Hello! In the Kitchen with Sharon this week is Tim Colliver, a news reporter here at The Times-Gazette, making his famous strawberry and blueberry cheesecake. I am going to be on vacation next week so we did this for early for the Fourth of July celebration, but it is good anytime.
I am having a piece right now. Ooops, there went my diet for about the fourth time this week.. Oh well, I will be good next week. Ha Ha!
Enjoy this great cheesecake. Remember to send in your recipes. I am looking forward to hearing from you. Email recipes to email@example.com or call 937-393-3456.
Happy Fourth of July!
Editor’s note: The following is a message from Tim Colliver:
OK, I admit it, I am a hopeless patriot. I love my country. One of the most moving things I have seen in recent years was during the Memorial Day activities at the Veterans Memorial in downtown Hillsboro a few weeks back. During the playing of the songs of the five branches of the military services, I noticed an older gentleman in the bleachers who, when the official song of the U.S. Air Force was being played, slowly stood up and with a quivering hand, and rendered a shaky but solemn salute to his flag and his country.
I never had the honor of serving in the military, though I seriously considered enlisting in the Coast Guard after graduation from high school in 1975. Several of my family members served this country proudly, including my oldest son Scott, who while in the Ohio National Guard saw combat in the sands of Iraq.
It is to him and to all of you who love this country that I present my All-American Cheesecake.
2 packs of graham crackers
1 stick of real butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 bars of softened crème cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 container (8 oz.) whipped topping
15-20 large ripe strawberries
40-50 ripe blueberries
Melt the butter. Crush the graham crackers in a large zip-lock bag. (You could buy graham cracker crumbs at the store, but that would probably be smart, and I’m just not that smart). Pour the crushed-up grahams into a deep 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish, add the sugar and mix. Then pour the butter over the mixture and blend it in with the crumbs until they all have a coating of butter, then use a large spoon to smooth out and compact into a crust. Toss this into freezer to let firm up, then tackle the cheesecake mix.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the creme cheese and powdered sugar, then fold in the whipped topping. Remove the baking dish from the freezer, and scoop this creamy blend onto your graham cracker crust, spreading it out as smooth as you can.
Imagining the rectangular baking dish to be an American flag, place your blueberries in the upper left side of the cheesecake, creating the blue star field that represents the 50 states.
Taking the strawberries and slicing them lengthwise, place them end to end until you form the red stripes of the flag. Don’t worry as you’re placing them onto the cheesecake that you don’t get the regulation 13 stripes, which stand for the original 13 American colonies.
Keep refrigerated until ready to serve, and you’ve not only got a delicious chilled desert, but also one that is more than appropriate to be a part of your Independence Day cookout.
Sharon Hughes is the advertising manager at The Times-Gazette. She is also a mother, grandmother and chef. She can be reached at 937-393-3456.