Welcome Oliver!

My very very good friend, Courtney just (February 24th) had a baby boy. I was so excited to hear that it was a boy! A few weeks ago I went to visit her and meet Oliver. He was so sweet and fun to be with. I decided to make him a little present before going to visit the new family in San Diego. Hopefully, this will keep his head warm in the fall months as the hat probably won't fit him until then. I am so happy I get to see this baby grow. Oliver is going to be a very smart child, since his mama is a teacher and he will have his personal teacher for the rest of his life!!! The only sad part is they live in San Diego and I live in Northern California. Welcome to this crazy and wonderful world, Oliver! Love, your auntie juju!



On Tuesday I went to my first Jewish Seder! When I was first asked to come I was so nervous to attend, but when I arrived and I saw how friendly everyone was I was at ease. It was a wonderful experience and hope to attend one next year. One of the families I babysit for invited me and I felt like I was part of the family! It was so wonderful because there were so many kids and they were all filled with laughter and silliness! I really enjoyed being part of the Seder because everything we did had a meaning. All the food we ate had a meaning. For example the Matzoh were placed at the table as a reminder of the haste with which the Israelites fled Egypt, leaving no time for dough to rise. Also at the table was Maror the bitter herbs, used to symbolize the bitterness of slavery. Attending this Seder really makes me want to learn more about the Jewish religion and meaning behind all the rituals. I decided to make a dessert to bring for after the dinner. I made a Passover Cheesecake. The recipe called for matzoh cake meal and almonds, so there was no flour in it. I thought it turned out really yummy, and it was almost all gone by the end of the night! I also had someone come up to me and compliment me it was really yummy!

Here is the recipe:
Recipe from Gourmet found on Epicurious.com

Almonds and matzo cake meal make a wonderfully textured crust for this refreshing, citrusy cheesecake.
For crust

* 3/4 cup sliced blanched almonds, toasted and cooled
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 2/3 cup matzo cake meal
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1(8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup of lemon juice

a 9-inch springform pan

Make crust:
Preheat oven to 350F with rack in middle.

Pulse almonds, sugar, matzo cake meal, and salt in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and stir in butter until combined well. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of springform pan. Bake until crust is firm and a shade darker, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool crust completely in pan on a rack.

Make filling and bake cheesecake:
Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Beat together cream cheese and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add eggs 1 at a time, mixing until incorporated. Mix in zest and vanilla.

Put springform pan in a shallow baking pan and pour filling into cooled crust. Bake until filling is set 1 1/2 inches from edge but center is wobbly, 45 to 50 minutes (filling will continue to set as it cools). Transfer cake in pan to a rack and immediately run a knife around edge, then remove side of pan. Cool completely, 2 to 3 hours.

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