My Dad, Dirty Jokes, Baseball, And Lemon Berry Cheesecake

berry_cheesecake_6_mfbFather’s Day is quickly approaching and I’m not sure where the time went this past month. I’ve checked under the bed, I’ve looked behind the flower pots, and I’ve checked to make sure the kids didn’t take it. Somehow, it still got away from me.

My Dad is a great guy. I realize, that a lot of people think that their Dad is the best – but mine really is.

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He’s kind and generous. Dad is always driving someone here or picking up something for someone over there.  He’s visiting people in the hospital or nursing home and he’s taking care of everyone else, usually leaving himself for last.

He thinks he’s funny and sometimes, he actually is. My Dad loves dirty jokes, sick and disturbing birthday cards about noisy bodily functions, and playing mind games with the drive-thru workers at McDonald’s.  He especially likes to do that when the kids are in the car because it embarrasses them like crazy, which makes it even funnier to him.

dad_collageHe LOVES baseball.  He doesn’t just like it, he LOVES IT!  If given the choice between food to stay alive and baseball, he’d pick baseball.  In the summer, he can always be found with a lawn chair attached to his butt and a bag of sunflower seeds in his hand, sitting at some baseball game or other, and it doesn’t matter if it’s kids, adults, slow pitch, fast pitch, professional, raining or sunny.

My Dad is strong and brave, unless he has to climb a ladder.  Then he’s a  ‘fraidy cat.

He can’t cook anything. Not a fried egg, or a pot of spaghetti, or a barbecued steak. If he’s desperate however, he has been known to make a toasted tomato sandwich, or heat up soup from a can (in the microwave, not on the stove), or just get into his car and go in search of food somewhere.  A relative’s house, or a burger joint, it makes no difference to him.

berry_cheesecake_5_mfbSo for Dad this Father’s Day, we will gather, and we will cook, and we will feed him.  We will give him cards with dirty jokes inside or one of those cards that makes farting noises.  We will give him tickets to a baseball game, and we will be thankful that he is our Dad.  The best Dad in the world! I love you!

Lemon Berry Cheesecake

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Graham Crumb Base
Ingredients

  • 3 cups graham wafer crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions

In a medium-sized bowl, combine graham wafer crumbs, melted butter, and sugar.  Stir until well combined.  Press graham crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9″ spring form pan. Set aside.

Lemon Berry Cheesecake Filling
Ingredients

  • 4 8 oz packages of cream cheese
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries – blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries

Directions

In a mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.  Add lemon juice and lemon zest.  Continue to beat mixture for several minutes (4 to 5) on medium speed to incorporate some air into the batter.  Add cornstarch and beat for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in mixed berries.

Sprinkle a few berries directly on the base to ensure that every piece gets some berries. Pour filling over graham crumb base.  Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes (depending on your oven) or until center of cheesecake is slightly jiggly.  Cheesecake will continue to bake slightly once removed from the oven. Remove from oven and set on wire rack to cool.  Once cooled to room temperature, refrigerate cheesecake for several hours or overnight. The cheesecake can also be frozen at this point by leaving it in the spring form pan and tightly wrapping the pan with plastic wrap.

Garnish the cheesecake with a nice, thick layer of fresh whipped cream, and fresh berries. You can also warm up some strawberry jam in the microwave for about 30 – 35 seconds and drizzle the liquified, warm jam over the whipped cream before you add the berries.

Fresh Whipped Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Chill the bowl and whisk attachment from your stand mixer in the fridge for 20 minutes or in the freezer for 5 minutes.

Begin by whisking the cream on medium-high speed for 2 or 3 minutes.  Slowly pour in granulated sugar and vanilla extract.  Turn mixer to high speed and whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks and will hold it’s shape.

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