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Today's word on journalism

March 17, 2009

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1863-2009

"Can Seattle's oldest newspaper be successfully transformed into a child of the information age? The Northwest is a land of big dreams. With the demise of the Soviet Union, one quipster noted that Puget Sound is now home to three empires still bent on global dominion: Microsoft, Amazon.com and Starbuck's. If the stars align properly and with a quality product, Seattle will show the way to a new model for journalism of the written word."

--Joel Connelly, columnist, in today's final print edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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Just in time for Valentine's Day: A cheesecake confection

By Shannon K. Johnson

February 11, 2009 | Nothing is more dreaded than the chocolate soaked holiday that boyfriends dread and girlfriends brag about. Valentine's day, a day for lovers, cheesy poetry, and sugary food, one of my favorites happens to be cheesecake.

But for those who must live without wheat this decadent blend is off limits thanks to the cookie crust that restaurants use for the bottom of their cakes. So the celiac is again forced into the kitchen where we must improvise, compromise and occasionally fail to satisfy our sweet tooth.

This dish is perfect for Valentine's Day it is tasty and decadent, a great way to follow up a romantic date. Or a great treat to eat off paper plates while watching romantic comedies and cursing all men.

Ironically the primary ingredient in cheese cake is-cheese, cream cheese, two eight-ounce packages is plenty. Be sure to let the cream cheese soften prior to mixing other wise the cold cheese blends unevenly and you get a lumpy cheese cake.

Today I am prepared to make an Orange Chocolate Vanilla Swirl cheesecake.

To begin with you are left with something of a problem—what to do about the crust? It you are fortunate enough to live near enough to a grocery store that sell gluten-free chocolate cookies you have no problem. But if access to gluten-free cookies is limited this cheesecake is fine crustless.

Making a gluten-free crust is simple: crush the cookies into fine crumbs and mix with butter (measurements here are imprecise I usually use a stick about one-fourth of a cup). Then spread the mixture across the bottom of the pan after you have sprayed the whole tray with non-stick spray.

Today I have no cookies so my cake will be shorter and poured directly into the circular, glass Pyrex dish. The recipe is modified from the Philadephia cheesecake carton.

To make this tasty cheesecake you will need four ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, I will add a bit of orange extract this time purely for the sake of experimentation. To make this cake take a large bowl and in it crack two eggs, one-half cup of sugar and two packs of softened cream cheese and mix in the large bowl.

The recipe calls for use of a whisk, but the lazy chef in me uses my hand mixer. Be sure to wait until the mix is smooth. After making the creamy filling separate half the batter into a small bowl. The next step is to make one half the mix vanilla. In a surprising culinary development simply add one-half teaspoon of vanilla extract. I then take a spatula and scrape the mix into the pan.

To make the chocolate orange swirl, take the four squares of semi-sweet chocolate add about one-fouth of a teaspoon of orange extract and melt the chocolate in the microwave.

It should take about a minute or two to fully melt the chocolate, but take the mix out every thirty seconds to stir to make sure the chocolate melts evenly and does not burn.

Once melted simply whisk the chocolate into the remaining batter and pour into the pan.

To obtain the desired swirl effect take a knife and drag it through the batter this should make a marbled effect.

Once your satisfied with the level of marbling simply place the cheesecake pan in 350-degree oven and bake for forty minutes.

The cheesecake is done when the cake center is firm to the touch.

Be advised this cake needs at least three hours in the refrigerator to set up. So don't make it 30 minutes before a romantic dinner.

SH
SH

 

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