This weekend, we were invited to celebrate the official beginning of summer at the small farm of another large family who is hosting a dessert social. We love attending this family's seasonal outdoor parties because they have the most organized hobby farm, a ton of other children there to play with, adorable farm animals, and the best food served up and eaten under the roof of their immaculate barn. I am always inspired to do more on our own little farm after leaving there. The last event in the fall was a stone soup supper with one huge kettle of stone soup with real turtle meat included and another steaming kettle of hearty beef stew. I have to admit that I chickened out and had the delicious beef/veggie stew. My husband is more adventurous than I and thoroughly enjoyed the turtle soup though.
|Petite Cherry Cheesecakes and Lemon Squares|
Since this was a dessert night, I wanted to bring something sweet and summery that would be easy to eat with our fingers. I opted for these petite cherry cheesecakes and lemon squares. My 10 year old son begged me to let him help since he has decided he wants to learn how to cook and bake this summer. He is my big eater, and he has learned through the years that the one who helps Mom in the kitchen is also the most likely to reap the rewards of licking beaters, scraping the bowl, and getting the chocolate chips or other sweet morsels that might spill out of the bag. His little sister, who also wanted to help for the same reasons, was relegated by him to be the placer of the cupcake liners in the muffin tins before we started. Therefore, she was out of the kitchen when it was beater licking time.
Petite Cherry Cheesecakes
2 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened 1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup sugar 24 vanilla wafers
2 eggs 1 (24oz.) can cherry pie filling
1 tsp. lemon juice
Beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs, lemon juice and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Line small muffin pans with paper baking cups and place a vanilla wafer in bottom of each cup.
Fill with cream cheese mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until set.
Top each with about 1 Tbsp. of pie filling. Chill. Makes 2 dozen.
|Finished Petite Cherry Cheesecakes|
I had the help of my 13 year old daughter when making the lemon bars while most everyone else was out swimming in the pool after helping their dad move mulch into the many flower beds. She just couldn't seem to be able to keep her older brother from coming in and out when he sensed we had emptied the bowl into the cake pan so he could get the scrapings. Honestly, when there is baking going on, I seem to have very interested and willing helpers. I wish they were as eager to help wash the dishes and hang the laundry.
Box lemon cake mix
1 stick butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
Mix these 3 ingredients until crumbly/mushy and press into 9x13 cake pan. I think it's the consistency of semi-dry playdough.
2 eggs, beaten 1 pound bag of powdered sugar
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened 1 tsp. vanilla
Mix all these ingredients until creamy, and pour over crust and bake 50 minutes - 1 hour at 325 degrees. (I love my pink polka dotted spatula found in a bargain bin at Giant!)
After cooling, cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar. I chill mine in the refrigerator.
|Finished Lemon Squares|