipe comes from the awesome Smitten Kitchen.  I took her suggestion and added some finely ground coconut to the crust (I used regular flake coconut that I ground in my Magic Bullet, but you could use a food processor if that's what you have) and baked it in a square pan so that I could cut it into bars.  It's creamy and tart and amazingly delicious.  Also cures morning sickness - at least for a few hours.  :o)

Key Lime Cheesecake Bars
(from the always delicious Smitten Kitchen)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup finely ground coconut
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
16 oz (2 bricks) cream cheese, softened (left out about 4-5 hours)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup key lime juice
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 and butter/line with parchment an 8 inch square pan.  Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, coconut, 3 tablespoons sugar and melted butter until crumbly.  With the back of a buttered spoon, press the mixture into the bottom of your pan.  Bake for 8-9 minutes, until slightly browned at the edges and remove to cool. Reduce the oven temp to 325.

With an electric mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cream until fluffy.  Add the sugar and mix until combined.  Add the lime juice, sour cream and vanilla until smooth and creamy.  Turn down the speed on your mixer to low and add the flour and salt, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure everything is combined.  Add all 3 eggs at once and mix until just combined.  Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the crust. (Note: I didn't use a water bath for my cheesecake, but if you're a purist you can place the baking dish in a larger dish and fill it 1/3 of the way with water.  Mine set just fine without it.)  Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 5-10 minutes, until set.  The middle will be slightly jiggly, but the cake will set as it cools.  Once cooled, run a knife along the sides of the pan, cut into bars and serve with whipped cream.

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