Friday Food. October.


Dreams do come true.

I will claim, rightly so, to be a good cook, but only a moderate baker. I almost never bake from scratch. Baking is not only an art, but also a science. You mess up one ingredient and it won’t work. Cooking is its own art, but it also lets you improvise more – a little of this, a little of that; don’t have an ingredient, substitute something completely unrelated.

A long time ago, in a kitchen far, far away, my middle son asked for cheesecake for his birthday cake. I made the Philly Three-Step, he loved it, and the rest is history. This has become a yearly tradition. Always plain with whipped cream. Occasionally with raspberries. Once with chocolate swirl. But typically, he doesn’t like it dressed up.

On Wednesday, he turned 18, and I wanted to do something special. I asked if he wanted a different birthday cake, and he wanted cheesecake. Okay, why mess with perfection?

A couple of weeks ago, I had a dream, and it was this cheesecake.

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake.

After we finished singing Happy Birthday, and eating the cake, I told them about my dream and they laughed at me. I don’t care. I made it happen, and it was a nice surprise and even better, it was delicious!


  • Make the Philly Three-Step Cheesecake as directed. (Takes 1 hr plus 3 hours refrigeration.)
  • Before serving, use one (or all) of the tips with the Betty Crocker Cupcake Icing to make a chocolate border. It can be as thin or as thick as you like.
  • Wash and dry fresh raspberries and fill in the center.
  • Serve.
  • Can also serve with whipped cream.

Follow Your Dreams, Kids!


Today is National First Responders Day.

A few years ago when my son was still in high school we asked him what he wanted to study, and he responded that he wanted to major in fire protection service, which he did upon graduation. Prior to that he joined our local volunteer fire department as what they call an explorer where teenagers can get an introduction to fire fighting as well as age appropriate training. He went on to be an EMT and to train as an ambulance driver which needed a special license.

In addition to continuing as a volunteer fire fighter, my son is also a 9-1-1 dispatcher.

On every visit to a hands-on/children’s museum, he would make a beeline to the dress up space, grab the boots and fire coat, and head over to the fire truck. Every time.

When he dressed up as a fire fighter and even slept in his fire coat, we thought it was a typical preschool phase, but he surprised us with his choice and has stuck with his five year old self’s dream.

Don’t give up; keep working and you will discover something you love to do.

One of the many fire stations we visited on our trips across the Northeast.

Free Write: Prompt: A Footprint You Find in an Odd Spot


My eight year old son has been a little crazy for Bigfoot lately. Every Sunday, he stays up until 11pm to watch the Animal Planet show, Finding Bigfoot. He has a notebook, and he takes notes on their expeditions, takes photos off of the TV with his camera, and has a team meeting in school with the other Bigfoot enthusiasts during lunch recess. They think there’s a Bigfoot hiding/living in the woods adjacent to their school.

The other day, well, let me say that I am a mythology fan-girl. My favorite animal is a griffin, and I’ve stopped apologizing for it. I do get strange looks, but I can’t help it. I love them. They’re strong and elegant and beautiful.

I also have a thing for Celts. Any and all, so when my son thought he was being very scientific when he stated what was obvious to him, he never expected Mom’s reaction which was pure disbelief that I’d raised such a heathen.

His statement?

He said (and keep in mind, he said this in an incredulous condescending, how could they be so stupid as to think way) that while Bigfoot was real – there were pictures and expeditions and look at the evidence – the Loch Ness Monster wasn’t real.

For one thing, it was a monster. For another thing, there were no pictures. For a third thing, as he turned up his nose, there’s no such thing. But Bigfoot….well, they were everywhere.

Sasquatch in Canada.

Yowie in Australia.

They didn’t eat cows, though. Do you know why? Cows belong to people and if they ate people’s cows, people would notice and hunt them. Makes sense.

There were no applicable legends or sightings related to the Loch Ness Monster.

I was appalled to say the least.

Every Sunday, he takes out his notebook; he adds the episode title to his list of episodes. I believe there are also numbers and dates, and he does this during the day with the onscreen cable guide so he doesn’t waste any time while the episode is on.

He is very organized.

I love to see his excitement. I was reminded this morning of my own ‘obsessions’ from my childhood. I loved detective stories and television shows. I used to watch Remington Steele, Moonlighting and when I was very young, The Rockford Files.

I wanted to be a detective. In the case of Jim Rockford, I wanted to drive a Camaro and live in a trailer, just not on the beach. I kept notebooks, and notes and quotations, and more than anything I think that is what influenced my longing to be a writer more than anything else. Those detective stories were the best and pushed my imagination further and further out and the notebooks gave me a place to store all of those dreams even if they weren’t called dreams.

And I see so much of that in my son. The enjoyment he gets from the show, from the mystery, from the note-taking and the investigation, the excitement of being part of something that is both on television, in real life and at school as he researches and discusses and extrapolates with his friends.