Monday, February 27, 2012

Personalized Cheesecakes!

Each year our North Valley Chapter of California of Women for Agriculture hosts a Dinner and Dessert Auction. It's our big fundraiser each year and one of the highlights of the event is the donated desserts made by members and local bakers that are auctioned off to the highest bidder. I offered to bake a dessert this year but I'm not very good at the design and appearance element that is so important with desserts that people are expected to buy because they "look" like they taste good. So of course I did what every other woman would do, I went to Pinterest for ideas and I found one. Individual Cheesecakes - Brilliant! Even I could do this.

Wide mouth half pint jars with a little wooden spoon from the craft store
and a piece of twine create a rustic presentation for this individual cheesecake.
I already had found the Perfect Cheesecake recipe online and have made it with great success so now the trick was to bake the same cheesecake in individual canning jars for a decent portion size and a creative appearance. Since everyone likes their cheesecake different, I provided four topping options for the high bidder - cherry topping, blueberry topping, homemade dulce de leche, and a combo of mini chocolate chips, toffee pieces and chopped California walnuts. Add a cute spoon and piece of twine and Voila! Dessert is done. I think they turned out pretty good. What do you think?

Cheesecake toppings.
One dozen individual cheesecakes baked in wide mouth half pint canning jars.

If you want to see the rest of the cakes from that evening (and there were some beauties) you can visit our chapter Facebook page here.

As for recreating this, try it with your favorite cheesecake recipe if you choose. I decreased the time to 40 minutes from the original recipe and think it could have gone five minutes less only because I got a few cracks. I have NEVER had the whole cheesecake crack so I think it was baked a few minutes too long. But cracks are okay because you cover them up with the sour cream layer. But the tastes was on point!

Thanks for reading! ~mrs.c

Sunday, February 26, 2012

FFA Proud!

Yesterday, February 25, 2012, concluded the annual National FFA Week Celebration. If you have read this blog before, you know what FFA is. Formerly called Future Farmers of America, FFA is a youth organization preparing young adults for careers, leadership and life in agriculture or any industry segment a person may choose.

I was asked, as the Executive Director of the Butte County Farm Bureau, to speak during National FFA Week about Farm Bureau and ag careers to the CORE Charter FFA Chapter in Chico last Thursday following their Chapter meeting. I was honored!

I was an active member of the Livingston FFA Chapter twenty years ago (I am officially dating myself here.) FFA and a whole bunch of fabulous agricultural educators prepared me for my life and career today. From learning how to properly shake a persons hand, create a resume, proper conduct during a job interview and public speaking skills, I owe a great deal to FFA. For these and many other reasons I am happy to support and encourage others to be part of an FFA program and take advantage of all that it offers.

CORE Charter FFA Chapter is a new program here in Chico and they are off and running! It was surreal to sit through their chapter meeting - opening and closing ceremonies, the FFA Motto - because I quickly realized I remembered all of the words the students were speaking.  Amazing the things we never forget. It was fun and I enjoyed the opportunity probably more than the kids did but that's okay. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

FFA is by far the single most useful program a young adult in high school could be part of. The proof is in the business owners, legislators, executives, land owners, and everyday community leaders whom I run across everyday who also sported the blue corduroy jacket jacket of the FFA. So how many of you wore blue corduroy?

 Thanks for reading. ~mrs.c


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