Thanksgiving just edges out Christmas as my favorite holiday. Every year, I go to my Aunt and Uncle’s house for both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and the exact same delicious meal is served at both occasions. Thanksgiving sets the tone for the next month as I look forward to eating that same meal again and have the added bonus of watching basketball. Family is ok, too.
I’ve always felt like a little bit of a freeloader since I am never asked to bring anything. Honestly, I wouldn’t even know what to bring. My step mom is an incredible cook and baker and I figured I could sneak something passable/mediocre in with her desserts.
There are some weird desserts in this book so I settled on something fairly traditional: Cheesecake. My step mom also brought her delicious famous apple cheesecake by request which took some of the pressure off of me. Even with two cheesecakes we almost did not have enough.
I’d always heard that cheesecake was challenging to make so I wasn’t really expecting it to come out well at all. The ingredients baffled me, but they say baking is a science so I went all in on this. Handmade crust and all!
Look at how BEAUTIFUL that crust is.
I crushed graham crackers and diced walnuts without making a complete mess! Evenly forming the crust was a bit challenging, but aside from the uneven edges, it came out well. B-
What makes this cheesecake stand apart from your your regular ol’ one is the addition of orange zest into the batter. It’s subtle, but adds a layer of complexity and decadence. Some might say classiness.
“Classy” Freddie Blassie’s wrestling career spanned six decades. He held multiple titles with National Wrestling Alliance and, like every wrestler should, spent a few years wrestling in Japan.
Blassie would occasionally show up on Regis Philbin’s late night talk show in San Diego to wreck the set and be a total douche. He credited his appearances with making Philbin into the star he is today!
Blassie retired from active wrestling in 1974, but continued working with WWE as a heel manager to help get other wrestlers over with the audience. He never held a title during his time with WWE, but was inducted into their Hall of Fame by Regis Philbin in 1994.
You can see his flashiness and fashion forward influences on the bedazzled robes of Ric Flair and the fur covered selfie stick of current Superstar Tyler Breeze. Based on this photo alone, I can tell you that I would’ve been his biggest fan during his prime.
Back to the cheesecake…
I ended up stirring the batter by hand. I broke my blender with the top fell in while I was using it. My Ninja, that I took out of the box for this, was much to small to blend the ingredients. And, no, I obviously didn’t own a hand mixer at the time because who actually keeps what they need on hand? (I did get one for Christmas after texting my family. Very excited to use it sometime.)
I’ll tell you what happened. The top of the cheesecake came out a little too well done so I tried scraping off the top layer to make it look more like a cheese cake and less like some garbage pie. I was hoping to avoid another baked good fiasco, but this ended up not looking that bad.
Verdict: My family seemed to enjoy this cheesecake with my uncle, the cheesecake aficionado, correctly identifying the orange zest. It was pretty tasty and I would absolutely make this cheesecake again as long as it was just for me at home on my couch.
Record: 10 wins, 3 losses.