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Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Countdown with Mary Ricksen


Hello and welcome to Day 7 of my Countdown to Christmas Blog! Today, Mary Ricksen is in the kitchen with Oliver, sharing a few secrets. As Mary snaps out orders, Oliver, donned in his Santa cap and apron, scurries back and forth from the pantry as Mary tells him which ingredients she needs. And whilst he’s busy playing Santa’s helper, he sings to Mary. “You’d better watch out, you’d better not cry. You’d better not pout I’m telling you why. Santa Claus is coming to town.

Shoving Oliver away, Mary smiles at her adoring fans and tells them a little family history about her Christmas delights. Here’s Mary!

Here is a great recipe for cheescake Italian style, I have lots more.
Mongiello's Famous Italian Cheesecake
My grandfather came over from Italy, as they called it, "on the boat". And with my grandfather came dozens of the finest recipes ever. Here is a family favorite.
2 eight ounce packages of cream cheese
l lb. Ricotta
l pt. sour cream
l small package marscapone cheese (optional) depends how Italian you are, but it
comes out just fine with or without it.
4 large eggs
1/4 lb. melted butter
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla (the real stuff)
3 tbsp. of flour and 3 tbsp. of cornstarch mixed
1 1/2 cups of sugar

Blend the cream cheese with the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, add the melted
butter, beat again. Add the lemon juice and the ricotta and beat again.
Add eggs one at a time and beat well, real well. Add the vanilla and the flour/cornstarch
mixture and beat at least five minutes. Add sour cream and beat again till smooth
and creamy. Bake at 325 degrees in a large size springform pan lined with the graham
cracker lining listed below. Bake for one hour, do not open the oven. Then turn off
the oven and let it sit for two more hours in the off oven. Chill, put strawberries
on top, whatever you like, or just put a dab of whipped cream. Everyone in our family has their preference. One sister likes blueberries, all six of us used to fight over
what was put on top. My mother was a very patient woman.

Graham cracker lining
melt three tbsp. of butter and put in the bottom of the springform pan. Add three
quarters of a cup of graham cracker crumbs, mix and spread over the bottom of the
pan. Press to even out.

Then eat the very best cheesecake you have ever, ever had. You like cheesecake? Trust
me this is cheesecake heaven. It makes a lot of cake and it gets even better as it
sits. Your friends and family will be begging you for the recipe. Even if they are
not Pizons. (I hope I spelled pizons right, but if you are Italian you will get it).
Eat, Mangia. By the way Mongiello in Italian means they eat, and boy did our family eat!

Here's another,
The best Christmas cookies ever.
1 lb butter
2 eggs
5 cups flour
1 teas baking soda
2 teas vanilla
Cream butter
with sugar, add eggs, mix, add four and the rest of the ingredients.
Here's the fun part, You can put the cookies on a baking sheet by spooning some of
the dough on the sheet, pressing it down and sprinkling with decorative candies,
then baking.
Or flour a surface, roll and cut them after chilling the dough, decorate and cook.
(might need to add flour as you try to roll out if dough is sticky.
Or put into a cookie press then decorate on sheet before baking
Or divide into three batches, color one red and add chopped red sweet cheeries from
the jar, color one green and add chopped pistachio nuts, the third use melted semisweet
chocolate to flavor and color.
Put all three into a loaf pan in layers, press down to get rid of air. Put in fridge overnite. Bake and slice for spumoni cookies.

I put the oven on 350-375, 10 minutes? I watch and check while they cook. You don't want them brown, or gold at all, so take out before they cook too much.

This is very buttery and so good, but so bad for you!
Oliver, his belly full of goodies, chases Mary with his mistletoe and steals a kiss.
Love and hugs,

Mary M. Ricksen
Tripping Through Time ISBN#1-60154-392-1
You Gotta Read Reviews-Absolutely wonderful! An excellent
first novel. Rated:You Gotta Read! "Know that love is truly timeless"


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Mary,
What gorgeous recipes, you have really tempted by taste buds. Pity it is so late at night, otherwsie I would be tempted to rush to the stove and start cooking.

Sharon Donovan said...

Let's have a warm welcome for Mary Ricksen. Mary, come on out and bring those yummy treats! Oliver has just set out coffee, tea and your favorite strawberry drink from Duncun Donuts. Hi, Margaret. Right you are! I can't wait to run into the kitchen and try these recipes!

Autumn Jordon said...

Mary, My children LOVE cheesecake. I'm going to try this recipe for our Christmas Day celebration. It sounds so yummy. My perference, strawberries. Thanks for sharing.

2009 Golden Heart Finalist
Obsessed By WIldfire 1/27/10 TWRP

P.L. Parker said...

Good Morning Ladies - omigosh, the recipes sound wonderful. Why is it all the good stuff is so bad for you? Love the countdown to Christmas.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Both those recipes sound great, but dangerous. :)

Cate Masters said...

Yum, Mary - those sound very tasty! They're both going in my recipe box. Thanks for sharing!

Emma Lai said...

Yummy recipes!

Mary Ricksen said...

thank you, thank you, Mary takes a bow. I have relatives from four countries so I have lots of them.
I forgot to say let the cheesecake sit overnite, before you eat it.
Slurp, swallow. Thanks Oliver I love the strawberry fruitista. There's no calories in it Margaret. (grin)
Autumn, Cate, Patsy, Emma, and Stacey. The cookies are so good and of course very low calorie. Ha!

Mary Ricksen said...

Sharon, you do the best blogs! Doesn't she Oliver. Oliver is so bury stuffing cookies into his mouth he ignores me.

Sharon Donovan said...

Mary, we all want to make these treats for Christmas. They sound so good and, unfortunately, Oliver has eaten everything in sight. You can punish him. LOL
Margaret, Cate, Patsy, Emma and Stacey, stick around while Mary puts more pans in the oven!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Mary and Sharon (and Oliver)
Those recipes sound scrumptious Mary, and I have to admit I really fancy the cheesecake one. I'm going to have to make some time for some more baking!

Judy said...

I love Italian food!! All the recipes look very yummy. I am going to copy them down also, this is great I am getting all sorts of new recipes this Christmas.

I wish I had a helper like Oliver in my kitchen while I am baking :(

Mary Ricksen said...

Oliver is a big help and a big annoyance. Every time someone stops by to comment he ditches me like a hot potato, grabbing cookies as he runs to see whose stopped by.
I will tell you that this is the best cheesecake I have ever had in my life! It's that good Lyn!
Judy, I never go to Italian restaurants, I can do the basics better myself!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Judy and Lyn, have a seat and some of Mary's treats!

Linda Swift said...

Hi Mary. I think I gained a pound or two just reading these great recipes. They made me want to bake and I don't even like to be in a kitchen except for necessities. Shame on me. And my mother and her five sisters and their mother are all excellent cooks. (I got my fraternal grandmother's cooking genes unfortunately.) But I love to eat!

Jane Richardson, writer said...

Hi Mary, now that is MY kind of cheesecake! I love Italian food....mmm. You can diet after Christmas, who cares about calories in December? You need then to keep warm! ;-) Gorgeous recipes, Mary.

Jane x

Julie Robinson said...

Hi Mary, don't I know you from Celtic Hearts?
Thanks for the recipes. I can handle the cookies, but, as cooking is not my forte, I'm not so sure about the cheesecake. Sounds delicious, but complicated (for me). Hmmmm, my son is coming home Friday, and he's been into baking lately, so I'm going to print it out for him. Along with letting it sit overnight.