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September 18, 2012

Well, we stayed home last weekend.  Decided not to go up to Vikings Come Home this year – neither of us was really feeling like going to the event and camping for the weekend.  The Hubs lived in the basement for a couple of days and worked on homework and converting the Middle Kingdom website to the format needed for the new hosting service.  I went to work sewing valances for the dining room and got them all finished, despite the fact that I had to stop in the middle of everything on Saturday evening and go out to buy a new iron!  The one that I’ve had for the past 7 years decided to give up the ghost partway into the second half of the valance for the big window – it wasn’t heating up and started dripping water all over the place.  I talked to my mother about what to look for in a new one and she said to just go to Target or Wal-mart!  I kind of figured that’s what I’d do – the last iron came from Target and lasted 7 years at a cost of about $25, so you can’t really go wrong there.  The new one is also a Target purchase at $28, so we’ll see how long it lasts!

Valances for the dining room got finished on Sunday and we have the hardware to hang them, just need to get to it.  One of the things we inherited from the previous owners of our house were a bunch of extendable curtain rods, so we’re going to use those.  We just had to get some of the brackets that support the rods – not a big deal.  Tonight, I started taking out the seams of another panel to make a valance for the spare bedroom and I’ll probably start working on that tomorrow.

I also did a little calligraphy over the weekend, lettering a scroll left over from Clancy Days and putting together an acceptance letter to send to Their Highnesses for the upcoming Crown Tournament.  I always feel awkward about lettering something nice and then using plain old ballpoint on the envelope, but I also don’t want to confuse the postal workers with more calligraphy, so there it is!

Finally, a cooking update!  We went out to dinner Friday night at a local place called the Electric Cheetah.  Nice place, kind of funky neighborhood vibe, menu that (slightly) changes seasonally.  The area it’s in is a part of Grand Rapids that has been kind of seedy for a long time, but the past several years has been making a turnaround with new businesses like this restaurant.  The food was good, though only my dinner (the meatloaf) was substantial enough to be worth the price.  We’ll still likely go back to try some different things.  We ended up having a piece of cheesecake for dessert and the Hubs commented that we hadn’t had any at home for a while.  So, since cream cheese was on sale this week, I made us a small lemon cheesecake with a gingersnap crust on Monday.

This is a pretty basic cheesecake.  I made it in a 7″ springform pan I have – that way we’re not stuck eating cheesecake forever!  If you want to make it in a regular 9″ pan, increase all of the amounts by half (3 blocks of cream cheese instead of just 2, for example).

2/3-3/4 c crushed gingersnap or graham cracker crumbs
1-2 T butter, melted

Combine melted butter and crumbs until well combined and press into the bottom of a 7″ springform pan.  Bake at 325 for about 10 minutes and then cool.

2 8-ounce blocks cream cheese
2/3 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 T lemon juice
2 T lemon zest

Combine cream cheese and sugar until well blended.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between.  Stir in lemon juice and zest.  Pour into prepared crust and bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes or until set.  Cool completely before serving.  I also sprinkled some additional lemon zest over the top of the batter before baking, just for a little more lemon effect.

This size cake makes 8 servings for the Hubs and I.  Another advantage to the small size pan is getting to eat an eighth of the cake so it feels like you’re getting a good chunk of it!

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