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Cheery Cheesecake

I’ve always wanted to do something express, like blitz through Christmas, zip through the New Year then float all year ’round.

There have always been questions as I may be able to do one or all of the above:

  1. How to start
  2. Where to start
  3. Whose company to suffer

Obviously, there will always be that much more daunting task of gaining a friend’s confidence in doing something that has nothing to do with anything normal —you can’t sail through Christmas without first savoring it for  all its accouterments, you can’t face January without having jetted off into sense through the Holidays and can’t afford to float around like a bum the next whole year with mouths to feed, a couple of luxuries to sustain and a paradox of a life to configure.

I look at Nigella and see how easy and cheery it is to create Cherry Cheesecake from scratch.  But then well, I do not pretend to be Nigella at all, although I have started to chill the graham crust in the fridge as I type this up (having long gobbled up the oatmeal cookies that were supposed to pass off as digestive biscuits)

There is also one question I’ve long been wanting to ask: when to start.

You see, when there is the intention to do something better —or extraordinary even— there will always be the length of time (to complete it sensibly) factored in.  You always wanted to know when you want things to happen, if ever they do happen at all.

Undoubtedly, there lies the challenge of creating a cheery cheesecake of a dream, which everyone wants to partake of but which only a few brave souls can muster up the courage to see through completion.  We know beauty when we see it, but creating something beautiful out of the ordinary is something we presume as herculean and dismiss as trivial.

Let me start making the sour cream filling, but first let me ask you: what is it that is holding you back?

And when do you plan to take the cheesecake out of the fridge of your dreams?


Smokin’ Hot Kitchens

Smokin’ Hot Kitchens

For the longest time, my family has been obsessed with cooking. We’d rather bust our savings on sampling the newly-opened resto in the kanto than splurge on a new ensemble.

When culinary school all too suddenly became the rage, I couldn’t help but snicker and snort at those nagpapakitang-gilas na nouveaux chefs when they could barely chop a shallot without shedding a tear or two. They should learn a thing or two on how to bake humble pie from cooking giants.

I’d like to pay tribute to some of the culinary creatives I look up to. I bet my brother also has his own list of fave chefs. I expect you’ve got yours, too? Of course, your own Moms (or Dads) take the top spot, esp for those who were raised toddling in their diapers mouthing lispy ABCs while sniffing the aroma of a sizzling homemade dish.

Ben o’Donoghue – Minus the distracting Aussie accent and argot, Ben’s charming ruggedness easily keeps you glued to the telly as you watch him craft his own version of Angus beef burger patty, in the midst of Angus beef cattle!

A new favorite, Chef Chuck captures the hearts of even the staunchest of nagpapaka-food critics. His unbelievably simple seafood dish steamed in a bed of seaweed inside a heavy-duty pan makes this kyoot hunk steamier than the yummiest sio pao in town.

Jamie Oliver – Ma fantaisie ultime, monsieur Jamie! I love his maangas attitude, his angibngibngib ya ngipen, his lisp and even his dizzying moves in the kitchen even as he’s merely sauteeing a strip of fava bean.

Laura Calder, jolie fille! Her own homey style of French cooking simmers well within the sizzling point as she impressively prepares authentic French cuisine while talking about how she cleverly explained a soup recipe culled from an ex-boyfriend’s creation.

The Master of atektek ya food. Eight out of ten times, trust Mario Batali to burn his cooking while he entertains you with his latest take on classic dishes. I love his line of colourful cookware, though.

Inah Garten – I love how she calmly creates deceptively simple homemade recipes whilst maintaining a spic-and-span mansion and still managing to cook the most appetizing meals for her workaholic husband. And she NEVER burns her cooking, unlike other chefs who pretend the burnt ingredients are all part of the presentation rather than proof of their own katangahan.

Nigella Lawson – She once said that she doesn’t care what other people say about not eating too much, she just eats what she wants, pakialam n’yo. An advocate of Eating Everything, she loves cooking fast, appetizing meals for her deadma kids. Love her, esp when she raids her fridge for some late snacking.

Gwyneth Paltrow – You thought she’s just a great actress, ano? She cooks and always stresses the fact that she derives inspiration in cooking from her late father. I love the way she prepares roast chicken in a matter-of-fact way, speaking in relaxed tones, calmly dressing and marinating the poultry as if she’s simply rehearsing a scene from one of her movies.

Who are your top favorite culinary greats?